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.
More from HuffPost Canada:
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?
It's #worldbreastfeedingweek so I am posting this #oldiebutgoodie because this is often what #breastfeeding looks like and ya'll know I am all about #realmomlife. This has basically been what my life has looked like for the past 8 years... children attached to me, surrounded by messes and just trying to have a minute to myself. As a matter a fact, as I type this, I am breastfeeding my 18 month old, toys are all over the floor and the other 3 of my children are within arms length of me...Can mommy get a minute??? #motherhooduncensored #momtruth #breastfeedingmama . . . . #breastfedtoddler #blackmomsbreastfeed #breastfed #momlifeyo #momof4 #momofatoddler #momofboys #momofaprincess #motherhoodlife
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
It's #worldbreastfeedingweek & I'm sharing a #behindthescenes secret 🤫 Being a #workingmom on TV has it's challenges...one of which is how to pump milk while we are on air for 4.5 hours (soon to be 5.5 hours) straight! I don't want to leave our viewers without their forecast and I don't want to leave Jenna without her food...so this is what I do. From the weather center, with a fanny pack, vest, and a little magic... I pump AND talk over my graphics on live TV! #multitasking
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 💪)
Happy World Breastfeeding Week! 💦We want to hear your stories.... the nitty gritty, the highs, the lows, the real life in the trenches stories. The first lie that we are told is that breastfeeding is easy..... let's change this conversation and lift each other up.... while truthfully painting a picture but catching each other in a web of support and love. 💗 One of our mindful mama's @ashleesourapas started a blog and this is her topic this week. Jump on over to her page to link to her new blog. #worldbreastfeedingweek #normalizebreastfeeding #postpartum #postbaby #postpartumdepression #breastfeeding #breastfeedingmama #breastfeedingproblems #breastfeedingmom #breastfedbabies #breastfeeder
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.
Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding is crucial for the health of our planet and its people. Wherever you are, you can inform, anchor, engage and galvanise on #breastfeeding as the #FoundationOfLife#WBW2018@world_midwives— Canadian Midwives (@Canadamidwives) August 1, 2018
Photo: Australia senator Larisa Walters pic.twitter.com/JcJZL63wIZ
Kicking off #WBW2018, this beautiful video from @WFP features Canadian Leader, Taleah and her younger son at just 19 days old! We know #bigthingsstartsmall and we're here to help every step of the way: https://t.co/6BISCSfqh4#breastfeeding#SDGs#WABA— LaLecheLeague Canada (@LLLCanada) August 1, 2018
But the best posts come from ordinary moms going about their ordinary days, helping to normalize breastfeeding one beautiful photo at a time.
It's World Breastfeeding Week 💕 📷: @pasagraphy - - - This week aims to highlight the huge benefits that breastfeeding can bring to both the health and welfare of babies, as well as a wider push for maternal health, focusing on good nutrition, poverty reduction and food security. - - - #renewmama #renewmamastudio #worldbreastfeedingweek #worldbreastfeedingweek2018 #onboardforbreastfeeding #breasfeedingfriendly #breastexpress #community #momlife #grmom #grkids #grandrapids #motherhood #mom #parenting #raisinglittles #joyfulmotherhood #dailymotherhood #gryoga #grbarre #yoga #prenatalyoga #postnatalyoga #kidsyoga #momandbabyyoga #wellness #fitpregnancy #instagood
Also on HuffPost:
🤱🏼It's world #breastfeeding week! How awesome is that? I had this picture in my mind that breastfeeding was easy, but it has been anything but. Let me caveat that with the fact that it has gotten a lot easier with time, but all breastfeeding mommas have those days where we want to throw in the towel. Hang in there reach out to your significant other and find a group of moms to talk to! Josiah and I are still going through our breastfeeding journey, 18 months later. It used to be cute when he would tug on my shirt a bit, but now it's a full on yank, not as cute but kind of funny. #momlife #breastfeedingproblems #worldbreastfeedingweek #toddlerlife #thisismotherhood #motherhoodandme #motherhoodunited