Breastfeeding: Let's Make it Work.
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated in Canada from October 1-8, 2015. This year’s theme is Breastfeeding and Work: Let’s Make it Work! The week calls for global action to support women to combine breastfeeding and work.
The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and continued breastfeeding, with the introduction of solid food, for two years or beyond. Successfully combining work and breastfeeding makes it easier for women to return to work and breastfeed longer, which benefits babies, mothers and employers. Whether a woman is working in a formal, non-formal or home setting, it is important she is empowered to breastfeed.
“Time, space and support are essential for encouraging breastfeeding at work. Employers can support breastfeeding by providing a clean, comfortable and private space and allowing a flexible time schedule to accommodate breastfeeding, said Patty Hallam, Knowledge Coordinator with Interior Health. “Support from a team of helpers that includes family, friends, health-care providers, communities, as well as employers and co-workers can make all the difference in building a woman’s confidence and comfort with breastfeeding.”
Breastfeeding is natural but it is not always easy. Public health nurses are available at health centres across Interior Health to assist mothers and infants during the breastfeeding years and to ensure families have all the help they need to give babies the best start in life. Contact your local public health centre for more information.
Support is also a click away with Healthy Families BC’s Breastfeeding Buddy web-based app (https://www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca/home/articles/breastfeeding-buddy). This easy, fun and educational resource is designed to provide women and families with quick online access to key information about breastfeeding, support in their communities and answers to common questions. It also has fun, interactive tools to help families keep track of breastfeeding activities, diaper changes and sleep patterns.
Interior Health nurses, along with their community partners, will be hosting events to mark World Breastfeeding Week. The events aim to raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding and build support for breastfeeding in communities. All breastfeeding mothers and their supporters are encouraged to attend Breastfeeding Week events in their areas.
Ediutor’s Note: According to The Borgen Project “Breastfed children face a significantly reduced risk of chronic illness.”