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World Breastfeeding Week: Honoring the Beauty of Mothering our Babies

Newborn breastfeeding minutes after birth.
A beautiful breastfeeding session with Mace and his mama by Bellingham Photographer Renee Bergeron of Little Earthling Photography.

A Week to Celebrate Feeding Our Babes

I personally have a long history of breastfeeding. I have been blessed to breastfeed not only my nine homemade babies, but my two adopted babies as well.

My firstborn child breastfeeding her firstborn.
My firstborn breastfeeding her firstborn.

Breastfeeding was not without struggles for me. My firstborn was three weeks early and weighed only six pounds. She was tiny and struggled to breastfeed. Somehow, we made it through.

Newborn baby breastfeeding minutes after birth.

And I’ll be honest, I did not enjoy nursing my first baby. I did it because human milk for human babies, it was free, and it was (at times) convienent. Over the years I grew to appreciate the very special breastfeeding relationship more and more.

In 2002 and again in 2005 my husband and I adopted newborn babies while I was pregnant. Some people considered the timing crazy. We considered it perfect. I was able to breastfeed our two adopted babies to give them the best possible start in life.

World Breastfeeding Week fed is best even with a g-tube.

And while I have been able to breastfeed my eleven babies, I am also a firm believer in fed is best. My youngest son, Apollo, was born with a rare congenital heart defect (double aortic arch). He struggled to breastfeed and gain weight from day one. Finally, at 23 months old he had a g-tube placed so he could be fed (formula!) directly through his stomach. I was still able to breastfeed him, while tube feeding. In the end, he was breastfed for 2 1/2 years, the last six months while also being tube-fed formula.

All that to say, I completely understand that fed is best. But, since it is World Breastfeeding Week, I am going to share some of my all-time favorite breastfeeding images.

Mom nursing newborn baby at Bellingham Birth Center.
Bellingham birth photographer Renee Bergeron captures a beautiful homebirth.

Big sister Elaina feeds her mom after witnessing the birth of her little brother, Bennett.

Baby breastfeeding photo by Little Earthling Photography.

I had the honor of photographing Mace’s birth and then enjoyed a fun breastfeeding session. He was unsure of my camera but content and safe with his mama.

Doula Kristina nursing her newborn while playing with her toddler.

Local doula, Kristina, of North Cascade Doulas, plays with her toddler while breastfeeding her newborn son. Breastfeeding can be a difficult, trying time, but it can also bring the family closer together.

Newborn Wyatt nursing.

Why World Breastfeeding Week?

World Breastfeeding Week is celebrated every year in the first week of August to encourage breastfeeding and improve the health of babies around the world. Breastfeeding gives babies optimal nutrition and is easily digestible. Breastfeeding provides antibodies specifically designed to keep the baby healthy. Breastfeeding promotes healthy weight gain and raises a child’s IQ.

Mom breastfeeding baby after homebirth.
Baby nursing while in sling with mama.
Mom nursing newborn baby just after birth. World Breastfeeding Week.
Mom breastfeeding baby outdoors in woods.

You can see more photos of this outdoor breastfeeding session here.

Breastfeeding Resources

Sorry But I Don’t Love Breastfeeding is an honest article written by a doula who didn’t love breastfeeding her babies.

La Leche League

I Breastfed My Adopted Babies my personal story about breastfeeding my two adopted babies.

Kelly Mom has a great section on breastfeeding.

Great Breastfeeding Books

Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding

The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding

The Nursing Mother’s Companion

Products to Help With Breastfeeding

Haakkaa Manual Breast Pump This pump uses suction to stay on and passively collects breast milk while you feeding baby from the other breast.

Lanolin Cream helps prevents and heal damage to nipples.

Were you able to breastfeed your babies? Did you enjoy it?

And if you have any great breastfeeding resources please leave them in the comments!

1 Comment

  1. Carrie

    Our family started with adoption through either family member or foster care. Never thought I would ever give birth to a baby, but when our youngest of phase one was five I got pregnant and birthed my first homegrown baby, thus creating a phase two. I nursed her until I I was four months pregnant with second homegrown baby. Because I was of Advanced maternal age and a candidate for a second round of gestational diabetes, I slowly weaned first baby and eventually only nursed her at night, I think she was just over a year when she was mostly weaned. Second homegrown baby only nursed until four months…it was too distracting for her with older kids coming in and out and she was always staying awake until she couldn’t anymore. Very active and busy baby. When it became to difficult to nurse her as I couldn’t sit with my breast hanging out waiting for her to stay focused, I pumped as much as I could and formula fed her as well.

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