It’s World Breastfeeding Week

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Each year, the first week of August is dubbed as “World Breastfeeding Week.”  This year, the WBW campaign’s goals focus on Breastfeeding as an emergency necessity. They seek to:

  • To draw attention to the vital role that breastfeeding plays in emergencies worldwide.
  • To stress the need for active protection and support of breastfeeding before and during emergencies.
  • To inform mothers, breastfeeding advocates, communities, health professionals, governments, aid agencies, donors, and the media on how they can actively support breastfeeding before and during an emergency.
  • To mobilise action and nurture networking and collaboration between those with breastfeeding skills and those involved in emergency response.

In Emergencies, Breastfeeding Is A Lifeline.
Emergencies can happen anywhere in the world. Infants and young children are   especially vulnerable to logo_01malnutrition, illness, and death in these situations. Whatever the emergency – from earthquake to conflict, from floods to the flu pandemic – the story is the same: breastfeeding is a lifeline and a shield that protects infants in emergencies.
From 1-7 August 2009, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), and breastfeeding advocates in more than 150 countries worldwide will be celebrating World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) for the 18th year. This year, WABA teams up with the Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN) and the International Baby Food Action Network-Geneva Infant Feeding Association (IBFAN-GIFA) who represent an international collaboration of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organisations (IFE Core Group) concerned with protection and support of safe and appropriate infant and young child feeding in emergencies.

Together we call for the active protection and support of breastfeeding during emergencies. When an emergency strikes, simple measures can make all the difference in the world. Emergency preparedness is the key to quick appropriate actions. Mothers need to be secure and have priority access to food for the family, water, shelter and safe places to breastfeed.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) and UNICEF recommendations – early initiation and exclusive breastfeeding until six months of age and continued breastfeeding for two years or beyond – are even more critical in emergencies. Breastfeeding is the one safe and secure source of food and fluid for infants – instantly available, providing active protection against illness and keeping an infant warm and close to his/her mother. It also reduces the risk of post-partum haemorrhage in the mother, the leading cause of maternal mortality worldwide. In the challenging and risky environment of an emergency, how infants are fed is key to their survival..

About Sarah


Sarah Pinnix is a blogger, vlogger, new media marketing coach, and mom of three. Sarah began blogging in 2007 with Family Life & Faith blog Real Life Blog. She lives near Boone and works a social media specialist for a Non-Profit.