I'm celebrating World Breastfeeding Week (August 1 - 7) just like any other day -- by nursing my twins. But there's more to this than feeding your own children -- it's about increasing awareness and empowering mothers with the information they need to be successful at breastfeeding.
What's a "holiday" without a gift, though, so we do have a Medela giveaway going on this week, too. But to spread the word of the mission of WBW brought to us by The Mother and Child Health and Education Trust in association with UNICEF, here are the 10 Steps to Successful Breastfeeding -- share it with your friends and moms-to-be.
- Have a written breastfeeding policy that is routinely communicated to all health care staff.
- Train all health care staff in skills necessary to implement this policy.
- Inform all pregnant women about the benefits and management of breastfeeding.
- Help mothers initiate breastfeeding within a half-hour of birth.
- Show mothers how to breastfeed and how to maintain lactation, even if they should be separated from their infants.
- Give newborn infants no food or drink other than breast milk unless medically indicated.
- Practice rooming-in -- allow mothers and infants to remain together -- 24 hours a day.
- Encourage breastfeeding on demand.
- Give no artificial teats or pacifiers (also called dummies or soothers) to breastfeeding infants.
- Foster the establishment of breastfeeding support groups and refer mothers to them on discharge from the hospital or clinic.
You can view helpful videos for each of these 10 steps on World Breastfeeding Week's website.
Image via The International Breastfeeding Symbol