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.
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
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?