Proper breastfeeding offers your child an optimal start in life. Other than proper nutrition, breastfeeding conveys health and emotional benefits to both the mother and the children forming a sustainable food system. Whereas breastfeeding is a natural process, lactating mothers need support to initiate and sustain breastfeeding.
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is a global campaign observed annually from 1st to 7th of August. It commemorates the 1990 Innocenti Declaration to galvanize action and creating awareness on breastfeeding themes.
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The campaign was started in 1992 with annual popular themes including:
- Healthcare systems
- Women at work
- Community support
- The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk.
World Breastfeeding Week 2020 Theme
The 2020 theme is ‘Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet.’ It aims to protect, support, and to promote women’s access to skilled breastfeeding counselling. Access to information and advice from skilled health workers will ensure that mothers will get the support they need to nourish their babies optimally.
Counselling mothers on breastfeeding will create empowerment aiding in dealing with challenges that arise during breastfeeding. It will also prevent feeding practices that may hinder effective breastfeedings, such as the use of breastmilk substitutes for infants.
According to WHO, the best start to life through optimal breastfeeding could save the lives of over 82,0000 children under the age of 5 years annually.
Best Breastfeeding Practices
- Early initiation of breastfeeding should be done within the first hour of birth.
- It is recommended to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of life
- Breastfeeding your child can continue up to 2 years of age.
- Introduce nutritionally, rich complementary foods at 6 months.
Effective breastfeeding improves IQ, reduces health costs, increases school attendance and is associated with higher income on adult life, and improving quality of life.
Breastfeeding and COVID-19
During COVID19 pandemic, it is recommended that all mothers, including those who are positive and suspects to continue breastfeeding their infants. To achieve this, mothers must exercise proper care to minimize the risk of infection. The mothers need to follow 5 key steps to maintain safe breastfeeding during this pandemic:
- Wash hands before and after handling the baby
- Wear a facemask when feeding or caring for the baby
- Clean and disinfect surfaces that are touched often
- Observe physical distancing and avoid large gatherings
- Call health services when in need of help
KUTRRH wishes all the mothers out there an impactful World Breast Feeding Week 2020 as they nurse their children to maturity.
Article by: Nutrition & Dietetics Department.