This is going to be a little bit of a rant and for that I apologize. I promise to put a positive spin on things by the end.
We're halfway through World Breastfeeding Week, which started on Wednesday, August 1 and goes through August 7, after which kicks off World Breastfeeding Month through the end of August. I set out writing this post thinking that this was just another invented holiday for interest groups to build their following and sell their boob-friendly products. Of course I admired the increased efforts to raise awareness and the several events I saw organized by lactation consultants offering instruction and consultation. But then I get a little wary when I see Facebook posts and comments saying "Happy World Breastfeeding Week!" and a campaign to set the world record for number of mothers simultaneously breastfeeding, as though any minute I'd see Hallmark announcing their new line of greeting cards and the majority of women breastfeeding around the world this week cared about setting records while doing what to them seems natural and logical. I suppose if breastfeeding advocates are using this week to join efforts to raise awareness, draw attention to their cause, and taking action to change policies that interfere with a woman's right to breastfeed, I am happy to join them and do my part this "holiday" to highlight the only superfood made entirely by humans for humans. And I will be sharing a few news items, memes, and resources on my Facebook page this week. I hope my readers and followers will take some time to smile at the beauty of this intimate connection between mother and child, think about the challenges women face in this country and around the world when access to education and/or good nutrition related to breastfeeding is limited, and respect that every mother has the right to choose if and for how long she will breastfeed. I mentioned that I thought this was just another invented holiday. As it turns out, this year actually marks the 20th annual World Breastfeeding Week which has been incorporated into a global strategy by the WHO and UNICEF for the past 10 years. I can't express how pleased I was to learn that I was wrong and I've been having a ball reading about the history of the initiative and looking at their resources. While it's beyond my scope as a health coach at this time to take it on as my personal cause, I appreciate that this work is being done and support their efforts. Please weigh in on the topic. How does one observe World Breastfeeding Week? If you're currently a breastfeeding mother, how would you like to be recognized and celebrated?