Join IYCN in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week

Dear colleagues,
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.
To commemorate this important campaign, we are planning activities in several countries. Throughout the week, I invite you to visit our website to see new updates and photos from IYCN’s World Breastfeeding Week events in the field
Later in the week, look for a message from me about infant feeding and HIV. After just returning from the AIDS 2010 conference in Vienna, we have some exciting new resources and updates to share.
Learn more about World Breastfeeding Week by visiting the IYCN website.
Denise Lionetti, Project Director
Infant & Young Child Nutrition Project

Photo: Aurelio Ayala III