Friday, 31 July 2015

World Breastfeeding Week 2015

It's the first day of World Breastfeeding Week ya'll!!

I didn't know there was an annual celebration for breastfeeding until I had a baby, haha!

It gives me great comfort to know efforts to normalize breastfeeding again is happening everywhere around the world.

I don't think it's a fight against formula at all, in fact formula saved lives too.
I feel it's a drive to inform the masses that breastfeeding should be thought as the primary food source for babies during the first 6 months of life, secondary being formula.

How in the world did we (including myself) have become so brainwashed with advertisements saying formula IS the right way or the only way to go.

Our ancestors will probably be laughing their bums off watching us falling into the traps of marketing when we have been blessed with so much goodness already.

Anyhoos, thank god breastfeeding is back. However a number of people are not continuing or even starting because ;

1. Lack of Pro Breastfeeding Medical Professionals
It's vital for us as parents or future parents to educate ourselves on  breastfeeding. Yes I understand it's a natural act but it's the dispassionate medical professionals that are not pro breastfeeding are the ones that we got to worry about. There are a handful out there hence it is our responsibility to question and know your options when encountering milk/latching issues. Ask, ask and ask.

2. Support system
Family, friends, co-workers play a big role to a mother who breastfeeds. We could really not use remarks like
• oh, baby is crying cause you are not producing enough milk
• you have milk ah? Boobs so small
• could you cover up or breastfeed somewhere else? (No, I can't because I want to show you my boobs, really I do, makes me very comfortable -_-)
• please work instead of pumping every few hours or finish your work then pump (urmm okay, I'll quietly enjoy this wonderful feeling of engorgement)
• let your baby sleep well through the night, give some nestum or formula will you?!
The list goes on doesn't it.
I think it will be really helpful if family members including in laws have a little read on breastfeeding, youtube it or attend a class. Plus it's wise to have a little talk with your boss on your choice to breastfeed. More importantly, you, the mother, have got to give your 200% on this journey. 

3. Panic
Am I the only new mother who panics? A million things run through our heads when something doesn't go right. Like why is this baby still crying!!!!! I experienced that on the first week of my delivery. As much as I was prepared and determined to breastfeed, I broke down. If it wasn't for the calmness of my experienced brother and his wife, my son would have had his first formula feed because I was lost and only thought of crying a river to flood the whole neighborhood (yes post natal drama is real, hence cut the mama some slack for the first year at the very least). Keep some numbers of family/friends who are experienced and a few contacts of lactation consultants or even breastfeeding peer counselors. A fellow buddy, mummy blogger at Joycescapade, Joyce has just received her breastfeeding peer counselor certificate. I am sure she would love to help. Congratulations Joyce!!

I must highlight that today, breastfeeding is much more accepted with the masses. Plus we have various hospitals here in Malaysia that are breastfeeding friendly thanks to the UNICEF Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.
Some of which are ;
1. Assunta Hospital
2. Pantai Hospital
3. KPJ Specialist Centres
4. All Malaysian government Hospitals 

I'd like to ask if most of you are aware that, under normal circumstances, if your baby has jaundice, you can request to stay in the hospital to ensure your are able to continue breastfeeding. You can. It is wise to breastfeed by direct latching fully at least for the first month to increase the chances of consistent milk production.

Now coming back to the World Breastfeeding Week, WBW for short, it's an annual campaign initiated by World Association of Breastfeeding Alliance.
WBW runs from 1st of Aug till 7th of Aug since 1992. I like the idea of having different themes every year coinciding with current issues on breastfeeding and raising awareness on it in a global scale.

This year, the theme is Make breastfeeding work, at work!

They call for 'concerted global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work. It is necessary that she is empowered in claiming her and her baby's right to breastfeed.

How are you coping at work? Be it in a formal setting or at home. I find it challenging but with the right support, it makes it easier.

My #tseEmpower series will be kick starting this month, and I'd like to share about two mothers who breastfeeds and are running their very own business. I find them inspiring.

Do keep a lookout for #tseEmpower very first feature in the coming weeks.

In addition to that, I will be posting up sort of a 'did you know' or a fun fact pic about breastfeeding on my social media every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays for the month of August. The pics will be hashtagged under #tsebreastfeeding, be sure to check it out.

I know WBW is obviously for a week but That Skinny Elephant wants to honor their efforts for the whole month because I want to, heee

Whether you are a mother who breastfeeds, comfort feeds, dream feeds, pumps and bottle feeds, or mix feeds, I am sending over virtual warm hugs for that every little effort you put in providing the best for your baby.

Join in and create a little awareness on breastfeeding. Hopefully we don't have to run so many campaigns in the future because we have made breastfeeding a norm again.

Back to basics.

Kisses of au naturales from That Skinny Elephant.

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