Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

For those of you who were unaware, yesterday began World Breastfeeding Week, launched to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. Some of you are probably flipping out right now that this is on our blog, but that is precisely why I am writing this–to remind you that breastfeeding is normal, superior nutrition and what God created as nourishment for babies.

There are (at least) 101 Reasons to Breastfeed Your Child. How we, as a society, perceive breastfeeding greatly impacts how long women breastfeed. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for 6 months and then to continue as the baby’s primary nutrition for a year. In the United States, only 72% of women report breastfeeding at least once, by six months only 39.1% are still breastfeeding, and by a year, only 20.1% are still breastfeeding (CDC).

The theme for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is Code Watch, referring to the 1981 International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, which was designed to limit the undermining of breastfeeding through advertising. You can read more specifics here. As I have researched this more the past week, I am more and more tempted to join the ranks and boycott Nestle for their undermining of breastfeeding among the developing world. This is done by giving away free or reduced price formula to new mothers in the third world and then those women can’t afford the formula, prepare it with contaminated water, and don’t provide the immunities to their babies that only breastfeeding can provide. The World Health Organization estimates that over 1.5 million infants die every year that could be prevented by breastfeeding (source).

So to those of you still reading, thanks for reading and perhaps learning more about the importance of breastfeeding. Support moms you know that breastfeed!

10 Responses to “Happy World Breastfeeding Week!”

  1. D.O. says:

    I’m pro-breastfeeding too. That’s not a joke, I’ve heard all the wonderful info you provided before (including the Nestle – and Gerber for that matter – deal). Thanks for the educational and useful blog, and if you decide to boycott Nestle, I’ll join you… in fact, I think I started today.

  2. Rachel says:

    I’m so glad you already knew all that stuff, D.O. Impressive! If anyone else is interested in boycotting Nestle, its quite the undertaking because they make TONS of stuff. Here’s the link of their profit-making products (they own 50% of General Mills): Nestle Products. Enjoy!

  3. Heather says:

    Way to go Rachel!

    I am a HUGE fan of breastfeeding!!

    And…I’m SO VERY PROUD OF YOU!! What a great mommy you are!! It brings me great joy watching you as a mother.

    And D.O….I did not think I could love you more…but I just proved myself wrong. You were already at the very tip top of my list…so after this comment, I’m not sure how you could move up a notch…I guess now, you’re just throwing the curve for everyone else!!

  4. Jerod says:

    I was reading the 101 reasons, and gosh! there are so many benefits i wish i could drink it. even if only for the increased IQ.

  5. vanessa says:

    i was basically anorexic for my first 3 days of life because i disagreed with breastfeeding and they put me on formula…and I think i turned out ok.

  6. Rachel says:

    Vanessa, I hope that you didn’t misunderstand what I was trying to say. I am not saying that you are inferior because you were not breastfed. Formula has a place, however, breastmilk is superior in nutritional quality. The Nestle boycott has nothing to do with them making formula, it has to do with the way they market it in developing countries where women who can breastfeed and should, use the formula instead and then can’t afford it, make it with contaminated water, etc.

    Most babies don’t have “true” milk the first few days of life. New moms make colostrum and many parents worry a lot until their mom’s milk “comes in” around 2-6 days postpartum. This said, I have no idea what happened with you and your mom, but I do know that you turned out just great!

  7. D.O. says:

    I’ve read the list, and I’m ready. GO!

  8. vanessa says:

    rach–i am not offended whatsoever and i completely agree with everything you said…i was just making a true statement about my life of which i was reminded through your article. thought it might be funny…maybe not. ok, bye.

  9. Ryan says:

    Just the read the 101 reasons. Some are quite interesting. The last reason is almost counterintuitive in today’s culture (it’s what breasts were designed for!). Laura and I are definitely pro-breastfeeding and she is looking forward to that beginning in December. We are currently shopping for a good breast pump. Any suggestions?

  10. Christine says:

    Ryan, I suggest going all out for the top of the line breastpump if Laura plans to breastfeed for a while and for future babies. I got a Medela two-pumper one for my second baby and wished I had had it for the first. It’s expensive, but definitely worth it.
    P.S. I can’t believe I’m talking about breastpumps with you.