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Selfies for Breastfeeding Moms and Babies

By Barbra Elenbaas, ACNM Writer & Editor

August is National Breastfeeding Month in the United States, and this week is World Breastfeeding Week around the globe.

Midwives have known that “breast is best” forever – and in many ways it seems like public opinion has finally caught up with our evidence. La Leche League groups are cropping up everywhere, almost 200 hospitals have shaped up to qualify for the Baby Friendly designation, and stories like the one about a barista supporting mamas who breastfeed in public are going viral. It certainly seems like breastfeeding has hit the big time.

But it’s not all easy latches and baby giggles. We still need to support new moms who don’t breastfeed because they can’t or because it’s the right choice for their families. And lest we forget, new moms everywhere continue to face harsh opposition to breastfeeding in public, and severe hardships when they return to work. We need to rally around and fight for these moms and babies – and luckily, we’ve got the whole month to do it! Here is a quick reminder of why this month is still necessary:

  • Because we have some ground to cover: not every US state specifically protects a woman’s right to breastfeed in public or any private location. Forty-six of them do, and so do the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands, but moms in Idaho, Michigan, South Dakota, and Virginia still lack protection.
  • Because we’re halfway there: only 25 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have existing laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace.
  • Because we need to offer more support: 76% of mothers start breastfeeding immediately after birth, and only 16% of those moms are breastfeeding exclusively 6 months later.
  • Because we have goals: as part of Healthy People 2020, we’re aiming to increase the proportion of mothers who breastfeed their babies in the early postpartum period to 81.9% and who exclusively breastfeed at 6 months to 25.5% by 2020.

You can do your part to celebrate breastfeeding this month (and encourage your clients to do the same) by participating in the United States Breastfeeding Committee’s social media campaign, “Breastfeeding in Six Words.” Just take a selfie photograph while holding a sign with a 6-word story answering the question "What does breastfeeding mean to you, and how can every one of us play a role in supporting breastfeeding?" and post it to your Facebook and/or Twitter. Make sure you use the hashtags #NBM14 and #SixWords in your posting so the campaign can find you!

And here’s one useful fun fact you can spread to all the pregnant and nursing moms in your life that may offer a little piece of relief: Nordstrom will convert any bra into a nursing bra for a small alteration fee. The cost varies on a case-by-case basis, and you don’t even need to have purchased the bra from Nordstrom. Many families are faced with significant expenses when having a baby, and this simple service can help new mothers transition to the breastfeeding relationship in comfort and style, wearing their favorite bras.

Visit the US Breastfeeding Committee’s website for more information about the month and more ways to participate. Let’s help make breastfeeding easier for moms everywhere!

What activities are you, your practice, or your institution planning for National Breastfeeding Month or World Breastfeeding Week? Let us know in the comments!

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 8/5/2014 2:37:58 PM



Any opinions expressed in this blog are those of the individual participant(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. ACNM is not responsible for accuracy of any of the information provided by guest bloggers and/or members via the Comments section. We welcome all feedback – including comments, ideas and suggestions. We also welcome civil, friendly debates. However, any and all content that is deemed inflammatory or rude will not be posted.


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