Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Awareness for Breastfeeding - World Breastfeeding Week 2018

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is a global network of individuals and organisations concerned with the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding worldwide based on the Innocenti Declarations, the Ten Links for Nurturing the Future and the WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. WABA is in consultative status with UNICEF and an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations (ECOSOC).

WABA coordinates the annual World Breastfeeding Week campaign. WABA works closely with many organisations and individuals. Our partners in this effort include:  the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM)International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN)International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA) La Leche League International (LLLI) United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) World Health Organisation (WHO) Food Agricultural Organisation (FAO) and several other international organisations.

WABA's work, including World Breastfeeding Week, is made possible through the generous support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida).

All the material on the WorldBreastfeedingWeek website is driven around conversations that are held in western countries around eradicating poverty,etc. I would like to drive conversations from a layman point of view, from the Indian perspective. In a country like India, where people have found ways of making tradition co-exist with modernity in multiple spheres of life, sadly, one area where people (in the last 30 years) have been meticulously schooled away from is breastfeeding.  What seems like a very natural thing to do, is exactly what has become very complicated due to various social conditioning.  While in the urban centers, people are being lured into formula feeding, there are quite a few rural centers where the support system around the new mother is quick to suggest alternatives(such as cow's milk) to breastmilk. I am not a vegan-ist or an anti cow's milk campaigner, but I definitely consider that the first 6 months of a child's life should be an intervention/alternative free natural diet.  Intervention, and/or supplementation should be only on a strictly case by case basis where there is a valid medical reason to do so. That said, one cannot impinge upon the personal choices made by a mother for her child, but is the support system around her ready with the knowledge and information that will enable her to make an informed decision? I am not sure. Anyway, without digressing, this is an upcoming series of blogposts to spread awareness about breastfeeding, which is needed sadly, even though it is the so called modern age of 2018.

So when is World Breastfeeding Week?
What can you do to spread awareness about Breastfeeding? 
Know someone who is pregnant and is about to deliver soon? How can you reach out to them and contribute to their breastfeeding journey?
Why have I suddenly turned into a Breastfeeding awareness campaigner?

Here is my next blog post that attempts to answer some of these questions