When you start seeing a lot of breasts on your facebook feed, you know something is up. Luckily, it’s World Breastfeeding Week, not summer break photos.
The theme of this year’s week is to make a “concerted global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work.” As you may imagine, I’m excited by this because, not only would this just be the easiest way to continue to feed your baby, but this would mean again acknowledging that it is a mother/parent’s right to breastfeed, if desired. That right needs to be respected, just like all other rights.
Here are the solid objectives for World Breastfeeding Week 2015.
Also included are the three factors for determining success: time, space/proximity and support. This includes 6 months paid maternity leave for new parents and time to breastfeed at work, proximity to your baby so that breastfeeding can be easily accomplished and support for parents and employers in the form of information about the laws. By the way, do you know the breastfeeding laws in your state? Here in California, we have some laws already in effect including, the CA Dept of Health developing a public health campaign for new parents detailing the importance of breastfeeding and increasing breastfeeding support, training courses for hospitals to promote and support exclusive breastfeeding, and CA employers providing accommodations and time for pumping.
Did you know that in 2014 in California, the breastfeeding rate at 6mo and 12mo is 63.1% and 38.4%, respectively? The exclusive breastfeeding rates at 3mo and 6mo are 56.1% and 25.4%, and 92.8% of respondents have breastfed at all. These are some pretty good statistics compared with other states. It seems like many parents know the benefits of breastfeeding and breastmilk and it seems like the next steps are to support those parents who feel that they cannot easily continue breastfeeding when they go back to work. Here are some wonderful tips for working and pumping, and maybe soon I’ll have some tips for working and actually breastfeeding!
There are many ways to feed your baby. I hope that we can continue to support parents as they figure out the way that is right for their family, and leave the judgement out of it.
Here’s my obligatory breastfeeding picture. I’m not at work but at the very crowded Exploratorium. I got one of my girls to take the pic, hopefully they will also take away that breastfeeding is about feeding your baby and shouldn’t be contested.