This week is World Breastfeeding Week (#WBW). This week is used to raise awareness of breastfeeding and its benefits. The generations before us did a LOT of damage to breastfeeding culture. It has been seen as “offensive”, “unnecessary” and more. Women who were completely capable of breastfeeding were told they could not feed their child. This is different than women deciding breastfeeding isn’t “for them”. This was (and still is) a direct attack on the women who want to choose breastfeeding for their child. I always knew we would choose, Lord willing, breastfeeding for our child. And it’s a decision I haven’t regretted. But it sure wasn’t easy!
Facts [you may not know] about Breastfeeding
- You burn as many calories while breastfeeding as if you walked 7 miles
- Most mom’s give up their breastfeeding relationship before their baby is 6 months old
- By kissing your baby, your body can identify the antibodies it needs and create that in your milk
- Babies who breastfeed instinctively stop eating when they are no longer hungry. Bottle-fed babies often empty the whole bottle
- Breastfeeding exposes the baby to many different flavors, based on the mother’s diet. This encourages children to try many foods when they begin solids!
- Research is beginning to show that children nursed 3+ years get a boost in the IQ department
Things I’ve Learned
- Someone once told me “It’s the most unnatural natural thing you will ever do”. Gosh were they spot on!
- You NEED support from those around you. Your spouse, your family, your friends. That is what keeps you going at 3 am when the baby is screaming for food but still can’t figure out that latch
- Your baby really does know how to get your milk to “let down”. My guy will squeeze, hum, sing, squish his face into me .. whatever it takes! My grandmother noted that calves do it to the mother cows as well. Thanks Gram…
- You MUST swallow your pride. If you really believe this is the road you want for your child, you need to ask for help when/if you need it.
The picture at the top of this post wasn’t easy. I am very proud that I breastfeed Liam. However, I am an extremely modest person (breastfeeding or not). I’ve worn a bikini once – on my honeymoon. I almost always have a camisole on under my shirts. I don’t even walk around my house in my underwear, much less nude! But I really felt I needed to take this picture. I wanted to give others a gimps into our breastfeeding world. It’s an amazingly complex and colorful daily adventure. I’ll take you on a walk through it in the days to come …