The reality for most pregnant women is that breastfeeding is not normal. It certainly was not for me.
Ireland has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding in Europe. It’s a fact that we simply cannot deny.
The reality for most pregnant women is that breastfeeding
is not normal. It certainly was not for me.
Things are improving every day and it is really important that we continue to help normalise breastfeeding so that our friends and family members who become pregnant at least consider it to be something that is normal
As a breastfeeder you are naturally helping to shift the stigma of breastfeeding. You are doing your bit to normalise it for so many other people simply by breastfeeding your baby
But there are some things you can do, perhaps more specifically, that could really make an impact and help normalise breastfeeding in both your own circle and in the wider Irish society.
1. Breastfeeding anytime, any place and anywhere. Let’s face it, our babies can and will be hungry at any time of the day no matter how inconvenient it may seem. Try to avoid breastfeeding in private places and tucked away from every other person around. You want to feel comfortable but just one pregnant mum may discretely notice you breastfeeding and it might become a consideration for her in the future when she sees it happening so naturally.
2. When you come across an interesting blog post or article about breastfeeding share it on social media. It may reach a couple of people who may never have considered breastfeeding and it could make all the difference.
3. Help support someone who is struggling with breastfeeding. They may be on the brink of giving up but a friendly face and some time and energy could make all the difference. You may have spotted a post on a breastfeeding support group. Simply replying or sending that person a private message could be really powerful. She’ll thank you for it.
4. Talk about the positives of breastfeeding. When someone asks you are you breastfeeding do not be afraid to mention the closeness and how handy it is to be able to feed the baby without a seconds thought. There are so many positives.
5. Take your baby to restaurants, cafes and food markets when you feel comfortable. Normalise the fact that you can get out and about with your baby. It may really open up other people’s eyes.
6. Mention it when you can. It doesn’t have to be a broken down record but the more you mention it the more people that will hear. You might be surprised by just how many people there are in your life that don’t know you breastfed.
7. Talk openly about breastfeeding to your other children. They will grow up with an inbuilt understanding that breastfeeding is the normal way to feed a baby.
8. Don’t be afraid to talk about the times you struggled. This may help another mum because if she struggles she may consider that it is different for her or somehow not working. Talking about the times you struggled and how there was a breastfeeding solution for a breastfeeding issue is really important.
Let’s be real.
Tracey is a happy mammy to four-year-old Billy. She is a breastfeeder, gentle parent and has recently lost five stone so healthy family eating is her passion! You can find her at www.loveofliving.com.