This year’s theme for World Breastfeeding Week is Sustaining Breastfeeding Together, which really brings forth the collaborative nature of breastfeeding. When I think about the components that shape a mother’s breastfeeding experience, the first thing that come to mind is support. Who is part of her ‘Dream Team of Breastfeeding Support’? Her partner? Her family and friends? Her doctors and midwives? Her lactation consultant? Her local and online community? All of these connections shape how we view ourselves as a breastfeeding mother and how successful we feels about ourselves and our experience. Since not all of us are fortunate to have a huge system of in-person breastfeeding support, online support can be critical.
Written by Ashley Treadwell, IBCLC
So much of what we hear about feeding our babies in public is negative - stories from women being harassed and shamed for breastfeeding in public. While we believe that it is so important to respond to these incidents and educate people on the importance of normalizing breastfeeding, we also think that one of the best ways we can empower women is to share our positive experiences as well. Below is one of many examples of wonderful responses women receive while feeding their babies in public - meet Margaret!
I took five and a half months off after my baby was born in November 2014. She is our first, and after twelve weeks maternity leave, paid at 55% of my regular pay, I had another twelve-ish weeks of personal leave upaid. It was worth the financial sacrifice!
Recently, there have been a lot of stories in the national and local news about mothers being illegally harassed for nursing their babies in public (“NIP”). The latest one involved a Twitter exchange between a breastfeeding mom and a Delta Airlines Public Relations employee.
While we think it is so incredibly important that these types of incidences are highlighted and spoken about, we also believe it can paint an incorrect picture that if you nurse your baby in public, you’d better be ready for a fight. So we thought we’d seek out some positive experiences mamas have had feeding their little ones while out and about - below are a few of the responses we received. For every woman that may be made to feel uncomfortable for NIP, it is our greatest hope that there are 100 that receive smiles, nods, and even an occasional high five.