We can all help make society breastfeeeding friendly, this is the best supportive way to provide infants with the nutrients they need. Here at the World Breastfeeding Week that was celebrated form 1–7 August 2016 every year, the focus is to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, WHO, UNICEF and other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.
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 encouraging people to “Support mums to breastfeed anytime, anywhere,” as all of society has a role to play in making our communities more breastfeeding-friendly.
WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life. At six months, solid foods, such as mashed fruits and vegetables, should be introduced to complement breastfeeding for up to two years or more. In addition:
- breastfeeding should begin within one hour of birth
- breastfeeding should be “on demand”, as often as the child wants day and night; and
- bottles or pacifiers should be avoided.