61 million women around the world are breastfeeding right now

 

Celebrating World Breastfeeding Week brought us all sorts of tears - tears of joy, tears of empathy, tears of support. We cannot tell you just how beautiful it was to see how many mamas #putaboobonit and why + how. Your stories, hearts, courage and milk-making abilities astound us. Shine on, mamas. You've got this.


MAMA STORIES

 

I'm not going to lie, I was looking forward to quitting my breastfeeding journey with my second baby. I was going to unceremoniously cut him off at a year old.  With two kids under three, I have been either pregnant or nursing for the last four and a half years of my life.  I was ready to have my body back, but shortly after this photo was taken, my baby who was just under ten months old at the time was diagnosed with a rare cancer of the immune system, Langerhan's Cell Hystiosytosis (LCH). Thank goodness our breastfeeding relationship was still going strong. Nursing gave us so much comfort during our days in the hospital, post surgeries, during chemo, through long nights of discomfort and steroids, and now, at 17 months, it has kept him pretty healthy despite being immunocompromised because of chemotherapy.  I am so glad I #putaboobinit. {Photo credit goes to my three year old daughter.}
-Mama Mai

 

Breastfeeding: bags under the eyes, sleepless nights, feeling like bubblegum, ups & downs, "I quit", supplements, 2400 calories, water like I'm a fountain, low on supply, wetting your shirt, and then there's this.... The bond between you and your child, the tears from the both of us, the moments that she pops off and smiles in your eyes, the healthy most natural way of life, the thought she grew in this body and developed into a perfect human and then on the outside she can live souly off you as well. (AMAZING) The cure to most sicknesses. It's the connection a mother an baby have. It's her way of growing. I've decided that even on the toughest days that it's still worth it. All the extra calories and fat rolls that I might have to carry is worth it. I can't ever decide months from now that oh hey I wanna breastfeed, it's not something to just let go of. It's a commitment. I can always lose weight and go to the gym, but I can't just quit breastfeeding and decide to start again. And I love this way of life. And yes you'll see me out in public feeding my baby (get over it) God put her in my womb to grow now he put her on my tit to grow as well! He made a beautiful thing when he made a mother.
-Mama Whitney (@whit_lee_22)

 

In honor of #worldbreastfeedingweek sharing a photo that represents both immense joy and pain when it came to breastfeeding my baby. At 8 weeks it was clear baby girl was no longer interested in trying to feed from mama. She gave me the "no way, I am not doing that anymore" face when we tried over and over again. So many tears from both of us. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times she has fed from me. I wanted to so badly and I had not anticipated it would be such a difficult struggle which led me to exclusively pump. I'll never forget those moments where she did latch - elation 🙌🏻 and the feeling of total failure 😭when she refused over and over again. It just seemed so easy for everyone else and I couldn't help but feel like we were missing out. Fast forward to now, I'm thankful for the ability to feed her breastmilk even though we do supplement once in a while. As new moms we are really hard on ourselves, I know I was... and even now, I still am. I've accepted this is my journey with my little girl and I'm so thankful she is thriving today and looking forward to the amazing journey that is parenthood. #fedisbest #putaboobonit
- Mama from Chicago (@brilliance13)

 

In honor of #nationalbreastfeedingweek 💗💗 I'm throwing it back to one of my fav candids of JJ and I doin' da thing just a year ago with nearly 20 months under our belt. We would continue for another 10 months just shy of the 2.5 year mark. Ending our journey just two weeks before my first solo trip because I didn't want my leaving to represent the end of our journey together 💗✨💗

I never imagined making this milestone. I do remember thinking how easy it will be to fondly think of all the ups of being the primary feeding station. Yet, that's what makes me SO proud, remembering the times I was ready to throw in the towel due to pain, uncertainty, and most of all, adjusting to the physical demand of being sucked on multiple times a day. Even when I can glimpse back into the darkness, I quickly return to the light of the overall experience 💖✨💖

Shall this photo remind us that amidst the struggle YOU can also be joyfully content, which pretty much sums up the experience of being a breastfeeding mama warrior 💗💗
#loveyourselflikeamother #putaboobonit
- Mama J Love (@mamajlove1)

 

When I had my first child five years ago, I was completely surprised by how difficult it was for me to produce milk. Lactation consultants were not helpful because they did not understand why my preference was to exclusively pump. They kept trying to force my son, who had gone through a relatively traumatic birth, to latch. He wasn't having it. Finally they left a pump in my hospital room and that was it. I didn't understand how flanges were supposed to properly fit. I didn't realize the pump I had borrowed from a friend had poor suction. I tried everything: pumping around the clock, power pumping, lactation supplements, the works. I made a maximum of 3 oz of breastmilk per day. I was a wreck, and it was affecting my bond with my son. After three months, that teeny supply dried up overnight and I was done. 

My second child, our rainbow baby, was born in March. I had a totally different attitude. I ordered an awesome hospital grade pump through insurance. I ordered flange sizes appropriate for me (smaller than the brand names offer). When I went to the hospital, I made it clear that I did not want to see any lactation consultants and that I would be starting baby out with formula. I know many LCs are great, but for me, this was the right choice. I was relaxed. I was focused on bonding with my baby. If I made milk, awesome. If I didn't, it would be okay and I wouldn't be stressing about baby's hunger.

Baby #2's birth went much more smoothly, but still, it took SEVEN DAYS for my milk to come in. And when it came in, frankly, I was astounded. So I started to pump. I started off making about 7-9 oz a day. For most women I imagine that sounds terrible, but for me it was exciting! I tried a few supplements to establish a more significant supply. Fenugreek was a no - it upset baby's tummy. Lactation cookies helped. I got up to regularly making 14 oz a day. My five year old was my cheerleader: "Mom, look how much you made today!" It was really cool. Occasionally, when I didn't have time to pump, I put baby on the breast, and he latched! For a few months I established a really emotionally satisfying combination of pumping to feed, pumping to freeze, nursing, and formula feeding. I felt like a rock star. 

At almost five months postpartum, my supply is gradually but steadily beginning to drop. It's okay. I have saved in my freezer over 360 oz of breastmilk - enough so my little guy can still have at least one full bottle of breastmilk per day, as well as whatever I can still pump to mix with his first solids, until he is almost seven months old.

Do I envy those moms who are able to produce 30-40 oz of breastmilk per day, not just for months but even for a few years? Sure! But what I learned through this experience is that it is important to be calm, be confident, and do what works best for each individual to keep baby fed and happy, and to keep mom happy too. I feel good when I feed my children. I feel amazing when baby boy gets a meal full of breastmilk. And I feel proud that I stuck to my guns and did what was right for me. All women should have that opportunity. #putaboobonit #worldbreastfeedingweek
- Mama Aubrey (@aubsorama)


We love all the mamas.

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