World Breastfeeding Week takes place from 1 to 7 August. Its goal is to raise public awareness of the benefits of breast milk in the prevention of various diseases, because breastfeeding provides health and emotional well-being of both children and mothers.
Thhis year’s Breastfeeding Week theme is “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”. In this regard, the World Health Organization and the United Nations Children’s Fund are calling upon governments to promote improving women’s access to skilled breastfeeding counseling, which could generally increase the duration of breastfeeding.
The analysis results show that an increase in the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding can save the lives of 820 thousand children every year, generating an additional income of 302 billion dollars.
Counseling can help women to avoid inappropriate use of liquid infant formulae and food, as well as breast milk substitutes.
In addition to investing funds, WHO and UNICEF highlight the need for training healthcare professionals in advising mothers and families on issues related to breastfeeding, and cooperating with civil society and professional medical associations.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more important to find innovative solutions to ensure continuity of access to these essential and critical services.