August 1st-7th is World Breastfeeding Week.
What is World Breastfeeding Week?
World Breastfeeding Week normalizes breastfeeding, raises awareness of the healthcare risks of not breastfeeding, and provides a more public image of local support groups so all mothers have access to care at varying levels.
What’s going on in the Corridor Area to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week?
Live, Love, Latch! will be the big, local event to check out. The local La Leche League chapter, Cindy, Jen, and Katie, will be celebrating breastfeeding and highlighting community support. This will be on Saturday August 6th from 9:30-11:30 at Guthridge Park in Hiawatha.
There will be:
- Baby Yoga by Toula Yoga
- A Hike It Baby Hike
- Music on the Move demo
- Babywearers of Cedar Rapids demo
- ICAN support
Silent auction items include (and there are MUCH more):
- Passes to The Playstation
- An Ardo Calypso electric breastpump
- A Diva Cup
- A gift basket from Baby Time
- A gift basket from Birth, Baby, & Beyond
Baby Time will be having a sale on breastfeeding supplies August 2nd-6th.
Why should you care?
Most babies start out breastfeeding. You’ve already heard the why’s for doing it. Lots, and lots, and LOTS of mothers can’t breastfeed. Wait. What? Hear me out. I know the statistics here. I’m a Lactation Consultant, so I studied this realm for 3 years post-college. Most mothers physically CAN breastfeed in some quantity. Most mothers can’t breastfeed to the *recommended ‘at least’ dates* because of a myriad of things: access to clinical care if necessary, lack of insurance coverage to pay for appropriate care if necessary, uneducated (in this realm) healthcare providers, early introduction to supplements without just cause, formula marketing in vulnerable times (note…this isn’t allowed in MOST countries, but in the U.S. it’s the norm), lack of follow-up directions, and most importantly, lack of mother-to-mother support.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire. The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.
Not too long ago, we mothers shared advice…we even shared babies when breastfeeding didn’t work out! Now, often our support looks like answering Facebook posts. It is what it is, and it’s still valuable, but let’s give it a go offering support further if we can.
What can you do to support World Breastfeeding Week?
- Pay it forward. Pay for a nursing mom’s coffee or lunch. They’ll forever be grateful!
- Thank your mother.
- Smile at a mom feeding her baby.
- Tell your local volunteer breastfeeding mother-to-mother helpers like La Leche League Leaders or Breastfeeding USA counselors that it’s awesome that they volunteer.
- Say, “GOOD FOR YOU FOR FEEDING YOUR BABY!” Resist all urges of adding a, “…but, blah blah blah…” No need to suggest covering, or whatever, just keep it at “Good for you.” It’s not your job to insert yourself in between a mother and her baby breastfeeding.
- Join the Linn County Breastfeeding Task Force (a local non-profit) for $30/year. They educate local healthcare providers on recent research and resources. They guide mothers to support and educate them on legal rights. For more information, email Pitkin.firstname.lastname@example.org and/or mail your $30 check to: Young Parents Network c/o Kristina Canfield 420 6th St SE Unit 260 Cedar Rapids, IA 52401
- Donate to your local La Leche League and/or Breastfeeding USA
- Thank a Lactation Consultant (also known as an IBCLC). They work their buns off for little reward.
- Go to the Live, Love, Latch! event, and bring a friend that’s feeding their baby.
- Tell your breastfeeding friend, family member, or partner that you support them.
I’m a Lactation Consultant, and I talk to moms EVERY day that feel as if they aren’t supported, that fell through the cracks between hospital and home, that have tried EVERYTHING in their power to care for their baby. We need a community to help feed our babies, celebrate our babies, and meet their needs (whatever that looks like). Breastfeeding moms, and moms in general, deserve lots of weeks for recognition. This August 1-7th, join me in celebrating breastfeeding mothers. Breastmilk is a big deal. Let’s applaud human milk, and it’s amazing attributes!