world breastfeeding week

so, i’m a little late to the party. i know, it’s saturday. to celebrate a week of anything you should probably do so at the beginning of said week. well, keaton and i have been celebrating world breastfeeding week all week. all his life really, but this week in particular has been awesome in terms of the little man breastfeeding. let me share two highlights:

1. i read recently from a link on facebook that the WHO recommends breastfeeding your baby until they are two years old. TWO! i always thought one year was the golden standard. for other countries around the world, two is like a walk in the park. almost unheard of to NOT breastfeed your baby during that year. well, here in america it’s not really like that. getting to six months exclusively breastfeeding with keaton was practically unheard of among particular groups of friends- especially the ones without kids (“how long are you going to DO that?!” “he can pull down your shirt already, it’s time to stop!” “he’s not a baby baby anymore!”). when i first started breastfeeding after keaton was born, the first six weeks were dreadful. painful, excruciatingly so, and by far ten times worse than giving birth. for real. so i thought to myself, in the throws of the worst of it, if i can make it to two months doing this i deserve a gold medal. i got the proper help after waiting far too long, and we were on the road to non painful milk town. my favorite place to be! at two months i patted myself on the back and said: i’m going to do this for a year. i fought this hard to get here, i’m going to do this. and now, after reading what the WHO recommends (not that i do everything they say, but it was eye opening), i have a new goal.

two years of breastfeeding. twenty four months.

i figure after a certain point it only ends up being a couple times a day that the little toddling man will want milk, and i’ll be happy to oblige. it’s quite the undertaking in our society, but i’m really feeling empowered!

2. baby led weaning is going amazingly well with keaton. he loves trying new foods, and is an awesome chewer. we have had zero issues with potentially choking (lots and lots of gagging, but that last for a nanosecond), and not that i think it won’t ever happen, but i am confident in my ability to help him out if it does.  i love giving him what we are eating, i love sitting down next to him and enjoying a meal, i love the look on waiter’s faces when i order a side of anything to give to him (“i don’t think we can puree that?”).  but, of course, keaty still loves milk the most. i am so thankful he has taken to breastfeeding (and will take a bottle if needed, the boy just loves to eat).  i am confident in my breastfeeding abilities too that i don’t always use a cover, as i’m pretty good at covering myself with him/my shirt/whatever. it’s getting a bit more complicated as he is so active and likes to pop on and off a decent amount, but i’m making due. anyway, i was feeding keaton at karl strauss brewery on wednesday afternoon as i was enjoying lunch with my mom. i did use a cover, as i was starving and was eating at the same time and didn’t want the mom at the next table to have to explain to her 4 boys what they just saw! so i’m feeding him and a woman comes up to me. i thought she might make a comment about the beer in front of me that had just arrived. i was ready to get on the defensive, as that’s the kind of world we live in it seems! but no, this woman lit up and was telling me how she loved that i was feeding him in public, that other people got to see how normal it was, and that keaton was just the happiest little boy she’s seen in a while. she went digging in her purse and handed me one of these. a thank you note for nursing in public. she is a LLL leader, and was all gung ho about world breastfeeding week.  she actually got the idea from one of my favorite mama blogs, found here. i had just read this particular post and was amazed that she had as well. funny how the blogosphere is not so big after all.and funny how supportive we can be with one another if we allow ourselves to be!

if you are pregnant, thinking about becoming pregnant, or are in the throws of breastfeeding your newborn (or 2 year old): you can DO it! you can breastfeed and do so successfully.  barring any crazy circumstances (and i understand there are these situations, a dear friend struggled with her milk supply for weeks and eventually could not bring it up enough to sustain her daughter. i understand how this affects you emotionally and physically. and i understand that it can happen. no judgment from here, ladies! only support!), you can do it. there are so many positives from doing it, i would implore you to at least try. i never ever ever thought i would have made it past those first chunk of weeks, but i did. and i can feed my son without crying in pain, or without fear of judgment from others, or without needing to hide myself away like a criminal.  i can feed him happily, excitedly, and with a lot of humbled pride in overcoming the struggles.

if i can do it, you can totally do it. just get the right help around you.


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