Maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health

World Breastfeeding Week

1-7 August 2013

World Breastfeeding Week logo

Celebrated every year in more than 170 countries, World Breastfeeding Week aims to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration made by WHO and UNICEF policy-makers in August 1990 to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding is the best way to provide newborns with the nutrients they need. WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding for newborns up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.

This year's theme is "Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers", highlighting breastfeeding peer counselling, an approach that tackles the sharp decline in breastfeeding rates and practices in the weeks or months after delivery, particularly exclusive breastfeeding.