Every day is breastfeeding day

World Breastfeeding Month/Week is great, a time to raise awareness, share information, celebrate, do crazy huge giveaways, encourage, and share stories.  But I have to be honest here, I’m only a tiny bit into it.  Why?  Because as a breastfeeding mom and a supporter of breastfeeding moms, it’s world breastfeeding DAY every day and everywhere.  It’s just a part of what I do, a part of my life.  Breastfeeding is more than the biologically normal way for me to feed and care for my babies and toddlers, it has actually become one of the most important tools in my parenting tool box.  It tops the list.

Breastfeeding and babywearing, parenting power tools each in their own right, together strategically efficient.  It’s not they have to go together but when they do it’s a win win for all involved.  Ring sling, wrap, soft structure carrier, whatever your favorite carrier is, it can be one of the most supportive tools to your breastfeeding.  And like breastfeeding, as a mother of 6 active little girls, babywearing is a tool I use every day, everywhere.  As World Breastfeeding Month draws to a close, I want to share how babywearing can be a useful tool not only for your parenting in general but specifically related to helping you reach your breastfeeding goals.

#bfbw365

How Babywearing can help you reach your breastfeeding goals:

Babywearing makes for easy skin-to-skin care.  If the wearer is topless or wears a low cut top with lots of skin available and baby is naked or close to naked, babywearing can easily facilitate the important skin-to-skin access that all babies benefit from specially in the early days but even Zrejnuk,.aching far beyond.  Why is skin-to-skin contact so great?  Helps baby regulate breathing and body temperature, better blood sugar levels,  maintains baby’s heart rate and blood pressure, encourages breastfeeding, promotes emotional bonding, reduces infant and maternal/paternal stress, can help prevent or lessen postpartum depression, is comforting to baby, reduces crying, helps developmental process, lowers anxiety, and so much more.

Babywearing keeps baby close for ease in picking up hunger cues.  Even if it isn’t the breastfeeding mother always wearing the baby, any caregiver can easily and quickly pick up onp] baby’s cues that it’s time to eat, allowing for a quick response which will help the mother’s supply and baby’s stress levels.

Babywearing enables mom to be active while being close.  Whether she’s working, doing chores, or caring for other children, babywearing keeps baby close and let’s her multitask her responsibilities.  Moms that feel like they can keep up with their other responsibilities while caring for their infant are more likely to reach their breastfeeding goals because they won’t feel trapped in their home.  Having a happy baby safe and secure and being able to be productive in other areas is a huge confident boost that will go a long way not only in her overall parenting but can directly impact her breastfeeding goals.

Babywearing encourages breastfeeding in public.  Have baby, will go out.  Since babywearing can help moms be on the go it can also help them breastfeed in public.  Moms isolated and stuck inside their house often struggle with anxiety and postpartum depression.  Both babywearing and breastfeeding can simplify getting out and being active in social settings, reducing the risk of isolating mothers and developing postpartum depression and/or postpartum anxiety.  Once she works out how to breastfeed in a carrier (tip: practice in front of a mirror to see what it looks like- you’ll be surprised how incognito breastfeeding in a carrier can be if you are concerned about that.), breastfeeding in a carrier can be much easier than using a cover if mom feels she should, easier than taking baby out of the carrier and feeding even if she feels she doesn’t need to cover, and easier than a bottle of expressed milk or formula.  And it takes us back to the previous point, mom can be active not only while being close but actually while breastfeeding.  Because when you have a 3 year old and a new baby, sitting down in a quite setting with a pillow and staring into your baby’s eyes while they feed for the 67th time that day (I exaggerate… 24th time that day) isn’t always possible.  Being able to feed your baby and keep up with the 3 year old is priceless!

Babywearing helps normalize breastfeeding.  You read that right and no, it’s not a stretch.  Since breastfeeding is encouraged and supported by babywearing the more families that utilize it the more breastfeeding will increase in both numbers and visibility.  As more and more women begin to confidently feed their babies with their breasts, breastfeeding will become more and more normal.  Like walking, when breastfeeding is normal there will be better support available for those that may encounter difficulties because it simply won’t be acceptable to ignore breastfeeding problems any more than it would be acceptable to ignore problems walking.  Babywearing helps normalize breastfeeding by encouraging breastfeeding, helping more moms breastfeed while out, and supporting moms in reaching their breastfeeding goals.

Even for moms that aren’t comfortable feeding in their carrier (but don’t despair if you struggle with feeding in the carrier, it may get easier with time, in a different carrier, or with practice and help from someone) babywearing can be a useful part of your breastfeeding journey and even help you reach your breastfeeding goals for many of the reasons listed above.

World Breastfeeding Month?  Just a month?  It’s great but that’s just a drop in the bucket.  I breastfeed. I babywear. Every day. Everywhere. 365. Way beyond World Breastfeeding Month.

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Do you breastfeed every day?  Everywhere?  Does babywearing help you? 

If it’s always breastfeeding day for you or has been, share the breastfeeding and/or babywearing love by posting a photo of you breastfeeding and/or babywearing (or the badge or banner below) and let others know!  Use the hashtag #BFBW365 on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and help normalize breastfeeding and babywearing for all parents.

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BFBW365

#BFBW365

 

This week The Leaky Boob is teaming up with Beco Baby Carriers to encourage breastfeeding every day, everywhere.  In showing their support they are also sponsoring a chat on The Leaky [email protected]@b Facebook page on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 at 8pm Central for an hour about breastfeeding 365 and what’s in your parenting toolkit.  We will be giving away 4 Beco Soleils with accessory packs as part of the chat.  RSVP for the chat using the chat below and participate on Thursday, September 5th, 2013 for a chance to win a carrier to help you breastfeed and babywear every day, everywhere. 
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Attached in reality- Beco Soleil giveaway

There are many philosophies and theories in parenting but the application of these ideas varies greatly in their manifestations.  The reality isn’t always what we expect and as parents we have to make adjustments along the way.  Taking time to explore our own aims and desires for our parenting journey is important, shaping how we apply whatever philosophy feel right for our family and moving from an idea to intentional steps in reaching those goals.  Sharing that exploration with others on the parenting journey can help provide us with more tools for the path and open our minds to consider other approaches we may have thought we understood and dismissed prior to engaging in conversations with other parents only to discover that our definition was too narrow.

Jamie Grumet from I Am Not the Babysitter and Beco Baby Carrier share about moving from philosophy to reality in our parenting.  Exploring developing attachments with our children, babywearing, discussing attachment parenting, Jamie opens up with The Leaky Boob community, getting real about what it’s really like as an attachment parent and encouraging families.

You can find the chat threads full of information here:

Welcome, questions

What is attachment parenting?  What’s your parenting style?

Myths of attachment parenting

Babywearing, bonding, and breastfeeding in a carrier

Adjustments of parenting: finding time for your partner, yourself, and other interests

Handling criticism

What our children can teach us

Additional giveaway

Whatever parenting style label you feel fits you, one thing is sure: when you have very young children, a baby carrier is an incredibly helpful tool in your parenting tool box.  Which is why Beco is giving away another Soleil ($130 value) as part of today’s chat.  Act fast, it’s a super quick giveaway and we don’t want anyone to miss out!  To be entered for your  chance to win, simply use the widget below.  Good luck!

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Kiss and make up and wear babies! Beco Soleil giveaway

Beco Soleil giveaway

My 10yo wearing 11mo Sugarbaby in the Beco Soleil

Remember the Beco Soleil carrier drama?  Well, it all worked out!  (See the FB status from them.)  The good people at Beco were very easy to work with and just all around great and want to get these carriers into your hands.  Even though the Soleil isn’t officially release or available for sale anywhere, Beco wants 10 lucky people to have them, the winners will be the first people under the sun to have the Beco Soleil.  Sweet!

I got to give this carrier a try and I liked it.  A snapshot look at the differences between the Soleil and the Gemini:  the Soliel can’t face outward but can do back/front/hip carries. It’s an open carrier like the Gemini (no panel between baby and the wearer). The back doesn’t come up AS high but it is still very supportive. The Soliel has an accessory pack you can customize for coordinating prints, etc. with a detachable bag that covers that middle print panel (so switch out prints, try a solid, AND have a place to hold your stuff), a hood, etc. It has a nice wide seat with padded legs supporting baby and toddlers much better, a pocket on the waist belt, and more adjustable options for improved comfort in the fit. The retail on both is $130, the Soleil also has an option accessory pack available for purchase.  Comfortable and easy to use, I think this is a great carrier choice, whether it would be your only carrier or one of many.

Since I’ll be asked, yes I could breastfeed in the Soleil though it took some work to figure out.  The seat is so well constructed to keep baby high that dropping down to breastfeed wasn’t as easy as it is in the Gemini.  Moms with very large or low hanging breasts may have some difficulty.

Some quick details on the Soleil:

  • It’s not available until next month, the winners of these giveaways will be the first to get their hands on this new carrier.
  • 3 carry positions: front, hip, and back.
  • Built-in waist belt pocket, key and toy ring
  • Carries 7-45lbs
  • Carrier weight 1.1lbs
  • Material: 100% cotton
  • Seat: 16″ and 17″ tall
  • Shoulder straps extending from 18″ to 45″
  • Waist belt extending from 27″ to 59″
  • Recommended fit for adults 5′ to 6′ 5″
  • Compatible accessories: hood, drool pads, infant insert, carry-all

Use the widget below to enter the giveaway, for one Soliel carrier and you can enter here AND over at The Baby Guy.  These giveaways are open to US and Canada residents only.  Thanks for participating!

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