August is the celebration of National Breastfeeding Month. As a personal choice for new moms, the thought of breastfeeding in public can induce fear as it still is often stigmatized by people in the U.S. Yet by making the decision to breastfeed your baby, you give your child a healthy start in their new life.
While there are a multitude of benefits for a new mom to breastfeed, the negative attention a woman can receive from breastfeeding a baby in public often makes this choice a difficult one. From the office, to restaurants and department stores, women have been asked to cover up and in some extreme cases, go elsewhere when breastfeeding their child.
Instead of treating breastfeeding as an uncomfortable, taboo subject, it should be embraced for both the health and societal benefits it brings. In this U.S., we would save $2.2 billion per year as medical care costs are lower for fully breastfed infants than never-breastfed infants. The cells, hormones, and antibodies in breastmilk protect babies from illness. In addition, research suggests that babies who are breastfed have a lower risk of developing everything from asthma to childhood obesity. Breastfed infants usually need fewer sick care visits, prescriptions, and hospitalizations. Moms who breastfeed miss less work to care for sick infants than moms who feed their babies formula. Finally, breastfeeding reduces mom and baby’s carbon footprint, as formula cans and bottle supplies cause trash and more plastic waste.
At Worldways, we take the side of those who support new moms who make the decision to breastfeed, as well as the organizations that support them. If you are an organization working to help and educate new moms as well as the community, contact us here.