I’m going to the launch of The Breastfeeding Advert

I’m going to the launch of The Breastfeeding Advert

Yah … I’m going to the launch of The Breastfeeding Advert, part of Tiny Human’s Human Milk project. ‘Terrified and excited’ doesn’t quite capture how I feel. Over 6 hours round-trip train travel (with multiple changes) with a newborn is daunting but worth being part of history in the making. With little to no spare time during the day, I’ve not even had the time to try on my fabulous bargain of a dress from Milk and Mummy. Continue reading

Breastfeeding: a key to nutrition, food security, and poverty reduction

World Breastfeeding Week this year focuses on breastfeeding as a key to sustainable development; an important tool towards the achievement of the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.

One of the ways that breastfeeding contributes to the SDGs is through the fact that it addresses a range of issues relating to poverty; and thus significantly contributes towards a more equitable world and fairer society.

My word, breastmilk is simply put … amazing. According to #10 of The Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding and many other bodies worldwide, “breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants.”

“Breast milk has the perfect combination of proteins, fats, vitamins, and carbohydrates.  There is nothing better for the health of your baby.  Leukocytes are living cells that are only found in breast milk.  They help fight infection.  It is the antibodies, living cells, enzymes, and hormones that make breast milk ideal. These cannot be added to formula.”

BF key to nutrition 3

In terms of biology, cost, environmental sustainability, quality nutrition composition and needs, production cost and efficiency, and so much more, breastfeeding really does save the day for so many around the world; in a way nothing else can. It is designed for both the best and the roughest … toughest conditions a mother and child could find themselves in, in majority of instances worldwide.

I mean … look at poverty for example – the reality of most people in the world – in the face of or because of natural or man-made disasters … breastfeeding is the normal, safest, and best way to feed infants. This is because it is pretty much self-sustaining for most mums, especially with the right support. It doesn’t rely on the ability to read instructions, and it doesn’t need to be purchased in most cases. For the majority, it also doesn’t need any man-made equipment that must be cleaned in certain ways.

Being the biological norm, and indeed produced from the blood, breastmilk is not formed from the mother’s diet, though there are few instances when some items need to be restricted or eliminated. This is not to say that mum’s diet doesn’t matter; it of course matters for the mother and her family, breastfeeding or not.

Breastmilk is specially made, at the right temperature, and with the right amount of nutrients that babies need at different points during the day. Its ability to satisfy the nutritional needs (and more) of children is time-tested and proven through the ages. In the absence of certain infectious diseases like HIV, where there is a small risk of transmission from mother to child, the risk of contamination is minimal to none. Even then, there

Its production is pretty much free and it has zero environmental cost, except if breastfeeding aids like breast pumps, which are at their core not essential of most breastfeeding journeys, are used.

So, the more optimal breastfeeding is – initiated within the first hour of birth, exclusively done for the first 6 months, and done in addition to solid food for 2 years and beyond – the more optimum its outcomes are.

All these of course is great for poor people, who probably can’t afford a balanced diet, don’t have access to regular clean water and electricity, and might not live in hygienic surroundings. Breastfeeding in itself, isn’t affected by these. At least for 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, the cost of an extra mouth to feed is not an additional worry, and breastfeeding’s nutritional value persists for as long as it happens.

In breastfeeding, the poor have access to excellent nutrition and food security for their infant from birth, and without added expense.

It’s also great for those who are not poor, even if they live in a country with stable electricity and good water supply, as well as specific child based governmental financial support. Breastfeeding’s nutritional value and its outcomes still applies, its safety remains unparalleled, and its monetary cost is competitive – none to however much you want to spend on breastfeeding related products.

What does this theme mean to me?

Well, it reflects my experience, albeit within the context of living in a high-income country.

Unfortunately, our breastfeeding start wasn’t the best, thanks to insufficient information and lack of enough helpful support from the medical professionals that worked with us. Even then, we breastfed within the first hour of (a difficult) birth

I watched my son grow on my milk, despite all the weight gain dramas we had, as I worked my socks off to overcome the top up trap – first with formula, then breastmilk (more on these in future posts) – we fell into. I tell you, words can’t capture how much our breastfeeding journey did for my mothering and person.

With breastfeeding, my baby’s hunger was satisfied whenever we were out and about, though my confidence about feeding in public took a while to grow. When he started solids, breastfeeding saved my days, whenever I forgot his food at home or didn’t manage to get food ready on time. And lastly, breastfeeding saved us lots of money, and significantly reduced our increased expense due to the expansion of our family.

Breastfeeding, no doubt is one of the keys to nutrition, food security and poverty reduction.


What do you think?


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Headlines I don’t want to see during World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week is about breastfeeding; it’s promotion, protection, and support – their importance cannot be overstated when you look at breastfeeding rates around the world, and the costs of not breastfeeding. Breastfeeding impacts families at one of their most vulnerable point, and definitely affects the well-being of the most fragile of us, and those involved in their care.

Promoting, protecting, and supporting breastfeeding means that breastfeeding and its ‘unique selling points’ need to be especially highlighted. I mean, this is what you do when you promote something that you believe deserves to be protected and supported, right?

Also, for something to not only be promoted, but also protected and supported, means that there is a problem. It implies that something about the issue is under threat, and the issue is of such importance that all that is possible must be done to secure its position.

World Breastfeeding Week, a Week about breastfeeding awareness, doesn't seem to be appropriate for some headlines, for a number of reasons. | @aNoviceMum

In the case of breastfeeding, there is no doubt it is the biological norm. Pregnant women bear the marks of stretching boobs in preparation for breastfeeding post-birth, some even leak or harvest some of the nutrient rich colostrum pre-birth. And my, all things being equal at birth, infants feel and crawl to the boob to breastfeed and enjoy its fill, and the warmth and presence it gives them; amongst other things. Beyond birth, infants continue to root for the boob over and over again, for all it has to offer. By toddlerhood, rooting is replaced with asking to breastfeed for a range of reasons.

The survival of humans so far, is significantly connected to breastfeeding. When it comes to infant and toddler feeding, breastfeeding’s place is without doubt established.

Now, this isn’t to say that there are no hiccups; far from it. As with any other biological norms, nature doesn’t always work as intended; and even when it does, its workings can be negatively impacted by other factors. And of course, modern society allows us more than ever before, to bypass nature’s way if we choose for whatever reason, in a range of areas.

Breastfeeding is not excluded from the imperfect nature of nature. There are mothers who cannot produce enough milk for their infants, and in some cases none. Yes, these instances are far in between and they constitute a really tiny percentage of breastfeeding mums.

There are also mums that cannot breastfeed for medical reasons, don’t want to breastfeed for psychological reasons, or indeed no reason at all.

In addition, there are mums who want to breastfeed but unfortunately don’t get enough support to meeting their goals.

In all these instances, World Breastfeeding Week is about breastfeeding (#18).

Then there is artificial milk, first created to reduce the infant mortality rate caused by inadequate to no breastfeeding; especially when donor milk – expressed or directly – wasn’t available or accessible, and when homemade alternatives didn’t work. Great, right; if you can’t have the real McCoy for whatever reason, an adequate substitute is better than nothing.

O well, thanks to human greed, concern for the survival of our young (if this was ever the case) soon became a façade to make more profit, at the expense of our young and their families. Breastfeeding, the biological and cultural norm that generations of humans mostly thrived on, became vulnerable to the exploitative nature of capitalisation. So that, that which was meant to help address nature’s shortfall is now its brutal competitor. The infant feeding landscape is now so detrimental to the time-tested nature’s way of preserving our young, that it needs to be rescued for the good of humanity.

This is where World Breastfeeding Week and many other breastfeeding awareness efforts comes in; to contribute to the salvaging of the age-old art and science of breastfeeding, by empowering mothers and families to give their children the best start in life.

So, during WBW, I don’t want to see headlines about how to stop breastfeeding, a gravely endangered act in the UK with its world’s lowest breastfeeding rate, and shocking attitude to public and toddler breastfeeding.

I don’t want to see headlines about how breastfeeding isn’t beautiful; because not only is beauty in the eyes of the beholder, even its perceived ugliness serves a purpose if it’s closely explored. There is definitely nothing beautiful about the malnourished and dying innocent children in low-income countries, that breastfeeding could have prevented.

I don’t want to see headlines challenging the health claims of breastfeeding, with no reference to that of its substitutes; or the ‘cons’ of breastfeeding without mentioning the risks associated with artificial milk.

I don’t want to see headlines that disregards the importance of what and how we feed our children, whilst society stresses the importance of what and how we eat.

I don’t want to see headlines about why there shouldn’t be a World Breastfeeding Week because the evidence and arguments for one surpasses any views against it … because World Breastfeeding Week is not about an individual’s agenda or feelings but rather about the global agenda of securing the safest and best nutrition for infants and toddlers for generations to come … because no one is compelled to acknowledge and support the Week and what it is about …

I know we live in a free society, with freedom of expression; but I don’t think it’s too much to ask for us to spare a thought for the majority that breastfeeding is the difference between an early death and a chance at life. Yes, let’s spare a thought for mothers who are struggling to find their feet with breastfeeding, and need the support that this Week promotes. Let’s consider new parents who need objective information to make the best decision for their families about what and how to feed their infant. Let’s remember the environment, and back the greenest way to nourish our young.

And indeed, let’s spare a thought for mums who want to breastfeed but don’t manage to make it at all, or for as long as they would like; for a range of reasons. This Week is a reminder that we need to do more to support people in achieving their breastfeeding goals.

And also for mums who do not want to breastfeed for whatever reason. This Week is also about efforts that we need to continue making to ensure they have access to accurate information, as well as safe breastfeeding substitutes and their paraphernalia, which are marketed appropriately.


What helpful or disturbing breastfeeding related articles did you read during this World Breastfeeding Week?


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What World Breastfeeding Week is and isn’t about

I came across many comments last week that clearly showed a significant lack of knowledge and understanding about what World Breastfeeding Week is and isn’t about. It challenged me to review what I know, and find out more.

So, what is World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)?  

WBW is the global breastfeeding awareness week that commemorates the Innocenti Declaration (1990 and 2005), with a yearly focus to help tackle key breastfeeding issues. It is organised and managed by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), and it started in 1992. WABA is “a global network of organisations and individuals who believe breastfeeding is the right of all children and mothers and who dedicate themselves to protect, promote and support this right.”

WABA and WBW draw attention to key issues that affect breastfeeding internationally; underpinned by key infant feeding documents like:

And with reference to other key breastfeeding protection documents like:

If you want to know more about WABA’s work, these documents and others are worth checking out.

WBW significantly contributes to WABA’s vision of working towards

“a world where breastfeeding is the cultural norm, where mothers and families are enabled to feed and care optimally for their infants and young children thus contributing to a just and healthy society.”

There seems to be so much misconception about the purpose of World Breastfeeding Week. It is very important to know what this awareness week is about and isn't about, when responding to it. This post helps to clarify the core goals of World Breastfeeding Week. | @aNoviceMum

What is World Breastfeeding Week about?

It is about equality, equity, and justice for all infants and young children, no matter the financial / social status of their parents, or the economic development of their country.

It is about working towards reducing the poverty gap from the start of life, through access to optimal infant and toddler feeding.

It is about securing the rights of parents to accurate infant feeding information that is free of commercial interests.

It is about local and national advocacy for mothers and their families to receive enough support, at the right time, to optimally feed their infants and toddlers, from their first hour of birth.

It is about empowering mothers to have confidence in their ability to continue nurturing their children in the normal and best way possible, post birth.

It is about providing breastfeeding education to health professionals and families, free from undermining commercial interests.

It is about contributing to the protection of maternal and infant health in all circumstances, through minimising the exploitation of commercial interests, during a very vulnerable time.

It is about encouraging governments to stand up for women and children, through making laws to enable all children to have the best start in life, through optimal nutrition, and so much more.

It is about highlighting the risks of artificial feeding (food and utensils), and the truth about commercially produced weaning food amidst the aggressive profiteering of the unscrupulous tendencies of the infant / toddler food industry.

It is about challenging the poor marketing practices of the profit-making infant food industry and curbing their exploitative ways.

It is about holding the infant food industry accountable for the production of safe breastfeeding substitutes and delivery systems, and ensuring that parents have accurate information about their use.

It is about supporting mothers to make informed decisions about the best way to feed their children, through access to accurate infant feeding information; in order to breastfeed optimally and for as long as possible, and when needed, to bottle-feed safely and as best as possible.

It is about deconstructing anti-breastfeeding societal norms, and untangling age-old infant feeding myths, to help create a culture where breastfeeding thrives without restriction … where breastfeeding for as long as one wants, and wherever one’s baby needs feeding, is not unusual … where breastfeeding works with women’s work commitments.

It is about the well-being of infants and young children, their mothers and families, and indeed overall public health; as well as environmental sustainability, the economy, and more.

What is World Breastfeeding Week not about?

It is not about making anyone feel good or bad, arrogant or guilty.

It is not a word wrestling arena for breastfeeding and formula feeding mums … definitely not about the ego of ‘badass’ breastfeeders and ‘fearless’ or ‘defensive’ formula feeders, or gentle breastfeeders and reluctant formula feeders.

It is not a marketing opportunity to be exploited by the multi-billion dollars infant food industry to mask their underlying undermining of breastfeeding under the guise of ‘breastfeeding support’.

I mean, let’s not kid ourselves, the lower the breastfeeding rate and the more unsure parents are about weaning, the more profit for the infant food industry to make.

It is not a time for generic clichés that sweep key infant feeding issues and uncomfortable realities under the carpet.

It is not a time to wallow in negative past infant / toddler feeding experiences, or one to repeat recycled ‘comfortable’ inaccurate information, in comments and through memes.

It’s neither the time for ‘what about me’ pity parties and the misconstruing of facts for attacks, and information for judgement; nor the time for using facts to attack and information to judge.

Let’s get this straight, WBW is not personal or exclusive; all forms of infant and toddler feeding will be worse off without the efforts of WABA and others; thanks to the erosion and aggression of commercial interests.

I also don’t think it’s the time to publish and share half-baked articles with click-bait headlines that divert attention from the goals of this Week. Seriously, there are 51 other weeks available for these, if they must be.

I could go on and on about what World Breastfeeding Week is and isn’t about …

So, simply put …

World Breastfeeding Week is about the promotion, protection, and support of breastfeeding. Yes, it is about breastfeeding awareness; which not surprisingly gets breastfeeding mothers in all their variety, into a celebratory mood. It is about respecting human rights, and creating an equitable and healthy society for all.  

 It is not about breastfeeding undermining comments and tactics, or the side-lining of the users of artificial milk. It is about saving the lives of babies and toddlers around the world, and creating a supportive environment for all mums to make informed decisions about how they will feed their infants, free from subtle and obvious commercial ploys.

So, as we react to World Breastfeeding Week, let’s make sure that we know what exactly we are responding to. Otherwise, anger, annoyance, frustration, time-wasting, and other such negative feelings will rob us of getting the most out of it.

And if World Breastfeeding Week, isn’t your thing … not reflective of your experience or beliefs … fine, ignore it … scroll past it … don’t comment on it … don’t give it a second thought.

I know this topic is bigger than what I’ve written … I definitely have more to write about it.


What did you think of World Breastfeeding Week?

Answer this question as one of your entries into one of my Breastfeeding Awareness Month’s giveaway – Win an Emma-Jane Next Generation Maternity and Nursing bra (Wed 10 Aug 16 – Sun 21 Aug 16)

10 Reasons Why I Love Breastmilk and Celebrate Breastfeeding

The word ‘breastfeeding’ makes me smile. I have come such a long way from our first latch and the ensuing months of tears and ouch, real and perceived low milk supply … those days when my goal was just to make it to the end of the day managing to feed my little man all the food he needed from my bosom … those days when feeding my son exclusively on breastmilk seemed out of my reach … oh, those days!

I’m also survived the surprising recent days of excruciatingly painful and unexpected blocked ducts and blebs. I’ve faced the challenge of continuing with breastfeeding after maternity leave and on return to full-time work, and I keep working on making this work for us.

I have now been breastfeeding for almost 22 months without any sign of stopping; and I tell you, I am so thankful for breastfeeding and breastmilk.

So, I thought I’d do some reflection, and jot down reasons why I love breastmilk and celebrate breastfeeding. Here are my first 10 … more to come in future posts.

  1. FREE

If you know me, you know I LOVE me a good baaaarrrrrgain! I was totally sold on breastfeeding when I heard it was free during my NHS breastfeeding class. I mean, I don’t think I thought it wasn’t; I just never thought about it until that point.

That it is free of course doesn’t mean that it is without value; oh no. In my eyes, it’s priceless, and according to a Daily Mail article in June, it “can trade for 400 times more than the price of crude oil, 2,000 times more than iron ore and, if sold off the shelf, could cost more than 150 times the price of a gallon of cow’s milk”. Need I say anymore?

  1. NORMAL

I can’t remember how many times I’ve asked the question, ‘why can’t I just be normal?’ Whatever normal is, especially in situations when I’ve wondered about it, I’m thrilled that with breastfeeding I’m doing something very normal.

Breastfeeding is the biological norm for nourishing babies and I’m very pleased to be able to participate in this.

I also love this about breastfeeding because when some onlookers off or online spit out their breastfeeding ignorance, it’s reassuring to know that I’m doing something very normal and right for my child.

  1. DESIGNER

All things designer in this world are mostly out of my league at the moment. Gone are those days in my little town in West Africa, when I went to the tailor with the design I wanted for an outfit, and where I got measured for clothes especially made for me. I’ll have to win the jackpot or somehow make it financially big to be able to afford this now.

Guess what though? Breastfeeding gives me the chance to give my child food especially designed for him. How privileged is he? I know the feeling of getting something especially designed for you, it’s brilliant!

My breastmilk was created and continues to be manufactured with the changing needs of my little boy in mind. Everything in me that concerns it, comes together and works together to have just the right components he needs every day. Amaze-balls, right.

My breastmilk is the most dynamic super food for my child, perfectly made especially for him.

Reasons Why I love Breastmilk and Celebrate Breastfeeding

  1. READY-MADE

The entrepreneur in me loves the fact that my milk is subject to the demand and supply principle, all things being equal. Understanding this ‘you don’t ask you don’t get’ deal about breastfeeding helped me to nail it in the end, albeit, with hours of pumping worth of work.

This quality about it gives people like me that didn’t make a good start with breastfeeding, the opportunity to catch up on the quantity our baby needs, on the go. You know, you just need to keep feeding, for your body to make the amount of milk your baby needs.

The ready-made food that breastmilk is, also means that it’s available from source at the right temperature. ‘Yipppeeee’, did I hear you say. Oh yes … right?

I combi fed for a while in the early months, so I really appreciate the necessity of having food ready to go, for a hungry baby at the right time. Otherwise, the ensuing baby cry or toddler screams might just about bring down the whole house. Okay, I exaggerate, but really … baby needs food when baby needs food, and the breast is usually ready to deliver when called upon.

When feeding from source, there is no faffing around with making sure it’s sterilised, or that it has the right ingredient mixture, or that it is hot or warm enough, or anything enough … you just have to make sure you get it to your child on time, and your child happily takes what s/he needs.

The only preparation you need is rest, low stress, and prompt response to your child’s need for it.

  1. ALIVE

Breastmilk is living; it’s alive people. It not only contains the usual carbs, fat, and proteins that other foods have, but also active components like we have in our blood … it’s got live cells in it. My word, right?

Yeah, it’s got immune strengthening stem cells, bacterial cells, and white blood cells. It’s food for my child like no other food could ever be. I mean, there are ingredients within breastmilk that are still being identified. Need I say anymore?

  1. AFFORDABLE

Love, love, love that breastfeeding feeding is affordable. No accessories, clothes, or food are needed to make breastfeeding work. The only breastfeeding must haves are your breast tissue and a baby, and relatively good health.

Don’t get me wrong though, I’m thankful for my Frugi breastfeeding clothes … I like my Breastvest breastfeeding undergarment … I thoroughly enjoy Motherlove lactation cookies (the very thought makes my mouth water) … and my Ardo pump contributed to the saving of my breastfeeding relationship.

Breastfeeding pillows are also very handy, especially whilst you’re trying to master the feeding positions that work for you … and nipple cream can be life savers, can’t they? Especially in those early breastfeeding days when breasts are more prone to pain.

Even then, I recognise that most breastfeeding mums around the world do not use any of these on their breastfeeding journeys. These items are not breastfeeding essentials, though they are fab to have, and items like pumps might be a modern necessity for some.

  1. ACCESSIBLE

Breastfeeding affordability makes it accessible to majority of women around the world. With the exception of the very few women who cannot breastfeed, breastfeeding is not discriminatory. You can breastfeed whether you are black or white, rich or poor, overfed or even starving.

It’s fab to participate in something that you know so many others are not excluded from.

And in some ways in our very competitive world with its unfair distribution of wealth, it’s an area of life where babies can have some kind of level playing field.

  1. NO-CRY SLEEP AID

Ask a new mum what they will like more of, and sleep for themselves and their baby is likely to be high on their list. Well, breastfeeding is the ultimate no-cry ‘nature’s knock out juice’ (as a commenter on one of my breastfeeding posts called it) for both mother and child.

I so wish I realised this much earlier and embraced it sooner. We would definitely have gotten more sleep during the day and at night. Admittedly, I find that it seems to take longer to work in the toddler years; but it still works better than all the ways I’ve tried.

  1. PAIN RELIEF

I can’t remember how many times my child has breastfed to ease his discomfort or pain.

For the feverish days, its effect is quicker than that of any baby paracetamol you could ever use. It’s also much easier to administer; no tears and struggles to get and keep one’s baby’s mouth opened (definitely the case when it’s mastered).

It also comes without worries of possible overdose, making sure the right amount is used, or ensuring that the dropper is well cleaned and stored away afterwards. There is also no worries about keeping it out of the reach of little hands, or taking care when handling it, in case it falls down and break.

Breastfeeding sure has a way of soothing through falls and bumps, anxieties and worries, and definitely the needle pains and distress of the heel prick test and vaccinations. I mean, why do health professionals suggest breastfeeding after each immunisation course?

  1. CALMING BALM

I continue to grow in my appreciation of the calming effect that breastfeeding has on my child, even at times when I feel there isn’t much breastmilk to drink.

Toddlers can get hysterical very quickly, and for no apparent reason too. I’ve found breastfeeding, even when it’s sometimes initially refused as a remedy for an upset, soothing for both of us.

It has a way of restoring little one to normalcy after a tantrum, and giving me respite from my unsuccessful attempts to reach him where he is, at those times.

I love the calm breastfeeding brings at bedtime, after the day’s hustle and bustle; and even at the start of the day.

And as my toddler grows in his independence and as he gets more boisterous, breastfeeding gives me the longest stretches of calm moments with him. This is not to say that every breastfeeding session is calm; far from it. Indeed, I never knew there could be so much movement with breastfeeding.

My reasons have grown as I planned and wrote this post, and so, I’ll be writing more about my breastfeeding loves in the coming weeks and months. I hope our last latch doesn’t come anytime soon; so much enjoyment to still be had from this incredibly amazing act of motherhood.

The code word for the Celebrating Breastfeeding Christmas Extravaganza is elf. With special thanks to our sponsors for providing the amazing prizes: ARDO, LoveyUsh, Milk & Mummy, Lorna Drew, Mummy Makes Milk, Thrupenny Bits, breastvest and More4Mums. Click here for T&Cs.

~ Can you identify with any of my reasons? What would you add to it? ~

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Round Up | UK National Breastfeeding Week 2015

The UK National Breastfeeding Week 2015 started on Saturday 20 June and ended on Sunday 28 June. I am very pleased I found out about this week on Social Media. Breastfeeding is one of my key mothering tool and it has been a significant feature in my life for the past 15 months.

I was disappointed to find out from the Guardian and Independent that the UK government stopped funding this national week in 2011. It’s a shame really, when you consider that it’s designed to help “raise awareness of the health benefits of breastfeeding, increase social acceptance of breastfeeding and promote support for breastfeeding”.

According to the Royal College of Midwives (who I think are the national lead for this week) this week aims “to raise awareness of the health and wellbeing benefits of breastfeeding for mothers, their infants and the long term public health for everyone” on a national level. It’s also an opportunity for “mothers, breastfeeding supporters and health professionals to come together and share what works well to support breastfeeding in local communities”

Fantastic, isn’t it? I find it encouraging seeing such positive focus on infant feeding in general and breastfeeding in particular. Many mums and their families go through such trauma when it comes to feeding their infant / toddler, and they need all the quality support they can get.

Below are my National Breastfeeding Week 2015 highlights, from around the web.

Round Up |UK National #Breastfeeding Week 2015 |@aNoviceMum | Adventures of a Novice Mum Blog

The Royal College of Midwives encouraged the sharing of relevant images, messages, and events with #celebratebreastfeeding on social media.

@alisonthewliss, @helenhayes_, @KirstySNP, and @SharonHodgsonMP shared stories from their breastfeeding journeys and advocated for breastfeeding in the House of Commons! What a smashing and inspirational way to celebrate this important week. Click here for their presentation and transcript.

Massive thanks to the person who shared this on the MatExp Facebook group; I’m glad I saw it in my timeline. If you have an interest in maternity experiences, this is the group to join.

La Leche League UK wrote about why women need more support and shared positive breastfeeding messages and images on Facebook and Twitter.

Huffingtonpost blogged about some breastfeeding benefits for mums and their babies.

Multi-Mam UK launched their Brelfie Wall Project; they held a competition for mums to share their breastfeeding selfies with #MultiMamBrelfie on Facebook and Twitter. They also hosted a collaborative breastfeeding Q & A session on Facebook, had  a special offer on their compresses, and blogged about why breastfeeding is more than feeding.

Medela‘s celebration on their Facebook page was lovely. They shared a lovely selection of breastfeeding facts during the week, and my favourite is:

I’ve always found comments about emptying each breast baffling; what relief to know that emptying the breast is not the goal!

I was intrigued to learn that “almost three quarters of mums produce more milk with their right breast”. It was also good to be reminded that breast milk production is not dependent on breast size; what an encouragement to many mums! See Medela’s blog about this lovely week for more breastfeeding facts.

Also, their in-house lactation consultant held two Facebook chats in collaboration with Count the Kicks and Mothercare UK; and one fortunate person won a £50 Pizza Express voucher. Their giveaway celebrated Pizza Express for being the most breastfeeding friendly restaurant in the UK, based on their research into UK’s breastfeeding friendly hotspots.

Check out this breastfeeding song for the week; Let It Flow indeed! 🙂

Parrallel Events and Happenings

June 27 was proclaimed as the International Day to Normalize Breastfeeding. You can read more about it here.

The Breastfeeding Network‘s annual national fundrasing event, Mum’s Milk Run, was from Jun 20 to 27. I would like to get involved with this in the future. This year’s theme was ‘Support and Stories’. Participants were encouraged to celebrate birth and parenthood by sharing their breastfeeding stories, and experiences of breastfeeding support.

This Facebook post that I stumbled upon during National Breastfeeding Week makes for an interesting read.

It touches on the role of the father and mother in breastfeeding, and the public perception of this. Fancy the picture of a woman washing breastpump bottles going viral … I just don’t see it happening.

This post touched on the decades old issue of what celebrating positive breastfeeding experiences might mean for those who didn’t reach their breastfeeding goal. It also highlights the more recent issue of questioning the need for disclaimers and apologies when lovely breastfeeding experiences are shared.

Indeed, there is much that can be learned from George Moss’ comments; and also the responses of others to his posts.

I’m especially keen to promote positive and constructive discussions about infant feeding in general and breastfeeding in particular, and I hope this round up contributes to this.

I’m now looking forward to World Breastfeeding Week from August 1 – 7!

~
Should the government start funding the National Breastfeeding Week again?
If you’re from outside the UK, do you have a similar week in your country?
What do you think about any other point in my post?
~

Linkup: #BreastfeedingandI | #MaternityMondays
Adventures of a Novice Mum

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