Friday, August 7, 2009

World Breastfeeding Week and a great article by Katie Allison Granju

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week, I wanted to mention it's objectives and rationale on my blog:

Breastfeeding: A Vital Emergency Response
Are you ready?

OBJECTIVES OF WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK 2009

* To draw attention to the vital role that breastfeeding plays in emergencies worldwide.
* To stress the need for active protection and support of breastfeeding before and during emergencies.
* To inform mothers, breastfeeding advocates, communities, health professionals, governments, aid agencies, donors, and the media on how they can actively support breastfeeding before and during an emergency.
* To mobilise action and nurture networking and collaboration between those with breastfeeding skills and those involved in emergency response.

RATIONALE

* Children are the most vulnerable in emergencies – child mortality can soar from 2 to 70 times higher than average due to diarrhoea, respiratory illness and malnutrition.
* Breastfeeding is a life saving intervention and protection is greatest for the youngest infants. Even in non-emergency settings, non-breastfed babies under 2 months of age are six times more likely to die.
* Emergencies can happen anywhere in the world. Emergencies destroy what is ‘normal,’ leaving caregivers struggling to cope and infants vulnerable to disease and death.
* During emergencies, mothers need active support to continue or re-establish breastfeeding.
* Emergency preparedness is vital. Supporting breastfeeding in non-emergency settings will strengthen mothers’ capacity to cope in an emergency.

Having a Twitter ribbon with the breastfeeding logo, or wearing buttons or advocacy t-shirts during WBW is not meant to give lactivists a carte blanche for tooting their "I breastfeed, every woman should breastfeed, and you are LESS THAN if you didn't/wouldn't/couldn't!" horn. I have certainly met those people. I was one of those people back when I had my first child, as a matter of fact. But WBW is in existence to raise awareness of the necessity for it in emergency. I think it also serves to raise awareness in general, which is a nice benefit. There are many myths about breastfeeding, especially why you CAN"T do it or won't be successful at it. With the awareness of facts being highlighted during WBW, I think more people learn the truth about why it is so important.

I want to link you to a post from Katie Allison Granju, an author I have been a fan of since I started having children nearly 10 years ago. She has some true words on breastfeeding these days, and a look back at our not so distant past.

Confessions of a Proud Breastfeeding Zealot



I think she is right on. I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject!

2 comments:

confused homemaker said...

Thanks for passing on the article, I have breastfed all my children. Currently typing & breastfeeding at the same time. It's definitely an interesting experience to say the least. I think better education and support is necessary, but also we need address body image issues as there are many experiences surrounding how women's bodies are supposed to "be" extending to the breastfeeding and maternal body.

Nicole Candy said...

Thank you indeed for the article, I really enjoyed reading it, thanks indeed!


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