Global Agencies Encourage Support For Breastfeeding in Workplaces

To commemorate World Breastfeeding Week, the World Health Organisation (WHO), in a joint statement with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has disclosed that in the last 10 years, the prevalence of exclusive breastfeeding has increased by 10%, to 48% globally.

Through World Breastfeeding Week, under the theme, "Let's Make Breastfeeding at Work, Work", UNICEF and WHO is emphasising the need for greater breastfeeding support across all workplaces to sustain and improve progress on breastfeeding rates globally.

According to the global agencies, countries as diverse as Cote d'Ivoire, the Marshall Islands, the Philippines, Somalia and Vietnam have achieved large increases in breastfeeding rates.

Breastfeeding rates drop significantly for women when they return to work but can be reversed when workplaces facilitate mothers to continue to breastfeed their babies, according to the statement.

To support breastfeeding in the workplace, UNICEF and WHO are urging that governments, donors, civil society, and the private sector should step up efforts to ensure a supportive breastfeeding environment for all working mothers.

The agencies recommended that workplaces should provide sufficient paid leave to all working parents and caregivers to meet the needs of their young children and increase investments in breastfeeding support policies and programmes in all settings.


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