August 1, 2013 officially kicks off World Breastfeeding Week and with so many Richmond moms advocating for breastfeeding, there’s no wonder we have so much great information to share on our Richmondmom.com site! You will find lots of stories throughout the week from Real Richmond Moms who know what it’s like to breastfeed – including the rewards, benefits, challenges, and sometimes even the disappointments.
We know that breastfeeding is not the choice for some women for many reasons. And we also know that there are some women who are unable to breastfeed for various reasons. But if you are able and you choose to breastfeed and want to learn more, this is a great time to start – so read on for local events and valuable tips and stories.
About World Breastfeeding Week
This year’s World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme, ‘BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: CLOSE TO MOTHERS’, highlights Breastfeeding Peer Counseling. Even when mothers are able to get off to a good start, all too often in the weeks or months after delivery there is a sharp decline in breastfeeding rates and practices – particularly for exclusive breastfeeding. The period when mothers do not visit a healthcare facility is the time when a community support system for mothers is essential.
Continued support to sustain breastfeeding can be provided in a variety of ways. Traditionally, support is provided by the family. As societies change, however, in particular with urbanization, support for mothers from a wider circle is needed, whether it is provided by trained health workers, lactation consultants, community leaders, or from friends who are also mothers, and/or from fathers/partners. That’s why peer counselors, online resources, and community groups can be so beneficial for breastfeeding moms.
The Peer Counseling Program is a cost effective and highly productive way to reach a larger number of mothers more frequently. Peer Counselors can be anyone from the community who is trained to learn to support mothers. Trained Peer Counselors, readily available in the community become the lifeline for mothers with breastfeeding questions and issues.
“The key to best breastfeeding practices is continued day-to-day support for the breastfeeding mother within her home and community.” ~ World Breastfeeding Website
2013 Breastfeeding Objectives
1. To draw attention to the importance of Peer Support in helping mothers to establish and sustain breastfeeding.
2. To inform people of the highly effective benefits of Peer Counseling, and unite efforts to expand peer counseling programs.
3. To encourage breastfeeding supporters, regardless of their educational background, to step forward and be trained to support mothers and babies.
4. To identify local community support contacts for breastfeeding mothers, that women can go to for help and support after giving birth.
5. To call on governments and maternity facilities globally to actively implement the Ten Steps, in particular Step 10, to improve duration and rates of exclusive breastfeeding.
The BIG Latch On!
Get ready for the BIG Latch On during Breastfeeding Week. There are two local venues in the Richmond area this year:
- Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center, 13710 St. Francis Boulevard, Midlothian, VA – August 3 at 9:45 a.m.
- Virginia State Capitol, 1000 Bank Street, Richmond, VA 23219 – Big Latch On RVA – August 3 at 9:45 a.m.
Groups of breastfeeding women coming together at registered locations around the world to all latch on their child at a set time. All the breastfeeding women and children are latched on for one minute at the set time and are counted by the witnesses. The numbers are added up and we see if we can beat previous Big Latch On records or maybe even the world record!
The Big Latch On supports communities with identifying and growing opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion. The key to the Big Latch On’s success is allowing communities to hold their Big Latch On events, empowering them to create an event that relates to the people of their community, while still taking part in a worldwide event.
Breastfeeding Information at Local Library
The Richmond Public Library is hosting a table with breastfeeding information on:
- August 5, 2013
- 10am – 2pm
- Main Branch Library, 101 East Franklin Street, Richmond VA
There will be representatives from peer breastfeeding counselors, lactation consultants, La Leche League counselors, WIC counselors, and/or other breastfeeding experts available to answer your questions throughout the day. Stop by and learn more – or just thank them for their support of breastfeeding women!
If you’d like to help spread the word and provide information for women, they are still looking for volunteers – click here.
Talk to Us!
Richmondmom.com would love to hear about your breastfeeding story. You may be featured on our Real Richmond Parents section so email us your stories, humorous insights, tips, ideas, and even your challenges with breastfeeding so we can share them with others. Email us at email@example.com.
Watch for stories from our Real Richmond Moms throughout the week of August 1-7, 2013 as they share their breastfeeding stories. Congratulations to all women who make the decision to breastfeed if they are able – you’re giving your baby the healthiest start possible!