National Breastfeeding Week 2022
Today is the start of National Breastfeeding Month. While I know everyone’s experience is different, I wanted to share a piece of our journey with you.
For us, it wasn’t nearly as seamless as I’d hoped it would be. Maybe it was the same for you. Maybe you chose to forgo this route altogether. Maybe it’s a choice you weren’t presented with or a choice you didn’t have the support for.
I have fed my babies all of the ways.
I have nursed, and tandem nursed.
I have pumped and I have fed bottles.
I have fed my milk and I have fed formula.
I have fed using a syringe, a spoon and a supplemental nursing system.
I have had too much milk, I have had too little milk.
I have cut major food groups out of my diet to make my milk safe for my baby.
I have donated milk, and fed donated milk.
I have taken supplements and medication.
I have had all three of my babies tongue and lip ties released, and revised.
I have seen a feeding therapist, and a lactation consultant.
I have seen doctors, specialists, and clinicians.
You could say I have done it all. The thing about national breastfeeding month is that it is supposed to bring awareness to ensure all families have the opportunity to breastfeed. The part that seems to be left out is “if they choose”.
Everything I did was my choice, and I had the privilege to be able to make those choices. I am a woman of child bearing age, and I exclusively work with expecting and new families which means I am surrounded by these conversations with friends, family members, clients and more. I have felt judged for nursing two babies, judged for nursing too little, judged for nursing too long. I have also had many friends, family members, and clients share their own experiences with feeling judged by how they fed their babies. It seems the judgment is passed no matter which you choose.
If I have learned anything, it is this: the most important thing for any family is to make the best choice for you. Whatever the best choice was for your family was or is, I hope you felt supported in that. With any luck National Breastfeeding Month will be about how to support ALL families in making the best choice for them, no matter what.