During the week of August 1-7, Valley is celebrating breastfeeding and our families with new little ones during World Breastfeeding Week. This year’s theme is “Breastfeeding: A Key to Sustainable Development.” This week is set aside to promote breastfeeding as the best feeding choice for mothers, babies and society all over the world. Breastfeeding is a key element in getting us to think about how to value our wellbeing from the start of life, how to respect each other and care for the world we share.
About World Breastfeeding Week. World Breastfeeding Week has been celebrated since 1992. Its goal is to educate people throughout the world about the importance of improving our children’s health through the support and promotion of breastfeeding. Human milk is more than just food: babies who do not receive mother’s milk tend to face a greater risk of health problems in infancy and throughout their lives. Mothers also benefit by lowering their lifetime risk of breast and ovarian cancers, anemia and osteoporosis.
Breastfeeding can be a means to promote and protect the health of both mother and baby. For the mother, breastfeeding can reduce her risk for postpartum blood loss, various infectious diseases, breast and ovarian cancer, iron deficiency anemia and even death. For the baby, breastfeeding is a vital factor in preventing common illnesses, including diarrhea, and respiratory tract (including pneumonia), ear, and urinary tract infections. For both, the act of breastfeeding is an essential component of learning how to mother, to providing good childcare, and to contributing to healthy growth and psychosocial development.
Visit Valley’s Lactation Services webpage to learn more about breastfeeding.