Some of you may wonder why breastfeeding is so close to my heart. Well, the answer is quite simple. I love babies. I love mommies. The optimal method of feeding for babies and mommies is breastfeeding. The health benefits for mother and child are immense and cannot be ignored. Therefore, I love breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding has become an essential part of my life. Not only because this is how I fed both of my children. I have also decided to become a La Leche League leader. And a doula. So breastfeeding has become a huge part of my professional life as well. I may even become a certified lactation consultant one day.
The reason I want to help women with breastfeeding is because it has become a lost art form. Most women- a whopping 75% of them!- start out breastfeeding, but are unsuccessful somewhere along the way. There is hardly any support available to them. Lactation consultants are rare commodities and most health professionals have received little to no lactation education. These women need support and help- I want to provide that for them as best I can.
The so called 'boobie traps' are endless when it comes to successfully nursing your baby. So many ladies run into trouble at some point in their breastfeeding relationship and give up due to lack of support. Formula companies are just ready to help these mothers out, subtly plugging their products from the time the mother first enters the doctor’s office for her prenatal visits...
It is sad to me that most children don’t know how babies are naturally fed. They think babies have to eat from bottles because that is all they see. In every media form available- be it books, television, magazines, etc.-, babies are usually shown drinking milk from a bottle. Even a lot of grown-ups are not familiar with breastfeeding and seeing it makes them uncomfortable.
Part of my mission (I am using this word for lack of a better one…) in life is to change this. I want breastfeeding to be viewed as normal again. I want women to be able to feed their babies without having to fear judgment or harassment. Mostly, I want women to be successful in nursing their children.
This is who I am now. It is not going to go away. I am Vivien, the breastfeeding advocate. I don’t talk about it excessively, I don’t write about it as much as I want to. I would never ask a stranger how they are feeding their babies or if they intend to breastfeed. However, I will always be available to women who need help. I understand that this makes some people uncomfortable, but they will just have to reevaluate their own emotions. There have not been too many things to be proud of in my life, but this is definitely one of them. I care deeply for babies and I will always fight for what is best for them.