Monday, August 6, 2018

World Breastfeeding Week 2018


World Breastfeeding Week is wrapping up tomorrow and I had to take a moment to reflect on the beauty that this week represents. While I'm not actively breastfeeding this particular week, it's only a matter of days before I am in the throes of the early days of breastfeeding! Not only that, I spend most of the year helping my mom prepare for her annual WBW event at the hospital, but we'll get to that in a minute.

Breastfeeding was something that I knew I wanted to do as soon as I found out I was pregnant with Chloe. Having a mom as a lactation consultant definitely helps not only when it comes to making the decision to breastfeed, but also when it comes to having the appropriate support needed to succeed. Breastfeeding isn't easy in the early days. The difficulty coupled with hormones can often break mommas down and cause them to give up. Another factor is support. You need the support and encouragement of everyone around you to succeed. That's what gets you past those hard days and hormones. Even though it was 3 years ago for me, I remember it all too well!

I wanted to look back on my breastfeeding journey and share a couple of posts from the past few years that I thought y'all may enjoy. 



This past Thursday was the Community Baby Shower hosted by my mom at Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital! This is the 4th year for the event and it was by far the best. We say it every year, but each year truly gets better and bigger.



We had several community partners come like The Lactation Foundation, GiGi's Playhouse, the local library, WIC and La Leche League! Everyone brought lots of good information, handouts and giveaways for our mommas.


This year was the first year that vendors were allowed to set up booths for moms and moms-to-be to shop around and learn about new products.



We also had the Sugar Land Police Department there to discuss car seat safety. He showed parents the proper way to have baby buckled into their carseats. He was able to examine any babies that had their carseats there to confirm or adjust if necessary, and he even went out to people's cars if they asked to assess the carseat bases! I feel like he is such an important part of this event year after year.


Another one of my favorites is Baby Wearing International! They bring various types of wraps and carriers for moms to try out and see which ones they like! It was because of them that I found out how much I liked the Tula with Chloe. I wish I would have known more about them when she was an infant. This year they helped me with my new ring sling and showed me how to thread it and wear it so that I can start using it safely as soon as baby boy arrives. My sister and other moms were also able to test out the different types of carriers to see which one best suits them. One of the ladies said that structured carriers are like a good pair of jeans, you just have to try on several to see which on fits your body best! 



The event itself was incredibly successful. We had over 250 people attend with 18 baskets to raffle, 10 vendors, about 15 community partners, tons of hourly giveaways and hundreds of burp cloths and reusable breast pads for every mom that attended. Not only did every mom that attended receive a burp cloth and set of pads but we sent 100 to WIC, 100 La Leche League and 100 to the Lactation Foundation! There may even be more that I'm missing, but my mom has all of those stats.


Breastfeeding has been a special journey in my life. I nursed Chloe for the first 18 months of her life before she decided to self wean completely on her own. I love breastfeeding and I can't wait to start the journey with my baby boy. I know the beginning will come with its challenges and I'll have to face some adversity, but I can't wait! Here are just a few pictures I found from my days nursing Chloe.






While I haven't had many negative experiences with people making rude comments to my face about breastfeeding, I know that many women have. I hope that with time we can continue to normalize breastfeeding and the beauty that comes along with it. It is such a magical bonding experience between mother and baby. There are countless benefits! Just because someone doesn't understand it, doesn't mean they have the right to bring down a mother who is just trying to feed her baby. So here's to breastfeeding!

Do you want to share your breastfeeding story? I'd love to feature some on my blog over the month of August! Write a comment or shoot me an e-mail at acgougler@gmail.com and we can figure out how to share!


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