Hopefully while putzing around social media this week you’ll hear a lot of buzz about breastfeeding. Now before you simply scroll past, or think to yourself enough with the boob talk, I’d like to give you a couple of reasons why breastfeeding advocacy matters.
August 1st through August 7th is 2017’s World Breastfeeding Week. It is a week in which breastfeeding advocates, health care professionals, family, and friends bring awareness and advocate for breastfeeding. In the words of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) director, Dato’ (Dr.) Anwar Fazal, “World Breastfeeding Week is a vibrant global movement for action to promote, protect, and support breastfeeding by anyone, anywhere, at any time. It expands and connects the power of one with the power of many. Only by working together can we make the change we need.” Breastfeeding advocacy matters and we all play a role.
Breastfeeding advocacy is for more than crunchy hipster folk. It’s for everyone and the impact is global. Did you know that there are many links between breastfeeding and sustainable development? In fact, the theme of #WBW2017 is about working together for the common good. WABA identified links between breastfeeding and 17 sustainable development goals. Check out, the World Breastfeeding Week website and you can read about the connections between breastfeeding and no poverty, zero hunger, gender quality, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, and more.
Natural Doesn’t Mean Easy
You can’t get any more natural than nursing and while breastfeeding is nature’s design to feed little humans, for some mothers it can be tough. (Read my sister, Bert’s, story here.) Nursing moms need support, especially in the first six weeks when baby and mom are establishing breastfeeding. There’s a host of potential challenges: latch trouble, engorgement, under supply, over supply, sore nipples, etc. With the proper support and sometimes medical treatment almost all breastfeeding issues can be over come. Mama, if you are struggling with breastfeeding, hear me. There is support, there is help, you can do this!
Public Perception Matters
The other day I was rewatching a Gilmore Girls episode and I gotta say, as much as I love this show I was very, VERY disappointed. Luke and Lorelai are in the diner doing their usual banter back and forth then Luke notices a women breastfeeding and says,
“When did that become acceptable? In the old days, a woman would never consider doing that in public.They’d go find a barn or a cave or something. I mean, it’s indecent; this is a diner, not a peep show.”
What? I say, WHAT!?! (Insert angry face emjoi!) Sadly this is how many still view nursing in public. While some moms can boldly nurse in public with or without a cover, such negative public perception, even subtle hints of it, will discourage others. That, my friends, is why breastfeeding advocacy matters.
So will you take opportunities during World Breastfeeding Week to shift that perception? When used properly, social media is a powerful tool for good so use it! What about in your circle of friends and in your community? How can you support nursing mothers? What will you do to support breastfeeding and the common good? Whatever it is your breastfeeding advocacy matters!
Wife, work at home mom, and bassoonist, Laura Ankrum lives in Iowa City, Iowa. Prior to the arrival of her two children Laura taught elementary music and band in the Boston area. Now her home is her classroom and music studio. Laura is passionate about education, encouraging other moms, and eco-friendly living. She is the social media coordinator at Thirsties Inc.