World Breastfeeding Week 2016: Time for mums to be empowered and informed

By Lauren - Gold Coast Mum

After 6 years of being either pregnant or breastfeeding, this ‪World Breastfeeding Week 2016 I'm neither (my twincesses weaned around last Christmas).
But I'm still as passionate as ever about being a breastfeeding advocate to help‪ normalise breastfeeding!
By no means does this mean I'm 'anti' formula feeding mums (I have plenty of beautiful friends who formula feed & we love & respect each other regardless); it's just that I know there is a huge need for ALL women to have/use the support to be informed and empowered if they do WANT to breastfeed.
Too many 'booby traps' are causing mums to cease breastfeeding earlier than they desired, when, if armed with the correct info & advice (& a good support network), they may have been able to continue their breastfeeding journey (if this was their goal).

The more this is discussed and we can ‪‎normalize breastfeeding, the better.
Formula companies have big budgets and continue to creep into all areas of our lives to promote their products, & by doing so, prey on new mums' vulnerabilities & create self-doubt.
Breastfeeding is (generally) free to produce & isn't a big moneymaker so there are no big corporations lining up out there spending millions to promote it, or offering women the best support to ensure they are successful in their quest to breastfeed.

They don't want us to succeed in doing what we can do for FREE.

Our success = their failure.
For now, mums can thank the kind & helpful NFPs, volunteers, advocates, educators & professionals who are helping women succeed with breastfeeding all over the world.

However, too often, people turn their noses up at such helpers, claiming they feel judged etc.
Here's the thing. Breastfeeding can be challenging. It can be friggin hard. Bleeding, cracked nipples & attached 20 hours a day in the first few weeks can be tiring! 
Once you make it through the first few weeks/months, breastfeeding is beautiful. 
It's easy & free.

But just like anything, if you want it bad enough, you work hard, you persevere/ arm yourself with the right info & advice to help you meet your goals.
Just like if you were wanting to get a 6-pack & run in a marathon, you'd accept advice & tips from professionals & others who have 'been there, done that' without feeling like they're judging or that you're a failure if you choose not to use the tips or tricks offered, or if you choose not to keep running.
The same applies to breastfeeding.

However this topic stirs emotions & people get defensive.
So, to new mums/ mums to be, accept info/advice & help, call your local Australian Breastfeeding Association, attend a meeting, read up on cluster feeding or the 'top up trap', speak to a Lactation Consultant or IBCLC or a helper. 
We need as much help as we can get to be empowered to know we CAN do this!
(Obviously in rare cases there are genuine health issues etc which may prevent breastfeeding. Some health professionals aren't up to speed on this and give bad advice - I have been on the receiving end a number of times, but thankfully I knew better or sought better advice.

But don't let anyone tell you you can't due to having a premature bub or twins (or more). 
I breastfed my twins on demand while also having my then-1yo & then-3yo to look after & while doing some work from home.
I overcame obstacles including tongue ties, flat nipples, mastitis, colic, silent reflux & more. I have friends who had twins at 28/30 weeks and pumped religiously to ensure a supply etc.)
World Breastfeeding Week isn't about patting ourselves on the back or to shame those who choose not to breastfeed or those who genuinely can't.

It's about ensuring current & future mothers feel (& are) supported in their quest to breastfeed - if that's something that is important to them - & that they have access to the right help. 

Peace & love to ALL mothers. xx
Here's me with my ‪‎twins right before they weaned just after their 2nd birthday. 

UPDATE:
What timing!

And here is just one example of the cheeky formula companies and their mission to influence vulnerable mums...

This appeared in an Adelaide publication over the weekend.
An article about breastfeeding to HELP mums, with quotes from the president of the Australian Breastfeeding Association. And strategically placed next to it??? A formula ad (apparently by law they can only advertise the 12+ months product, but still...)

Wouldn't it be great if the ad was promoting the FREE and/or low-cost services available to help mums breastfeed instead.
But as we know, helpers/supporters and professionals in this field - who dedicate time and effort each and every day to HELP and EMPOWER women, generally don't have budgets to match these big brands!



(Brand label covered as their $$ has helped them gain enough exposure...) 




OTHER STORIES THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:http://www.goldcoastmum.com/2015/11/breastfeeding-twins-celebrating-2-years.html


http://www.goldcoastmum.com/2015/05/personal-best-18-months-of.html



http://www.goldcoastmum.com/2013/08/happy-world-breastfeeding-week-my.html


3 comments

  1. Such a great post. I really think the whole topic on breastfeeding has gotten out of hand when it's the most natural thing in the world. I too am not against formula feeding as I formula fed my first after two months of breastfeeding not working for us, but in saying that, I don't feel as though I got the best assistance when I was trying my best to do it. I got a lot of bad advice. I'm currently on my second breastfeeding journey and four weeks in it's all going wonderfully. Yes, it's been hard. Yes, there's things I hate about it, but the good outweigh the bad.

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  2. OMG I love the photo of you breastfeeding your twins - that is just gorgeous! I also breastfed my three kids up until they were 2+. I found it incredibly hard at first, all three times, and nearly gave up the first time - it was only my husband that helped me get through it and reminded me how much I wanted to do it. I wouldn't have stuck with it were it not for him.
    You might enjoy a blog I did for Mothers Day this year that didn't gloss over the facts too.
    http://goingtoseed.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/motherhood-what-were-you-expecting_7.html
    Much Love, Katie c/o #mummymondays

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