World Breastfeeding Week


“Enabling Women to breastfeed: the evidence ” – A seminar in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week 2014


The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, joins the World Health Organization and partners in celebrating this year’s World Breastfeeding Week from the 1st to 7th August 2014. Breastfeeding is the first, and single most important, public health intervention for all newborns, infants and young children, with a lifelong impact on health and survival.

In recognition of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week theme of asserting the importance of increasing and sustaining the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding in the post 2015 agenda and beyond, Professor Mary Renfrew gave a seminar entitled “Enabling Women to breastfeed: the evidence ”, chaired by Dr Carole Presern, Executive Director of PMNCH, at the World Health Organization Headquarters, Geneva, Switzerland. Professor Renfrew presented a new evidence-based framework for quality maternal and newborn care, developed in collaboration with WHO and other partners to identify the factors that will help to overcome the socio-economic barriers to enable women in all settings to breastfeed.

The presentation emphasized the teamwork required by health care professionals with mothers and families to determine the success of breastfeeding and the subsequent health of the newborn. Professor Renfrew also spoke about breastfeeding’s “constellation of impacts“ on both baby and mother, including nutrition, immunisation, attachment and development, underlining how optimal breastfeeding practices are amongst the most effective in preventing newborn and child deaths.

Dr Presern closing words highlighted the findings of the Global Investment Framework For Women and Children’s Health – that breastfeeding can be one of the strongest investments to make in saving women’s and children’s lives, whilst potentially yielding significant health, social and economic returns.