As part of World Breastfeeding Week, WVU Children's Hospital will partner with the Monongalia County Health Department Women, Infants and Children (MCHD WIC) program to host a breastfeeding awareness walk.

The event is set for Thursday, Aug. 6, at the WVU Erickson Alumni Center. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. A diaper derby kicks off at 5 p.m., while the walk will begin at 5:30 p.m. There will be refreshments, story time and drawings starting at 6 p.m. The event is open to the public and will occur rain or shine.

To encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the globe, World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) is celebrated Aug. 1-7 every year in more than 170 countries. It commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by government policymakers, World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and other organizations to protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

WHO recommends exclusive breastfeeding starting within one hour after birth until a baby is six months old. Nutritious complementary foods should then be added while continuing to breastfeed for up to two years or beyond.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Innocenti Declaration. Of the four targets adopted by this declaration is "to enact imaginative legislation protecting the breastfeeding rights of working women and establish means for its enforcement," and it has yet to be fully realized after more than 20 years. That is why this year's theme is "Breastfeeding and Work: Let's Make It Work!"

The goal of WBW is to empower and support all women, working in both the formal and informal sectors, to adequately combine work with child rearing, particularly breastfeeding. Work is defined in its broadest form from paid employment, self-employment, seasonal and contract work, to unpaid home and care work.

For more information about the event, contact the MCHD WIC office at 304-598-5181.