Why do we need a world breastfeeding week? You can say its complicated…..
Breastfeeding – the way ALL mammals feed…. the natural way to feed an infant!
Yet riddled with so many complications isn’t it? So many give up, so many do not even try!
And we find health professionals who glorify breastfeeding and insist and push parents towards breastfeeding; then there are the others who go completely the other way round and for every little thing breastfeeding gets the blame!
This year’s logo for WABA really resonates with me. As a counsellor, I find myself giving counselling in a very different way to what I was taught . I find empowering the parents to understand what they really need for their families is what is needed. I bow to the wisdom of parents because only they know what their family is like and what the needs are. So my job, is to state the facts than give them some food for thought to find the path that works best for them.
And so, we go back to world breastfeeding week….why is it needed? because so many parents, health professionals and the rest of the world have forgotten that we are mammals and breasts make milk for a reason. Many have forgotten that this milk is made especially for human infants and that every mother makes the milk differently to suit her particular child. Despite the many studies made and the 200% results in favour of breast milk as the necessary milk for infants, there are tons of people from every day busy bodies to health professionals who refute it or dub it as The Best milk…. meaning you need not go to the ultimate ideal but just the normal (and by normal they mean breast milk substitutes also known as formula). They refuse to recognise breast milk as normal continuing to making it the unattainable ideal for many.
Lastly but not least important at all, because many view breastfeeding and specifically breastfeeding in public as disgusting. So many get offended to see a breast being sucked by an infant…. and yet, and yet , hardly any one gets offended for seeing a breast without said infant.
So a breastfeeding week is needed to remind us all of our roots – breasts make milk to feed infants. Milk from said breasts is the normal milk for infants that suits completely their needs. A woman feeding an infant whether with the whole breast showing or none at all is simply feeding an infant and if any one feels uncomfortable they simply need to turn around and find a different subject to look at.
We, women who breastfeed, need to remember and embody within us, not accommodate the needs of others except of our infant. Not to feel embarrassed to show a breast in public but proud and confident that we are giving what is by rights their natural milk. Not to ask permission to give said breast milk but do so matter of factly and push through and eliminating this taboo.
It is not easy, but one woman at a time, one supporting partner at a time, we can once more bring breastfeeding to its true place – the normal way to feed an infant, without qualms. This we can do by simply feeding our infant, showing children how it is done. Be normal without the need to make an emphasis about it or comment to other parents. Just be real!