World Breastfeeding Week – August Celebrations Across the Globe
When it comes to World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), La Leche League Leaders, supporters and breastfeeding advocates around the world know how to party! The first week of August marks the celebration date in most areas of the world, while some countries—Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Belgium and France—celebrate in October.
Historically, the event honors the August 1990 signing of the Innocenti Declaration by government policymakers, the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and other organizations. That document helped pave the way for protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding worldwide. But there is still much work to be done!
This year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) selected the #WBW2019 slogan, “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding” for the event, to be inclusive of all types of parents in today’s world and to show how breastfeeding is a team effort with the support of others. In addition, WHO worked with UNICEF and partners to promote the importance of family-friendly policies.
What were the major policy goals for the event? To raise awareness of the global need for paid maternity leave for a minimum of 18 weeks, as well as paid paternity leave. Also, to shine a spotlight on the need for workplaces that protect and support continued breastfeeding upon return-to-work. This includes affordable childcare; employee access to breastfeeding or milk expression breaks; a safe, private and hygienic space for expressing and storing human milk; and affordable childcare.
Celebrating lives saved by breastfeeding
Did you know?
- More than 800,000 lives could be saved every year—the majority being children under 6 months old—if breastfeeding increased to near-universal levels.
- Mothers’ risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease is decreased by breastfeeding.
- Approximately 20,000 maternal deaths due to breast cancer could be avoided each year by increasing breastfeeding duration.
Thank you to everyone who shared their WBW August event photos with us. Please keep the photos coming, and we will continue to post them! Email yours to firstname.lastname@example.org.