World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated around the world each year during the first week of August to promote breastfeeding and highlight its importance to the health of mothers and babies.
This year’s theme is “Breastfeeding: A Key to Sustainable Development.” USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) joins the celebration as WIC promotes breastfeeding all year long as the optimal choice for moms who are medically able. We support breastfeeding WIC moms through counseling and educational materials, peer counselors, a specially-tailored food package, and breastfeeding aids like breast pumps. USDA’s successful national breastfeeding promotion campaign, Loving Support Makes Breastfeeding Work, serves as the foundation of our breastfeeding activities. It emphasizes the importance of support from family and friends, from the health care system, and from the community. All have key roles to play in providing the support a breastfeeding mother needs.
To recognize and honor the diligent and dedicated efforts of the state and local WIC Programs that promote and support breastfeeding, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack declared August 1-7 “National WIC Breastfeeding Week.” During this time, USDA will honor 83 WIC local agencies that provide exemplary breastfeeding programs and support services with a “Loving Support Award of Excellence.” In addition, eight WIC state agencies will receive a “WIC Breastfeeding Performance Bonus Award” for outstanding achievement in improving breastfeeding rates among WIC participants. Due in large part to the dedication and efforts of WIC staff across state and local agencies, two out of three WIC moms are now initiating breastfeeding.
If you are interested in resources to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week/National WIC Breastfeeding Week, visit WIC’s Loving Support website. A social media toolkit with sample Twitter posts, an e-card and Instagram posts highlighting WIC’s breastfeeding messages, is available online.
Happy World Breastfeeding Week!