I Mean, Do We Really Need to Celebrate Breastfeeding?
Every August, the world celebrates the beauty and wonder of breastfeeding in culmination of activities and campaigns to normalize breastfeeding. Each year I question whether the noise is necessary. Then I reflect on the journey of the many women I’ve worked with, my own setbacks, failures, and triumphs and I unequivocally answer YES!
I never exclusively breastfed; frankly I didn’t know how, and I felt robbed. How could it be possible that my body knew how to create and a grow this child, but then I couldn’t figure out how to feed him? I was a shamed and an incompetent mother off to a glorious start. In a search to heal my own wounds, I vowed to learn everything I could about lactation and then bring these jewels from the mountaintop back to the village.
So there I was in the middle of a lecture. In a ball of enlightenment and fury, I cried as I learned the reason my body failed me. More truthfully, I failed my body. Up until that point, my concepts around breastfeeding were all wrong. If only I knew this information before. If only I saw more women breastfeeding and it wasn’t such a foreign concept. Maybe, then just maybe, I wouldn’t have failed my son. Sadness waned and turned into anger which then fueled action to create a movement.
So do we need a day, a week, a month devoted to breastfeeding awareness? Yes.
Yes, because #breastfeedingIs demanding. Yes, because #breastfeedingIs an irreplaceable bond between mother and child. Yes, because #breastfeedingIs your protected right under the law. Breastfeeding offers so many physical and emotional benefits for mother and child, yet so many women struggle with it. Many women feel don’t feel supported at work and are often ostracized in public. There are so many emotions surrounding it. But by sharing these stories and emotions we help to #normalizebreastfeeding. In doing so, maybe we can heal wounds and help women feel empowered.
To me #breastfeedingIs your choice. Whether that choice is to exclusively breastfeed, supplement, exclusively pump, or a combination of the above. That’s for you to decide. No woman should feel ashamed of her choice; simply supported. I would love to hear from you! How do you feel about breastfeeding? Share your photo and story using the the hashtag #breastfeedingIs.
Do you have any breastfeeding questions? Let's talk! I'd love to help. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Not in Miami and need breastfeeding support? Try our online breastfeeding system for free visit http://bitly.com/breastfeedingishelp