World Breastfeeding week is August 1-7, and Breastfeeding Awareness Month takes place during August as well.
Columbus will host a World Breastfeeding Week Celebration at the Statehouse lawn on Saturday, August 6 at 10:30am. A flash mob dance will take place at 10:45am.
Hospitals around Columbus offer breastfeeding support groups to mothers, including a Tuesday meeting weekly at St. Ann’s Hospital and a weekly meeting at Riverside Hospital.
In addition, La Leche League of Ohio offers many meeting groups throughout Columbus, including special times for mothers nursing multiples and mothers nursing toddlers.
Breastfeeding is the normal way of feeding an infant, and not breastfeeding can result in many health risks for mother and child, including diabetes, obesity, increased risk of breast cancer, increased risk of closely spaced pregnancy, increased risk of allergies in baby. Breastfeeding is especially important to medically fragile children, as the breast milk contains living infection fighting cells that help kill off bacteria and viruses that can harm preemies and babies with illnesses.
Unfortunately, much cultural debate goes on in America about whether breastfeeding is obscene, should be done in public, and whether it is a woman’ right to choose not to breastfeed. A few generations ago, there was no debate. A baby breastfed, when and where he needed to.
In other cultures, even religiously conservative Muslim nations, women openly nurse their babies without debate or scorn. The act is not thought of as sexual, but rather as simply part of life. A baby is born, and his mother nurses him.
Show breastfeeding women and babies support by attending this event, and give a smile, a pat on the shoulder or some words of encouragement when you see a woman nursing her baby when she is out and about. Hopefully, our own daughters will not have to face the same ridicule and debate about this healthful behavior.