Thursday, 28 May 2009

Baby Friendly

I know that I haven't blogged much recently, but I have been attending a Lactation Management Course this week. It has been such an interesting course and I am so glad that I decided to attend. Sometimes the effort involved in getting organized and actually going to these things seems too great and I often start thinking about all the other ways that I could be spending my time.

The goals of the course were to implement the Baby Friendly Initiative which some of you may have heard of. This global initiative was launched by the UNICEF and the World Health Organization in 1991: to this day; there are still many hospitals that have yet to implement it.

Globally, attitudes towards breastfeeding can have a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of babies and long-term implications for their future health. The risks of not breastfeeding are not widely publicized because of the political influence of the formula companies and their corporate sponsorship of conferences and other events aimed at health professionals.

In 2005 UNICEF stated that 'lack of breastfeeding is an immunological and nutritional deficiency syndrome directly connected with death, illness, and poor cognitive development' and they weren't just talking about its impact on third world countries.

Did you know that at birth, the brain is only 25% developed? It develops to 50% by 6 months and 81% by three years. Nutrients which are vital for brain growth and development can only be obtained from breastmilk and there are no artificial supplements.

I would encourage you to spread the word about the importance of breastfeeding to your family and friends who may be pregnant and to support breastfeeding as the baby friendly choice. For further information about the International Breastfeeding Symbol and issues relating to breastfeeding visit this blog.