‘Shared Responsibility’ to be Focus of World Breastfeeding Week Aug. 1-7
OKLAHOMA CITY – World Breastfeeding Week 2021 will be observed August 1-7. This year’s theme is “Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility,” with a focus on how breastfeeding contributes to the survival, health and wellbeing of everyone and the importance of protecting breastfeeding worldwide.
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is a global campaign to raise awareness and galvanize action on themes related to breastfeeding. WBW was first celebrated in 1992 by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action and is now observed in over 120 countries.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health supports breastfeeding as the recommended way to feed babies and encourages actions and education that promote, protect and support breastfeeding and the health of all Oklahoma children.
“We all have a shared responsibility to support breastfeeding, which ultimately improves the health of all Oklahomans,” Oklahoma WIC Program Director Terry Bryce said. “Breastfeeding helps babies get the best start in life and helps children reach their full potential for health and growth. Immediate and extended families can play a vital part in providing daily support and protection by working together as a team, and employers can cultivate supportive workplaces so that parents can successfully combine breastfeeding and employment.”
The Oklahoma WIC (Women, Infants & Children) Program wic.health.ok.gov provides healthy foods, nutrition and breastfeeding education and support as well as referrals to healthcare professionals, including International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs).
The American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Healthy People 2030 Objectives emphasize the value of breastfeeding for mothers as well as children. All recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and then continued breastfeeding in addition to appropriate complimentary foods for at least one year or more. The WHO recommends continued breastfeeding up to two years or longer.
According to the most recent Oklahoma data:
- 86.4 percent of Oklahoma mothers began breastfeeding their babies at birth (Source: Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System, 2016-2019)
- 46.4 percent of Oklahoma babies were still doing some breastfeeding at six months or more (The Oklahoma Toddler Survey, 2018-2019)
- 28 percent were still breastfeeding at 12 months or more (The Oklahoma Toddler Survey, 2018-2019)
For more information about breastfeeding, how to find a lactation consultant in your area, or how to become an Oklahoma Recognized Breastfeeding Friendly Worksite, please visit bis.health.ok.gov, call the Oklahoma Breastfeeding Hotline toll-free at 1-877-271 MILK (6455), or text OK2BF to 61222.