“Imagine that the World had created a new ‘dream product’ to feed and immunize everyone born on earth. Imagine also that it was available everywhere, required no storage or delivery and helped mothers to plan their families and reduce the risk of cancer. Then imagine that the world refused to use it”. ~ James Grant, Executive Director for Unicef (1980-1995).
John and I are huge fans of breastfeeding. As parents, we have seen the wonderful outcomes and rewards that breastfeeding has provided in our own children. As Registered Dietitians, we know that breastmilk is nature’s most perfect food. Besides the ideal balance of carbohydrate, protein, fat and micronutrients, it contains antibodies specifically obtained from the mother to destroy viruses and harmful bacteria. The benefits of breastmilk extend well into an infant’s adult years and will reduce their risk of ever developing obesity, diabetes or cancer.
Today ends World Breastfeeding Week but we will continue to “celebrate” and promote breastfeeding! The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) announced this year’s theme as “Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Make it Work”. WABA is rallying for global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work. They state, “Whether a woman is working in the formal, non-formal or home setting, it is necessary that she is empowered in claiming her and her baby’s right to breastfeed”.
Many hospitals and health departments are taking the time to enhance their breastfeeding education series and many have specially trained breastfeeding educators or Lactation Consultants available to answer any questions or concerns you may have. They are another key resource ready to help foster better child health while also helping to improve the bonding experience between mother and child. Check with your local hospital or health department to see what they offer. Another great resource for more breastfeeding information is the La Leche League International. You can find all kinds of informative news on their website!
Hey Dads, don’t think you’re not a player in this event! Your support and encouragement for Mom can be that extra piece of motivation she needs to inspire her to try breastfeeding. Plus, being involved with our child’s feeding routine will help ease some of those struggles newborns can cause their parents and can also enhance the Daddy-Child bonding time as well.
There are many obstacles involved with breastfeeding and yes, it may be difficult. But with support, encouragement and assistance of family and friends, those barriers may seem to diminish. Remember, breast milk is specially formulated for your baby, it’s always ready to go (no mixing, measuring or shaking required!), it’s always the right temperature and best of all, it’s free! Give your child a head start to a healthier life.
It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!
~ Angie & John