Last week while having coffee with a girlfriend it dawned on me…for the first time in eleven years I was not currently: pregnant, nursing, changing diapers, or potty training. As this realization hit me, I blurted out the news to my girlfriend in a fit of joy. Having spent little over a decade in one or more of these phases, I was sitting and watching our kids play in utter enjoyment of the future prospects.
Making the choices to have medically intervention free homebirths and breastfeed for the first year of my children’s lives were not easy decisions. In fact, for me, I made a lot of sacrifices during those times in order to be a stay-at-home BF (Breast Feeding) mamma. I didn’t make them for me at the time, but looking back those times were filled with joy and given the chance I would not change any of my choices. However, there is also something to be said for moving into the next phase of child rearing with absolute joy and anticipation.
I was asked why BF mamas should have a week dedicated to them, “Why should just moms that breastfeed get a pat on the back?” is how the question was worded to me. I’m sure my friend meant no disrespect, and frankly I’m not one to easily be offended and I”m sure that’s why she felt comfortable asking me to explain. Simply put, all mom’s deserve peer support in the community. But in the western world we live in, there tends to be a stigma associated with breastfeeding, public feeding especially. Add that fear of public ridicule to possibly being turned away from unenlightened business and many first time moms feel shamed and alone. I have met many first time moms that feel they are not welcome in public while breastfeeding. I myself am a more modest feeder and opt to cover up for my own comfort, however there were times with my first child I received many disapproving looks and snickers…even completely covered up.
Taking time to support other women who make the choice to breastfeed will only foster a stronger community. In turn, also accepting women that bottle feed as equals is important. Every women and her situation comes with different challenges. To judge another mother’s level of commitment to her child based on how she feed him or her is only doing harm to one another. During this week lets show our support to BF mamas, it can really be a challenge on many levels.
BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: CLOSE TO MOTHERS
This year’s World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) theme, ‘BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: CLOSE TO MOTHERS’, highlights Breastfeeding Peer Counselling. Even when mothers are able to get off to a good start, all too often in the weeks or months after delivery there is a sharp decline in breastfeeding rates, and practices, particularly exclusive breastfeeding. – WBFW
World Breast Feeding Week 2013 is held between August 1st-7th. WABA and breastfeeding advocates in over 174 countries worldwide will be celebrating the WBW theme ‘BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT: CLOSE TO MOTHERS’, highlighting breastfeeding peer counseling.
OBJECTIVES OF WBW 2013
- To draw attention to the importance of Peer Support in helping mothers to establish and sustain breastfeeding.
- To inform people of the highly effective benefits of peer counseling, and unite efforts to expand peer counseling programs.
- To encourage breastfeeding supporters, regardless of their educational background, to step forward and be trained to support mothers and babies.
- To identify local community support contacts for breastfeeding mothers that women can go to for help and support after giving birth.
- To call on governments and maternity facilities globally to actively implement the Ten Steps, in particular Step 10, to improve duration and rates of exclusive breastfeeding.
You can celebrate and support World Breastfeeding Week by joining the Southern Nevada Breastfeeding Coalition for a breastfeeding resource fair. Enjoy light refreshments and breastfeeding education. Visit our Recess Events page for full details on this event.
For more local Las Vegas events, or to list your event visit the Recess Events Calendar.