2023 Author: Anita Thornton | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-22 03:30
If breastfeeding is a natural and pleasant act for some, for others it is painful or impossible. One would be tempted to believe that WHO recommendations are applied everywhere in the world, but this is not the case.
By tracing the thread of history, we realize that our society's view of breastfeeding has not always been the same. At the beginning of the 20e century, for example, women abandoned breastfeeding in favor of early weaning. The exhaustion of the mothers, linked to the domestic tasks as numerous as the children they had, was probably in question. As a result, during this specific period, the infant mortality rate skyrocketed.
Stream of Thought
We could also mention the rise of feminism after the Second World War, which in one of its currents of thought saw all female attributes as a great misfortune and fought for firm equality between men and women. the women. Women who believed in this line of thinking were therefore more likely to completely break away from breastfeeding.
The Arrivalwomen in the labor market, the promotion of dairy products, the lack of valorization of breastfeeding; all of these factors have also contributed to women's “shunning” of breastfeeding.
The state gets involved
Faced with the low rate of breastfeeding and faced with the undeniable fact that breast milk remains the best source of nutrients for infants while protecting them against infectious diseases and reducing the mortality rate, the State began to promote it. We have seen the birth of active promotion campaigns, breastfeeding clinics and “baby-friendly” hospitals.
Little lives saved
The World He alth Organization (WHO) estimates that universal breastfeeding would save nearly 800,000 lives a year! This is why she recommends exclusive breastfeeding (breast or bottle) during the first six months of life and part-time during the first two years, all in agreement with He alth Canada, the Canadian Pediatric Society, The Dietitians of Canada and the Public He alth Agency of Canada.
Breastfeeding on the globe
Despite WHO's educational and promotional efforts around the world, breastfeeding does not enjoy the same popularity across the globe.
Breastfeeding in Canada
In Canada, in 2011-2012, 85% of mothers breastfed at birth and 26% of them were still doing so by the sixth month of their child's life. Thereasons given for stopping breastfeeding are the lack of milk and the technical difficulties encountered.
Breastfeeding in France
Among the French, in 2012-2013, only 39% of children were breastfed at the age of three months and a quarter of them were still breastfed at six months. Lack of maternity support, ungenerous parental leave and the lack of recognition of the practice would be factors to explain the low proportion of children breastfed beyond the first three months of life.
Breastfeeding in Finland
Scandinavian countries are breastfeeding champions. It would seem that, socially, they almost unanimously recognize the importance of breastfeeding. This practice is not only encouraged, but valued. In Finland, to take just one example, 99% of children are breastfed from birth and 60% are still breastfed at six months. And these numbers are from 2005.
Breastfeeding in the United States
Our neighbors the Americans, when it comes to breastfeeding, get a good mark. Thanks to their “Baby Friendly” policy (similar to ours), in 2011, 79% of babies were breastfed in the maternity ward and 49% of them were still breastfed at the age of six months.
Breastfeeding in Asia
In East Asia in 2012, the percentage of breastfed children was dramatically low. In Thailand, only 5% of mothers breastfed at birth compared to 10% in Vietnam and 28% in China. The reasons cited to explain these lowrates are as follows: women return to the labor market very quickly and the formula market is very aggressive and puts a lot of pressure on mothers.
Sources: Statistics Canada, La Leche League France, He alth Watch Institute, WHO, Niassembly, UNICEF, Social representations of breastfeeding among Quebec pregnant women who want to breastfeed.