What does Breastfeeding look like?

It’s world breastfeeding week and social media is exploding with pictures of moms and babies nursing. When people talk about breastfeeding it’s a vision of a mom and baby gazing into each others eyes in love, while baby nurses calmly away. It’s the picture we see on pamphlets and advertising. In actuality breastfeeding can and does look very different. Are there moments of serene calm? Sure, but all relationships are different and so will yours with our baby. As well as babies get older and more mobile calm, serene nursing sessions become less and less of a reality.  Lets take a look at all the different ways babies drink momma milk. .

 

The exclusive on the breast-breastfeeder. These nursing duos don’t use pumps or bottles. Baby gets every session straight from the source, either by their choice or moms. Some babies refuse to take any sort of bottle, some moms just don’t want to wash extra pump and bottle parts. Some of these moms cover up and some simply pull their tops out of the way to accommodate baby.

The exclusive pumpers. Opposite to those that only drink from a breast, these moms pumps every single bottle. These moms are some of my superhero. The time commitment to pump, wash bottle and pump parts and feed babies boggles my mind.  Moms that exclusively pump are usually working, so taking her breaks to make a meal for baby in sometimes less then ideal environments, it’s nothing short of amazing.

The combo feeders. Combo feeders get just that a combination of breastmilk and artificial milk. This can looks so many different ways, whether it’s a split combination of both, whether baby gets both types of milking bottles, or drinking from bottles some times and from the breast at others.  This type of feeding really shows that breastfeeding is not all or nothing and can be changed as what works best for your family and situation.

The SNS feeder. An SNS or supplemental nursing system is a small tube that mom can place on her breast and baby gets milk from both the breast and the syringe attached to the tube. This is a great option for babies that need more milk but still want to be on the breast. It’s also a great alternative for moms that simply don’t have milk from either previous surgery or other reasons.

Donor Milk.  A lot of babies don’t drink their own moms breastmilk. There are so many women who are able to pump more than their own babies need and donate this milk to other families.

This week lets all celebrate all the types of ways babies get breastmilk. Celebrate wether your baby feeds from breast or bottle. Celebrate wether you nursed for 1 session or until self weaning.

 

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