Today marks the beginning of the 21st annual World Breastfeeding Week. Celebrated in more than 170 countries, World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) recognizes the essential work of breastfeeding advocates, educators, and lactation consultants who protect, promote, and support breastfeeding worldwide. This year’s theme is "Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers," highlighting breastfeeding peer counseling.
"Women are often drawn to other women with whom they share life experiences, especially when those experiences relate to parenting," said Anne Batterjee of La Leche League International, and key writer of the theme-related WBW Action Folder produced by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). "When new mothers have someone who can understand and identify with their experiences, they can better enjoy and cope with parenthood. A peer counsellor is an invaluable partner with mothers in their journey through parenthood, helping them gain confidence in their ability to breastfeed."
World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Objectives:
- To draw attention to the importance of Peer Support in helping mothers to establish and sustain breastfeeding.
- To inform people of the highly effective benefits of Peer Counselling, and unite efforts to expand peer counselling programmes.
- To encourage breastfeeding supporters, regardless of their educational background, to step forward and be trained to support mothers and babies.
- To identify local community support contacts for breastfeeding mothers, that women can go to for help and support after giving birth.
- To call on governments and maternity facilities globally to actively implement the Ten Steps, in particular Step 10, to improve duration and rates of exclusive breastfeeding.
Join us in celebrating the remarkable health care professionals and advocates who make World Breastfeeding Week possible!