World Breastfeeding Week is an annual celebration celebrated every year from 1st to 7th August in more than 120 countries in commemoration of the 1990 Innocenti Declaration. It is a global campaign aiming to raise awareness and galvanise action on themes related to breastfeeding.
It was started in 1992, with annual themes including healthcare systems, women and work, the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, community support, ecology, economy, science, education and human rights. Since 2016, WBW is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2018, a World Health Assembly resolution endorsed WBW as an important breastfeeding promotion strategy.
Optimal breastfeeding is vital to the lifelong good health and wellbeing of women and children.WHO and UNICEF recommend:
- Early initiation of breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth.
- Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life.
- Continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond, with introduction of nutritionally adequate and safe complementary (solid) foods at 6 months.
The 2021 theme for World Breastfeeding Week is Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility. This year’s campaign will focus on how breastfeeding/chestfeeding contributes to the survival, health, and wellbeing of all, and the imperative to protect breastfeeding/chestfeeding worldwide.
The themes of each year are as follows:
Theme: Protecting Breastfeeding : Where Lies the Responsibility?
Theme: Support Breastfeeding for a healthier planet
Covid-19 is an opportunity to strengthen action on breastfeeding
Theme: Empower parents, enable breastfeeding: Now and for the future!
Theme: BREASTFEEDING FOUNDATION OF LIFE
BREASTFEEDING NOURISHMENT FOR LIFE
Theme: SUSTAINING BREASTFEEDING: Building Alliances without Conflicts of Interest
Theme: BREASTFEEDING – A Key to Sustainable Development
Theme: BREASTFEEDING AND WORK – LET’S MAKE IT WORK!
Theme : Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal – for Life!
Theme: BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT- Close to Mothers
Theme: Taking Stock of Policies and Programmes
Theme:: Talk to me! Breastfeeding – a 3D Experience
Theme : Breastfeeding: Just 10 Steps. The Baby-Friendly Way
Theme : Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response
Theme: Mother Support: Going for the Gold
Theme : Breastfeeding: The 1st Hour – Save ONE million babies!
Theme: The IMS Act: Making it Known to People
Theme: Breastfeeding and Family Foods: Loving & Healthy
Theme: Exclusive Breastfeeding: the Gold Standard
Theme: Breastfeeding in a Globalised World for Peace and Justice
Theme: Breastfeeding: Healthy Mothers and Healthy Babies
Theme: Breastfeeding in the Information Age
Theme: Breastfeeding It’s Your Right
Theme : Breastfeeding: Education for Life
Theme : Breastfeeding: Best Investment
Theme : Breastfeeding: Nature’s Way
Theme : Breastfeeding: A Community Responsibility
Theme: Breastfeeding: Empowering Women
Theme: Protect Breastfeeding: Making the Code Work
Theme: Women, work and breastfeeding: Everybody benefits!
Theme: Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI)