World Breastfeeding Week 2019 : Supporting Infant and Maternal Health

WHO states that breastfeeding not only improves the infant’s health but also has many benefits for mothers.


From August 1 to 7, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) is aiming to highlight the ways in which breastfeeding can be “endorsed and sustained” throughout the world.

The WABA is teaming up with various organizations, including WHO, UNICEF, the International Lactation Consultant Association, among others, to promote this 2019 World Breastfeeding Week’s theme – “Empower Parents. Enable Breastfeeding.”

WHO states, “Breastfeeding not only improves the health of infants but also has many benefits for mothers.”

Previous studies have linked breastfeeding with a reduced risk of breast cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and ovarian cancer.

The health organization suggested that over 800,000 lives, including those of children above 6 months, could be saved every year with breastfeeding.

To celebrate this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, Infectious Diseases in Children has compiled a list of the updated research, which highlights the benefits of breastfeeding and how to improve breastfeeding rates.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released new guidelines to improve breastfeeding rate to avoid creating barriers for breastfeeding mothers or overly promoting infant formula.

WHO and UNICEF reported that nearly 78 million newborns are not breastfed within the first hour after birth. The organizations found that at least three in five newborns around the world waited more than an hour before being breastfed in 2017. Health officials noted although improvements have been made from 2005 to 2017, there is still significant scope for improvement,

According to a study published in the Journal for Obstetrics, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing, “exclusive breastfeeding in hospitals improved following the introduction of a protocol that delayed newborn baths for 12 or more hours after birth.”

Recently, two case reports from Canada demonstrated how treatment could prevent HIV transmission from mother to child while breastfeeding, which would allow mothers to choose how their babies are fed in a resource-rich setting. In a recent conference conducted at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Annual, researchers presented that breastfeeding for more than three months significantly lowered the risk of eczema in children.