Did you know that since 1992, August 1st to 7th became World Breastfeeding Week? Neither did I! And that it is supported by UNICEF, WHO, FAO and ministries of health in many countries? Nope, me neither.
This year, the makers are turning the focus to Breastfeeding Support and Peer Counseling. I am thrilled about this because lack of support is the number one reason why so many women quit. Before I became a nursing mom, I was completely unaware of the fact that breastfeeding isn’t just about me and my sweet baby. It involves doctors, nurses, family members, friends, employers, the government, absolutely everyone around us has an opinion on it and can make or break us. Had it not been for the support of loved ones and La Leche League, I don’t think I could have made it through the growth spurts, night nursing, teething, lip tie, and more.
So what is the aim for this important week?
1. To draw attention to the importance of Peer Support in helping mothers to establish and sustain breastfeeding.
2. To inform people of the highly effective benefits of Peer Counseling, and unite efforts to expand peer counseling programs.
3. To encourage breastfeeding supporters, regardless of their educational background, to step forward and be trained to support mothers and babies.
4. To identify local community support contacts for breastfeeding mothers, that women can go to for help and support after giving birth.
5. To call on governments and maternity facilities globally to actively implement the Ten Steps, in particular Step 10, to improve duration and rates of exclusive breastfeeding.
There are many ways for you to get involved. The first step being to “like” their Facebook page and spread the word! Tell everyone you know about World Breastfeeding Week. You can also make an Event Pledge by filling in the form on this page and getting a group of people together to raise awareness about breastfeeding whether that be through a picnic or a company event, it’s up to you!
Most importantly, you can be a participant of The Big Latch On on Friday 2nd or Saturday 3rd August. This is when groups of breastfeeding women come together at registered locations around the world, at a set time, and they all latch on their child for one minute while being counted by witnesses. The numbers are added up and see if we beat previous Big Latch On records or maybe even the world record! You can find your nearest registered location here.
Have a great World Breastfeeding Week 2013! 🙂