It’s World Breastfeeding Week and we would like to celebrate you! This year has seen the most important global health crisis in modern history. What did this mean for breastfeeding mothers?
Maybe you are a mother who has given birth in this pandemic, many of you completely alone in hospital without their partners. Birth plans have changed, some places have seen all home births cancelled and some mothers decided that “freebirthing”, unassisted childbirth at home, was the only option for them. Other mothers having a C-section in hospital were dismissed as quickly as on the next day to minimise their time spent there. No matter your circumstances, if you have given birth during this pandemic, we think you deserve a medal!
And here is to all mothers who started breastfeeding during this health crisis. In most developed countries breastfeeding support is already patchy and often insufficient, but you have managed to get thru the most delicate moment in a breastfeeding journey, the beginning, with most minimal or no face to face support as all local breastfeeding support groups and clinics were closed and many postnatal appointments were moved to virtual. Well done you!
Or you were a breastfeeding mother of a toddler stuck at home coping with not only having to keep your child entertained, but also coping with increased demand of feeding. Many of our user mothers have reported that feeding patterns of their children had increased and we have also seen a surge in mastitis cases amongst our lactating mothers users during lockdown. Children even as small as babies feel when we are worried and something goes on and they react to adversity by returning to what gives them comfort. For breastfeeding mothers this has meant feeding, feeding and again feeding. We were exhausted, but we made it thru lockdown!
This was also the first time since World War II that all schools and all nurseries have been closed for weeks and all childcare help from grandparents or relatives suddenly had to stop. Many of you were breastfeeding a baby while entertaining or even homeschooling one or more older children all day, you are a hero! And what about all those mothers out there who did all the mentioned above, plus worked from home. This is a completely new level of multitasking few mothers have ever experienced before, so you can be so proud of you, because you did it.
Let’s talk about the more visible heroes of this pandemic, the health professionals: worldwide as many as 75% of them are women. We will never know the number of those that have been pregnant or breastfeeding while working in public health services in hospitals and medical surgeries during this time. Many were using wearable breastpumps like Elvie as they were working tirelessly with no breaks, caring for the sick, whilst keeping up milk supply for their own little ones at home. And they have been living with the fear and worry of bringing home a dangerous virus to their own families whilst doing their job, you truly are the heroes of this times.
These and many more were the struggles of breastfeeding mothers in 2020 and many of you have even delayed weaning from the breast to continue to give your children those precious protective antibodies we don’t even know enough about yet. Some first studies seem to confirm that there is a strong immune response in breast milk of affected mothers, researcher and breastfeeding mother Dr. Rebecca Powell and her team are doing some great work on that.
And even so, the organisers of World Breastfeeding Week 2020 would like to point out that you have also been saving the planet while breastfeeding! So if you have fed your child with breastmilk for about 2 weeks, it is estimated that you have saved 4700 liters of water, as that is what it takes to make one kilo of formula milk. Today experts already warn “the environmental cost of formula milk should be a matter of global concern”.
So for all this reasons we would like to celebrate you, the breastfeeding mother and breastfeeding supporter and as a thank you we are giving away this beautiful “charming motherhood” necklace by Magpiegems, led by a fantastic female entrepreneur, Lavina, who also has been working in hospitals with new mothers. She has created this beautiful symbol in form of jewellery to commemorate your breastfeeding journey and facilitate conversations about the topic.
To win this beautiful necklace join us on Instagram @breastfeeding_app, we will start the giveaway next week and will also air some interesting instagram live sessions with breastfeeding experts.
And remember to count on us for all your breastfeeding and maternity related questions, download the LactApp mobile app and get your personalised answers.