Some of you may know that I am a huge fan of the English soccer club Arsenal. One of their rising young stars is a kid named Theo Walcott. He’s 18 years old and has just lent his name to a major breastfeeding awareness campaign in the UK.
I’m not sure I know many professional athletes, let alone 18 year old guys, who are even aware that breasts have a function, so major kudos to Theo for stepping up and becoming an advocate for breastfeeding. True, he is getting a bit of media coaching from his midwife Mom, but still a big deal for someone like Theo to take this on. he realizes it isn’t without risks.
He seems unconcerned (or perhaps unaware) about the potentially lethal dressing-room combination of being baby-faced and advocating mother’s milk. “I know I’ll get the mickey taken out of me, but that’s always happening anyway. What can I say? It’s the right thing to do. It’s about healthy eating, getting healthy bones, right from the start of life, and men need to support their wives in that. That’s what I’ll be doing with my kids.”
The Breastfeeding Manifesto Walcott is promoting has been produced by a coalition of 39 organisations, including the Royal Society of Paediatrics and Child Health and the Royal College of Midwives. It not only calls for health-care professionals to be fully trained to support mothers with breastfeeding but also for government support for breastfeeding in public.