This week marks World Breastfeeding Week. Celebrated across the globe from Aug. 1-7, 2021, the annual awareness week seeks to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world.
This year’s theme is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility.” It focuses on how protecting breastfeeding is a shared responsibility. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding emphasizes the need for a public health approach to breastfeeding to build better systems.
DHEC’s Women Infant and Children (WIC) team encourage its participants to choose to breastfeed as their first option for feeding their babies. Breastfeeding has many benefits for both mother and child including:
- Breast milk naturally has all the nutrients and antibodies babies need to grow, develop, and prevent illnesses.
- Breastfeeding is convenient and a great timesaver. You can breastfeed almost anywhere and anytime your baby is hungry.
- Breastfeeding helps the uterus return to its normal size.
- Breastfeeding reduces health care costs because babies are healthier.
- Breast milk is always sterile, warm, and ready to serve.
WIC is part of the Bureau of Community Nutrition Services.
We understand breastfeeding can be challenging for some mothers, especially in the early days. Lactation consultants can help you find ways to make breastfeeding work for you and your baby. Click here to learn more about tackling breastfeeding challenges.
In addition to World Breastfeeding Week, August is also National Breastfeeding Month. To help celebrate World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month, our regions will be conducting activities. If you’re visiting one of our clinics, look for special activities. We’ll also be sharing pictures later this month showing some of the special events taking place throughout our state.
According to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding, scaling up breastfeeding can prevent:
- 20,000 maternal deaths annually
- 823,000 child deaths annually
- $302B in economic losses annually
For more information about breastfeeding visit the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action’s website where you can also sign a pledge to participate in World Breastfeeding Week. Also, you can learn about how WIC can help with breastfeeding by visiting our WIC webpage.