Today is the end of World Breastfeeding Week, sponsored by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Actionworks to “empower a mother in claiming her and her baby’s right to breastfeed.”

“Breastfeeding is a behavior that has far reaching effects across the lifespan, and it affects everybody,” said Melissa Bartick, chair of APHA’s Breastfeeding Forum.

Breastfeeding benefits both mothers and children. According to the Office on Women’s Health, breastfed babies get less sick and have lower rates of some illnesses while growing up, while mothers recover from childbirth and pregnancy more quickly.

Among the week’s many initiatives, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Actionworks calls for a “concerted global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work, whether in the formal sector, non-formal sector, or at home.” Breastfeeding rates in the U.S.  continue to rise but remain below Healthy People 2020 targets.

For more information check out APHA’s Breastfeeding Forum and policy statement, “A Call to Action on Breastfeeding: A Fundamental Public Health Issue.”