The Power of the First Hour: Save the Children

 

 

 

This post isn’t going to have much to do with fair trade or fashion. There will be some cute pictures of babies though. Like this one. It’s my daughter when she was about 6 months old. 
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Look at those fat rolls!! 
or how about this one of my son? He was about 7 months old in this photo.
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They were both “healthy eaters” 🙂
 
Babies are always “in fashion.” And it seems lately, they are the hottest accessory. Even England’s Royal Family is adding this “must have.” One thing that hasn’t been the coolest of topics is breastfeeding (this post will be pro-breastfeeding, but not in a judgmental way). And a woman’s choice on whether she pursues that or not. So, for the sake of argument, we’ll pretend that there isn’t a choice. Because in most developing countries, it shouldn’t be. Breastfeeding is critical to preventing malnutrition and saving children’s lives in the developing world. Breastfeeding immediately (within the first hour) after birth could help save 830,000 newborn babies from dying a year, and exclusive breastfeeding for six months could save even more babies and children.{1} 
 
I was the quintessential “earth mother” when I (finally) got pregnant with our son. We’d been through 3 years of infertility and a pregnancy loss. It was a very difficult season. So when I finally found out we were having a baby, I was excited to learn as much as I could (when I wasn’t hugging the toilet… which didn’t leave a lot of time). I wouldn’t take any anti-nausea meds and decided to take Bradley Method classes. If you’re not familiar with those, it’s months of meeting a certified instructor who educates you and your significant other about everything you can imagine relating to pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum. With video! 🙂 I do highly recommend it.  
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The goal is to educate the parents to a point that you are FULLY prepared for the whole process. To the point that you recognize the labor stages and can work with your body to do it all completely medication free. It’s no joke, but, thankfully, there were no complications and everything went “according to plan” for us. I was able to immediately nurse both times. I knew how important it was because of the education I received. And that’s why I’m choosing to participate on behalf of Save the Children’s new breastfeeding report, Superfood for Babies. Education is KEY in making decisions. Informed decisions are generally BETTER decisions. And in the case of Save the Children’s advocation, the choice could mean LIFE OR DEATH for babies. Save the Children is calling on Secretary of State Kerry to recommit to the 1,000 Days Partnership that expires in June. Since 2010, this international partnership has already helped countries such as Indonesia, Ethiopia, Bangladesh and Tanzania develop strategies around fighting childhood malnutrition through supporting breastfeeding and other important steps.
 
Save the Children is also hoping to continue the drastic decline in infant mortality in the developing world. (Since 1990, the number of children dying a year has come down by 5 million – that’s 14,000 fewer children dying every day.) And there is one relatively easy way to do it. By informing birth mothers of facts like:
  • It’s estimated that 22% of newborn deaths could be prevented if breastfeeding started within the first hour after birth 
  • In the first hours and days after childbirth a mother produces the first milk, called colostrum – the most potent natural immune system booster known to science. 

  • An infant given breast milk within an hour of birth is up to three times more likely to survive than one breastfed a day later.3

  • Infants who are not breastfed are 15 times more likely to die from pneumonia and 11 times more likely to die of diarrhea than those who are exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life.4 

Please consider signing the petition urging Secretary Kerry to help mothers around the world get more support around breastfeeding and lifesaving nutrition for their babies. It’s a small measure of effort required, regardless of your personal stance on breastfeeding. Who knows what may come of the lives that are saved?

 
Thanks for reading!
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Disclosure:
 
I am a part of the Global Team of 200 and Social Good Moms‘ 24-Hour Blogathon spreading the word about Save the Children’s new breastfeeding report,Superfood for BabiesSign the petition urging Secretary Kerry to help mothers around the world get more support around breastfeeding and lifesaving nutrition for their babies. 

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