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August Awareness

How can pharmacy teams provide support during World Breastfeeding Week...

Discover how pharmacy teams can raise awareness during World Breast Feeding Week and where to signpost peope to for further support with feeding issues

Parents can choose to feed their babies in different ways, including breastfeeding, bottle feeding or a combination of the two.

Evidence suggests that breastfeeding babies can be extremely beneficial, particularly in their first few weeks, according to the NHS. “Breast milk is tailor made for your baby, contains vitamins and minerals and is always available,” says the organisation. “It also offers protection from certain infections and helps improve your baby’s long-term health. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), childhood diabetes and leukaemia.”

There are many challenges that come with breastfeeding. These include colic, milk supply, reflux, sore nipples and tongue-tie. Pharmacy teams are often the first port of call for new mothers who are struggling to breastfeed and should be on hand to help with non-judgemental advice and recommendations for all mothers – no matter how they feed their infant.  

Those who may need further support can be signposted to a local breastfeeding support group or the National Breastfeeding helpline: 0300 100 0212. They should also be made aware of other resources such as the Breastfeeding Friend from Start for Life, a digital tool which has expert advice available 24/7.

World Breastfeeding Week 2022

This year, World Breastfeeding Week falls on 1-7 August and is focusing on strengthening the capacity of actors that must protect, promote and support breastfeeding across different levels of society.

These “actors” make up a support system dubbed the "warm chain of support for breastfeeding" by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). “The chain places the mother-baby dyad at the core. It strives to link different actors across the health, community and workplace sectors to provide a continuum of care during the first 1,000 days,” says the organisation.

Target audiences include Governments, health systems, workplaces and communities who will all be educated to improve their capacity to provide and sustain breastfeeding-friendly environments for families.

Four main aims

Inform

To inform people about their role in strengthening the warm chain of support for breastfeeding.

Anchor

To anchor breastfeeding as part of good nutrition, food security and reduction of inequalities.

Engage

To engage with individuals and organisations along the warm chain of support for breastfeeding.

Galvanise

To galvanise action on strengthening capacity of actors and systems for transformational change.

Pharmacy teams can get involved by promoting the campaign instore, refreshing their knowledge via WABA’s warm chain information cards and sharing posts on social media with the hashtags #WBW2022 #WABA #WarmChain.

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