Welcome World Breastfeeding Week!

Welcome World Breastfeeding Week!

WIC counselor from Tawas City, MI sharing a precious, breastfeeding moment with her baby.

The annual World Breastfeeding Week started this past Saturday, August 1st! The world celebration of breastfeeding has occurred every year since 1991, when the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) was formed. This week long event encourages women to embrace their motherly attributes and praise their abilities to give their children the essential nutrients they need to grow up healthy and strong!

We’ve all heard about the benefits breastfeeding has for both mom and baby, but did you know breast milk is constantly changing to meet the needs of our children? Researchers and moms are continuously finding ways breastfeeding is better and better, and how it out wins formula every single time. Breast milk gives our children the best possible nutrients and protection. Moms who breastfeed are shown to have lower risks of cancers, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, etc., and babies who drink breast milk are given immediate and long term protection and have a lower risk of infections, obesity, and cancers. What’s even more amazing about the power of breast milk is it can alter its self to meet a baby’s needs. When a baby breastfeeds their saliva communicates with the mother’s body and their breast milk can give the baby anything they need at that time. If they are sick the milk will produce extra antibodies and antioxidants to help them recover and feel better. Same goes if the mother is sick!

During this week, August 1st to the 7th, organizations such as, La Leche League and WIC (Women, Infant, and Children) are hosting special events for breastfeeding moms and their babies. This year’s theme: Breastfeeding at Work: Let’s Make it Work! will be all about women who want to continue breastfeeding while they pursue their careers. A few spotlighted events are Camden County, NJ, who will be hosting their “Big Latch On” affair where global counts of mothers simultaneously nurse their babies for one minute, and in Caldwell, ID where the Southwest District Health WIC has their “Latch On” event, which this year will be a full day of giving breastfeeding mom’s tips on how to tie both breastfeeding and work together!

 

Find your local chapter near you and checkout all the excitement going on this week and celebrate breastfeeding as it should be: loving, nurturing, and supportive!

 

 

World Breastfeeding Week 2015: Let’s Make it Work!

How are you spending your week of August 1st through the 7th? Join us in celebrating World Breastfeeding Week, an annual week-long event that engages women from all around the world with breastfeeding news, support, and community building. This year marks the 24th year for the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, the founding group and champions of moms and babies across the globe. This year’s initiative is “Breastfeeding at Work: Let’s Make it Work!” in remembrance of the 1993 theme: “Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative.”World Breastfeeding Week 2015: Let's Make it Work!

 

In 1992, The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action founded World Breastfeeding Week to bring awareness to deadly infant diseases, fight world hunger, and overall promote breastfeeding worldwide. The World Health Organization and UNICEF joined as partners with the WABA and together they formed the WBW celebration as way to remind mothers, doctors, and family members that breastfeeding an infant yields the best, most cost-effective nutritional diet available. Mothers receive countless health benefits from breastfeeding as well. In 2007, the CDC reported that only 11.3 percent of new mothers exclusively breastfed their child for the first 6 months. In an effort to raise awareness and extend breastfeeding beyond a week or two, the WABA and partners tirelessly champion breastfeeding support so mothers and babies can benefit from the guidance they need for successful nursing.

This year as we follow the 1993 theme, “Mother-Friendly Workplace Initiative,” which sadly is still a struggle many women face today, we spread the word and encourage employers and the general public to stop criticizing women for nursing in public but instead embrace the healthy and natural process of breastfeeding. If you would like to help spread the word you can find countless La Leche chapters across the nation hosting Latch On events, and WIC offices are always opening their doors to new mothers facing breastfeeding troubles. Look at your local chapters and see how you can volunteer or participate. Leading Lady/ Loving Moments by Leading Lady is donating nursing bras to WIC offices around the country so nursing moms get the support they need for successful, comfortable breastfeeding. Join the conversation on our Facebook page and share your stories with moms just like you!

 

 

Breastfeeding at Work, the Importance of Self-Care

If you’re working full-time you are spending forty hours or more at the office a week. Add on being a full-time mommy, and keeping up with your breastfeeding schedule. You have a lot going on. No denial about it. As a mother breastfeeding your child, it’s important for you to take the time to treat yourself right. While back at the work you might become forgetful and get caught up in material you had missed while gone. You might forget to eat lunch or take a break, but it’s very significant for women who are breastfeeding to relax and stay healthy; although, it seems like a hard thing to do.

Taking care of your body is just as important regardless if you are breastfeeding or not, but working mommas know stress can build up when you have a million and one things you need to take care of in one day. Following our previous post, “Is Your Workplace Breastfeeding Friendly?” you already know what questions to ask your workplace about your breastfeeding needs. You should be well prepared and ready to go. Now, take in consideration your time at work and what you need to do to be the best mom you can be to your baby, and also, the best YOU you can be. Here are some tips you can use to stay on top of you game while breastfeeding and staying a healthy momma as well:

Breastfeeding at Work, the Importance of Self-CareBreastfeeding at Work Check List

  1. Make a priority list: Before you being your day at work make a list of your priorities you expect to get done. Making a list will keep you organized and on top of things. It will feel good crossing things off and feeling accomplished after being gone those few months.
  2. Keep your expectations realistic: If you work an eight hour shift each day you should be breast pumping at least three times a day for about 20 minutes each time. This can be stressful if you have things you need to get done at work. Don’t be too hard on yourself and feel as if you need to get things done right away. To keep your stress levels low take one step at a time. It’s important you don’t forget about breast pumping, and make sure to put it in your priority list each day.
  3. Make healthier choices: Instead of ordering take out, pack yourself a salad or something a little healthier. It’s important to feed your body the nutrients it needs because while you’re breastfeeding, and taking care of a little one, you will need the extra energy. Instead of running to the vending machine, make sure you have snacks at your desk for the times when you get hungry. You’ll feel much better afterwards anyway, and guilt free by saying NO to the salty potato chips! (And if you don’t have one, make yourself a Pinterest account. You will be able to find thousands of healthy lunch and snack ideas for breastfeeding moms. There are yummy lactation recipes on there too.)
  4. Stay hydrated: Keep a few bottles of water in your desk as well. It’s important to drink plenty of water even if you’re not breastfeeding. Although the amount of liquid you take in won’t determine the amount of breast milk you produce, it’s still vital to drink when you are thirsty and keep up with supplying your body with the proper amount of fluids.
  5. NEVER skip pumps: Even if you’re tired, or if it’s just one of those days where it seems like you aren’t going to get everything done, NEVER skip your time to pump. If you want your body to become used to generating a certain amount of breast milk each day this is the most important rule to follow! Your milk supply can actually decrease if you are not ordering yourself to keep up with your pump plan. Pumping the same amount of milk each day will help with your stress, and take away the worry if whether or not you will produce enough milk for your baby.
  6. It’s okay to say no: With your busy schedule you can’t possibly take on everything you want to do. As long as it’s good for your company, and yourself, it’s okay to turn something down that isn’t on the top of your priority list. And if there is a work meeting that isn’t mandatory and it interferes with your pumping schedule, it’s okay to miss it. Ask one of your coworkers for a summary afterwards.
  7. Ask for help: Never be afraid to ask for help when you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. Talk to your supervisor about ways you can manage your time at work while you breast pump.

Now this will be the main thing to take away from this post: while you are breast pumping take a second, put the IPhone down, push aside the tablet, close your eyes for a minute and relax. This is a great time to pick up a good book or breathe for a minute during your busy schedule of being a new mommy. This isn’t just an important rule to follow for your health, but also an imperative part of producing, and maintaining the proper amount of milk for your baby. Research has shown women who actually take the time to rest produce more milk than those who are constantly running around!