RCM comments on World Breastfeeding Week 2018
Today (Wednesday 1st August) marks the start of World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) 2018 and this year the theme is ‘Foundation of Life’.
World Breastfeeding week 2018 will focus on how breastfeeding helps prevent malnutrition in all its forms, ensures food security even in times of crisis and breaks the cycle of poverty.
Commenting Clare Livingstone Professional Policy Advisor at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says; “The theme of this year’s world breastfeeding week is one that the RCM wholeheartedly supports. Breastfeeding is one of the most important markers of an individual’s future health and wellbeing, as it confers important health benefits for both mother and baby.
“This is why health services need to make greater efforts to support and encourage new mothers to start and sustain breastfeeding. This can be facilitated through better support, considerate maternity and return to work policies and a legislative framework that enables women to breastfeed when out and about.
“What is also important for women and their babies is high quality postnatal services and that means there must be enough midwives and maternity support workers in place to give women the support and advice they need to establish and continue breastfeeding.
"In many countries, breastfeeding is the safest way to feed a baby, as access to clean water for making up powdered milk is often limited or non-existent. Governments across the world need to understand the importance of breastfeeding not just to the health of the mother and baby, but to the long-term health of their nation.
“However the reality is that often some women for a variety of reasons struggle to start or sustain breastfeeding. Evidence clearly shows that breastfeeding in line with WHO guidance brings optimum benefits for the health of both mother and baby. However, if after being given appropriate information, advice and support on breastfeeding, a woman chooses not to do so, or to give formula as well as breastfeeding her decision must be respected.
This being the case she should then be given all the advice and support they need on safe preparation of bottles and responsive feeding to develop a close and loving bond with their baby.”
World Breastfeeding Week takes place from Wednesday August 1st -7th 2018 and more details are available here: http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/
On social media use #WBW2018
RCM on Twitter @midwivesRCM
‘RCM publishes new position statement on Infant Feeding’ June 2018
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