Celebrate National Breastfeeding Month
Debbi Heffern, St. Louis, Missouri
LLL USA Representative to United States Breastfeeding Committee
August is National Breastfeeding Month! Each year, we celebrate all the breastfeeding, chestfeeding, and human milk feeding families across the USA and everyone who supports them.
August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week (WBW). WBW began in 1992 to commemorate the signing of the Innocenti Declaration by countries from around the world at a 1990 WHO/UNICEF meeting on breastfeeding in Florence, Italy.
The Innocenti Declaration states in part that “as a global goal for optimal maternal and child health and nutrition, all women should be enabled to practice exclusive breastfeeding and all infants should be fed exclusively on breast milk from birth to 4-6 months of age. Thereafter, children should continue to be breastfed, while receiving appropriate and adequate complementary foods, for up to two years of age or beyond. This child-feeding ideal is to be achieved by creating an appropriate environment of awareness and support so that women can breastfeed in this manner.” Isn’t that lovely? The focus is on enabling families by creating communities of awareness and support for everyone who wants to breastfeed.
This year’s theme for WBW is “Step Up for Breastfeeding: Educate and Support.” To me, “Step Up” evokes images of dance parties and walks in the park to celebrate breastfeeding. That sounds like great fun!
Each week of August has its own theme. Watch for weekly blogs honoring/observing these special breastfeeding celebrations in the LLL USA publication New Beginnings.
August 8–14 is Indigenous Milk Medicine Week, with the 2022 theme of “Strengthening Our Traditions from Birth and Beyond.” The Indigenous Milk Medicine Collective “will be hosting a virtual 5k, sunrise ceremonies, support circles, and movement sessions for breast/chest feeders and parents.”
August 15-21 is the second annual Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Breastfeeding Week. The theme this year is “Telling Our Own Stories. Elevating Our Voices.”
August 25–31 is Black Breastfeeding Week (BBW), and the theme “BBW2022: 10 years, A New Foundation.” BBW will be “celebrating the countless stories and families – past, present & future. We’ve shifted the narrative/optics, supported and uplifted each other…and it’s still just the beginning. The new foundation of lactation support is built on racial equity, cultural empowerment, and community engagement and is powered by collective resilience.”
All together, National Breastfeeding Month has a collective theme of “Together We Do Great Things!”
If you’re nursing your baby, you’re doing a great thing! If you’re supporting nursing families, you’re doing a great thing! If you’re helping to change policies and laws in your community that will better enable families to breastfeed as proclaimed in the Innocenti Declaration, you’re doing great things!
Celebrate yourself! Celebrate everyone who is supporting breastfeeding, chestfeeding, and human milk feeding!
La Leche League USA will be celebrating Live, Love, Latch!® events across the country. See lllusa.org/live-love-latch/ or visit the Live, Love, Latch!® Facebook page for locations and details.
Please send your story ideas to Amy at [email protected].
Supporting Breastfeeding Families–Today, Tomorrow, Always
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Donations of any amount are gratefully accepted. Thank you!
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