31 Jul Celebrating Motherhood-Breastfeeding Day
The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) came into act in 1991 to defend, promote and support breastfeeding. A week dedicated to breastfeeding was recommended to be marked in the calendar of global events.
Now World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) celebrated every 1-7 August to honour the Innocent Declaration. This event was first celebrated in 1992. Now over 170 countries are involved in it and are endorsed by UNICEF, WHO, FAO, and IPA.
The challenges faced by mothers when breastfeeding in public are one of the main causes for stopping breastfeeding early, and this has been verified in empirical research. At the same time as raising awareness that breastfeeding is a woman’s right and that this right is protected by the law in many states and countries, so it’s important to think about what we mean by breastfeeding in public?
What is “public”, and how do mothers navigate “public” while mothering?
Why do you think that this topic is so important?
Until women feel at home in the world and feel that their babies and children can also be at home in the world, and feel safe to not only conduct their other work but to exist as full citizens without harassment or surveillance, it is impossible to say that we have achieved freedom and equality.
What are the main obstacles that stand between women and their ability to breastfeed in public?
Better structural support from governments for women as mothers in particular and families, in general, is still needed. This includes adequate maternity leave and affordable childcare. The development of public spaces that welcome women and young children, as well as comfortable areas within private facilities that welcome breastfeeding mothers, is also critical.
It is not only vital for breastfeeding rates but for the mental health and wellbeing of families that motherhood is not the equivalent of a sentence in solitary confinement.
Additionally, public awareness of the needs of breastfeeding mothers could be raised, although there have been some worthwhile improvements here. The government is cautiously optimistic that as succeeding generations of young mothers breastfeed their children more openly, it will gradually become more commonplace and accepted.
Although we have advanced a long way since the 1980s, it’s important not to be complacent as views can become more conservative again if people are not reminded of the value, importance, and pleasures of childrearing as an embodied practice.