World Breastfeeding Week may be ending today, but that didn't stop Hilaria Baldwin from giving it a very public shout out. On Thursday, the mom of two shared a sweet photo on Instagram showing her nursing seven-week-old son Rafael. In the tender pic, the baby is in a full-on milk coma, sleeping contentedly on (and still attached to) Baldwin's chest as she cradles him to her belly.
"Rafa's favorite spot," she wrote. "There is no one right way to feed our babies, but this week marks #nationalbreastfeedingweek and I would like to extend my support to mothers who have taken this path."
Her encouraging post couldn't come at a better time. The focus of this year's World Breastfeeding Week is on helping moms combine breastfeeding and work, a juggling act that's often complicated by an unsupportive work environment, as one of my colleagues recently pointed out. But it's not much easier away from the office. Women continue to be shamed on social media, kicked out of stores, and publicly dressed down for nursing or pumping outside the home.
Just as troubling? Mamas are reportedly quitting breastfeeding earlier than they expected. According to a recent international study conducted by breastfeeding accessories manufacturer Lansinoh, the top three reasons for the attrition rate are pain, learning how to do it and figuring how to often to feed baby.
To be fair, nursing isn't always easy, nor is it the best choice for every woman—a fact Baldwin readily acknowledges in her post. "In the end," she wrote, "regardless of our methods, #AllMommiesUnite and whatever way we love and nurture our children is beautiful, perfect and inspiring."
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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.
Balancing Work & Breastfeeding
Photo courtesy of Hilaria Baldwin via Instagram