Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet

World Breastfeeding Week is observed from 1-7 August every year.

This year, to celebrate the week, the Dunedin Breastfeeding Network have created a short video featuring mums, dads, grandparents and others sharing their thoughts and messages about breastfeeding. 

In 2020 World Breastfeeding Week calls on us to support breastfeeding for a healthier planet. With climate change, planetary health and food resiliency now important global issues, supporting breastfeeding is a great way to take positive action. Breastmilk is a natural, renewable food that is environmentally safe: produced and delivered without pollution, packaging or waste. Emma Collins, Network Member comments "not only is breastfeeding a great health investment for the future wellbeing of our children, it's also an awesome way to reduce waste and protect Papatūānuku".

Denise Ives, Network Member, emphasises the environmentally sustainable nature of breastfeeding, noting that “supporting parents to breastfeed is important no matter the age of the baby or child – breastmilk is always nutritious and producing it creates no waste”. Everyone can support breastfeeding whether that be by allowing parents to get the rest they need or helping with household tasks, through to cafes and workplaces providing a welcoming and comfortable space for breastfeeding. All these simple things together contribute to both present and future benefits for the health of humanity and our planet.

The Dunedin Breastfeeding Network continues to support World Breastfeeding Week. The international event first started in 1992 and aims to protect, promote and support breastfeeding within our communities, no matter where you live. Since 2016 the theme each year has aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with support breastfeeding for a healthier planet being the focus this year.

Key Messages

  • World Breastfeeding Week, 1st-7th August, celebrates and promotes breastfeeding.

  • The theme for 2020 is “Support Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet”, highlighting the links between breastfeeding and planetary health.

  • Sustainable food systems include breastfeeding.

  • Breastfeeding helps to reduce waste.

  • Breastmilk maintains and promotes good health and wellbeing of baby, mum and whānau.

  • Wide support for breastfeeding creates enabling environments empowering parents to breastfeed optimally.

Breastfeeding – Some Key Facts:

  • Breast milk alone is the physiologically optimal food for your baby up to 6 months of age.

  • Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is internationally recognised as a significant protective factor against obesity.

  • Breastfeeding doesn’t always come naturally - some women struggle with breastfeeding, especially if they do not have supportive people and environments around them.

  • Research highlights women not feeling supported by family, friends, and the wider community is a significant barrier to breastfeeding.

For more information please contact:

Brylin Highton, La Leche League, 03 467 5599,
Denise Ives, The Breast Room®, 027 476 1339,
Emma Collins, The Breast Room®, 027 891 1270,
Stefanie Kalmakoff, Queen Mary
Sarah Chisnall, WellSouth, 03 477 1163,
Jo Duffy, 03 477 3999,
Christine Quested, 03 476 9818,





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