Thursday, August 7, 2014

Breastfeeding and the First 1,000 Days #BF1st1000days

My biggest takeaway from the first day of the 2nd Breastfeeding Congress was the role breastfeeding plays in the first 1,000 days.

First 1,000 Days is a partnership among key players worldwide concerned with maternal and child nutrition. Basically, the belief (backed by numerous studies) is that the first one thousand days of a child’s life is the period that decides the health and wealth of the world. From pre-conception care to the first two years of life, how a child is nourished will influence his long-term health, ability to learn and performance in all aspects of society. Breastfeeding, having the largest impact on child mortality of all preventive intervention, is thus something that all nations have to promote, support and protect.

Unfortunately, milk companies are trying to jump on the 1,000 days bandwagon to squash all the efforts the UNICEF and WHO (as well as other concerned agencies) have been putting in for this breastfeeding campaign and confuse consumers yet again. Or maybe I mean dupe consumers. Nestle and Danone have officially hijacked the initiative and launched/registered sites bearing the 1,000 days catch phrase. It definitely isn’t the first time that milk companies will twist something from the breastfeeding camp (golden bow, “best start”, etc). You can download Breaking the Rules 2014 and see for yourself other violations these companies have been committing worldwide.

It is in this regard that breastfeeders, breastfeeding advocates and breastfeeding supporters are now being called to express support for breastfeeding. Let us use our social media accounts. Let us post breastfeeding photos, breastfeeding quotes, reflections on your journey/testimonies as a breastfeeder and use the hashtag #BF1st1000days.

Perhaps, in this way, these milk companies won’t even think of bringing their ludicrous underhandedness in the Philippines.

Having breastfeeding in mind while pregnant helps mothers mentally prepare themselves and the people around them to breastfeed. Breastfeeding in the first two years of life (and beyond) complemented by healthy eating habits after baby turns six months reduces risks for chronic diseases for both mother and child. Breastfeed for the first one thousand days. Let your posts all contain #BF1st1000days

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