International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) is excited to join World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and other organizations and individuals the world over in celebrating #WBW2018 1-7 August . The theme of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2018 is Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life. Lactation Matters will feature blog posts and resources throughout the week to help you make the most of this important week.
The United Nations defines food security as “existing when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet dietary needs for a productive and healthy life.” The first 1000 days are critical as this is when the foundation of human development is being built. Breastfeeding provides food security to infants from the very beginning of life and contributes to food security for the whole family. Policies that protect, promote, and support optimal infant and young child feeding should include food security for all pregnant and lactating women.
Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding is crucial for the health of our planet and its people.
Breastfeeding is a prime example of the deep connections between human health and nature’s ecosystems. Breastmilk is a natural, renewable food that is environmentally safe and green because it is produced and delivered to the consumer without pollution, packaging, or waste. By contrast, artificial feeding leaves a major environmental footprint that contributes to a depletion of natural resources, environmental degradation and climate change in a
number of ways. Dairy farming causes the production of greenhouse gases. Additionally, the production, packaging, storing, distribution and preparation of infant formula includes the considerable use of fossil fuels and large amounts of water. Therefore, artificial feeding contributes to the emission of greenhouse gases and water scarcity that further aggravate climate change.
Climate change leads to natural disasters and humanitarian crises. Unreliable supply chains of milk powder and the unhygienic conditions that commonly prevail in emergency situations make breastfeeding the safest option. Breastfeeding is a climate-smart decision that helps ensure food security even in times of crisis.
For the most up-to-date information about WBW 2018 and to download promotional materials, please visit the World Breastfeeding Week website by clicking here.