The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is a global network of individuals
& organisations concerned with the protection, promotion & support of breastfeeding worldwide.
WABA action is based on the Innocenti Declaration, the Ten Links for Nurturing the Future and the
Global Strategy for Infant & Young Child Feeding. WABA is in consultative status with UNICEF & an NGO
in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

Breastfeeding: Advocacy and Practice
A Regional Outreach Course by the Infant Feeding Consortium (IFC), from the Institute of Child Health, London and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA)

25th February to 10th March 2007
, Bayview Hotel, Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

 Course Rationale

Poor infant feeding practices are a major contributor to child mortality, morbidity, malnutrition and poor growth. The established global recommendations for infant feeding are exclusive breastfeeding for six months followed by complementary feeding and continued breastfeeding for 2 years or more. Few countries meet these targets, and in many places programmes to promote improved infant feeding are slowing down. Yet interventions to improve breastfeeding and complementary feeding have been shown to have the greatest potential to save child lives.  

In 2005, a new Innocenti Declaration was adopted, 15 years after the original Declaration which led to the development of the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative. The 2005 Innocenti calls upon all Governments and other parties to take a number of actions, including revitalising the Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative and ensuring that appropriate guidelines and skill acquisition regarding infant and young child feeding are included in both pre-service and in-service training of all health care staff, to enable them to implement infant and young child feeding policies and to provide a high standard of breastfeeding management and counselling to support to mothers and communities. Taking these actions requires resource people with leadership ability and sufficient knowledge and skill to educate and train others.  

This two week evidence-based course is designed to equip participants for this task, and to give them a wider background than is possible with only short practical courses. Training of this kind has hitherto been available mainly in centres such as London, which is costly and difficult for many people to attend. For several years the Infant Feeding Consortium (IFC) has been receiving requests to conduct courses regionally, so that they are more widely available to a larger group of participants. WABA is now working with the IFC to make such a course available in South East Asia.  


Course Programme 

The course will include 12 days of teaching - from Monday 26th February to Saturday 10th March, with one rest day in the middle - Sunday 4th March. Participants should arrive by 3 pm on the afternoon of Sunday 25th February, to register, and for an Introductory Session and Welcome Reception. They should be prepared to stay until the late afternoon or evening of Saturday 10th March, or until the morning of Sunday 11th March.  Certificates of Attendance will be presented on the afternoon of Saturday 10th. The course is residential and intensive. Participants will be expected to attend full-time. 

Teaching methods

The teaching will include a number of Clinical Practice sessions, when participants will work in small groups with mothers and babies at the Penang General Hospital, to practice the skills that they learn in the classroom.  

Classroom sessions will include lecture presentations, practical demonstrations and exercises, and seminar and group work. Participants will be asked to prepare privately and in groups for some sessions. Reference material and handouts will be provided variously in electronic or paper form.  

Participatory training methods will provide some flexibility for Course Directors to respond to individual requirements. 

Topics covered 

The main emphasis of the course will be on the management of breastfeeding, breastfeeding counselling and the baby-friendly hospital initiative. Related issues such as complementary feeding and HIV and infant feeding will also be included, and teaching throughout will reflect participants' needs to learn about advocacy and training methodology.   

The topics covered will include:

          Global policies related to infant and young child feeding and their rationale
Evidence for the influence of breastfeeding on health & emotional development  of infants &  mothers' health
   Physiology of lactation, suckling, and the secretion of breast milk
    Composition of breast milk, and the importance of colostrum
    Positioning and attachment of the infant at the breast
    Communication skills for working with mothers and babies
    Influence of obstetric practice on breastfeeding
    Initiation of breastfeeding - skin-to-skin contact
    Milk sufficiency - under- and over-supply
    Breast refusal and the reluctant breastfeeder
    Breast conditions (nipple form, sore nipples, engorgement, mastitis)
    Maternal health and nutrition, and maternal medication
    The nutritional adequacy of exclusive breastfeeding
    Breast milk expression and storage
    Developmental readiness for feeding
    Introduction of complementary foods
    Obstacles to exclusive breastfeeding
    Feeding of low birth weight babies
    Kangaroo mother care
    New Materials - The Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative - implementing the 10 steps
    Baby-friendly practices beyond the hospital
    Community support for optimal infant feeding - mother and peer support
    HIV and infant feeding, and replacement feeding
    Women and work
    The International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes
    Programmes and strategies to achieve optimal infant feeding
    Developing advocacy and training skills for resource persons.

Course Directors

 Sandra Lang: Independent midwifery teacher in lactation and neonatal nursing.

Specialist areas: Practical issues of infant feeding, particularly for pre-term, sick and vulnerable babies, new born care, curriculum development, training and implementation of international infant feeding initiatives. 

Director of CICH's annual course : Breastfeeding: Policy and Practice. Consultant on infant feeding and pre-registration training for WHO. Author of WHO's new Essential Newborn Care Course for WHO Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postnatal and Newborn Care programme for WHO, and the book 'Breastfeeding Special Care Babies'

 Felicity Savage: Community Paediatrician.

Specialist areas: Training health workers on breastfeeding, HIV and infant feeding, and development of technical and policy documents.

Honorary Senior Lecturer, Centre for International Child Health (CICH), Institute of Child Health, London, Director of CICH's annual course: Breastfeeding: Policy and Practice; former WHO Medical Officer co-ordinating development of infant feeding training courses. Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative Assessor, and consultant to UNICEF on Baby-Friendly activities, Chairperson Elect of Steering Committee for the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). Author 'Helping mothers to breastfeed'. Worked in Africa and Indonesia.

Who should apply 

The course is designed for doctors and other senior health professionals who are involved in national or local infant feeding programmes as clinicians, trainers, advisers, programme co-ordinators or advocates for optimal infant feeding. Teams from the same institution or locality are particularly welcome.

The course is conducted mainly in English, though there will also be some use of Malay, particularly for communication with mothers. 

Course costs 

The cost of the two week course, including twin-sharing accommodation in a 4-star hotel with ensuite facilities and meals (excluding evening meals), and essential reference materials is US$2,450. This does not include the cost of travel to Penang.  

WABA does not accept sponsorship of any kind from companies producing breastmilk substitutes, related equipment (including feeding bottles, teats and breastpumps) and complementary foods, and cannot accept applicants funded by such companies.  

To apply

If you are interested in attending, kindly complete the Application To Attend form and send it to:

P.O. Box 1200
10850 Penang
Tel: 60-4 658 4816
Fax : 60-4-657 2655

Download: Application To Attend form | Brochure

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action
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