World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year across the world from August 1 — August 7. This global campaign aims to raise awareness about breastfeeding and its advantages. Following a surge in the infant mortality rate due to a drop in the number of mothers who wanted to breastfeed, the initiative became essential. While everyone has the right to make their own decisions, breastfeeding is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) until a child turns two. This World Breastfeeding Week, let’s join hands and promote breastfeeding.
History of World Breastfeeding Week
The World Breastfeeding Week is considered one of the largest joint campaigns undertaken by international organizations such as The World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. Organized by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), it aims to promote the benefits of breastfeeding. World Breastfeeding Week has been celebrated since 1992 and includes annual themes such as healthcare systems and women. In 2016, the week aligned its mission with the Sustainable Development Goals (S.D.G.s) and began promoting various strategies to encourage breastfeeding. During the week, all communication platforms inform people on the issue and the interesting history surrounding breastfeeding that many are unaware of.
Did you know, in ancient Greece, the milk of a Greek goddess was thought to have special powers such as immortality? For instance, according to Greek mythology, Hera’s breast milk made Hercules invincible; it also formed the Milky Way. However, with time the popularity of breastfeeding drastically decreased, and women began turning to animal milk. In 15th-century Europe, cow’s or goat’s milk were often used but were considered lacking as they affected the health of the child. Later in the 18th century, flour or cereal mixed with broth was introduced as a breastmilk substitute. This too proved ineffective, and the search for alternatives for breast milk continued as many women were unable to produce milk naturally and needed another feeding option for their infants.
By the 19th century, infant formulas entered the market, and many women abandoned traditional breastfeeding. In the early 20th century, breastfeeding was even viewed negatively in several countries — that is, until doctors pointed out the effects of a lack of breast milk on a child. In the 1960s, breastfeeding experienced a revival and is promoted world-over even today.
World Breastfeeding Week timeline
Breast-shaped clay bottles are used in Europe to feed animal milk to babies.
Rich families hire wet nurses to nurse their children.
Women who don’t breastfeed are declared ineligible for welfare in France.
Only 22% of women breastfeed.
World Breastfeeding Week FAQs
When is Black Breastfeeding Week?
Black Breastfeeding Week is observed from August 25 — August 31, 2022, and promotes the benefits of breastfeeding and highlights the special challenges and triumphs of being Black and breastfeeding.
Why is breastfeeding important?
Breastfeeding helps both the mother and child. It also has numerous health advantages.
Is a 10 minute feeding time long enough for a newborn?
At least 10 — 15 minutes of feeding time after every three hours are perfect for a newborn baby.
How to Observe World Breastfeeding Week
Talk about the benefits of breastfeeding
The week is perfect to promote the benefits of breastfeeding and how it can help the growth of a child. You can share your thoughts through a video or a post on social media.
Share your breastfeeding experience
How was breastfeeding for you? What did you learn? Share your experience so others can learn about your difficulties and allay any fears they may have of the process.
Join a breastfeeding support group
Learn more about breastfeeding by joining a support group to help you through any issues you experience. Research the benefits of breast milk.
5 Important Facts About Breast Milk
It affects a child’s sleep patterns
Breast milk makes babies sleepy
There are hormones in breast milk
Breast milk contains prolactin and oxytocin.
It reduces the risk of illnesses
It is thought that women who breastfeed are less likely to get breast cancer.
Certain risks are lowered
The risk of infant death syndrome is reduced.
Breast milk and the body
It consumes 25% of the body’s energy.
Why World Breastfeeding Week is Important
It promotes breastfeeding
The week promotes breastfeeding and encourages women across the globe to breastfeed their children for a certain period.
It recognizes the importance of breastfeeding
The week aims to recognize why breastfeeding is essential for newborns as well as their mothers. It also reveals the advantages of the process.
It provides knowledge regarding breastfeeding
During World Breastfeeding Week, several facts regarding breastfeeding come to the forefront, including what a nursing mother should eat, when she should feed the child, etc.
World Breastfeeding Week dates