Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response. Are you ready?
The United States Breastfeeding Committee is proud to join its member organizations in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, organized each August 1-7 by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA).
Download USBC's flyer on Breastfeeding and Emergencies
Visit USBC's web page on Breastfeeding and Emergencies
- To draw attention to the vital role that breastfeeding plays in emergencies worldwide.
- To stress the need for active protection and support of breastfeeding before and during emergencies.
- To inform mothers, breastfeeding advocates, communities, health professionals, governments, aid agencies, donors, and the media on how they can actively support breastfeeding before and during an emergency.
- To mobilize action and nurture networking and collaboration between those with breastfeeding skills and those involved in emergency response.
- Children are the most vulnerable in emergencies--child mortality can soar from 2 to 70 times higher than average due to diarrhea, respiratory illness, and malnutrition.
- Breastfeeding is a life saving intervention and protection is greatest for the youngest infants. Even in non-emergency settings, non-breastfed babies under two months of age are six times more likely to die.
- Emergencies can happen anywhere in the world. Emergencies destroy what is "normal," leaving caregivers struggling to cope and infants vulnerable to disease and death.
- During emergencies, mothers need active support to continue or re-establish breastfeeding.
- Emergency preparedness is vital. Supporting breastfeeding in non-emergency settings will strengthen mothers’ capacity to cope in an emergency.
Activities and Resources
International Lactation Consultant Association: WBW 2009
La Leche League in the USA: WBW 2009 Celebrations: "Breastfeeding: Prepared for Life"
National WIC Association: Action Ideas for WBW 2009
World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action: WBW 2009 Action Folder