5 Ways to Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week

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Life isn’t always easy for the breastfeeding mom. From a lack of workplace accommodations to the averted eyes of friends and strangers alike, there is an air of discomfort surrounding an entirely natural nursing practice.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, breast milk contains antibodies that protect infants from illnesses –reducing risks for health issues like stomach viruses, asthma, obesity, diabetes, and childhood leukemia. On a lesser level, breast milk is easier for infants to digest than formula made from cow’s milk.

And breastfeeding also has benefits for moms, having been linked to lowering breast cancer and postpartum depression risks.

This week (August 1-7) is World Breastfeeding Week, a time to celebrate the signing of WHO/UNICEF’s Innocenti Declaration, a document detailing the benefits of breastfeeding.

Here are five steps you can take to make the world a friendlier place for nursing moms.

1.       Participate in the Big Latch On.

On Saturday, August 6th, women and infants across the world will participate in the Big Latch On, a synchronized nursing event held in a number of states and dozens of countries. To find or create an event, visit the organization’s website.

2.       Rally up the troops (husband, kids, and dog/cat/bunny) and attend a local nursing event.

From picnics to community baby showers, there are a host of happenings going on in nearly every state to celebrate breastfeeding.  Visit La Leche League for a list of events organized by state.

3.       Take supportive coworkers out for a scoop of ice cream or a cup of coffee.

If they covered for you while you pumped breast milk at work, now’s the time to say thanks and explain the importance of workplace accommodations for nursing moms.

4.       Utilize social media.

Now, more than ever, social media tools like Facebook and Twitter are used to discuss various issues. Put your support of World Breastfeeding Week on full display by changing your profile picture to an image of a nursing mom and posting a positive article about breastfeeding every day for the remainder of the week. If you keep a blog, talk to your readers about the benefits of breastfeeding.

5.       Join an online community.

If you’re searching for tips or simply want to show support for others, become a member of a website like BreastFeeding.com, which will allow you to create your own home page, post to forums, join groups, and create a blog.

-Diana Denza

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