World Breastfeeding week is a time where moms get to talk about their struggles and their own breastfeeding journey. It can be a week where breastfeeding moms get to feel pride in all they’ve overcome and achieved. Often times breastfeeding moms feel they need to hide, especially after they’ve hit the 12 month mark. So it’s really nice to see breastfeeding in a positive light.
Sometimes WBW comes across as breastfeeding moms trying to ‘prove’ they’re better. Sometimes some breastfeeding moms use this week to shame those who are formula feeding.
Many formula feeding moms feel this week may be an attack on them personally.
None of that is what this week is about.
World Breastfeeding Week started as a way to help protect, promote, normalize and support breastfeeding at a time when moms were barely breastfeeding. Every year there is a theme and this year’s theme is supporting moms rights to breastfeed anywhere. In Ontario I am protected under the law to breastfeed in public without being harassed or otherwise bothered. While that doesn’t stop some comments it still means I don’t have to worry about being harassed by police. Unfortunately there are still some states where there are no laws to protect breastfeeding mothers. I can’t imagine worry about being removed by an officer for being indecent for a the simple act of feeding my baby. World Breastfeeding Week is about normalizing something that should never have been considered abnormal to start. Women are still having to fight for their right to feed their babies and that is why World Breastfeeding Week is important.
This week isn’t just about those of us who can/do/did breastfeed though. It’s just as much about those that make it possible for us. This week is as much about a breastfeeding mother’s struggles and journey as it is about those who she turns to for support and encouragement. No matter how long you breastfed,or if you’ve never breastfed. If you couldn’t. If you support breastfeeding mothers and make their struggles and journey a little easier then this week is a nod at you too. Thank you for continuing to support, promote and normalize breastfeeding.