This week is World Breastfeeding Week. Two years ago when I was pregnant I would not have even begun to imagine that I would be celebrating World Breastfeeding Week in 2017 while still breastfeeding Frankie. What an amazing feat! Breastfeeding for nearly two years! I am celebrating because breastfeeding isn’t an easy journey, and these two years haven’t always been picture perfect. It can be tough, challenging and very tiring but those are all things worth celebrating when you know you have supported a little person through the most important growing years.
(The feature photo is of me with Alex when he would have been roughly eight weeks old. This is while staying at the beach, Summer 2013, I look very tired!).
Throughout these two years I have definitely become more pro breastfeeding, but more than that I have become pro breastfeeding education and support. Sadly there is so much inaccurate information out there, whether is from old school doctors and nurses, outdated Plunket advice or just regurgitated information from other mothers it really needs to stop. Oh, the stories and old wives tales I have heard, it’s not helpful and it is not supportive of mothers and their babies.
Breastfeeding can be hard in this day and age of ‘INSTANT’. Babies don’t always do instant, they work on their own time and it doesn’t often align with adults schedules. But in saying that breastfeeding can also be very, very easy and incredibly enjoyable given you have the right support. Both my children have been different to breastfeed. Alex was so hungry that he cluster fed for hours in the first weeks, this is one of the things I found very difficult. However we made it through, but I know it would have been easier if I was aware of the support that was out there, and if advice and information given to me before having a baby was more realistic.
Frankie had a tongue tie that was thankfully noticed while I was in the maternity ward but because it was not suggested that we follow this up and I was not aware of what else I should do, we had some ongoing issues that may have been sorted sooner than the nine months later when we self-referred ourselves to a chiropractor that specialised in newborns and infants.
Over past few years, I have found many online support groups and lactation advice. These groups have been my saviour many times over and I know that they have helped so many other mums out there throughout the western world. I have also read a number of books that have also helped me understand what is perfectly normal for newborns and young babies and children. (Note that these are not your usual mainstream parenting books)!
So my advice for anyone mum who wants a positive and supportive breastfeeding journey. Seek the right support. Don’t read old school or mainstream parenting books, they are not helpful. Seek out support groups either local or online. Online groups can be especially good for late at night and when your family may be busy working. Always follow your gut feelings, if something doesn’t seem right ask for help.
Below are my go to online support pages.
The Milk Meg – Meg is a lactation consultant who blogs about breastfeeding. She is also the author of the best selling book Boobin all day Boobin all night. She has a Facebook page and website site with loads of information.
Pinky McKay – Pinky specializes in gentle parenting styles that honour mothers’ natural instincts to respond to their babies and empower a positive response from infants and toddlers without what Pinky terms ‘normalised abuse’. She says, “babies and toddlers are people too and they deserve empathy and respect, not ‘training’ through techniques such as rigid routines, controlled crying or spanking. This allows children to respond positively to their environment and to develop appropriate boundaries through mutual respect and strong family relationships.”
Grubby Mummy and the Grubby Bubbies – This is a supportive blog and facebook page for breastfeeding and gentle parenting. Carley also runs a group that is supportive of normalising baby and infant sleep. This is a safe place for mums who don’t want to sleep train.
The Natural Parenting Magazine – This magazine is the only baby/parenting magazine your will ever need to read.
Breastfeeding Support – La Leche League New Zealand – New Zealand support page. You will be able to find local groups via this page in your own region.
Breastfeeding Support – La Leche League Hawke’s Bay – La Leche League support group for Hawkes Bay. This is an active and supportive group and will direct you to the right information.
Happy World Breastfeeding week mums, whether you have breastfed in the past or a still breastfeeding now, let show some support, normalise breastfeeding and keep on Boobin.
To celebrate World Breastfeeding week on Friday and Saturday there will be events across the country for The Big Latch On. Please check the poster below if you are in Hawkes Bay and Check out your local La Leche League pages for events in your area The Big Latch On.
Might see you there!