Today marks the end of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW), and to celebrate I’ve teamed up with the lovely people over at Ana Wiz to offer you a fantastic prize. Read on for details.
Now in its 21st year, WBW now involves over 170 countries. Each year the event focuses on a different aspect of breastfeeding support, and raises awareness of its value across the globe. This year it is highlighting the importance of breastfeeding peer support.
In the UK, while initial breastfeeding rates are slowly increasing, many mums give up soon after being signed off from clinical care. Once the regular contact with midwives and other health professionals comes to an end, so does the breastfeeding journey for many mothers. Many women feel that they lack the support to continue breastfeeding.
Of course, professional help is ideal. From lactation consultants to peer supporters, there are hundreds of trained professionals waiting to offer help to breastfeeding mothers in need. But it’s not just the professionals who can help support mums - friends and family members can play an important role too.
So, if someone you care about has just started out on their breastfeeding journey, here are some ways you can offer support:
- offer help - ok, you can’t help breastfeed obviously, but there are plenty of other things you can do. Breastfeeding a newborn can take up to eight hours a day, so between that and changing nappies, there isn’t much time left for anything else. Try to help out in any way you can - whether that’s taking over some cooked meals to be reheated, or cleaning the bathroom when you pop round for cuddles, try to ease the burden on the new parents. If there are older siblings, offer to take care of them for a few hours to give the parents some time to bond with the newborn.
- provide emotional support - new mums can be emotional creatures, so offer a shoulder to cry on if needed. Be supportive about any breastfeeding problems and gently encourage them to seek help from a peer supporter or breastfeeding support group.
- don’t push a bottle - some women find that their friends and family push a bottle on them. “Not sleeping? Give him a bottle.” “Waking in the night? Give that baby a bottle.” It can sometimes feel like the entire world is against breastfeeding. Support the new mum’s decision to breastfeed by refraining from bottle-pushing. Instead focus on the good points of breastfeeding.
- confidence building - breastfeeding can be daunting for new mums. Many worry (unnecessarily) that they aren’t producing enough milk, or that the baby would be better off with formula. You can play a large role in building mum’s confidence and helping her to trust her body. Little comments like “He certainly seems to be thriving on your milk,” and “he’s such a content baby isn’t he, it must be all that breastmilk.” can go a long way during a 4am feed.
- normalise breastfeeding - even if it’s not a sight you’re used to seeing, don’t act uncomfortable around your breastfeeding friend. Carry on as normal, and help her to feel happy about breastfeeding in public.Ana Wiz have very kindly provided a prize to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2013. One lucky reader will win a Spectra Drew Single Expression breast pump with £59.95. This quality electric pump is quiet so you can pump without waking the baby. The rhythmic suction is designed to efficiently mimic breastfeeding. It offers various levels of suction, allowing you to choose the one right for you. The Spectra Drew Single Expression breast pump can easily be converted to a double expression pump with the simple addition of a dual expression kit. The breast pump comes complete with two BPA bottles and a two year warranty.
To enter, all you need to do is fill in the Rafflecopter below. Good luck!
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