by Irshad Danish
World Breastfeeding Week is observed every year from 1-7 August, across the globe including Pakistan to put the spotlight on the importance of breastfeeding to save and strengthen children’s lives. WBW came up for the first time in 1991 with the goal to protect and promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life which yields tremendous life ling health benefits, provides critical nutrients a child needs and protection from life threatening diseases and fostering mental and physical growth.
The World Breastfeeding Week’s 25th year in 2017 theme is “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together.” #WBW2017 will call on advocates and activists, decision-makers and celebrants to forge new and purposeful partnerships. Together, let’s attract political support, media attention, participation of young people and widen our pool of celebrants and supporters. Only then we can campaign for a generation and commit to achieving the SDGs by 2030.
– Arrange seminar at your institution/community highlighting the importance of breastfeeding
– Conduct Press Briefing/ issue Press Release
– Write letter to Health Ministers for Implementation of BMS code/ Breastfeeding laws
– Post text, audio/ video messages and info-graphs and Selfies on your social media pages in favor of breastfeeding.
Key Messages (For posters/Backdrop/Banner/ Flyer)
- Breastfeeding aids the survival of infants and helps them thrive, has long-term health benefits for women.
- Breastfeeding is not just a woman’s issue or the sole responsibility of a woman.
- Breastfeeding is a key contributor to the survival, health and wellbeing of infants and mothers.
- Breast milk is a natural, renewable food that is produced and delivered without pollution, packaging or waste.
- Breastfeeding is vital to the healthy growth and development of infants.
- Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is the optimal way of feeding infants. Exclusive breastfeeding – the infant only receives breast milk without any additional food or drink, not even water.
- Breastfed infants are provided with optimal nutrition and protection against infections.
- Breast milk is a safe and secure source of food even in times of humanitarian crises.
- Formula production and consumption generates greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which accelerate global warming.
- Breastfeeding significantly improves the health, development and wellbeing of infants and children as well as mothers, both in the short- and long-term.
- Ensure that breastfeeding is included in nutrition programs in both urban and rural communities.
- Improved breastfeeding practices have the potential to save the lives of 823,000 children and 20,000 women a year.
- The health of our planet is affected by the way babies are fed.
Proposed Messages for Social Media
- Breastfeeding is a low cost way of feeding babies without burdening household budgets.
- Under nutrition, including sub-optimal breastfeeding, underlies 45% of all deaths of children under 5 annually.
- Breastfeeding significantly improves the survival of infants, children and mothers.
- On average, babies who are breastfed have a 2.6-point higher intelligence quotient (IQ) than non-breastfed babies.
- Breast milk is a natural, renewable food that is environmentally safe.
- It is estimated that more than 4000 liters of water are needed to produce 1 kg of breast milk substitute powder.
- Every additional month of paid maternity leave decreases infant mortality rates by 13%.
- Only 53% of countries meet the ILO 14-week minimum standard for maternity leave.
- Pakistan has the lowest breastfeeding rate at 38% and highest bottle feeding rate at 41%.
- Promotion and support of breastfeeding is a collective societal responsibility shared by us all.
TAGS: Following words may be tagged to highlight your posts on social media #WBW2017 #breastfeeding #SDG #sustiainingbreastfeedingtogether, #SDG2030, #inform #anchor, #engage, #galvanize, #saynotosubstitutemilk, #Parentalleave, #breakingbarrierstobreastfeeding, #investinbreastfeeding.
Author (Irshad Danish) is Program Manager, SUN Academia & Research Network Pakistan, and SUN Civil Society Alliance Pakistan. He can be accessed at: firstname.lastname@example.org