Welcome to World Breastfeeding Week 2016! Join Just Bloomed and people in over 176 countries as we celebrate and promote breastfeeding.
This year’s theme is “Breastfeeding: a key to Sustainable Development” – the theme focuses on how “breastfeeding is a key element in getting us to think about how to value our wellbeing from the start of life, how to respect each other and care for the world we share.” In 2015, world leaders committed to 17 goals aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity by the year 2030. Breastfeeding offers every child a healthy start to life – the perfect starting point for reaching these goals.
Breastfeeding can contribute in 4 key areas: nutrition and poverty reduction, survival and wellbeing, environment and climate change, and women’s productivity and employment.
How You Can Help
What can you do in your community? The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action has some tips:
• Help people in your community to see breastfeeding, timely complementary feeding and continued breastfeeding up to 2 years or beyond as normal.
• Work to ensure that all mothers in the community have access to skilled breastfeeding care.
• Advocate for breastfeeding to be fully included in the curriculum for pre-service training of all physicians and nurses.
• Include breastfeeding in any list of actions to reduce our carbon and water footprint, and include breastfeeding in publicity about climate change.
• Promote paid parental protection policies that are gender equitable, encompassing the care triad and which support co-parenting and breastfeeding.
• Talk to some local employers about how they could make their workplaces support breastfeeding. Promote transformation of workplaces to become ‘family friendly’.
The sad truth is that, in the world today, 823,000 children die annually due to “sub-optimal infant feeding practices.” Breastmilk is the ultimate natural food, yet breastfeeding is still discouraged in many parts of the world. Less than 40% of infants under six months of age are exclusively breastfed. We hope you will help spread the word about how breastfeeding can do so much good for the world, and each individual child!
Love facts and figures? UNICEF put together excellent information here.