More anti-breastfeeding bunkum on my Facebook timeline recently, more rambles about the 'breastfeeding nazis', more Facebook bans on people sharing their #brelfies, more attempts to convince us that formula is just as adequate. Yawn, yawn, yawn.
Earlier on I had cause to turn to the World Health Organisation guidelines on breastfeeding, and thought it was worth re-publishing them here.
Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants; it is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. As a global public health recommendation, infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health.
Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to two years of age or beyond. Exclusive breastfeeding from birth is possible except for a few medical conditions, and unrestricted exclusive breastfeeding results in ample milk production.
This unequivocal statement on the normalcy and huge advantages of being breastfed from birth up to two years, and beyond, may not suit our modern attitudes, but there can be no doubt about the biological advantages. Whatever the media and formula-funded 'medical' studies may try to convince us otherwise.
Breast isn't 'best', it's optimal, it's normal, it's natural.
It may not always be easy, but if proper help is sought, and offered, breastfeeding will be successful, even in an anti-breastfeeding culture like ours.
Unfortunately, your NHS midwife or breastfeeding support group, your Children's Centre or NCT group are probably not the best places to turn. Try La Leche League, or for online help advice try the amazing Dr Jack Newman's site.
Do the best for your babies mamas, you CAN breastfeed!
Find more breastfeeding articles here.