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World Breast Feeding week is a global celebration that occurs every year from the 1st to the 7th of August in more than 120 countries.

Theme for this year

This year, for WBW 2021, the theme: Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility. The theme is aligned with thematic area 2 of the WBW-SDG 2030 campaign which highlights the links between breastfeeding and survival, health and wellbeing of women, children and nations.

World Breastfeeding Week aims to highlight the huge benefits that breastfeeding can bring to the health and welfare of babies and benefits to maternal health, focusing on good nutrition, poverty reduction, and food security. World breastfeeding week has the dual goal of improving the health of babies and promoting, protecting, and supporting the rights of women to breastfeed anywhere and at any time.

Aims of Breast Feeding Week

  1. To support mothers through peer groups to promote, establish, and carry on breastfeeding by informing families of the benefits of Peer Counseling.
  2. To educate and train health care practitioners to provide support to mothers and babies in effective ways.
  3. Call  governments to action  to recognise the importance of the protection and promotion of breastfeeding and provide legislation to support a breastfeeding mother.
  4. Call  governments to action  to recognise the importance of the protection and promotion of breastfeeding and provide legislation to support a breastfeeding mother.

Importance of Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is the best source of nourishment for infants and young children, and a proven lifesaving strategy that helps protect children against many common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea and pneumonia. It is well established that breastfed children perform better on intelligence tests, are less likely to be obese or overweight and are less prone to non-communicable diseases later in life. Increasing breastfeeding to near-universal levels globally could save more than 820,000 lives and prevent an additional 20,000 cases of breast cancer in women each year.

Breastfeeding is important for a child as it provides the best possible start in life. It provides health nutritional and emotional benefits to both mother and children. Also, it makes part of a sustainable food system. Breastfeeding is a natural process and is not always easy. Support to the mothers is required both to get started and to sustain it.


Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months has many benefits for the infant and mother. Chief among these is protection against gastrointestinal infections which is observed not only in developing but also industrialized countries. Early initiation of breastfeeding, within 1 hour of birth, protects the newborn from acquiring infections and reduces newborn mortality. The risk of mortality due to diarrhoea and other infections can increase in infants who are either partially breastfed or not breastfed at all.(1)

Breast-milk is also an important source of energy and nutrients in children aged 6–23 months. It can provide half or more of a child’s energy needs between the ages of 6 and 12 months, and one third of energy needs between 12 and 24 months. Breast milk is also a critical source of energy and nutrients during illness, and reduces mortality among children who are malnourished.

Children and adolescents who were breastfed as babies are less likely to be overweight or obese. Additionally, they perform better on intelligence tests and have higher school attendance. Breastfeeding is associated with higher income in adult life. Improving child development and reducing health costs results in economic gains for individual families as well as at the national level.(2)


  1. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/infant-and-young-child-feeding
  2. The Lancet Breastfeeding Series papers data-sf-ec-immutable=””>

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