WHO: Empower parents, enable breastfeeding

6 August, 2019

Below are extracts from a Statement from WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, and a comment from me.

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World Breastfeeding Week

1 August 2019

Becoming the parent of a new baby is both a life-altering gift and an immense responsibility. This week, as countries around the world celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, UNICEF and WHO are calling on governments and all employers to adopt family-friendly policies that support breastfeeding.

The theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding.”...

As the world marks World Breastfeeding Week, WHO and UNICEF call on governments and all employers to adopt family-friendly policies – including paid maternity leave for a minimum of 18 weeks, and preferably, for a period of six months – as well as paid paternity leave.

In line with the policy actions advocated by the WHO-UNICEF-led Global Breastfeeding Collective, we also call for greater investments in comprehensive breastfeeding programmes, improved breastfeeding counselling and support for women in health facilities and the community, and an end to the promotion of breast-milk substitutes to enable parents to make informed decisions on the best way to feed their infants.

Together, with the support of governments, employers and communities, we have the power to enable breastfeeding and support families in fostering a nurturing environment where all children thrive.

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Comment (NPW): Empowerment of parents includes ensuring they have access to the information they need to understand the benefits of breastfeeding and how to ensure their child derives the maximum benefit. What is known about the level of understanding in different countries? What steps could be taken to improve this understanding and reduce misinformation?

Best wishes, Neil

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CHIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is the coordinator of the HIFA campaign (Healthcare Information For All) and assistant moderator of the CHIFA forum. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org