Monday, August 1, 2016

10 Ways to Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

August 1-7 is a celebration of the beauty and wonder of breastfeeding. It's the celebration of a bond between a mother and her baby. It's a celebration of sacrifice and love. Of hard work. Of a living superfood that gives our children the very best nutrients and immune system support in the world.   

Whether you're a nursing momma or a breastfeeding supporter, you may be wondering how you can celebrate this week and help normalize breastfeeding. Good news: There's a lot you can do.

Public breastfeeding is, and always has been, about giving your baby/child what he needs, when he needs it. Babies should be fed on demand. If they're crying for the breast, they either need the calories (such tiny tummies) or they need the comfort (a legitimate need that should be filled every time). Sometimes, these needs arise in public, and that is one hundred percent...awesome! Anytime we can meet our baby's needs is wonderful. That's called being a good parent. So if you're out and about, and your baby gets hungry or needs to suckle for comfort, go for it! Cover or not. (See your state's laws at Every state protects your right to publicly breastfeed!) And pssst...I still publicly breastfeed my toddler too. If a new mom or future mom sees me breastfeeding in public, not being harassed, feeling confident and relaxed, it may help her feel more comfortable doing the same. She and her baby will be much happier for it. I invite you to get out and be that difference in someone else's life this week.   

If a stranger gave me one of these while I was feeding my son, it would make my day. You never know if a mom could use a little more support. It could give her the boost she needs to keep going because she may not have much support in her life, or she may be feeling judged and scared.  

3. Go to a local nurse-in this week. 

There's a global event called The Big Latch On this week. These nurse-in aren't just for moms and babies. All supporters are welcome. This event is meant to normalize breastfeeding and make people aware of the protective laws. Through the link above, you can find a local nurse-in, sign up, and take a friend. I'm so wildly excited for my local The Big Latch On!

4. Celebrate the breastfeeding mom in your life. 

Tell a breastfeeding mom she's doing a great job. Breastfeeding can be challenging, and it really does make a world of difference to have support. Breastfeeding moms are ALWAYS hungry and thirsty, so buying her a drink or gifting her with some snacks and at "way to go!" card will make her feel like the special, amazing human being she is. She's giving A LOT of herself for her baby, so it would be nice to feel seen and appreciated. 

5. "Like" breastfeeding support Facebook pages.

Spread some support and knowledge by sharing pictures and articles shared on these pages. There's a lot of ignorance and misinformation out there, especially on the internet. Education is the best way to fight ignorance. My favorite breastfeeding Facebook pages are:

6. Make a milk donation.

If you have extra milk, consider making a donation to babies in need. Of course, it's a good idea to have a stash for your baby, but even a little bit of milk donated can save a life. You could donate to a friend who's unable to breastfeed or to a hospital or milk bank. 

7. If you own a business, display support.
In my state of Michigan, anywhere a mother and baby are allowed to be, they're allowed to breastfeed. So a sign in a place of business isn't necessary, but it would ease a new mom's nerves and help her feel accepted. You could order a sign or write/type up something simple to hang in the window that says, "Public nursing is welcome here." Or something cooler. 

8. Make some breast milk jewelry so you have a memento of this special time in your life.

I haven't make breast milk jewelry yet, but I'm definitely going to. I love the idea of having a ring or something made from the milk that came from my body and nourished my son. These days won't last forever, so I want a memento, pictures, videos, everything. 

9. Get your breastfeeding photos taken. 

Check with your local photographers to see if they have any breastfeeding special or minis events going on this week. (Or if you're a breastfeeding supporter, this is a wonderful gift to give the breastfeeder in your life to tell her how proud of her you are.) A brelfie is always cool, but you won't regret having beautiful, professional photos to look back on for the rest of your life.

10. Take a brelfie and share your breastfeeding photos. 

Spread the love! There's nothing more beautiful and pure that a mother breastfeeding her baby while he glances up with love in his eyes and a little milky smile. Share your pictures. Normalize the heck out of breastfeeding.

If you have more ideas, I would love to hear them! Please share in the comments below. Share your positive experiences this week. Be bold. Be brave. Be you, Momma. Wherever you are in your breastfeeding journey, I'm so proud of you!

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