It never ceases to amaze me how the subject of breastfeeding gets mothers talking so animatedly and passionately. Motherhood brings us all together on common ground; no matter how different our stories. One thing is certain; breastfeeding, the attempt to, or the decision not to, is a transformative experience for every mother. Like all experiences that form a deep mark on our souls it can have incredibly high highs, and extremely challenging lows.
In honour of World Breastfeeding Week we found ourselves sharing our own breastfeeding stories with one another. Each story different and special. From one staff member who had to do endless amounts of expressing to keep up her supply with a premmie bubba, to another who had to overcome tongue ties and the challenges copious amounts of milk brings. One who wanted to give up so many times but persisted feeding till bubba self-weaned at 7 months (after falling pregnant again), and finally one whose little boy loved the boob for 3.5 years.
It's not easy for everyone. Though it's the most natural thing in the world, breastfeeding is definitely a learnt skill for both mum and baby. It takes time, the right information, support, patience and persistence.
The breastfeeding week initiative is in its 25th year and its purpose is to promote, protect and support breastfeeding on a global scale.
Thousands of mums everywhere are participating in this week of celebration by sharing breastfeeding images or ‘brelfies’ as they have come to be known on social media or taking part in events like The Big Latch On where communities of women come together to offer peer support to each other and create awareness for breastfeeding.
If you’re breastfeeding - "get those boobs out ladies!”
So, if you are a mum-to-be reading this and breastfeeding is important to you, the best thing you can do is get informed and prepared now! Learn as much as you can about breastfeeding by joining the Australian Breastfeeding Association, read their book and attend one of their classes before bubba is born. Surround yourself with breastfeeding women, watch what they do and ask them to tell you what it is really like. And get your husbands and partners on board, as the more they understand about the benefits and what they can do to support you, the better chance you have of a successful breastfeeding journey.
Most importantly, let's all remember to support each other on this crazy adventure called motherhood!