The annual Big Latch on event hosted by me along side the 7th annual Breatsfeeding Awareness walk is just a couple of weeks away!! It is my favorite event of the whole year! Global Big Latch On events take place at registered locations around the world, where people gather together to breastfeed and offer peer support to each other. Their friends, family and community join this celebration to promote and support breastfeeding. Volunteers from within the community host each location, hosting a Global Big Latch On event creates a lasting support network for the community.
What to expect? Fun for the whole family featuring a splash kid zone with water slides, balloon artist, face painting, airbrush tattoo artists and a kid’s fun tent. Entertainment that will be sure to keep you moving such as a DJ, Zumba, yoga, food demonstration and much more. We will feature for the third year in a row the “Global Big Latch On”, a worldwide event to break the record of number of infants/children latching at the same time around the entire world. We will also feature a learning tent for those interested in classes and workshops on breastfeeding, infant massage, car seat safety and Pumping 101. A massive “Expo Tent” with over 50 organizations, businesses and community programs providing information, education and giveaways. Several mobile units providing screenings, education and giveaways. A “Nursing/Pump Lounge” with A/C for all mothers to relax, nurse/pump and cool off. All attendees will receive a FREE walk t-shirt (including infants & children) and a tote bag (adults only) while supplies last. Registration for participants is FREE. Register at 7thannualbfwalk.eventbrite.com
Here are a few pictures from previous years! We had approximately 120-175 babies latch on!
No one ever told me growing up that having a family and career would be like juggling glass bottles. I new from a little girl I wanted to be a mom. There was also that part that my family instilled in me, to have a career and be successful. What I thought my career choice would be was completely changed once my first son was born. I wanted to travel and be a writer. Well, once my baby was born and I had to learn how to breastfeed, change diapers survive days without much sleep and just be mommy all of those expectations where put on hold. I began to realize why I loved babies so much as a child and why I was always intrigued by pregnant women. Soon I started to realize my passion, my inspiration my future as a birthworker. Full speed ahead and 9 years later i'm the proud mommy of 2 funny incredibly smart boys. Besides being extremely busy with them I am also a career women. Sometimes trying to balance the 2 can be a roller coaster ride filled with tons of twist and turns and sometimes bumps in the road. There should be some kind of school or training to prepare you for such a task. If you focus on work too often you lose out on time with your family. If you focus on your family it can take away from your work. What is the right time for both? This is constantly the question I have and other mommies in this situation too. The moms who completely focus on there career and barely spend time with the family are considered bad moms. Why? Has it ever occurred to those people that maybe she is focusing so much because she is trying to provide for her family so that they can have an easier life in the future? Or maybe she herself is hurting from not seeing her family as often but knows in her heart she is doing the best she can. Then on the other side of it, moms who leave there career to be a stay at home mom. There are still those negative people who say, why would she study for so long or sacrifice her career to be home? This is what society is teaching little girls and eventually new mommies have to face this extremely hard decision. This is what many mothers struggle with and it shouldn't be. In my brain I am constantly trying to balance time with my husband, kids and career. I can be cooking and all of a sudden I will walk away from the food to check my emails to make sure I didn't get an update of something I was supposed to do. I cannot tell you how often I literally walk by a full basket of clean laundry that I know needs to be folded and put away. There are nights where I just don't have the energy to put the dishes away or even think about mopping. I have realized that it's OK. The clothes will be there in the morning, the dishes will get put away and the rest will just have to wait. I will make the time they need so that I don't miss anything as they grow. I will set priorities for work and home and make it work however I can. Mothers have enough pressure in this society than to judge themselves for doing the best they can and I for one support doing your best. Even if society doesn't think it's up to there standards. It's OK mommy keep doing your best and stop being so hard on yourself. It took me a while to realize this for myself but I remind myself every day and so should you.
Nurse in at Aventura Mall! Spreading awareness on normalizing breastfeeding wherever a mother chooses to nurse.
A breastfeeding mommy was asked to cover up or leave and security was called at Aventura Mall because she was nursing her baby. This event was to support her and all mothers who choose to nurse in public. It was also to educate them on the law that protects nursing mothers in Florida. Thanks to all of the dedication from the mommies,grandmas,dads and supporters for making the Nurse in a success! I feel the message was loud and clear and i'm so glad everyone came together for this great cause! We made headlines on NBC 6, Channel 10, Channel 4 and channel 7! We where also featured in the Miami Herald and some of the local radio stations where talking about the nurse in on the morning updates! I am so happy the event went smoothly and peacefully and that we received positive feedback all around.
World Breastfeeding week is the start of Breastfeeding Awareness month. The more we announce and spread awareness the more we support normalizing breastfeeding. In honor of World Breastfeeding, Myself and a few colleagues have been busy organizing some great events. Last week we hosted the 2nd annual BIG Latch On at Natural Birth Works, this upcoming weekend August 9th we are having a viewing of The Milky Way at 7pm. For more information visit www.naturalbirthworks.com Here is some insight about World Breastfeeding Week. In 1990 eight global goals, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), were set by governments and the United Nations to fight poverty and promote healthy and sustainable development in a comprehensive way by 2015. There are regular "countdowns" to gauge progress in achieving the goals. This year's WBW theme responds to the latest countdown by asserting the importance of increasing and sustaining the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding in the post 2015 agenda, and engaging as many groups, and people of various ages as possible.
Wherever you are, progress can be made AND sustained. For this to happen you need to be prepared, set goals and targets, join forces and ACT! Protect, Promote and Support breastfeeding: it is a vital, life-saving goal! It has been 22 years of World Breastfeeding Week and I hope to see it grow in popularity for many years to come! To support this cause please visit http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/
I often have moms ask me, "how can I breastfeed on the go"? This is a question that people often have issues with because they are so accustomed to seeing moms bottle feed in public or they often hear stories of moms hiding in the bathroom or fitting room to nurse. In reality since your baby will get hungry very often in the beginning and literally when ever they want.. This usually means at times where you may not be able to go anywhere else but where you are to nurse. The other important factor is when baby is ready to nurse they should nurse right away. This prevents from having a screaming angry baby. If you feel comfortable covering up there are many ways to do this. One way is wearing a nursing tank underneath your shirt so that when you un-clip the bra you can pull your shirt up and this will allow you to cover the top part of your breast while your baby covers the rest. If you want some more coverage there are many different types of nursing covers that strap around your neck and covers you and the baby completely. This is usually the option for moms but keep in mind that especially in the hot Florida weather your baby may get fussy and start to push their cover off. Another option is to hold your baby in a sling. This is one of my favorite options because in my opinion it's the easiest. I used a wrap with my first baby and it was ok but I felt very restricted from nursing easily. I had to unravel a part to get my son in a good position to nurse and then I would have to wrap it all over again because it would never go back to it's place. When my second son was born, a friend of mine who at the time made her own type of slings gave me one as a gift. It was a soft green, linen ring sling. The moment I put my 2 week old baby in it I automatically felt so comfortable. Now I will say, some women do not like the ring slings and they prefer Moby Wraps, or Boba carriers or even the Katan. I say research all the carriers, maybe try some out and choose the one that works for you. I just really loved my ring sling. I could nurse my baby every where and I could tend to my toddler at the time. It was really nice to have that flexibility and practically be hands free. The great thing about my ring sling was I could nurse from either breast and not have to adjust the sling much. I could cover myself if I wanted with the extra piece of fabric hanging and as my son got older I could wear him on my back. The great thing about a ring sling is that it grows with your baby and you can adjust it for each stage. My favorite aspect of the sling is not having to carry a car seat or a stroller, it was baby on me my bag and other son in the other hand and we where out the door! Once again look at different carriers, try some out and see which one will work for you and your baby. Below you'll see me and my baby starting out with my sling at 2 weeks, then 1 year and one of the last time I was able to sling him at 3 years old.
Breastfeeding in public is always a topic on my mind. It's not that I think of this on a daily basis but, so many women I come in contact with or that come in contact with me always seem to have a story or question about this topic. I also struggled with this with my first child. Not knowing any better and listening to people give me negative comments. I've heard everything from I had to hide, to "I was kicked off of a plain" and even stories of people telling a mom she was disgusting. I get questions like, well how much milk should I take out with me to feed the baby because I can't nurse when i'm out? I can't nurse in public, my husband does not want me to. I feel embarrassed.. Is this the type of society we want to raise our daughters in? To continue being afraid of naturally feeding their baby? To be ashamed of nurturing their child.. To be ridiculed for their constitutional right to breastfeed! I think not.. These moms should not have to go through such stress on a daily basis. They should be aware of their rights. Each state has different laws when it comes to breastfeeding. Regardless of state law, it is a constitutional right to breastfeed your baby where ever you are. Keep in mind that this constitutional right may not apply to a mother who is breastfeeding in a private location, such as a store or restaurant. And although there are some other legal issues upon which the right to breastfeed can be based (discrimination laws, equal protection, etc.), breastfeeding legislation is the best way to clarify the right that women have - to feed their babies where they choose to. Women have a constitutional right to breastfeed, and no one has the right to discriminate or segregate against breastfeeding mothers. Although, some states initially considered limiting a mother's right to breastfeed, while considering legislation that would clarify a mother's right to breastfeed in public. The best way to help support this matter is to stay informed of legislation in your state, you can support by contacting a local legislator, and find out if they might be interested in sponsoring a breastfeeding bill. Help to get information out to the community about the bill. Encourage positive, informative letters to legislators, rather than angry, upset letters. Nurse-ins, demonstrations, or other activities that might appear fanatical hinder rather than help with this. However, rallies where reputable speakers and breastfeeding information is distributed can help to educate everyone about the importance of breastfeeding. The most important way to support breastfeeding in public is when you do see a mom nursing smile and let her know. This simple gesture tells her, "hey mom your doing a great job"..
After your baby is born, the best place for them to transition is skin to skin with you. Putting your baby directly onto your chest after birth helps regulate babies temperature with yours, breathing with yours and studies show skin to skin can help regulate blood sugar levels. The best way to plan for the "Golden Hour" is to let your health care provider know ahead of time that this is what you want. Having a birth plan that tells your birth team how you want your labor and birth to go is one of the best ways to plan ahead. This way if things change they are still aware of what your wishes are. Especially in the hospital, it's best to let the nurses and hospital staff know that you want "The Golden Hour" with your baby. This will ensure they do not take the baby away but instead will leave them skin to skin on you. This is of course if you and baby are stable. The importance of the Golden Hour is so that it allows the baby to transition and get to know you from the outside. Within the hour you will notice the baby start to push up or turn their head toward the breast. They may even start to crawl toward the breast and little by little they may even latch on their own. Every baby is different but all babies are born with the instinct to nurse and try to get to the breast. The Areola of your nipple has little bumps that are called Montgomery glands. These glands release a fluid that maintain your nipples clean and soft. This fluid smells like amniotic fluid and is familiar to the baby which in turn will make them want to go towards it. To see this happen you can click on the link to watch "The Breast Crawl"..