HOPING to promote the health benefits the act of breastfeeding has for both mother and child, World Breastfeeding Week takes place from August 1 to August 7.According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), breastfeeding can save more than 800 000 lives every year – the majority of which is children under six months of age. WHO also states that breastfeeding decreases the risk of mothers developing breast cancer, ovarian cancer, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. It is estimated that increased breastfeeding could avert 20 000 maternal deaths each year due to breast cancer.Local organisation, Choices for Life (Pregnancy Resource Centre), states that breast is best, as breastfeeding is the most effective way to ensure a child health and survival.Manager of the centre, Zoe Bridge said: “Globally only 40% of infants under six months are exclusively breast fed. This phenomenon is changing because of the high rate of HIV and Aids.”Bridge adds that breastfeeding for the first six months so important because it builds antibodies and ensures optimal growth and development. “Breast fed babies should be fed up to two years old, but in today’s busy times it’s not practical because moms have to go back to work. Breastfeeding is better for the recovery for the mother’s body. Breastfeeding is part of the natural cycle of pregnancy-child-birth-mothering. It is designed to be good not just for baby, but for you as well. It will help your uterus shrink back to pre -pregnancy size, it also helps you shed your left-over pregnancy weight. Lastly breast milk is free its always in stock, its clean and is the perfect temperature,” added Bridge.