This week we are celebrating World Breastfeeding Week. You may not hear this often but breastfeeding is kind of a BIG DEAL, supported by organizations like UNICEF and The World Health Organization with statements like, “It’s clear that breastfeeding is not only the cornerstone of a child’s healthy development it is also the foundation of country’s development”. We mothers have the power to change the world one breastfed child at a time!
There are many benefits to breastfeeding. First of all, it’s related to improved health outcomes for you and your baby. Breastfeeding protects your baby from all kinds of diseases. It is also related to decreased risks of you getting ovarian and breast cancers. Secondly, breastfed children are said to have higher intelligence levels. Thirdly, it’s cost effective! Think of all the money you’ll save on gym expenses due to the weight loss benefits experienced during the first few months of breastfeeding. I’m going to stop there, though the list goes on and on about how breastfeeding is essential to you, your baby and the world!
Moms, I know you all remember the day you were preparing to come home with your precious newborn from the hospital. The nurses were giving all sorts of advice while you were making certain to stock up on hospital diapers and such. The nurse or the lactation consultant made one last round to your room to make sure you were all set with the perfect way to breastfeed once you got home. As you got ready to leave, you were overcome with every emotion under the sun – fear, excitement, anxiety. Later that night, your home and your sweet baby is crying hysterically because he's hungry and you just don’t know what to do. Maybe you’re struggling because your nipples are so sore that the thought of nursing made you want to cry or the baby just won’t latch on, or just maybe you aren’t producing enough milk.
Maybe there were mommies like me, that truly loved breastfeeding and was pretty good with it, but the demand was so much that it was overwhelming. Or the support I needed to keep the grandmas a healthy distance wasn’t there. Or even the misinformation I received from the hospital about breastfeeding and formula. The hardest thing for me might have been not being bold or confident in my choice to want to exclusively breast-feed my son.
In situations like these, you may have felt alone, scared, and possibly even like a bad mother!
There are going to be obstacles that you’ll encounter while breastfeeding your little one but all you have to remember is to be confident in your decision to breastfeed. Don’t forget that breastfeeding is bigger than you and me. We’re doing this for the betterment of the entire world! So when all things breastfeeding are going wrong, remember that you are providing your child with his/hers start at a prosperous and healthy life.
If you’re experiencing rough times, stay strong and check out some of these resources with tips and more information on breastfeeding:
Happy World Breastfeeding Week!