It is World Breastfeeding Week, August the 1st – 7th. I love when I see how much people are celebrating this week, but when I look deeper, the most people who is celebrating this week is women who are currently breastfeeding or women who are working within this field. Why is this?…. I believe it is very important for society to celebrate this day, non-breastfeeding women and men too, because there may be a time in your life when you, your friend, your child or your grandchildren may just need that additional breastfeeding encouragement and support from you, but because you never felt breastfeeding related to you, you made all this great information fly over your head.
Yes, great information!
Why does it matter to me, and why would I write this blog?…….because I care. I care about all people and when I know that something of such amazing health benefits for mother and child is easily accessible for roughly 99% of women (all women if we include dona milk), it saddens me to know you have missed out on this amazing opportunity because you was miss informed, not informed or not wholly supported. Support goes a long way, it is not only the support from health care professionals that make a difference for parents and their breastfeeding journey, it is the support from family and friends which help to create a supportive environment for families to continue to breastfeed for a longer duration.
Did you know, it is recommended to breastfeed your baby exclusively up to 6 months and upto 2 years or beyond alongside other foods?…..yes, any amount of breastfeeding is beneficial, but when learning the recommendations, would you have continued to breastfeed for longer?…will you continue to support your breastfeeding family member or friend and tell them how great they are doing to breastfeed for however long they wanted.
Breastfeeding helps to save lives, promotes bonding and brain development, for mother and child. Mothers who choose to breastfeed and receive early support to do so have a reduction in mental health issues, such as postnatal depression.
Do you know that over in the UK we have one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world, why is?….
Is it because as a high income country are we more likely to live a busy life and are more worried about returning to work and not realising that after birth we just need to be, be with baby, relax and heal, are we more likely to not have family and friends to help take care of us while we rest and bond with our babies for the first few weeks after birth as most people are busy at work (Postnatal Doula’s can help), are we approaching infant feeding as a financial choice and feeling proud to be financially able to purchase formula which is not or never will be as beneficial for a mother and baby but is a clever substitute which was firstly made to help keep orphan/abandoned babies alive if they was unable to receive breastmilk.
I believe it is very important for expectant parents to educate themselves about breastfeeding before birth as without making ourselves familiar it can be quite challenging, especially after giving birth to a beautiful little human who is now totally dependent on you. When baby is here, it is for the mother to then initiate breastfeeding within the first hour after birth along side skin to skin, there is no routine to this, we have to follow our babies clues, when baby is suckling their hands we need to offer the breast if baby wasn’t able to breast crawl and self-latch for their very first feed. We need to refrain from saying that baby was just fed 1 hour ago and can not be hungry, your baby is the leader in letting you know what they need and in the first few days they will feed very often to help your body make enough milk for their needs. Babies don’t feed often because they are not getting enough breastmilk, breastfeeding is all about demand and supply, the more baby demands/feeds, the more breastmilk your body will make for your baby, your baby’s nappy output is a guide for you to learn if your baby is feeding well, when you add supplements into this your body can reduce breastmilk supply as the demand for breastmilk has also reduced. There is so much more to breastfeeding which can easily be understood if we all spoke about it more often, see it more often, had books at schools about breastfeeding to help normalise it from a young age. I have to thank Emma Pickett who took time out to write a book titled The Breast Book – for teens to reflect on what their breast were created for (find link below). We can’t all do it alone, we need more than the breastfeeding professionals and organisations we have out there, we need a community, we need to change the infant feeding culture and help save lives naturally.
I really do enjoy talking about breastfeeding, supporting mothers and teaching others, this is something I have been doing since 2007 and it is a privileged to hold history in successfully supporting hundreds of families to get breastfeeding off to the best start.
What will be your step to help normalise breastfeeding and celebrate World Breastfeeding Week?…, maybe you can consider talking to a breastfeeding friend or family member, share a blog, repost a post, speak to an expectant parent about infant feeding, a small step is better than no steps.
Thank you for taking your quality time to read my blog, with you, my blogs continue to have a purpose. X
- World Breastfeeding Week: http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/
- Mental health and breastfeeding: https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/news-and-research/baby-friendly-research/maternal-health-research/maternal-health-research-mental-health/amp/
- Recommendation for breastfeeding duration: https://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/
- World breastfeeding statistics image on page 15: https://www.unicef.org/publications/files/UNICEF_Breastfeeding_A_Mothers_Gift_for_Every_Child.pdf
- Benefits of breastfeeding: https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.unicef.org.uk/babyfriendly/about/benefits-of-breastfeeding/amp/
- Politics of breastfeeding article: https://politicsofbreastfeeding.wordpress.com/extract/
- What Postnatal Doula’s do: https://youtu.be/gaANRWUKKHM
- The Breast Book by Emma Pickett: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Breast-Book-puberty-difference-breasts/dp/1780664753
- Breastfeeding E-learning course for parents: https://www.121doula.co.uk/product-category/e-course/
Up and coming breastfeeding events with Ruth Dennison:
• Black Breastfeeding Week Celebration – Breaking Barriers and Uplifting Education | London, UK | Friday 30th August 2019.
• 10th Anniversary of the Breastfeeding Festival | Milton Keynes, UK | Friday 13th September 2019
• The Breastfeeding Network Conference | London, UK| Saturday 12th October 2019
Support crowdfunding for breastfeeding support and education: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/121doula?utm_term=qR8nJ2GV8
Fund – Prevent Breast Cancer: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/121doula