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Let’s Make Breastfeeding and Work, Work! - Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week 2023

Welcome to World Breastfeeding Week 2023! Each year, this global event serves as a platform to advocate, support, and empower breastfeeding families and their babies. This year's theme, "Let’s make breastfeeding and work, work!" aims to shed light on the importance of creating a supportive environment in workplaces to enable individuals to continue breastfeeding while pursuing their careers. As we celebrate the beauty of breastfeeding, let's also explore how workplaces can contribute to this essential aspect of parenthood without compromising a person's professional aspirations.

The Significance of World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week, observed annually from August 1 to 7, commemorates the Innocenti Declaration signed in August 1990 by policymakers, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization (WHO) to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding. The week offers an opportunity to raise awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding for both families and babies, advocate for supportive policies, and encourage dialogue on fostering breastfeeding-friendly workplaces.

Balancing Breastfeeding and Work

For many working people, the decision to breastfeed comes with its share of challenges, and one of the most significant hurdles is balancing breastfeeding with professional commitments. A lack of supportive policies and facilities in workplaces can lead to early weaning or reduced breastfeeding duration, affecting both the breastfeeding person's and the child's health and well-being.

Breastfeeding: A Win-Win for Both Individuals and Employers

Supporting breastfeeding in the workplace benefits not only families and their babies but also employers and the entire workforce. Breastfeeding has numerous advantages for babies, including improved immunity, brain development, and reduced risk of chronic diseases. For the breastfeeding person, breastfeeding lowers the risk of postpartum depression, breast cancer, and other health issues. For employers, breastfeeding support results in reduced absenteeism, increased employee satisfaction, and improved productivity.

Creating Breastfeeding-Friendly Workplaces

1. Implementing Flexible Work Schedules: Employers can empower breastfeeding people by offering flexible work hours, allowing them to manage their breastfeeding routine effectively. This can include options for telecommuting, job-sharing, or compressed workweeks.

2. Establishing Lactation Rooms: Providing private, hygienic, and comfortable lactation rooms in the workplace allows individuals to express milk during their work hours. These spaces offer a supportive environment for pumping and storing breast milk, promoting a smooth transition back to work after maternity leave.

3. Offering Paid Parental Leave: Paid parental leave enables new parents to exclusively breastfeed their infants during the critical initial months. This time off allows families to establish a strong bond with their babies and build a robust breastfeeding routine before returning to work.

4. Promoting a Culture of Support: Encouraging a breastfeeding-friendly culture within the organization is essential. Employers can raise awareness among employees about the importance of breastfeeding and the need for support and understanding from colleagues.

5. Providing Education and Resources: Educating employees about the benefits of breastfeeding, pumping techniques, and other resources available to breastfeeding families can help create a more inclusive and supportive workplace.

As we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week 2023, let us embrace the theme "Let’s make breastfeeding and work, work!" by recognizing that supporting breastfeeding individuals in the workplace is not only essential but also beneficial for everyone involved. By promoting a supportive and inclusive work environment, we can empower people to embrace both their roles as parents and as professionals, ultimately leading to healthier families and a more productive workforce.

Let us join hands to advocate for policies that facilitate breastfeeding and create a nurturing atmosphere where people can succeed in both their personal and professional journeys. Together, we can make breastfeeding and work, work! Happy World Breastfeeding Week 2023!

Have you experienced any challenges balancing breastfeeding and work? Share your story and tips to support other working parents!

What do you think are the most crucial steps employers can take to create breastfeeding-friendly workplaces? Let's brainstorm ideas for a more supportive environment! 💪🏢

Share in the comments below!

Prenatal Coach, Birth & Postpartum Doula, Fort Collins, CO
Prenatal Coach, Birth & Postpartum Doula, Fort Collins, CO


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