The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action or WABA, as it is better known, has been celebrating the first week of August every year, consistently for the past 22 years, as World Breastfeeding Week! It has announced the slogan for 2014 as BREASTFEEDING: A Winning Goal – for Life! The theme asserts the importance of increasing and sustaining protection, promotion and support for breastfeeding.
The Millennium Development Goals 2015 are all set with targets to reinforce this issue well beyond the stipulated time frame. It stands in a spirit of solidarity with WABA as does WHO and UNICEF to coordinate and celebrate World Breastfeeding Week. Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India – BPNI, founded in December 1991 at Wardha, in Maharashtra, India also takes on the cause to promote health of newborns.
BPNI is a national network of organizations and individuals dedicated to promote mother and child health through protection, promotion, and support of breastfeeding. Over twenty years of breastfeeding movement in India has led to an unprecedented momentum for recognition of ‘breastfeeding interventions’ as a core component of infant survival and growth.
World Breastfeeding Week is now an annual celebration held in more than 120 countries. The truth is that sadly, across the world, only one out of three children is breastfed. In India, only 41% mothers initiate early breastfeeding. Lack of information and substituting breast milk with baby food products are leading reasons for low breastfeeding rates. The need is to promote exclusive breastfeeding for first six months of a baby’s life to allow it to imbibe the tremendous health benefits, critical nutrients and protection from deadly diseases, besides life long core immunity.
In order to foster growth, development and well being the World Breastfeeding Week 2014 is pleased to announce that the slogan and theme for WBW 2014 is – BREASTFEEDING: A Winning Goal – For Life! Exclusive breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding are key interventions for improving child survival, potentially saving about 20% of children under five.