Yes, it is a hot topic right now, and I am fascinated to know what you think.
A few recent happenings that are invoking strong opinions include:
• the launch of the 'The Breast Milk Baby' doll. Do you think this toy is appropriate for children or not?
• Supermodel Miranda Kerr released an image of herself breastfeeding her baby Flynn on her blog on KoraOrganics.com. Were you outraged or enamored by this intimate photo? Should putting a boob to the task for which it was designed be taboo in 2011?
• The government in the UK passed a law last year to stop discrimination against women breastfeeding in public. Subsection 3 of the Equality Act 2010: prohibits 'treating a woman unfavourably because she has given birth (and) includes, in particular, a reference to treating her unfavourably because she is breastfeeding'. Do you know about this change, and have you found the new law effective?
I for one wish there was less stigma around breastfeeding, full stop. Less stigma for those who want to feed, and less stigma for those that can't or don't want to. Everyone's experience is different and I believe whatever works for you is the 'right' thing. When talking to anyone about their breastfeeding experience you will find valid reasons why the option they chose worked for them.
I loved breast feeding little Ethan, and after reading up on the health and nutritional benefits of it, I was happy it all worked out, but it wasn't easy at first. It is something that is so natural, but I also found there was a lot to learn in getting it right. I had help from the lactation nurses in the Royal Women's Hospital where Ethan was born, from midwives, friends and family. All the bits of golden information offered up helped me to enjoy what I can only describe as a beautiful experience for me and a wonder of the human body.
There's a wealth of resources in the UK for pregnant women considering their feeding options, and for new Mums looking for information and support. These reputable resources are modern and accessible giving Mums the opportunity to ask questions, share experiences and find expert advice they can rely on.
Services offering breastfeeding advice and support:
- Association of Breastfeeding Mothers: www.abm.me.uk
- Breastfeeding Network: www.breastfeedingnetwork.org.uk
- La Leche League GB: www.laleche.org.uk
Services offering bottle feeding and breastfeeding advice and support:
- Mothercare (online advice for bottle feeding and breastfeeding mothers and they hold Baby & Me in-store events periodically with midwives, health visitors and other health professionals on hand to give advice.): http://bit.ly/fr2zYe
- Sure Start Children's Centres: http://bit.ly/9ltPCK
- National Childbirth Trust: http://www.nct.org.uk/home
If you're a new mum suffering post-natal illness, stress or low self-esteem, help is at hand.
- Family Lives: A wealth of information for parents at all stages of their child's development from birth onwards with advice and support via Skype, online chat and email.
- Directgov: Links to organisations that will help you and you're your baby stay healthy before and after birth. http://bit.ly/dSCiCz
- Association of Post Natal Illness: Information and support for people suffering from post-natal illness from people who have experienced it. www.apni.org
- Meet a Mum Association: Local groups for mums and mums-to-be for making friends and finding support. www.mama.co.uk
- Yvonne Owen Reflexology: Reflexology can help to restore the body's balance after birth, physically and emotionally. http://bit.ly/efr9gi
For Aussie readers:
My midwife recommended I join the Australian Breastfeeding Association (as I was based in Melbourne immediately after Ethan's birth) and they were an endless source of support while I was getting my head around breastfeeding.
- The Australian Breastfeeding Association: www.breastfeeding.asn.au
- Parenting Australia: www.parentingaustralia.com.au