2013 World Breastfeeding Week – August 1-7
On July 27, 1997 I delivered my first baby. I was determined to breastfeed, I read everything I could get my hands on and I thought I was prepared. I assumed it would be easy and come naturally, but little did I know, I would have such a struggle.
I only breastfed my son for a little over two months.
I failed and I didn’t know why. All I knew was I tried and tried and it hurt. I had cracked nipples, I bled. It hurt so bad and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. So I quit.
My second baby came in late 1998 and I had the exact same experience. I only breastfed her for 6 weeks… and I quit.
My third baby came in 2000 and I was determined to make breastfeeding work. I continued reading over those 3 years and was sure this time I could make it… and I did. I breastfed for an entire year and I loved it, however those first few months were not easy. I wished I could go back and try my breastfeeding experience over with my first two babies.
Breastfeeding just does not come as easy for some people as it does for others and I do not know why.
I successfully breastfed my 3rd, 4th and 5th babies for an entire year. In fact, my Baby Jack is over 13 months now and I am still exclusively breastfeeding him. Was it easy? No. Even though I succeeded with these three, it was still a struggle in the beginning. It takes me almost 3 months to be able to breastfeed with no pain. I have no idea why, but it hurts so bad in the beginning. It takes my nipples that long to finally toughen up. I have figured out through trial and error – if I can just make it to that 3 month mark, it will be a breeze after that and I will love it.
I wish I had support when I was a new mom because I think I would have successfully breastfed my first two. Only 57% of mothers start breastfeeding and of those 57%, only 20% are still breastfeeding after 6 months. This saddens me and makes me wonder if it’s because of the lack of support. This is why I strongly believe that breastfeeding women need to support each other on a daily basis and why I’m so excited to be part of The Big Latch On for World Breastfeeding Week this year. (I wish I would have known about this last year!)
World Breastfeeding Week and the Big Latch On
World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year from August 1st through August 7th in more than 120 countries to encourage breastfeeding and states, “The key to best breastfeeding practices is continued day-to-day support for the breastfeeding mother within her home and community.”
The Big Latch On was started by Women’s Health Action in 2005 as part of World Breastfeeding Week. Each year, they have seen a growth in the numbers of breastfeeding women attending and an increase in the support for breastfeeding in public.
I wish I would have had these resources back in 1997 and 1998 with my first two babies. I know I would have succeeded on my breastfeeding journey. As the Big Latch On puts it, “Successful Breastfeeding requires Support from Family, Friends & Communities” and truly believe that makes all the difference in the world!
The Big Latch On in Chicago, IL
I am looking forward to the Big Latch On in Chicago. I will be meeting with other Chicagoland moms at the Hyde Park Neighborhood Club at 5480 S Kenwood Ave Chicago, IL 60615 on Saturday, August 3, 2013 from 9:00am – 12:00pm.
If you’d like to see if your area is hosting the Big Latch On, be sure to check out all the locations – there’s so many! I’m dying to find out if we will set a record for the most moms breastfeeding at once! I also can’t wait to meet new friends and I’m kind of excited to see Abby from The Badass Breastfeeder too. (I know, I’m a dork).
The Event Details
- 9:00-9:45 – Join The Badass Breastfeeder, Abby Theuring, for a workshop on the tips for NIP.
- 10:00-10:45 – The Big Latch On! Join moms across the world latch their babies at the same time to set a world record! (can you tell how excited I am?!?)
- 10:00-10:45 – Community organizer Holly Krig and Breastfeed Chicago’s Rebecca Jackson-Artis will present a session on breastfeeding as a social and economic right.
- 11:00-11:45 – Join Babywearing International of Chicagoland to learn the ins and outs of breastfeeding easily, quickly, discreetly, and maybe even hands-free while using a variety of baby wraps, slings, and carriers.
- 11:00-11:45 – Dr. Krystal Revai, MD, MPH and Illinois Chapter Breastfeeding Coordinator of the American Academy of Pediatrics will speak on what a true breastfeeding-friendly doctor should know and how to advocate for yourself and your baby with your doctor.
Fun for the Entire Family
- Mom & Baby yoga demo
- Interactive advocacy activities
- Family-friendly vendors
- Interactive activities for older children
- Birth & breastfeeding support organizations
- Door prizes, raffles & giveaways
Will You Be Attending The Big Latch On in your Area?