Breastfeeding is a complex issue. It is something that women are expected to do, yet at the same time, women often lack support and information, and may also face harassment for breastfeeding in public. In this episode of The Mom Pod, we start digging into the subject of breastfeeding, investigating the latest global trends and the state of breastfeeding in the UK.

In January this year, The Lancet published a series about breastfeeding – an overarching global study of the benefits, barriers, and global trends of breastfeeding. Evidence shows that if breastfeeding was the “norm” 823,000 deaths of children under five and 22,000 deaths from breast cancer could be prevented every year! Breastmilk is a personalized medicine with benefits for both mother and child regardless of economic status. There is growing evidence that breastfeeding decreases the prevalence of obesity and diabetes later in life. It also benefits mothers’ health, decreasing the risk of breast cancer by 6% for each year of breastfeeding and also reducing the risk of ovarian cancer. These health improvements given by universal breastfeeding would translate to substantially reducing healthcare costs.

“Women need to learn to trust their bodies ability to nourish their babies,” says Alison Spiro.

Alison Spiro is a Specialist Health Visitor in the UK, who has led the way to change communities and hospitals to become baby friendly and succeed with breastfeeding. She informs about the challenges in British society, and shares stories of change and success. Alison also speaks about why she has become an advocate for breastfeeding and gives an introduction to the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative.

Amal Omer-Salim, Co-Executive Director of World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action speaks about what is needed to ensure that women and children have their right to breastfeed protected. She gives an overview of the state of breastfeeding globally and speaks about why there is a need for a global movement to promote breastfeeding.

“Breastfeeding is not soley a woman’s issue. It involves all segments of the society.”
Amal Omer-Salim

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Cover photo credit: Aurimas Mikalauskas 

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