Empowering Working Parents This World Br... - October Health

October Blog posted in Mental Health

Empowering working parents this World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from August 1 to August 7, aiming to promote the importance of breastfeeding for infants' health and well-being. This year's theme, “Enabling breastfeeding for working parents," recognizes the challenges faced by working mothers in balancing their professional lives while ensuring their babies receive the best nourishment. 

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In this remarkable celebration of motherhood, we will be raising awareness, educating, and advocating for breastfeeding as a vital aspect of maternal and infant health in the Panda Forest. Our esteemed guest speakers from La Leche League SA will shed light on the benefits, challenges, and societal implications surrounding breastfeeding. La Leche League South Africa is a voluntary organisation that provides information and support to women who want to breastfeed their babies.

Discover the magic of skin-to-skin contact and early initiation, as we unveil the incredible benefits these practices offer in ensuring a successful breastfeeding journey. On 1 August, 11am Julia Gane, Pamela Willment & Lynette Pieters will be unpacking how the early days of breastfeeding lay the groundwork for a lifetime of health and well-being for your child - Click here to set a reminder.

The nighttime breastfeeding journey is both a challenge and an opportunity for connection. Sally Raine, Nicole Meyer & Gwen Robyn will uncover the secrets to maximizing your sleep while meeting your baby's needs during those tender hours on the 2nd of August at 10am. Here are a few tips on how to maximise your sleep:

  • Co-sleeping Safely: Co-sleeping can be a viable option for some families, as it allows the mother to respond to the baby's feeding cues more easily, leading to better rest for both mother and child. However, it's crucial to follow safe co-sleeping guidelines to reduce the risk of accidents.
  • Share Night-Time Duties: If possible, have your partner or a family member assist with night-time feedings. This way, the workload is distributed, and both parents can get some rest.
  • Daytime Napping: Whenever the baby is napping during the day, take the opportunity to rest as well. It can help replenish energy and improve overall well-being. Set a reminder here to join the conversation and learn more.

We will also be separating fact from fiction as Ute Gerhard, Joan Truby and Tanya Thomas debunk common breastfeeding myths that may have discouraged you along the way on the 3rd of August at 4pm. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Breastfeeding is always painful
  • Formula feeding is easier
  • Breast size determines milk production

The early days of breastfeeding are filled with wonder and adjustment. Behind every successful breastfeeding journey stands a powerful support system. On the 5th of August, 11am Leonor Janse van Vuuren & Maria Grewar unpack the vital role partners, family, friends, and employers play in creating a nurturing environment for both mother and child:

  • Partners can offer emotional support, help with household chores, and participate in baby care to reduce the burden on the breastfeeding mother.
  • Family and friends can encourage a breastfeeding-friendly environment where they understand and respect the mother's choice to breastfeed.
  • Employers can create breastfeeding-friendly workplaces by providing dedicated lactation rooms, flexible break times, and understanding when the mother needs to express breast milk. Join the conversation here.

As the baby grows, solid foods complement breastfeeding, but breast milk remains an essential source of nutrition and comfort. For working parents, returning to work while breastfeeding poses challenges. Proper planning, communication with employers, and access to appropriate pumping facilities can make the transition smoother. Breastfeeding during pregnancy is also possible, but it's essential to monitor the mother's health and ensure that both the current baby and the one on the way receive adequate nutrition.

World Breastfeeding Week celebrates the invaluable bond between mothers and their babies, highlighting the importance of breastfeeding for the child's healthy development. For working parents, breastfeeding can be challenging, but with support, knowledge, and dedication, it is a rewarding journey that benefits both the mother and the baby. By enabling and supporting breastfeeding in the workplace and at home, we can empower working parents to provide the best nourishment for their little ones, setting the stage for a brighter and healthier future.

Posted by Khwezi Mabunda


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