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Copyright 2007



Breast Feeding Week

Exclusive Breastfeeding: the Gold Standard
Safe, Sound, Sustainable

World Breast Feeding Week 2004

Each August, World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is celebrated by over 120 nations. There is a different theme each year – this year, the aim is for finding ways to help more Mothers achieve this gold standard.

This year’s theme is all about teaching people how important and beneficial exclusive breastfeeding is, as well as making it possible for more mothers to participate.

Exclusive breastfeeding is advised by the World Health Organization (WHO) for the first six months of life. That means that babies under six months of age should be given nothing except breast milk – no water, formula or solids. Prescribed medications and nutritional supplements can be given if required.

In Australia, 64% of babies are exclusively breastfed to three months and 8% are not breastfed at all. At least these figures have been rising since the 1990s. (ABS 2001)

Ideally, solids will be introduced at six months, but breastfeeding will then continue until at least two years of age. Currently, only 13% of Australian babies are breastfed beyond 1 year, although the global figure was 79% in 2000. (ABS 2001)

WHO has estimated that 1.5 million lives a year could be saved if every baby is exclusively breastfed for six months.

Breast milk provides a baby with the correct nutrients in the correct proportions. The mother or wet nurse will produce the right amount for the individual baby as long as demand feeding if allowed. It is cheap to use and causes no harm to the environment.

There are very few situations in which a mother can’t breastfeed, according to WHO, as long as she is given the support and knowledge to work with.

Many Australian hospitals and Doctors now follow WABA guidelines to encourage new mothers to breastfeed. By showing them how and explaining how breast milk is the best choice for the baby, medical personal give the mothers reason to try 

Wider community acceptance is also required. There is nothing shameful or improper about a mother suckling her child; yet Australian mothers are sometimes subjected to dirty looks and unkind remarks if they feed in front of others. Family members often criticise the mother, too, if she chooses to feed an older child or feeds one child during pregnancy.

WBW is about sharing the knowledge so that more people will appreciate the importance of what these women are doing.

Next time you see a breastfeeding Mum, why not give her a smile or a word of encouragement? It will make her feel good about what she is doing and is a great start to supporting global breastfeeding.

    This article was written by Tash Hughes from
    Word Constructions.
    If you require any articles to feature on your website, please contact Tash by e-mail.


Mothers Day Gifts from About Style

Any mother could perform the jobs of several air-traffic controllers with ease.
- Lisa Alther

Gift Ideas for Mum

The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.
- Honore' de Balzac (1799-1850) 

Mothers Day Jewellery

Tonic Gifts Mothers Day Gifts

By and large, mothers and housewives are the only workers who do not have regular time off. They are the great vacationless class. - Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1907- )