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World Breastfeeding Week- why do we celebrate it?
First celebrated in 1992, World Breastfeeding Week #WBW2022 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.
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.
Every year World Breastfeeding week has a theme, and this year’s slogan is Step up for Breastfeeding – Educate and Support
It focuses on the fact that everyone has a part to play in helping mums to breastfeed, across different levels of society, including governments, health systems, workplaces and communities. Throughout this important initiative, they will be informed, educated and empowered to strengthen their capacity to provide and sustain breastfeeding-friendly environments for families in the post pandemic world.
Everyone can make up the ‘Warm Chain of support for breastfeeding’. This Warm Chain campaign places the mother-baby dyad at the core, and strives to link different individuals and organisations across the health, community and workplace sector to provide a continuum of care during the first 1000 days. If you’d like to be part of the #warmchain, head to World Alliance of Breastfeeding Action (WABA).
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.