The World Must Unite to End Breastfeeding Inequality
Today, Neave and Keane, The Parents, Want to Spread Their Voice on Breastfeeding Inequality. They created We The Parents Organization to Make Parenting Experience Easier.
It takes a village to raise a child and in the age of technology, our village has expanded beyond our family and local community. With the recent World Breastfeeding Week celebrations still going strong and celebrating the National Breastfeeding Month, people around the globe are taking the time to acknowledge breastfeeding mothers.
The benefits of nursing a baby at the breast are endless. In fact, according to UNICEF, an infant who is exclusively breastfed for the first six months is 14 times less likely to pass away than an infant who is not. That is a staggering statistic.
But here are a few more staggering statistics.
24% of maternity services hand out formula supplements within 48 hours of a child's birth (this international law explicitly prevents formula companies directly targeting mothers and healthcare professionals, and restricts advertising).
Still... 66% of hospitals confess to including infant formula in their discharge packs for no additional charge to new moms.
72% of workplaces in America are NOT lactation friendly.
For lower income families, this makes switching to formula necessary to get back to work as quickly as possible, and gives the impression that medical professionals endorse the use of commercial formula.
We The Parents has compiled an infographic of statistics that clearly illustrates an unforgivable discrepancy between how the upper class and working classes are able to breastfeed their babies.
As mothers, we need better workplace policies regarding maternity leave and breastfeeding. We need access to lactation experts to guide us when we feel lost and alone when experiencing problems with nursing. We need society to acknowledge that to protect the future, mothers of all classes and creeds must be protected.
It is time for families everywhere to call upon their village for help. Each and every one of us, parent or not, rich or poor, must rally around families who are struggling to provide for their family.
By uniting in the common goal to make breastfeeding not just accommodated but embraced by society, we can ensure the health of generations to come.