World Breastfeeding Week or WBW is celebrated from 1 to 7 August every year. The week aims to spread awareness about the importance of breastfeeding and its need in the lives of babies and mothers. World Breastfeeding Week is a global campaign, which aims to galvanise actions on themes surrounding breastfeeding.
Coordinated by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), World Breastfeeding Week is marked in more than 120 countries.
Breastfeeding a baby is an overwhelming and emotional experience for new mothers. The act of breastfeeding holds equal importance in the lives of mothers and infants. Not only does it help in the all-around development of the newborn baby, but it also helps new mothers to connect with their babies.
World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) have recommended that an infant must be breastfed within an hour of birth and should at least be continued for six months. However, the agencies have often added that infants must be breastfed for at least two years for their complete development.
World Breastfeeding Week History
World Breastfeeding Week's history dates back to the early 1990s when WHO and UNICEF introduced a memorandum to support and promote the act of breastfeeding. It was first marked in 1992 when a whole week was dedicated to promoting the campaign. As many as 70 countries initiated this campaign in the beginning.
World Breastfeeding Week Significance
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated to highlight the importance of breastfeeding and the crucial role it plays in the life of newborn babies and new mothers. While breastfeeding can prevent babies from infections and lower the risk of later health issues, it helps mothers' uterus to contract, which then helps in stopping bleeding quickly. It is also said that breastfeeding helps in lowering the risk of breast and ovarian cancers in new mothers.
World Breastfeeding Week Theme
This year's theme for the World Breastfeeding Week is 'Step Up For Breastfeeding: Educate and Support'.