Wednesday, August 01, 2012

World Breastfeeding Week ~ Introduction to Our WBW Blog Carnival!

Welcome to the World Breastfeeding Week Blog Carnival!  From August 1-7, we'll be featuring breastfeeding experts sharing their expertise about breastfeeding and breastfeeding issues.  Each day will bring something new!  To begin, here is a history of World Breastfeeding Week and some valuable links and free handouts.

World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is celebrated each year August 1-7.  WBW 2012 is the 20th anniversary of the very first WBW which had at its theme: Baby –Friendly Hospital Initiative.   The theme for this year, appropriately, is Understanding the Past, Planning the Future.

Front and center world-wide in the promotion of breastfeeding is the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action or WABA.  This organization was formed in early 1991 and is a global network of organizations and individuals who believe breastfeeding is the right of all children and mothers and who dedicate themselves to protect, promote and support this right.  WABA acts on the Innocenti  Declaration and works in close liaison with UNICEF. 

What is the Innocenti Declaration?  This document was produced and adopted by participants at the WHO/UNICEF policymakers' meeting on "Breastfeeding in the 1990s: A Global Initiative, co-sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development (A.I.D.) and the Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA), held at the Spedale degli Innocenti, Florence, Italy, on 30 July - 1 August 1990. The Declaration reflects the content of the original background document for the meeting and the views expressed in group and plenary sessions.

Global strategy is a dynamic part of the WBW celebration.  According to the WBW website: “The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) jointly developed and launched the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (GS) in 2002 reaffirming the four Innocenti targets set in 1995, and setting additional targets. The GS has identified a clear need for optimal infant feeding practices in reducing malnutrition as well as poverty. It is based on a human rights approach and calls for the development of comprehensive national policies on infant and young child feeding. It provides guidance on how to protect, promote and support exclusive breastfeeding for first six months, and continued breastfeeding for two years or beyond together with adequate, appropriate and indigenous complementary feeding starting from the age of six months.

Many maternity care groups and organizations are participating in WBW.  The publisher of the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health (the official journal of the American College of Nurse Midwives) offers free access to their special full issue on breastfeeding issues now through August 31.  You can access Volume 52, issue 6 by clicking here

La Leche League USA is a sponsor of the BIG LATCH ON.  The BIG LATCH ON is two full days this year, Friday August 3 and Saturday August 4.  Both days, communities across the national will hold events at 10:30 am local time.  A count of how many moms and nursing babies will take place, then tallied for the entire nation.  The Big Latch On is originally from New Zealand. It was started by Women's Health Action in 2005 as part of World Breastfeeding Week. Each year, they have seen a growth in the numbers of breastfeeding women attending and an increase in the support for breastfeeding in public. The Big Latch On was introduced to Portland, Oregon, in 2010 by Joanne Edwards as a celebration for World Breastfeeding Week. In 2011, Joanne worked with Annie Brown and members of La Leche League USA to grow the Big Latch On across the USA.

La Leche League International is offering select downloads from their foundational book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.  For over 50 years, La Leche League (LLL) has been a driving force in support of breastfeeding world wide.  For a view of their rich history, click here .

Lamaze International and Babies R Us are joining forces to promote breastfeeding also.  Lamaze educators will be at select Babies R Us stores teaching “Nursing Basics for New Moms” on Saturday August 4.    To find a store near you for this special event, go to the Babies R Us Events page. Lamaze international is also offering a free Lamaze Webinar: “Moms, Babies, Milk and the Law: Legal and Ethical Issues When Teaching Breastfeeding”.  This free webinar will be August 15, 2012 from 1 pm – 2 pm EST and feature Elizabeth C. Brooks, JD, IBCLC, FILCA.  To reserve your spot at the webinar, click here:

If you are celebrating WBW in your community and are in need of press materials such as logos, posters or flyers, the World Breastfeeding Week website has great downloads for you to use!

Helpful web resources:

LaLeche League International ~ you will find access to LLL in other countries.  Select countries are listed below:

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