Yesterday, we asked Milk for Thought’s Facebook followers to tell us where they felt the most and least supported throughout their breastfeeding journeys. We received answers that ranged from hilarious to exciting to surprising (good and bad). We tallied them up, and here’s what we heard!
General themes that emerged …
- Dads are awesome! The most common answer for “most supportive” was your husband or partner, which is great to hear since the guys play such a significant role in nursing success! By contrast, only one person said her husband wasn’t very supportive. Good job dads! Watch the fascinating and funny videos we shot this summer — cool dads giving great support and advice!
- Moms need more love from their in-laws. While several people cited their in-laws as very supportive, this was certainly the most common answer for where moms felt the least supported. When in-laws find breastfeeding “weird” or “unnecessary,” it just shows we need to work harder to educate them before the baby comes in hope they’ll understand that breastfeeding moms need their love and support, no matter what. Love and support from mom can make all the difference — check out the moms who won’t let their daughters give up in these two great videos.
- Pediatricians & family physicians need breastfeeding education. We were saddened, although not super-surprised, to hear several moms say their doctors (or ex doctors!) told them they didn’t need to breastfeed or should wean after just a few months. In the past, we’ve also heard of doctors giving a mom formula and saying it is “easier,” or simply shrugging their shoulders when a pregnant mom asked about nursing. That sounds like pure misinformation and lack of education and training to us! Luckily, we’re really focused on collaborating with the amazing supporters out there who want to get those medical professionals educated and onboard with empowering breastfeeding moms instead of dissuading them. We shot some awesome videos this summer — watch to see how the right training can change a nurse or doctor’s mindset!
- Everyone needs to understand that breastfeeding a toddler is normal, natural and recommended. Plenty of moms in our poll mentioned strange looks or disapproval from in-laws or friends when they were nursing an older child. This is a common and recurring theme! It’s time to educate the public — and our loved ones — that the World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding “up to 2 years of age or beyond.”
Other interesting tidbits …
- Surprisingly, we didn’t hear much about breastfeeding in public! A few moms even gave shoutouts to breastfeeding-friendly businesses and staff in their communities! We think that’s progress!
- Moms and friends are mostly super-supportive, even if they didn’t breastfeed their own children.
- Employers need to educate themselves and their employees that allowing moms short breaks in a comfortable, private place for pumping isn’t just necessary, it’s the law. And, moms shouldn’t be made to feel they’re “wasting time” or “slacking off.” Tell them to check out the Business Case for Breastfeeding or watch these videos of employers, moms and coworkers who have successfully supported breastfeeding in their workplaces!
- If you’re not getting outstanding support at home, find a mommy group, midwife/doula, awesome pediatrician, or IBCLC right away. These are your go-to women! Check out these awesome videos of real moms talking mother-to-mother support!
- Milk donation is still not well understood by most people outside the breastfeeding community. We need to promote HMBANA donation centers so more moms donate to those in need. These amazing moms and breastfeeding advocates are working to provide safe milk for at-risk infants!
- Pumping while traveling can be trying with the 3-ounce liquid limit at the airport! 🙂 Even government officials should know what’s up! That includes TSA workers!
Thanks to everyone who participated and gave insightful responses! And don’t forget to follow MFT on Facebook!