PARENTS
08/02/2018 13:13 EDT | Updated 08/02/2018 14:10 EDT

World Breastfeeding Week: Photos From Everyday Moms Who Get It Done

The multitasking is seriously impressive.

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It's World Breastfeeding Week and parents, public figures, and organizations around the globe are taking to social media — many of them, we assume, while holding babies to their chests — to celebrate.

(There's nothing like feeding a child from your own body every few hours for months, or even years, to make you very good at multi-tasking. We're looking at you, mamas currently reading this article on their phones with one hand, wrangling a milk-drunk baby in the other, and also somehow ordering this week's groceries on Amazon and booking your entire family's dentist appointments before switching boobs).

World Breastfeeding Week, which is coordinated by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, is from August 1 to 7 every year. Its purpose is to inform people about breastfeeding's health and economic benefits, anchor breastfeeding as "the foundation of life," engage with people and organizations for bigger impact, and galvanize action to "advance breastfeeding as a part of good nutrition, food security and poverty reduction," according to the WBW website.

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For a lot of moms who took to social media, World Breastfeeding Week is an opportunity to get real about what modern breastfeeding can look like. And the photos are stunning, hilarious, real, and impressive.

Remember what we said about multitasking?

Happy #worldbreastfeedingweek! I nursed all three of my boys. Yes, I fed them with my breasts (gasp). And I fed them well into toddlerhood (super gross, right?!). But seriously....the judgment I received for doing what felt like the most natural, beautiful thing in the world was stifling. People would comment, "You're still doing that?" I'd come back with an argument about how the World Health Organization recommends #breastfeeding until child is at least 2. I'd explain the benefits of how it helps their immune system, is good for their gut flora, brings comfort to them. Blah. Blah. Blah. Looking back, I know that my only answer should have simply been, "Yep." Mama—You don't owe anyone an explanation. Nurse your baby for as long as you both feel comfortable. Follow your gut. You know what works for you and your babies. You'll know when it is time to wean. Listen, the female body is absolutely epic. Keep on making that milk! And if you didn't nurse your baby, that's freaking okay, too. Why are people so quick to judge how you feed your baby? Judged if you do breastfeed, judged if you don't. Is your baby fed? Is your baby happy? Are you happy? Yep. The only answer you need is "Yep." #getmomstrong #breastfeedingmama #twinmom #milkmaker #nursingmom #worldbreastfeedingweek2018 #momswhobreastfeed #fedisbest #mom #momlife #motherhood

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It was also an opportunity to talk about the challenges of breastfeeding — including pain and pumping — and how it isn't "easy" or "natural" for everyone.

The most natural thing in the world........ 😂🤣🤣🤣🤣 Happy #worldbreastfeedingweek. For what it's worth, boobing my babies was both devastatingly hard and really lovely. Tongue tie, low milk supply, bitta pnd for the craic, the first go around was one of the most profoundly disappointing periods of my life. I think because I'd never seen the reality of mammary milking (or mothering for that matter) I just absolutely annihilated myself for "failing" at this natural, supposedly-essential-for-bonding thing. Eventually things came together with combination feeding which worked really well for us. The second go around was a totally different story - so much easier - but did still involve a fair bit of Googling 'nipple thrush' and the like! Please don't @ me for depicting breastfeeding as a struggle, this is my experience and it has value for others even if it's not the usual breast is best narrative. A week of awareness and celebration of breastfeeding is so important but I feel it's also an opportunity to tell lots of stories about it, especially if there's a woman (see above) suctioned on to a pump and a baby and thinking she's doing something wrong cuz it doesn't feel bondy or look Instagram-worthy, boobing looks different for everybody. Also for the women who couldn't and wanted to who might find this week hard, I totally get that too. The main thing to remember with babies is: put stuff in the top, it comes out the bottom. Donzo! Also on @motherofpodcast we did a whole episode about feeding babies which is at the link in bio should you wish to hear my story about inter-species breastfeeding (obvious clickbait there 💪)

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Canadian Democratic Institutions Minister Karina Gould chimed in on Twitter. In June, Gould made headlines for casually breastfeeding her baby in the House of Commons during question period.

And the Canadian Paediatric Society, Canadian Association of Midwives, and La Leche League Canada took to Twitter to point out the health benefits of breastfeeding.

But the best posts come from ordinary moms going about their ordinary days, helping to normalize breastfeeding one beautiful photo at a time.

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