It’s Breastfeeding Awareness Week and we want to celebrate your progress! More than 73% of women in the UK start breastfeeding, and 17% of babies are still being exclusively breastfed at three months.
Breastfeeding awareness week is here to encourage, pat those on the back for breastfeeding and those who exclusively express. Even if you only managed a few hours after birth, you deserve to feel empowered and congratulated too.
I’ve been breastfeeding for 16-months now and it’s the best thing I have ever done.
From the medical benefits to the bonding I feel with my daughter, this is what pushed my choice to push on after a devastating start to my journey.
I was diagnosed with a clot in my left lung, this was called a Pulmonary Embolism. I almost died.
After a 72 hour ban, I was scared to re-start my journey, My daughter had been very fortunate enough to be given donated breastmilk whilst I was unable to feed her due to my radiation dye that had previously been injected. I also struggled with her latch. It wasn’t until she was 10-months old that I found she had upper and lower lip tie.
So to say I had an easy start, is a lie.
Unfortunately,not everybody is able to breastfeed and I can only imagine how upset they feel when this week comes around. It’s hard breastfeeding and we should all be thankful that our children are alive, healthy and most of all happy.
If you’re yet to breastfeed, here are some fun facts in helping you decide if it’s for you.
- Breast milk aids in protecting your baby from infections, diseases and helps speed up a cold or flu. This meaning with fewer visits to the doctors or the hospital.
- Reduces the risk of diarrhoea and vomiting, with fewer visits to the doctors or hospital as a result.
- It’s always available for your baby, 24/7, whenever he or she wants it. No need to get up and make a bottle.
- Reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
- Reduces the risk of Childhood Leukaemia
- Reduces the risk of Type 2 Diabetes
- Reduces the risk of obesity
- Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease in adulthood
- Lowers risk of breast cancer
- Lowers risk of ovarian cancer
- Lowers risk of osteoporosis (weak bones)
- Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease
- Lowers risk of obesity
- Breastfeeding builds a strong emotional bond between you and your child.
The benefits don’t stop at 6 months or 12 months, oh no. Breastfeeding has been proven to do so much more for older children and toddlers.
Breastfeeding toddlers between the ages of one and three have been found to have fewer illnesses, illnesses of shorter duration, and lower mortality rates. The benefits grow the older your child becomes, you can read more from KellyMom here.
In recent news it’s been discussed whether breastfeeding should be taught in school. Obviously many other mothers agree, but many more disagree.
Here are some responses:
Rhiannon: ‘After one year alot of women are back at work full time. Good luck breastfeeding then!’
Margaret: ‘Heard it all now! The world has gone mad!!!let kids be kids!!!!’
Trisha: ‘Seriously……..they’ll be teaching ‘sex positions’ to 5 year olds next’
Niki: ‘No No No. What a stupid idea. Not everyone can or wants to breastfeed and teaching it at school is a dumb idea. Let’s just teach them to read, write and how to live financially.’
Hannah: ‘If you teach my innocent 11 year old child to breast feed best believe there’s gonna be war’
Kayley: ‘What the hell is this all about!! Being forced into this! Let them make their own decisions when they become Mummies. Let them be children for god sake!’
Professor Neena Modi, President of the Royal College, told the Daily Mail:
“Regrettably, the attitudes of a large part of society mean breastfeeding is not always encouraged.
“Support is patchy, advice is not always consistent and often overly dogmatic, support at work not always conducive to continued breastfeeding and, perhaps most worryingly, breastfeeding in public is often stigmatised.”
Meanwhile, Chief Nurse at Public Health England, Viv Bennett, told the Daily Mail:
“We can all help women wherever they are. Creating a wider culture of encouragement and support will help make a mother’s experience all the more positive.”