Supporting breastfeeding

Mother’s milk is best for babies, providing the best start in life. We promote, support and protect breastfeeding and we’re committed to marketing Infant Milk Substitutes and Infant Foods (Infant Nutrition Products) responsibly.

Our commitment

Support breastfeeding and protect it by continuing to implement an industry-leading policy to market Infant Milk Substitutes and Infant Foods (Infant Nutrition Products) responsibly.

Why it matters

The nutrition mothers and babies receive during the first 1000 days of life is critical for a baby’s growth and development. Studies have found that the period from conception, through pregnancy and up to a child’s second birthday can help shape our children’s future eating habits. That’s why we support the WHO’s recommendation to exclusively breastfeed infants for the first six months of life, followed by the introduction of adequate nutritious complementary foods, along with sustained breastfeeding up to two years and beyond.

Our approach

The WHO’s recommendations on how to support breastfeeding guides all our actions in this area, particularly when it comes to marketing and creating breastfeeding-friendly environments.

As mother’s milk is considered the ideal nutrition for infants, we promote the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s recommendation to exclusively breastfeed infants for the first 6 months, followed by the introduction of adequate nutritious complementary foods, along with sustained breastfeeding for children aged 2 and above.

When breastfeeding is not possible, there is a need for alternative in the form of appropriate infant milk substitutes. This principle is enshrined in the WHO code, which recognizes a legitimate market for breast-milk substitutes and states one of its aim as being to ‘ensure the proper use of breast-milk substitutes, when these are necessary on the basis of adequate information and through appropriate marketing and distribution’.

In 2017, through our Nestlé Start Healthy Stay Healthy programme, we partnered with several public and private organisations, opening about 1000 breastfeeding rooms in India.

Marketing of Infant Milk Substitutes and Infant Foods (Infant Nutrition Products): Compliance record

We continue to strengthen our internal marketing practices on ‘infant nutrition products’ while adhering to the WHO Code of marketing of breast-milk Substitutes as implemented by National Governments and the Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods Act, 1992, as amended in 2003 (IMS Act). The IMS Act regulates the production, supply and distribution of Infant Milk Substitutes, feeding bottles and Infant Foods in India. Nestlé India follows both the IMS Act and the WHO Code in letter and spirit, whichever is stricter.

In 2016, our marketing practices on Infant Nutrition Products were assessed by ATNI India Index, which reported, "With respect to BMS marketing, Nestlé India demonstrated a high level of compliance with the Indian IMS Act and the Code. Nestlé India, like Nestlé S.A., is an industry leader with respect to committing to providing facilities that support breastfeeding mothers at work."

FTSE4Good

We were the first infant formula manufacturer included in the FTSE4Good Responsible Investment Index and have met its rigorous criteria for marketing of Infant Nutrition products since 2011.


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