World Breastfeeding Week 2020 (1-7 August)

Breastfeeding is known to have many benefits for both the child and the mother [1]:

  • Antibodies found in breast milk can help babies fight off viruses and bacteria.
  • Babies who drink breast milk are at a lower risk of developing asthma or allergies.
  • Babies breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months are shown to have fewer ear infections, respiratory illnesses, and less diarrhea.
  • Studies show children who have been breastfed tend to have higher IQ scores later in life.
  • For mothers, breastfeeding can assist in the loss of excess pregnancy weight, and can also lower the risk of developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and uterine bleeding after birth.

In general, scaling up breastfeeding can prevent the following annually [2]:

This Year’s Theme – Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet!

While breastfeeding has positive effects for both mothers and babies, this year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme highlights how breastfeeding can also have larger societal impacts.

Unlike formula, breast milk is naturally produced, and therefore no pollution, packaging, or waste is involved in its creation. Because artificial feeding involves the depletion of natural resources and emission of greenhouse gases, it also contributes to issues of global warming and climate change [3].

Breast feeding naturally stops ovulation, keeping family sizes smaller, healthier, and protecting more of Earth’s resources. Interestingly, breastfeeding also means mothers’ periods will return later, limiting the number of pads and tampons needed, and reducing the amount of cotton fibres, polyethylene plastics, and other contaminants used for their production [4].

So, mothers, don’t just breastfeed for you and your baby’s health; breastfeed to protect our planet as well! #WBW2020


References:

1. Breastfeeding Overview [Internet]. Grow by WebMD. 2020 [cited 20 July 2020]. Available from: https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/nursing-basics#1
2. WABA Home – World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action [Internet]. World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). 2020 [cited 20 July 2020]. Available from: https://waba.org.my/
3. World Breastfeeding Week 2020 | Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet! [Internet]. World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). 2020 [cited 20 July 2020]. Available from: https://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/
4. Shenker N, Brown A. Breastfeeding can help tackle climate crisis but it’s on governments, not mums to save the world [Internet]. The Conversation. 2019 [cited 20 July 2020]. Available from: https://theconversation.com/breastfeeding-can-help-tackle-climate-crisis-but-its-on-governments-not-mums-to-save-the-world-124676