"Breastfeeding is not only the cornerstone of a child’s healthy development; it is also the foundation of a country’s development." - UNICEF & WHO WBW Message
It's World Breastfeeding Week! I find it very sad that the world needs such a thing, but the truth is, we do. It's extremely important for all healthcare workers and caregivers to support breastfeeding in every way. We need to rethink a world in which companies are allowed to give away free formula to new mothers, knowing that if infants don't start out strongly attached to the breast, it is more likely that they will end up being formula fed. This is particularly tragic in developing countries and areas with high poverty rates. Starting children off with the perfect nutrition nature intended is even more important for these children who are at higher risk of health problems. I encourage you to fight this practice in every way that you can.
But what about at home? What can those of us living in wealthy areas and developed countries do? We can welcome mothers to feed their infants no matter where they are- and stand up for mothers who are shamed for breastfeeding in public. We can fight for every workplace to provide a private place and adequate time for their workers to pump during their work shifts without penalty or punishment. This is especially true in healthcare settings and hospitals where many employees work a 12 hour shift. And we can support all mothers. Because those who cannot breast feed due to health issues, whether the mother's or the infant's, are often shamed and humiliated for not breastfeeding. Encouraging and supporting breastfeeding does not mean shaming those who formula feed. Formula exists for just this reason. Be sure to support all mothers in doing what is best for their children.
Here are a few links that you can enjoy and share: