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 superfood that gives our children the very best nutrients 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. Baby's 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 nationwidenursein.com.)
This week, though? I'll be making extra trips out of my apartment just so I can breastfeed in public more than usual. Not for attention, but to normalize public breastfeeding. 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.
2. Order or make your own "Thank you for breastfeeding in public!" cards.
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.
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. (You could also offer her a glass of water since she's probably super thirsty and her hands are full.)
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 breastmilk jewelry so you have a momento of this special time in your life.
I haven't make breastmilk jewlery 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 momentos, pictures, videos, everything.
9. "Attend" the Positive Breastfeeding 2016 event on Facebook.
The aim of Positive Breastfeeding is to generate positive media blitz on breastfeeding. This will encourage people and help normalize breastfeeding. Every day this week, this event page will have a new task--something to spread the positivity. Today's task is to contact your local news and ask them to cover positive breastffeding stories this week. (Hint: You could ask them to cover your local Big Latch On!)
10. 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!
To celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, I'm doing a small giveaway! Yay! To participate in my giveaway, click here.
Another post to enjoy: