World Breastfeeding Week was celebrated from 1 to 7 August and is an annual awareness campaign that aims to develop a healthier society starting at birth.
The campaign strives to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
The Newcastle Primary Health Care Clinic (NPHCC), hosted a march on 1 August that saw patients and staff support this important cause and raise awreness within the community.
Breastfeeding is the best way to provide infants with the nutrients they need. World Health Organisation (WHO), recommends exclusive breastfeeding starting within one hour after birth until a baby is 6-months-old. Nutritious complementary foods should then be added while continuing to breastfeed for up to 2-years or beyond.
This year, WHO is working with UNICEF and partners to promote the importance of helping mothers breastfeed their babies within that crucial first hour of life. Skin-to-skin contact along with suckling at the breast stimulate the production of breastmilk, including colostrum, also called the baby’s first vaccine , which is extremely rich in nutrients and antibodies.
This years theme-Breastfeeding:Foundation of Life, is a recognition of the importance of breastfeeding to a baby’s future. From the earliest moments of a child’s life, breastfeeding can mean the difference between life and death.
Putting newborns on the breast within the first hour and establishing exclusive breastfeeding for the first six-months of life, helps young children grow, prevents undernutrition, promotes brain development, and reduces the risk that children will become overweight.