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Global Health
December 20, 2016

Boosting Breastfeeding Practices in Vietnam and Bangladesh

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

JAMA. 2016;316(23):2473. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.18560

A multipronged, intensive program to promote breastfeeding among new mothers is more effective than a standard nutrition counseling program with less-intensive strategies, researchers from the United States and Bangladesh reported in PLoS Medicine.

The researchers carried out cluster-randomized impact evaluations in Bangladesh and Vietnam to compare 2 breastfeeding intervention packages: an intensive program (the Alive & Thrive initiative) that provided interpersonal counseling to pregnant women and mothers of children up to 2 years of age, combined with mass media, community mobilization, and policy advocacy interventions to create a supportive environment for breastfeeding practices; and a nonintensive package of standard nutrition counseling on breastfeeding and a less intensive mass media campaign, community mobilization, and policy advocacy. In Bangladesh, the programs were delivered through a community-based health platform by a large nongovernmental organization. In Vietnam they were integrated into government health facilities. Surveys were carried out in households with children who were younger than 6 months before the interventions were started in 2010, and 4 years later, in 2014.