Happy World Breastfeeding Week
This year the World Breastfeeding Week focuses on the linkage between the Millenium Development Goals and breastfeeding. Between 1-7 August this year, breastfeeding advocates in over 175 countries worldwide will be celebrating the theme 'BREASTFEEDING: A Winning Goal - for Life!’ highlighting that achieving the Millennium Development Goals (especially MDGs 4 and 51) requires more early, exclusive and continued breastfeeding. Breastfeeding needs to be protected, promoted and supported by ALL, writes the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action in their Press Release.
ICM promotes breastfeeding through its member association with two position statements. "Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants. It is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers", says the statement on Breastfeeding. ICM ensures that, within any document relating to the provision of care to women and their newborns, there will be an element relating to the role of midwives in protecting, supporting and promoting breast feeding. In addition, each Triennial Congress contains a component assigned to presentations on breastfeeding, including developments relating to HIV/AIDS.
ICM urges its 116 member associations in 102 countries to:
- work with national and international organisations to promote and support breastfeeding
- ensure midwifery education programmes contain adequate provisions for students to gain competency in supporting breastfeeding women
- encourage their midwife members to accept their unique and vital role in the promotion of breastfeeding at all levels of the communities within which they live
- proactively seek government legislation that promotes breastfeeding
World Breastfeeding Week is a time to engage in conversations all over the world about the importance of breastfeeding. Many countries have organized events and conversation is also taking place on Social Media with #WBW2014.