World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1st to 7th August. It was first celebrated in 1992 by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and is now observed in over 120 countries by UNICEF, WHO and their partners including individuals, organizations, and governments.
The theme for 2020 is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet!”. The theme will focus on the impact of infant feeding on the environment/climate change and the imperative to protect, promote and support breastfeeding for the health of the planet and its people.
Objectives of WABA World Breastfeeding Week 2020 (1)
- INFORM – people about the links between breastfeeding and the environment/climate change.
- ANCHOR – breastfeeding as a climate-smart decision.
- ENGAGE – with individuals and organizations for greater impact.
- GALVANISE – action on improving the health of the planet and people through breastfeeding.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us the importance of taking care of our planet and to respect nature. With this in mind, sustainable food choices including breastfeeding are the need of the hour for the health of the planet and its future inhabitants- the new-borns.
Breastfeeding is nature’s beautiful mechanism of creating an unbreakable bond between the mother and child. It is nature’s way of making humans realise that we are all equal. Be it an infant of a rich mother or poor, white or black, educated or uneducated, belonging to any caste, creed, race or nationality; breastfeeding does not discriminate.
Breastfeeding not only nourishes, but also saves lives by reducing the risk of breast cancer, post-partum depression and post-partum hemorrhage in the mother and of obesity, allergy, infection, asthma, life style disorders, sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) etc in the baby. According to WHO, iincreasing breastfeeding to near-universal levels could save more than 8,00,000 lives every year, the majority being children under 6 months.
At Sir Vithaldas Thackersey College of Home Science (Autonomous) we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week every year with awareness campaigns, competitions, displays etc. This year, as the world has physically distanced but virtually grown closer on the internet, we are celebrating this week with online posters by our students.
Let us come together to support the cause by encouraging and supporting new mothers in breastfeeding successfully. We envision a world where World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated not only to spread awareness, but to celebrate universal levels of breastfed new-borns.
Here is what you can do to support a new mother to breastfeed:
- Take care of the mother’s diet and nourishment.
- Be a listening ear for her problems and support her in getting the adequate help.
- Help with taking care of the baby to give her adequate time to rest and sleep.
- Respect her privacy. Understand that breastfeeding is not a taboo.
- Support her in any other way you can.
MSc SD (Pediatric Nutrition)
Ref- 1) waba.org
2. Breast Crawl