World Breastfeeding Week 2022: Step up for breastfeeding!
Join people around the world in raising support for breastfeeding mothers!
At Milk N Mamas Baby, we’re joining hundreds of thousands of people in more than 120 countries to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2022 (WBW2022) from August 1 through August 7. The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) coordinates the global campaign to “inform, anchor, engage, and galvanize action on breastfeeding and related issues.” This year’s theme is “Step up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support.”
While breastfeeding support is critical every year, the COVID-19 pandemic, environmental crises, and geopolitical conflicts have widened social inequalities and food insecurities world-wide. Unfortunately, mothers and children are among the most vulnerable people during times of international troubles. In 2022, the challenges faced by families are aggravated by compromised healthcare systems and disruptions to the breastmilk substitute manufacturing supply chain.
Even under the best of circumstances, however, parents face challenges to providing the best care for their children. More than half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, and more than a quarter of mothers feel compelled to return to work almost immediately after delivery in order to support their families. While strides have been made to support breastfeeding and pumping mothers in the workplace, many employers find ways to work around maternity leave and breastfeeding requirements.
In addition to these roadblocks to breastfeeding, more than a quarter of mothers are not aware of the benefits of breastfeeding. Because breastfeeding has not been made a priority in many hospitals and communities, it can be difficult for mothers to find the information they need to start a healthy breastfeeding practice. Likewise, many moms don’t realize that they are entitled to breast pumps to ease their return to work through the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They aren’t aware that employers are required to provide workplace support for breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding mothers and their babies need ongoing support from health services, their workplaces, and their communities. The WABA calls these critical sectors the Warm Chain of Support for Breastfeeding. This year, the campaign’s goal is to encourage governments, healthcare providers, community organizations, and society at large to advocate for breastfeeding and create breastfeeding-friendly environments.
While counsellors, lactation consultants, midwives, and doctors are obviously essential to breastfeeding mothers, so are employers, partners, and the media. We all have an important role to play in advocating for programs to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. If you’re interested in how you can be a part of WBW2022, visit the official website to find resources to spread awareness.
When I first launched Milk N Mamas Baby, I had already been advocating on behalf of nursing moms for years. In fact, I lobbied for insurance to cover breastfeeding equipment before the ACA required it. Today, our mom-led team continues to support moms and babies through healthcare advocacy, educational materials, and high-quality breastfeeding supplies for mothers around the world. If you’re a mom interested in learning more about breastfeeding, pumping, or how to support other breastfeeding moms, get in touch today. We’d love to chat.