August 1 to 7 every year is World Breastfeeding week. This year, the theme is ‘sustaining breastfeeding together’. Last year, the breastfeeding week was dedicated to linking the Sustainable Development Goals to breastfeeding. These goals can only be achieved by partnership at multiple levels.
Below is the post I made last year that shows the link between the SDGs and breastfeeding. Before you read, take a moment to ask yourself how you can be more supportive of breastfeeding and breastfeeding mothers J
Here is a list of Sustainable Development Goals and their links to breastfeeding:
- No Poverty– Breastfeeding is very affordable. Mothers do not need to buy bottles, formulae or make any extra plans. It is readily available and can be given on demand.
- Zero Hunger– Mothers are encouraged to breastfeed their babies for 2 years but exclusively for 6 months. The breast milk provides every nutrient baby requires for the first 6 months and effectively prevents hunger.
- Good Health and Well-being– Breast milk provides a great source of nutrition for baby but is also a source of bonding for baby and mother, promoting overall wellbeing.
- Quality Education– Proper breastfeeding coupled with the right complementary feeds when baby is weaned helps prepare baby’s brain for learning thus increasing the opportunities for quality education.
- Gender Equality– Breast feeding is the right of every child, male or female, and the woman is in control of how her child is fed.
- Clean Water and Sanitation– Breastfeeding is all baby needs for the first 6 months and does not ordinarily require access to clean water or sanitation as bottles etc are not needed.
- Affordable and Clean Energy– Due to the fact that no cooking, heating, boiling and/or ‘preparation’ is needed for breastfeeding, it reduces the need for water, cooking fuel (gas, kerosene) etc and thus conserves energy.
- Decent Work and Economic Growth– When women are supported by their employers to breastfeed, they are more loyal and productive and ultimately, the business grows more.
- Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure– Employers can make the effort to support breastfeeding mothers through paid vacations after having a baby, having workplace crèches or having flexible ‘nursing mothers’ working time when they return to work.
- Reduced Inequalities– Breast milk is very nutritious and can help reduce inequalities between different social groups, especially in the poor and vulnerable.
- Sustainable Cities and Communities– There is a need to make public spaces safe for breastfeeding mothers and their babies and a special need for their interest to be protected when there are humanitarian crises eg war
- Responsible Consumption and Production– This is a natural, healthy and sustainable means of providing nutrition for babies.
- Climate Action– Breastfeeding safeguards children’s source of nutrition when there are natural disasters related to climate change.
- Life Below Water– Industrial formula production leads to the production of wastes that could pollute water bodies and endanger marine life. Breastfeeding on the other hand, produces less waste.
- Life on Land– Breastfeeding promotes and restores sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystemsas opposed to formula feeding which puts pressure on natural resources contributing to carbon emissions and climate change.
- Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions– There is need for more laws to protect the rights of mothers to breastfeed their babies.
- Partnerships for the Goals– This is a focus on partnerships to promote the cause of breastfeeding, globally.
So, there’s a whole lot of work to be done to ensure that breastfeeding becomes the ‘in’ thing!
For more resources on breastfeeding, please click on the following links:
I hope this helps all you breastfeeding ladies and intending mothers 😀 and your partners, employers and the whole wide world!
Have a fab weekend, y’all 😀