From August 1 to August 7, World Breastfeeding Week is recognised. It is celebrated in over 170 countries around the world and highlights the importance of breastfeeding for children worldwide. This annual campaign has been celebrated for the last 27 years and continues to grow every year. The week is launched internationally by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) and is endorsed by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and The World Health Organization (WHO).
World breastfeeding week aims to highlight the benefits that breastfeeding can bring to the health of infants, young children, and their mothers. With the accessibility of milk alternatives readily available to expecting and new moms worldwide, breastfeeding is slowly becoming a thing of the past. There has also been much stigma over the act of breastfeeding in recent years with women being shamed for breastfeeding their children in public spaces. Regardless of what your stance on the topic may be, the facts remain the same. Breastfeeding still is and always will be the healthiest option for babies and young children.
Besides its numerous health benefits, which we will list later on, breastfeeding has an emotional side that we cannot overlook. In a chat with Amy Bartholomew, Counsellor, at the Breast Feeding Association of T&T, she explained that breastfeeding releases a hormone that establishes a bond between the mother and the baby that is just as important as the nutritional benefits. This bond prompts an emotional closeness that plays an important role in the infant’s development for years to come. Here are a few other benefits that she listed:
Breast milk contains the perfect nutrients for the human baby.
It holds enough water for the baby.
It is clean, the perfect temperature and always ready.
It contains antibodies.
It prevents diseases.
It reduces allergies and asthma.
It contributes to the proper development of the human brain.
It reduces the risk of diabetes.
It promotes faster postpartum recovery for the mother.
It helps the mother’s uterus return to pre-pregnancy size.
It aids in faster weight loss for the mother.
It helps to prevent the mother from getting certain types of cancer like breast, uterine and ovarian cancer.
It is beneficial to the environment as there is no waste.
It is economical because it is free.
The Breastfeeding Association of T&T (TBATT) is a voluntary, non-governmental organisation founded to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. The association was founded in 1977 as The Informative Breastfeeding Service (TIBS) but in 2015 its name was changed to The Breastfeeding Association of T&T (TBATT).
The Breastfeeding Association works to encourage parents to make the best decision for their babies’ health, that is, to give them breast milk exclusively for the first six months of life, and to continue breastfeeding after solid food is introduced up to two years of age and beyond. The Breastfeeding Association encourages and supports mothers and mothers-to-be who wish to breastfeed their babies and works to create, in all communities, awareness of the importance of human milk.
For more information or to get involved with FREE breastfeeding counselling, you can call: The Breastfeeding Association Centre, Curepe Tel: 468-5412, Breastfeeding Association Centre, St. Clair, POS Tel: 628-8234 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org