The World Breastfeeding Day has been observed by the World Alliance for
Breastfeeding Action (WABA) for the past 22 years. The theme for this year's
World Breastfeeding Week that is being observed between August 1 to August 7,
2014 is 'BREASTFEEDING: A Winning Goal - for Life!'
is the first and
best gift that a mother can give her newborn. Exclusive breastfeeding is
advised for the first six months and continued breastfeeding for two years and
more along with adequate complementary feeding. The World Breastfeeding Week is
a good time to remind the society the importance of breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is an
important step in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), targets
that were established by the United Nations and several governments to be
achieved by 2015. Below are the 8 MDGs and how breastfeeding could assist in
Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger
Adopt breastfeeding and you
can ensure that your baby does not suffer from malnourishment
Since breastfeeding does not have any economic impact, it can be adopted even
by the poor.
Achieve Universal Primary Education
Breastfeeding can help to
achieve the goal of universal primary education by ensuring that the child's
is not affected and therefore able to learn what is being
taught in school.
Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women
Breastfeeding ensures that
both the male and the female child receive equal nutrition in the early years
of life. Breastfeeding is exclusively a woman's right, who should receive
adequate support from the society to make it happen.
Reduce Child Mortality
Breastfeeding is an
effective way to reduce infant
by preventing malnutrition and improving immunity of the
Improve Maternal Health
Breastfeeding provides a
number of health benefits to the mother as well. Some of these are:
helps to control bleeding following delivery.
reduces the chances of breast
reduces the chances of osteoporosis
helps to space out pregnancies
Combat HIV / AIDS, malaria and other diseases
With respect to controlling
, if anti-HIV medications are administered to the mother
suffering from HIV as well as the baby during breastfeeding, the chances of the
infection passing to the baby can be reduced to a minimum.
Ensure Environmental Sustainability
is a direct and
most natural way of transfer of nutrition from the mother to the baby.
Therefore, there is no need to develop feeding implements and thereby increase
the carbon imprint on the earth.
Develop a Global Partnership for Development
Through the Global Strategy
for Infant and Young Child Feeding, a global partnership has been developed
which has an important role to play in supporting the development of the world.
Thus as it is obvious,
breastfeeding only has advantages. It has health benefits for the mother,
ensures that baby does not suffer from malnutrition or other illnesses, and
assists in sustainable global development. Let us join in this endeavor of WABA
to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.