World Breastfeeding Week is an annual celebration which takes place every year from August 1 to August 7 in more than 120 countries. Initially, it was celebrated in 1992 by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), and it is now observed in over 120 countries by UNICEF, the WHO and their partners including individuals, organisations, and governments.
The day is celebrated all over to re-establish a global breastfeeding culture and support everywhere. The WHO encouraged the value of breastfeeding for mothers as well as children. They recommend breastfeeding for the first six months.
They feel that breastfeeding is the best way to give newborns the required nutrients. Breastfeeding is vital to a child’s lifelong health and reduces the cost for health facilities, families, and government. Apart from being highly nutritious and easy-to-digest, it also protects babies against disease and infection. The milk that a mother produces in the first day after birth is known as Colostrum. It is not only dense in nutrients but is also rich in antibodies. It protects babies from bacteria and viruses that can cause infection.
“Breastfeeding saves lives, and it helps babies to be healthy in their first days, and it lasts until their adulthood. Breastfeeding requires support, encouragement, and guidance. If the basic steps are implemented properly, we can significantly improve breastfeeding rates around the world”, quotes Dr Shweta Goswami, IVF specialist in Noida & Delhi NCR.
The need of the hour is to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding and provide mothers with safe and secure maternity services. It is highly advised not to use breast milk substitutes and the use of bottles.
The aim is to raise awareness of health and well-being outcomes of breastfeeding and let people know about the importance of breastfeeding.