Creating World-Changers, One Breastfeeding Mama at a Time
World Breastfeeding Week has arrived. Held every year during the first week of August by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, it’s an occasion that celebrates, educates, and advocates for breastfeeding the world over.
Backed by organizations including UNICEF, the WHO, and La Leche League, this year marks the 25th anniversary of World Breastfeeding Week, and their theme is “working together for the common good.” While to some it may seem to be a stretch to imply that the simple act of breastfeeding can have wide-reaching benefits on a whole society’s well-being, once you learn the facts it’s clear that helping moms successfully breastfeed really can be world-changing.
This infographic from Mom Loves Best breaks down the 111 amazing benefits of breastfeeding.
A Great Start
Most people know that breastfeeding benefits babies - but they don’t realize how significantly. Sure, antibodies present in breast milk protect babies against common ailments like respiratory infections, diarrhea, constipation, and ear infections. But they also protect against more severe illnesses such as pneumonia, thrush, meningitis, and urinary tract infections.
Breastfed babies are also at a lower risk for flat spots on their head, inguinal hernias, undescended testicles, and blindness. Breastfeeding is also associated with higher IQ, reduced developmental delays, and lower infant mortality in general.
A Brighter Future
The benefits of breastfeeding extend far beyond the baby years, however. Breastfed individuals are shown to have reduced incidence of cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, and hypertension as well as Crohn’s disease, appendicitis, and multiple sclerosis. They also have a reduced risk of mental health issues, autism, obesity, and diabetes.
Further, breastfed individuals have an overall lower risk of cancer including breast cancer (in women), testicular cancer (in men), leukemia, and Hodgkin’s disease.
Not Just For Babies
Mothers who breastfeed also enjoy a reduced cancer risk, showing protections against breast cancer, endometrial cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer. They also lose their pregnancy weight quicker, save more money, and tend to have better sleep patterns.
With more and more awesome companies choosing to support breastfeeding mothers, they now have a greater choice of options to help ensure their success. From advanced breast pumping and storage technologies to stylish clothing that can seamlessly transition them through their nursing journey. There has never been a better time for mothers to say yes to breastfeeding.
For The Common Good
When a woman makes a choice to breastfeed, she’s not only making a decision that can positively affect the health of both her and baby but if enough women do the same thing it affects the health outcomes of society as a whole. In fact, UNICEF estimates that as many as 1,300,000 lives could be saved every year if more women were able to nurse their babies.
Setting women up for success in breastfeeding, as World Breastfeeding Week attempts to promote, sets everyone up for success. Improved health outcomes mean reduced health costs, fewer work absences, and increased productivity. One woman’s choice to breastfeed is a victory for us all. It really does contribute to the common good - and we should all be working together to help more women achieve breastfeeding success.
This post was written by Jenny Silverstone. Jenny is a blogger, the mother of two, and a serious breastfeeding advocate. You can find her writing ultimate guides to increase low milk supply, pump more milk & all things related breastfeeding on her blog, Mom Loves Best.