Disclaimer: Breastfeeding is every mother’s choice. There are also many other reasons why a mother may not breastfeed – every situation is different. This post is to raise awareness of the week’s campaign and to give you the information you need to make an informed choice. Also, don’t be that person who shames or pressures a mother to breastfeed.
World Breastfeeding week is celebrated every year between August 1st and 7th. This week aims to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. This awareness week is in commemoration of the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF and other organisations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
World Health Organization (WHO) on Breastfeeding
The WHO says that breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure a child’s health and survival. Breastmilk is the ideal food for infants as it is safe and contains antibodies that help protect against many common childhood illnesses. Breastmilk contains the energy and nutrients infants need during the first months of life (WHO recommends to breastfeed for at least the first 6 months of an infant’s life). It is also recommended by the WHO and UNICEF that children initiate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth.
You can also explore the World Health Organization webpage on breastfeeding, which includes work the WHO is doing in regards to promoting breastfeeding, its database, facts sheets, Q&A, guidelines and much more.
This year, the week will focus on the impact of infant feeding on the environment, climate change and the need to protect, promote and support breastfeeding for the health of the planet and the people. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action wants to work across sectors and levels to emphasise the link between breastfeeding and the environment.
There are 4 objectives for 2020 World Breastfeeding Week
- Inform – inform people about the links between breastfeeding and the environment and climate change
- Anchor – anchor breastfeeding as a climate-smart decision
- Engage – engage with individuals and organisations for a greater impact
- Galvanise – galvanise action on improving the health of the planet and people through breastfeeding.
If this is something that interests you, I suggest you follow the campaign and read more about World Breastfeeding Week on its website.
You can also download the 2020 campaign action book in 7 different languages (click here). This document talks about your carbon footprint, how the organisations involved are investing in support for breastfeeding, the challenges (planetary health needs, sustainable food systems include breastfeeding, emerging trends in global health and nutrition, infant feeding method matters, slow progress on improving breastfeeding, ecological footprint of BMS, ecological footprint of breastfeeding and comparing carbon footprint) and some suggested solutions.
Be kind to one another!