World Breastfeeding Week- What Is It And Why Do We Celebrate?

It’s no secret that breastfeeding is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your baby. From providing your little one with virus-fighting antibodies to reducing their risk of developing type-2 diabetes and childhood cancer, it is believed that increasing breastfeeding to near-universal levels could save an astonishing 700,000+ lives per year.

However, this information isn’t actually as accessible as you might think, as myths, misconceptions, and straight-up misinformation about breastfeeding are still globally rampant.

That’s why, in August of 1990, a document known as the Innocenti Declaration was drafted and signed by government policymakers, such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and many more.

This document aims to promote, protect and support the act of breastfeeding while combating misinformation and unethical infant formula marketing tactics. 

The signing of the Innocenti Declaration is now commemorated annually with a seven-day global celebration known as World Breastfeeding Week. 

When did it start?

Although the Innocenti Declaration was signed in August of 1990, World Breastfeeding Week as we know it didn’t come into existence until August of 1992. 

The week-long, annual celebration that we have all grown accustomed to is thanks to the tireless efforts of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, also known as WABA, a global network of organizations and individuals that are dedicated to the protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding worldwide.

What is the goal?

The primary intentions of World Breastfeeding Week are as follows:

  • To support mothers through peer groups to promote, establish, and encourage breastfeeding by informing families of the benefits through peer counseling.
  • To educate and train health care providers to support mothers and babies in impactful ways.
  • To mobilize government action by acknowledging the importance of protecting, promoting, and providing legislation to support breastfeeding and breastfeeding mothers.
  • To provide knowledge throughout the global community to encourage, protect, and amplify breastfeeding success rates.

How can I get involved?

The best way you can get involved is simply to be an advocate! Whether it be for yourself or others, no action is too small or insignificant when it comes to raising awareness of the importance and benefits of breastfeeding.

Whether you’re actively breastfeeding your own baby or supporting another mama on her nursing journey, all efforts, no matter how big or small, can make a BIG impact. Because, after all, protecting breastfeeding is a shared responsibility. 

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