September 21, 2019

The Editor speaks: Breastfeeding

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Colin Wilson

Breastfeeding is not a subject I feel comfortable to write about.

Why is that?

Am I embarrassed at someone thinking I’m a pervert?

Probably, but it is inborn in me from my early youth – yes I am in my mid seventies, when breastfeeding was a subject people didn’t speak about.

In fact is wasn’t that long ago, and there are still reports of it, mother’s who breastfed their babies in public were told to leave the premises where they were doing this natural “thing”, and some even led away by the police.

The reason I am writing on this subject is to highlight an article we have published today in iNews Cayman from the Cayman Health Services Authority titled “Empowering parents for World Breastfeeding Week”.

The article begins that the HSA“in partnership with the Cayman Islands Breastfeeding Support Group is encouraging parents in Cayman to become empowered with the information and resources they need to realise their breastfeeding goals.

Celebrated every year from 1 to 7 August, World Breastfeeding Week encourages breastfeeding and improves the health of babies. “This year’s World Breastfeeding Week slogan is “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding”. Empowerment is a process that requires evidence-based information and support from a mother’s family, friends, employers and community to create the enabling environment where mothers can breastfeed optimally. “People feel empowered when they are informed,” said HSA Maternity Unit Manager Chairman Fennell. “

Another article on the same subject we have also published is UNICEF titled “ Why family-friendly policies are critical to increasing breastfeeding rates worldwide”.

This one commences with the shocking statement: “From supporting healthy brain development in babies and young children, protecting infants against infection, decreasing the risk of obesity and disease, reducing healthcare costs, and protecting nursing mothers against ovarian cancer and breast cancer, the benefits of breastfeeding for children and mothers are wide spread. Yet, policies that support breastfeeding – such as paid parental leave and breastfeeding breaks – are not yet available to most mothers worldwide.”

It further goes on: “The health, social and economic benefits of breastfeeding – for mother and child – are well-established and accepted throughout the world. Yet, nearly 60 per cent of the world’s infants are missing out on the recommended six months of exclusive breastfeeding,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “In spite of the benefits of breastfeeding, workplaces worldwide are denying mothers much needed support. We need to far greater investment in paid parental leave and breastfeeding support across all workplaces to increase breastfeeding rates globally.”

It finishes with: “World Breastfeeding Week is marked annually from 1 to 7 August to highlight the critical importance of breastfeeding for children across the globe. Breastfeeding gives children the healthiest start in life and is one of the simplest, smartest and most cost-effective ways we have of ensuring that all children survive and thrive. This fact sheet – marking World Breastfeeding Week – features new data from the 2019 Global Breastfeeding Scorecard, and the latest available evidence on coverage, access to family-friendly policies, and the health and economic benefits of breastfeeding.”

I urge all our readers to read both articles, yes, you men as well. Give encouragement to all young mothers and don’t feel “uncomfortable” about talking about “breastfeeding”.

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