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August 1st marks the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week. Running until Monday August 7th, World Breastfeeding Week “aims to bring breast-feeding to the forefront of community agendas so everyone can be part of the dialogue.” It is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding (WABA) and is celebrating its 25th year in action.
The event is recognised globally with more than 170 countries participating in activities and events to raise awareness, with the 2017 theme of “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together” informing the week’s events.
Twenty prominent international agencies and NGOs came together with a shared goal – to support and increase smart investments in breastfeeding. This global breastfeeding collective has a vision in which families and mothers all over the world are supported and empowered to breastfeed. Acknowledging that breastfeeding isn’t a one woman job, is part of the battle.
The overarching belief of WABA is that by investing in breastfeeding programs and policies across the world will help to mitigate the rising cost of healthcare and lost productivity by improving overall health outcomes, and in turn, economic outcomes.
No single country in the world meets the recommended standards for breastfeeding, which means there are mothers all over the world that want to breastfeed but don’t have the support they need.
Some of the benefits of breastfeeding include improved immune system, promotion of cognitive development, preventing illnesses such as pneumonia and diarrhoea, which are a leading cause of infant death. It helps support bonding between mother and baby, promotes healthier families and reduces cost around health care. There are so many reasons we all need to support and promote breastfeeding.
The Global Breastfeeding Collective is advocating for woman to be supported in breastfeeding so all children can thrive.
The objective for the 2017 WABA World Breastfeeding Week are:
You can learn more about World Breast Feeding Week here.