First of all, apologies for not getting this post up yesterday, or even this morning; I was at a family reunion, and then one kerfuffle (thanks Amy for the new word) after another came up on my radar, and I didn’t have a chunk of time to concentrate. My kids were out of whack by the time we spilled out of the car, and I have been trying to do a better job of setting clear boundaries between BfB and family time (often unsuccessfully, as I am known to sneak in a text or email reply on a trip to the loo) . . . so here we are, with the first day of World Breastfeeding Week already waning. Anyhoo . . .
We are really excited about World Breastfeeding Week’s theme this year, which is “Just 10 steps. The Baby Friendly Way” As the Motherwear Blog so persuasively explained, only 8% of our nations hospitals follow just six of those steps. Only 3% follow all of them as designated by the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. The hospital booby traps are so ginormous that most moms can’t breastfeed exclusively for the first three days, let alone the first 6 months recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. We are working hard to raise awareness of the hospital booby traps (the link I reference most often is this one), and have also developed a close relationship with Baby Friendly USA. We will be dedicating a separate blog post to our thoughts on Baby-Friendly, and what we can all do to advance it.
If you are expecting or thinking of starting a family, the single most important thing you can do, long before you go to the hospital or maternity center, give birth at home, or waltz the Ten Steps, is to PREPARE. This means educating yourself so you can make an informed feeding decision and then arming yourself with the tools that will inspire, prepare and empower you to achieve your personal breastfeeding goals.
One of the most powerful tools we have come across since starting Best for Babes is the Simply Breastfeeding DVD by Shari Criso. We are thrilled that in honor of World Breastfeeding Week (and months August and September around the world); Shari is making the entire class available online FREE of charge . . . a savings of $29.99 as available on Babies R Us . . . through September 30th! When I first saw Shari’s DVD, I jumped up on the couch, Tom Cruise style, because it is the first full-length class on DVD that I’ve seen that every expecting mother can use to gain confidence, information, and be reassured. We endorsed it because it is a best-in-class tool but also because it is modern, non-judgmental, and very importantly, not boring! Not all breastfeeding classes are teaching evidence-based, unbiased information, in a way that commands interest and attention, and not all moms have access to that information. Shari has a tremendous track record helping clients near a hospital that is a black hole for breastfeeding, and has some jaw-dropping (literally for those babies!) new techniques. (We are hoping to find a researcher and funding to create a study that will examine whether watching the DVD will improve breastfeeding rates; based on anecdotal evidence, we think it does! Shari’s clients have been known to sneak the DVD into the hospital and watch it on their laptops after delivery for help with latches etc.) Here’s where we need your help: We would love to have 10,000 people (expecting moms, dads, grandmas, friends, health professionals) watch the class during the next two months, so Shari can make a case to her sponsors to make the class available free permanently. Please share the free online video with your expecting and new mom friends! We’re interested to hear what you think!
We’ll also be celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with lots of hot info, super style, glam giveaways, and actions you can take! We have a fabulous new celebrity interview coming out, a new line-up of great products that boost your breastfeeding or advocacy style or comfort while helping to grow our cause, and lots of love for our wonderful supporters—from our nearly 7,000 moms on Facebook to the companies and nonprofits that believe in us to all of those who have helped spread the word, donate or help us in some way–you all make it possible for us to do the work we do. This World Breastfeeding Week, we celebrate ♥YOU♥!!