If you could give only five pieces of breastfeeding advice to a new mother, what would you say? Here’s what I’d tell her.
We really want to share our breastfeeding moments.
Nursing our children is incredibly important to us. We’re proud, grateful, sometimes hesitant, always brave. See how quickly we all LEAPED at a chance to share some of our most treasured breastfeeding moments?
That moment when our babies gave us the big ol’ doe eyes, thanking us from somewhere deep in their souls for nourishing them? We couldn’t ignore it. And we’re so happy about it, we want others to notice too.
An innocently cute brelfie (breastfeeding selfie) trend like this should go viral and incite mad passion — even the World Health Organization said so in a UN briefing for this year’s World Breastfeeding Week.
We’ve been patient. So very patient. But we’re starting to get antsy in our nursing gliders and uncomfortable under the paisley tent-covers. It takes this degree of overwhelming social media with Tree of Life brelfies to normalize breastfeeding by tomorrow, when it really should have happened yesterday.
This weekend I attended The Global Big Latch On as a mother, a resource person, and an advocate.
So what’s the point of women and their nurslings congregating to breastfeed together at 10:30 a.m. for sixty seconds? (Most of the kids were latched long before and after, of course). First, GBLO wanted to set a new world record for the most children simultaneously latched to breastfeed, and for the most moms simultaneously breastfeeding.
This popular World Breastfeeding Week event also spreads awareness of all the different ways mothers breastfeed (nursing newborns, infants and toddlers, older kids, tandem nursing, adoptive nursing, wet nursing, with various apparatus like nipple shields or SNS, restricted diet nursing, supplementing, and exclusively pumping mothers were counted for the latch, too).
It intends to encourage support networks for families within their communities during the breastfeeding years and beyond.
1). Breastfeeding needs to be seen to be learned.
“We absolutely need to see positive, educational breastfeeding images on social media and to encounter these maternal norms on a daily basis. Women learn how to breastfeed by example and observation, as is the natural design, rather than by instinctual expertise.
For a new mother, breastfeeding is like using a muscle she’s never used before — NOT like picking up an exercise routine with the blessing of muscle memory (even with breastfeeding experience, she still must learn afresh how to breastfeed each new child).” – Brelfies Aren’t TMI — They Celebrate a Power Exclusive to “Mom Bods”
It’s pretty sucky when you’re up to your armpits in swollen milk machinery, none of your clothes fit, and your boobs suddenly feel like they might actually burst open as if they, too, overindulged in too much Easter feasting the day prior (ugh, when will they start making nursing bras out of stretchy pants?).
I had oversupply, and would wake up many mornings for months so engorged that I could see my milk ducts rippling through the taut skin, totally horror flick style. The problem was exacerbated during my four months -long pumping stint, which tricked my body into scrambling to provide for MaiTai’s nonexistent twin, or so it felt convinced. And so, every day it made sure my milk-makers were stretched out to wazoo. It defied the laws of physics, really.
- Can You Supplement with Cow, Goat, Soy or Nut-Derived Milk?
- Homemade Formula
- Formula Supplementing Help
**Also read Part One (Why Isn’t Every Baby Breastfed?), Part Two (Cow-Made, Man-Made, or Mother-Made?), and Part Three (Making a Baby-Friendly Culture Amid formula Marketing) of this series.**
One of THE most important things to remember for those who are struggling to meet the recommendations for mama milk exclusivity: Breastfeeding does NOT have to be ‘all or nothing.’ If you cannot breastfeed but can express some breast milk, some is better than none for as long as you can. If you’re a full-time working mom who cannot nurse on the breast very often, it will help to breastfeed when you can, even if it’s only at night to put your baby to sleep, or only on the weekend to mostly dry-nurse, or something in between.