What is Breastfeeding Week? 

Breastfeeding Week (1st – 7th August) is where people celebrate the advantages of breastfeeding, as well as, protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding around the world. 

Why is it important? 

Breastfeeding is important because it supplies all the nutrition a baby needs for the amount of time the baby is breastfeeding. As well as establishing a strong emotional bond between a mum and her baby.  

Not only this, breast milk also helps the baby to develop the ability to fight illness and infection by passing on the mother’s immune defences. 

World Health Organisation (WHO) suggests:

  • Early introduction of breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth.
  • Exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months of life.
  • Continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond, with introduction of nutritionally adequate and safe complementary (solid) foods at 6 months.

Tips for Breastfeeding

  • Make sure the baby is awake
  • Bring the baby to the breast, not the other way around
  • Use a position that’s comfortable for you
  • Breastfeed or pump often to increase and maintain your supple

However, there are many women who can’t breastfeed or choose not to breastfeed and this is ok. There are many reasons for this and people shouldn’t judge just because they aren’t feeding their baby the way the society tells them to. 

Tips for Parents Who Can’t or Choose Not to Breastfeed

  • Hospitals have a supple of breast milk that gets donated to them by other parents 
  • Find the right bottle for your baby even if you have to try different bottles 
  • Find the right milk for your child 
  • Seek advice from doctors and nurses to find out how best to go around feeding your baby 

Overall, breastfeeding is something that people shouldn’t be ashamed of nor should be sexualized in any way. Breastfeeding week is here to show how powerful people can be and how the body can work. As well as this, people who can’t breastfeed or choose not to, should have the same respect as people who do breastfeed.