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World Breastfeeding Week: Foundation of Life

by Erin Stieglitz on August 03, 2018

World Breastfeeding Week and National Breastfeeding Month are off to a fantastic start! We’re so glad you’re joining us for the festivities. When we celebrate breastfeeding what we’re really supporting is life: The healthiest beginning to new lives, the well-being of mothers and families, and the prosperity of communities.

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action designates World Breastfeeding Week 2018’s theme as “Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life.” This framework reminds us that, while sometimes difficult, nourishing babies is a basic need and breastfeeding is the healthiest way to achieve it.

Leading Lady is proud to be part of this foundation with our $200,000 nursing bra donation. Annually this philanthropic program champions new moms across the country who are working hard to give their babies the best start in life.

The benefits of breastfeeding are numerous, and they extend to every corner of the globe. That’s why breastfeeding awareness is truly a worldwide health crusade. Breastfeeding can save lives, improve lives and help babies thrive even in the most discouraging circumstances. Here are some of the priceless benefits of breastfeeding for everyone involved:

Babies:

  • Breastfeeding saves lives as evidenced by a lower infant mortality rate among breastfed babies.
  • Overwhelmingly, breastfed babies are healthier in every way thanks to the incredibly valuable nutrients and antibodies in breast milk that boosts the immune system.
  • Babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of many illnesses and diseases including ear infections, diarrhea, SIDs, certain forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, asthma, obesity, allergies and many more.
  • Breastfeeding is linked to higher IQ in children.

Mothers:

  • Mother’s who breastfeed have an easier time bonding with their babies, which helps sync to the baby’s needs for an easier newborn period.
  • Breastfeeding moms have less incidence of postpartum depression.
  • Moms who breastfeed have reduced risk of some forms of cancer as well as osteoporosis.
  • Breastfeeding encourages the uterus to shrink quicker, helping moms return to their normal body shape quicker.

    Families:

    • Breastfeeding is a normal, natural way to feed babies. Just like serving your family a healthy meal, breastfeeding quite perfectly takes care of a baby’s nutritional needs. Establishing healthy practices is a major role of parenting and breastfeeding is an excellent lesson in that category.
    • When babies are healthy, parents and siblings are less likely to get sick too.
    • Breastfeeding saves money! On average, a breastfed baby saves a family more than $1,700 for the first year of life.

    Communities:

    • Because breastfed babies tend to get sick less, parents spend fewer days away from work to take care of sick children or from being sick themselves. Less absenteeism makes businesses more successful.
    • Sickness takes a toll on the health care system, driving costs of everything from doctor’s visits to medication higher. In the cycle of wellness, breastfeeding is less taxing on healthcare.
    • Breastfeeding is better for the planet by reducing financial and environmental costs of manufacturing, packaging, transporting, and selling formula.

    With the understanding that breastfeeding is the healthiest foundation for life, many moms work tirelessly to provide breast milk to their infants. Even in the smoothest of circumstances, breastfeeding can be exhausting. And sometimes breastfeeding does not go as expected, despite the motivation and persistence a mother puts forth.

    But support is always available, whether it’s a call to your local WIC office or La Leche League chapter, a visit with a lactation consultant, or online resources like our free downloadable Breastfeeding Handbook and Breastfeeding A-Z guide. Breastfeeding challenges can feel isolating and hopeless but there’s a solution to almost any breastfeeding problem.

    We welcome you to share your successes and challenges on your journey to provide a healthy foundation of life to your most precious baby. Join us on our World Breastfeeding Week hub page and Facebook for more ways to celebrate with us!

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