Menu ENN Search
Language: English Fran├žais

Protecting, promoting, supporting breastfeeding - when/where did this phrase first appear?

This question was posted the Infant and young child feeding interventions forum area and has 6 replies.

» Post a reply

Vicky Sibson

First Steps Nutrition Trust

Normal user

18 Feb 2020, 09:44

Hello all

In relation to the concept that breastfeeding needs protection, promotion and support, I'm trying to find out who came up with this idea / where it was first written down and how it was described. The backdrop is that in the UK where I work, there is a lot of effective promotion and a recent renewed focus on improving universal support (which is currently woeful), but the protection element never gets mentioned and is very poorly understood. If anyone can think of any core references/docs that would help me describe where this concept came from and why each of the three elements is vital would be really helpful



Wondayferam Gemeda Guluma

Nutrition Specialist

Normal user

18 Feb 2020, 11:01

The materials in the BFHI (  course have sufficient information pertaining to your queries. Hope you will find them useful.


richard machokolo

Normal user

18 Feb 2020, 11:16

Greetings , 

Kindly refer to the guidance provided from the link below:



Normal user

18 Feb 2020, 11:58

Hello Vicky, 

I normally reference this concept to the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding which has these three elements. 



Carol Williams

Pr Lecturer: University of Brighton

Normal user

18 Feb 2020, 12:41

Hello All

The PPS goes way back. At least to the Joint WHO/UNICEF statement 1989 - Protecting, Promoting Supporting Breastfeeding: the special role of maternity services - see . But the 'protecting and promoting' is also in the Code of Marketing of BMS - 1981 - see Article 1Aim of Code, and CONSIDERING in the preamble - that 'BS shoud not be marketed or distributed in ways that may interfer with the protection and promotion of breastfeeding'.

However, the language of 'protection' I suspect comes from the orignial UN right to health charter 1948 "The achievement of any State in the promotion and protection of health is of value to all".  And reflects the general human rights language of 'By becoming parties to international treaties, States assume obligations and duties under international law to respect, to protect and to fulfil human rights'.

Hope this is helpful, I agree in the UK the 'protect' aspect has not been explored to the same extent as promote and support.

Best wishes, Carol


Michelle Pensa Branco

SafelyFed Canada, Co-Founder/Clinical Lead

Normal user

18 Feb 2020, 16:16

I think you've gotten some good leads here. My understanding is that these three pillars were first brought together in the WHO/UNICEF meetings in 1979 which led to the creation of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes. The report is actually available on-line: 

I think if you're looking for the basis of inclusion into national policy, though, I would probably focus on the Global Strategy that really fleshes out all of these concepts and is the foundation for many of the documents that followed. If it's more of a historical picture, you might also try asking this question of your local IBFAN organization (Baby Milk Action) or on LACTNET as you maybe able to access some personal history there that's not so easy to search out through documents.

Good luck!

Vicky Sibson

First Steps Nutrition Trust

Normal user

20 Feb 2020, 13:13

Thank you everyone for your helpful comments and directions to key documents. I definitely have enought leads to finish my piece now.

Best wishes


If you have any problem posting a response, please contact the moderator at

Back to top

» Post a reply