World Breastfeeding Week 2016

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To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2016, we’re sharing a blog each day to highlight some of the key issues around the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding.

How can you make a difference?

Help create a supportive, enabling environment for women who want to breastfeed: add your voice to our Change the Conversation campaign, calling on government to take urgent action to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

For World Breastfeeding Week, organisations from across the UK have signed up in support of the campaign.

About World Breastfeeding Week

The slogan for World Breastfeeding Week 2016 is Breastfeeding: A key to Sustainable Development.

This year, the theme of World Breastfeeding Week will be breastfeeding in relation to sustainability, and most importantly to the Sustainable Development Goals.

As Dr Omer-Salim (Key Writer for the WBW 2016 Calendar Announcement) explains:

“In very simple terms, sustainable development means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Breastfeeding is a key to sustainable development. This is particularly through the links between breastfeeding and nutrition and food security; health, development and survival; achieving full educational potential and economic productivity and the fact that breastfeeding is an environmentally sustainable method of feeding compared to the alternatives.

“In 2016 a new set of universal global development goals will come into being. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) build on the ‘unfinished business’ of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and will guide development agendas for the next 15 years. There are 17 goals that apply to all countries alike, covering broad issues such as climate change and poverty reduction, but also more specific issues including

  1. ending hunger and improving both under and over nutrition;
  2. ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being;
  3. ensuring equitable education, and
  4. ensuring sustainable agricultural production and consumption. However, breastfeeding is not explicitly mentioned in any of the goals. Therefore the breastfeeding movement needs to position breastfeeding in as many ways as possible. This will help to ensure that breastfeeding is not forgotten in the new era of the SDGs.”

WBW 2016 Objectives are to:

  1. To inform people about the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and how they relate to breastfeeding and Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF).
  2. To firmly anchor breastfeeding as a key component of sustainable development.
  3. To galvanise a variety of actions at all levels on breastfeeding and IYCF in the new era of the (SDGs).
  4. To engage and collaborate with a wider range of actors around the promotion, protection and support of breastfeeding.