Along with much of the world, Bermuda annually observes the first week of August as World Breastfeeding Week.

Every day is a breastfeeding day for newborns, and August is the month we give particular focus on how to support families for breastfeeding success. We all know “Breast is Best” as a slogan that is decades old, but the truth of this reality was brought home this past spring with the unprecedented shortage of infant formula in the United States. Never before has the slogan had more meaning.

Exclusive breastfeeding starts a newborn’s nutrition off on the right foot. Among its many scientifically-proven benefits, breastfeeding safeguards against commercial formula problems, natural disasters and any other mishap that can affect access to safe artificial feeding. Under almost all circumstances, babies’ nutritional needs can be met by its mother’s breastmilk supply. Support from family members builds necessary confidence in new mothers, and timely advice and assistance from knowledgable healthcare providers helps especially during the early days of establishing adequate supply and troubleshooting temporary difficulties. Breastfeeding can be enjoyable and successful in almost all cases, if mothers are supported.

In the US, there will be observances of National Breasfeeding Month, National Breastfeeding Month (usbreastfeeding.org) In some communities, these observances have a unique targeted approach that reaches out to all cultures and ethnic groups, encouraging and empowering all mothers to breastfeed confidently. In the Montgomery County, Maryland area of the US, they even observe weeks to address the specific needs of different communities, from Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islanders Week, Indiginous Milk Medicine Week …and ending with an in-person celebration of Black Breastfeeding Week https://www.eventbrite.com/e/black-breastfeeding-week-2022-tickets-343288173167. Communities can be rallied around the goal of supporting women to successfully breastfeed their babies!

In Bermuda, we continue to strive to do the same. La Leche League of Bermuda’s Facebook page offers support and encouragement to local mothers.(20+) La Leche League of Bermuda | Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/gotmilkbda/

Thanks, La Leche League International, www.llli.org, for helping mothers do the right thing for over 60 years!

This month is a great time to check out their classic, bestselling guide, “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding”, now in its 8th edition. Prepare yourself to be a Breastfeeding Ally!

by Cheryl Peek-Ball