August is National Breastfeeding Awareness month. August 1-7 is declared breastfeeding week. August 25-31 is declared black breastfeeding week. National Breastfeeding Awareness month supported by the U.S. Department of Health & Human services, usbc committee and other organizations. Along with awareness, they want to encourage and support families who breastfeed. It’s not about shunning or placing judgement on those who do not. The efforts this month are about making positive steps as a community to help those who are breastfeeding and encourage them. Protecting their right to breastfeed and creating breastfeeding friendly places in the work place and public places. Educating is also a huge component this month. This celebration is a world wide effort to educate people on the benefits of breastfeeding and share why breastfeeding is great option and of importance.
As a mom of twins, I support and encourage these efforts. I was able to breastfeed my twins for 10 months. It was not easy at first. In fact, I struggled with breastfeeding for 6 weeks. Those were the longest six weeks in my life (or so it seemed). I remember the day that changed my breastfeeding journey. I was headed out of town and I made the decision that I was going to drive to see the lactation consultant at the hospital on my way. If she was not there or did not offer any advice that would end this painful breastfeeding cycle, I was done with breastfeeding. It was not easy toting two infant seat carriers into the hospital, thru the lobby and up to the third floor. Knocking on the door of the lactation office, she was there. Strike one. She wanted to see how my babies latched on, how I positioned myself and gave me some advice on how to improve so that it would not be so painful. It was a success in the office. Yay! Now, what would happen on my trip. Would I be able to do it again? Yes, I was. I was encouraged when I visited my best friend and her family. For days afterwards, breastfeeding was a joyful, bonding experience. I even mastered feeding two at once. I was doing the happy dance. Breastfeeding has been one of my biggest challenges and my greatest accomplishment. It’s crazy to think, milk coming from my boob is an accomplishment, but I am proud.
I want to encourage those who want to breastfeed. Seek out the resources. Don’t be shamed that you are breastfeeding. You don’t have to shout it out to the mountain tops that you are breastfeeding, but shouldn’t be judged or discourage for doing so. There are many resources available online and offline. Check out kellymom.com or womenshealth.gov, lacation consultants (one on one or group). If you in the Indianapolis area, I can tell you some great resources. Find support. I didn’t actively seek support when I was breastfeeding. I went to a group or two and those didn’t really help me. I needed one on one guidance and then support afterwards. That worked for me. Lastly, if you really want it, don’t give up. I really wanted to breastfeed. I had twins, I wanted to save money. That was my motivation, but deep down inside I really wanted it. If I gave up without trying, I would have regretted it. If I was able to successfully breastfeed and did everything I could and it only last 3 months, what could I regret?
In honor of Breastfeeding month, we are giving The Expecting Mamas Network Nursing Essentials bundle. Enter below. Good luck! CLOSED
Wife and mother of twins. Founder of Pride & Joy Baby Planners and The Expecting Mamas Network.