World Breastfeeding Week 2023
Breastfeeding Is Not An Option. It’s A Responsibility.
This week is World Breastfeeding Week. As a new mother, breastfeeding can be exhausting and challenging. Between the sleepless nights, hormonal changes, and learning how to latch and position the baby properly, many women struggle and give up on breastfeeding before giving it a fair shot. That's why this breastfeeding awareness week is so important. It helps raise awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby and highlights the resources and support systems in place to help women in their breastfeeding journey. While breastfeeding isn't for everyone, every woman deserves to feel empowered to at least try. So this week, call a friend who recently had a baby and ask how she's doing. Together, we can make a difference and help new mothers reach their breastfeeding goals.
World Breastfeeding Week 2023 provides a platform to discuss the issues that breastfeeding mothers experience, such as a lack of support, societal shame, and hurdles to effective healthcare access. During this special week, various events and activities are organized to educate people about the benefits of breastfeeding, provide support to nursing mothers, and encourage communities to create a breastfeeding-friendly environment.
Importance Of World Breastfeeding Week 2023
Breastfeeding provides so many benefits for both mom and baby. Breast milk contains antibodies that strengthen your baby’s immune system and help fight illness. Breastfed babies tend to have lower risks of asthma, obesity, and SIDS. They also tend to have higher IQs.
Say No To Bottle Feeding
For mothers, breastfeeding releases oxytocin, which helps your uterus return to its normal size and reduces postpartum bleeding. It may also lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancer later on. Breastfeeding can help you lose pregnancy weight as it burns extra calories. It saves time and money too, since there’s no bottle feeding or formula needed.
Breastfeeding is a learned skill for both mother and baby, so give yourself grace during those first few weeks. Find a lactation consultant for guidance and support. They can help ensure the baby is latching on properly and removing milk efficiently at each feeding. The key is finding the right position and latch for you and your baby.
Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, and continue taking your prenatal vitamins. Eat a healthy, balanced diet with plenty of protein and nutrients. Limit caffeine and avoid alcohol and drugs. Get as much rest as possible, and accept help from loved ones.
Breastfeeding can be challenging, but it’s a beautiful way to bond with your baby. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or a lactation consultant for help. With the right support, you can give your baby the best start in life through the miracle of breastfeeding.
The History Of World Breastfeeding Week
World Breastfeeding Week was established in 1992 by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) to promote breastfeeding and improve infant health around the globe. Breastfeeding week is celebrated on first week of August. This week aims to raise awareness of the important role breastfeeding plays in a child’s health and development. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends continued breastfeeding for two years or beyond. However, breastfeeding rates remain lower than recommended levels in many parts of the world. The decline in the rate of early breastfeeding from 53.7 percent in 2015 to 51.1 percent in 2020 is indeed a concerning trend for India's efforts in supporting, promoting, and protecting breastfeeding.
The decline in early breastfeeding rates interferes with a few factors such as,
- Being Unaware: Many mothers can be unaware of the importance of early breastfeeding or may lack access to relevant information.
- Cultural norms: In some communities, some societies may have traditional practices or beliefs that prevent early breastfeeding.
- Inadequate support systems: Mothers may not receive adequate support and encouragement from practitioners or family members to begin breastfeeding early.
- Work obstacles: Working mothers may face difficulties in finding suitable time or facilities for breastfeeding, causing delays in initiation.
- Formulated milk marketing: Even when breastfeeding is possible, some formulated milk producers offer free samples to lactating mothers. This may cause women to believe that formula milk is a better choice for their newborns.
How To Overcome The Challenges Of Breastfeeding
Breastfeeding can be challenging, especially for new mothers. However, with good guidance and support, you can overcome it easily.
Having trouble getting your baby to latch on properly is common initially. Try different positions, like the cross-cradle or football hold, to find what's most comfortable for you. A breast pump for a few minutes before feeding can also help stimulate your milk flow and make your nipple easier for the baby to latch onto.
Low milk supply
If you're concerned your milk supply seems low, try feeding your baby more often to stimulate more milk production. Ensure you drink plenty of fluids; adding lactation cookies or teas may help. Fenugreek and blessed thistle are popular herbs for boosting supply. You can also try power pumping, which means pumping for 10 minutes, resting for 10 minutes, and repeating this a few times. This frequent pumping will stimulate your breasts to produce more milk.
When your milk first comes in, your breasts may become overly full and uncomfortable. Apply warm compresses, massage your breasts gently, and express a little milk before feeding to relieve pressure. Wearing a comfortable nursing bra with good support will also help. The engorgement should only last a few days until your milk supply regulates.
If you notice a painful, swollen area in your breast, it could be a blocked milk duct or mastitis. Apply heat, massage the area, and nurse frequently to unclog the duct. See your doctor immediately if you have symptoms of infection like fever or flu-like aches. Most cases, mastitis will clear up within a few days with medication and rest.
Advantages Of Breastfeeding Your Baby
Breastfeeding offers major advantages for both the baby and the mother. Here are some of the major benefits which include,
1. Advantages For The Baby
- Provides the best nutrition
- Boosts immune system
- Reduced the risk of chronic diseases
- Easier digestibility
- Reduced the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
2. Advantages For The Mother
- Postpartum Recovery
- Pregnancy weight loss by burning extra calories.
- Reduced breast and ovarian cancer risk in mothers.
- Relieves emotional stress
- Breastfeeding is cost-free and effective.
- Breastfeeding has a lower environmental impact than formula feeding.
Sustain The Beautiful Journey Of Breastfeeding
Every child deserves a good start in life. The moment for change has arrived. Breastfeeding is a natural and necessary method of nourishing infants, and it has many health benefits for both babies and moms. Breastfeeding can be challenging, and each mother's experience is different. Let us create a breastfeeding-friendly environment so that mothers can feel secure and empowered to nurse their children at home, in public, or at work. Without hesitation, a woman's right to breastfeed in public places must be respected and protected. Every little bit helps, so contribute today to World Breastfeeding Week.
Breastfeeding Is A Basic Right Of Every Mother