I'm excited to read all that everyone has to contribute to this year's theme, Talk to Me! It's all about communication: connecting with people, building bridges, and most importantly, reaching out to those who aren't touched by breastfeeding every day, especially young people. It's about bringing those young people in on the conversation, and ultimately getting them involved in breastfeeding outreach.
So, how do we do that?! I think the answer is simple: increase exposure to breastfeeding through nursing openly, whenever and wherever you do. Project yourself with a "Talk to me!" attitude, so that people feel comfortable approaching you and asking questions. If you're not nursing anymore (or never did), still be willing to talk about it with your kids. Keep the lines of communication open, so that we're all being respectful of each other while also being willing to tackle the difficult conversations together.
Every single exposure to breastfeeding to those who aren't familiar with it helps to increase awareness. Increasing visibility helps it to become normal. The more normalized, routine, and commonplace breastfeeding becomes, the more babies will be breastfed. As a result, more children will grow up seeing breastfeeding and knowing that they will breastfeed their children (or encourage a partner to do so) in the future.
It seems simple to me, though certainly not easy. It takes many single moments in time and many individual people, all actively making a choice: To talk. To write. To ask questions and to answer them. To share our experiences with each other. To be welcoming. To be open. To breastfeed.
What do you think? What's the best way to increase awareness and encourage talking about breastfeeding? How can we communicate about breastfeeding more effectively? How do we encourage young people in particular to be an active part of the conversation? Talk to me!
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