World Breastfeeding Week 2017

This week (1-7 August) will see the world coming together to promote breastfeeding and the health of babies during World Breastfeeding Week 2017.

World Breastfeeding Week

Now in its 25th year, World Breastfeeding Week (WBW2017) is calling on advocates, decision makers and celebrities to ensure globally agreed policies towards breastfeeding.

Even in 2017 there are still reports in the news of women being turned away from restaurants or advertising campaigns debating breastfeeding in public – meaning promotion and understanding of breastfeeding is essential.

Dove’s controversy

In July skincare brand, Baby Dove launched a controversial advertising campaign where they are seen to support opponents of public breastfeeding. One advert says: “36% are for feeding him when he cries. 64% are passionately against it. What’s your way?”

In England and Wales, it is illegal to ask a breastfeeding woman to leave a public place and in Scotland the law makes it an offence to prevent or stop a person from feeding milk to an infant in a public or licensed place.

Despite the laws in place, there are still divided views on breastfeeding in public. After Baby Dove released their campaign, the Advertising Standards Authority revealed the complaints they received were varied – some complained about neglectful parenting styles others questioned where the statistics came from.

Negative message

“It’s not anyone’s ‘way’ to oppose [breastfeeding] unless they fancy going to court or criminal action, and it’s insulting to imagine that mums who formula feed automatically sympathise with people who dislike breastfeeding in public,” says Emma Pickett, from the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers. “This message intimidates new mums and that means increased isolation and greater risk of postnatal mental health issues.”

WBW2017 is about promoting the benefits of breastfeeding babies and to create an environment where mother and baby can thrive. It is well known that breastfeeding provides children with the best start in life – opinions of others should not affect the wellbeing of a child.

For more information on WBW2017 campaign visit their website here.

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