The 20th World Breastfeeding Week is being celebrated all over the world until August 7. There are many activities, resources and lots of fun happening all over the world. Check out the website for more information.

A recurring theme in the breastfeeding stories we receive here at Mama’s Milk Project, is that women’s breastfeeding experiences often end up being very different from their initial expectations and that these experiences profoundly affect how women view themselves and their bodies. 

In honour of World Breastfeeding Week 2012, Mama’s Milk Project is sharing some of these stories. Please get in touch with us to share your own!

Breastfeeding has been way more amazing than I imagined.  It’s been a really special part of my bonding experience with Gabriel.  It’s also been cool to have totally brand new physical sensations (like let-down) at age 35.  It’s also been a fun way to watch him grow – from a nearly totally passive newborn, to a bright and active 7-month old. Now he likes to “help” 😉 My milk came in late and slow, and the midwives were concerned about Gabriel’s weight loss and borderline dehydration.  For weeks I had to co-feed formula through a tube (lactation aid) taped to my breast.  Gabriel was getting all the milk I could make as well as the formula coming through a tube alongside my nipple.  I was also pumping for an extra ten minutes on each side to try to get my supply up.  Herbs and acupuncture also helped.  Because of the lactation aid, breastfeeding was a two-person ordeal for some time and I needed (and got) a lot of help. It was stressful and exhausting.  I’m so glad we made it through.  Things are going so well now that it’s actually hard to remember how hard that time was.

–Rebekah

I had no idea, however, what breastfeeding would mean to me after my daughter was born. It was about so much more than food. And suddenly I deeply regretted the shock and negativity I had previously felt when I heard about friends who breastfed way into toddlerhood or the thoughts of how I would wean at 9 months to make it ‘easier on me to go back to work.’

–Jess

I never realized that breastfeeding would change me the way that it has.  I have become very passionate about breastfeeding and I try to inform as many people about it as I can. The bond that I have experienced with my children through breastfeeding has been amazing.

–Lisa

I only ever thought I would breastfeed for the first three months.  And I hated the idea of breastfeeding in public.  Now I can’t believe I ever thought either of those things.  I just had no experience with people who breastfed.

–Jessica