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World Breastfeeding Week 2019 – Empowering Parents

World Breastfeeding Week- why do we celebrate it?

First celebrated in 1992, World Breastfeeding Week #WBW2019 is a global celebration that occurs every year from the 1st to the 7th of August in more than 120 countries.

The overarching goal of the week is to highlight the importance of breastfeeding, to encourage and promote breastfeeding and to improve the health of babies and mothers all around the globe.  World Breastfeeding Week aims to highlight the huge benefits that breastfeeding can bring to the health and welfare of babies and benefits to maternal health, focusing on good nutrition, poverty reduction, and food security. World breastfeeding week has the dual goal of improving the health of babies and promoting, protecting, and supporting the rights of women to breastfeed anywhere and at any time.

Did you know that the cost of NOT breastfeeding amounts to 700,000 lives annually and costs associated with NOT breastfeeding amount to 1.448 million Australian dollars a day?

Breastfeeding promotes better health for mothers and children alike. Increasing breastfeeding to near-universal levels could save more than 700,000 lives every year, the majority being children under six months. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. It is estimated that increased breastfeeding could avert 20,000 maternal deaths each year due to breast cancer.

What is happening this year?

Every year World Breastfeeding week has a theme, and this year’s slogan is “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding”.

The slogan was chosen to be inclusive of all types of parents in today’s world. Focusing on supporting both parents in reaching their breastfeeding goals and feel empowered is vital to this initiative. This year, WHO is working with UNICEF and partners, to promote the importance of family-friendly policies that enable breastfeeding and help parents nurture and bond with their children early in life when it matters most. This includes enacting paid maternity leave for a minimum of 18 weeks, and paid paternity leave to encourage shared responsibility of caring for their children on an equal basis. Mothers also need access to a parent-friendly workplace, to protect and support their ability to continue breastfeeding upon return to work by having access to breastfeeding breaks; a safe, private, and hygienic space for expressing and storing breastmilk as well as affordable childcare.

“Empowering parents” requires relevant, up to date information, education, and support to create an enabling environment, where mothers can feel empowered and supported to breastfeed. When we empower the family, workplaces, governments, and communities support them. When we remove the barriers to breastfeeding, we “enable breastfeeding.”
We can all become a change catalyst and be part of the movement to help support a mother to breastfeed. We all play an important role in the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding.

Aims of World Breastfeeding Week

  • To support mothers through peer groups to promote, establish, and carry on breastfeeding by informing families of the benefits of Peer Counseling.
  • To educate and train health care practitioners to provide support to mothers and babies in effective ways.
  • Call governments to action to recognise the importance of the protection and promotion of breastfeeding and provide legislation to support a breastfeeding mother
  • To deepen knowledge within the community to enhance, promote, and protect breastfeeding.

Our breastfeeding Partners Medela are offering NBB fans a live Q&A Facebook session 10am-12pm on Monday the 5th of August via the Medela Facebook 

Medela is committed to the ongoing education and promotion of breastfeeding and to facilitate this, they are offering our followers the opportunity to ask our resident International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant any questions that they have about breastfeeding. Kristy Newnham is the Education Manager for Medela, based in Melbourne, Australia, supporting Mums, bubs and their families across Australia and New Zealand. She is a Registered Nurse, specialising in Neonatal Intensive Care, as well as an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant.

Kristy will be hosting her 2-hour open forum to answer breastfeeding questions from 10am-12pm on Monday the 5th of August via the Medela Facebook and Instagram page.

Let’s celebrate World Breastfeeding Week by starting the conversation!

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