Moms Get Real About Breastfeeding
August is World Breastfeeding Month, celebrating the amazing benefits of breastfeeding and supporting those who choose to breastfeed.
A world in which we receive support to breastfeed is a world in which mothers thrive, their children thrive... and the planet does too!
”Liquid gold” is known for its infection prevention abilities for baby and for also lowering mom's risk for certain cancers PLUS it is eco-friendly and a climate smart choice.⠀
BUT it’s not always easy and every mama has a story tell. We reached out to our community to share their powerful and personal experiences of challenges and the lessons learned in hopes of inspiring others.
Breastfeeding (like everything in motherhood) is about balance.
“I have been breastfeeding my daughter for 10.5 months now. While it was very easy for us in the very beginning, we had some challenges and I felt like I had nowhere to turn. The insurance company was not helpful and actually asked me what a lactation consultant was. I felt so lost. I’m lucky that I had some friends I could turn to for advice. They supported me and gave me tips which allowed me to continue breastfeeding. Without their advice I would have likely had to stop a long time ago. ⠀
We are now almost at month 11, and now it’s a combination of pumping, supplementing with formula, and nursing. She nurses at nights always though. At first I was sad and wanted to exclusively breastfeed, but this is what works best for us. It’s a balance.” - Nicolle, mom to Pia
On Breastfeeding in Public
“If you've a problem with a mother meeting her child's basic needs wherever they are, whatever they are doing, and however they need to...the problem lies solely with you. " -Kristina c/o @ittasteslikelove⠀
On the Third Time Around
"It’s my third time sharing this intimate and beautiful experience with a life I’ve brought into the world and help to thrive through nourishment from my own body. You’d think after a couple of times, it’d get old, or would just feel the same as the other two times i’ve done it. It’s as simple as just feeding your newborn, right?
But no, each time, different. Each bond, unique. Each moment spent chest to chest, presents another moment to fall in love over and over again, to be in awe of what our bodies can do, how much these little expressions of ourselves need us and how these moments are some of the many ways to our greatest expression of a mother’s love. Grateful for this honor and this sweet time with my radical and beautiful baby girl." -Bon
"I honestly always secretly imagined breastfeeding to be straightforward and relatively easy. Even when friends talked of lactation consultants, I couldn’t really understand what could be so hard. Now. I do. It’s been a beautiful 10 month journey of breastfeeding my daughter, and it has also been incredibly hard work. I had no idea how many accessories and accoutrements I would need for my boobs! Ice packs for engorgement, ointment for cracked nipples, pump equipment, nipple guards, nursing bras, breast pads, 4 lactation consultants, ETC!! It has gotten easier as we’ve gone on, but new challenges like biting with teething (youch), milk production changes, impatience at let-down by a very active crawler, and night feeds... oh my!
Just like everything else about being a mama, there are daily adjustments with breastfeeding. I do so enjoy the slow moments with her (when we have them) and love the feeling of being able to comfort her and nurture her in this specific way. Not to mention the amazing appetite I have!
Never again will I judge a mom for choosing to stop breastfeeding at any point on the journey, or for choosing not to from the start. Never again will I wonder what a lactation consultant could possibly have to say. Thank God for all the support people we find along the way. It truly takes a village."- Colleen
"You shouldn’t ever feel inadequate about not being able to produce enough milk for your babies or deciding to not breastfeed for whatever reason. We go through so many adjustments when we have children so not doing everything “perfect” is okay. Love on yourself just as much as you love on that newborn." - Shan
On Breastfeeding During Covid-19
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This was me struggling to #breastfeed Amara at 9 weeks on the day before we left NYC. It’s been one challenging feed at a time since the beginning, rarely via breast, usually via bottle, and often excruciating, both physically and emotionally. 😞 Did Covid-19 make breastfeeding harder? Yes. Heightened anxiety plus a reluctant cross-country move amid a pandemic wasn’t a healthy recipe for ample supply or receptive demand. But even before Covid-19 did I set myself up for breastfeeding success, logistically and emotionally? I knew how challenging and time consuming it had been the first time. This time I worried how I could continue my (paid) work, which requires both long periods of critical thinking in solitude coupled with equally long Zoom sessions, uninterrupted and visibly on camera. 😳 Would I be able to pump? Not really. Did I consider asking for help if I needed it? I needed it but found that remote lactation consultations, however well-intended, proved limiting. 😬 The truth was I felt ambivalent and daunted by the thought of breastfeeding again, long-term, before Amara even arrived—but I didn’t anticipate feeling so demoralized and crushed when I realized I might not be able to breastfeed her at all. 😞 It is so important to honor and celebrate breastfeeding awareness week, and I celebrate every mama’s unique feeding path. I also want us to be aware of and kind to each other about our own feeding differences, limitations, goals, and preferences. I have such admiration for the mamas who love or loved breastfeeding and for those who didn’t or couldn’t!💪 And to the mama who didn’t “choose” not to breastfeed her baby, I hear you. I see you. It’s OKAY. As a wise friend once told me, “I’ll have the rest of my life to bond with my baby- not just at my boob!” 💕 A healthy reminder that at the end of the oh-so-long day, you and your baby will connect and thrive. #fedisbest. 💕💕🍼 #breastfeeding #breastfeedingawarenessweek #fedisbest #realmotherhood #momtribe #momtruth #womensupportingwomen
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