Geneva (ABCNIS): The World Health Organization in association with UNICEF is all set to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week from 1 to 7 August in more than 170 countries to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
It is mention here that WHO organizes the World Breastfeeding Week every year from 1 to 7 August to commemorate the Innocenti Declaration made by policy-makers in August 1990 to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is the best way to provide newborns with the nutrients they need. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding until a baby is six months old, and continued breastfeeding with the addition of nutritious complementary foods for up to two years or beyond.
Infants should be exclusively breastfed – i.e. receive only breast milk – for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. "Exclusive breastfeeding" is defined as giving no other food or drink – not even water – except breast milk. It does, however, allow the infant to receive oral rehydration salts (ORS), drops and syrups (vitamins, minerals and medicines). Breast milk is the ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; breastfeeding is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers.
WHO recommends that infants start receiving complementary foods at six months (180 days) of age in addition to breast milk. Foods should be adequate, meaning that they provide sufficient energy, protein and micronutrients to meet a growing child's nutritional needs. Foods should be prepared and given in a safe manner to minimize the risk of contamination. Feeding young infants requires active care and stimulation to encourage the child to eat.
The transition from exclusive breastfeeding to full use of family foods is a very vulnerable period. It is the time when many infants become malnourished, contributing significantly to the high prevalence of malnutrition in children under five years of age worldwide. It is essential therefore that infants receive appropriate, adequate and safe complementary foods to ensure the right transition from the breastfeeding period to the full use of family foods.
Source: ABC Live
Jatinder Kaur's Views:
Mother and child are interdependent human beings start from birth to the last day of life, first mother plays all important role in child life and vice versa in older age of Mother.
The breastfeeding is the best source of all needed natural feeding for a child till first 180 days of his life to enjoy rest of healthy life.
WHO by the World Breastfeeding Week every year from 1 to 7 August to commemorate the Innocenti Declaration is valuable event to note and to write about it.
Dinesh Singh Rawat Says
Jatinder : First of all thanks for posting such an informative post on Winning Shot, I as Research Journalist wants to add some contribution in your worthy post about Innocenti Declaration:
Innocenti Declaration Recognises
Breastfeeding is a unique process that:
Provides ideal nutrition for infants and contributes to their healthy growth and development Reduces incidence and severity of infectious diseases, thereby lowering infant morbidity and mortality Contributes to women's health by reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and by increasing the spacing between pregnancies Provides social and economic benefits to the family and the nation Provides most women with a sense of satisfaction when successfully carried out and that Recent Research has found that: these benefits increase with increased exclusiveness of breastfeeding during the first six months of life, and thereafter with increased duration of breastfeeding with complementary foods, and programme intervention can result in positive changes in breastfeeding behaviour
We therefore declare that:
As a global goal for optimal maternal and child health and nutrition, all women should be enabled to practise exclusive breastfeeding and all infants should be fed exclusively on breastmilk from birth to 4-6 months of age.
Thereafter, children should continue to be breastfed, while receiving appropriate and adequate complementary foods, for up to two years of age or beyond. This child-feeding ideal is to be achieved by creating an appropriate environment of awareness and support so that women can breastfeed in this manner.
Attainment of this goal requires, in many countries, the reinforcement of a "breastfeeding culture" and its vigorous defence against incursions of a "bottle-feeding culture". This requires commitment and advocacy for social mobilization, utilizing to the full the prestige and authority of acknowledged leaders of society in all walks of life.
Efforts should be made to increase women's confidence in their ability to breastfeed. Such empowerment involves the removal of constraints and influences that manipulate perceptions and behaviour towards breastfeeding, often by subtle and indirect means. This requires sensitivity, continued vigilance, and a responsive and comprehensive communications strategy involving all media and addressed to all levels of society. Furthermore, obstacles to breastfeeding within the health system, the workplace and the community must be eliminated.
Measures should be taken to ensure that women are adequately nourished for their optimal health and that of their families. Furthermore, ensuring that all women also have access to family planning information and services allows them to sustain breastfeeding and avoid shortened birth intervals that may compromise their health and nutritional status, and that of their children.
All governments should develop national breastfeeding policies and set appropriate national targets for the 1990s. They should establish a national system for monitoring the attainment of their targets, and they should develop indicators such as the prevalence of exclusively breastfed infants at discharge from maternity services, and the prevalence of exclusively breastfed infants at four months of age.
National authorities are further urged to integrate their breastfeeding policies into their overall health and development policies. In so doing they should reinforce all actions that protect, promote and support breastfeeding within complementary programmes such as prenatal and perinatal care, nutrition, family planning services, and prevention and treatment of common maternal and childhood diseases. All healthcare staff should be trained in the skills necessary to implement these breastfeeding policies.
All governments by the year 1995 should have: Appointed a national breastfeeding coordinator of appropriate authority, and established a multisectoral national breastfeeding committee composed of representatives from relevant government departments, non-governmental organizations, and health professional associations
Ensured that every facility providing maternity services fully practises all ten of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding set out in the joint WHO/UNICEF statement "Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding: the special role of maternity services".
Taken action to give effect to the principles and aim of all Articles of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes and subsequent relevant World Health Assembly resolutions in their entirety;
and enacted imaginative legislation protecting the breastfeeding rights of working women and established means for its enforcement
We also call upon international organizations to:
Draw up action strategies for protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding, including global monitoring and evaluation of their strategies
Support national situation analyses and surveys and the development of national goals and targets for action;
and Encourage and support national authorities in planning, implementing, monitoring and evaluating their breastfeeding policies
The Innocenti Declaration was produced and adopted by participants at the WHO/UNICEF policymakers' meeting on "Breastfeeding in the 1990s: A Global Initiative, co-sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (A.I.D.) and the Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA), held at the Spedale degli Innocenti, Florence, Italy, on 30 July - 1 August 1990. The Declaration reflects the content of the original background document for the meeting and the views expressed in group and plenary sessions.