Health Days 2013
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)
 
 “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers”
 
The World Health Organization (WHO) has appointed 1-7 August, 2013, as the World Breastfeeding Week (WBW). It is intended to reiterate the importance of breastfeeding, and the pivotal necessity of supporting it throughout the world. It seeks, also, to trace the results and achievements of the efforts aiming to encourage breastfeeding all over the world.
 
This year’s World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme, “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers” highlights Breastfeeding Peer Counselling. Even when mothers are able to get off to a good start, all too often in the weeks or months after delivery there is a sharp decline in breastfeeding rates, and practices, particularly exclusive breastfeeding. The period when mothers do not visit a healthcare facility is the time when a community support system for mothers is essential. Continued support to sustain breastfeeding can be provided in a variety of ways. Traditionally, support is provided by the family. As societies change, however, in particular with urbanization, support for mothers from a wider circle is needed, whether it is provided by trained health workers, lactation consultants, community leaders, or from friends who are also mothers, and/or from fathers/partners.
 
The Peer Counselling Program is a cost effective and highly productive way to reach a larger number of mothers more frequently. Peer Counsellors can be anyone from the community who is trained to learn to support mothers. Trained Peer Counsellors, readily available in the community become the lifeline for mothers with breastfeeding questions and issues. The key to best breastfeeding practices is continued day-to-day support for the breastfeeding mother within her home and community.
 
The Saudi Ministry of Health, for its part, has been paying close attention to the Breastfeeding program since 1411 H, emanating from maternal and child care, and its keen interest in improving the health status of mothers and infants.
 
Global date: 1-7 August, 2013.
Local date: 24 – 30 Ramadan, 1434H.

Theme of the World Breastfeeding Week 2013:
 
“Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers”
 
Targeted Groups:
  • Pregnants.
  • Mothers who have recently given birth.
  • Premature infants.
  • Maternity and children hospitals.
  • Health workers (physicians, nurses, pharmacists, health educationists, etc.)
  • Education workers (teachers, social workers, etc.)
  • Health decision makers.
  • Health societies and organizations.
  • The public.
 
Health Messages of the World Breastfeeding Week 2013:
  • To draw attention to the importance of Peer Support in helping mothers to establish and sustain breastfeeding.
  • To inform people of the highly effective benefits of Peer Counselling, and unite efforts to expand peer counselling programmes.
  • To encourage breastfeeding supporters, regardless of thei r educat ional background, to step forward and be trained to support mothers and babies.
  • To identify local community support contacts for breastfeeding mothers, that women can go to for help and support after giving birth.
  • To call on governments and maternity facilities globally to actively implement the Ten Steps, in particular Step 10, to improve duration and rates of exclusive breastfeeding.
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Related Links:

For more information:

A comprehensive Scientific Report on Breastfeeding


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