News from secretariat
International Youth Day 2015 :

WABA celebrates International Youth Day 2015 by drawing attention to the importance of young people's civic engagement in all domains of social life, particularly Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR)

Read more in WABA statement for International Youth Day 2015

More Updates on World Breastfeeding Week!

Check out the Joint Letter of Support from UNICEF-WHO, PAHO Press Release and Technical Brief, as well as Letter of Support from the Greek Government for ‪#‎WABAWorldBreastfeedingWeek under the 'What's New' Section of the WBW website:

Read the blog post by ABM's Dr Miriam Labbok on World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and WBW 2015 here /

Ethnographies of Breastfeeding

Ethnographies of Breastfeeding feature the latest research on the topic. Some of the leading scholars in the field explore variations in breastfeeding practices from around the world. Based on empirical work in areas such as Brazil, West Africa, Darfur, Ireland, Italy, France, the UK and the US, they examine the cross-cultural challenges facing mothers feeding their infants. The book features a foreword written by Penny Van Esterik, a member of WABA International Advisory Council.

In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, the publisher is offering endorses of WABA a 35% discount on the purchase of this book, plus free postage and packaging. Please use the discount code - WBWBLOOM15 for your purchase. This code will expire on the 31st August 2015.

Read the foreword here

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

WABA celebrates WBW2015 by calling for concerted global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work via the theme: Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Make It Work!’ Whether a woman is working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, she needs to feel sufficiently empowered to claim the right to breastfeed on behalf of both herself and her baby.

Read the full WABA Press Release here

Use our Social Media Toolkit to promote your campaign.

World Breastfeeding Week Social Media Kit

World Breastfeeding Week 2015 is just round the corner! Join us in celebrating #WBW2015, and use our Social Media Toolkit to promote your own event.

Let's make Breastfeeding and Work, work!

Happy Superdad Day!

So what’s a Superdad? It’s a dad who plays his important part in family life. And yes, that includes being involved in taking care of children, sharing the housework and not being afraid to love! WABA celebrates this Father’s Day knowing that all dads can be Superdads!

View the infographic statement here :
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WABA Celebrates International Labour Day 2015
Labour rights are women’s rights too! On the occasion of the International Labour Day 2015, WABA restates the importance of upholding the rights of women workers. In the year 2000, Convention 183 by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) called for a minimum of 14 weeks paid maternity leave. This has been ratified to date by only 29 countries. This convention, together with its corresponding Recommendation 191, also called for breastfeeding breaks and a safe working environment for women.

Read the full statement here

Joint Statement in celebration of World Health Day

The 2015 World Health Day (WHD) theme is “Food Safety.” From the World Health Organisation (WHO): Unsafe food is linked to the deaths of an estimated 2 million people annually—including many children. Food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites, or chemical substances is responsible for more than 200 diseases, ranging from diarrhea to cancers.

Providing safe food for our children is imperative, and the simple act of breastfeeding provides a safe, clean, nourishing, and protective source of food from birth through a child’s early years. The protection developed during these critical first years will provide a strong base that lasts a lifetime.
Read the full joint statement from WABA and La Leche League here.

Support Women’s Right to Breastfeed!
WABA celebrates International Women’s Day 2015: commemorating 20 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Discussions on this historic roadmap (which set the agenda for realizing women’s rights, signed by 189 governments in 1995) are set to take place at the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59) between 9-20 March in New York. WABA Steering Committee endorsed WABA Secretariat’s collaboration with the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM), International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI) and 1000 Days, on a call for“Supporting Women’s Right to Breastfeed”, in a Joint Statement and Call for Action to the CSW 59. See Advocacy Subsection for FULL Statement. WABA is also supporting the CSW parallel event entitled "Mothers Matter" on 17 March 2015, between 8-10am at the Church Centre of the United Nations. See Advert here
WABA responds to UN Secretary-General's call to Civil Society on the Post-2015 Development Agenda
Comment of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action to the UN Secretary General's Sustainable Development Report
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), its Core Partners and allies believe that breastfeeding promotes and protects the physical and emotional health and nutrition of baby and mother, preserves the environment, conserves financial resources, and makes the world a more secure place now and in the future. It is an essential component of any sustainable development goals and underpinned by several global documents such as the WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding (2002) and the WHO Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant and young child nutrition (2010).

See full Comment here

End of Year THANK YOU, and Announcement of WBW 2015 Slogan and Theme

Dear World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2014 Celebrants and Supporters,

Season’s Greetings from the WABA Secretariat!

As we approach the end of 2014, WABA would like to sincerely thank all WBW celebrants from across the world who celebrated World Breastfeeding Week so positively.

To date we have received 534 pledges for events taking place globally; and reports sent to us tabulated involvement of over 1,315,593 WBW 2014 celebrants. Additional data gathered from English language media noted that the governments of 32 countries commemorated WBW 2014 independently. There were also endorsements and celebrations by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

THANK YOU for all your great work and Congratulations to everyone involved for making WBW 2014 such a success!

WABA is now pleased to announce that the slogan and theme for WBW 2015 World Breastfeeding Week is: 'Breastfeeding and Work - Let's Make it Work!'

This WBW 2015 theme on working women and breastfeeding revisits the 1993 WBW campaign on the Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative. Much has been achieved in 22 years of global action supporting women in combining breastfeeding and work, particularly the adoption of the revised ILO Convention 183 on Maternity Protection with much stronger maternity entitlements, and more country actions on improving national laws and practices. At workplace level, we have also seen more actions taken to set up breastfeeding or mother-friendly workplaces including awards for breastfeeding-friendly employers, as well as greater mass awareness on working women's rights to breastfeed. Yet, after over two decades, global monitoring on infant and young child feeding progress shows that this fourth Innocenti Declaration (1991) target is still the most difficult to meet!

The focus on working women and breastfeeding was endorsed at the WABA Extraordinary Global Breastfeeding Partners Meeting (EBPM) held in Penang, 8-10 November 2013; with earlier discussions during the WABA Global Forum and Global Breastfeeding Partners Meeting (GBPM) 2010; as well as the 2013 and 2014 WABA Steering Committee Meetings.

WABA Senior Consultant, Sarah Amin, has been appointed Key Writer for the WBW 2015 Calendar Announcement, Action Folder etc, working with small team of WABA SC members, and Core Partner representatives.

WBW 2015 Objectives are to:

1. Galvanise multi-dimensional support from all sectors to enable women everywhere to work and breastfeed.
2. STEP UP actions by employers to become Family/Parent/Baby and Mother-Friendly, and to actively facilitate and support employed women to continue breastfeeding.
3. Inform people about the latest in Maternity Protection entitlements globally, and raise awareness about the need for strengthening related national legislation along with implementation.
4. Showcase, facilitate and strengthen supportive practices that can enable women working in the informal sector to breastfeed.
5. Engage and partner with specific target groups e.g. with Trade Unions, Workers Rights Organisations, Women’s groups and Youth groups, to protect the breastfeeding rights of women in the workplace.

The Calendar Announcement is being developed and should be ready for distribution at end January 2015. So do keep a look out for it.

WABA looks forward to actively collaborating with you all for WBW 2015!

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!
Jennifer Mourin
WABA World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) Global Coordinator
30 Dec 2014

Please see here for PDFs of this announcement in Spanish, French and Portuguese.

Getting to Zero: Maximising Infant HIV-free Survival through Breastfeeding

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) celebrates World AIDS Day on 1 December each year with colleagues and friends to bring attention to the global AIDS epidemic and emphasise the critical need for a committed, meaningful and sustained response.

Please click here and read the full statement.
Please click here and read the full statement in Spanish.
Please click here and read the full statement in Portuguese.

WABA celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Anwar Fazal, Chairperson Emeritus of WABA, stresses that “Breastfeeding is not just good health and good nutrition. It is good economics and good ecological practice. It is about food security and it is about human rights.” In conjunction with the 25thAnniversary of the CRC, WABA joins ILCA in calling for the ratification and implementation of this convention, and celebrates the development of the rights of the child. Click here for more information.

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) supports Consumers International’s call for a Global Convention to Protect and Promote Healthy Diets.
WABA supports recommendations made by Consumers International for a Global Convention, particularly its call to (a) increase awareness and education on nutrition, (b) strengthen control and restriction of advertising and promotion of unhealthy food and beverage products, and (c) ethical labelling, coding and advertising of food and beverage products. Click here for more information.

WABA Statement to the 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2)
The 2nd International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2) will take place 19-21 November 2014, in Rome, Italy. The conference will convene high-level government officials and stakeholders with the overall goal of improving diets and raising nutrition levels through policies that more effectively address today’s major nutrition challenges.

The WABA has crafted a Statement with Call for Action to position breastfeeding as a crucial part of the nutrition debate. The WABA Statement to ICN2 asserts that the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding is a human right, and is a vital component of any concrete response that governments and relevant UN agencies intend to take in tackling the critical problems facing countries on nutrition.

This Statement has already been endorsed by WABA Core Partners and Allies: Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM), International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN), International Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA), La Leche League International (LLLI), Wellstart International; the Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute (CGBI - University of North Carolina), the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the International Society of Social Pediatrics and Child Health (ISSOP), and the People's Health Movement (PHM).

WABA encourages your organisation to share this Statement widely within your networks, with partner NGOs/CSOs, and with your government contacts!
See FULL WABA Statement to ICN2 and Call for Action

World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) /La Leche League International (LLLI) Global Breastfeeding Peer Counsellor Programme
A new collaborative project between WABA and LLLI is being established. A WABA/LLLI Global Breastfeeding Peer Counselling Training Programme specifically geared to train Peer Counsellor Program Administrators is in the works.

The WABA/LLLI PCP trainings would target NGOs, organisations and individuals who would like to become Peer Counsellor Program Administrators to start a Peer Counsellor Programme in their part of the world. The programme will be based on a revised and updated version of the original LLLI material that has proved its worth since the 1980s.

Anne Batterjee, LLLI Board of Director, has been appointed as WABA Steering Committee member for Global position effective from 1st September 2014. With her long involvement with WABA work, Anne is a wonderful addition to the Steering Committee.

Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2014
‘Ten Years of the Right to Food Guidelines: Gains, Challenges and Concerns’

Oct 8, 2014 - WABA announces the launch of the global Right to Food and Nutrition Watch 2014, dedicated to celebrating and critically assessing ‘Ten Years of the Right to Food Guidelines: Gains, Challenges and Concerns’ on the 10th Anniversary of the FAO Right to Food Guidelines.

“As a global alliance of individuals and organisations concerned with the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding, WABA asserts that breastfeeding has a vital role in making food security a reality for millions of babies born every year”, asserts Jay Sharma, WABA Executive Director. “While included in the Voluntary Right to Food Guidelines, current statistics show that breastfeeding rates are abysmally low across the globe due to a confluence of factors including aggressive marketing of breastmilk substitutes, and lack of political will and a reluctance to make resources available by governments” he argues.

This dire scenario is even more critical for countries ravaged by emergencies and disasters! “Disasters are not exceptional situations in which states are exempt from their responsibilities with regard to the right to adequate food and nutrition… During emergencies, support for exclusive and continued breastfeeding is absolutely critical for the health and lives of infants and young children”, argues WABA’s representative to the WATCH Consortium board, Dr Marcos Arana, in his co-written article for the WATCH 2014 report. “Donations and untargeted distribution of breast-milk substitutes and ready-to-use foods (RUFs), together with the distribution of globally marketed seed varieties, create dependence, discourage breastfeeding by interfering with women’s options to decide the best manner in which to feed their children, erode local food culture, and undermine food sovereignty”, he stresses.

See more at: WABA Advocacy Section

International Youth Day 2014
“Youth and Mental Health”

WABA International Youth Day Statement

The theme for International Youth Day for 2014 is “Youth and Mental Health”. WABA takes this occasion to reiterate that breastfeeding is an important factor that benefits child development and aids the wellbeing of both mother and child.

Read the full statement here

For older news please click here

The WABA Coordinated World Breastfeeding Week is part of the gBICS (Global Breastfeeding Initiative for Child Survival) Programme entitled: "Enhancing Breastfeeding Rates Contributes to Women's Rights, Health, and a Sustainable Environment". The gBICS Programme aims to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development - beyond the Millennium Development Goals - by scaling up breastfeeding and infant and young child interventions and transforming Policies into Practice which contributes to efforts aimed at addressing climate change and gender inequality in the framework of human rights. WABA is grateful to NORAD (the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation) for its support of gBICS.

News from around
IBFAN counters media scares on chemicals in breastmilk - and points to weaknesses in research study
August 2015 saw the release of the study “Breastfeeding as an Exposure Pathway for Perfluorinated Alkylates” 1 and reports on the finding such as “Breastfeeding exposes babies to water- and stain-proofing chemicals”2 . These gave rise to sensationalist articles with headlines such as “Breastfeeding can expose babies to toxic chemicals: study links it to cancer, low immunity” and questions such as “How toxic is your breastmilk?” IBFAN therefore sent a letter to the authors of the study and reports, to Dr Philippe Grandjean and to Dr. Brian Bienkowski

see the letter to the Dr Philippe Grandjean and to Dr. Brian Bienkowski

Read more about these chemicals

Working Mothers Granted 10 weeks of Paid Maternity Leave in Saudi Arabia
Sep 2015 -

In Saudi Arabia, according to a new labour law which will come into force from 2016, the working mothers will be granted paid Maternity leave up to 10 weeks.

This will also include 3 days of paid paternity leave for fathers.

It is important to note that female participation in labour force in Saudi Arabia is around 18% from 2010 to 2012 & rose to 20% in 2013 according to the World Bank Labour Force Data . This is far less than some of the other countries in the same region of Middle East.

For the full news please click here

‘Breastfeeding rates can go up only if we invest in policy and programmes’
Interview with Dr Arun Gupta, Regional Coordinator of IBFAN Asia, and Member, Prime Minister’s Council on India’s Nutrition Challenges, who shares valuable insights on the importance of breastfeeding in improving maternal and infant health indices in the country. See: the full story
ABM Clinical Protocol #18
HOT off the press!!! ABM Clinical Protocol #18: Use of Antidepressants in Breastfeeding Mothers is now available. Thanks to the authors and ABM Protocol Committee for another great publication. Available for FREE at:

“When we educate a mother, we educate a village.”
- Nand Wadhwani, founder of IAP HealthPhone, Founding Trustee of The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust, a tireless health advocate and a member of the WABA International Advisory Council.

It is estimated that 10 million girls and young women in India will now be able to learn how to protect themselves and their children against malnutrition thanks to a new program – the IAP HealthPhone™ - which will send hundreds of millions of text messages directly to the phones of women and girls with links to short educational videos from the popular “Poshan” series starring Aamir Khan.

This three-year initiative, the largest of its kind in the world, is a public-private partnership involving the Indian Academy of Pediatrics, the Ministry of Women and Child Development, UNICEF, Aamir Khan, Vodafone and The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust. The videos are sponsored by the Government of India and UNICEF and are available in 18 different languages.

With the imminent release of the ambitious new Sustainable Development Goals to end child malnutrition and preventable child deaths by 2030, new approaches to reducing malnutrition are desperately needed, especially in India which is home to 40% of the world’s malnourished women and children.

With mobile phone users in India forecast to rise to more than 730 million by 2017, reaching women with basic health education through their mobile phones may well be the most transformative development solution available. For example, if education through phones could persuade more Indian women to breastfeed, the deaths of up to 170,000 children could potentially be prevented.

read more about the news.

IBFAN-GIFA raises lack of compliance with the International Code and informs shareholders about the release of the movie Tigers at Nestlé's AGM
IBFAN-GIFA raises lack of compliance with the International Code and informs shareholders about the release of the movie Tigers at Nestlé's AGM

At Nestlé's latest Annual General Meeting, the Geneva Infant Feeding Association (IBFAN-GIFA) raised attention about the movie Tigers, based on the true story of a former Nestlé's sales representative for baby foods, Mr. Aamir Raza, who resigned after becoming aware of the adverse impact of infant formula on child's health. IBFAN-GIFA noted that the stand taken by Mr. Raza, was officially acknowledged and supported by Canada's Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism. GIFA further recalled that Nestlé's advertising is deceiving many mothers and urged the company to finally bring its policies and practices into line with the International Code of Breastmilk Substitutes.

Read more here

FIAN/IBFAN joint submission on Adolescents' Right to Adequate Food and Nutrition
This contribution seeks to provide information and recommendations about the right to adequate food and nutrition of adolescents and related rights (e.g. the right to health, the right to sexual and nutrition education and the right to information). Among other things, we recommend the inclusion of breastfeeding in the sexual and reproductive health curricula of adolescents, and added a whole section on the specific support to breastfeeding teenage mothers.

Click here for the full document.

New EU rules will trick parents into buying expensive and unnecessary products that will fuel the obesity crisis
Health advocates from across Europe have decried new rules on baby formulas and foods that are being forced through by the European Commission with no time for proper consultation and expert reflection. The EU Commission claims that its proposals are a step forward but has taken little account of developments in the global market in the last 10 years where a whole range of new formulas are being aggressively marketed to parents. Patti Rundall of Baby Milk Action-IBFAN UK said: “If these proposals go ahead unchanged they can only bring discredit to the EU, a region that prides itself on its high levels of health safety and consumer protection, human rights and sensitivity to the developing world. Advertising of breastmilk substitutes and sweet processed foods for young babies flies in the face of all health recommendations and conflicts with national health priorities and policies of many EU countries.” See Full Press Release here

“Working together for breastfeeding success”
joint online conference

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM) and iLactation’s “Working together for breastfeeding success” joint online conference consists of selection of presentations from the ABM 19th annual meeting, recorded in Cleveland Ohio in November 2014 and selected presentations from What Every Physician Needs To Know About Breastfeeding™ online version. The conference begins on March 4, 2015 and continues online for 6 weeks.

To view more information please visit
Two updates from the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine (ABM)
ABM is doing its first Joint Online Breastfeeding Conference with iLactation featuring sessions from the 19th Annual Meeting and special presentations from WEPNK (What Every Physician Needs to Know About Breastfeeding). ABM members receive a special discount – log in to your ABM membership page for the discount code. For information visit:

Addtionally, ABM has updated its protocol on contraception and breastfeeding. The long awaited protocol revision on Contraception and Breastfeeding by Drs. Pamela Berens and Miriam Labbok is out. This revision on a crucial topic has useful information for those counseling mothers regarding contraceptive choices. For information see:

A Conference on 'Expansion of the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative to Neonatal Wards (Neo-BFHI)' is taking place 19-20 May 2015 in Uppsala, Sweden
The conference and workshops are organized by the Nordic and Quebec Neo-BFHI Working Group to support, promote and protect breastfeeding of preterm, low birth weight and sick infants requiring neonatal intensive/special care around the world. The Conference Purpose? To prepare the participants for implementation of the program and to discuss barriers, and activities to overcome them. The conference addresses all types of professionals involved in clinical work, education, research, public health, organization of health care service related to neonatal intensive care. See more information on the Conference here
Formula feeding is the formula for disaster for the environment, say experts!
Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India (BPNI)/IBFAN ASIA announce their latest publication “Formula for Disaster: weighing the impact of formula feeding Vs breastfeeding on environment” which is out now. The path breaking publication aims to raise awareness of the positive impact of breastfeeding on our environment and throws light on the negative impact of formula feeding. This publication positions formula feeding as detrimental to global environment, where as breastfeeding is positioned healthier for mothers, children and the planet.

To download the publications please click here


Governments met in the FAO Headquarters in Rome from 10-12 October to finalize the Rome Political Declaration and the Framework for Action for the Second International Conference on Nutrition (ICN2). After 22 years, civil society organizations (CSOs) were expecting significant progress to address the urgent problem of the more than 200 million children who suffer from acute and chronic malnutrition, the 800 million suffering from undernourishment and the 500 million adults with obesity. CSOs consider the outcomes of this negotiation to be totally inadequate to confront the root causes of malnutrition and call into question the lack of commitment of the States to make a real step forward in the fight against malnutrition in all its forms.

The ICN2 negotiations failed to recognize that the current hegemonic food system and agro-industrial production model are not only unable to respond to the existing malnutrition problems but have contributed to the creation of different forms of malnutrition and the decrease of the diversity and quality of diets. Unfair trade agreements, lack of investment in small-scale food production and support to agro business models, have led to displacement of small-scale producers all over the world. Marketing of ultra-processed products, high in energy, sugar and salt, has contributed to the surge of obesity in the world. At the same time, unethical practices by breastmilk-substitute producers continue to undermine the life-saving practice of breastfeeding. The conference also failed to recognize gender inequality and women’s rights violations (child marriage, adolescent pregnancy, violence against women, inter alia) as one of the root causes of women and child malnutrition.

How can we expect a political declaration based on such a flawed diagnosis to serve as the basis for an effective and coherent framework for action?

See Full CSO Delegation Statement here.

Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies
Infants and young children are vulnerable in any emergency. It is the position of the International Lactation Consultant Association that supporting their wellbeing should be a priority of governments, aid agencies, health workers, and members of the public. Such support should include assistance for exclusive and continued breastfeeding, safe artificial feeding where breastfeeding or provision of human milk is not possible, and appropriate complementary feeding for all infants and young children.

To read the full position paper on Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies from ILCA, please click here.

10 Years of the Right to Adequate Food Guidelines - Progress, Obstacles and the Way Ahead Civil Society Synthesis Paper for the 41st Session of the UN Committee on World Food Security

This paper is a product of a broad civil society consultation process, facilitated by the Global Network for the Right to Food and Nutrition, with the political support of the member organizations of the Civil Society Mechanism to the Committee on World Food Security.

Ten years ago, in November 2004, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) adopted the Voluntary Guidelines to support the progressive realization of the right to adequate food in the context of national food security (RtAF Guidelines). Initiated by civil society, negotiated in a collaborative process, and unanimously adopted by all FAO member states, the RtAF Guidelines represented hope for a greater consensus on what was needed to make the human right to adequate food and nutrition a reality for people on the ground. Indeed, by delineating clear steps on how states could implement the right to food, and further still how to take a holistic approach – one that recognizes the importance of legal entitlements, policy coherence, and participation of rights holders – the RtAF Guidelines were set to reshape food system governance.

But what happened in the last ten years? What trends and events have shaped the context in which the right to food must be implemented? What, if any, successes at implementation have been achieved at the national, regional, and global level? What obstacles and challenges have inhibited progress? And how do we move forward to ensure a world where every person and community can enjoy the right to adequate food and nutrition? To mark the 10th anniversary of the RtAF Guidelines, civil society and social movements contributing to the promotion and defense of the human right to adequate food and food sovereignty have embarked on a critical assessment of where we are now in the struggle for solidifying the human right to adequate food and nutrition and where we must go.

See ull Civil Society Synthesis Paper here

For more information also see:

For older news please click here
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