Yesterday we noticed a bumper sticker that read: “Do something radical: Stop hating your body.” It reminded us that World Breastfeeding Week was already two days old. So here is a little catch up with news from around the world and our own back-yard:
In the Bronx…
Breastmilk provides babies an immunologic leg up on life. Breastfed babies are less likely to have diarrhea, respiratory tract infections, otitis media, and other infections. During the first six months, the infection rates are lower for exclusively breastfed than for partially breastfed infants. These benefits are not just for infants in developing countries. Health and survival benefits from breastfeeding are also seen in the United Sates. Encouraging our patients to breastfeed will prevent infectious disease and decrease emergency room and clinic visits.
The Montefiore Breastfeeding Committee seeks to increase exclusive breastfeeding rates on discharge from Weiler and Montefiore North nurseries. Please join us in this effort. Participate in Montefiore Breastfeeding programs during breastfeeding week and throughout the year.
The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, World Health Organization recommend exclusive breastfeeding until six months of age.
Free breastfeeding continuing education credit for physicians, nurses,
and dieticians is available at: www.breastfeedingtraining.org
From: Dr. Rebecca Williams
… and around the World
Its We the People Who Can Bring Change: Lets ACT NOW!!
World Breastfeeding weeks starts on August 1, (1-7 August). The theme is Breastfeeding, A Vital Emergency Response: Are You Ready?
You can find out more, download materials and find events at: http://www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org/
UNICEF and WHO have made statements in support of the week, which is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action.
UNICEF’s statement notes: “Around 9 million children under five die every year, largely from preventable causes… According to the Lancet, optimal breastfeeding in the first two years of life, especially exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months, can have the single largest impact on child survival of all preventative interventions, with the potential to prevent 12 to 15% of all under age 5 deaths in the developing world… This year’s World Breastfeeding Week provides an opportunity to sensitize policy-makers, donors, implementing partners and the general public to the benefits of breastfeeding, to its particular importance in emergency situations, and to the need to protect and support mothers to breastfeeding during emergencies.”
You can find the full UNICEF and WHO statements via links at:
It is a government requirement that tins have warnings that breastmilk is best for babies, but Nestlé refuses to translate these into local language, despite requests to do so, because of ‘cost restraints’. It took a Baby Milk Action campaign that led to Mark Thomas highlighting this irresponsible marketing on UK television, to change Nestlé’s minds, and further campaigning to persuade Nestlé to show cup feeding, rather than bottle feeding, in line with government policies. See: http://www.babymilkaction.org/CEM/compfeb00.html
So campaigning works. Now we need to persuade Nestlé to remove the ‘protect’ logo from labels . You can help by sending a message to Nestlé. You will find the information you need to do so on our July Campaign for Ethical Marketing action sheet, which is now available on our website at: http://www.babymilkaction.org/cem/cemjuly09.html
If politicians fulfilled their responsibility to implement the baby food marketing standards adopted by the World Health Assembly, then public campaigns would not be necessary and there would be progress towards stopping the millions of preventable under-5 deaths.
You can help put pressure on politicians by signing the ONE MILLION CAMPAIGN petition. If you have already signed, visit the campaign website to see what action you can take to encourage friends and colleagues to sign up. See: http://www.onemillioncampaign.org
Make an opportunity to call upon companies and your leaders to END ALL KINDS OF PROMOTIONS of Baby Foods by 2015.
2. If you would like to submit the One Million Campaign Petition to your Head of the State, please use the opportunity to do so.
At this link http://www.onemillioncampaign.org/press-release1.aspx you can find the Petition letter, and petition submitted to the President of the World Health Assembly in May 2009.
From: OneMillionCampaign email@example.com
Another link http://www.onemillioncampaign.org/doc/draft-letter.doc provides a draft for you to use to write to your Head of State.