Today marks the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) AND National Breastfeeding Month. All month long, people around the world are celebrating the amazing benefits of breastfeeding, while continuing the fight to ensure women have the support they need to breastfeed.
The evidence is clear – breastfeeding saves lives by protecting babies from life-threatening infections and illnesses. If babies were breastfed early and exclusively for the first 6 months, over 820,000 lives could be saved each year!
A world in which women receive support to breastfeed is a world in which women and children thrive. Enabling women to breastfeed for as long as they desire would result in less illness and disease, as breastfeeding plays a key protective role for infant health. Fewer children would die from diarrhea and pneumonia – two of the leading causes of child mortality globally – as well as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)—a leading cause of infant mortality in the U.S.
And it’s not just babies who benefit from breastfeeding. When a mother breastfeeds, she reduces her risk of developing ovarian cancer, breast cancer and heart disease.
Even with all these benefits, there is still a troubling lack of support for breastfeeding women around the world. NO country (including the United States) offers moms the support they need to reach their breastfeeding goals.
This year, let’s commit to creating a world where every mom has the support she needs to breastfeed.
Here’s what you can do:
- Pledge your support for women to breastfeed anytime, anywhere.
- Add an “I Support Breastfeeding” Frame to your Facebook Profile.
- Share your breastfeeding experience and tell us who supported you on your breastfeeding journey, or who you supported to reach their breastfeeding goals.
No one breastfeeds alone – and we ALL have a role to play in supporting breastfeeding. Thank you for joining us this month to support moms and babies everywhere to have a healthy first 1,000 days.
Interested in learning more? Check out our Inspiration Guide with key facts, stats and graphics that illustrate the benefits of breastfeeding.