August 1st-7th was an exciting week at Mama & Me, as we celebrated World Breastfeeding Week 2014! The festivities began on Friday the 1st with our kickoff “Milk & Cookies” event, part of the Global Big Latch On. The Big Latch On is a multinational effort to set the world record for the most women record to be breastfeeding at a time. Women all over the world latched their babies on from 10:30-10:31am local time and registered locations sent in their numbers in for counting. Mama & Me counted 19 babies latched on for the official time frame, but only 18 breastfeeding moms. How can that be? One amazing mom was nursing not one, but TWO toddlers at once! What did she do after she was done with her toddlers? Why, latched her third baby, of course! Cookies were eaten, milk was consumed by lots of babies, and fun was had by all. Thanks to the talented Arielle Doneson, who got some fantastic photo footage of the event!
The following Sunday evening, we screened Breastmilk—The Movie, a fascinating documentary on the culture of breastfeeding in the United States.
On Monday the 4th, we held our Breastfeeding Story Slam. Seven brave mamas got up and told gripping stories with titles including “Breast Intentions,” “A Tongue-Tie Tale,” “BF BFFs,” and “The Last Latch.” We laughed, we cried, we broke down stigmas. Toddlers were underfoot and throwing bouncy balls everywhere. It was overwhelming in the best ways.
Here is an excerpt from our story slam winner, Bonnibel:
But, Monday, June 23rd 2014, you said goodbye and I didn’t even know. There were no family, no cameras, nothing to remind me about that day except for that feeling. You know, the one where you feel left out. Suddenly, my breast friend club card was revoked and I lost the privilege to whip out my nipple and shout to the world, “Look! This is what these are for. Isn’t it the most beautiful thing you ever saw?” Your small but strong hand pushed me away and it was as if my super hero cape was ripped off my neck while I was mid-flight. I went spiraling down, flailing my arms, trying to reach for anything that would keep you latched.
But Monday, June 23rd 2014 was your final latch. And the only tears at this goodbye event were my own. Your small but strong hands were lifting you up to new places. You were moving on. And it was up to me to move on too. Maybe my super hero cape was just replaced with a new one. Because bringing you into this world was our epic adventure that will always keep us connected. Latch or no latch, I can still look at you and say, “Hey, look at us! Aren’t we beautiful?
We ended the week with our Thursday Lactation Support Group, which was free during Breastfeeding Week (normally $10 drop-in), followed by a discussion about Breastfeeding Beyond Infancy. The room was packed full of nursing toddlers and their moms, as we shared our experiences, asked questions, and received guidance from Certified Lactation Counselor, Divya Kumar.
We can’t wait to celebrate again next year! Thank you so much to all the moms, babies, toddlers, dads, and community members who joined us for these fun events!