World Breastfeeding Week 2022 is observed from August 1-7 with the theme “Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support.”
World Breastfeeding Week aims to raise breastfeeding awareness of the value of breastfeeding and to encourage organizations and countries to develop measures to safeguard breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is the true foundation of a baby’s life. Breast milk is one of the most important components of infant care. It provides complete nutrition and helps to prevent and fight infections.
Breastfeeding is also safer in most part of the world, where artificial infant feeding is dangerous because clean water essential for mixing with the powder may not be available.
Every year the international community celebrates “World Breastfeeding Week” from the first of August to the seventh to highlight the positive effects of breastfeeding.
It aims at raising awareness of the health and well-being outcomes of breastfeeding and the importance of supporting mothers to breastfeed for as long as they wish.
The observance originates from the 1990 Innocenti Declaration that detailed breastfeeding as “a global goal for optimal maternal and child health and nutrition” and mandated that all women should be enabled to practice exclusive breastfeeding and all infants should be fed exclusively on breastmilk up to 4-6 months of age.
The “World Breastfeeding Week” started in 1992, with annual themes including women and work, the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, community support, ecology, economy, science, education and human rights.
Since 2016, the observance is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. In 2018, a World Health Assembly resolution endorsed World Breastfeeding Week as an important breastfeeding promotion strategy.
Lily Rozario, a mother in Bangladesh, said she knows that mother’s milk provides important nutrients to help children develop their health and give them immunity from various illnesses like pneumonia, cholera, and neonatal jaundice, among others.
It also benefits mothers who want to lose weight and it can lower the risks of breast and ovarian cancer. She added that it helps heal the uterus after pregnancy.
On the other hand, it entails different demands on busy mothers.
Busy schedules, alongside many other challenges that modern women face, can mean that women who may want to breastfeed their babies haven’t always got the support to continue this.
All mothers should be supported to initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after delivery and should receive practical support to enable them to establish breastfeeding and manage common breastfeeding difficulties.
We need to support breastfeeding because it’s the optimal way to feed infants. We can do this by creating and maintaining ways to encourage mothers to breastfeed – but we also need to encourage them to continue breastfeeding until their child is two years of age or beyond.
Breastfeeding should not be hidden away, young women who observe others successfully feeding will be more likely to choose to breastfeed their infants too.
Let us help mothers to have children who grow up healthy and beautiful, and motivate everyone in the family to help mothers breastfeed their babies.
Radio Veritas Asia (RVA), a media platform of the Catholic Church, aims to share Christ. RVA started in 1969 as a continental Catholic radio station to serve Asian countries in their respective local language, thus earning the tag “the Voice of Asian Christianity.” Responding to the emerging context, RVA embraced media platforms to connect with the global Asian audience via its 21 language websites and various social media platforms.