World Breastfeeding month is August. This year’s celebration focuses on how our community and our world can support sustainable development through the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding, which ultimately effects the health of our world and protects our resources.
We should strive to inform people how breastfeeding affects the health of our community – it builds immunity; protects against chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and some cancers; and provides the optimal nutrition for growth of not only babies’ bodies but also their minds.
Breastfeeding also offers a sustainable source of food security for most of the world’s population. It offers a sustainable, inexpensive source of optimal nutrition for those who struggle daily to meet their baby’s nutritional needs.
Women who are provided a place to pump during work hours tend to be more productive and take fewer sick days for their children. Breastfeeding also lowers insurance costs because babies are healthier. It is a good choice for employers to allow a time and place for women to pump to continue offering breast milk to their babies once they return to work.
Breastfeeding affects our environment. There are no bottles or cans to create waste. Breast milk is a natural, renewable food. It is always ready and at the right temperature, taking no fossil fuel to produce, transport or warm. And, it is free – on the average the world spends an estimated $54 billion on formula each year, and formula cans produce tons of waste.
Increasing breastfeeding rates in our community and our world would provide optimal nutrition, improving health and well-being of our children; provide a step up from poverty as children grow up and have better jobs; lower the strain on our medical system; allow mothers to continue to work outside the home while still providing for their children; and put less strain on our natural resources. See what you can do in your corner of the world to promote a sustainable source of food for our children – breast milk.
For your convenience, we have added another lactation room at Freeman Hospital West, located on the sixth floor near the front desk. There is a refrigerator available in the room for your convenience. As always, if you need any assistance, please feel free to call Freeman Lactation Services 417.347.1067.
Lorie Peterman is a certified lactation consultant at Freeman Health System. She helps new mothers learn to feed their babies. She also works with women experiencing problems with breastfeeding and helps babies who aren't gaining enough weight.