Breastfeeding Awareness in August

/ 09/08/2012 /

breastfeedingWorld Breastfeeding Week (WBW), in August, is celebrated in 120 countries. WBW commemorates the signing of the Innocenti Declaration (more on that below).

Exclusive Breastfeeding Is Ideal

Breastfeeding is the ideal way to provide infants and young children with the nutrients they need in those precious first moments of their lives. It provides sensory and cognitive development and protects the infant against diseases (1).

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends:

  1. That mothers initiate breastfeeding within an hour of giving birth
  2. Then exclusively breastfeed (that is, with nothing but breast milk) for the first six months

After that, the recommendation is for breastfeeding to continue for a minimum of two years – for as long as baby and mother mutually agree.

WHO and UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) have these recommendations to enable mothers to establish and sustain exclusive breastfeeding for at least 6 months:

1.     Initiate exclusive breastfeeding within the first hour of life

2.     Give no other food or drink (not even water)

3.     Breastfeed on demand – that is, whenever and as often as the child wants day and night

4.     Use no “fake nipples” – that is, do not use feeding bottles or pacifiers


World Breastfeeding Week and the Innocenti Declaration

WBW celebrates the signing of the Innocenti Declaration, produced and adopted in 1990 by participants at the WHO/UNICEF meeting on "Breastfeeding in the 1990s: A Global Initiative on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding" (2). The document lists the benefits of breastfeeding, plus global and governmental goals.

The Declaration recognizes the long-term benefits and the importance of breastfeeding in reducing infant mortality rates across the globe. Some of the major goals outlined in the Declaration seek to raise awareness to support breastfeeding:

  • By reinforcing “breastfeeding culture” as opposed to the “bottle-feeding culture” in many countries
  • By providing support to nursing mothers and eliminating obstacles to breastfeeding within the health system, the workplace, and the community
  • By encouraging governments to set national policies and strategies to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding

The full text of the Innocenti Declaration can be found HERE on the UNICEF website.


Celebrating 20 Years of World Breastfeeding Week with Resourxe

This year, aside from the important work of promoting breastfeeding, is also a celebration of 20 years of World Breastfeeding Week. It will be a reflection on the progress we have made globally and a serious look at the road ahead. Resourxe by Sodexo is proud to join in on the campaign for awareness of the importance of breastfeeding and to offer new moms the best in lactation products through our partnership with Medela.

For additional information on World Breast Feeding Week, please go to or visit to find a Re:sourxe Lactation Center.