Latch On for World Breast­feed­ing Week

The Tribune (NZ) - - COMMUNITY - NIR­MALA NAN

World Breast­feed­ing Week (Au­gust 1-7) again calls for con­certed global ac­tion to sup­port women to com­bine breast­feed­ing and work.

Whether a woman is work­ing in a for­mal or home set­ting, it is nec­es­sary that she is em­pow­ered in claim­ing her and her baby’s right to breast­feed. Much suc­cess has been achieved as far as babyfriendly hos­pi­tals are con­cerned. But a lot more needs to be done in terms of baby-friendly work­places and baby-friendly com­mu­ni­ties.

Ac­cord­ing to the of­fi­cial Min­istry of Health web­site on breast­feed­ing, it rec­om­mends ex­clu­sive breast­feed­ing un­til ba­bies are around 6 months of age and be­yond.

How­ever, breast­feed­ing up to 6 months may be dif­fi­cult for many moth­ers as, out of ne­ces­sity, they have to go back to work. If their em­ploy­ers are not baby friendly, then the mother and the baby both suf­fer as a re­sult of dis­con­tin­ued breast­feed­ing.

Many de­vel­op­ing and de­vel­oped coun­tries around the world have baby-friendly work­places and al­low their fe­male em­ploy­ees to breast­feed their ba­bies dur­ing breaks, or even work while breast­feed­ing.

This prac­tice not only helps the mother and baby, but tem­ploy­ers as well. It can re­sult in a happy and ten­sion-free em­ployee, re­sult­ing in less ab­sen­teeism and more pro­duc­tiv­ity.

Breast­feed­ing was the norm for all cul­tures un­til the idea of the idea of mod­erni­sa­tion, commercialisation and milk com­pa­nies started pour­ing into the pic­ture.

On Fri­day, July 31, we pro­mote this prac­tice by en­cour­ag­ing all breast­feed­ing moth­ers to par­tic­i­pate in a global event, the Big Latch On. The doors open at 10am at the Com­mu­nity Birth Ser­vices at 151 The Square, Palmer­ston North for the lo­cal cel­e­bra­tion of the Big latch On set to start at 10.30am). Con­tact Com­mu­nity Birth Cen­tre on 354 6455 for more de­tails or check out the Women Health Ac­tion web­site for de­tails of a nearby venue : womens-health.org.nz/ pro­grammes/breast­feedin­gac­tiv­i­ties/big-latch-on/ par­tic­i­pate/find-a-venue/list­ing/ ?re­gion=manawatu-wan­ganui).

PHOTO: REUTERS

The an­nual Big Latch On is on Fri­day, July 31.

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