World Breastfeeding Week 1–7 August 2012


World Breastfeeding Week



1–7 August 2012


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.

It’s Time To Act After 10 Years Global Strategy And 20 Years WBW!

20years ago, theWorld Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) launched its firstWorld BreastfeedingWeek (WBW) campaign with the theme: “Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative”. So much has happened in these 20 years, it is time to celebrate but also to look back, understand what has happened and why. Then plan what more can be done to support all women to be able to optimally feed and care for of their infants and young children.


Twenty years ago India and the World celebrated its first World Breastfeeding Week with the theme “Baby –Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)”. It’s the time to celebrate, but also look back and see what has changed and what more is required.






Each year there has been a path breaking theme, this year it is “Taking Stock of Policies and Programmes”, with the following objectives:

  • To take stock of implementation of policies and programmes on breastfeeding & infant and young child feeding in India.
  • To celebrate successes and achievements of past 20 years.
  • To identify the gaps that exist and call for action to bridge these gaps.
  • To raise awareness among public and policy makers about these gaps in policies and programmes related to breastfeeding and infant and young child feeding.
  • To share the action taken with the national and global community.

The true reason for decline in breastfeeding rates in the 20th century is the popularization of alternatives through the market based approach. Lack of proper support in health care system, social taboos, cultural barriers and women going out to work for wages are some other reasons. Use of clever marketing techniques by baby food manufacturing companies have upturned basic human child-rearing and food habits, all the while making people believe that they have chosen a better way to feed and raise their children on the man-made (factory made) stuff. This is the big fight that has to be won by the people. There is a need to bust this myth that man-made stuff is equal or better than mom-made (natural).


The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) jointly developed and launched the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (GS) in 2002 reaffirming the four Innocenti targets set in 1995, and setting additional targets. The GS has identified a clear need for optimal infant feeding practices in reducing malnutrition as well as poverty. It is based on a human rights approach and calls for the development of comprehensive national policies on infant and young child feeding. It provides guidance on how to protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for first six months, and continued breastfeeding for two years or beyond together with adequate, appropriate and indigenous complementary feeding starting from the age of six months.


How and Why we should monitor status of implementation of the Global Strategy?

In 2004 – 2005 the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) one of WABA’s core partners launched the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) , to track, assess and monitor the implementation of the Global Strategy. According to UNICEF’s State of the World’s Children Report 2011, 136.7 million babies are born worldwide and only 32.6 % of them are breastfed exclusively in the first six months. According to the WBTi assessment of 40 countries , most of the 40 countries do not have an effective IYCF policy with an adequate budget for implementation. To be able to increase breastfeeding rates, it is important to assess policies and programmes and take action accordingly.


celebrate world breastfeeding week on npn

I’m celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with Natural Parents Network!

You can, too — link up your breastfeeding posts from August 1-7 in the linky below, and enjoy reading, commenting on, and sharing the posts collected here and on Natural Parents Network.


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