I am blown away at how quickly 2020 is flying by. 2021 is on the horizon and the future remains unknown. What I do know is that breastfeeding remains a constant in my household and is celebrated daily. It is a way of life for me! I am mommy to a nursing toddler, I wear cool swag to normalize breast / chestfeeding and I frequent circles where lactation is discussed regularly. I always look forward to the month of August because the month brings awareness to the rest of the world. August starts with World Breastfeeding Week (August 1-7) and ends with Black Breastfeeding Week (August 25-31). Breast / chestfeeding is in the spotlight throughout the month and I couldn’t be happier!
Each year World Alliance for Breastfeeding Advocacy (WABA) establishes a theme. The theme for World Breastfeeding Week 2020 (WBW2020) is: Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet. Objectives for 2020 are:
- Inform people about the links between breastfeeding and the environment/climate change
- Anchor breastfeeding as a climate-smart decision
- Engage with individuals and organisations for greater impact
- Galvanize action on improving the health of the planet and people through breastfeeding
“Breastmilk is a natural, renewable food that is environmentally safe: produced and delivered without pollution, packaging or waste.”World Breastfeeding Week 2017
Sustainability and its correlation to breast / chestfeeding is an area that is seldom discussed. I am guilty as I primarily focus on providing direct support to nursing parents. Medela emphasizes that “there are no preservatives or risk of contaminants in breast milk and it’s generally not processed in any way… Feeding at the breast also recuses waste – from production to feeding, no products are needed, just mom and baby’s bodies.” Expressing human milk can require additional supplies (bottles, breast pump, storage bags), however, “it’s still much more earth-friendly than formula feeding” because the majority of these products are reusable.
The above insight is additional evidence that human milk is magic because it benefits infants, children, parents and the planet. Access, education and support are vital components of the equation that must come from a variety of sources – public policy, lactation professionals, partners, families, medical settings and workplace environments. It certainly takes a village to make breast / chestfeeding successful.
“Breastfeeding provides every child with the best possible start in life. It delivers health, nutritional and emotional benefits to both children and mothers. And it forms part of a sustainable food system. But while breastfeeding is a natural process, it is not always easy. Mothers need support – both to get started and to sustain breastfeeding.”World Breastfeeding Week 2020 Message (WHO, UNICEF)
In closing, I encourage you to research for yourself, uplift a nursing parent and keep the conversation moving beyond the month of August.
Until Next Time,
Peace, Love & Breastmilk
The Maziwa Tribe blog does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Content from Maziwa Tribe’s blog is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. The information provided on this blog is intended for general consumer understanding. The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Please contact your family doctor or other medical professional to obtain medical advice.