The many benefits of breastfeeding
There’s a reason breast milk is called liquid gold! It contains hormones and antibodies that fight infection, and many experts believe breastfed babies may experience fewer health problems. Also, breast milk packs just the right amount of protein, sugar, fat, and vitamins infants need to thrive. It’s the foundation of lifelong good health.
Breastfeeding can be a nutritional solution for families regardless of socioeconomic status. Breast milk provides food security to babies born into poverty, so they can have a healthy start in life. No child should have to go hungry, and breastfeeding ensures that families on fixed budgets won’t have to choose between buying formula and paying their heat bill. In that way, breastfeeding contributes to poverty reduction - it’s one less expense to shoulder.
Whether you’re a nursing mom or you just want to show your support for breastfeeding, here are eight ways to celebrate WBW.
PARTICIPATE IN THE BIG LATCH ON
Held on August 3rd-5th (the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of World Breastfeeding Week), The Global Big Latch On occurs at various locations - you can attend in person or virtually. Kindred Bravely is proud to be a diamond sponsor of Breastfeeding World’s five coast-to-coast Big Latch On events.
Moms breastfeed or express breast milk simultaneously, and volunteers count the number of participants in hopes of setting a new record. (The current record is 18,036 breastfeeding women.)
The goals of The Big Latch On are to remove the stigma around breastfeeding in public, raise awareness of the benefits of nursing, and provide a place for moms to build a community.
If you plan on attending at a location near you, wear a comfortable nursing tank top that provides gentle support and easy breastfeeding access. As an added bonus, nursing tanks help your reusable breast pads stay in place.
Learn more about The Big Latch On here.
SHARE YOUR “BRELFIES”
While some might consider this just another social media trend, the rise of the “brelfie” (breastfeeding selfie) has been endorsed by none other than the World Health Organization. The United Nations called brelfies “a good way to break down any stigma about breastfeeding in public and spread the word about the importance of mother’s milk.” We agree.
If you’re a mom who pumps or hand expresses, you can participate by sharing images of yourself pumping or photos of the liquid gold you express.
FIND THE RIGHT BRA FIT
Since nearly 80 percent of women wear a bra that doesn’t fit properly, and bra size can change over time, WBW is a great time to measure (or remeasure) yourself. All you need to find the right size is a cloth tape measure or a piece of string and a ruler.
The right bra can make a world of difference by helping you maintain better posture, which reduces back and neck pain. Once you’ve found your correct bra size, encourage your friends to measure themselves too!
THANK A NURSING MOM
Since moms don’t breastfeed to get attention or accolades, it’s easy to forget to thank them for everything they do.
If you know a mom who’s nursing, write her a message, comment on a photo or post where she talks about breastfeeding, or send her an old-fashioned card by mail. If you were a breastfed baby, thank your own mom!
If you’re a mom who pumps or nurses, don’t forget to take a moment to acknowledge the amazing work you’re doing to provide your baby the best nutrients possible. Treat yourself to a new pair of adorable, limited edition nursing pajamas or a new organic nursing bra.
FIND TIME TO REJUVENATE
A supportive community is essential for a successful breastfeeding experience, and so is self-care. Exclusive breastfeeding and exclusive pumping are physically and emotionally demanding - fortunately, there are many ways to rejuvenate.
Find quiet time to relax and reflect. Spend some time away from the rest of the world. Unplug from social media and turn off your phone and TV. Relish those moments of bliss while you nurse, and enjoy the time with your little one. The days are long, but the years are short - try to cherish every moment.
TALK ABOUT YOUR BREASTFEEDING EXPERIENCE
Breastfeeding rates in the U.S. are rising, but only 50 percent of babies are still nursing at six months, and less than one-third make it to one year.
While most hospitals and doctors are great at asking moms how they’re doing in the first few weeks, women in the U.S. often don’t have the same support communities as women who live in other countries, like these women in Namibia. By sharing your journey, you can help remove the mystery and stigma for other moms.
Join a local breastfeeding class or support group
If you’ve struggled to get your baby to latch on, or you aren’t producing as much breast milk as you’d hoped to, look to the breastfeeding support systems within your local community.
Many hospitals offer breastfeeding classes for postpartum moms, and the cost may be covered by insurance. You can work one-on-one with a lactation consultant who is professionally trained to teach you new strategies to help make breastfeeding easier on both you and your child.
If you’re not comfortable with the idea of having a stranger watch you breastfeed, consider taking an online breastfeeding class from the comfort of your own home. These classes typically have videos that illustrate proper positioning and technique. Hang in there!
Feed your baby
You saw this one coming, right? The absolute best way to celebrate this week is to nourish the baby you love!