Why is World Breastfeeding Week so IMPORTANT? Why is World Breastfeeding Week even needed? I have come across this question (even been asked these questions, following a bit of "flack" for hosting The Big Latch On Event in my home town.)
I know I don't really have to explain to you, my awesome Mummies, why this week is so important and why it is so badly needed. But there are some people out there that need these answers.
World Breastfeeding Week is all about education, support, and community involvement. It is very important to let our local "mummies" know they are not alone and that there is help for them.
Contrary to popular belief, breastfeeding IS NOT ALWAYS EASY. Sure it has been around since, well....forever. But there also used to be a "team" of wet nurses to feed children. The whole community was involved in feeding children, and no one thought twice about it. Now, since breastfeeding is the responsibility of the mother..... problems do arise, support is needed, and talking with other breastfeeding "mummies" is very important.
Another reason why this week is so important is to educate the community about breastfeeding. Earlier in the week an article was published by a local news outlet, Cartersville Patch, about the event I am hosting. While I was SUPER excited about how it was written, the comments following made me extra aware of why my community needs this event. Here are some of the comments, via their facebook page.
"This has been going on since the beginning of time. Duh, there were no classes. How much money are we spending on this program for people that should not be giving birth in the first place. Is this a Pelosi program. ???? Give me a break! I did this with my child. No one had to teach me or explain the benefits. Anyone that needs this should be not have children!! I would think that this is government funded program. Would like to know the facts if you have the guts."
Now I am happy to say that I have received many more positive comments than negative.... but that just proves that any community needs to be shown the positive side of breastfeeding and how it is not public nudity. I am also happy to announce that the event I am hosting is turning out to be much bigger than I ever imagined! To the point I am nervous about not having enough room for everyone who shows up! (a good problem to have, I suppose!)"I wonder if there is a day set aside for men to let their stuff hang out as well? Thank you for letting us all know. I will avoid taking my kids to Cartersvillle on that day."
Many people do not know the benefits or even the truth of breastfeeding.
"Breastfeeding is the physiological norm for both mothers and their children. Breastmilk offers medical and psychological benefits not available from human milk substitutes. The AAFP recommends that all babies, with rare exceptions, be breastfed and/or receive expressed human milk exclusively for the first six months of life. Breastfeeding should continue with the addition of complementary foods throughout the second half of the first year. Breastfeeding beyond the first year offers considerable benefits to both mother and child, and should continue as long as mutually desired. Family physicians should have the knowledge to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding."
"WHO (World Health Organization) can now say with full confidence that breastfeeding reduces child mortality and has health benefits that extend into adulthood. On a population basis, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life is the recommended way of feeding infants, followed by continued breastfeeding with appropriate complementary foods for up to two years or beyond."
So there you go! Those are just a few reasons why World Breastfeeding Week is important and needed. Look for more awesome information all week long!