OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign Up / Login or Learn more

Gentle Breastfeeding Support

To use what nature gave us, to support mothers to reach their breastfeeding goals

Photo of Leah Hughes
2 2

Written by

Lead Applicant Organization Name

Gentle Breastfeeding Support

Lead Applicant Organization Type

  • Small company (under 50 employees)

If part of a multi-stakeholder entity (i.e. team), provide the names of other organizations and types of stakeholders collaborating with you.

Leah Hughes founder of Gentle Breastfeeding Support

Website of Legally Registered Entity

www.gentlebreastfeedingsupport.co.za

How long have you / your team been working on this Vision?

  • 3-10 years

Lead Applicant: In what city or town are you located?

Johannesburg

Lead Applicant: In what country are you located?

South Africa

Your Selected Place: what’s the name of the Place you’re developing a Vision for?

Gauteng Province in South Africa

What country is your selected Place located in?

South Africa

Describe your relationship to the place you’ve selected.

I selected this place because it is the Province in which I live and therefore I will have easy access to rolling out this project.  I could have chosen anywhere in our beautiful country because I believe every mother and her baby is unique, breastfeeding is a universal language. As a woman and a mother innately I have a special connection with other mothers.

Describe the People and Place: Provide information that would be helpful for an outsider who has never been there and may have no context about this Place to better understand the area.

Breastfeeding is a universal survival kit for every mother and her baby. But due to the lack of education and support to assist mothers to reach their breastfeeding goals we loose 820 000 infants annually. 

By laying an education platform to give every mother the opportunity to make an informed choice about her breastfeeding journey, to let mothers know why breastfeeding matters, how it works: although it’s natural it doesn’t always come easy and reaching out for support is normal we can save hundreds of thousands of infants. We essentially need to make breastfeeding a hot topic, it begins in the classroom educating scholars, this way socially it will be more accepted / understood and the bulk of the responsibility falls upon our governments shoulders to protect mothers in the workplace  

If mothers had the opportunity to make an informed choice, to understand why that positive choice matters and have the support to turn to when in need we’d positively reshape future generations. 

What is the approximate size of your Place, in square kilometers? (New question, not required)

18176

What is the estimated population (current 2020) in your Place?

59308690

Challenges: Describe the current (2020) and the future (2050) challenges that your food system faces.

Our greatest challenge would be to create a platform of interaction for mothers to make an informed choice about their breastfeeding journey and furthermore to have access points / clinics where mothers can easily reach to access breastfeeding support.

Address the Challenges: Describe how your Vision will address the challenges described in the previous question.

It’s not enough to make big promises, print pamphlets and thumb suck data. 

We should be regulating formula- it’s not enough to simply say breastfeeding is best for your baby. In my experience mothers know this!  What they don’t know is where to get support when they have breastfeeding worries. 

We should be regulating breast pump brands- it’s not okay to have cheap imports on retailers shelves as options for mothers when the technical capacity of the pump is compromised/ not proven to efficiently meet the mothers needs 

Mothers need law makers to protect their rights in the work place. 

We need to create access points / places that are relatively easy for mothers to reach to get access point.  One suggestion would be is to sponsor their travel to and fro as well as offer them a meal at each breastfeeding support consultation.

High Level Vision: With these challenges addressed, now provide a high level description of how the Place and the lives of its People will be different than they are now.

We aggressively market the science of breastfeeding. How it works and why it works!  Mothers don’t understand that their baby needs to suck frequently in the early days to bring their milk in, mothers don't understand that their baby is incredibly efficient to build their milk supply and supplements and pumps aren’t as efficient as their baby. But they need to be shown how. They need to be supported. New mothers can be particularly fragile and big brands and the medical fraternity often prey on this by using their own ‘superior’ knowledge to tell the mother what she needs instead of giving her body the opportunity to do exactly what it was designed to do. 

Full Vision: How do you describe your Vision for a regenerative and nourishing food future for your Place and People for 2050?

We support mothers to reach their breastfeeding goals. 

While I don’t have all the immediate solutions what I know for sure is every mother deserves the opportunity to make an informed choice on her breastfeeding journey. Breastfeeding should be protected as a human right for mother and baby. What I know for sure is when we empower mothers to reach their breastfeeding goals we empower the next generation. 

I’d love the opportunity to work with your organization to develop tool kits to equip mothers, governments and corporates to empower the next generation. 

How did you hear about the Food System Vision Prize?

  • Facebook

2 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Village Development  Center (VDC)
Team

Thank you so much for the Food Extension Initiative.

View all comments