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World Breastfeeding Week 2020 – Take Action: SDGs as a Framework for Planetary Health

How can YOU support action steps to support breastfeeding for a healthier planet?

As a part of World Breastfeeding Week, World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) has identified six action areas for creating change. We will share one with you for the next six days. 

Just learning about this year’s World Breastfeeding Week celebrations? Get an overview here.  

Day one action area:
SDGs as a framework for planetary health

What is an SDG?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are about people, the planet, prosperity and peace. Breastfeeding is one of many sustainable solutions to planetary health. The SDGs provide a framework for addressing several of the current challenges to planetary health. Ensuring wellbeing includes ending poverty, hunger and malnutrition, promoting good health as well as ensuring the right to decent work, gender equality, inclusiveness and peace.

How do breastfeeding interventions fit in?

An enabling environment for breastfeeding requires an essential package of interventions: maternity/parental protection, training of health professionals and community workers, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), access to breastfeeding counselling as well as implementation and monitoring of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions.

What you can do*

  • Align national and international policies and guidance on breastfeeding and IYCF with the SDG agenda and other environment/climate initiatives.
  • Ensure that a public health perspective is taken to strengthen BFHI and breastfeeding counselling among the general population including during emergencies.
  • Raise awareness among decision-makers to recognise the contribution of breastfeeding to food security and environmental sustainability.
  • Advocate for policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions from the BMS industry.
  • Ensure that the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly (WHA) resolutions are fully implemented and monitored.
  • Enact paid family leave and workplace breastfeeding policies based on the International Labour Organization (ILO) Maternity Protection Convention C183 as the minimum standard.

* How you can support these efforts depends on your role in the breastfeeding and chestfeeding community. If you are a policy maker, please consider these priorities. If you are not, please call on your local, regional, and national leaders to take action. Or consider becoming a policy leader yourself, by getting involved with your breastfeeding coalition, public health agency, or an elected office – we need your leadership at the highest possible level!

The 2020 World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme is Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet. This year’s theme celebrates the impact of infant feeding on the environment/climate change and the imperative to protect, promote and support breastfeeding for the health of the planet and its people. Join International Lactation Consultant Association® (ILCA®) and WABA in observing WBW 1-7 August 2020. 

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