World Breastfeeding Week: great commitment from the preterm birth community

For six years, EFCNI has been actively supporting and participating in World Breastfeeding Week with its own awareness initiatives. This year’s slogan “Support breastfeeding for a healthier planet”, also put environmental aspects which affect our babies’ health and future, on the agenda.

EFCNI strongly supports breastfeeding and wants to do its part to increase the number of newborns that benefit from breastmilk. At the same time, it is also crucial to represent and support the most vulnerable group of newborns: preterm babies and newborns relying on intensive medical care.  Preterm (and hospitalised) newborns benefit even more form breastfeeding than their term-born peers. Still, they are breastfed less. The reasons vary. Often,  they are physically not yet able to be breastfed since they are not yet able to coordinate sucking and swallowing for example or their digestive system is not mature enough yet.  Another obstacle can be that mothers of preterm babies do not get adequate information and support to provide breastmilk for their baby.  Emotional pressure whether from family, society or self-induced, can be another big hurdle. Hence, it is our aim to raise awareness for the special situation mothers of preterm and hospitalized newborns find themselves in when it comes to breastfeeding. Their approach to breastfeeding might be different and they might face different challenges when it comes to breastfeeding their baby than mothers of term-born children might do. 

#BreastfeedingIsAJourney and every mother should be encouraged to find the best way for her and her baby. 

World Breastfeeding Week was also influenced by the current pandemic that left many wondering, whether breastfeeding and feeding breast milk was still a safe way to feed their baby. With all activities taking place digitally, the engagement of our community was stunning. We were thrilled to see all this insightful, informative and empowering content created and shared by our network! Thanks to all of you for supporting and protecting breastfeeding by showing your commitment. Thank you also for supporting our initiative. If you should celebrate World Breastfeeding Week at some other time during the year, you find our campaign materials on our website.
Feel free to download and use  them for your upcoming social media activities:

#WorldBreastfeedingWeek #BreastfeedingIsAJourney

Our thanks go to Professor Arti Maria, Professor Karen Walker, and Selina Bentoom for their support.