PHM-Exch> World Breastfeeding: STEPPING INTO 2018 – TOGETHER

Claudio Schuftan cschuftan at
Mon Jan 1 21:09:55 PST 2018

From: Pei Ching Chuah <peiching.chuah at>

*Stepping into 2018 - Together!*

In just one year, breastfeeding could prevent over 823 000 deaths in
children and 20 000 deaths from breast cancer in women. It is tragic then,
that only 45% of newborns are breastfed within the first hour of birth, and
only 2 in 5 infants less than 6 months of age are exclusively breastfed.

As we wrap up 2017, we are reminded of the urgency of working together to
address this gap. The #WBW2017 theme was *Sustaining Breastfeeding –
Together*. We made extra effort to apply this inclusive approach to
developing and implementing many of our campaigns and initiatives with old
and new allies. 2017 has indeed been an exciting year, and we thank you all
for your continued support in making the world a better place for women and
children. Look out for more announcements by WABA in January, on our
#WBW2018 theme on Nutrition, Food Security and Poverty Reduction.

See highlights of 2017 and plans for 2018 below

Happy Holidays!

-WABA Secretariat Team-


This year, we scaled up our work through 3 main campaigns:

*World Breastfeeding Week 2017*

the way for working together across the 4 Thematic Areas
achieve the #GlobalGoals
sustainable development by 2030. No one breastfeeds alone, and we all have
a role to play in enabling mothers to breastfeed anytime, anywhere.

Our Core Partners – the International Baby Food Action Network
, La Leche League International
the International Lactation Consultant Association

and the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine
all played a critical role in developing, adapting and amplifying our
messages around the world.

the world ensured that our messages and materials reached those most in
need. If you organized an exciting activity for WBW2017, don’t forget to
submit your report

WBW2017 maximised on the opportunity to collaborate and involve youth in
producing materials, as we worked with Girls Globe
a global team of advocates driven by the connected voices of girls and
women worldwide. Read their engaging WBW-related stories
materials were then translated into almost 15 languages
 by Translators Without Borders

WBW messages were reiterated by and impacted a variety of different
sectors, from UN agencies in Geneva to  global media to refugee camps in
South Sudan.

*Warm Chain of Support for Breastfeeding*

The challenges to breastfeeding are many. To empower mothers with a
satisfying and effective breastfeeding experience, we need consistent
messages, a proper referral system, ongoing support and skilled assistance.

Let’s coordinate our efforts across the continuum of care for the
mother-baby dyad! Identify your role along the #WarmChain by participating
in our survey

Are you a midwife
International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC
or nutritionist/dietitian
Check out our Warm Chain postcards now! We are developing more cards for
physicians, peer counsellors and parents so do send all your valuable
input, references and comments to peiching.chuah at

If you have an interesting project that you think will strengthen the Warm
Chain, contact us <peiching.chuah at> for
further information about the Warm Chain Seed grant Programme.

*Empowering Parents Campaign*

Visions for a sustainable world can only be fulfilled by addressing gender
inequality as a root cause. We have a lot to do. Currently, there is no
country in the world where men and boys share the unpaid domestic and care
work equally with women and girls.

In the world of work – whether formal or informal – we have to move towards
gender-equitable social protection. This includes changes in parental leave
legislation, attitudes and parent-friendly workplaces. Read the WABA Labour
Day 2017 statement
get regional perspectives.

The #EmpoweringParentsCampaign strives to increase the supply of gender
equitable social
protection by working through the tried and tested tripartite structure
comprising of governments, employers and trade unions. We have worked with
various trade unions and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) particularly on
the issue of gender-neutral parental leave, such as with: MenCare and Alive
& Thrive.

In 2018, WABA will offer Parent-Friendly Workplace Seed Grants for
existing/new projects that aim to combine work and care work through
supportive interventions! Write to revathi at for more information.


Empowering the future through training and information:

*The Breastfeeding: Advocacy & Practice (BAP)
aims to equip participants with the skills and knowledge needed for
coordinated action on breastfeeding.

In March 2017, we organized the 7th BAP course, bringing together
participants from 14 countries, with teams from Burundi, Kenya, Laos,
Nigeria, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka. WABA was proud to sponsor 4 Young
Midwife Leaders (YMLs) who lent refreshing perspectives to this course.

Although some participants were self-funded, many were sponsored by
institutions such as UNICEF Burundi, UNICEF Sri Lanka, UNICEF Papua New
Guinea, Alive & Thrive and Save the Children.

The BAP course has significant impact in changing hospital policies and
practices or engaging with communities, such as in 2013 when Vietnamese BAP
participants founded
a virtual community support group in Ho Chi Minh City, with over 135 000
followers on Facebook!

Be part of the BAP legacy and join our 2018 course!

*HIV and Breastfeeding*

Many hold on to the false assumption that all breastfed babies of
HIV-positive mothers get infected. In reality, the HIV pandemic can be
addressed through careful breastfeeding promotion, support and practice.

In 2016, WHO and UNICEF revised the guidance on HIV and Infant feeding.
Currently, it is recommended that women diagnosed positive for HIV initiate
ART as early as possible and continue lifelong drug therapy with good
adherence. There should be no restriction to breastfeeding duration.
Thus, women under lifelong ART are recommended, in line with
recommendations for the general population, to breastfeed exclusively for
the first six months, followed by continued breastfeeding with adequate
complementary food for two years or beyond.

By creating a #WarmChain of support across the continuum of care, women who
are living with HIV can be ensured their rights to health and be supported
in their breastfeeding journey.

Read more about what women need to know about HIV and breastfeeding.

In 2018, WABA and ABM will jointly launch an updated HIV and Infant-feeding
Information Kit, so watch this space!


With our global allies and through global platforms, we were able to make
significant impact!

*After Women Deliver, They Breastfeed *

Women Deliver 2016 was one of the world's largest global conferences on the
health, rights, and well-being of girls and women in the last decade. WABA
has attended Women Deliver conferences as a means to position breastfeeding
in the reproductive health and rights agenda and expand our network as well
as engage youth. WABA participation in Women Deliver over the years has led
to the slogan *After Women Deliver, They Breastfeed*, being as relevant
today as tomorrow. WABA will start preparing for the next Women Deliver
Conference (2019) in early 2018. Do join us in the preparations!

*Engaging Midwives *
Midwives are key to supporting and promoting breastfeeding both in
healthcare and community. Listen to what Janet Lewis, ICM Senior Technical
Advisor, has to say about why midwives matter to breastfeeding

We constantly need to incorporate the youth perspective, particularly
useful in making this issue relevant and relatable. Read what Jenny
Silverstone, Girl’s Globe blogger and mother of two, says about the
benefits of breastfeeding

WABA attended the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Triennial
Congress in Toronto in June 2017. An interactive booth resulted in over 200
new contacts being made with midwifery associations around the world. Three
young midwife leaders from ICM who were trained at the WABA BAP Course
are now WABA ambassadors!

*Investing in Breastfeeding*
WABA is a member of the Global Breastfeeding Collective (GBC) – a
partnership of 20 international agencies with the goal of increasing
investment in breastfeeding worldwide. Through the GBC
UNICEF/WHO and partners aim to: raise the global rate of exclusive
breastfeeding to at least 50 per cent by 2025.

*WABA participated in the GBC launch in Jakarta, Indonesia.*

The Indonesian government is fully committed to breastfeeding and engages a
range of stakeholders including mother and father support groups, living up
to our theme of Sustaining Breastfeeding Together!

*Amplifying our voices*
WABA took part in the Every Woman Every Child (EWEC
social media relay for United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 2017,
tweeting/posting messages in relation to their themes – Accountability,
It’s Our Business, Empower and Partnership.

2017 has indeed been an exciting year, and we thank you all for your
continued support. Look out for more announcements by WABA in January, on
our #WBW2018 theme. For a sustainable world, let us nourish the future
through breastfeeding!
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