Earlier this week, the U.S. government opposed a resolution to “protect, promote, and support” breastfeeding put forth by the World Health Assembly, the decision-making body of the World Health Organization.
That stance stunned and saddened many of us in the public health community as research has consistently proven the many benefits of breastfeeding.
At WellShare, we recognize and follow medical and research expertise. Because of that, we have worked to educate and support communities and individuals on best practices. At the same time, we support both individuals and communities in working towards their health-related goals. In the local Somali community, in particular, it is a cultural norm and expectation that mothers will breastfeed for the first two years after a child is born, if possible. We support parents as they make educated decisions like these to keep their families healthy and happy.
Recently, we worked in partnership with the Mother-Baby Center with Allina Health to produce a Somali-language video on the breastfeeding — The Benefits of Exclusively Breastfeeding Your Baby. Thanks to funding from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Allina Foundation, Somali mothers can learn the benefits of breastfeeding and then consult with their healthcare providers and partner to make the best decision for their family—often while being supported by community-based resources including peer counselors and community health workers.
We will continue providing relevant and culturally-appropriate information on breastfeeding and other health topics to community members so that best practices are widely known and available to all.
Diana DuBois, Executive Director
Ashley Mitchell, Program Manager
Adar Kahin, Community Health Organizer
July 13, 2018