By Katlego Pooe
The first week of August is World Breastfeeding week. Breastfeeding is a duty done by mothers to help nurture and develop newborns. This duty is so amazing and it creates a bond between the mother and child. The milk from breastfeeding has the right nutrition and helps protect the newborns immune system. There are benefits for mothers as well such as it helps lose weight and can reduce the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.
Sadly society has made breastfeeding degrading and discouraging for mothers to do in public areas. This is concerning because newborns need to be feed at least eight times or more a day. People find it disrespectful and rude for mothers to nurse in public. In South Africa, it is not illegal to breastfeed in public areas. Currently, there is a legislation that will prohibit discrimination against women who breastfeed in public places. Asking a mother to nurse her baby in a public toilet is like asking someone to eat a sandwich in the toilet. We need to change the mindset of people and encouraging mothers to breastfeed.
Currently, in South Africa, we are facing newborns who don’t receive breast milk and the SABR ( South Africa Breastmilk Reserve) is in need for mothers to donate breast milk to newborns especially premature infants that are vulnerable to infections and might die due to not receiving breastmilk. For more information please check www.sabr.org.za