World Breastfeeding Week 2020: Five Things To Know

Updated: August 04, 2020 19:29 IST

According to the National Family Health Survey-4 (NFHS-4) report of 2015-2016, 41.6 per cent children in India were breastfed within one hour of birth. This is a massive improvement from a decade ago, when in 2005-2006 only 23.4 per cent children under 3 years of age were breastfed within one hour of birth. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), for the first six months, children should only be breastfed. NFHS-4 data reveals that in 2015-2016, 54.9 per cent children were exclusively breastfed as opposed to 46.4 per cent in 2005-2006. To promote breastfeeding, the world celebrates breastfeeding week every year in the first week of August. Here are five crucial things to know about the importance of breastfeeding and the need for the week long annual celebrations.

World Breastfeeding Week 2020: Five Things To Know

Why Is Breastfeeding Important?

Breastfeeding, also known as nursing, is the way of providing young infants with the essential nutrients required for their growth and development. WHO (World Health Organisation) recommends initiating breastfeeding within the first hour of the birth of a child. Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for up to six months.

World Breastfeeding Week 2020: Five Things To Know

When And Why Is World Breastfeeding Week Celebrated?

Every year the world celebrates Breastfeeding Week from August 1 to August 7. It is celebrated to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund) and other organisations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

World Breastfeeding Week 2020: Five Things To Know

History Of Breastfeeding Week

In 1979 WHO started a battle against baby foods being promoted in the market, and brands interfering in breastfeeding in hospitals. Globally it was noticed that powdered milk formula had a negative impact on the health of children and something needed to be done. Later in 1981, the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes was adopted by the World Health Assembly and 118 out of 119 countries signed the resolution. However, the national actions were slow until August 1990 when UNICEF and other agencies and lawmakers got inspired and signed Innocenti Declaration in August 1990.

World Breastfeeding Week 2020: Five Things To Know

Theme For World Breastfeeding Week 2020

The theme for this year's breastfeeding week is 'Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet'. In line with this theme, WHO and UNICEF are calling on governments to protect and promote women's access to skilled breastfeeding counselling, a critical component of breastfeeding support.
World Breastfeeding Week 2020: Five Things To Know

What Are The Benefits Of Breastfeeding?

Exclusive breastfeeding provides babies with perfect nutrition, protection from respiratory infections, diarrhoeal disease, obesity and non-communicable diseases. The process of breastfeeding protects mothers from type 2 diabetes, life-altering and life-threatening cancers.

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