1 to 7 August 2013: World Breastfeeding Week
World Breastfeeding week was observed to encourage breastfeeding as the best source of nourishment for babies. The week organised by the WHO and UNICEF is celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August 2013. This year's theme is breastfeeding support: close to mothers. The World Health Organisation, recommends exclusive breastfeeding till a baby is six months old and continue breastfeeding with nutritious complementary foods up to two years or beyond.
Across the globe only an estimated 38 per cent of babies are exclusively breastfed for six months. The trend of faltering growth in children begins in critical first two years and a major cause is inappropriate infant and young child feeding practices. Apart from preventing infections in babies, breastfeeding has a protective effect against child obesity and lowers the risk of several chronic conditions including asthma, diabetes and heart diseases in adult life.
The National Rural Health Mission is promoting infant and young child feeding practices at the health facility, community outreach and household levels. Although, almost all mothers are physically able to breastfeed, but in many cases, they are misled to believe that they can give their children a better health by commercial substitutes. Efforts continue across the world to eliminate all breast milk substitutes and promote breastfeeding for the well being of newborns and mothers.
When: 1 to 7 August 2013.