World Breastfeeding Week: 1-7 August
World Breastfeeding Week is annually commenced on 1st August and concluded on 7th August. It is observed all over the world as a global campaign highlighting the importance of breastfeeding for the welfare of infants and breastfeeding mothers. The campaigns are focused on issues related to maternal health, good nutrition, poverty, etc. Let's get to know more about World Breastfeeding Week in this article.
Breast milk is a perfect food for babies. It is important in terms of nutrition for babies' proper growth and development for the first six months. After delivery, the babies are fed only on breast milk, which contains all the nutrients that the baby requires for its proper growth and development. Breast milk contains a good amount of fats, protein, carbohydrates, various vitamins, and minerals in a proper composition according to the baby's nutritional requirement, and also, it contains a good amount of antibodies that protect the baby from infections allergies sickness. Thus, it provides good immunity to the baby so no supplement can replace the mother's milk. The milk changes in volume composition according to the time of the day nursing, frequency, and age of the baby to promote healthy growth, and for the mother, it promotes faster weight loss after birth as it burns about 500 extra calories per day in order to build and maintain milk supply. So, it is really important for the mother to breastfeed a baby at least for six months.
World Breastfeeding Week - Background
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) 1991, was brought into action in accordance with the Innocent Declaration of 1990. WABA was initiated to promote breastfeeding in a strategic manner. In order to do so, a day was to be chosen to be observed globally. Later, the idea was turned into a week and from then onwards 1 to 7 August the entire week is celebrated as World Breastfeeding Week.
What is the Significance of Breastfeeding?
Breastfeeding can also be seen as the most natural and affordable means of nutrition for babies, which to some extent helps in the reduction of poverty. Its continuation for two or more years provides for high-quality nutrition and food security for children. It also prevents hunger, malnutrition, and obesity. Breastfeeding is a significant element for the survival of an infant and the proper health development of mother and child. The nutrition obtained from breast milk holds great importance for the congenital and mental development of babies.
Breastfeeding is one of the rights provided to women and it should be extensively promoted in society to breastfeed optimally breastfeed the infant. It should be promoted in place of a formula diet or food provided to a child because breast milk naturally fulfills the need for water in an infant's body, while formula foods need access to clean water, which is hard to get for most of the population around the world. In the case of formula feeding hygiene and sanitation plays a significant factor which if not maintained leads to hazardous consequences for both mother and child.
When we take a look into a commercial perspective, breastmilk is entitled to less energy as compared to formula production industries. It also reduces the need for water and fossil fuels in households.
Breastfeeding mothers who work outside the home need to manage a few challenges and be supported in offices or organizations, by their families, and the community. Breastfeeding needs to be treated as a common practice even in public places as it is completely natural. Breastfeeding women should be supported by their employees and employers in working spaces. And, they should be treated appropriately even in public places.
Maternity protection and other workplace policies can enable women to combine breastfeeding and their other work or employment. Creches near the workplace, lactation rooms, and breastfeeding breaks are some small steps that can be taken in order to support breastfeeding which is definitely going to make a big difference.