Celebrating breastfeeding during World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week (1st to 7th August 2017) is about celebrating how breastfeeding gets us to think about how to value our wellbeing from the start of life, how to respect each other and care for the world we share.

Evidence on the benefits of breastfeeding is already available to us. We know that breastfeeding aids the survival of infants and helps them thrive, has long-term health benefits for women, yields economic benefits and enhances the wellbeing of all.

The challenge for champions of breastfeeding is to translate globally agreed policies to positive action in our communities; such as:

  • encouraging workplaces to become breastfeeding-friendly;
  • providing mother-to-mother support and encouragement to help mothers breastfeed; and
  • raising awareness on how breastfeeding contributes to a reduced carbon footprint.

Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby

Breast milk is a natural, renewable food that is produced and delivered without pollution, packaging or waste. Breast milk is the perfect food for your baby because:

  • it’s all that your baby needs to eat and drink for about the first 6 months,
  • it helps to protect your baby against colds, tummy bugs, infections and allergies, and
  • it helps your baby to feel safe and secure.

Breast milk is especially important for premature and critically ill babies. The Christchurch Human Milk Bank helps mothers who are unable to provide their babies with enough milk due to maternal illness, medication or low milk supply.

Find out about the Christchurch’s Human Donor Milk Bank.

Breastfeeding is perfect for mothers too

Breastfeeding is perfect for you too because:

  • it gives you a chance to rest while you are feeding your baby,
  • it helps you to feel close to your baby,
  • it saves you time,
  • it’s free, and
  • it may reduce your risk of some cancers and bone disease.

Breastfeeding is an important element in global health

The world’s leaders committed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015. These goals are aimed at ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity. Breastfeeding is linked in several ways to these goals, including:

  • Being a natural and low-cost way of feeding babies and children.
  • Providing high quality nutrients and adequate energy and can help prevent hunger, undernutrition and obesity.
  • Providing all the water a baby needs, even in hot weather. Formula feeding requires access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation.
  • Safeguarding infant health and nutrition in times of adversity and weather-related disasters due to global warming.

Source: World Breastfeeding Week website.

Published on Monday, July 10th, 2017, under Events
Page last updated: 10/07/2017

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