Health  Vol.8 No.1 , January 2016
Role of Breastfeeding in Promoting Maternal & Child Health and Policy Implications in New Zealand
Abstract: Worldwide researches over infant’s health have generally focused and aimed on understanding the complex factors (both positive and negative) affecting the infant’s health which further had ultimately helped them to frame policies nationally as well as internationally. Out of these factors, breastfeeding is one of the vital concerns for research related to infant mortality and morbidity. The World Health Organization recommends that infants should be exclusively breastfed until first six months and receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods thereafter while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. In New Zealand (NZ), only 12% of 6 months old children were exclusively breastfed in 2006. The Ministry of Health plays a leading role for the protection, promotion and supporting breastfeeding in NZ. There are a number of areas/implications that NZ need to focus at such as providing antenatal and postpartum education, training of health professionals, community and workplace support, policy frameworks, breast-feeding statistics and intersectoral approach. These measures mainly focus at the initiation but less has been done to continue and support breastfeeding in NZ. In order to achieve this, all of these areas should be given prime and equal consideration. Hence, there is a strong need to develop strategies that maintain and promote breastfeeding at 6 months or beyond in NZ taking into considerations of various barriers and enabling factors.
Cite this paper: Ramil, A. (2016) Role of Breastfeeding in Promoting Maternal & Child Health and Policy Implications in New Zealand. Health, 8, 75-82. doi: 10.4236/health.2016.81009.

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