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World Breastfeeding Week 2016

UNICEF South Africa/2016/Hearfield
© UNICEF South Africa/2016/Hearfield

28 July 2016 - World Breastfeeding Week takes place from 1 to 7 August, highlighting the support women need to provide their children with the healthiest start to life by breastfeeding. By choosing to exclusively breastfeed a baby for the first six months of their lives, it not only increases their chance of survival, but it also aids with healthy brain development and optimal cognitive function in their early years of learning.

Breastfeeding also achieves the agenda of equity by ending hunger and improving nutrition for every child, thus plugging back into the Sustainable Development Goals.

For many women across all walks of life breastfeeding can be challenging. This is especially true for working mums who face various pressures form unsupportive employers and demanding schedules at home. Women today strive to fit the “wonder woman” mold which often comes at the expense of their youngest children. In South Africa, less than 10% of moms exclusively breastfeed their babies for the first 6 months despite their best intentions.

This year, UNICEF’s breastfeeding campaign focuses on creating a supportive environment for women to breastfeed whether they are at work, in a shopping mall or at home. UNICEF encourages employers, partners and community members to take the pledge to support women who choose to breastfeed their babies because breastfeeding is not just a one woman job!


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