Worldwide Breastfeeding Month – August 2021
By Emily Mann, AmeriCorps VISTA Volunteer for Nutrition First
Every year, World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is celebrated during the first week of August. This year, it falls from August 1st – 7th. The 2021 theme of World Breastfeeding Week is “A Shared Responsibility.” This year’s campaign will feature an emphasis on how breastfeeding contributes to the survival, health, and wellbeing of all.
Objectives of WBW 2021:
· Inform people about the importance of breastfeeding
· Anchor breastfeeding as a vital public health responsibility
· Engage with individuals and organizations for greater impact
· Galvanize action on protecting breastfeeding to improve public health
The second week of August (8th – 14th) is recognized as Native Breastfeeding Week. The community hopes to address “the inequity and injustice of Indigenous parents and their abilities to practice their roles in accordance to the tribal communities they descend from.” More information can be found on the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NativeBreastfeedingWeek/.
The third week of August is designated as Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Breastfeeding Week, and it will be celebrated from August 15th – 24th. The AANHPI 2021 theme is Reclaiming Our Tradition. This will be the very first national AANHPI Breastfeeding Week. Last year, a group of mothers of Asian descent proclaimed the third week of August API Breastfeeding Week, and BreastfeedLA and the API Breastfeeding Task Force worked together to get approval from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and secure official proclamations of this designation. Yay!
Black Breastfeeding Week will be celebrated from August 25th – 31st 2021. This will be the eighth year of Black Breastfeeding Week, and this year’s theme is The Big Pause: Collective Rest for Collective Power . Events will be held all week long and can be found at https://blackbreastfeedingweek.org/.
Here are a few events being planned around Washington State for World Breastfeeding Month:
· During World Breastfeeding Week (August 1st – 7th), Seamar-Clark County is handing out incentives to WIC participants through a drive-by. WIC participants who are nursing will receive a bag of useful items such as nursing scarves, bibs, magnet frames, water bottles, etc., along with a special card honoring them for providing milk to their babies. Seamar-Clark County will also be sending out cards to all Sea Mar providers who serve parents, infants, and children.
· For Black BF week (August 25th – 31st), Mahogany Moms is doing Soul-Food Sunday virtual recipe demos that help with lactation. They will also host a BF Conference on the 26th of August. At the end of the month, there will be a BBQ and Bones event to honor Black fathers. There will also be games!
· Farm Workers in Yakima will be doing the Big Latch. Moms will come to the park and latch on at 10:30 am together. Community support members will show up and bring a basket of gifts. There will be tables providing valuable breastfeeding information. This year, the Big Latch will have more virtual elements to it, but there will still be gifts in-person at the clinic.
During August, Nutrition First will be posting frequently to our Instagram and Facebook page. Stop by our Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/nutritionfirstwa/, and our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Nutrition-First-107629872607609/ for updates.
Further resources for Worldwide Breastfeeding Month:
The Surgeon General’s Breastfeeding Reports and Publications: https://www.hhs.gov/surgeongeneral/reports-and-publications/breastfeeding/index.html
The CDC Guide to Strategies to Support Breastfeeding Mothers and Babies: https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/resources/toolkits.html
Black Breastfeeding Week Website: https://blackbreastfeedingweek.org/
US Breastfeeding Committee Website: http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/
AANHPI: Interview with an individual from the San Diego County Breastfeeding Coalition and Asian Pacific Islander Breastfeeding Task Force: http://www.usbreastfeeding.org/p/bl/et/blogid=61&blogaid=2319
Breastfeeding Communities Website: https://breastfeedingcommunities.org/
NWA Virtual Breastfeeding Conferences: https://www.nwica.org/events/type/nutrition-breastfeeding-conference
Native Breastfeeding Week Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/NativeBreastfeedingWeek/
Watch “Breastfeeding is…A King County WIC Celebration for World Breastfeeding Month”
Upcoming Continuing Education Events
August 26th, 2021: Join Mahogany Moms Community Coalition 2021 for Shifting the Conversation: Black Voices Matter- Honoring the Stories & Lived Experiences of Black Birth Workers & Community. This is a daylong virtual event. For more information or to register, click here.
September 21st, 2021: Join Nutrition First for Advances in Lactation Support Conference featuring speakers Leanne Brock a and Dr. Mary Anne O’Hara. Register now for this live event – recording will also be available for viewing. Please note that you must register in advance of the event to access the recording. More information here.