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National Breastfeeding Week in Perú

Meg Fuell and Alison Velasco
Lima, Perú
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 36 No. 6, December 2000-January 2001, p. 115-116

We are the only two Leaders in Lima, the capital of Perú. Our Group was founded in February 2000. We just celebrated "Semana de Lactancia Materna en el Perú" (National Breastfeeding Week), declared by the government for the fourth week of every August. Over the past month, Alison and I attended weekly meetings with other organizations also involved in breastfeeding (both governmental and non governmental organizations, or NGOS) to plan a campaign to promote breastfeeding during this special week. We were able to have input on the drawings that were reproduced in flyers and posters. For example, we ensured that the hand position of the nursing mother showed the C-hold rather than the "cigarette hold." We also reviewed the info-packet of materials on breastfeeding for newspapers and radio stations, and wrote one page information sheets for the packet entitled: "Consejos Utiles Para Amamantar a su Bebe Mientras Trabaja Fuera del Hogar" and "Centro Trabajo Amigo de la Madre" ("Useful Hints for Breastfeeding and Working away from Home" and "The Breastfeeding Friendly Workplace.")

We also participated in a "Clinica Movil," which is like a health fair, held at a local park where different health care providers are set up in different tents (dental, breastfeeding, nutrition, blood pressure, etc.) for the community to visit with questions and concerns about health and nutrition for mothers and babies. We distributed 100 copies of five different LLL information sheets and talked with mothers about breastfeeding. We also gave interviews; I did one and Alison and her husband gave two-one with a magazine and one for a live radio program. We were able to recommend five of our LLL mothers to appear on different live radio talk shows. LLL was mentioned on several occasions, including our contact phone numbers. Five different articles about breastfeeding appeared in the main newspaper, El Comercio, last week, and La Leche League was mentioned in one!

Alison was able to attend a special presentation in the National Congress of Perú to honor congresswoman, Senora Luz Salgado, who has written a book about “la Lactancia Materna"(breastfeeding). At the end, Alison greeted the Congresista (Congresswoman) in the name of La Liga de La Leche del Perú.

Our Logo was included on all the breastfeeding campaigns posters distributed to rural and urban community centers, health clinics, and commedores (soup kitchens) all over the country. Word certainly got out last week that "la lactancia materna" is very important and that there are numerous organizations supporting nursing mothers, including La Liga de La Leche del Perú!

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