Thursday, August 5, 2010

World Breastfeeding Week

To celebrate world breastfeeding week, our local Le Leche League group offered free tickets to the zoo. I was gratified to see a breastfeeding tent set up there, and nursed my baby alongside some other moms and babies. The special event had the slogan "human milk for human babies." There are baby koalas at the zoo right now, and I assume they are drinking koala milk. =)

Here are some fun breastfeeding facts, interspersed with photos from our zoo trip: 1. Birds don't nurse their young. Just mammals. BTW, this owl is almost as adorable as my Lo.
2. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends breastfeeding up through age 2 years and beyond. Check it out. Why does the American Academy of Pediatrics only recommend breastfeeding for the first 12 months of life? Just curious.
3. Moms who breastfeed get more sleep. It's a hormone thing.
4. Breast milk cures cancer. 'Nuf said.
5. My child still nurses every 2-3 hours round the clock, with the frequency contributing to my abundant supply.
So. Breastfeeding. We've had our ups and downs over the past nine months, including two cases of mastitis and the occasional clogged duct, antibiotics for both of us, a week-long stay in the NICU, moving, traveling, nursing strikes, and so forth--but I have never supplemented with a drop of formula because I believe whole-heartedly in the benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby. I am also fortunate to have had a husband and friends/extended family who are knowledgeable and supportive of my commitment to breastfeed. I feel more and more convinced that any woman has the capacity to breastfeed (with a very small percentage perhaps needing to supplement), but lack of knowledge combined with unfavorable circumstances sometimes lead to early weaning. I hope every woman who wants to can breastfeed for as long as she and baby want to, without recrimination or shame.


Becca said...

Great post and great facts! I have been trying to work on a post for Breast feeding week myself but we are going camping and I have been busy getting ready for that. I am a strong BFing advocate and also believe we need a lot more education for moms on this. It has been a struggle for me as I have a hormone problem that makes it hard for me to keep my supply up but with lots of work I am almost 100% formula free! It has been well worth it too. Thanks again for the great post!

Valerie said...

Nice post; I like the pics. Is this a busy little family from your ward that is next to you and Lo?

Gisela-David said...

Thanks for the post. I also strongly believe in the importance of breastfeeding and the health benefits that it provides for both mom and baby, sadly I am one of the unlucky ones who is unable to breastfeed. My body doesn't seem to be able to do what it's supposed to. My milk supply took almost a week to come after Hyrum was born and it was a very small amount. I could probably pump maybe 2 oz a day. This time with Jacob it took me only a couple of days to start producing and I was able to breastfeed and pump until just a few days ago when the same thing stated happening and my milk supply declines all of a sudden until it's practically non existent. I've gone to lactation consultants and tried everything under the sun. It's disappointing and heart wrenching, but I am grateful for every single little drop of breast milk I can produce and give to my children (despite the difficulty, frustration and physical/emotional pain) I am also grateful that there is an alternative available to me so my children don't go hungry. I am still determined to continue to try and breastfeed any future kids we have for as long as I can.

TheTamFam said...

I'm glad to hear from you girls who have made breastfeeding a priority despite difficulty--Becca, I'm thrilled you feel like you are figuring out the issue, and Gisela, I've got a suspicion there is still some kind of solution out there to increase your supply. Glad you are planning to keep trying with future kids, because even SOME breastmilk is better than none at all.

My main frustration with this issue is that there seems to be a lack of cultural support/education for women, so too many give up on breastfeeding or never even really start when they COULD have had a beatiful time with it--if given the proper help.

ok end of rant. =)