A celebration of everything breastfeeding for World Breastfeeding Week 2018
It’s World Breastfeeding Week (#WBW2018) and as such, we are pretty much going bananas to honour the lactating ladies bringing all the babies to the nursing yard. Now, before we get into the nitty gritty, as a general disclaimer, we understand that there
It’s World Breastfeeding Week (#WBW2018) and as such, we are pretty much going bananas to honour the lactating ladies bringing all the babies to the nursing yard. Now, before we get into the nitty gritty, as a general disclaimer, we understand that there are circumstances where breastfeeding isn’t possible or doesn’t work and we acknowledge that fed is definitely best. It would be remiss of us, however, as passionate #normalisebreastfeeding advocates not to take a moment to acknowledge the momentous contribution breastfeeding and breastfeeders make to the world. Can we get an Amen!? for our “walking natural antibiotics” (thanks for the term P!nk).
To celebrate this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, here are some amazing facts about breastfeeding that may just knock your nursing bra off.
To kick off, the whole concept of World Breastfeeding Week is to bring awareness to the advantages of breastfeeding, which has many long-term benefits for not only children, but mothers too. Organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Vision, and UNICEF are currently working towards educating families around the world on the importance of breastfeeding, especially within the first six months of a child’s life. But why? What is so good about breastfeeding anyway?
According to WHO, that first skin-to-skin contact between a baby and a mother is almost like a child’s ‘first vaccine’. It is essentially filled with nutrients and antibodies that formula is yet to replicate. Similarly, mother’s milk is like liquid gold for newborns as it majorly boosts your bub’s immune system by fighting off bacteria, common colds, type I & II diabetes, and even diseases like leukemia.
(image via www.instagram.com/arianakelise)
Pretty crazy right? But breastfeeding doesn’t only benefit your bub, it also helps you out too!
We know that feeding your baby for seemingly the umpeenth time can feel a bit like Groundhog Day but it’s super important to remember how beneficial breastfeeding can be for mothers too. Your new hobby literally helps you heal faster after birth, assists in helping you return to your pre-baby weight, AND you are required to eat an extra 500 or so calories per day (so yay to snacking!). In addition, according to WHO, breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, assists with postpartum depression, and has the ability to adjust to a babies needs, health wise, and growth wise.
The most recent reports from UNICEF note that only 40% of infants under six months of age are breastfed. The main reasons the percentage is so low is due to public or commercial pressure to stop breastfeeding. Now, this really grinds our gears. Lower socio-economic countries are often the most aggressively targeted in marketing campaigns, and promotions by formula producers can heavily influence parents. When you consider that in the first few months, it’s hard for the baby’s gut to absorb anything other than breastmilk it’s hard to reconcile this. According to UNICEF, introducing formula or other foods in very young babies can cause injuries to a babies’ gut, taking weeks for them to recover. Mixed feeding, especially giving water or other liquids, can also cause the supply of breast milk to decrease as the baby sucks less at the breast. In some countries, where water supply is compromised, babies can become extremely sick from formula mixed with contaminated water. Pretty sad, particularly if there is a super safe, free wonder food also available on tap.
(Image via www.instagram.com/monikabelmonte)
We thank the mothers who’ve boldly gone before us and for all those who are helping to both normalise breastfeeding and share the information behind this unparalleled nectar of the Gods.
We’ll leave it to Gabrielle to have the last word:
If a multinational company developed a product that was a nutritionally balanced and delicious food, a wonder drug that both prevented and treated disease, cost almost nothing to produce and could be delivered in quantities controlled by the consumers' needs, the very announcement of their find would send their shares rocketing to the top of the stock market. The scientists who developed the product would win prizes and the wealth and influence of everyone involved would increase dramatically. Women have been producing such a miraculous substance, breast milk, since the beginning of human existence. ~Gabrielle Palmer
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