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Breastfeeding - talk to me!

34/2011, 04.10.2011

Communication about breastfeeding is the subject of this year's World Breastfeeding Week

The motto of this year's World Breastfeeding Week taking place between 4 and 9 October is "Breastfeeding - talk to me!" This motto points to the importance of communication which can make a significant contribution to ensuring that breastfeeding is promoted, supported and protected as natural nutrition for infants. The campaign calls on everybody - i.e. not only employees and organizations in the health sector, but also breastfeeding mothers, pregnant women, men, especially fathers to be, and even grandparents and other relatives as well as society as a whole. Systematic communication on breastfeeding can play a supporting role: through it, current breastfeeding information can be disseminated, support centres can be publicised and services for breastfeeding mothers can be extended. As a result, awareness about breastfeeding and its value is raised in society at large. The National Breastfeeding Committee at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is making an important contribution to communication in this area: to coincide with World Breastfeeding Week 2011, it has launched its completely revised and updated web pages which contain important information on breastfeeding for parents and healthcare workers. According to the new Managing Director of the Breastfeeding Committee at the BfR, Ms PD Dr. Diana Rubin, "communication of breastfeeding-related issues is a core element of the work of the Breastfeeding Committee".

World Breastfeeding Week is a campaign week organised by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and is celebrated in over 120 countries every year. In Germany, it always takes place in calendar week 40. Its motto, which changes each year, is adapted for the German-speaking countries. This year’s global motto "Talk to me!" is rendered as "Stillen - sprich darüber!" in Germany.

As part of World Breastfeeding Week, employees and organisations in the health sector are invited to adopt new strategies and technologies in order to reach more mothers and fathers with information on the issue of breastfeeding. Since the biggest drop in breastfeeding rates, from approximately 95 to 70 %, occurs in the first two months after birth, the goal is to further develop and enhance the communicative abilities of experts in the area of breastfeeding. Creative approaches to communication can notably be promoted through coordinated efforts and systematic advice programmes in hospitals, medical centres and in the public sphere.

In Germany, the National Breastfeeding Committee at the BfR has a mandate to provide advice to the Federal Government on political initiatives to promote breastfeeding. In April of this year, Ms PD Dr. Diana Rubin took up her position as the new Managing Director of the Breastfeeding Committee. Rubin qualified as a university lecturer in the subject of Internal Medicine at the Medical Faculty of the University of Kiel and was in charge of the section of Nutritional Medicine in the Medical Clinic of University Medical Centre Schleswig-Holstein.

On its website, the National Breastfeeding Committee provides information on all aspects of breastfeeding for mothers and parents as well as healthcare professionals. In addition, it makes available information sheets on breastfeeding in six different languages. Copies of these can be requested free of charge from the secretariat of the National Breastfeeding Committee at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Thielallee 88-92, 14195 Berlin,

About the BfR

The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientific body within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection (BMELV). It provides advice to the federal and state governments on food, chemicals and product safety. The BfR conducts it own research on issues closely related to its assessment tasks.