World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration made by WHO and UNICEF policy-makers in August 1990 to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is the best way to provide newborns with the nutrients they need. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is six months old, and continued breastfeeding with the addition of nutritious complementary foods for up to two years or beyond.
Breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. A lack of exclusive breastfeeding during the first six months of life contributes to over a million avoidable child deaths each year.
Globally less than 40% of infants under six months of age are exclusively breastfed. Adequate breastfeeding support for mothers and families could save many young lives.
WHO actively promotes breastfeeding as the best source of nourishment for infants and young children. This fact file explores the many benefits of the practice, and how robust help for mothers can increase breastfeeding worldwide.
- Health benefits for infants: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/breastfeeding/facts/en/index1.html
- Benefits for mothers: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/breastfeeding/facts/en/index2.html
- Long-term benefits for children: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/breastfeeding/facts/en/index3.html
- Why not infant formula? http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/breastfeeding/facts/en/index4.html
- HIV and breastfeeding: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/breastfeeding/facts/en/index5.html
- Regulating breast-milk sustitutes: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/breastfeeding/facts/en/index6.html
- Support for mothers is essential: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/breastfeeding/facts/en/index7.html
- Work and breastfeeding: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/breastfeeding/facts/en/index8.html
- The next step: phasing in new foods: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/breastfeeding/facts/en/index9.html
The song of the week: Beyoncé – Run The World (Girls)