World Breastfeeding Week 2022: Importance, Benefits, and History

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World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), observed from August 1 to 7, aims to globally encourage breastfeeding and protect the health of the mother and baby. The effort, which was initiated in 1992 by WHO and UNICEF, is now recognized annually. The theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2022 is “Step Up For Breastfeeding: Educate and Support,” to raise breastfeeding awareness of the value of breastfeeding and elevate it to the level of a public health obligation by encouraging organizations and countries to develop measures to safeguard breastfeeding.

Why is Breastfeeding Important?

Breastfeeding has several advantages as it is beneficial to both mothers and babies. It can protect babies from infections and lower the risk of later health issues such as diabetes, obesity, and asthma. Breastfeeding is said to help mothers’ uterus contract and bleeding stop more quickly after delivery. It also lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer and promotes a strong bond between mothers and their children.

A newborn’s best source of nutrition is breast milk. Breast milk contains a variety of components that help protect babies from infection and disease. Furthermore, the protein in breast milk is easier for the baby to digest than protein in formula or cow’s milk. Furthermore, calcium and iron found in breast milk are more easily absorbed. Therefore, World Breastfeeding Week 2022 campaign focuses on educating and supporting women to breastfeed their babies.

Also read: Facts & Myths about Breastfeeding

Five Benefits of Breastfeeding

  1. For the majority of newborns, breast milk is the best source of nutrients: The mother’s breast milk will change as the infant grows to satisfy their nutritional needs.
  2. Breastfeeding can help shield infants from certain acute and chronic illnesses and diseases: Babies that are breastfed are less likely to develop asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS). Breastfed babies are also less likely to develop stomach illnesses or ear infections.
  3. The baby receives antibodies from the mother through breast milk: These antibodies aid in the immune system development of infants and shield them against disease.
  4. Mothers can nurse anywhere and anytime: Without having to prepare bottles or mix formula, mothers may feed their infants on the go. Breastfeeding while travelling can also be a source of comfort for infants whose regular schedule is disturbed.
  5. Breastfeeding lowers a mother’s risk of ovarian, breast, and type 2 diabetes as well as high blood pressure: The mother’s health also benefits from breastfeeding. Type 2 diabetes, certain malignancies, and high blood pressure are less prevalent in breastfeeding mothers. Know the benefits of breastfeeding for newborn babies.

World Breastfeeding Week: History

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) was founded in 1991 to carry out the Innocent Declaration of 1990, which called for the protection, support, and promotion of breastfeeding. WABA envisions a global unifying breastfeeding promotion strategy as part of this action plan. A day was proposed for inclusion in an international calendar event. The idea of celebrating it on a single day was later expanded to a week.

It became known as World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), which is observed from August 1-7 to commemorate the Innocent Declaration. 1992 marked the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week. It is now observed in more than a hundred countries. During the breastfeeding week in August, there are hundreds of activities held all around the world to inform and encourage breastfeeding moms.

Also read: Why Breastfeeding is Better Than Formula Feeding

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