Breastfeeding: It Takes A Village

Today marks the beginning of World Breastfeeding Week! If you've been around my blog for awhile you'll know that I'm a big proponent of breastfeeding. All this week I'll have different breastfeeding themed posts and giveaways. Be sure to check back in! Today you'll be hearing from Jenny from Mom Loves Best:

One of my favorite weeks of the year is finally here, 10 points if you guessed it, World Breastfeeding Week! This year's awareness week is happening from August 1-7 and is dedicated to "working together for the common good."

It's amazing to think that since the beginning of time humans have literally survived on breast milk. But, babies aren't the only ones who get benefits from liquid gold. To celebrate this prestigious occasion, I wanted to see just how many benefits of breastfeeding I could find. The results were shocking. Over one hundred and eleven scientifically proven reasons for mothers to choose the breast, not only for their babies but themselves and those around them too. If you would like to learn more about these benefits, then keep reading below.

More Milk Please

No doubt about it that babies love breast milk. Breast milk helped my babies to sleep well and get the rest they needed. I could never resist snuggling with my babies after they finished nursing and had that milk-drunk face. And as you may already know, breast milk has some pretty incredible health benefits for babies. Such as lower risks of respiratory infections, meningitis, Chron's diseases, allergies, cancers, weak immune systems and even sudden infant death syndrome.

Babies Protect Their Mamas

Cancer is one scary six letter word. When I found out breastfeeding could protect me from breast, uterine, endometrial, ovarian, thyroid and esophagus cancer; I was ready to breastfeed forever! But seriously, how cool is it that breastfeeding protects you just as much as it protects your baby? Plus, because I breastfed I was able to fit back into my old clothes much quicker after having my baby. Who would complain about dropping that extra pregnancy weight? Not me.

Bootstrapping Your Baby

Everyone knows having a baby is expensive, no secret there. But breastfeeding can help you save money, between $800-$3000 within the first year to be exact. And that's just when you take the cost of formula into consideration. Breastfed babies and their mothers tend to be sick less often, take less sick days and even have higher workplace productivity. That means less medical bills, lower insurance premiums and simply put - more moolah.

Working Together For the Common Good

Did you know that the UNICEF estimates up to 1,300,000 lives a year could be saved from increased rates of breastfeeding? But the truth is, when you first start, it isn't all sunshine and rainbows. I know when I got started with my first child, it was tough! Thankfully, I had a network of great friends and a lactation consultant that prevented me from throwing in the towel and giving up. Without them, I would have never succeeded.

This is why I believe celebrating World Breastfeeding Week is so important to help raise awareness. Because without the necessary support systems in place for mothers, they are doomed to fail before they even start. So I urge you, take the time to lend a helping hand to a breastfeeding mother, not only this week but whenever you can. Celebrate them. Give them a high-five. Show them your support. Because it truly does take a village to breastfeed.

About the Author

Jenny Silverstone is the mother of two, a writer and a breastfeeding advocate. You can find her blogging at Mom Loves where she aims to help new mothers deal with and overcome common breastfeeding struggles, like low milk supply, engorgement and returning to work.

It Always Happens All At Once

Being a mom is not for the faint of heart, especially when you have multiple small kiddos. I've written before about Murphy's Law for Big Families (everything that can happen, will happen...generally at the same time) and the other day provided another perfect example of just how insane my life gets sometimes. While on the phone with my husband, these things all happened within seconds of each other:

- My one year old pooped and voiced her opinion on it. Loudly. She's also at that fun stage right now where changing her is like changing an octopus - she's trying to stick her hands in the diaper, then flailing all over the place, attempting to roundhouse kick me in the get the idea.

- Someone spilled Kool-Aid in the dining room and I walked right into it on my way to change the baby's diaper. And of course it's red. (You'd think I'd stop buying RED anything by now.)

- As soon as I got the smelly diaper open, the four year old (Zac) popped open a blister on his foot after he hit it on the edge of the couch. He started screaming. And we are talking full-out-banshee-witch-someone-is-being-murdered-in-the-next-room screaming. My darling Zac is his own unique person. He has two volumes: INSANELY LOUD and...asleep.

- My oldest son started yelling, "MOM, WE NEED YOU! ZAC'S BLEEDING!" And in his defense, Zac was bleeding pretty profusely. (He bleeds more than all of my kids and myself combined. Don't ask how I know this...hint: this is not our first bloody injury with him.)

- While Zac was screaming and I was wrist deep in poop, the super busy two year old (Hezzy) snuck into the bathroom - because someone left the door open - and unraveled an entire container of floss that was on the counter from our dentist visit yesterday. He can reach stuff on counters now, FYI.

- I was able to get the diaper changed in record time while Zeke started cleaning up Zac's foot and Ellie picked up the floss with Hezzy. I then got Zac successfully bandaged up. It was an A+ Team Effort on our part! Go Team Addison!

- But to finish it all up, the baby escaped & crawled through the spilled Kool-Aid. #FAIL

Moral of the story: don't talk on the phone.