Mother’s milk is the most crucial factor in the growth of an infant. It is one of the basic necessities for a newborn that not only provides the baby with the right amount of nutrition but also immunes the baby against innumerable diseases. No other food item can do justice to the nutritional value provided by breast milk at that age. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), it is highly advisable for mothers to feed the infants with breast milk until 6 months. However, it can be continued until two years of age, provided that additional food is also a part of the diet.

With the idea to affirm the importance and health benefits of breast milk, the World Breastfeeding Week was first observed in 1992, by World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). With time, UNICEF and WHO also became eminent partners in the celebration.

The World Breastfeeding Week, which starts from 1st August and ends on 7th August, is held on a yearly basis in more than 120 countries. This year, the theme for this celebration is “Breastfeeding and Work; Let’s Make It Work!” The theme has been laid down by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) whose main aim is to establish the fact that women must be facilitated to breastfeed and work at the same time. Breast milk is advantageous for the health of both mother and infant, and the baby must not be deprived of it due to the working conditions of the mother. It is the right of a mother to feed her baby, and no matter in which setting she is working in, she must be empowered enough to claim her right to breastfeed the child. This year’s theme is a reminder to the 1993 campaign that also focused on a friendly workplace for mothers.

Guy Ryder, director-general of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) said “globally more than 800 million women workers or 41% still don’t have adequate maternity protection.” Many women are either not physically strong to feed the babies or our burdened with so many responsibilities that they don’t get the time to feed them. These organisations are working towards promoting policies that makes it easier for women to breastfeed and work at the same time.

Efforts are being made to establish the importance of breast milk for the new born babies and thousands of people are coming out to support as well as to be a part of the celebration. One must not neglect the significant role that breastfeeding plays in the overall development of an infant.

[author image=”” ]I am Munazza Ansar, pursuing Bachelor’s in Social Work from Jamia Millia Islamia University. I have a keen interest in writing about the prevalent social issues and working for them.[/author]

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