World Breastfeeding Week, supported by UNICEF, WHO and FAO is celebrated every 1-7 August and over 120 countries around the world participate.
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) was formed in 1991 to protect and promote breastfeeding. As part of its action plan a week dedicated to breastfeeding bring much needed attention to the subject.
So why is World Breastfeeding Week so important?
Each year a theme is chosen to focus the activity and bring people’s attention to a particularly important aspect of breastfeeding. This year the theme is - BREASTFEEDING, A VITAL EMERGENCY RESPONSE.
Naturally this is an important theme to promote in third world countries, but here is a story from a counsellor who assisted a woman when Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005.
“A mother had been stuck on a rooftop with many family members and her two week old baby who was bottle fed. They had no access to safe water for five days. Her baby was immediately hospitalised when they arrived in Austin, but she died several days later.
The nutritionist of a relief organisation supplying food aid asked the mother if there was anything else she could help her with. The mother asked for help drying up her breastmilk as her breasts were still sore. The nutritionist asked the mother why she hadn’t breastfed her baby while she was stuck on the rooftop. But the mother had felt quite unable to do this. What amazes me is that no-one with the mother knew to have the mother put her baby to her breast. So many generations had not considered breastfeeding as a way to feed babies that the memory was lost. The baby was lost, also.”
– Experience of a peer counsellor, Hurricane Katrina, USA, 2005
Everyday Maternity MD, Amanda Gregson notes, ’We feel it is important to spread the message, as even in this day and age babies die needlessly when breastfeeding could have saved them. We read the Hurrican Katrina story and knew we had to be involved.’
Everyday Maternity is calling for others to support World Breastfeeding Week by getting informed, and help others get informed.
Everyday Maternity is supporting the week-long celebration by promoting the event to all our customers, asking them to get involved, and spread awareness. They are also preparing Breastfeeding Information packs that can be sent out to Mums to Be. As part of their commitment to supporting breastfeeding they will also make a £1 donation to the La Leche League for every order of breastfeeding goods from www.everydaymaternity.com placed during World Breastfeeding Week.
Information can be found on the website www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org