Campaigns for the World Breastfeeding Week began in the 1990s, but Breastfeeding Month in Brazil was only instituted by law in 2017. The name "Agosto Dourado" was chosen because the golden color is related to the quality of breast milk, which is considered the gold standard.
Agosto Dourado has as its main objective to encourage breastfeeding by promoting lectures and events, meetings with the community, and dissemination actions in the various media and public spaces. Pediatricians have an extremely important role when it comes to this issue because not only during prenatal consultations but also during childbirth and subsequent consultations in the child's first year of life, the pediatrician must encourage breastfeeding, taking all the parents' doubts.
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The idea of carrying out a campaign aimed at breastfeeding emerged in 1990 during a WHO meeting (World Health Organization) with UNICEF, and the result of this was the preparation of the Declaration of Innocenti document. In 1991 the World Alliance for Pro-Breastfeeding Action (WABA) was founded, which a year later created the World Breastfeeding Week.
WABA's mission is to protect, promote and support breastfeeding worldwide following the Innocenti Declarations (1990 and 2005) and the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding through networking and facilitating collaborative efforts in social mobilization, advocacy, information dissemination, and training. In addition, WABA aims to promote a strong and cohesive breastfeeding movement, which will act on the various international instruments to create an enabling environment for mothers, thereby contributing to increasing breastfeeding and infant and young child feeding practices.
The Innocenti Declaration was produced and adopted by representatives of government organizations, NGOs, and breastfeeding advocates from countries around the world, at the meeting "Breastfeeding in the 1990s: The Global Initiative" organized by WHO and UNICEF with support from the A.I.D United States Agency for International Development and SIDA - Swedish International Development Authority, in Florence, Italy, between the 30th of July and the 1st of August 1990. The Declaration reflects the content of the documents produced for the Meeting and the views presented in the groups and plenary sessions.
According to the document, breastfeeding is a unique process and an activity that, even taken in isolation, is capable of:
- reduce child morbidity and mortality by decreasing the incidence of infectious diseases;
- provide high-quality nutrition for children, contributing to their growth and development;
- contribute to women's health, reducing the risk of certain types of cancer and anemia and expanding the spacing between births;
- provide economic benefits for the family and the nation;
- when well adopted, provide satisfaction to most women.
Benefits of Breastfeeding
Breast milk is the most complete food that a baby can receive from birth. All women must be able to practice exclusive breastfeeding and all children must be fed exclusively with breast milk, from birth to the first 4 and 6 months of life.
In addition to the nutritional value, babies who have been breastfed are less likely to become obese or overweight in the future. The act of breastfeeding also improves babies' digestion and minimizes colic, in addition to stimulating and strengthening the dental arch.
Studies reveal that exclusive breastfeeding for up to 6 months of the baby is related to increasing their intelligence and preventing various diseases, including leukemia, in addition to preventing allergies, anemia, and respiratory infections, such as asthma, in addition to reducing the rates of the child develops type II diabetes. Breastfeeding also prevents contagious diseases such as diarrhea and decreases your chances of developing Crohn's disease and lymphoma.
Mothers also end up benefiting from the act of breastfeeding, especially concerning the postpartum period: in addition to reducing bleeding, it accelerates weight loss and helps the uterus regain its normal size, thus reducing the risk of hemorrhage and anemia, not to mention reducing postpartum depression.
In the long run, breastfeeding also has other benefits. Breastfeeding reduces the incidence of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancers, prevents osteoporosis, and protects against cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attacks.
From all the benefits mentioned above, we cannot fail to comment on the fact that breastfeeding provides greater contact between mother and baby, further strengthening maternal bonds.