Latch On for World Breastfeeding Week
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).
The annual Big Latch On is on Friday, July 31.