Each year, the first week of August marks the celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, supported by WHO, UNICEF, and many Ministries of Health and civil society partners. This global observance aims to raise awareness of the importance of breastfeeding and its infinite benefits. The primary focus is to provide support and encouragement for breastfeeding, a crucial aspect of maternal and child health well-being.
As breastfeeding is a natural and essential aspect of motherhood, it significantly benefits both the mother and the baby. However, for working mothers, the decision to continue breastfeeding can become a challenging balancing act between professional responsibilities and nurturing their babies when they need them the most.
To ensure every working mother can care for their baby and balance their career, this year’s theme focuses on women breastfeeding and working so that new mothers cannot sacrifice their newborn baby’s health or abdicate their career. With the vision to educate, this blog will shed light on the important aspects of World Breastfeeding Week and how you can balance your career when you have recently given birth to your baby through a normal or IVF pregnancy.
Nurturing Generations: The Evolution and Legacy of World Breastfeeding Week
In 1991, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) began to promote women’s breastfeeding benefits. A year later, the World witnessed the first World Breastfeeding Week, and in the year 2016, the breastfeeding campaign was aligned with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (WBW-SDGs).
With the urgency to create awareness, especially when only 2 out of 5 infants are breastfed in the first hour of their lives, the week-long event tries to raise awareness about why breastfeeding is crucial for both mother and child. Not only that, but this week also ensures that governments can try to fulfill the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals by acting on maternal and infant health. This week focuses on advocating for changes in policy and infant feeding practices to improve newborns’ health.
The WHO confirmed in a statement that breastfeeding could save the lives of 8,20,000 children under five annually. Given the context, highlighting the significance of breastfeeding infants becomes essential.
Importance of breastfeeding support in the workplace
Breastfeeding has been proven to enhance infant health and development, reducing the risk of infections, allergies, and chronic diseases. Moreover, breastfeeding offers numerous health benefits for mothers, including a reduced risk of breast and ovarian cancers and improved postpartum recovery. These are the benefits that breastfeeding brings to a mother and a child. Hence, by acknowledging these benefits, it should be everyone’s duty to create a supportive work environment for nursing mothers.
Challenges faced by Breastfeeding mothers
Balancing work responsibilities with breastfeeding can be daunting for many new mothers. There can be many hurdles in your path to feeding your newborn infant, such as searching for private spaces for pumping or nursing, dealing with limited break times, and coping with unsupportive attitudes from colleagues or employers. Recognizing these obstacles and taking action is the first step toward finding workable solutions for working mothers during this breastfeeding week.
So, what should be done to face these challenges? Is there any way to implement new changes so that breastfeeding women can stand together with everyone else when it comes to work?
How to Educate Employees and create a supportive culture?
Education is mandatory to foster a breastfeeding-friendly work environment. Now, employees can organize workshops or training sessions to educate themselves about breastfeeding benefits and the importance of supporting nursing mothers. Creating a culture of empathy and understanding will promote a positive and inclusive workplace atmosphere for all employees.
From now on, companies can leverage virtual platforms to provide support to nursing mothers. Moreover, virtual support groups, webinars, or other online resources can provide you with valuable information, guidance, and emotional support for those women who are working remotely and have limited resources.
Since the world of breastfeeding came into being, many companies have gladly accepted the change and wholeheartedly adopted breastfeeding-friendly policies. Organizations that prioritize employee well-being by providing prenatal leave, flexible work arrangements, and lactation support have experienced a surge in job satisfaction, higher retention rates, and boosted employee morale.
Establishing a workplace that supports breastfeeding benefits nursing mothers and the entire organization. It boosts employee satisfaction, retention, and productivity, showcasing a dedication to fostering a healthier and more supportive work atmosphere. Through collaborative efforts, employers, colleagues, and nursing mothers can seamlessly integrate breastfeeding and work.
Being the leading fertility chain in India, Crysta IVF aims to honour the resilience and determination of working mothers who opt to breastfeed, cultivating a nurturing space for breastfeeding mothers to flourish both personally and professionally.