Monitor Progress

The Problem: Most countries do not adequately monitor breastfeeding rates, policies, programmes, and funding.


The Solution: Countries should monitor breastfeeding rates, programmes, policies, and funding for breastfeeding interventions at least once every five years.


Policies, programs, and funding that aim to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding are critical for enabling all women to breastfeed and for increasing breastfeeding rates. Monitoring the progress of country-level breastfeeding policies, programs, and funding is necessary and it should be protected from commercial influence. 


Monitoring helps to identify gaps in support and allow prioritization of action on areas that need improvement. Quality, routine data collection and monitoring of early, exclusive, and continued breastfeeding to assess declines or improvements in breastfeeding practices is of key importance. 


Monitoring of breastfeeding practices, programs, policies, and funding for breastfeeding interventions is critical for understanding if improvements in breastfeeding efforts and outcomes are being made to reach global targets, and it is essential that this is done at least once every five years. 


The International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN)'s World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) is one tool which can assist countries in monitoring these policies, programs, funding, and practices in a comprehensive way and help identify key areas to strengthen. Becoming Breastfeeding Friendly (BBF) is a country-level self-assessment guide to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding, while the WHO has produced a tool for assessing national practices, policies and programs as they relate to the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding.


Tracking funding for breastfeeding is essential to achieve World Health Assembly targets and the WHO’s Budgeting for Health report outlines the overall budgeting process and the specific role of the health ministry. In addition to the financial tracking in the monitoring resources above, the World Breastfeeding Costing Initiative (WBCi) is an additional tool specific to costing.