Recently, Mothering Magazine put the call out for someone to create an international breastfeeding symbol. After a series of voting rounds the winner was selected (see right). The idea is that it can be used in Airports and Malls and the like to alert parents to Family rooms and breastfeeding friendly areas.
I love it. I think that it is simple and clear and (if you’re sensitive about these things) doesn’t imply that all babies are bottle fed. I wonder if it will catch on and if we’ll start seeing it in airports around the country.
It also started me thinking about my own experience with breastfeeding. I knew from the start that I wanted to breastfeed. I think that God did a pretty good job designing the human body to do what it needs to do. Why pass up something nutritional and so convenient? And with the cost of formula, and the time and energy needed to wash bottles breastfeeding seemed like the best decision for us.
When we learned that Catherine would have to hang out in the hospital for a while I was worried that I’d have trouble nursing her. I was adamant that she not get formula, and luckily, the NICU doctors agreed with me. I was able to express breastmilk, freeze it and bring it to the hospital. Catherine was able to take it first by NG/feeding tube and then by bottle.
Once she had her IVs removed we started to attempt breastfeeding. We had a tricky start. We had some latch issues. It was nothing that some practice and patience couldn’t cure. By the time she left the hospital we had stopped using the bottles and were well on our way to figuring things out together. It was tough, it was tiring, it was frustrating, but in the end was well worthwhile. We’ve had a seven month breastfeeding relationship that is still going strong.
During Catherine’s first two weeks I was fortunate to meet with a couple wonderful Lactation Consultants who helped us with the learning curve. Now that we’re doing well I find myself wanting to encourage other women who are breastfeeding or who want to nurse their babies. The LCs are all registered nurses, so I can’t do it in a professional capacity. I’ll have to stick with the old fashioned route and support others by example and by offering encouragement to those I know personally.
Do any of our readers have thoughts on this topic? I’d love to hear what you think.