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World Breastfeeding Week

It'sWorld Breastfeeding Week! This is an annual celebration held every year from August 1 to 7 in over 120 countries. World Health Organization recognizes breastfeeding as one of the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival. This year, the theme for breastfeeding week is 'Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.'

The WHO states "Initiation of breastfeeding within the first hour of birth, followed by exclusive breastfeeding for six months and continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond offer a powerful line of defense against all forms of child malnutrition, including wasting and obesity. Breastfeeding also acts as babies’ first vaccine, protecting them against many common childhood illnesses."

More and more, the health benefits of breastfeeding and the health risks of NOT protecting breastfeeding are being acknowledged. Rather than placing the burden of successful breastfeeding solely on the newly postpartum mother, it is refreshing to see healthcare professionals state that this is a shared responsibility and how we treat new mothers is hugely powerful and impactful.

We must continue to ensure that women and breastfeeding people have the time and space they need to breastfeed, the adequate education and accurate, up-to-date information, enough maternity leave, safe places to breastfeed, quality and affordable childcare, universal healthcare, and wages to support a family.

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