I was lucky enough to find breastfeeding easy and a pleasure, but others don't have such an easy ride - and not just from personal struggles but outside influences too. That's why Breastfeeding Week is important and I'm blogging about it today.
Breastfeeding is a personal choice and there are a few reasons why women will choose not to breastfeed (or may not be capable of doing so). WABA have been running World Breastfeeding Week since 1992 to promote the benefits of breastfeeding and to encourage a world where it is accepted and safe for women to do so in public too.
The objectives of World Breastfeeding Week 2021 are to:
- Inform people about the importance of breastfeeding;
- Anchor breastfeeding support as a vital public health responsibility;
- Engage with individuals and organisations for greater impact;
- and Galvanise action on protecting breastfeeding to improve public health.
How can you support a breastfeeding mother?
As a woman:
• Play an important role in securing unbiased information and support for breastfeeding and providing it to others
• Aim breastfeeding for the first six months, if you can andnif appropriate, having the courage to ask for support if needed
• Discuss complementary foods/feeding and continued breastfeeding from 6-24+ months
• Speak about breastfeeding as a feminist issue and support each other to breastfeed in public
• Share experiences to build a mother’s own confidence in her breastfeeding journey
As a man:
• Be aware of the negative influence of industry promotion practices on breastfeeding
• Play a proactive role in the decision to breastfeed and attend antenatal and postnatal classes to learn more about breastfeeding
• Promote the participation of men in parenting and domestic responsibilities including providing emotional support to their partners
• Empower breastfeeding mothers by raising awareness of and maintaining optimum breastfeeding practices
• Form a network with other fathers and family members within the community to support breastfeeding mothers
Breastfeeding mothers are protected under the Equality Act 2010. The Equality Act 2010 says that it is against the law to treat a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding. This covers any business or organisation that provides services to the public and it applies to any staff and customers of that business or organisation.
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