The way to protect breastfeeding is to stand up for the right of women to feed their babies as they choose, no matter where they are. We can start by educating the public on the lifelong benefits of breastfeeding. We, as a nation, need to desexualize the woman's breasts and have them be seen as they are, a means to feed our babies. I feel as breastfeeding gets promoted and supported and looked upon as a 'normal' means to feed your baby, our nation will desensitize themselves on the notion that breastfeeding is a sexual entity. In other countries, a woman breastfeeding is not even questioned. It is so normal to see a breastfeeding mother, that others around don't think twice about what she is doing.
Also, we as lactation specialists, of all kinds, need to support one another for our efforts. I find we too often look at credentials of one another and fail to support one another for our efforts and work supporting the breastfeeding mother. We are all in the realm of education and supporting breastfeeding mothers because it is our PASSION. Any efforts we can make towards a breastfeeding mom is an effort well worth the time and energy put forth. Supporting each other, while supporting many breastfeeding moms is only going to benefit the whole breastfeeding population. We all come to the table with differing backgrounds and knowledge but have one goal in mind, to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. How glorious is that!!!
I do feel that our nation is turning a corner regarding breastfeeding. I think we are in the midst of Protecting, Promoting and Supporting breastfeeding. I think breastfeeding is becoming more normalized. We see this in our daily news. We have government, celebrities and media discussing it and normalizing it. I believe the continual attention to breastfeeding will help us turn the corner and see it as a natural and beautiful way of feeding and bonding with our babies.
The best scenario would be to hear nothing on breastfeeding because it is so normal in our country that we don't think twice about seeing a mom breastfeeding anywhere. Through continued Protection, Promotion and Support of breastfeeding, we can only hope for every mother to be breastfeeding her baby and giving her the unconditional support needed to do so.
Jennifer Lewandowski-CLC, CD(DONA), PCD(DONA), CCCE
I have been a volunteer for the Beaumont Parenting Program for 14 years, in the areas of breastfeeding support, individual family support and currently as a parenting partner. I teach a class at our church, which is a support group for pregnant and new moms, called Infant Insight.
I am a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) and a DONA trained Birth and Postpartum Doula. My mission as a Certified Lactation Counselor is to give each mom the experience and education needed to make their breastfeeding journey a successful and joyful one. My goal as a Doula is to EDUCATE and EMPOWER you, so you can EMBRACE your new role as parents.