Friday, August 10, 2018

Guest Post from Neve at WeTheParents

Mothers Unite to Fight Breastfeeding Inequality

Breastfeeding is the most natural of all parenting practices. Yet while this ancient rite is available to (almost) all mothers, not all mothers have an equal opportunity to make it work for them and their baby.
Last week, the world celebrated World Breastfeeding Week. It was the perfect opportunity to change the 'mommy war' debate. After all, the big issue isn't whether well-educated, well-off, and well-informed women choose to breastfeed. The real problem is breastfeeding inequality.
In the poor state of Louisiana (US) only 56% of mothers ever breastfeed, but in the relatively wealthy state of California, 93% do. Disparities such as this often correlate with socioeconomic status. This is well-known in academic and health-care circles, but it is rarely spoken about in the blogosphere.
This infographic by We The Parents shows the startling reality of breastfeeding inequality.

Mothers, Let's Unite

Too many words, tweets, and blog comments are dedicated to debating whether or not mothers should be free to bottle-feed without feeling guilty. Yes, that’s an important conversation, but the real issue is that many mothers who want to breastfeed are not getting an equal opportunity to do so.
Whether it’s zip code, family income, education level, marital status, quality of hospital maternity support, job lactation programmes, or the many other socioeconomic factors involved, through no fault of their own, many women simply do not receive the support and knowledge required to make a success of breastfeeding.
Surely we moms can all agree on this: when a mother wants to breastfeed, she should be given the best chance to do so. So let’s make this the cause we get passionate about online.
The solution is complex and will involve things like better paid maternity leave and lactation support in lower-paid jobs; it will mean improving breastfeeding education and community support; we’ll need to boost the quality of hospital maternity support, especially in deprived areas; and the old conflict of interest between hospitals and formula companies which results in women receiving free formula samples in hospital discharge bags will need to be tackled.
Achieving breastfeeding equality is by no means an easy task, but perhaps events like World Breastfeeding Week can be the catalyst for parent-bloggers to reframe the debate. Let’s fight together so that all women in all walks of life to have an equal opportunity to breastfeed their babies if they want to.
 
Neve is the proud mama of two, breastfeeding advocate, and natural parenting blogger.
You can catch her writing at WeTheParents.

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  4. Hello. Thank you for the article.
    Any woman who has become or is just about to become a mother will sooner or later have to decide on the issue of breastfeeding. And ask questions "Up to what age to feed the baby with a breast?", "Do I need to use the lure?", "Maybe mother's milk is not so necessary?" Of course, to breastfeed a child or not, this is a topic that is devoted to more than one research paper.
    Scientists around the world are constantly conducting studies that prove the usefulness of such an action. When breastfeeding a woman protects her child from many diseases - reduces the risk of developing diabetes, allergies, etc.
    According to WHO, too early switching to hard foods, as well as replacing mother's milk with animal milk (for example, cow's milk) reduces the immunity of the child against HIV.
    Breastfeeding contributes even to the development of the child's intellect - experts from the Royal College of London (UK), Duke University (USA) and Otago (New Zealand) came to this conclusion.
    And, of course, physical contact between mother and baby during feeding creates a sense of security: the child experiences positive emotions and calms down.

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