World Breastfeeding Week 2020 – Take Action: Societal Support for Breastfeeding and Chestfeeding


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 are sharing the last action area – societal support – today. 

Just learning about this year’s World Breastfeeding Week celebrations? Get an overview here. Read the other posts in this series here, here, here, here, and here.


Day six action area: Societal support

Breastfeeding women and chestfeeding parents have the right to be supported by society to achieve their lactation goals. They can benefit from many different kinds of support depending on their sociocultural context. Support can come from their families, communities, health systems and workplaces. Skilled breastfeeding counselling is a type of support delivered directly to women and other lactating parents and their infants by health workers and counsellors trained specifically to help them, including International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs). When breastfeeding counselling is available and accessible to women/parents, the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding is increased.

What you can do*

  • Advocate for increased financing, monitoring and implementation of better policies and interventions to provide families the support for breastfeeding that they need, especially breastfeeding counselling.
  • Inform communities about the impact of formula feeding on the environment using a variety of communication techniques and influencers.
  • Sensitise journalists and the media to stimulate public debate on the links between breastfeeding and the environment/ climate change.
  • Allocate resources for additional research on the climate/ environmental impact of BMS.
  • Collect systematic data on the impact of different IYCF policies and programmes in emergency situations.

* 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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