But let's look at the positive reasons for this week's existence.
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) was formed in 1991 to act on the Innocenti Declaration (1990) to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. As part of its action plan to facilitate and strengthen social mobilisation for breastfeeding, WABA envisioned a global unifying breastfeeding promotion strategy. A day dedicated to breastfeeding was suggested to be marked in the calendar of international events. The idea of a day's celebration was later turned into a week.
This has become to be known as World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) celebrated every 1-7 August to commemorate the Innocenti Declaration. WBW was first celebrated in 1992. Now it involves over 170 countries and is endorsed by UNICEF, WHO, FAO and IPA.
And this year the WABA have made the focus of the week to be a call for concerted global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work. Whether a woman is working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, it is necessary that she is empowered in claiming her and her baby’s right to breastfeed.
Surely this can only be a good thing. We fully support and celebrate WBW each year. This year KBBF (Keep Britain Breastfeeding)'s Scavenger Hunt has run in conjunction with WBW. This scavenger hunt consists of bloggers posting breastfeeding related blogs throughout the week where readers can gain points for reading, enter individual competitions, and also enter to win the Grand Prize, which is over £700 of breastfeeding goodies donated by participating companies (including, of course, a Snoob Breastfeeding Scarf).
One of the blog posts which we felt really offered a true insight into how difficult a breastfeeding journey may be was by Adele of Circus Queen. WBW is not about judging those who don't breastfeed. It's not designed to make those who formula feed feel bad. It's simply to offer support, advice and help to those who might otherwise not try, or give up before realising help is out there. Some new mums may think it's meant to be easy and feel a failure when it's not. That's why sharing stories like this one are so important. Because it's really all about choice and about women supporting other women rather than judging them, whatever their choice may be.
You can read Adele's post here...