Tuesday, August 5, 2014

breastfeeding awareness week.

Did you know that August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week?!

I had no idea.

Is that something I'm supposed to know as a mother that breastfed and in support of breastfeeding? Like, do all moms know this? 

Welp, in light of the month, I will share some thoughts on breastfeeding even though you didn't ask.

I think breastfeeding is awesome and the best thing for you and your child if possible. I also think that women that choose to do so freely and in public definitely have the right to do so. Did I? No. I'm a bit more modest in that region of my life, but I do not judge those who do. I understand, it may put some people in an awkward and uncomfortable position, and I'll admit it, I feel semi-awkward when people whip it out suddenly and start breastfeeding, but I think it's more about the unexpected shock. I don't want to accidentally look, you know? But do I think it's rude or inappropriate? No. I also do not think that using a cover up is necessarily being ashamed of the beauty of breastfeeding either. I personally chose to use cover ups when breastfeeding in public, but that was more for my and my baby's own privacy, not really to ease those around me. Plus it gave me a chance to accessorize and pick out cute fabrics! So I say, feed and nourish your child as you so choose! 

Ah, but here comes the hotter topic... How long? 

Eek. That's a tough one to debate. All I can say is that both American Pediatrics and World Health Org recommends exclusively until 6 months and in combo with solids for at least 1 year. Now, apparently the world average is 4, although that number seems to be debatable. (Whoah though, right? Now if 4.5 is the average, and people are barely feeding up to 6 months, what is the high end of the scale? 8?) I breastfed my son for about a year and a half including weaning time. To be honest, I could have gone a little longer, but I gave into a little bit of public opinion. I wish I hadn't though. It's true, breastmilk is the healthiest option for your child plus it helped me keep off a lot of weight. It's magic! It's hard work, but it's magic nonetheless. Now I know it's total western thinking to think 7 is a crazy breastfeeding age. I am completely aware of that. I mean, in areas where there is no clean water and food is scarce, why would you give it up?! Heck, feed the village if you have to. But if I'm going to be frank, it'd be a little weird for me to see a 1st or 2nd grader ask his mom to nurse after he gets out of class. But that's probably just because it's so unfamiliar to me. I wasn't breastfed as a child, and I am positive that most of the things I suffer from stem from that (eczema, asthma, food allergies, and more). I never judge my mom for that though. Formula was "it" when I was born. But now we know, and I say, however long you decide, breastfeeding is the way to go. 

Now one more topic that isn't often spoken about. DONATING! 

Now most mothers tend to suffer from a lack of supply, but I on the other hand suffered from an oversupply. Weird, right? And as much as you don't sympathize with me, let me just tell you, it's the most inconvenient and uncomfortable thing. Also, leaking through clothes is embarrassing. Being a NICU mom, there were a lot resources and programs that I was made aware of, and milk donation was one of them. The nurses started to notice how much extra milk I was storing in their fridge and suggested I give to those who aren't able to naturally give that to their child. Awesome, right?! I personally donated to Mother's Milk (www.mothersmilk.org). So, if you are able to, donate! Don't waste it. And if you aren't able to breastfeed yourself, know that places like this are out there! It's completely safe - mothers that donate are given a small background check to make sure the source of the milk is safe, and you get to give your child something great even if you personally can't produce it yourself. 

Done. You're welcome. 

Check out www.worldbreastfeedingweek.com

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