World Breastfeeding Week runs 1-7 August this year, and the worldwide initiative aims to get everyone talking about breastfeeding. The week aims to inform people all over the world about the links between poverty reduction, food security and breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a low-cost way mothers can feed their babies in countries with high levels of poverty.
Here in the UK, the emphasis is on normalising breastfeeding. With events planned up and down the country, big companies encouraging breastfeeding mothers to visit their stores, and even celebrities talking about their own experiences, it promises to be an enlightening and thought-provoking week.
It is important to note, however, that breastfeeding is a very personal choice. Even though we are celebrating breastfeeding, in particular, this week, we celebrate all mummies, independently from their breastfeeding choices, all year-round! If you are unsure or concerned about any breastfeeding matters, get in touch with your midwife or GP.
If you’d like to get involved in normalising breastfeeding, there are plenty of events planned throughout the year where you can find out more information, talk to other mothers and share experiences.
For example, Boo. B Smoothie run a Breastfeeding Cafe Day, where mothers can come together, get information, share stories and ideas and, of course, indulge in a little cake.
Alternatively, The Breastfeeding Network run their annual conference and AGM in October in Birmingham each year.
There are plenty of local groups to get involved with too, like Bumps & Babies in Milton Keynes.
Businesses Backing Breastfeeding
There are a number of large companies in the UK who have made their stores, cafes and restaurants breastfeeding friendly. By briefing staff, putting up signs, and generally making sure breastfeeding customers feel comfortable throughout their premises, these companies are helping to normalise breastfeeding in public.
For example, Swedish superstore IKEA now display signs in all their stores informing mothers they are welcome to breastfeed anywhere in-store. Coffee shop Starbucks has pledged to support breastfeeding mothers in its 800 cafes across the UK too.
As well as shops and restaurants, many companies are now taking steps to make it easier for their employees to breastfeed too. For example, IBM helps mothers ship their breast milk home when they are working away for business, using a specially built app.
It isn’t just big companies that are working hard to normalise breastfeeding in public, many celebrities are also paving the way for breastfeeding to become more widely accepted.
Some of the world’s most well-known faces have posted snaps of themselves on social media breastfeeding their infants. For example, Liv Tyler posted a selfie on Instagram of her breastfeeding her newborn Lula Rose, as did Olivia Wilde with her daughter Daisy, and superstar Pink with her son Jameson. Even supermodel Gisele Bundchen posted a picture of getting ready for a glamorous photoshoot with her hair and makeup team, while simultaneously breastfeeding her newborn daughter.
Recently, swimsuit model Mara Martin caused a stir on the Sports Illustrated catwalk in Milan, where she openly breastfed her 5-month old daughter Aria.
How to Breastfeed in Public
Without a doubt, choosing to breastfeed is a highly personal choice and every woman is different. For mothers who are capable of breastfeeding and choose to do it, breastfeeding in public can seem like a daunting prospect. If you’re thinking of breastfeeding your baby, we have everything you need to make the process as relaxed and comfortable as possible.
A breastfeeding cape is a good investment for mothers who want to be discreet when nursing in public. A nursing pillow or support wedge can also make the whole process a lot more comfortable particularly as your little one grows!
Another way to help your baby get your own breast milk, is to express at home using a breast pump, then store in bottles for later use. This starter kit has everything you need to effectively express your milk and store it in a safe, hygienic manner.
Whether you choose to breastfeed in public is completely up to you. This year World Breastfeeding Week will help the UK take strides toward normalising the practice of breastfeeding in public, making it more acceptable for every mother, everywhere.
World Breastfeeding Week 2018
This article is part of PreciousLittleOne’s initiative for World Breastfeeding Week 2018. From handpicked products to useful advice and handy guides – we are covering all your breastfeeding needs!