We are pleased to join the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and partners around the globe in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week August 1–7. This year’s theme emphasizes the need for maternity services to protect, support, and promote breastfeeding: Breastfeeding: Just 10 Steps. The Baby-Friendly Way.
The ten steps offer good breastfeeding practices and guidelines that every health facility providing maternity services should implement. We know that following the steps, with continued postnatal support, contributes to increased breastfeeding initiation and exclusive breastfeeding, leading to healthier babies and improved survival.
We also join WABA in highlighting the need for community action. Globally, only 56 percent of women deliver their babies in a health facility, and they are often discharged soon after delivery. Whether they deliver in a hospital or at home, mothers need ongoing infant feeding support in their communities. Community-based approaches, such as establishing breastfeeding support groups (Step #10), should be an integral part of solutions to combat malnutrition.
View a new video series on the ten steps to successful breastfeeding.
To commemorate this important campaign, we are hosting activities in several countries.
- In Haiti, PATH developed wall-hangings on the ten steps to successful breastfeeding to be used by hospitals, communities, and local partners in supporting mothers on good breastfeeding practices.
- In Kenya, PATH is supporting the government to boost awareness of the ten steps to successful breastfeeding by conducting a sensitization campaign targeted to hospital administrators and local health officials.
- In Nigeria, PATH is supporting the government to create and implement a multimedia campaign, including radio spots and billboards, to encourage mothers to improve breastfeeding practices.
- In Zambia, PATH is joining partners to organize a community walk in Ndola to mobilize community support for breastfeeding.