World Breastfeeding Week is August 1-7, however, it is celebrated in Canada from October 1-7. It is celebrated in October because it is the 10th month of the year and symbolizes the first week of a baby's life (after nine months of pregnancy) when a baby may begin to breastfeed.
The #WBW2023 slogan "Enabling Breastfeeding: Making a difference for working parents" will focus on breast/chest feeding and employment/work. It will showcase the impact of paid leave, workplace support and emerging parenting norms on breast/chest feeding through the lens of parents themselves. Target audiences including governments, policymakers, workplaces, communities and parents will be engaged to play their critical roles in empowering families and sustaining breast/chest feeding-friendly environments in the post-pandemic work life. The theme is aligned with thematic area 4 of the WBW-SDG 2030 campaign.
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) reminds us that although support at the individual level is very important, breast/chest feeding must be considered a public health issue that requires investment at all levels. In Canada, just over 91% of mothers initiate breastfeeding/chestfeeding but 1 in 7 stop before newborn reaches one month of age.** The concept of 'building back better' after the COVID 19 pandemic will provide an opportunity to create a warm chain of support for breast/chest feeding that includes health systems, workplaces and communities at all levels of society. A warm chain of support will help build an enabling environment for breast/chest feeding and protect against industry influence. It is time to inform, anchor, engage and galvanise action to protect breast/chest feeding at all levels.
**The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) Canada's Breastfeeding Progress Report 2022.
Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge
In October, the Quintessence Breastfeeding Challenge
celebrates breastfeeding/chestfeeding and milk-banking and demonstrates promotion, protection, and support for breastfeeding/chestfeeding women and their families. It’s a chance for education and peer support to be done in a fun social way.
The challenge is usually held the first Saturday in October of each year to see which geographic area (province, state, or territory) has the most breastfeeding/chestfeeding babies, as a percentage of the birthrate, “latched on” at 11 am local time.