This week is World Breastfeeding Week (Monday 1st August – Sunday 7th August), celebrating all things related to breastfeeding.
World Breastfeeding Week is the brainchild of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), whose aim this year is to raise awareness of the links between breastfeeding and the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding is a global network of organisations and individuals who think that breastfeeding is the right of all children and mothers. To find out more about WABA, click here.
Dr Amal Omer-Salim, WABA’s Co-Executive Director said, “Celebrations should mark on-going efforts to learn from achievements and overcome challenges. The annual WBW celebration should be more than a week-long effort. By focusing on a broader context, longer time frame and practical yet ambitious goals, we can create sustainable and engaging campaigns. Let us campaign for a generation!”
According to UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO), breastfeeding is one of the most effective and cost-effective ways to save and improve the lives of children everywhere.
In a recent statement, UNICEF Senior Nutrition Adviser, France Bégin, said, “If all babies are fed on nothing but breastmilk from the moment they are born until they are six months old, over 800,000 lives would be saved every year.”
The week also allows for a better understanding of breastfeeding and to help de-stigmatise mothers who choose to breastfeed in public.
Over the years, a number of celebrities have faced a backlash over choosing to breastfeed their children. Gisele Bundchen, Gwen Stefani and most recently, Sam Faiers have all come under criticism for posting images of themselves breastfeeding on social media.
Recently, MP Sammy Wilson came under fire from breastfeeding supporters after he said there was an element of voyeurism in women wanting to breastfeed in the House of Commons. He also went on to say that, “if it can be done privately, it should be done privately.”
For more information on World Breastfeeding Week, click here.