Thursday, January 25, 2007

Youth and breastfeeding

My wife Sonia tells a story of when she coordinated World Breastfeeding Week in São José dos Campos a few years ago. This event is called by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), of which Baby Milk Action is a member.

The theme in this particular year was : “Breastfeeding: Education for Life”. Sonia did some events in schools in partnership with the education deparment.

Soon after, one of the school students, Caio, 7 years old, was walking with his mother through a supermarket where a new promotion had been launched for feeding bottles. They were contained in a giant bottle almost reaching the ceiling. He called it to his mother’s attention saying: “Look, mum. Dr. Sonia isn’t going to be pleased”.

You can see a picture of the bottle in this article about Brazil’s inspirational projects promoting, supporting and protecting breastfeeding, in this article.

Attitudes towards infant feeding are shaped long before we become parents. With so much advertising of artificial feeding on television, dolls that come with feeding bottles and dummies and baby care signs that use a feeding bottle the promotion is insidious, at least in the UK. Campaigns such as that to protect the right to breastfeed in public and ours to implement the World Health Assembly baby food marketing requirements in legislation aim to ensure breastfeeding is not undermined.

This comes to mind as WABA have just sent round an email about a new discussion group they have launched for young people. If you know someone who may be interested, please copy this on to them.

Join YOUth-4-Breastfeeding Now!

Hello my friends! I’m writing to you to invite you to join the YOUth-4-Breastfeeding Yahoo! Group.

Many youths today may think that they are too young to make a real difference for breastfeeding or don’t know how to relate to breastfeeding. On the contrary, youths already exist in five social domains: family, public, school, work and cyberspace. Young people can share with the others within these domains about the benefits of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is best! That is the fundamental reason why everyone should support it!

In line with this, the WABA Youth-4-Breastfeeding was launched to get youths interested in breastfeeding and to develop and sustain young advocates to promote and protect breastfeeding through the perspectives of human rights, reproductive health and gender equality.

What you can do through Youth-4-Breastfeeding?

§ Forward this email invitation to your contacts or anyone who may be interested

§ Download information and materials from the website

§ Join YOUth discussions at our Yahoo! Group. Share your thoughts, experiences and learn what others think of breastfeeding

§ Find out what other YOUths are doing for breastfeeding around the world: what are they doing and how do they do it ??!

§ Do youth activities in your area/country. Tell us how we can help you carry out your activity! For ideas see our brochure

§ Contribute to the Youth-4-Breastfeeding Newsletter. First issue coming in February. Please subscribe to the Yahoo! Group now!

§ Decide to act to make a difference!

First, you and your friends have to join the Yahoo! Group. How? Visit

Step 1: Download and complete the WABA Endorsement

Step 2: Complete the Endorsement and send it to us by email

Step 3: Join the YOUth-4-Breastfeeding Yahoo! Group

Step 4: You’re in!

The initiative is open to all youths who want to help and to make a difference.

YOUth can be one of them and receive the latest information, newsletters, brochures, recent activities and much more.

For more information please write to or visit...



What are you waiting for? YOUth can act to make a difference!

No comments: