World Breastfeeding Week begins today in more than 170 countries. The week is dedicated to promoting breastfeeding as the best way of providing babies the nutrients needed for healthy growth and development.
The celebration, which is held in the first 7 days of August each year, has as its central theme for 2016: ‘Breastfeeding: A Key to Sustainable Development’.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends natural breastfeeding as the sole mode of nutrition for the first 6 months of a baby’s life.
WHO also recommends its continuation until two years at least, adequately supplemented with other safe food.
An expert of the Fund at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Francia Bejin, stated on Friday that her regret was the fact that 77 million newborns are deprived of that first contact with their mother.
The expert added that if all were breastfed all the time from birth to 6 months, more than 800,000 lives would be saved each year.
Many have even gone on social media to share their thoughts on breastfeeding.
Even mums have shared pictures with the hashtag #wbw2016 of them breastfeeding their babies.