It’s Breast Feeding Awareness Week … let’s give all mum’s the support they deserve!
Breastfeeding has been around for as long as we have existed. We are also more aware than ever of the health benefits of it for baby and mom. And yet, in many parts of the world, there are still a lot of taboos around breastfeeding – signalling a need for more support for moms and dads to parent and feed their way.
This World Breastfeeding Week (1 – 7 August), to understand some of the challenges breastfeeding parents face when feeding their babies, and support and empower them to parent and feed their way, Philips asked more than 6000 women across 25 countries what holds them back from breastfeeding their babies anytime and anywhere they want to.
Breastfeeding in public – still not considered ‘normal’
The results show there’s still work to be done to support and empower moms in their choice to breastfeed in public. Around two thirds of moms say they would feel more confident and comfortable breastfeeding in public if it was considered ‘normal’. Feeling embarrassed or uncomfortable to breastfeed around people they don’t know, is the key reason (just more than 50 per cent) of women feel to hesitant to consider breastfeeding in public. The results also reveal that nearly half of moms would not consider pumping in public.
The results vary across cultures and countries and breastfeeding and expressing in public is not something every mom wishes to do. At Philips, they recognise every breastfeeding journey is unique and personal to parent and baby; there is no right or wrong way. Parents may choose to feed their baby directly from mom’s breast, with expressed milk, or both, or between formula bottles. Some may choose to feed in public or in the comfort of their own home. Whatever their choice, Philips wants to empower and support all parents with solutions that support each of these choices.
Moms should feel they have the ‘right’
The results go on to reveal that while the biggest motivator for moms globally to breastfeed in public is being able to feed their babies as soon as they need it, almost half globally say having the ‘right’ to breastfeed in public would also motivate them to do so, – dropping to just 31% in South-Africa.
Only through greater breastfeeding awareness, encouraging breastfeeding policy change, and creating more supportive communities around moms that empower them to feed their way, will more people start to recognise and promote breastfeeding as the basic human right it actually is.
Moms deserve greater support
Added to this, many moms say greater overall support from others would help them feel more comfortable breastfeeding in public … with the figures going a long way to indicate many moms would love to see society’s overall understanding and perception of breastfeeding shift from something inappropriate or unnecessary to one of the most natural, fundamental acts of care in the world. This shift can only happen by educating more people on the value of breastfeeding, starting more conversations about it and championing parents’ choices to feed however best suits them – something that lies in all of our hands.
BreastStories: supporting and empowering parents
We believe parents should feel supported and empowered throughout this journey, and parent their way. This includes feeding their baby and expressing milk whenever and wherever they need and want to – in restaurants and bars and in parks and on public transport. That’s why, during this World Breastfeeding Week, Philips are highlighting the conversation around breastfeeding by creating a supportive online community for moms and dads, so they never feel alone in their experiences. There’s great power in talking about your experiences with healthcare professionals, lactation consultants, at antenatal classes, via apps and online communities, and with family, friends, and other moms.
Through the online platform BreastStories, parents can share their breastfeeding stories, tips, and tricks via Instagram and Facebook, as well as find breastfeeding information and advice from healthcare professionals. By downloading either the Philips Pregnancy + or Baby+ app on their mobile device, parents can also log feeding information, as well as track their baby’s development, such as their weight, height, and head circumference during the first year. Breastfeeding can be wonderful but it’s not always straightforward or easy for moms. Feeling comfortable is key to a positive breastfeeding experience as it makes it easier to release milk. Let’s unite in supporting parents to parent their way and empower them to feed their baby anytime, anywhere.
Further key global research statistics:
- 36% of women would feel more confident and comfortable breastfeeding in public if they saw other women around them doing so.
- About 1 in 4 expecting mothers feel expressing in public is a hassle.
- 30% of women would like to be able to express while travelling, working, while doing the laundry/chores around the house, while taking care of other children, during dinner with friends/family in a restaurant or while visiting friends and family.
These are our top five Philips must-have products
- Bottle Brush & Teat Cleaner
- Breast Milk Storage Bags
- Microwave Steriliser
- Nipple Shields
And then … five more luxurious products:
- Breast Milk Storage Cups
- Microwave Sterilising Bags
- Electric Breast Pump
- Electric Steriliser
- Bottle and Food Warmer
You’ll find these products at Baby City, www.dischem.co.za, Babies R Us or online at www.takealot.com or www.medhealthsup.com, and baby+ and pregnancy+ app’s FREE on the google play or Apple App Store.
WIN WIN WIN
Brand new is the Philips Avent Single Electric Breast Pump. Inspired by baby. Effective for mom. Natural Motion Technology for quicker milk flow. Enter a new era of expressing with a perfect balance of suction & nipple stimulation inspired by the natural way babies drink. The Philips Avent Electric Breast Pump keeps milk flow at an optimum & gently adapts to your nipple size & shape. It’s quiet, so you can use it anywhere, it has a Pause/Play function and you can personalise with the 8 + 16 setting levels. There’s a memory function, it’s gentle and comfortable and has one size soft and adaptive silicone cushion. You an express quickly and without leaning forward and it has natural motion technology for a quick milk flow. R3900.
We’ve got one to give away … simply pop over to Instagram and find the post on getitnationalmagazines. Entries close on Sunday Aug 7.