Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival: helping others reach their breastfeeding goals

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about how you have helped another mom reach her breastfeeding goals. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th-31st!

When you are submersed in the natural birth and natural/gentle parenting community it seems like breastfeeding is everywhere. Pictures, stories, advice and an abundant amount of information surrounding the benefits, etc. etc. etc. But outside of this small (or even large) part of your life there are still all of the other parts, your family, your high school friends and their families, your employees/employers/coworkers to which more times than not formula is the norm. Once you emerge from your baby moon and are back to more of your “normal” activities you may suddenly find yourself feeling super awkward when you have to feed the baby despite your rockstar breastfeeding-in-public confidence you gained in your other circle of natural mama friends during pregnancy and immediately post baby.

I was definitely surprised at how weird some people in my life acted about me nursing, how some  would go on and on about how weird or gross or whatever it was and how it would make others just clam up and not want to talk/look/or hang out with me and baby. I told myself that I would just act completely normal always, no matter what. I wouldn’t get weird, I wouldn’t change my behavior, I would go with what I was comfortable with and I would engage in all conversation positively, truthfully and most of all, sincerely.

I think this is one of the biggest keys in helping other moms. I would always bring my baby when meeting with my friends, mamas and non mamas alike and he would always need to nurse at some point. I would never comment on their choices to formula feed or ever bring up why I chose to breastfeed unless someone asked. If someone asked me about how everything was going with the babe obviously breastfeeding would come up and I would be honest about our struggles, successes and what parenting is like when you are the sole food source. I really feel that because of this laid back attitude and honesty I connected with other moms that were interested in breastfeeding but it had not worked for them for whatever reason or moms that maybe weren’t ever interested but now had a different take on it. I was always very open about what breastfeeding was like for us, how we did no solids until six months, that we were still nursing at one year, 18 months and 2 years and everything in between.

During this time I became the go-to breastfeeding person for two of my old work friends, one a first time mama and one who gave up very early with her first baby and was now nursing her second baby. Another pregnant friend who hadn’t considered nursing at all before but was interested and after baby latching in the hospital went with it and another high school acquaintance who was going to breastfeed but had never known anyone to nurse past one year. Once they all had decided (on their own) they *wanted* to breastfeed giving them advice and information was super fun and extremely helpful! From supplements to pumping advice to ditching the feeding schedules, I had a great time sharing my experience and research. Breastfeeding comes with a HUGE amount of uncertainty, something you can’t really understand ahead of time so I think sometimes it is nice just to know you are not alone in your thoughts or worries and to know there are always an abundance of options.

I am a huge proponent and supporter of breastfeeding and although not a hugely outspoken advocate unless approached or engaged (and there are obviously many varying positions on the matter). I really feel that because of the stigma of breastfeeding in our culture and the attitude so many people (and women!) have towards it, that a natural, sincere approach is best. By being open and honest and not having an opinion on whether or not people in my life supported, cared about, or wanted to breastfeed their own children I was able to help a few mamas and babies I may not have been able to otherwise!

How do you feel about advocacy? Are there any friends, family members, etc. that you have helped during their breastfeeding journey?

Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

2 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival: helping others reach their breastfeeding goals

  1. Pingback: [BLOCKED BY STBV] Social Media as the New Way to a Support Moms | the BREASTFEEDING CAFE

  2. Pingback: [BLOCKED BY STBV] We *love* Breastfeeding | Sweet Pea Families

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