Breastfeeding is one of the most essential part of a newborn baby's growing up journey. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), babies should be exclusively breastfed for six months since the time of their birth and later should be introduced to different and appropriate food items after six months.
The World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year for a week from 1st August, the motive of this week is to create awareness among new parents and improve infant health around the world. The initiative was started in August 1990 by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF, and other organizations to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding.
History of World Breastfeeding Week
In 1991, The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) was formed to act on the 1990 Declaration to Protect, Support, and Promote Breastfeeding. As part of this action plan, WABA introduced the concept of a globally integrated breastfeeding strategy for promotion. However, this idea was supposed to be celebrated only for one day which afterward turned into a week. This week is known as World Breastfeeding Week and is celebrated from 1-7 August. The week is celebrated in more than 100 countries. The first World Breastfeeding Week was celebrated in 19.
Importance of Breastfeeding
Breast milk contains antibodies that help the baby fight against viruses and bacteria. On the other hand, babies who have been breastfed without formula for the first six months will not develop any symptoms of of ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and diarrhea. Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of asthma or allergies in babies
According to WHO, breastfeeding not only benefits babies but also reduces the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Hence, approximately every year 20,000 maternal deaths due to breast cancer could be prevented by breastfeeding.
World Breastfeeding Week Theme
The 2021 World Breastfeeding Week's theme is 'Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility. The reason behind this theme is to aware people of the benefits of breastfeeding and its importance.