Happy World Breastfeeding Week!
There is not a way to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week without the worry of making some moms feel left out, sad, or less than they'd like. But World Breastfeeding Week is for all moms, regardless of how you have fed your baby!
Whether you breastfed for a day, a month, a year, or well in to the toddler years, this week is about celebrating your accomplishment. And if you never breastfed, for whatever reason, take your reason and remind yourself that there WAS a reason. As a parent, this is one of the first decisions we make, and often a hard one, and always a controversial one. Whether you breastfeed or bottle feed, nurse for 6 months or 3 years, nurse exclusively or supplement, pump and bottle feed or only feed straight from the source, cover up or don't, or take in to account all the other factors involved in feeding, someone will have something to say about it.
But this is about you and your baby and your family. So if you breastfed for 3 weeks and had to switch to formula because you were back to work and couldn't keep up, or because baby was losing weight any you had tried everything and weren't ready to give up, but wanted to do what was best for your baby, this week is for you. If you breastfed for six months and introduced formula alongside food as a transition period, this week is about you too! Six months is incredible, and you gave your baby an amazing start. If you fed to a year and transitioned to milk after that, you and baby made a great go at it and got beyond the expensive months of formula! If you fed well into the toddler years, you likely persevered through clogged ducts and mastitis and nursing aversion, potentially another pregnancy or tandem nursing, and you are giving your little one the comfort they have become so used to. And again, if you never breastfed, your reasons are important too. Think about them if they aren't triggering and give yourself credit for knowing that the best thing for baby was to be fed by a happy and healthy mom!
A photo of my twin toddlers having a wiggly midday snack :)
Brianna is a native Cape Codder and homeschooling mom of 4, a six year old girl, three year old boy, and twin 7 month old boys. She enjoys nature exploration, beach days, snowboarding, baking, fishing, travel, crafting, and writing, as well as geocaching, hiking, and picnicking with her children. She runs a blog and Facebook page called "The Mostly Crunchy Mama" and owns a children's consignment shop in Orleans called Little Codders. She enjoys staying up late long after the kids have gone to sleep to indulge in homemade desserts, to sew, write, coupon, and generally catch up on life without little hands needing help. An avid volunteer with 14 years of experience working with the American Cancer Society, as well as several other organizations, she has a background in business management but left behind her career after deciding self employment was a better fit for family life and a good work/life balance.
When I was pregnant with Hudson, I felt like I had a vague idea as to what to expect postpartum, or really just a lot of preconceived notions about what "postpartum life" would be like.
I had some sort of idea about how my life was going to change, but I was very intentional about making sure the baby fit into our life, and not the other way around.
I knew I would be tired, pretty busy, but there was no way I could of ever prepared myself for exactly what life was going to be like. I knew my body was going to be a little different than it was before pregnancy. I knew that postpartum depression was a possibility and I knew breastfeeding was hard for some.
Reflecting back now as we are quickly approaching Hudsons first birthday (I can't believe it) I realize how clueless I really was going into the whole parenting thing. The truth is: having a baby is really one of the most incredible blessings that life has to offer, it's fun, exciting, beautiful and truly has provided me with the most happiness in the world. I feel blessed to have Hudson in our life, to have had the opportunity to birth him and to have the privilege to raise him.
Here is another truth: having a baby changes everything.
In amazing, blessed, difficult and challenging ways.
Anything that you assume about parenthood before having a child will be flipped around and turned upside down. What you thought your baby will like, will in reality be the opposite. I am certain that you will reflect back on what you thought postpartum life would be life and just laugh, like I do. The reality is, how could we have known right? We only set the best of intentions.
Hudson is a miraculous little boy. He is a wonderful sleeper and has been since day one. But the truth is even with a baby who is a wonderful sleeper, those first six-eight weeks they need to either wake or be woken up to eat. So you are still not getting anymore than 3 hours of sleep at most, at a time. And when Hudson got the okay from the pediatrician to let him sleep longer, Mama still needed to wake up every three hours and pump so my breasts didn't get engorged.
You will experience a level of exhaustion that you did not know was possible.
He was very easy to nurse, but he wanted to nurse 24/7. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY can prepare you for what life is like when nursing your little babe. Despite how time consuming and challenging it can be at times, I would never have changed my decision to nurse Hudson and I still intend to nurse our next baby. That being said, cluster feeding is no joke. I can remember days on end, nights on end even weeks on end where 4 o'clock would come around and it was time for Hudson to eat and he would stay on my breasts for nearly 8 to even 10 hours. I didn't see the dinner table most nights during that time because I was on the couch nursing him.
Your body will change, and it will in more ways than one. But that is OK. You may have stretch marks, and you will have some loose skin for a little while. You may decide that those tiny itty bitty bikinis that you once rocked no longer make you feel comfortable. Again, that is OK. You will still look six months pregnant for a few days (or weeks) after you have your baby because your uterus takes time to return to its normal size, but things will go back to the way they were. Every woman's body is so unique and so different, with this incredible capability to grow another human being inside. To create this beautiful life inside our bodies... Really think about that... it is SUCH a gift. Dealing with a little extra skin, or a stretch mark here or there is such a small sacrifice for the beautiful beings we bring into this world.
Your emotions will be all over the place and I am not saying that you will have postpartum depression, but you will feel overwhelming feelings of happiness, sadness, isolation, being overwhelmed and everything in between. It's ok to not feel ok. But if you do sense that you have some postpartum depression, that is OKtoo, and it is so important that you talk to someone about it and get some help. It's ok to need help.
You are about to experience a love that you have never imagined before. You will be absolutely consumed by and in love with your baby. Your life will change to accommodate that child. And yes, you’ll find ways to fit the baby into your word, but more likely you’ll find yourself navigating this strange new terrain for the first time WITH your baby. You will create a new world together. It is such a beautiful experience.
Postpartum life is full of a love that is so overwhelming and beautiful that you will not remember how you ever existed before it. It’s full of late nights, rocking your baby and forming a bond that can never be broken. It’s about going through a transformation, becoming a new person. You are a MOTHER. It’s going through an incredible, wonderful metamorphosis, and looking back a year later and thinking, THIS is who I was meant to be. It’s about learning so much about yourself and about what really matters in life.
It is about feeling incredibly accomplished when you cook a meal, finish the laundry or get out for a walk with your baby. It is about bursting at the seams with excitement every time your little human accomplishes another amazing milestone. The joy that I get from Hudsons amazing little accomplishments outweighs any joy I have ever felt before. His first smile, his first foods, his first steps, his first word...
Those newborn days are hard, and you will feel like you are in a fog. But let me tell you mama, that fog will clear and before you know it your baby will grow more and more independent by the day. You will sleep again. You can do this Mama. You are not alone.
You are embarking on life's most beautiful journey, motherhood. Embrace each and every little moment, and know that time has a way of picking up speed, and you don't want to miss a moment.
Katherine is a native Cape-Codder and mother to her beautiful one year old little boy Hudson. Katherine is a full-time mommy and entrepreneur running two local businesses. She works along side her father, John Perkins, at Bay State Merchant Services, where she is the Northeast Sales Director, working with local businesses and helping them save money on their credit card processing services. When she is not managing BSMS, she is inspiring other like minded individuals to think outside of the box and sharing the opportunity that Arbonne International has to offer: premier health and wellness products and an exceptional business opportunity. She is passionate about helping other people and has worked in the health and wellness field for over ten years, helping hundreds of people achieve their personal wellness goals. She loves empowering people to live their best life.
Katherine is an outdoor enthusiast. She loves spending her summers on the boat, riding her bike and competing in local races, paddle boarding with her Husband, participating in sprint triathalons and road races, but most of all spending time outside and enjoying the beauty of Cape Cod.
Kats blog, https://livingwhatyoulovewithkat.weebly.com, is focused on sharing her journey of attracting abundence into her life to inspire you to do the same. She will work with you to help you achieve your ideal life and optimal health through business development coaching, personal development techniques, wholesome nutrition and mindfulness practices. Her hope is that through your readings here, she will leave you with a little inspiration, a new workout to try, maybe a delicious recipe or a good laugh from her silly adventures with her boys.
"True success is when you reach back and bring someone along with you."- Joel Osteen
Check out more about her businesses here:
Cape Cod Moms Adviser Receives a Massachusetts Employer Award for Supporting Mothers in the Workforce
Cape Cod Moms Adviser, Gary DellaPosta, CPA was recently awarded a 2017 Breastfeeding – Friendly Employer Award from the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition. This award is given to employers who are supportive to breastfeeding mothers and their children. This is the second time our office has received this award. All award recipients were showcased at the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition annual conference on September 25, 2017 at the Massachusetts Medical Society. The criteria that they look for with employers are:
• A private space for employees to pump/express breast milk or nurse their babies.
• Flexibility for employees to bring young babies to work with them.
• Regular break times or a more flexible work schedule to facilitate pumping/nursing.
• Access to an electric breast pump.
• A refrigerator for storage of expressed breast milk, and sink area for cleaning equipment.
• Services of a lactation consultant.
• Information on workplace breastfeeding support services to all employees.
Congratulations to Gary DellaPosta, CPA on this award and for helping to support working women.
WHEN: August 14, 2016 @ 12:00 pm – 3:00 pm
WHERE: YMCA Cape Cod
2245 Iyannough Rd
West Barnstable, MA 02668
CONTACT: Denise Graham-ReardonEmail
Looking for support and information on breastfeeding come visit us and bring your family. Face painting, children’s crafts, raffles, and much more!
By: Liz Libby, CLC, CCCE, HBCE
The whole “it takes a village” saying is a nice idea. I thought I knew what it meant…… until I had premature twins and a partner that worked all the time. And then I realized that I wasn’t going to survive this parenting gig without some backup from other exhausted moms. I literally went to a different moms’ group every weekday when my guys were babies, and that was my lifeline. Eight years later, I’m still friends with some of the ladies I met in those groups. If you haven’t yet found yourself a moms’ group, here are some reasons you need to:
Outer Cape Moms’ Group
Thursdays from 10am to noon
220 Samoset Rd in Eastham, right next to where they are building the new library
BirthingYearCapeCod@gmail.com or 774-207-7124 for more info
Or visit our Facebook Page!
Liz is a Certified Lactation Consultant, a CAPPA certified childbirth educator, and a HypnoBirthing childbirth educator at The Birthing Year. In between running after her three wild and crazy children, she is currently preparing to sit for the IBLCE exam in October of 2016 to become an IBCLC and offers a variety of prenatal classes, birth preparation and support, and postpartum and lactation support. She facilitates the Outer Cape Moms’ Group, which meets weekly and offers evidence-based breastfeeding information as well as support and solidarity for all moms.
By: Robyn Morse Langmead
As a proud mother of 2 beautiful children, Aaron, now 2 years old, and Cadence, now 4 months, I have been in my share of situations where my kids needed to eat in a very public place. My son was breastfed for 11 months until he decided to wean himself. My daughter is currently exclusively breastfed and going strong. Restaurants, airplanes, & grocery stores are just a few places they would suddenly become hysterical and want to eat either for nourishment or for comfort. I would always feed them immediately before leaving my house, in hopes that they would make it through our adventure out. Yeah right, rarely did this happen! I had some version of the "hooter hider" but my strong-willed boy would swat it away, and my daughter tends to break her latch frequently and it's pretty challenging to get her back on without being able to see what's going on underneath the cover. I used to be sooo uncomfortable even nursing in public, or at least I thought it was me feeling uncomfortable until I really thought about it and realized that I have no problem bringing my baby to breast in any situation; however, I was always worried about making others uncomfortable. Even relatives visiting at my house have said things like "do you want us to step out of the room?" or "feel free to go in the other room if you need to." It's always hard to tell if they were saying that for my benefit or their own. All I know is that breastfeeding can feel very isolating when you think others are judging you for doing it. I've nursed in bathrooms, cars, behind a tree in a park, at unused booths at restaurants, in a friend’s bedroom at a summer party, and the list could go on. I've seen so many videos and internet links discussing women and how breastfeeding is accepted in public as long as the mother has a cover.
Well, the covers don't work for me and they don't work for a lot of moms. Because we keep covering up, society isn't exposed to a mother nursing her child which makes it feel "weird" or "wrong" to many people when they see breastfeeding in public. That's where this post is coming from. Now that I've made this realization, I've decided to put myself out there. My loving and supportive husband took this picture of me the other day giving my daughter a morning feeding. I want as many people as possible to see it and I hope I may inspire some other moms to share a picture of them too. Let's give society many opportunities to see this beautiful and natural act taking place so that when they see it in person, it becomes completely "normal" and common. The benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and child are ridiculously amazing! It's so sad to think that some moms choose to stop nursing or never start because of a lack of acceptance by the public. My hope is for all to see it and for it to be a step in the right direction of acceptance by all. I'd love for other moms to do the same if you feel the way I do.
Below, some other Cape Cod Moms have decided to join Robyn and share their breastfeeding pictures in the hopes that other moms will join us in our campaign to
Cape Cod Moms