We are delighted to help to support, normalise, and promote breastfeeding through our upcoming book of breastfeeding stories. This book is unlike any other that we have seen available and will serve to convey a broader perspective of breastfeeding. The photographs and stories featured will provide a range of insights into what it is like to breastfeed – beyond the mere mechanics of it – and dive deeper into the various means of breastfeeding, supports within and outside the home (familial support, support of lactation consultants, breastfeeding groups, etc.), stories of ease when it comes to breastfeeding, as well as stories where struggles have been faced and overcome.
We are bringing the ‘village’ to those who may not already have one. It is our hope that, through this broader and deeper view of breastfeeding, others will gain a greater understanding of its importance and be able to make more of an emotional connection to breastfeeding than perhaps would have otherwise occurred.
Our aim is to have these books make their way into homes throughout Ireland (and beyond), offices of lactation consultants, the various maternity hospitals, GP and PHN offices, physiotherapist offices, craniosacral therapy offices, and made available to other business owners who are supportive of breastfeeding (including cafes that offer books for their customers to enjoy, fitness facilities offering pre- and post-natal services, offices of family solicitors, etc.). Equally, we would love to see this book make its way into support group libraries (such as that of La Leche League), as well as be featured at Baby Fairs and Markets throughout the country.
We believe that the more that breastfeeding is able to be seen and understood – whether in the home space or while engaging with businesses – the more accepted and normal it will become. This is why we have made every effort to remove any thoughts of limitation around where this book may find a home.
STORIES, PERSPECTIVES, AND EXPERIENCES
Our intention is to document and convey varying perspectives when it comes to breastfeeding. Please note that it is not our intention to categorize individuals or place them in some unnecessary box; we do, however, want to ensure that we stay true to our desire to provide a broader and deeper perspective when it comes to breastfeeding. Therefore, we have created a list of examples of these below. While fairly extensive, it is not an exhaustive list and we would love if you would help in bringing to our awareness any gaps in important perspectives or experiences which we may have missed.
Individuals who are/have:
-Using assisted feeding methods
-Harvesting colostrum (we would also love the opportunity to capture the first few feeds directly after birth – whether after a free birth, home birth, or in the hospital, etc.)
-Feeding younger babies
-Feeding babies who are also starting solids
-Breastfeeding while trying to conceive
-Making the choice to breastfeed after having conceived through IVF
-Feeding while pregnant
-Feeding via induced lactation (for example, adoptive mothers or families with two mothers)
-Breastmilk sharing (baby being fed directly by someone else or via donated milk)
-Donating breast milk in memory of a baby who has passed
-Breastfeeding and have experienced cancer (for example, those who have breastfed their baby, relied on donor milk during treatments, and then returned to breastfeeding or stories in which an individual faced cancer but was able to keep feeding throughout treatment and recovery)
-Working and breastfeeding (in whatever form that may take – for example, working from home and breastfeeding, working outside of the home and pumping, working outside of the home and not pumping but still feeding before and after, etc.)
-From a multigenerational breastfeeding background
-From a family in which they are the first relative they know of to breastfeed
-Originally from a country other than Ireland
-Faced difficulties such as tongue tie, latch issues, cracked nipples, oversupply, undersupply, plugged ducts, mastitis, etc.
-Experienced having a baby whose weight loss was a concern (including those individuals who chose to top up and those who chose to continue to solely breastfeed)
-Dislike breastfeeding, but have continued to do so anyway
-Found it difficult at the start, but have overcome issues and now love breastfeeding
-Had very easy and positive experiences
-Breastfed continuously for many years while growing their family
-Those who knew from the start that they would breastfeed
-Those who hadn’t planned to breastfeed but ended up doing so
-Those who are comfortable feeding in public
-Those who are not comfortable feeding in public
-Availed of breastfeeding support(s)
-Breastfeeding counselors and consultants
-Any other experiences that you think we may have missed which are important to document in relation to breastfeeding
-We would also love to hear from relatives in multigenerational breastfeeding families, as well as those in which you may be the first known relative to breastfeed (to provide historical context and document how views of breastfeeding have changed over the years).
To our knowledge, a project like this has not yet been attempted in Ireland; therefore it is incredibly special and unique, though we would love for it to become the norm. We are delighted to be able to do our part to increase knowledge about breastfeeding, while also helping to normalise and support breastfeeding throughout the country and beyond.
Like to Contribute?
Do you have any amazing story or perspective that you would like to share? Complete our form here or get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve been asked by others how they can help, so we’ve put together a handy guide which can be accessed here. Read on to see how you can partner with us to support, normalise, and promote breastfeeding throughout Ireland (and beyond)!
We so appreciate your support!
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