World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)
- August 3, 2022
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)
Subject: Government Schemes
Context: World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) being observed from 1st to 7th August
Breast milk is the ideal food for infants, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). It contains nutrients and antibodies crucial for their early days
The objectives of World Breastfeeding Week are:
- To create awareness among the parents about breastfeeding
- Encourage parents to adopt breastfeeding
- Creating awareness about the importance of initiation and exclusive breastfeeding, and adequate and appropriate complementary feeding
- Providing advocacy material about the importance of breastfeeding.
- Infants should be breastfed within one hour of birth, breastfed exclusively for the first six months of their lives, and be breastfed after six months in combination with solid, semi-solid and soft food until they are about two years old.
- Both the mother and new born are vulnerable for the first 12 weeks. Getting used to breastfeeding takes at least 14 days.
The correct norms of infant and young child feeding are:
- Initiation of Breastfeeding within an hour of birth
- Exclusive breastfeeding for first six months of life i.e. only breast Milk ‘NO’ other milk, food, drink or water
- Appropriate and adequate complementary feeding from six months of age while continuing breastfeeding
- Continued breastfeeding up to the age of two years or beyond
This important nutrition intervention will help in breaking the vicious cycle of malnutrition and aid the Government to achieve National Nutrition Goals and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2030. According to WHO, increasing breastfeeding to near-international levels will help in saving more than 800000 lives every year, the majority being children under 6 months.
- Breastfeeding provides greater immunity for children against infection, allergies, cancers and obesity; and improves brain maturation.
- It is also beneficial for the mother: it promotes faster weight loss after birth, reduces postpartum bleeding, and protects her against breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and osteoporosis.
- Data from The Lancet show that more investment in breastfeeding could add $300 billion to the global economy and prevent about 8,20,000 child deaths every year.
- Globally only 25%-40% of babies are breastfed. Breastfeeding and later wet nursing were the norm for millions of years.
- However, the National Family Health Survey-5 data show that there has been a decline in early breastfeeding in as many as 12 of the 22 surveyed States and Union Territories while the share of institutional births has increased. Maternity and paternity leave
- The theme for World Breastfeeding Week this year is ‘Protect Breastfeedng: A Shared Responsibility’. Breastfeeding has decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, it is important that the promotion
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA)
- The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) was established in 1991 to create awareness about the importance of breastfeeding. I
- In 1992, WABA in coordination with UNICEF introduced World Breastfeeding Week during the first week of August every year. India enacted the Infant Milk Substitutes, Feeding Bottles and Infant Foods Act in 1992 with stringent regulations.
- The breastfeeding should be a continuous process, not an event restricted to a week
- Colostrum is a breast fluid produced by humans, cows, and other mammals before breast milk is released.
- It’s very nutritious and contains high levels of antibodies, which are proteins that fight infections and bacteria.
- Colostrum promotes growth and health in infants and newborn animals, but research shows that taking bovine colostrum supplements may promote immunity, help fight infections, and improve gut health throughout life.