World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week  (WBW) is a campaign organised by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (Waba). It is considered one of the largest joint campaigns of international organisations such as WHO and Unicef of that kind, promoting the benefits of breastfeeding. World Breastfeeding Week has been celebrated annually in about 120 countries since 1991.  Since 2016, WBW is also aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In most countries, WBW is celebrated every 1-7 August however some countries celebrate in May, October or November. If you want to engage more in the political campaign of the WABA, please visit their website at 

For eight years, EFCNI has been actively supporting and participating in World Breastfeeding Week with its own awareness initiatives. Whilst EFCNI strongly supports breastfeeding and wants to help, increase the number of newborns that benefit from breastmilk, it is also crucial to represent and support the most vulnerable group of newborns: preterm babies and newborns relying on intensive medical care.  Preterm (and hospitalised) newborns benefit even more from breastfeeding than their term-born peers. Still, they are breastfed less. The reasons vary and over the last two years this gap has widened. Breastfeeding rates have declined strongly during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in Neonantal Intensive Care Units (NICU) and even more in countries with generally low breastfeeding rates. It is now crucial to restore breastfeeding rates to pre-pandemic levels and strengthen the capacity of breastfeeding support systems in order to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding, especially in critical environments like hospitals or NICUs. Governments, health systems, workplaces and communities play an important role in this context because, when informed, educated and empowerd, they are able to provide and sustain breastfeeding-friendly environments for women and families in the post-pandemic world. Physiological conditions of preterm infants are an additional hurdle. Preterm babies are often physically not able to be breastfed since they cannot coordinate sucking and swallowing for example or their digestive system is not mature enough yet.  Another possible obstacle for mothers of preterm babies can be the lack of adequate information and support. Often they are not aware of how to provide breastmilk for their baby.  Emotional pressure whether from family, society or self-induced, can be another big hurdle. Hence, it is our aim to raise awareness for the special situation mothers of preterm and hospitalised newborns find themselves in when it comes to breastfeeding. Their approach to breastfeeding might be different and they might face different challenges when it comes to breastfeeding their baby than mothers of term-born children might do. We believe that #BreastfeedingIsAJourney and every mother should be encouraged to find the best way for her and her baby.

Social media graphics and quote card 2022

We invite you to download the material and use it for your own social media messaging. Please tag us @efcni and be sure to use #WorldBreastfeedingWeek2022 and #BreastfeedingIsAJourney to help us find and like your posts.


We kindly invite you to read an insightful summary on the culture of breastfeeding and human milk donations in Brazil, authored by Denise Suguitani, ONG, who kindly supports our World Breastfeeding Week campaign with her contribution.

Social media graphic 2022 – further languages

We kindly thank our partner parent organisations for their help and support in translating our World Breastfeeding Week material.

Worldwide supporters

We warmly thank the following parent organisations for supporting this year’s World Breastfeeding Week initiative  (in alphabetic order):
We warmly thank the following medical societies for supporting this year’s World Breastfeeding Week initiative (in alphabetic order):

For more information on breastfeeding, please download our updated factsheet “Breastfeeding a preterm baby”, available in English and German.

EFCNI factsheets