World Breastfeeding Week – 2011

World Breastfeeding Week – 2011

World Breastfeeding Week is August 1 – 7. This week many people all over the world are celebrating.  I am celebrating this week by continuing to breastfeed my son, sharing this information to reach others and later in the week I will be attending the photo exhibit at the Waupaca Public Library.

Some of you may already know this:  I am a Lactivist! (and always will be)

Wikipedia defines “lactivist” as someone who seeks to promote the health benefits of breastfeeding over formula-feeding and to ensure that nursing mothers are not discriminated against.

In my 70 months of cumulative breastfeeding my three sons I was asked to leave the location I was breastfeeding my baby once.   I recently realized that I am very fortunate to have experienced this only once.  The situation ended very positively because I was confident in myself and my mothering, and later a little education was done and I received a lot of support from the head person at that facility, thank you Molly!

I feel very strongly about mothers giving breastfeeding a chance, mothers continuing to breastfeed their babies for as long as possible and feeling free and comfortable to breastfeed whenever and where ever their baby is hungry.

If you see a mother breastfeeding her baby in public, PLEASE give her a big smile, or a “thumbs-up” or maybe tell her that it is good to see her feeding her baby.  Please don’t give dirty looks or shoo your curious child away!

FACT SHEET

The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding outlines steps that can be taken to remove some of the obstacles faced by women who want to breastfeed their babies.

How many American women breastfeed their babies?

  • Three out of four mothers (75%) in the U.S. start out breastfeeding, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2010 Breastfeeding Report Card.
  • At the end of six months, breastfeeding rates fall to 43%, and only 13% of babies are exclusively breastfed.
  • Among African-American babies, the rates are significantly lower, 58% start out breastfeeding, and 28% breastfeed at six months, with 8% exclusively breastfed at six months.
  • The Healthy People 2020 objectives for breastfeeding are: 82% ever breastfed, 61% at 6 months, and 34% at 1 year.

What are the health benefits of breastfeeding?

  • Breastfeeding protects babies from infections and illnesses that include diarrhea, ear infections and pneumonia.
  • Breastfed babies are less likely to develop asthma.
  • Children who are breastfed for six months are less likely to become obese.
  • Breastfeeding also reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
  • Mothers who breastfeed have a decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

What are the economic benefits of breastfeeding?

  • Families who follow optimal breastfeeding practices can save between $1,200–$1,500 in expenditures on infant formula in the first year alone.
  • A study published last year in the journal Pediatrics estimated that if 90% of U.S. families followed guidelines to breastfeed exclusively for six months, the U.S. would annually save $13 billion from reduced medical and other costs.
  • For both employers and employees, better infant health means fewer health insurance claims, less employee time off to care for sick children, and higher productivity.
  • Mutual of Omaha found that health care costs for newborns are three times lower for babies whose mothers participate in the company’s employee maternity and lactation program.

What obstacles do mothers encounter when they attempt to breastfeed?

  • Lack of experience or understanding among family members of how best to support mothers and babies.
  • Not enough opportunities to communicate with other breastfeeding mothers.
  • Lack of up-to-date instruction and information from health care professionals.
  • Hospital practices that make it hard to get started with successful breastfeeding.
  • Lack of accommodation to breastfeed or express milk at the workplace.

What can the health care community do?

  • More hospitals can incorporate the recommendations of UNICEF/WHO’s Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative.
  • Provide breastfeeding education for health clinicians who care for women and children.
  • Ensure access to International Board Certified Lactation Consultants.

What can employers do?

  • Start and maintain high-quality lactation support programs for employees.
  • Provide clean places for mothers to breastfeed.
  • Work toward establishing paid maternity leave for employed mothers.

What can community leaders do?

  • Strengthen programs that provide mother-to-mother support and peer counseling.
  • Use community organizations to promote and support breastfeeding.

What can families and friends of mothers do?

  • Give mothers the support and encouragement they need to breastfeed.
  • Take advantage of programs to educate fathers and grandmothers about breastfeeding.

What can policymakers do?

  • Support small nonprofit organizations that promote breastfeeding in African-American communities.
  • Support compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes.
  • Increase funding of high-quality research on breastfeeding.
  • Support better tracking of breastfeeding rates as well as factors that affect breastfeeding.

This info was found at: http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/topics/breastfeeding/factsheet.html

Related Article:

Breastfeeding Courtesyhttp://networkedblogs.com/qjTC7

I am interested in knowing:

How have you supported a breastfeeding mother?

How many cumulative months have you breastfed?

9 responses

  1. Ok i’m just curious, how long did your mum breast feed Emily for? I had to stop breastfeeding Dylan at 7 weeks old when he was diagnosed with BA (the doctors said so), and he was then NG fed until he was three. Don’t worry though, because I then went on to breast feed my next child (non BA and healthy) until she was 22 months old when she weaned herself! :)

    • Belinda,
      My mom isn’t available to ask that question. What I do know is this…At Emily’s one month well-baby visit the doctor was a little concerned that our mom wasn’t producing enough breast milk. The doctor concluded that Emily looked fine and there was no need to worry about the earlier elevated bilirubin. The doctor told our mom to stop breastfeeding because the breast milk was causing the jaundice.
      What were the reasons for the doctors to tell you to stop feeding Dylan? I don’t know what “NG fed” is.
      I am glad to hear that you did get to have a very successful experience with your daughter!

      • So sorry that she isn’t available to ask :(
        Ahhhhhhhh sorry I am so used to “medical talk” and I sometimes forget that others don’t understand! lol ;)
        A NG tube is nasil gastric tube, so the tube goes in through their nose all the way down to their stomach and is attached to their faces with some special tape. I had a pump at home that I would set and it would just slowly (at whatever rated I had to set it at), pump the milk into Dylan. He was fed a milk called progestimil and it was pre-digested and lactose free so all he had to (ideally) do was just asord it, and yes it smelt (and tasted) as gross as it sounds! lol
        I was told I needed to stop breast feeding him because his liver was already not functioning very well and the added stress of his liver having to break down the milk as well as trying to absorb it was just too much for him.

  2. You are a girl after my own heart. Many years ago, in the early ’70′s, I was a La Leche League leader. I had to go through extensive training before I became a leader. The old La Leche League was much different than today’s. It did not cost to belong, and our meetings were in my home. I breastfed my babies until they weaned themselves, shortly before their third birthdays. People cringe at that, yet those same people think nothing of putting a pacifier in their children’s mouths or letting them suck their thumbs. Mommy as pacifier seems so much nicer. And my children are all well-adjusted, independent adults, a writer, an attorney, and a neurogeneticist. Good for you for promoting something that is so natural and beneficial.

    • Susan,
      I love to learn this info about you. Thank you for sharing. I couldn’t agree with you more. I weaned my two older boys and regret it. Henry will self-wean now that I am wiser. I have been fortunate to have a wonderful lactation counsultant who has twice a month support group meetings for new babies-free to the public. I have found a group of stay-at-home moms who are similar to me and that sort of takes the place of that support group. I didn’t know that LLL has a cost.

  3. Beautiful photos Jenny! I haven’t seen the one of you and Emily together. Love it!! Hopefully you have always felt comfortable breastfeeding around us. I have been very supportive of the breastfeeding mothers here at work, and wherever else I might meet them. I can’t imagine a more important /beneficial cause for children and moms. Thanks for letting us know about World Breastfeeding Week. Love to you and the family, Lynn

  4. Rock on! Since Nyk is only 10 months, that is all I can claim to date for my breastfeeding record, but I am looking forward to continuing for quite some time. I know that there are also ways for healthy moms to donate to their local mother’s milk banks for babies in the hospital. I wish I had a local bank – the closest is no less than 600 miles away! I am amased to see how modest your feedings seem. Nyk won’t tolerate a blanket and I am still not skilled enough to feed him without holding my rather AMPLE apparatus still for him – let’s just say the feedings are a less-than-modest affair. What do/did you do for your boys?

  5. Pingback: IBCLC Day! (Revised 2013) | Life with three boys!

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