Breast feeding week

Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet

This week August 1-7th is celebrated as World Breastfeeding Week to support breastfeeding for a healthier planet. The theme of World Breastfeeding week is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet” (WHO).

On this noble occasion, UNICEF and WHO are calling all governments to protect and promote mother’s access to skilled breastfeeding counselling, a critical component of breastfeeding support. The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommends breastfeeding a baby within one hour after a baby is born to minimum six months of age.

Breastmilk is renewable, natural food of mother produces and delivered to baby without any waste or pollution. Breast milk is the purest form of milk that helps to grow the baby with all necessary ingredients. Protecting and supporting breastfeeding mother will help us to reduce the impact on environment. There is no plastic or pollution involved in the process. It also protects our future generation.

Breastfeeding is most sustainable way to feed infants and toddlers. It provides food security, stability in growth and developments of babies and young ones in any circumstances. Breast feeding is the best possible start of babies. It is a way to deliver good health, nutritional and emotional benefits to both mother and child.

Skilled Counseling Service for breastfeeding (WHO)

Breastfeeding is not always easy. It needs support while a mother starts feeding baby and further to sustain breastfeeding during baby’s development. World Health Organization has released a message regarding the assistance of skilled counselling service for breastfeeding. Skilled counselling services can ensure families and mothers to receive the support, along with information, advice and reassurance to nourish babies well.

Women might need help to successfully feed babies. It is important for them to learn the skill and get out of the stigma and fear associated with it. The counseling will help to understand:

·         Breastfeeding techniques

·         Encouragement and support

·         Shared problem-solving

·         It gives clear view about he advantages and benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby

·         Demonstrates how to breastfeed a baby – positioning and attachment

·         Explains the opportunities for HIV infected mothers to breast feed and improve HIV-free survival of their baby.

Counselling service can empower women to overcome challenges that she faces while feeding and caring. It helps to stops interference of provision of unnecessary foods, liquids and breastmilk substitutes for babies and young children. Skilled breastfeeding can be provided by healthcare professionals, lactation counsellors, nutritionists, peer support providers through health facilities and home visits or through community outreach.

In the current pandemic situation, it is more important to find innovative solution to give undisrupted access to mothers and families for breastfeeding counseling. For this, both WHO and UNICET are calling on Governments to:

·         Invest: To ensure availability of counselling to every mother by financing breastfeeding programs and implementation of policies, program and services.

·         Train: Health care workers to deliver skilled breastfeeding counselling to mother and families

·         Ensure: Counseling available as part of regular health and nutrition checkups

·         Partner: Collaborate with health professionals and community to build a strong counseling system

·         Protect: Health care workers from the influence of baby food corporations and industry.

This pandemic year is making everyone’s life difficult. Delivering and feeding baby is a big task for all mothers. Supporting breast feeding mothers is critical to bring up healthy generation.


Image credit: Photo by Laura Garcia from Pexels (Free for commercial use)

Author: Sumana Rao | Posted on: August 4, 2020

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