What To Do When Your Breastfeeding Baby Bites

Supporting Breastfeeding for a Healthier Planet

Every year, World Breastfeeding Week highlights the health and wellbeing benefits of breastfeeding for babies and their mothers.

Climate change and environmental pollution are some of the most important challenges that countries around the world face today. This year, World Breastfeeding Week 2020 is focusing on the role of breastfeeding to protect the environment, its importance for both the planet and its people.

The level of CO2 (Carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere has risen significantly in the last few decades and this continuing rise is attributed to the burning fossil fuels for energy (Coal, oil, and natural gas are examples of fossil fuels). This rise has resulted in global warming with resulting impacts such as increased rainfall, flooding and extreme weather events.

The production, packaging, distribution and preparation of breast milk substitutes such as formula requires energy e.g. boiling water to prepare formula. Breastmilk substitutes also create waste that pollute the environment e.g. metal cans, plastic and paper waste.

On the other hand, breastfeeding uses few water or land resources, produces no carbon emissions and minimal or zero waste. It also suppresses ovulation in women, helping to reduce family sizes and keep families healthy, which can further protects the impact of a growing population on the Earth’s resources.

Reducing reliance on breastmilk substitutes is an important step in helping to mitigate the climate change crisis. However women also need the right environment and support for breastfeeding to flourish.

Supporting breastfeeding has many benefits for both mother and child but also has both short- and long-term impacts on the health of the planet. Breastfeeding also results in good nutrition, protection against infection, poverty reduction and increased food security.

This is why we all need to create an enabling environment that supports breastfeeding and increases the uptake of exclusive breastfeeding and breastfeeding in Africa.






More Stories You’ll Love

How to Ensure Your Baby Is Gaining A Healthy Weight After Birth

After the birth of a baby the parent’s concern then shifts to making sure the baby is gaining weight and growing both physically and intellectually like the baby is supposed to. Growth is a good indicator of general health, and babies who are growing well are generally healthy, while poor growth can be a sign of a problem.

Doctors will keep track of weight, length, and head size. According to Kidshealth, a new born baby born at 37 and 40 weeks usually weighs 2.5kg-4kg.The length of the pregnancy is important. Babies born around their due date or later tend to be larger than those born earlier. Other factors that can affect a baby’s weight include:

  • Premature babies generally are smaller and lighter than other newborns. A preemie’s weight will be largely determined by how early he or she was born.
  • Genetics
  • Multiple births,
  • First babies are sometimes smaller than brothers or sisters born later.
  • Girls tend to be smaller, boys larger, but the differences are slight at birth.
  • Mother’s health during pregnancy
  • Nutrition during pregnancy
  • Medical problems and certain infections acquired during the pregnancy, can affect a child’s birth weight and later growth.

Valerie Marchand, is a Pediatric Gastroenterologist and chair of the Canadian Paediatric Society’s Nutrition and Gastroenterology Committee. She was part of a group that recommended the use of new growth charts developed by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Growth charts examine length and weight in boys and girls, from birth to thirty-six months.  In the first few days after birth, babies normally lose weight, then get back to their birth weight by about 10 days. Marchand suggests that parents should be aware that a baby’s birth weight depends more on the mother’s diet and health during pregnancy. While slow-gaining babies tend to get the most attention, there are new concerns about babies who gain quickly. “You need to look at height as well as weight,” says Marchand.

Paediatrician and breastfeeding expert Jack Newman said, “the first step is often to improve the way the baby latches on to the breast”. “When the baby is not drinking much, using compression can help,” he adds. To determine how your baby’s measurements compare with those of other babies born after the same length of pregnancy, your paediatrician will refer to a growth chart. Always refer to your baby’s pediatrician and listen to them concerning how to maintain a healthy weight for your baby.

GET THE latest from mamalette in your inbox