What does WBW mean to me?
This was honestly such an extremely loaded question for me as I face yet another difficult start to breastfeeding with my current unborn son. Due to a birth defect he will need a prolonged hospital stay as well as spinal and brain surgery shortly after his birth which will require me to exclusively pump for at least the first few weeks. The impending loss of yet another “normal start to breastfeeding” was devastating at first, but I have built the most amazing support structure around myself with breastfeeding experts, lactavists and pro-breastfeeding fighters!
I KNOW I WILL SUCCEED and it’s due to the lactavists and breastfeeders and the information and unconditional support, love and concern that they continually share to help mothers like myself and others get access to true factual information and support in difficult circumstances.
So, WBW means support to me, it means education and it means it’s a chance for me to give back and help others as they so often have helped me.
Iv been accused of being anti-formula feeder so many times, and the honest truth is that I don’t like formula, I don’t think formula is as healthy or natural or even necessary in most cases, I however do acknowledge, respect and support mothers who legitimately cannot breastfeed due to illness, surgery, true low supply and other complications that have no choice but to lean on artificial infant milk, most new mothers who desperately want to breastfeed are told that they “don’t make enough” or “your milk is not nutritious enough” which plainly put is a heaping, steaming pile of BS, it is important that mothers get the right information and facts to help them make such a personal and heavy decision, that does not make me anti-formula feeder, it makes me pro-informed choice and pro-fact, it makes me pro-mom &baby.
I support all mothers, I support facts and I support our planet, I do not support greedy formula manufacturers who pray on new mothers insecurities and use predatory marketing tactics to create imaginary wars to sell product, there’s a difference!
On this last day of WBW, I wish more mothers had access to the amazing support system I found (granted it was 5 long months into my EPing journey), I wish more mothers had access to educated health care providers who had a deep understanding of breastfeeding and how milk production works and the importance of breastmilk to the human immune system and growing brain, I wish more mothers had the knowledge of normal infant behavior and were supported by health care professionals, family, friends and their employers. I wish all mothers knew that THEY DID NOT FAIL, they were failed by predatory marketing, lack of educated support and a society that places little to no importance on mothers and babies. I wish that society would stop sexualizing and demonising a natural act of feeding, heck I wish they would stop sexualizing women in general, we aren’t a commodity just to sell products, our bodies grow humans, the next generation and our bodies can nourish them too. We are more than just play things. I wish women would stand together in the importance of what we feed our children, because it does matter and it should matter and we should all be fighting for women’s rights to access education, support and better maternity practices so more mothers have the choice to breastfeed, not only for our children’s health, but for ours too, we should be fighting for our planet so we have something to actually leave our children.
I wish more mothers were given true information on the risks of not breastfeeding, and then were given quality hands on support to get started, to stay strong during those difficult first few weeks and then celebrated when they reach their goals. I wish human lives mattered to big corporations far more than their bottom line, I wish mothers knew that they have this amazing, life saving, beautiful gift to give to their children that benefits them far into their lives, I wish women KNEW what they were capable of, instead of being made to feel like their bodies are broken or “not enough”.
WBW means I get to be part of this amazing, supportive community who fights every day for these things, it’s something so much bigger than myself, or any singular breastfeeding relationship, so much bigger than a week and so much more important than so many realise.
It’s a chance to help save infants lives, to support women with honest, true information and facts, to empower women to trust in their bodies and their babies, to save women’s lives and to save this beautiful planet we call home, because breastfeeding matters and I am proud to be a part of it!