There is nothing as pure and serene than the sight of a mom nursing her baby to sleep. Breastfeeding is the cornerstone of life as it shapes a baby’s present and future from day one. Valuing life is the epitome of breastfeeding and it is definitely worth celebrating. It’s the World’s Breastfeeding Week for 2016 and it has the slogan which promotes breastfeeding as the key to achieving sustainable development goals.
World Breastfeeding Week 2016
How is sustainability linked to breastfeeding? Sustainable development construes improvement that meets the present needs of this generation without halting or putting risk on meeting the needs of the future generation. This revolves on three aspects – equity, ecology, and economy. Breastfeeding is said to provide optimum nourishment for babies while also impressing upon emotional and psychological bond between mothers and their babies. In this case, breastfeeding is indeed the key to sustainable development because it is integrated with the fulfillment of health, food and nutrition security, survival, and development that could span from generation to generation.
Breastfeeding is also an economic and environmentally friendly option for moms as compared to feeding from bottles. Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week are focused primarily on ending malnutrition and hunger and promoting healthy well-being which is deeply anchored on breastfeeding as a sustainable option for both moms and babies. This also promotes and supports breastfeeding programs and affiliations all over the world.
US Breastfeeding Statistics
In the United States, breastfeeding has become increasingly popular and thus produced many advocates from moms who would want to exclusively breastfeed their babies before returning to work. In 2011, around 79% of newborns started breastfeeding. However, breastfeeding efforts for babies born in 2011 did not continue as recommended – 49% were breastfed for 6 months while 27% were breastfed for a year. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) encourages and motivates more women to initiate and continue with breastfeeding their newborn babies. A number of breastfeeding programs and initiatives were in place like the Best Fed Beginnings (BFB) which supports skin-to-skin contact of baby and mom right after delivery. This helps new moms begin with breastfeeding and feel comfortable about the whole setup. More so, state child care regulations are also in full support of on-site breastfeeding. Breastfeeding communities are also in full bloom as health professionals like Board Certified Lactation Consultant (BCLC) and Certified Lactation Counselors (CLC) are in support of breastfeeding campaigns from the first day of life.
Breastfeeding moms have braved challenges and even made career shifts in order to make time for nursing their babies especially for the first year and is recommended to extend up to three years. There are long term health benefits associated with breastfeeding and even if it extends for like three years. While there are criticisms associated with extended breastfeeding, your instinct which is backed by modern science, will tell you that you are in fact doing the right thing for you and your little one. The immune functions are made stronger, brain development is optimized, and decreased infections are noted on extended breastfeeding which showcases more benefits that can counteract the criticisms around it.