Hey ladies, so August is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month here in the United States and 1-7 August is World Breastfeeding Week around the globe.
As a Lactation Educator Counselor and breastfeeding mama to my 17 month old, Little Woman #2, breastfeeding is my world. I decided to become a trained lactation professional a little over 3 years ago after running into some trouble with breastfeeding Little Woman #1. We were living in Puerto Rico at the time and lactation support was very limited.
My Journey through Breastfeeding
At about 6 weeks old LW#1 just completely stopped latching on. She had been nursing beautifully up until that point. She regained her birth weight before she was 2 weeks old, I never experienced pain with nursing not even for a single feeding, I never had cracks or bleeding, and I assumed I was in the clear. I didn’t recognize that breastfeeding was a journey and that concerns can arise at any point; whether it be within the first few days, 3 months, 6 months, or at weaning time. So when LW#1 began fussing unconsolably at the breast, scrunching her body, and refusing to feed for hours, I was lost.
I reached out to my doula and a midwife friend of hers and they both offered us support, but lactation wasn’t their specialty. With the additional support of LW#1’s pediatrician we were able to survive that rough time, remain exclusively breastfeeding, and make adjustments that helped both her and I get back to breastfeeding with ease.
But that experience led me to take action. I knew I would continue to live overseas as much as possible and that there would ultimately be other mothers just like me that I met. Ones who spoke English and wanted one-on-one lactation support, even in the most remote locations. So when LW#1 was about 9 months old I enrolled in UC San Diego’s Lactation Educator Counselor Certificate program.
Over the course of 3 intense months I studied my buns off practically every evening and worked on assignments during nap time. It was a saving grace to me. It not only gave me the knowledge I have now to serve women wherever I live, but it also gave me a freedom and sovereignty over an aspect of my life. I was able to gain a bit of that independence I needed to stay satisfied in my role as a full-time mother but also gain joy in creating my own business and service.
Breastfeeding photos by Britt Holmes Photography.
Today I have a special giveaway for you gals. I’m so excited to partner with Rupal Asodaria, Owner and Founder of NursElet. Whether you’re currently expecting a baby, already a breastfeeding mama, or a friend to a breastfeeding mama, everyone is welcome to enter. The NursElet accessory is perfect for new and pumping mamas especially, and would make a very useful baby shower gift.
The photo gallery above is how I wore my NursElet and took it on a little adventure downtown Tumon, Guam. We decided to have a late lunch at one of our favorite Japanese spots.
NursElet’s are vibrant organic cotton bracelets that help a mother secure her falling shirt during feeding or pumping and then can also be worn on your wrist to remind you which breast to feed on next. Use coupon code: Anjelica15 to get 15% of your purchase at NursElet.com.
“For others, it’s a fashionable accessory but for a nursing mom, it’s a Life Saver!”
3 Steps to Enter the Giveaway: CLOSED (8/3/16)
- Follow @GetNursElet on Instagram.
- Follow me (@MotheringNaturally) on Instagram.
- Comment on this blog article, tell me what you love most about breastfeeding.
*Giveaway ends on 3 Aug 2016. The winner will be announced on 4 Aug 2016 on Instagram and here on the blog. The winner will receive TWO NursElets, one for them and one for a friend!
Update: The winner of the giveaway is Liz (@daintydandelion). Congratulations!!
Tasha TaitanoAugust 1, 2016 at 9:12 pm
Being an active duty mama, breastfeeding has always been both a challenge and a commitment for me. My oldest is 6 years old and was breastfed for a little over a year a with me traveling in between that time for work. My now 3 month old son is going strong on our nursing journey. The hands down best part of nursing is coming home to them after a long stressful day and looking into their eyes as they take all the worries away while at the same time providing them with the most natural food you can! Breast is and will always be best for my babies!
AnjelicaAugust 1, 2016 at 9:20 pm
You’re an absolute breastfeeding champion! I love hearing breastfeeding success stories like yours. XO Thanks for commenting.
LizAugust 1, 2016 at 9:52 pm
As an exclusive pumper, breastfeeding looks a little different for my son and I. My wife and I are a two mom household. I am the bio and gestational mom. My wife and I decided that I would exclusively pump so that my wife and I would both be able to have the same feeding experience with our son, so that we could both build the same relationship with him as his mothers. At 15 days old, our son was diagnosed with cancer and began chemotherapy the next day. Pumping milk for my son was the only thing I could do for him as he endured 6 rounds of systemic chemotherapy. I have logged countless hours attached to a pump in the car on our way to treatments, during exams, and while my mom received chemo. My wife and I educated ourselves on increasing my supply and my wife made batch after bath of lactation cookies. We were able to ensure that our son got breast milk all throughout his treatment. My son never got as much as a sniffle throughout all of this, and I firmly believe it’s because of the breastmilk. I will forever hold these memories dear of my breastfeeding journey. 6 months in, and we are still going strong.
AnjelicaAugust 1, 2016 at 10:26 pm
What a whirlwind you and your wife have been through. I’m in awe of your strength and perseverance. You’re such a wonderful example of the fact that breastfeeding is possible even in the face of enormous obstacles if you’re surrounded by those that support you. How is your son now?
LizAugust 1, 2016 at 10:43 pm
Thank you!!! My son has no active tumors as of July 20. We will go back with his every 3 months until he is 5 years old, as this cancer has a very high chance of reoccurrence.
AnjelicaAugust 1, 2016 at 11:44 pm
Congratulations on the report of no tumors! Thank you for sharing your heart. I will continue to think of you and your family.
TianaAugust 1, 2016 at 11:08 pm
having it really hard in the beginning of breastfeeding was the hardest challenge in life. because in the begining my baby would have it hard to latch on but I kept on trying and trying til i got her to latch on because for me I really think that breastfeeding is the most wonderful and amazing thing for my baby and it’s also the healthiest milk . I just love the bond we have with eachother cos it got me and her closer . I always encourage other mamas to breast feed but I would always get answers like it’s embarrassing to show the public my boobs but I would always tell them that it’s not embarrassing when it’s called feeding your baby . I always try to convince them because when I was pregnant I thought like that too not having the experience in breastfeeding but when I got to do it when I looked at my baby feeding it blew me away . BREASTFEEDING WILL AMD ALWAYS be a priority to me . I breastfed since my baby was a newborn and is almost 10 months and I also plan to keep breastfeed til she wants to ween off 😊
AnjelicaAugust 1, 2016 at 11:48 pm
Congratulations on making it to 10 months! That is a big deal! Yes, I know many people feel uncomfortable about feeding in public. It’s definitely something that takes practice to get comfortable with for many mamas. There are times that I still get a bit nervous, but I try and push it out of my head because like you said it’s about feeding your baby… I love the bonding that comes with breastfeeding as well. Thanks so much for sharing your story. XO
Randi WilliamsAugust 2, 2016 at 10:16 am
I love that I’m giving my baby the best nutrition ever and I love having him close to me. That’s the best thing about breastfeeding for me. I often deal with criticism from family and people about it but I know I’m doing the right thing for him and myself as well.
AnjelicaAugust 2, 2016 at 11:00 am
Your mama instincts and confidence are spot on. You are going to inspire other women even those within your family to make choices that are right for them. What are the main criticisms that your family make?
Danielle GephartAugust 3, 2016 at 12:10 am
I love the quiet respite that breastfeeding provides. It’s such a nice little break and bonding experience, no matter where you are and no matter what’s going on. My son will be 2 at the beginning of September, and he’s beginning to self wean. We’ve had quite a wonderful journey with lots of struggles (lip & tongue tie, oversupply, shallow latch) that I wouldn’t change for the world. I’m happy that he’s choosing his own time to end our journey in a gentle way. I’m taking it better than I thought I would, and we’re both looking forward to a little sibling in December! I’d be thrilled to win a NursElet to use with baby number two. It would be awesome to have free hands and a free chin 🙂
AnjelicaAugust 3, 2016 at 1:30 pm
How sweet to hear that you’ve enjoyed breastfeeding so much. Your struggles have equipped you to be a light for new mothers just entering their breastfeeding journey. Self-weaning is definitely a more gentle experience….Congratulations on your new baby! What a joy! Please come back and keep me posted on your breastfeeding journey with #2. XO
Randi WilliamsAugust 3, 2016 at 12:24 am
Hi Anjelica, thanks for the wonderful response. They’re always telling me that the baby is not getting enough milk and I should switch to formula, they bother me about breastfeeding in public and every time the baby cries it’s because he is hungry and has gas because of my milk. It’s so frustrating and annoying but I know what’s good for my child and I just follow my heart. I eat very well and I know my baby is getting the nutrition he needs from my milk.
AnjelicaAugust 3, 2016 at 1:32 pm
Good for you Randi for standing up for you and your baby! Family and friends are well meaning but unless they have years of experience and a bit of education about breastfeeding it’s best to stick to your instincts and the advice of professionals…Thanks for coming back! I look forward to chatting with you more here and on IG. XO