Saturday, August 1, 2009

World Breastfeeding Week!

Today is the first day of World Breastfeeding Week, celebrated annually around the world August 1-7 since 1990. (Communities can choose to celebrate WBW on other dates, as needed.)

The theme of this year's celebration is Breastfeeding: Prepared for Life and focuses on the lifesaving nature of breastfeeding, in emergencies and in everyday life. Breastfeeding or not breastfeeding has lifelong implications for both mother and child.

I always like to use WBW as an opportunity to draw attention to the relationship between birth and breastfeeding--put simply, undisturbed birth leads to undisturbed breastfeeding, disrupted birth contributes to disrupted breastfeeding.

More good information and ideas for acknowledging World Breastfeeding Week can be found at the following:

La Leche League in the USA Web site: WBW 2009 Celebrations: "Breastfeeding: Prepared for Life"

World Breastfeeding Week website

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA)

United States Breastfeeding Committee: Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response. Are you ready?

National WIC Association Flyer: Action Ideas for WBW 2009

More information about the theme, from WABA:


  • 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.


  • Children are the most vulnerable in emergencies – child mortality can soar from 2 to 70 times higher than average due to diarrhoea, respiratory illness and malnutrition.
  • Breastfeeding is a life saving intervention and protection is greatest for the youngest infants. Even in non-emergency settings, non-breastfed babies under 2 months of age are six times more likely to die.
  • Emergencies can happen anywhere in the world. Emergencies destroy what is ‘normal,’ leaving caregivers struggling to cope and infants vulnerable to disease and death.
  • During emergencies, mothers need active support to continue or re-establish breastfeeding.
  • Emergency preparedness is vital. Supporting breastfeeding in non-emergency settings will strengthen mothers’ capacity to cope in an emergency.

Breastfeeding is a critical public health issue around the world. Breastfeeding matters!

CfM Blogger

1 comment:

Kristen's Raw said...

Yay for WBW!!! Whoo hoo!!!

I can't wait to be a BF mama someday! :)