Breastfeeding success is not determined entirely on a simple, “yes I’m going to breastfeed”, or “no, I don’t think I will breastfeed.” Certain systems are put in place which can either support and enable breastfeeding, or they can restrict the success greatly. I really think the hyper sexualization of the female breast causes a lot of issues, particularly with breastfeeding in public (free the nipple!). I also don’t feel as if there is enough support available, in our health care system, our work environments, and in our social groups to support a strong breastfeeding relationship. With all the health/bonding benefits that come with breastfeeding, we really do need to work on these issues.
I was the mother that did not get the support, or even understand the importance or need for breastfeeding with my first baby. One week in, and I was bleeding and crying at every single feed. That breastfeeding relationship turned in to exclusively pumping, and lasted about 4 weeks. With every baby I nursed a little longer, and became a little more passionate about helping women navigate their journey through birthing and breastfeeding. My fourth and final baby, I breastfed until she was three and a half years old. I am thankful for every single one of my breastfeeding journeys, as they have helped me become a more empathetic and supportive person, particularly when it comes to breastfeeding struggles (which reminds me, post on surviving thrush will be coming soon).
World Breastfeeding Week runs from August 1 – 7, 2015, and as we pass the halfway mark, I thought I should probably share a little bit of info on exactly what WBW is.
First, let’s look a little bit at the objectives of WBW:
And now, let’s look at the elements of support needed for women to successfully breastfeed in our society today:
**we are lucky here in Canada to already get one year paid maternity leave, but our sisters to the south are not so lucky. Most Americans don’t get a maternity leave at all.
Happy World Breastfeeding Week everyone, and in closing, please enjoy these beautiful breastfeeding pics:
The three pictures above were taken from Bored Panda
The above picture was taken from an Australian article
The above picture was taken from Kangaroocare