Breastfeeding has become an important part of society these days and it’s not only important for bonding between mother and child and but also because it’s beneficial in the first hour. Save the Children has recently released a new report called Superfood for Babies. In the first hours and days the mother produces milk called colostrum, the most potent natural immune system booster known to science. It is critical to preventing malnutrition and saving children’s lives in the developing world. Research estimates that 830,000 newborn deaths could be prevented every year if all infants were given breast milk in the first hour of life, and exclusive breastfeeding for six months could save even more babies and children.
When my children were born, more than 30 years ago, breastfeeding was not as popular as it is now. My daughter in law Laura, who is the mom of 2 with another on the way is a very pro breastfeeding activist. Cody is 6 years old and was breast fed right from the beginning. Earl, just turned 1 this month and Ella is due in early June. I had the opportunity to ask her some questions about her thoughts on breastfeeding.
Q: Did you nurse from the start? If so why is it important to do this?
A: I nursed my son within the first 30 minutes of having him. It helps the baby latch on correctly, it also helps with the connection between the baby and the mother. There are many health benefits for mother and baby when nursing is started as soon as possible after birth. If formula/a bottle is offered before breast then there can be latching issues when breast is finally introduced.
Q: Why did you choose breast feeding over formula?
A: I have always wanted to nurse my children, maybe because I was nursed and my mom always talked fondly of it. I also like the bond that I heard it would create, also the cost saving aspect. Breast feeding is best. Formula is made by a company with different materials, breast milk is made by a mother for their child.
Q: What do you like about breastfeeding?
A: I love the bond my children and I have while in the nursing relationship. There is a wonderful relationship going on. It is also convenient. No carrying bottles around, no buying formula, etc.
Q: What is the hardest part of breastfeeding?
A: For me it has been pumping. I work full time as a teacher so my children attend daycare. I need to provide bottles for them, I have to find the time to pump. Some people have pains and medical issues or supply issues, or latching issues but I have not experienced these.
Q: How long do you plan to breast feed?
A: I nursed my first till he was a year and a half. I would have continued but I had some health issues arise. With my nursing child now I plan to nurse till he is ready to stop.
Q: You are pregnant, are you going to nurse this child?
A: Yes! Breast is best. I will tandem nurse (this is nursing 2 or more children at the same time). I have read that tandem nursing will also help my children to have a bond between each other plus me.
Breastfeeding is one of the best defenses against malnutrition, which is the underlying cause of one in three child deaths globally, some 2.5 million child deaths a year. Save the Children is calling on Americans to tell Secretary of State John Kerry to renew theU.S. commitment to a critical 2010 global nutrition initiative. Set to expire in June, the 1,000 Days Partnership has already helped countries like Indonesia, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Tanzania adopt nutrition strategies, including breastfeeding promotion, aimed at helping children survive and grow up healthy.
A Call to Action
If you believe in child health and newborn nutrition, then help Save The Children and let your voice be heard for 1,000 Days Call to Action that is set to expire in a couple of months. You can sign the petition at www.savethechildren.org/
1. COMMUNITY AND CULTURAL PRESSURES
Many mothers in poor countries are given bad advice and are not free to make their own decisions or are pressurised into harmful alternatives. Common practices include denying the newborn colostrum and giving other foods or liquids before starting breastfeeding.
2. THE HEALTH WORKER SHORTAGE
Because of a chronic shortage of health workers, the opportunity for new mothers to be supported to breastfeed in the first few hours is lost. Countries that support infant feeding practices have shown that it is possible to rapidly increase the rates of early initiation and exclusive practice of breastfeeding.
3. LACK OF MATERNITY LEGISLATION
To promote exclusive breastfeeding, women must be provided with sufficient paid maternity leave – in line with the international minimum of 14 weeks and working towards 18 weeks’ leave with at least two-thirds pay – but the majority of poor countries do not meet this standard.
4. THE BIG BUSINESS BARRIER
While there is a recognised need for certain infants to be formula-fed, there has long been concern that the marketing activities of some manufacturers has led to infant formula being used unnecessarily and improperly, ultimately putting children at risk.
Actress Isla Fisher traveled to Brazil with Save the Children to see how a national focus on breastfeeding is saving children’s lives. Watch and help moms everywhere overcome barriers to breastfeeding.
Mothers everywhere should have access to information that allows them to make an informed choice about breastfeeding, and the support they need to breastfeed should they choose to. Help us spread the word and sign the petition.
I am a part of the Global Team of 200 and Social Good Moms’ 24-Hour Blogathon spreading the word about Save the Children’s new breastfeeding report, Superfood for Babies. Sign the petition urging Secretary Kerry to help mothers around the world get more support around breastfeeding and lifesaving nutrition for their babies.This entry was posted in Health by Mary Walker with