World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week is observed annually beginning on August 1st and continuing through to August 7th. This celebration does not occur in just one place. Instead, it’s an event week that’s observed in more than 120 different countries and by almost 500 different organizations.

Hundreds of thousands of people participate in this week, and it’s organized by the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. It’s not just a week to celebrate breastfeeding but also a week to raise public awareness about the importance of breastfeeding.

The History of World Breastfeeding Week

This week was first observed in 1992 by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). It has since grown from a relatively small event to one that is observed by over 120 countries. The purpose of this week is to support and protect the fundamental human right to breastfeed.

Important Facts About Breastfeeding

How important is breastfeeding? Let’s take a look at some of the facts about breastfeeding that we learned during our research on World Breastfeeding Week.

  • In the U.S., approximately 8 out of 10 babies start out being breastfed.
  • It’s recommended that mothers breastfeed for the first 6 months, but only 25% reach that goal.
  • Only 65% of African American women start out breastfeeding, and many stop after 6.5 weeks.
  • Sweden has one of the highest levels of breastfeeding in the world.
  • Mothers who breastfeed are less likely to be diagnosed with postpartum depression.
  • Breastfeeding lowers a baby’s risk of developing common childhood illnesses such as ear infections and respiratory diseases.

Observing World Breastfeeding Week

During this week, people are encouraged to step up and take a pledge to promote and support breastfeeding across all of society. People should also make sure to use the hashtag #WorldBreastfeedingWeek to spread the word about this week. Let’s all come together to support breastfeeding for everyone.

When is it?
This year (2024)
August 1 Thursday
Next year (2025)
August 1 Friday
Last year (2023)
August 1 Tuesday
Health & Body, United Nations