World Breastfeeding Week – Now is the time to start planning!
Whether you celebrate World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) or National Breastfeeding Month, and whether you choose the first week in August or October, the time to start planning is NOW!
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is perhaps best known for its global sponsorship of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), but is much more: it is a global network of individuals and organisations concerned with the protection, promotion & support of breastfeeding worldwide. WABA’s actions are based on the Innocenti Declaration, the Ten Links for Nurturing the Future and the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, and is in consultative status with UNICEF and is also an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC). Its Core Partners include ABM, IBFAN, ILCA, LLLI and Wellstart International, with a shared mission is “To protect, promote and support breastfeeding worldwide, in the framework of the Innocenti Declarations (1990 and 2005) and the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding, through networking and facilitating collaborative efforts in social mobilisation, advocacy, information dissemination and capacity building.”
WABA’s goal is primarily to create an enabling environment for mothers and families worldwide to decide to optimally breastfeed and to succeed in that goal, so this year’s WBW theme is BREASTFEEDING: A Winning Goal – for Life! This theme highlights the importance of ongoing support for mothers breastfeeding intentions, carried forward by the global attention to this year’s Football World Cup, where hitting the goal is the only way forward! In addition, this year’s goal orientation supports the eight global development goals, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), set by governments and the United Nations to fight poverty and promote healthy and sustainable development with targets, or goals for 2015. This year’s WBW theme also responds to the latest MDG countdown by highlighting the importance breastfeeding for the post 2015 agenda, and by engaging as many groups, and people of various ages, as possible.
Now is the time to plan to inspire, empower and educate while we support, protect and promote breastfeeding. Set your goals now for World Breastfeeding Week 2014. Please visit worldbreastfeedingweek.org for information on the theme, materials you can download, a photo contest and a pledge form to help you decide now what you might do for your local event.
Miriam Labbok, MD, MPH is Professor of the Practice of Public Health in the Department of Maternal and Child Health at the UNC Gillings School of Global School Public Health and Director of the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute. She is a Founder and member of the board of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine.
Posts on this blog reflect the opinions of individual ABM members, not the organization as a whole.