Put on by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action; this week marks the 25th annual celebration of World Breastfeeding Week. A global event that aims to encourage, advocate, and educate the world about the importance of breastfeeding.

The decision to breastfeed is an easy one for some mothers, but it can be an agonizing choice for others. From the outside looking in, breastfeeding can be intimidating.

All the talk of painful nipples, sore breasts, and latching issues can be scary. Moms who are going back to work in demanding, high-stress jobs will wonder how they’ll ever find the time or privacy to pump. Others worry about eating the wrong things or wonder if any medications they are on will enter their breast milk and hurt their babies.

There are multiple factors and concerns to be considered, and without adequate education and institutionalized support within hospitals, the workplace and at home, many are doomed to fail before they even start.

However, despite all of this, it’s still an exciting time to be a woman. With the concerted efforts of organizations such as WABA, today’s women are trailblazing the way for future generations, so they’ll be able to breastfeed anytime and any place they want. Scientific studies have shown that breastfeeding offers babies a better start than formula does, and moms everywhere are beginning to listen to that message.

A recent review of the medical literature by Mom Loves Best found over 70 health benefits that breastfeeding provides babies. From helping their little bodies fight off bacteria and infections such as thrush, meningitis, and pneumonia; to preventing severe and life-threatening diseases such cancer, autoimmune deficiencies, and cardiovascular disease.

Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to give a growing baby the firm foundation for a healthy life, but the benefits don’t end with our children. The literature has shown that nursing provides mothers with similar health advantages, such as protection from a breast and ovarian cancers, reduced risks of diseases such as lupus, diabetes, and arthritis, and bonus perks such as faster weight loss after pregnancy and less uterus bleeding.

While many people have long associated the breastfeeding with improved health outcomes, few are aware of how truly far-reaching the benefits are. In fact, the impact on overall health is so significant that UNICEF has estimated 1,300,000 lives could be saved each year if more women were able to breastfeed their babies. This is perhaps one of the main reasons why this year’s World Breastfeeding Week has been dedicated to “working together for the common good.”

The simple fact is, no matter how you look at it, breastfeeding is an excellent choice. It benefits babies, mothers, and anyone who lives on this planet. But there is only one way we can sustain breastfeeding, and that is by working together.

About the Author

Jenny Silverstone is the mother of two, a writer and a breastfeeding advocate. You can find sharing information for overcoming common breastfeeding struggles on her blog MomLovesBest.com.