Wednesday, August 3, 2011

World Breastfeeding Week

{Shark Week is so overrated}

August 1-7 is World Breastfeeding Week - a week created by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding to promote awareness of global breastfeeding concerns. This year, the theme of World Breastfeeding Week is communicating and sharing breastfeeding experiences.
Here's a little of my story.

Before I got pregnant with Noelle, and even during pregnancy, I wasn't sure about breastfeeding. No one really talked to me about it and since I was the first of my close friends to get pregnant, I didn't have a good support group.

After researching breastfeeding I decided that I would at least give it a try and luckily Noelle was a natural. She latched on right away in the hospital and only gave me a few problems - by deciding that she would only take one side - but she grew out of it. I nursed her for 10 months and loved every minute.

Noah was challenging. Right from the start. I was able to get him to latch on for a minute or two after he was born but just like his sister, he was a lefty. He refused my right breast and by his second day of life he refused the left as well. In the hospital I cried in frustration, and cried and cried. I tried all of the tricks I learned with Noelle but nothing worked.

Mr. G was my rock. He stood by me every hour while I worked at getting Noah to latch on. He encouraged me with his words and even held Noah's head for me when my neck was too weak to look down at him any more. Eventually Noah latched on (with the help of a nipple shield) and I've been exclusively breastfeeding him since. It wasn't easy but I knew I wasn't going to quit.

The past 6 months of nursing Noah haven't been uneventful. I get a clogged duct almost every week. I've had cracked and very painful nipples. A tear and a blister. Worth it? Absolutely. I'm telling you this not to scare you, but to encourage you to not give up. I plan on breastfeeding him for at least 12 months.

There are tons of sites out there with tips on how to be successful at breastfeeding - here are the ones that helped me the most and that I share with moms-to-be.
  • Don't give up. You can do it. 
  • Remember - "Belly to belly. Nipple to nose." This was the position I used for both of my kids when they were seconds old.
  • Have a support group or at least someone you can talk to who successfully nursed. 
  • You're going to think you're not producing enough milk. You are! 
  • To build a frozen milk supply, start off by pumping once a day - usually after your first or last feeding of the day. Read about my milk-sharing experience HERE.
  • Sometimes things are out of your control and it just doesn't work out. That's okay too. 
You can go to the World Breastfeeding Week homepage HERE


  1. Thank you so much for this! I don't have children and don't plan on it for awhile, but one thing I do know is that I WILL be breastfeeding! Thank you for recommending this site :)

  2. This is an awesome post! I didn't know it was Breastfeeding Week but I'm so glad you told me; I think I'll write a post about breastfeeding tonight. I will always be thankful for being able to breastfeed. It's been one of the best parts of being a mom.

  3. Yay for breastfeeding! We'll be attending our local "Great Latch On" event on Saturday. I can't wait!

    New follower fro
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  4. Love this post! Great tips for new mommas, and even for veterans. I've learned over the past couple of weeks that just when you think you've *got it*, something can throw you for a loop. It's nice to read these tips as a reminder to be patient and not to give up.

    I started writing a breastfeeding post last night (hopefully finishing tonight) about some of the issues I've had lately, and I had no idea that it was WBW. Perfect timing!

  5. Great post! I don't have any kids yet - but someday! I absolutely LOVE the button for the site... Eat Local.... HILARIOUS. :)

  6. 24 weeks along.. I am soaking up EVERY bit of breast feeding info I can find. Thanks for posting this :) ANd agreed, Shark Week is over rated..haha

  7. I've been blessed to have Breastfeed ALL six of my children. I've enjoyed the bond and closeness I feel with them, and seeing them grow into their own personalities. Yes, each baby is different, and that includes Breastfeeding.There can be lots of joy and challenges with Breastfeeding, yet it's so worth it if you stick with it. My longest Breasfeeding time was 14 months, and my shortest 12 months. My last baby is 6 months old,and she is doing well breastfeeding.:)

  8. Great post, and so encouraging. I struggled with my first 3, but my then husband was not supportive. Even though I struggled with my youngest 3 a bit I had the support of my now loving husband and I nursed my now 4 1/2 year old til she was over 1 1/2 (we actually tandem nursed for a while as my next daughter was born when she was 17 months). My middle daughter didn't nurse as long, but she was pickier and when I got pregnant again she soon lost interest. I am still nursing the baby who is 16 months old (though only once a day now, for bed). It is amazing how a supportive husband can make things so different, so much better. So glad you had support while you were struggling.

  9. I really appreciate your last tip as a mom who tried, and tried, and tried, but just couldn't do it. We saw 5 different lactation consultants, did the nipple shield, pumping, you name it, but it just would not happen. I have never felt like such a failure in my entire life! I am expecting again & hoping we get another chance, but at least now I know that if it doesn't work out it's not the end of the world.