World Breastfeeding Week 2021

World Breastfeeding Week is being observed from August 1 to August 7, 2021.

Key Fact

  • World Breastfeeding week is an annual celebration which is held every year in over 120 countries.
  • According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), breastfeeding is the most effective ways to ensure child health and survival.
  • This year, week is being observed under the theme ‘Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.’

Why this week is celebrated?

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated to encourage breastfeeding and improve health of babies across the world.

Background

Background of the World Breastfeeding week commemoration dates back to the 1990s when WHO and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) created ‘Innocenti Declaration’ in order to promote and support breastfeeding. To execute UNICEF and WHO’s goals, an association called ‘World Association of Breastfeeding Action’ was established in 1991. In 1992, entire week was dedicated to promote this campaign.

Why Breastfeeding is significant?

Breastfeeding, also called as nursing, is the best way to provide young infants with essential nutrients that are required for growth and development. According to WHO, breast milk is the ideal food for infants. It is safe, clean, and acts as first vaccine for them. It protects them against several common childhood illnesses. According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of India, breastfeeding helps in boosting immune system of infant, reduces infant mortality rate, reduces the risk of developing infections like respiratory tract infections, allergic diseases, diabetes, and childhood leukaemia. It also enhances cognitive function infants.

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