World Breastfeeding Week 2018: What You Need to Know

The ARCH team is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) to elevate the importance of breastfeeding and highlight the barriers that women face when deciding how to feed their babies. Headlines over the past month have brought breastfeeding to the forefront, igniting a debate over the influence that breastmilk substitute manufacturers have (or don’t have) over policies that protect, promote and support breastfeeding. As a member of a coalition of organizations that worked to protect breastfeeding at this year’s World Health Assembly, we are focused on the overwhelming evidence that underscores the need for stronger global guidelines to protect against the inappropriate marketing of breastmilk substitutes.

In preparation for the week-long celebration, our team rounded up key facts and figures that drive our work, as well as additional resources to learn more.

  • Over 820,000 children and 20,000 women could be saved if babies were breastfed according to global recommendations. Learn more
  • Breastmilk is the best nutrition mothers can give their infants or young children, yet only 41% of infants under six months are exclusively breastfed. Learn more
  • The early initiation of breastfeeding—within the first hour after birth—is critical to newborn survival and health. Yet, only two out of five babies are put to the breast within the first hour. Learn more
  • Breastfeeding is one of the best investments in global health: every $1 invested in breastfeeding generates $35 in economic returns. Learn more
  • The global milk formula market will be worth more than $70 billion by 2019. Learn more
  • No country in the world meets the recommended standards for breastfeeding. Learn more

Please join us as we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week across the countries we work in—from Cambodia to Senegal—and follow #breastfeeding and #WBW2018 to join this year’s conversation.

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