Breastfeeding for sustainable development
August 1-7, 2017 marks the 25th annual World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). This global celebration recognizes the importance of breastfeeding and its sustainable impact throughout the world. According to the International Lactation Consultant AssociationⓇ (ILCA) this year’s WBW theme is “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together.” As part of the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the WABA has linked each of these goals to breastfeeding and how it pertains to the theme of working together for a common good.
The World Breastfeeding Week linked the 17 SDGs and breastfeeding with the following statements which are divided into four themes- nutrition, food security, and poverty reduction; survival, health, and well-being; environment and climate change; and women’s productivity and employment.
Nutrition, Food Security, and Poverty Reduction
Breastfeeding links to poverty reduction.
Breastfeeding helps prevent hunger and provides food security for infants.
Survival, Health, and Well-Being
Breastfeeding contributes to improved health and wellbeing of mothers and their babies.
Breastfeeding and good quality foods contribute to mental and cognitive development.
Breastfeeding is an empowering experience for mothers and is the great equalizer.
Environment and Climate Change
Breastfeeding on demand provides a baby with all the water they need.
Breastfeeding requires less energy when compared to formula production industries.
In the bustle of big cities, breastfeeding mothers and their babies need to feel safe and welcome in all public spaces.
Breastfeeding provides a healthy, viable, non-polluting, non-resource intensive, sustainable and natural source of nutrition and sustenance.
Breastfeeding safeguards infant health and nutrition in times of adversity and weather-related disasters due to global warming.
Breastfeeding entails less waste compared to formula feeding.
Breastfeeding is ecologically compared to formula feeding.
Women’s Productivity and Employment
Breastfeeding women who are supported by their employers are more productive and loyal.
Breastfeeding mothers who work outside the home need to manage the challenges and be supported by employers, their own families and communities.
Breastfeeding practices differ across the globe, and will help reduce inequalities.
Breastfeeding is preserved in many human rights frameworks and conventions.
The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (GSIYCF) fosters multi-sectoral collaboration, and can build upon various partnerships for support of development through breastfeeding programs and initiatives.
According to the ILCA, they are partnering with organizations around the globe – including United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization (WHO), International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), La Leche League International (LLLI), The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM), Wellstart International, the Global Goals, and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) – to promote the role that breastfeeding plays in valuing the wellbeing of every individual.
As supporters of infant nursing, DRIA Cover understands and values the sustainable impact of breastfeeding. We stand behind the global initiative to advocate for breastfeeding and its influence on nutrition, food security, and poverty reduction; survival, health, and well-being; environment and climate change; and women’s productivity and employment.
For more information on this week’s breastfeeding commemoration, visit the WBW 2017 website to review the action folder and/or sign the event pledge form.
Stand. Support. Sustain.
“World Breastfeeding Week.” World Breastfeeding Week. N.p., 2017. Web.
“Lactation Matters.” Lactation Matters. N.p., 01 Aug. 2017. Web.
“WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK.” International Lactation Consultant Association. N.p., n.d. Web.