[caption id="attachment_3432" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Volunteers of the Cayman Islands Breastfeeding Support group: (L-r) - Mrs Marion Slater, Mrs Abigail Parchment, Mrs Layla Aiken, Mrs Annie Mae Roffey, Mrs Tracie Myrie and Mrs Carlene Alexander Kay[/caption] Every year, countries around the world observe World Breastfeeding Week (1-7 August) for a good reason: breastfeeding is one of the most effective ways to provide children everywhere with the best start in life. This year, the Health Services Authority (HSA) and Public Health Department embraced the annual celebration of World Breastfeeding Week with a luncheon held in honor of one of breastfeedings greatest local supporters, the Cayman Islands Breastfeeding Support Group.In addition to raising awareness of the importance and benefits of breastfeeding, we wanted to recognise the individuals who collaborate with us to do so each year the Cayman Islands Breastfeeding Support Group, stated HSA Dietician Simone Sheehan.Each member of this group is a volunteer who is knowledgeable in breastfeeding, and many are lactation consultants. This group makes itself readily available in every district to mothers who need guidance and support, whether through a breastfeeding lesson or the rental or purchase of breastfeeding equipment, Ms. Sheehan continued.To recognise the groups consistent efforts, the HSA and Public Health treated the volunteers to lunch at Casanova Ristorante where they were presented with certificates of appreciation for their many years of support to the practice of breastfeeding.Volunteer Abigail Parchment said, The volunteers of the Cayman Islands Breastfeeding Support Group are honoured to have been shown this gesture of appreciation. When we offer support to breastfeeding families we do so because we know how beneficial breastfeeding is and we have a passion for growing the practice in Cayman. Knowing that our efforts are meaningful fuels that drive to continue to give where we can. Thank you to the Ministry of Health, the Health Services Authority and the Public Health Department for many years of working together to create a village of support for breastfeeding and for the recognition of the efforts of our volunteers.For more information on breastfeeding, contact Ms. Sheehan at 244-2655 or simone.sheehan@hsa.ky . You may contact the Cayman Islands Breastfeeding Support Group at cibreastfeeding@gmail.com .   World Breastfeeding Week 2018 Fact Sheet   What is the theme of World Breastfeeding Week 2018?   The theme of this years World Breastfeeding Week is Breastfeeding: Foundation for Life a recognition of the importance of breastfeeding to a babys future. What is World Breastfeeding Week all about ?Its a week celebrated globally to raise awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding and the importance of breastfeeding in protecting, promoting and supporting the health of the children while protecting the planet. Objectives of World Breastfeeding Week:   Inform Inform people about the links between good nutrition, food security, poverty reduction and breastfeeding.   Anchor Anchor breastfeeding as the foundation of life.   Engage Engage with individuals and organizations for greater impact   Galvanise Galvanise action to advance breastfeeding as a part of good nutrition, food security, and poverty reduction   What are the benefits of breastfeeding?   Breastfeeding helps to prevent malnutrition in all its forms, ensures food security for infants and young children, and thus helps bring people and nations out of the hunger and poverty cycle.Breast milk is perfectly designed for the childs nutritional and immunological needs and provides a natural and easy access method of feeding children.It promotes bonding between mother and child.Increasing breastfeeding can prevent more than 823,000 child and 20,000 maternal deaths annually worldwide. Not breastfeeding is linked with lower intelligence and results in economic losses of about $302 billion annually.Exclusive breastfeeding aids the mother in returning to a healthy pre-pregnancy weight possibly lowering the risk of her developing diabetes, reduces the risk of breast and ovarian cancers and lowers the risk of hypertension while also helping with birth spacing.Breastmilk is a natural renewable food that is environmentally safe and green because it is produced and delivered to the consumer without pollution, packaging or waste.There are lifelong positive health effects of optimal breastfeeding for the child such as combating infectious diseases, decreasing incidence and severity of diarrhea, lowering respiratory infections acute otitis media and preventing dental caries and malocclusion.