World Breastfeeding Week

August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week.  In honor of this event, I’m going to divert from my Why didn’t anyone tell me? schedule to publish a post each day on breastfeeding:  trials, triumphs, and tips.  Thanks to a couple of generous companies, there will also be a few giveaways thrown in!  (We’ll get back to pregnancy talk next week.)

This week I’m going to encourage you to breastfeed your babies. A lot. Because I trust the research and my own experiences, and I know it’s best for baby.  And in most situations, I think it’s best for mom.

Am I going to slander you if you’ve had bad nursing experiences in the past?  No. Am I going to chastise you if for whatever reason you’ve decided that breastfeeding doesn’t work for you or your family?  Nope. Am I going to roll my eyes and scoff at those of you who gave it your very best shot and it just didn’t work out?  Not gonna happen.

What I do hope to accomplish this week is to bring you lots of encouragement from the trenches.  Tips and tricks that have worked for seasoned moms.  Stories of overcoming amazing breastfeeding obstacles that absolutely blew me away.  Resources to get your breastfeeding relationship off to a great start.

What I need from you are your questions, your participation, and your respect. Breastfeeding is a sensitive issue for many women, and for some teetering on the edge of whether they can make it work, a kind word will make all the difference.  Yes, of course share your opinions.  As always, keep them respectful and positive.   *** If you have post links you’d like me to share this week (trials, triumphs, and tips) please leave them in the comments or email them for consideration.)

The first post I’m sharing this week is from my dear friend JessieLeigh.  She didn’t breastfeed her first child, because she didn’t want to. (Um, Amy, that’s not terribly encouraging…)

I didn’t want to breast feed.

I had heard stories about it.

I am related to women who had had significant struggles with it and, while they never told me I shouldn’t attempt it myself, I was filled with terror at the prospect.

No one actually told me any “good” stories.  I became a mommy before most of my friends.  The one “mommy friend” I had who had breastfed told me bluntly, “I’m not so sure I’d do it again…”

I was convinced that my husband would never bond with the baby and that I would get no sleep should I choose to breastfeed.  The “What to Expect…” Book advised me to get up every two hours and never, ever, even for a moment consider giving the baby anything from a bottle- even expressed breast milk- for a minimum of three weeks.  Oh, dear.

I had modesty issues.  To be truthful, I was horribly, miserably uncomfortable around women who were breastfeeding their babies, even when they were discreet.  I had no problem with it- I would, even then, have defended a woman’s right to nurse her baby any and everywhere.  But it made me feel awkward.  The thought of ever having to *gulp* feed my baby in front of anyone other than my husband made me feel sick and nervous.

I did NOT want to breast feed.

And I didn’t.

When nightmares plagued me and I honestly lost sleep over how much I feared breastfeeding, I finally confessed to my obstetrician what I was feeling.  She said to me, “Perhaps it’s time to forgive yourself and just bottle feed your baby.”

It was all I needed to hear.

Bottle-feed I did.  I fed my baby boy formula for the first year of his life.  He never had a drop of my milk.>

And, oh, do I regret it…

You must click over to read the rest of this fascinating post!  JessieLeigh’s perspective will put new moms at ease and will erase breastfeeding guilt for some of you.  The moral of her story is that she didn’t have the information and support she needed to breastfeed, and that is her regret.

And from The Daily Sadie… a thoughtful response to the article What Can We Do to Help American Women Nurse Their Babies? I really, really believe more women would nurse successfully with the right information and support.

Hense the purpose of my “weeklong breastfeeding rampage.”  In the end, we all are responsible for our own choices, but this week I want you to feel inundated with positive breastfeeding support and encouragement from moms who have been there, done that and lived (happily) to tell about it.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

Comments

  1. Awesome, Amy! I just looked thru my blog to see if I had any posts about breastfeeding—and I DON’T! Ack! I think I’m going to do a Top Ten about it tomorrow. I was a reluctant breastfeeder and it turned out to be the most empowering wonderful thing I did for my babies!

    a

  2. I am so so SO excited about you doing this! I have such a heart for breastfeeding! I’ve been breastfeeding my 10 month old from day one, but it hasn’t been with out trials. Several months in I discovered that I have excess lipase in my breast milk. I had 575 oz of frozen milk in my freezer that my little girl wouldn’t drink! I was heart broken! I searched for answers, cried a LOT, figured out how to scald my milk for storage and ended up donating all my frozen milk to a milk bank. I have a few blog posts about my journey with excess lipase and I would be willing to share them with your readers if you felt like they fit your theme this week.
    http://simplyrebekah.wordpress.com/2010/03/17/excess-lipase-an-introduction/

  3. I think breastfeeding is so important, even when you have to overcome huge obstacles. One huge obstacle I had (and have to now with my second baby) to overcome is breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery. I’ve done a couple of posts on this here: http://www.thetowells.com/2009/04/for-women-in-my-situation/ and here: http://www.thetowells.com/2009/07/for-women-in-my-situation-part-ii/ . I hope this information can help some of your readers!

  4. I breastfed my first for 15 months and I now have a 5 month old who is still exclusively breastfed. I think we all have these feelings of awkwardness and embarrassment to varying degrees. I think it’s great that you are talking about it! I posted on this topic recently if you want to check it out http://www.themessymom.com/2010/06/breast-feeding.html

  5. I look forward to reading the rest of this series! I love breastfeeding, and believe it is important in so many ways. I breastfed my first son, and am breastfeeding my 11 month old son now. 🙂 When I was pregnant with my first, I felt so awkward thinking about nursing, but I knew it was the “right” thing to do, and so was determined to do it anyway. Once he was born, nursing didn’t seem strange at all! We did experience attachment problems, and I was sore on the right side for 12 weeks before I completely healed, but it was so worth it! And I’m so glad I continued! I think it makes such a difference to the bonding of mother and baby, among other things. Oh, and nursing my second son has been a wonderful experience right from the start. 🙂

  6. Looking forward to the rest of this series! I’m currently into week 3 of bf’ing my second child and even though it’s tough right now, I know it’s best and I’ll soon be enjoying it! (I nursed my first girl until 16mos 🙂

Trackbacks

  1. […] If you have any questions or tips on breastfeeding, please share in the comments! And don’t forget to check out Amy’s posts about World Breastfeeding Week! […]

  2. […] For more bloggers’ takes on breastfeeding, check out The Reluctant Breastfeeder and World Breastfeeding Week . […]

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