MEXICO: 2016 BBF Assessment

In the period from 2006 to 2012, Mexico experienced a phenomenon of abandonment of the practice of exclusive breastfeeding, decreasing from 22.3 to 14.4%, especially in rural areas (36.9% to 18.5%). Although more recent studies show a very slight increase, the numbers are far from ideal in infant feeding practices, and it is considered fundamental to strengthen strategies aimed at increasing breastfeeding promotion, protection and support practices in the country.

Led by a team at the Universidad Iberoamericana, the BBF Committee evaluated Mexico's breastfeeding friendly environment and scored it a 1.4: a moderate scaling up environment. The following recommended actions were presented to the key decision makers to address the gaps identified using the BBF tool.

Key recommendations:

  • Civil society organizations have the ability to position the subject on the political agenda, as well as to activate the decision-makers for the development of actions and policies in relation to breastfeeding.
  • Keeping breastfeeding on the public agenda requires the sustained support of high-level public officials.
  • Regulatory instruments should limit the interests of other sectors that may put the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding at risk.
  • To plan short-term and long-term training, promotion, research, monitoring and evaluation of the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding, it is necessary to have financial and human resources labeled for this purpose.
  • Breastfeeding policies and actions require trained personnel who can implement them.
  • It is necessary to have strategies of promotion, protection and support of the breastfeeding, articulated by the government, that reach the entire population.
  • Any health system that intends to make decisions on breastfeeding, based on scientific evidence and valid information from the relevant groups, should have comprehensive surveys and information systems.
  • For a national policy on breastfeeding, it is necessary to have a strategic framework that includes an actor who has the capacity to follow the lines of action and who has the capacity to make informed decisions.

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