Welcome to the Milk Mama Diaries Carnival (August). For this month, we write about the World Breastfeeding Week 2014 – Breastfeeding: A Winning Goal for Life and share how breastfeeding can help the Philippines achieve the 8 Millennium Development Goals developed by the government and the United Nations. Participants will share their thoughts, experiences, hopes and suggestions on the topic. 

Please scroll down to the end of the post to see the list of carnival entries. 

This is a much delayed post! I’ve been writing it for several months now but was not able to finish.  I finally found the drive to complete it in time for Milk Mama Diaries Carnival.  I feel that this post will help me explain the relationship of breastfeeding with the 8th Millennium Development Goal – Global Partnership.

Last year, I had the opportunity to expand my breastfeeding views and grabbed it.  Thanks to Nanay Ines and Velvet of Arugaan, I joined the One Asia Breastfeeding Partners Forum 9 in Luang Prabang, Laos.  It was a very enriching learning experience and opened my eyes to the international issues surrounding the breastfeeding advocacy.
as a panelist at OABPF
I was very happy to meet Patti Rundall, the active campaigner behind Baby Milk Action.  I always visit their website and read a lot of her and Mike Brady’s works.  I was happy to to finally put a face to the name.  I especially found her presentation in BINGOs, PINGOs and DINGOs very enriching so much so that I used that same description for my own presentation during the last PPS Breastfeeding Congress.  
With Patti Rundall, Velvet and Lei.

Another presentation I found especially enlightening was that from the Indonesians – on why breastfeeding mothers end up failing.  Indeed, what they shared is true.  Breastfeeding mothers are often blamed for their “failure” to breastfeed and they themselves think they “failed.”  But in truth, it is the system that failed them, and also the people surrounding them.  Because of barriers to breastfeeding they face in every step, they have no option but to end up stopping breastfeeding.

Now how does this tie up with this year’s World Breastfeeding Week Theme? My goal is to tie up breastfeeding with the MDG Goal of Global Partnership.  This document from the World Health Organization explains the aim and challenge of goal 8:

Fifth, goal 8 calls for a global partnership for development. This unique feature of the MDGs recognizes that there are certain actions rich countries must take if poor countries are to achieve goals 1 to 7. Goal 8 is a reminder that global security and prosperity depend on a more equitable world for all.

Through my attendance at the OABPF, I was able to see how global partnerships can be used to pursue this goal.  The most active campaigners for breastfeeding who have gained worldwide recognition would be IBFAN and Baby Milk Action. Neither of these organizations are based in developing countries but they take action on issues happening in the latter.  For instance, the latest Breaking the Rules Report 2014 highlights the violations being done by milk companies in developing countries, bringing worldwide attention to their actions.  Without such watchdogs, the violations of these companies in developing countries would continue without any culpability.
Another MDG Goal which I would like to tie up with breastfeeding is ensuring environmental sustainability. At the OABPF, I had the chance to listen to Dr. Tess Perez on the issue of golden rice. Admittedly, I was not very familiar about this.  Golden Rice is a genetically modified rice by our own IRRI which has been enhanced with Vitamin A.  The big issue here is testing — the target of the tests are pregnant and lactating women.  Campaigners are up in arms because of the supposed “consent” being given by the subjects.  Proponents claimed that the subjects know what they are getting into while campaigners believe that this consent was not an informed one.  The debate continues.
Issues of the effect of GMO products on environmental sustainability still have not yet been addressed.  How long has GMO products been in existence and how to we know the long term effects?  Will we only turn back when it is too late the reverse the effects in the future?  In a forum discussion on golden rice, Velvet shared the precautionary principle in environmental law.   The precautionary principle is the “notion which supports taking protective action before there is complete scientific proof of a risk; that is, action should not be delayed simply because full scientific information is lacking.”
So how does breastfeeding relate to this?  Breastfeeding is environmentally sustainable, zero waste and changes according to the needs of your child.  I’d like to link to this Rappler article where Velvet explains the tenets that Arugaan follows in the running of their creche —

We buy food in season because we believe that Mother Nature provides us with fruits and vegetables when our bodies most need them: mangoes in April, avocadoes in June, and lemons/calamondin in September. We also ensure to follow the teachings of our forefathers and ancestors who, throughout the centuries, developed natural and balanced diets to fulfill our nutritional needs.  

nursing E with the tree of life behind me

The MDG goal on environmental sustainability focuses on the lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation, with the target of reducing the population without access by half.  Breastfeeding ties to this because breastfeeding CAN improve sanitation by reducing waste products.  Let me end with this quote from the Eco Waste Coalition:

Breastfeeding is a perfect example of Zero Waste, generating no trash and pollution and contributing to the MDG on environmental sustainability. Unlike the production of so-called artificial formula milk, breastfeeding entails no forest clearing, no mining, no tree cutting, no fossil fuel burning, no wasting. It’s the most basic remedy to the energy, climate and garbage maladies afflicting our society.

Original here
Want to learn more about breastfeeding and the millennium development goals?  Here are many thoughts and reasons why we should all advocate for mothers to breastfeed for the first 1,000 days of life #BF1st1000days 

Mec insists to do the Math and breastfeed!
Ams, The Passionate Mom says Breastfeed for a Better Future
Pat says breastfeeding saves money and the planet
Cheryl, the Multi-Tasking Mama, tackles maternal health as addressed by breastfeeding
2011 CNN Hero Ibu Robin highlights gentle births and breasfeeding, even in disaster zones
Felyn stresses that Healthy Moms = Healthy Babies
Monique reminds us that there are second chances in breastfeeding
Normi relates how breastfeeding gave her strength and purpose
Nats thanks Dr. Jack Newman for showing how breastfeeding can be a win-win situation
Em believes breastfeeding is a solution to societal problems
Marge shares what breastfeeding has taught them
Kaity was empowered financially and as a woman through breastfeeding
Madel relates her breastfeeding saga
Jen of Next9 reminds us to do our research and share what we know
Celerhina Aubrey vows to work on one mother at a time
Grace wants to put an end to stories of toasted coffee and similar stuff over breast milk
Diane shares how she prevailed when things did not go according to plan
Hazel appreciates mommy support groups
Roan combines two passions, breastfeeding and architecture
Queenie tackled breastfeeding as the best choice for the environment as well and breastfeeding myths and poverty
Rosa shares how the picture she thought of was realized
Sally believes breastfeeding benefits mankind and our planet Earth
Floraine reminds us that breastfeeding helps combat diseases
Crislyn was happy to realize that she improved her own health by breastfeeding
Armi reminds us how breastfeeding during emergencies is crucial
Arvi tells us how breastfeeding made her look at her body a different way
Clarice elaborates on how breastfeeding saves lives and the planet
Giane reminds us that women empowerment can begin by seeing breastfeeding as more than a feeding issue
Liza thought she was only breastfeeding for her child

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