Breastfeeding Awareness Month Is Approaching & Here's How To Show Your Support

by Lindsay E. Mack

Although it's perfectly natural, breastfeeding still faces some challenges and setbacks today. Simply nursing in public or pumping at work presents difficulties for some families. Thankfully, many people and organizations are dedicated to making life easier for those who choose to nurse. So when is National Breastfeeding Month 2018, and how can you get involved with the outreach campaign? By adding a simple hashtag to your posts, you can help normalize breastfeeding for everybody.

The month of August is officially National Breastfeeding Month (NBM), according to a 2011 decision by the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC). A concern for children's health and nutrition, as well as desire to make workplaces more conducive to breastfeeding, made up a few of the reasons for this monthlong awareness campaign, as explained in the National Breastfeeding Month Proclamation. Overall, NMB is all about highlighting breastfeeding's many benefits for infants and mothers alike.

Although breastfeeding appears to be on the rise in the United States, as noted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, plenty of nursing families still need more support from their community. Although there are laws in place to give nursing, employed moms the time and space to pump, for instance, plenty of moms are shamed for breast pumping at work, as noted in Romper. Culturally, there is still a lot to be done before breastfeeding is totally normalized in the US. Until then, awareness campaigns such as National Breastfeeding Month are crucial.

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For National Breastfeeding Month 2018, a specific focus is presented for each week in August. The first week, Policy Pulse, focuses on ways that minor policy changes can provide major support for families who are breastfeeding, as noted by the USBC's official website. Sometimes a quick, common-sense revision of the employee handbook can make life so much easier for nursing parents. Next, Special Circumstances & Emergency Preparedness is the theme for the second week in August, focusing on advice and resources for nursing during an emergency event. Although no one likes thinking about devastating storms or other events, educating yourself now is always wise. Call to Action is the theme of the third week, and it focuses on ways to make breastfeeding easier for everyone. The final week, Black Breastfeeding Week, looks at the role of breastfeeding in the black community in particular, and it addresses ways to make breastfeeding more inclusive. As the different topics throughout the month prove, breastfeeding is affected by so many other issues going on in the world today.

In honor of the 2018 event, the USBC has several ways individuals can get involved. You can simply leave a Facebook or Twitter message to show your support, as noted on the USBC's Twitter page. Add the hashtag #NBM18 to any posts about National Breastfeeding Month 2018. It's also an easy way to help retweet campaign posts. Plus, you can spread the word about National Breastfeeding Month by sharing the link ( with your friends, family, and colleagues. In addition, you can print out information about breastfeeding from the USBC's Cafe Press store. Basically, there are plenty of ways to spread positive information about breastfeeding both online and in the real world. You never know who might need to hear this message today.