World Breastfeeding Week Starts August 1

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World Breastfeeding Week

Countries throughout the Americas are joining together to observe World Breastfeeding Week, which focuses this year on the importance of breastfeeding in the first hour of life.

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The week of August 1-7 has the theme, "Breastfeeding: The 1st Hour", highlighting that breastfeeding in the first hour of life and exclusive breastfeeding for six months can save more than one million babies.

World Breastfeeding Week, observed the first week of August every year by the countries, the Pan American Health Organization, and other agencies, aims to spread information globally about the importance of breastfeeding for maternal and child health. In the Americas, ministries of health, non-governmental organizations, and families are observing the week in a variety of ways, including conferences, parades, art shows, and special events.

"PAHO takes pride in joining with its sister UN agencies, Member States, bi-lateral organizations, non-governmental organizations, communities, families and mothers and babies to work to ensure that babies get the best start in life by being breastfed within the first hour of life," said PAHO Director Dr. Mirta Roses.

Mother and newborn skin to skin contact after birth and breastfeeding within the first hour of life helps keep babies warm and calm. Early breastfeeding provides colostrum or the "first milk", which helps fight infection and serves as the baby

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