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Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility


Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility. This is the theme of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) this year.  The event has been commemorated every first week of August since 1990. The campaign was an initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF). Their goal was to create an agreement that supports and promotes breastfeeding because it is the best nutrition pool for the growing baby. With that said it’s the longing of many mothers worldwide to have time and space they can freely spend with their little ones. https://waba.org.my/wbw/

What are the trends and recommendations?

According to a report by the World Health Organization 2 out of 3 infants are not fully breastfed. WHO and UNICEF recommend that infants are breastfed within an hour of birth and this needs to continue for the first six months of the little one’s life. Experts however go further and say that this should continue till age two to ensure optimal growth and progression of the child. Here in Kenya, the breastfeeding rates are at 99% of babies. However, only 61% are fully breastfed for the first 6 months. At 4 months 15% of infants have been introduced to other forms and kinds of milk, for example formula, packet milk, or domestic animal milk, for example cow milk, etc. By the 5th month, 27% of babies are being introduced to foods, for example fruit puree, carrot puree and others. https://www.who.int/health-topics/breastfeeding#tab=tab

Benefits for Baby and Mother

Marketing campaigns of breast milk substitutes are steadily being made to improve breastfeeding figures around the world. However, we must all understand why breastfeeding is vital. Breastmilk is the optimal food for infants. It ensures infant mortality is reduced while, at the same time improving the health of the child. More so because when a child is breastfed the milk is safe, clean, and at the right temperature for the young ones. In addition, it is packed with nutrients needed for the ultimate development of the baby especially in the first year. Over and above that it also helps create a bond for the two. Experts have also said that mothers who breastfeed have a reduced risk of getting breast and ovarian cancer

Did you know that when the initiative first began in the early 1990’s it was practiced in only 70 countries, today WBW is commemorated in over 160 countries worldwide. From 1st – 7th August the World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is celebrated. Here at Strathmore, we value all mothers, and as a University we offer lactating rooms for nursing mothers. To learn more about what Strathmore is doing for its Moms or to share your thought and ideas reach out to the Manager, Shared Services, People and Culture, Caroline Wakori at cwakori@strathmore.edu.

We salute all Moms for this noble cause.


This article was written by Annete Karanja.


What’s your story? We’d like to hear it. Contact us via communications@strathmore.edu.