Did you know this week is World Breastfeeding Week?
Yep, August 1-7, 2021 is World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) which represents a global celebration of breastfeeding efforts including breastfeeding promotion, support, education, research, progressive trends and normalizing breastfeeding as the gold standard of infant nutrition. (Learn more here)
Today I want to share my experience and thoughts on breastfeeding.
In 2017 I had my first child.
Prior to, I hired a doula (shout out to Dasha Tate) who helped me to educate myself not only on my labor and delivery prep but the benefits of breastfeeding as a new mom.
Oct. 19, I became a first time momma. Within minutes of delivery we tried nursing. It took a little time for baby Camden to adjust but after a little practice nursing we were set.
Thankfully I didn't have complications with latching, sore nipples, thrush, Mastitis or any other common breast feeding issues. I remembered the amazement me and my husband shared as we watched our son feed for the first time. It was amazing. My son was a calm, relaxed nursing child.
He nursed until a little after his 2nd birthday. Our nursing journey ended abruptly when he accidentally bit me slightly while eating a snack and nursing at the same time. (Yes, I was multi-tasking lol so it was probably my fault for giving him a snack to eat while nursing). Don't judge me for multi-tasking though...I'm sure you've done it too! HAHA!
Fast forward it's August 2021.
I'm now on round two of "milk mom" duties with my 2nd child, baby Dream. She's currently 8 months (born Nov 2020) and very strong willed. I hope to continue nursing her past her 1st birthday but not much more. Why? Dream is very independent and greedy lol so I think we may both need some space after a little after 1...but who knows. Every child is different.
#realtalk nursing is SUCH A BLESSING yet it's a real sacrifice.
On that note... I unapologetically pause to give KUDOS to every woman who not only carried a baby for 9 months, then pushed the small human out of her "WHO-HA" (yes that's what I call lady parts lol) or cut open her womb via C-section...then without a pause nursed a baby for 1 week, 6 months, 1 years or 3 years. No matter the duration, girl YOU ROCK!
If no one tells you today, Momma You ROCK! And I'm screaming this truth from the rooftops right now -- >> for YOU!
Here's a few of my breastfeeding thoughts (From October 2017 - Current Day)
Every woman is different. Every child is different. Don't get caught up trying to do what someone else does with their child. Follow self instinct (and if a believer the voice of the Holy Spirit) to lead you on what to do with your body and your child.
Nursing is a blessing. No matter how long you can or want to nurse your child I always encourage women to try it. There are so many physical and psychological benefits for both you and the baby.
Breastfeeding was created by God. It's natural, not nasty. I am not ashamed to nurse my child at home or in public. I do think women should be modest as not to show themselves when in company of others...but don't think women should have to feel intimidated or uncomfortable to do one of the most natural things we get the pleasure of doing for our littles...nursing and bonding.
Nursing requires time and patience...and if you don't have it, you will learn these new skills. I've worked from home for over 7 years so my home and business lifestyle allows me to nurse with ease. I know for women who work in corporate or high demand travel role, nursing is super stressful. Either way nursing take time and patience. Learning best times and places to nurse, the frequency of nursing and the persistence of it - can be a full time job! I've learned not to stress over that reality though... but to learn to enjoy it because when it's over, it will be over forever.
To Pump, Or Not To Pump...that' is the question. I only pumped with my son for a small span of time.
I really didn't like the constant cleaning and drying of the bottles and since he was a winter baby we were stuck in the house so I just began nursing exclusively (which means for those wondering, when he got hungry he got it from the source, no bottles necessary). Now with my 2nd child (born at home unexpectedly in a pandemic, yes crazy right -- read the story here) I am also nursing her exclusively since I have the pleasure of still working my personal businesses from home. If you need to pump, pump. If you don't want to, don't. At this point in time, my thought is women should have the options to take care of their young wherever they go (work, church, flight, etc.)
6. When in public always carry a throw, blanket or other coverup. You never know when your baby will be hungry.
7. Nursing for a baby isn't just about "food" When we eat as adults it's because we are hungry. When babies cry or whimper or give cues for nursing it can mean they are needing attention, want cuddles, need to bond with mom, are irritable, sick or simply want their "mommy blanket", need "skin to skin" contact OR are hungry. First time moms...please know you are more than a "milk mom" you are everything to your baby who just left the inside of your womb. Have grace, be patient and when you need it (for those overwhelming moments that only a mom understands) ask for help It's OK.
In conclusion, I hope every mom who desires it... gets the opportunity to nurse their child. It's a beautiful thing. Few other random notes I found out about our amazing bodies God created...
milk production is not connected to how small or big a person's boobs are
the more your baby drinks, the more your body makes (it's Amazing!! we are fearfully and wonderfully made)
breast milk is great for cradle cap, skin issues or blemishes on babies
unused milk can be added to baby's bath to help fight skin issues
stored milk can be frozen and thawed for later use
babies don't normally bite while sucking (it's hard to chew and suck at the same time) Most nipple bites happen when kids are playing, bored or distracted
some women gift or sell their milk to nourish other babies (and no its not nasty) No more nasty than drinking cows milk from combined cow utters lol
Ok I'm done..... Happy BreastFeeding Week!
Ladies what's something you've learned on your breastfeeding journey? Share below...I'd love to hear :) #sharingiscaring
This blog post belongs to Amber Mabry, visionary and graphic designer. Stay connected link up on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter. @AmberMabryThrives @APaynesDesigns