Holy (UN)COW its the last day of World Breastfeeding Week
As World Breastfeeding Week draws to a close I'm just sharing some of my favorite posts from the week. The theme this year is Just Ten Steps.
Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding
1. Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to
all healthcare staff
2. Train all healthcare staff in the skills necessary to implement this
3. Inform all pregnat women about the benefits and management of
4. Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth
5. Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation even if
they are separated from their infants
6. Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breastmilk unless
7. Practice "rooming in"- allow mothers and infants to remain together 24
hrs a day
8. Encourage breastfeeding on demand
9. Give no pacifiers or artificial nipples to breastfeeding infants
10. Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer
mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic
Here Teresadoula vows to include everyone. Breastfeeding rates are calculated by several organizations and in several ways but I have to agree with Teresa: the more women we include as "breastfeeding mothers", the more women who have a vested interest in improving breastfeeding protection and support.
Anne at Doula-la-la has a really nice round up that brought Why I won't ask you why you aren't breastfeeding from Phdinparenting to my attention. An older post from the same blog, Does breastfeeding hurt? one of my favorite brestfeeding posts ever, reflects on the common quote "It's not supposed to hurt."
And Dani over at Informed Parenting has several great posts up including a repost of the 1st few paragraphs of From Bottle to Drive-thru, a commentary on the impact of food marketing. Dani got some great comments and conversation on her repost.
Katie Granju posts here about being unable to breastfeed and the emotional fallout that can have on a self identified lactivist. That post was even discussed in the New York Times. The comments range from people who are angry at lactivists creating an atmosphere of guilt and blame when breastfeeding doesn't go as planned to people offering advice of things to try to simple support and sympathy.
The comments on these types of high profile breastfeeding stories offer a really good look at the culture mothers face when making the crucial infant feeding decision. I really think we lactivists, lactation professionals, and anyone involved in infant/maternal care should make it a point to read the comment sections in these kinds of posts more often. I know my eyes tend to sort of glaze over by page 2 most of the time because I know exactly what I'm going to read. But to occasionally step back and read it again with fresh eyes, might give a better apprectiation of what mothers are already subjected to and give us some insight into how best to advocate for breastfeeding without alientating women who either haven't decided yet or can't or won't breastfeed.
And heres another wrap up from Elita over at Blacktating writing for Best for Babes. Among other topics, Elita touched on the controversy surrounding comments made by model Gisele regarding breastfeeding and the law and points out some laws we could all get behind.
Annie Newman over at Reproductive Health Reality Check expands on that theme and ties it to the WBW theme for this year by examining how society can be "Baby Friendly" outside the bounds of hospital walls. My favorite link from her piece is this article which discusses breastfeeding in the context of women's rights.
"2. Why is breastfeeding considered a woman’s right?
Breastfeeding is an area where one might perceive
a potential for conflict between the woman’s and
the child’s rights . As confirmed by the
Convention on the Rights of the Child, children
have a right to the best start in life with the best
chance for health , as well as for intelligence,
proper growth, protection against immediate and
chronic diseases, etc. But why is this is also a
woman’s right? In countries throughout the world,
women’s autonomy frequently has been limited in
the name of ensuring children’s well-being, subordinating
women’s rights to children’s rights. However,
by framing the issue as a woman’s right to
choose and succeed with breastfeeding makes it a
responsibility for the family, society and workplace
to recognize and support this right. In addition,
clear biological considerations indicate that, indeed,
the right to breastfeed is a woman’s right for
her own health. Thus, women who breastfeed have
improved postpartum recovery, less iron loss,
delayed fertility return, lowered incidence of
breast, ovarian and uterine cancers, and apparently
better bone status in older age. Two international
conventions, the Convention on the Rights of the
Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW)
 support this right for both the child and
mother. Both Conventions place substantial obligations
on the state to enable accommodation of
childbearing and childrearing roles, among other
Here is a post from Marie Clements an RN and IBCLC at Concientious Breastfeeding Connections. She criticizes what she sees as too many hospitals reliance on pumping as a first line of breastfeeding support.
There is a lot of great coverage out but I'm going to wrap up my wrap up with the Surgeon General's Statement