Tuesday, 30 July 2013

World Breastfeeding Week 2013

 World Breastfeeding Week

World Breastfeeding week approaches! What is World Breastfeeding Week? World Breastfeeding Week strives to normalize breastfeeding. Each year has a different theme.

This year the theme is Peer Support.  Peer support is crucial for breastfeeding past a  month.  Peer support can range from a supportive husband/ family to a lactation educator. Even though breastfeeding is natural, there is the possibilities of challenges along the way. Some women are able to breastfed successfully with no challenges. Mother and baby are able to do the job just fine.


However, there are many myths surrounding breastfeeding. These myths can impact a breastfeeding relationship early on or later. For example, the belief that if baby wants to nurse frequently, it means that you have a low supply. This is simply not an indication of your supply. In the beginning baby's tummies are still quite small or they could be going through a growth spurt. You might hear the concept that breastfeeding has no benefits past 6 months. This is also not true. The WHO recommends breastfeeding until 2 years.
As well, there are some challenges that are momma specific like IGT, breast surgery and..... The interesting thing is women who have had surgery tend to be able to breastfeed. It depends on whether milk ducts were affected. Speaking with a lactation consultant can help a lot.

Baby Issues

There is also the possibility of baby issues. Tongue tie can reduce a baby's ability to latch properly. Another challenge can be ... Others babies just need to learn how to latch. It does not come instinctively to them.

Preterm babies 

 There are some instances where it is difficult to nurse a preterm (or multiple) Baby (ies). This include gestational age, the baby may be too young to latch, illness etc. However, in many cases it is possible to offer pumped milk. Donor milk is another option. I know it safety is a often cited concern  Donor milk can be screened. It also recommended by the WHO if a) the mom cannot breastfeed b) cannot offer pumped milk and last is the substitution of formula. For mamas who haven't carried to term, it may not be possible to breastfeed at first but pumping can start the system.


Depending on whether your hospital practices family centered Cesarean breastfeeding may be a challenge. What is a baby-centered Cesarean? Kangaroo care, room sharing instead of the baby being whisked away to a nursery (although some hospitals only have a 'special care' nursery) or being taken away immediately for medical procedures.
Also, it is important to acknowledge that drugs can effect breastfeeding> Epidurals can potentially make babies very sleep and therefore harder to nurse.

Tandem Nursing

Many moms are misinformed about breastfeeding while pregnant. For the majority of women nursing while pregnant is possible. Some women experience pain because their nipple becomes sensitive. Another concern is that breastfeeding can cause contractions. As always, consult your doctor or midwife.
Nursing multiples can feel overwhelming. How do people nurse two or more babies? Women learn to identify when their baby is hungry or needs to comfort nurse. Peer support is very important.


Another issue to speak is medication. Generally, a good rule of thumb is that if it sfe during pregnancy, it is safe during nursing. Lactmed, InfantRisk and MotherRisk are great resources. Also, I suggest mentioning the importance of continued breastfeeding to your doctor when you must make medical decisions. Not all doctors are knowledgeable about breastfeeding though.
peer support is crucial at this time. Kind, informed nurses and doctors can make or break a bf relationship

Find a Lactation Consultant

La Leche League:

Breastfeeding Gurus: 
Jack Newman
There are also great videos that teach how to latch properly on this site. It looks at what is a shallow latch, baby led and mama led latching and breastfeeding myths. There are fact sheets as well. 

Kellymom- Have a question about low supply, pumping, working, toddler nursing or weaning? Too late to call a lactation consultant? Kellymom is a good resource! Kelly Bonata is a lactation Consultant!

Want to find out more information?
Head on over to the World Breastfeeding Week Website:

My peer support story is this: 
I was finishing off university so if baby wasn't nursing, my mom and fiance helped out by holding him so I could type assignments. 
I always felt validated in my decision to breastfed by my mom, my fiance and my online support group _- If I had any concerns  my mom helped me find the head space to voice them. Also they didn't care if I NIP. That was so helpful because it was awkward figuring out how to adjust baby without showing off anything. 

This milk matters lactation support group on Facebook also helped me realize that it was normal for me not to respond to my pump. It didn't mean I had low supply~ Plus my son was always above the 90 percentile for height/ weight so I had nothing to worry about! 
Locally, my La Leche League supported me in my extended bf journey- I only regret not visiting them sooner!

ps.. if your baby is on the skinny side or the short side, don't get upset! It is quite normal for babies to be of different sizes. Genetics factor into this as well! 

Do you feel like you had a peer support system while breastfeeding? 

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