Talk About Breastfeeding: The Importance of Early Nutrition for World Breastfeeding Week

By Angie McPherson

August 2, 2016

For mom and actress Jimena Larraguivel, breastfeeding gave her the confidence she needed to believe in her instincts as a new mother. Jimena is a global mom living in Mexico and the United Kingdom; she is one of many voices sharing her support of World Breastfeeding Week on Twitter using #GlobalMoms and #WorldBreastfeedingWeek.

Breastfeeding is a way for babies to get the vital nutrients they need and a way for mothers and babies to connect after birth. It isn’t for everyone, there are many mothers who offer various forms of nutrition to their children, but it is a practice that is supported by the health community and loved by those who practice it.

This year, the World Health Organization (WHO) is using World Breastfeeding Week (August 1 – August 8) to support moms breastfeeding anytime and anywhere. The focus of the campaign is to help break the cultural stigma that mothers shouldn’t breastfeed in public.

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In order to accomplish this goal, the WHO is asking for moms to share photos of their “brelfies” in support of breastfeeding around the world, like this lovely one New York City’s Commissioner for International Relations, Penny Abeywardena.

The importance of early childhood nutrition is evident in numerous health studies and reports from governing organizations around the world. Most recently, UNICEF released a report stating that 77 million newborns — or half of the world’s children — are not given breast milk within an hour of birth. That first milk after birth provides newborns with vital nutrients they need to protect them from various illnesses. (Watch our video interview about the importance of nutrition in the first 1,000 Days.)

We can’t help teach mothers around the world about the importance of breastfeeding, or break the cultural stigma that prevents breastfeeding, unless we talk and teach each other.

Help support, teach, and reach out to other moms about breastfeeding this week in support of moms everywhere. In the closing words of global mom Monia Basia on Facebook, “I respect and admire all moms, all nursing moms, but those who had a hard time nursing and continued, I salute.”

Take Action Challenge
Join the ongoing conversation this week by posting your breastfeeding photos and stories. You can read more about the importance of breastfeeding, and get tips, from WHO or BabyCenter. Thank you to everyone who posted. Let’s keep the conversation going!

Join the conversation using #GlobalMoms!
[Lead photo by UN Photo/Albert González Farran]

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