Being organized by WABA, WHO and UNICEF, WBW came up with the goal to promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life which yields many health benefits, providing critical nutrients, protection from deadly diseases such as pneumonia and fostering growth and development for the first time in 1991.
Like the preceding years, this year too, World Breastfeeding Week 2020 will be celebrated from 1st of August to 7th of August.
The campaigns will encourage breastfeeding of babies as an essential activity for better health of babies and the mothers as well.
World Breastfeeding Week: History, Promotion
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF and other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
This year, WHO is working with UNICEF and partners to promote the importance of family-friendly policies to enable breastfeeding and help parents nurture and bond with their children in early life, when it matters most. This includes enacting paid maternity leave for a minimum of 18 weeks, and paid paternity leave to encourage shared responsibility of caring for their children on an equal basis. Mothers also need access to a parent friendly workplace to protect and support their ability to continue breastfeeding upon return to work by having access to breastfeeding breaks; a safe, private, and hygienic space for expressing and storing breastmilk; and affordable childcare.
Breastfeeding promotes better health for mothers and children alike. Increasing breastfeeding to near-universal levels could save more than 800 000 lives every year, the majority being children under 6 months. Breastfeeding decreases the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. It is estimated that increased breastfeeding could avert 20 000 maternal deaths each year due to breast cancer.
WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding starting within one hour after birth until a baby is 6 months old. Nutritious complementary foods should then be added while continuing to breastfeed for up to 2 years or beyond.
World Breastfeeding Week: Themes
- Theme of 1992 was “Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)”.
- Theme of 1993 was “Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative (MFWI)”.
- Theme of 1994 was “Protect Breastfeeding: Making the Code Work”.
- Theme of 1995 was “Breastfeeding: Empowering Women”.
- Theme of 1996 was “Breastfeeding: A Community Responsibility”.
- Theme of 1997 was “Breastfeeding: Nature’s Way”.
- Theme of 1998 was “Breastfeeding: The Best Investment”.
- Theme of 1999 was “Breastfeeding: Education for Life”.
- Theme of 2000 was “Breastfeeding: It’s Your Right”.
- Theme of 2001 was “Breastfeeding in the Information Age”.
- Theme of 2002 was “Breastfeeding: Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies”.
- Theme of 2003 was “Breastfeeding in a Globalized World for Peace and Justice”.
- Theme of 2004 was ‘Exclusive Breastfeeding: the Gold Standard – Safe, Sound, Sustainable”.
- Theme of 2005 was “Breastfeeding and Family Foods: Loving & Healthy – Feeding Other Foods While Breastfeeding is Continued”.
- Theme of 2006 was “Code Watch – 25 Years of Protecting Breastfeeding”.
- Theme of 2007 was “Breastfeeding: The 1st Hour – Save ONE million babies!”.
- Theme of 2008 was “Mother Support: Going for the Gold Everyone Wins!”.
- Theme of 2009 was “Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response”.
- Theme of 2010 was “Breastfeeding, Just 10 Steps! – The baby friendly way”.
- Theme of 2011 was “Talk To Me! Breastfeeding – A 3D Experience”.
- Theme of 2012 was “Understanding the Past, Planning for the Future”.
- Theme of 2013 was “Breastfeeding Support: Close To Mothers”.
- Theme of 2014 was “Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal – For Life!”
- Theme of 2015 was “Breastfeeding and Work – Let’s Make it Work!”
- Theme of 2016 was “a key to Sustainable Development”.
- Theme of 2017 was “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together”.
- Theme of 2018 was “Foundation of Life”.
- Theme of 2019 is “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding”.