17 Sep 2019

World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)

Source: Press Information Bureau

The Food and Nutrition Board, Ministry of Women and Child Development, is organized a number of activities on the themeEmpower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding” during the World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) being observed from 1st to 7th August 2019. The focus this year is on protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding.

The objectives of World Breastfeeding Week are:

  • To create awareness among the parents about breastfeeding
  • Encourage parents to adopt breastfeeding
  • Creating awareness about the importance of initiation and exclusive breastfeeding, and adequate and appropriate complementary feeding
  • Providing advocacy material about the importance of breastfeeding.

 Importance of Breastfeeding 

 

  • It promotes better health for mothers and children alike.

 

  • It prevents infections like diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections in early infancy and thus reduces infant mortality
  • It decreases the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease and
  • It protects infants from obesity-related illnesses, diabetes and increases the IQ

The correct norms of infant and young child feeding are:

  • Initiation of Breastfeeding within an hour of birth
  • Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life i.e. only breast Milk ‘NO’ other milk, food, drink or water
  • Appropriate and adequate complementary feeding from six months of age while continuing breastfeeding
  • Continued breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond

Significance 

  • This important nutrition intervention will help in breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition and aid the Government to achieve National Nutrition Goals and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030. 
  • According to WHO, increasing breastfeeding to near-international levels will help in saving more than 800 000 lives every year, the majority being children under 6 months.