In a time where many working mothers are finding that breastfeeding loses out to busy lives and non-flexible workplaces, the work of activists in support of breastfeeding has never been more important. For World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) from 1-7 August 2018, you can join Thomson & Bancks in supporting the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA).
Reaching their 26th year of protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding across the world, WABA coordinate WBW annually in more than 170 countries worldwide. For 2018 they have adopted the slogan “Foundation of life” to highlight the importance of breastfeeding for lifelong good health in babies and mothers.
The goals of WABA are based on the Innocenti Declarations, the Ten Links for Nurturing the Future and the WHO/UNICEF Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding.
Their objectives are as follows:
The campaign in the UK is also keen to educate and assist women who struggle with balancing breastfeeding with a busy life. Great work is carried out by Breastfeeding Peer Counsellors in helping mothers to continue breastfeeding.
The paramount questions for new mothers to consider are:
Yes! This is because it provides a child with all the antibodies and nutrients she or he needs to stop getting ill in the future.
The simple answer is No! Tests have shown that babies fed with formula have had lower scores on brain development and a greater risk of getting diseases like childhood lymphoma or even breast cancer in their later years. Stopping breastfeeding too early will also increase these risks.
No! You will be pleased to learn that you do not need to maintain a perfect diet in order to provide quality milk for your baby. In fact, research tells us that the quality of a mother’s diet has little influence on her milk. Nature is very forgiving – mother’s milk is designed to provide for and protect baby even in times of hardship and famine. A poor diet is more likely to affect the mother than her breastfed baby and even a caffeine or alcoholic drink is allowed!
Whilst it is true we all have an important role to play in ensuring the growth, development and survival of children around the world, extreme poverty and malnutrition are not leading characteristics of UK society. Instead, breaking down the stigma of the most natural function of mothers’ breastfeeding in public has been hitting the headlines in recent years.
I remember those restaurants championing mothers’ rights at the height of the furore, like Brasserie Blanc giving free tea and somewhere to sit down whilst nursing. At the same time ‘booby beanies’ started trending as hats to make the point that no one should feel embarrassed to have their breasts on show whilst breastfeeding. While I’m unsure about going to those lengths, I certainly will not be making nursing mothers feel in any way uncomfortable; I hope society has now turned a corner and we can build an environment where healthy breastfeeding is not stigmatised.
To do your part in supporting mothers this World Breastfeeding Week, you can visit the campaign page here.
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