Breastfeeding: why it is such a good thing for you and your baby!
The first week of August marks the 25th anniversary celebration of World Breastfeeding Week
The first week of August marks the 25th anniversary celebration of World Breastfeeding Week.
“(World Breastfeeding Week) aims to bring breast-feeding to the forefront of community agendas so everyone can be part of the dialogue,” according to the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, a global network of individuals and organizations that coordinates World Breastfeeding Week.
The event is recognized by more than 170 countries and this year will focus on “Sustaining Breastfeeding Together.”
I am a doula, and of course as one, I get to be there when babies are born and brought into this world, as part of my services I leave the baby breastfeeding after the birth and do follow up visits at home to make sure breastfeeding has been well established. Exclusive breast-feeding is highly recommended for the first six months of a baby’s life, with continued breast-feeding alongside solid foods up to at least 12 months of age. The continuation of breast-feeding may be for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby.
There are many health benefits for mum and baby that breastfeeding provides, including protection from infections, with the current cholera out brake your child well protected with your milk, breast milk also reduces the chances of your child having obesity issues and high cholesterol. Research has also shown that mums who breastfeed have lower chances of breast and ovarian cancer.
Breastfeeding can be a bit daunting to first time mothers or mothers to be, I would strongly advise them to get as much information and support they can. They can speak to their doula, lactation specialists who offer prenatal breastfeeding classes and also work with their pediatricians to make sure they get a good start in their breastfeeding journey.
I support and advocate for breastfeeding and would urge everyone to support me and take this matter to heart because breastfeeding significantly improves the health, development and survival of infants and children. It also contributes to improved health and well being of mothers, both in the short and long term.
Did you know that…
Breastfeeding women who are supported by their employers are more productive and loyal. Maternity protection and other workplace policies can enable women to combine breastfeeding and their other work or employment. All employers in Kenya will soon be expected to provide breastfeeding rooms for mothers, this is a great wean for all mothers who would like to continue breastfeeding their babies even long after they have returned to work.
Breastfeeding is a natural and low-cost way of feeding babies and children. It is affordable for everyone and does not burden household budgets compared to artificial feeding. Breastfeeding contributes to poverty reduction.
Exclusive breastfeeding and continued breastfeeding for two years and beyond provide high quality nutrients and adequate energy and can help prevent hunger, under-nutrition and obesity. Breastfeeding also means food security for infants.
Breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding are fundamentals for readiness to learn. Breastfeeding and good quality complementary foods significantly contribute to mental and cognitive development and thus promote learning.
Breastfeeding on demand provides all the water a baby needs, even in hot weather. On the other hand, formula feeding requires access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation.
Breastfeeding provides a healthy, viable, non-polluting, non-resource intensive, sustainable and natural source of nutrition and sustenance.
Breastfeeding is enshrined in many human rights frameworks and conventions. National legislation and policies to protect and support breastfeeding mothers and babies are needed to ensure that their rights are upheld.
I could mention multiple benefits of breastfeeding that support and work towards sustainable development goals but just to mention a few. It is a great thing to breastfeed, and my hope is that most mothers, new or already one will have a great perspective on breastfeeding and that you too will become an advocate for breastfeeding!
Happy Breastfeeding week everyone!