Indonesia gets Tough on Promoting Exclusive Breastfeeding

Excessive Formula advertising is one of the factors that negatively impact exclusive breasfeeding in Indonesia.

Indonesia is known for having the largest Muslim population in the world. However, despite the strong recommendations to breastfeed in Islam, there is a low prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding for newborns. Exclusive breastfeeding means that the baby only receives breastmilk and no additional food, water or formula. Generally, it is recommended to exclusive breastfeed for a minimum of 6 months. Recognizing the social and economic benefits of breastfeeding, the Indonesian government has recently implemented several new regulations to get more mothers to breastfeed their infants. Health Ministry Director-General for Nutrition and Maternal and Infant Health Slamet Riyadi Yuwono stated, “As soon as possible after delivery (with the exception of emergencies and special medical conditions), healthcare workers are required to help mothers initiate breast-feeding for at least one hour.” Issued on March 1, 2012, these laws require medical facilities and healthcare workers to promote breastfeeding to mothers and imposes tough rules on the use of infant formula for newborns. These regulations are a part of the 2009 Heath Law which stipulates that every child has the right to be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth. Non-compliant healthcare workers may receive administrative sanctions in the form of written warnings, verbal warnings, and/or license revocation. Also, formula cannot be offered, unless prescribed by a physician. All forms of advertising is prohibited, such as free samples, discounts and sales bonus compensation Currently, the Ministry of Health is discussing regulations to hold formula manufacturers and distributors accountable for violating the law, and not promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a newborn’s life.  Please Follow my Blog by Email and Help Spread the Barakah of Breastfeeding!

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3 thoughts on “Indonesia gets Tough on Promoting Exclusive Breastfeeding

  1. It depends on the majority of mothers, I guess. Where I live, many mother choose not to breastfeed even though they are perfectly capable of doing so. Should these moms be forced to breastfeed?

  2. I love this quote right here: “Also, formula cannot be offered, unless prescribed by a physician. All forms of advertising is prohibited, such as free samples, discounts and sales bonus compensation. Currently, the Ministry of Health is discussing regulations to hold formula manufacturers and distributors accountable for violating the law, and not promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of a newborn’s life.”

    I think breastfeeding would be more popular among young moms if they became truly educated about it, rather than looking at the so-called “ease” of using formula which isn’t as easy as breastfeeding at all! Formula treated as a prescriptive medicine…wow…revolutionary, but then the “what if” part of my mind goes, “what if someone was watching a child or the mother passed away, and they didn’t have enough expressed milk to feed the child?” To have to go to a doctor to get a prescription for food for a hungry child seems pretty awful then…but that’s the only scenario that I can think of! 😀 Then again, there’s the loss tradition of having a wet-nurse…the beautiful miracle of breastfeeding can’t be denied! Go Indonesia!

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