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World Breastfeeding Week 2019 Special! What are the Benefits of Breastfeeding? Read Right Time to Breastfeed a Baby & Policies by WHO

World breastfeeding week is celebrated from 1 to 7 August every year. It is observed to create awareness about the importance of breastfeeding and why it is necessary for a baby's growth. It highlights on the need to improve the health of babies all over the globe.

Everyone should be aware of the fact that mother's milk is a boon for a baby's health. It is the ultimate source of nutrients during the initial years for babies. This special milk can protect the baby from infections and several diseases. 

What is the significance of world breastfeeding week? 

World breastfeeding week pays tribute to the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990. It was signed by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF and other organisations altogether to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. 

Interestingly, from this year WHO has joined hands with UNICEF and other partners to execute different plans and policies which are formulated to celebrate this week. These organizations from this year will promote the importance of family-friendly policies so as to promote breastfeeding. It will also encourage parents to develop a bond with their children during the initial years. 

Read Policies suggested by WHO: 

Paid maternity leave- 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) will stress on enacting paid maternity leaves for a minimum of 18 weeks.

Paid paternity leave- 

WHO also wants to promote paid paternity leaves to encourage shared responsibility for taking care of their child on an equal basis. 

Parent friendly workplace- 

Such a friendly workplace will help the mothers to breastfeed their children after returning back to work. It includes many things like access to breastfeeding breaks and providing them a safe, private and hygienic space for expressing, storing breast milk and providing affordable childcare. 

Importance of Breastfeeding: 

The proper implementation of these policies will help parents to protect and support their family. It will ensure the baby and mother’s health as well. If breastfeeding is practiced properly all over the world, it can save over 800,000 lives every year, especially kids under 6 months. 

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Breastfeeding can promote a mother's health in various ways. It can reduce the risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type-2 diabetes and heart diseases. It can also prevent 20,000 maternal deaths every year due to breast cancer. 

What is the Right Time to Breastfeed a Baby? 

According to WHO, breastfeeding within one hour after the birth of the child is recommended. A baby must be given only breast milk for the starting 6 months. After that, other nutritious complementary foods must be added along with breast milk up to 2 years or more. 

NOTE: The above content is not a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your doctor. Krishi Jagran does not claim any responsibility for this information. 



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Krishi Jagran