It's National Celebrate Breastfeeding Week!
This week, it happens to be National Celebrate Breastfeeding Week!
Initially Meelight was designed to be used by Mums so they could see to breastfeed their babies in the dark, but it became quickly clear that Meelight could be used for many baby and child related tasks - seeing to bottle feed, changing a nappy, checking on baby or popping to the loo without turning the main lights on.
Any mums who have tried it will agree that breastfeeding can often be one of the trickiest jobs to do when you can see what you're doing, let alone in the dark! It's the one time when you really need to be able to see what you're doing - baby getting a good latch on is crucial to a good feed and a good feed means baby (and you!) sleep longer! But when you can't see what you're doing it can be hard to get baby to latch on well - and it's always tempting to continue even when it's not going great - leading to an unfulfilled baby and the dreaded sore nipples! Whether a mum chooses to breastfeed or not, seeing what you're doing at night is so important.
During our research whilst designing Meelight, we looked at the various methods parents were using to see to feed their baby at night. Many were using mobile phones (too bright & contain blue light) , bedside lamps with muslin draped over (fire hazard!), leaving the hall light on and even torches - (wow a torch - that would dazzle even the most sleepy little one!) But none had found the right solution or product to help.
So what happens during National Celebrate Breastfeeding Week?
Running from the 18th - 27th June 2016, National Celebrate Breastfeeding Week is concentrating on how 'everyone in local communities can support mothers to breastfeed, whenever and wherever they are.' Here at Meelight we know that breastfeeding isn't always for everyone, and for some it just doesn't work out. But the health benefits of breastfeeding are well known and this extended week is a great way to bring together mothers, breastfeeding support groups and health professionals to support breastfeeding in local communities.
There are no figures for 2016 but the UK Infant Feeding Survey of 2012 is an interesting read noting that 76% of new mums in 2005 breastfed their babies initially and this rose to 81% in 2010.
However after one week, breastfeeding rates fell to 69%, and to 55% at six weeks.
At six months, only 34% of mums were still breastfeeding.
Whatever the individual choice of the mother, it is noticeable from the Infant Feeding Survey that 30% of all mums had experienced problems feeding their baby in the early weeks and only seven out of ten new mothers had been shown how to breastfeed whilst in hospital. The most common reasons for stopping breastfeeding in the first week were problems with the baby not latching on properly, mum having sore breasts or nipples and feeling they had insufficient milk.
So events like National Celebrate Breastfeeding Week are key in not just promoting breastfeeding to new Mums in the UK, but also to help the ones who are perhaps struggling to keep going.
Below is a little table summarising some of the issues faced by Mums who choose to breastfeed - hope it helps! #celebratebreastfeeding