World breastfeeding week is celebrated every year to create awareness about the importance of breastfeeding and how it is necessary for a baby’s development. This week is observed from 1 to 7 August every year. It throws light on the need to improve the health of babies all over the globe. Mother’s milk is a boon for a baby’s health. It is the ultimate source of nutrients for the babies during the initial years.
Mother’s milk can protect the baby from infections and several diseases. World breastfeeding week pays tribute to the Innocenti Declaration which was signed in August 1990. It was signed by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF and other organisations altogether to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
This year, WHO has joined hands with UNICEF and other partners to execute different plans and policies formulated to celebrate this week. This year these organisations will promote the importance of family-friendly policies to promote breastfeeding and will also encourage parents to develop a bond with their children during the initial years.
World breastfeeding week 2019: Policies suggested by WHO
1. Paid maternity leave– The World Health Organisation will stress on enacting paid maternity leaves for a minimum of 18 weeks.
2. Paid paternity leave– WHO also wants to encourage paid paternity leaves to encourage shared responsibility to take care of their child on an equal basis.
3. Parent friendly workplace– A parent friendly workplace will help the mothers to breastfeed their children after returning back to work as well. It includes access to breastfeeding breaks and providing them a safe, private and hygienic space for expressing and storing breast milk. It will also focus on providing affordable childcare.
Implementation of these policies will help parents to protect and support their family. It will ensure the baby’s health. Breast feeding will promote the health of the baby as well the mother. If breastfeeding is practiced properly all over the world, it can save more than 800,000 lives every year, especially kids under 6 months.
Breastfeeding can promote a mother’s health in various ways. It will reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type-2 diabetes and heart diseases. Breastfeeding can also prevent 20,000 maternal deaths every year due to breast cancer.
The World Health Organisation recommends breastfeeding within one hour after the birth of the child. A baby should be given just breast milk for the starting 6 months. Later, other nutritious complementary foods should be added to a kid’s along with breast milk up to 2 years or more.
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