World Breastfeeding Week 2013 took place from August 1-7 around the world. This year’s theme is providing peer support for breastfeeding mothers.
The 2013 theme, “Breastfeeding Support: Close to Mothers” focuses on peer support to raise breastfeeding duration and exclusive breastfeeding rates. Advocates point to a community support system as an esssential for mothers who are no longer visiting a health care system but are struggling with continued breastfeeding. Peer counseling programs are considered cost effective and highly productive ways to reach a larger number of mothers more frequently.
In Florida, the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program utilizes peer counselors to provide support to moms in the program.
The objectives for breastfeeding week are:
- To draw attention to the importance of Peer Support in helping mothers to establish and sustain breastfeeding.
- To inform people of the highly effective benefits of Peer Counselling, and unite efforts to expand peer counselling programmes.
- To encourage breastfeeding supporters, regardless of their educational background, to step forward and be trained to support mothers and babies.
- To identify local community support contacts for breastfeeding mothers, that women can go to for help and support after giving birth.
- To call on governments and maternity facilities globally to actively implement the Ten Steps, in particular Step 10, to improve duration and rates of exclusive breastfeeding.
World Breastfeeding Week is organized each year by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), a global network of individuals and organizations concerned with the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding worldwide.