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Children still grow up separated from their families in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Celebrity Views on Breastfeeding: Interview with Lola Yuldasheva, National Child Rights Champion
- Why do you think in the information age, when so many facts are known about the benefits of breastfeeding, many still do not practice it?
- There is a lot of information, but we are used to trust the source closest to us, and that is not always the most reliable one. Much of our life still builds on the ideas of the past system, when attention was primarily paid to the need to get the mom back to work as soon as possible.
Sometimes you can observe a negative reaction to the promotion of breastfeeding. I think this comes either fr om ignorance, or from the lack of competent staff in the field, wh ere they need to be at critical moments for the mother and child.
If mass media starts talking about positive practices more often, if more awareness raising campaigns with the real examples are organized in the social media, then people will hear it more often and will trust this information more.
For example, one advice that surely reaches every mother – to give water to the child under the age of six months. This advice is given with good intentions, but it is incorrect, moreover, by giving water to the child and filling their stomach, the woman subsequently faces the problem of insufficient milk production. Another misconception at this stage leads to the fact that she stops breastfeeding too soon.
- Do you think breastfeeding is only the mother’s business or can everyone support it? If yes, how?
- The nature works in a way that only the mother has such a wonderful ability of bearing and feeding her baby, a new human being. However, it goes without saying that during such time, she needs a lot of support in order to restore the energy consumed for creating the new life. It a very noble role – to protect and take care of a nursing woman, who in turn, with a good spirit and with new energy, will cherish and support her baby.
We all know how stress negatively affects the mother, the practice of breastfeeding, and ultimately the baby. Fortunately, we can observe some positive trends – fathers are trying to be more and more involved in the process of birth and care for their children, support their wives. All family members can play a positive role in supporting the nursing woman.
- In your view, what message could convince people about the unique benefits of exclusive breastfeeding?
- Based on my own experience I can say it took me a lot of thinking because for the work I do my appearance matters a lot. I often need to be out of home, and it is not the best work schedule for the exclusive breastfeeding. Therefore, having weighed all the pros and cons, I decided that the first six months were critically important, and breastfeeding outweighed all other priorities that I needed to deal with. I came to the conclusion that the benefits of breastfeeding are incommensurably greater than the possible inconveniences that it can cause to a mother in other areas of life.
Our society, in general, is very supportive of breastfeeding, so there is little need to spend all of the first six months locked up at home. Lactating mother and her child can also have an active lifestyle. If there is a visionary employer, then the mother can start working, and show even better results than others, because she is motivated by the conditions her employer has created for her and the baby.
We are people who are accustomed to pay a high price for any good thing in life; that is why sometimes we find it challenging to understand the real value of something that is as simple and accessible as breastfeeding.
My call to all parents – adhere to the best choice for your baby – breastfeeding will give your child the best start in life. Isn’t this what we want for all of our children?