More and more research comes out that supports significant breastfeeding benefits to mother and baby. However, the rate of mothers who exclusively breastfeed has remained stagnant for the past 2 decades. How is that possible? In order to better understand why this is happening we must look at what factors are preventing moms from breastfeeding . It boils down to three factors; Awareness, Ability, and Preference.
World Breastfeeding Week is so important as it helps spread awareness of the breastfeeding benefits. The more people that are aware of the benefits, the more likely they will want to breastfeed. Learn more at WorldBreastfeedingWeek.org.
Ability is another big factor. There are may challenges women face when breastfeeding. They may receive inaccurate information from health care providers. They may not have access to lactation support or skilled breastfeeding counseling. Some even face aggressive marketing of breastmilk substitutes. Many new mothers return back to work soon after giving birth. And, sometimes there may even be a medical condition preventing them from breastfeeding. Often times these challenges may cause mothers to switch to formula feed to ensure baby gets the basic nutrition they need.
Ultimately, it is the mother’s decision. The research supports that breastfeeding is the healthiest option for babies. However, it is important to respect a mother’s decision. Assuming a mother is aware of the benefits of breastfeeding, if they still decide to breastfeed, we should focus on providing her and her baby as much support as possible.
More than 60% of infants under 6 months are not exclusively breastfed
This needs to change and now is the time to do it. As noted by this year’s theme for World Breastfeeding Week, breastfeeding is “A Key to Sustainable Development”. Aside from the most significant health related breastfeeding benefits for mothers and babies, there are many other benefits that have a global impact. Learn more about the global impact of breastfeeding. Since these stats are effected by awareness, ability, and preference, companies are developing resources to help moms and dads overcome challenges associated with breastfeeding. Parent Education Media, LCC has developed a video program called The Baby Manual™, which is specifically designed to support men and women as they transition to parenthood. The award-winning program contains a comprehensive section on breastfeeding (also available separately) that effectively helps moms and dads overcome challenges associated with breastfeeding. The programs are available at https://www.babymanual.com/store/ and can be streamed to any internet connected device. Parent Education Media, LLC is working with government and state agencies to encorporate this information into their prenatal education programs . If you are interested in learning more about partnerships, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Baby Manual™ on Breastfeeding (TRAILER) – Breastfeeding Benefits
Together we thrive in parenthood
How can you increase awareness of breastfeeding benefits in your community?