World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is an annual celebration which is being held every year from 1 to 7 August in more than 120 countries, with the aim of promoting exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life which yields tremendous health benefits, providing critical nutrients, protection from deadly diseases such as pneumonia and fostering growth and development for the first time in 1991.
The theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is “Breastfeeding: Foundation for Life” — a recognition of the importance of breastfeeding to a baby’s future.
Breastfeeding, also known as nursing, is the feeding of babies and young children with milk from a woman’s breast. It is recommended that breastfeeding should begin within the first hour of a baby’s life and continue as often and as much as the baby wants.
‘World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) basically emphasize the value of breastfeeding for mothers as well as children. In Cross River State, we strongly recommend this for mothers, especially first time mothers, to practice exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of delivery.
This means that no other foods or drinks other than possibly vitamin D are typically given. After the introduction of foods at six months of age, recommendations include continued breastfeeding until one to two years of age or more.
Globally, only 40 per cent of children under six months of age are exclusively breastfed, and improving on this figure could save the lives of 823,000 children under age five every year.’ Dr. Inyang Asibong; Commissioner for Health
As part of this year’s celebration, the Cross River State Government is organizing a counseling and enlightenment campaign facilities across the State on it’s enormous benefits as it helps young children grow, prevent undernutrition, promote brain development, and reduce the risk of overweight in adulthood.