Shifting The Culture In The Way We Talk About Feeding Our Babies #YOUAREBEST
by michelle clookie
A few weeks ago when talking to a fellow blogger about World Breastfeeding Week, I was asked “Is the campaign #fedisbest or #breastisbest?”. This question flustered me, and at first I was irritated and felt defensive, and then I just felt sad. The reasons stem from the fact that I believe whole heartedly in both. Yes, I believe breast feeding is awesome, it is my work. I spend hours each week, one on one with families helping them overcome their breastfeeding challenges and, even more, helping them feel empowered in their abilities and choices. I believe in the science that breastmilk is best for our babies. I also 1000% know that not all moms are able to breastfeed their babies, or sometimes need to use both formula and breastmilk. Some moms choose to exclusively pump, and for mental health reasons (and a host of other reasons) some moms choose to not breastfeed their babies at all.
Here’s the thing, I want every Mom to breastfeed their babies, I want every baby to get the best nutrition possible. I also want every Mom to know they are enough, even if those things don’t happen. So, as we kick off World Breastfeeding Week, I want to do it with a heart that sees all mothers, because really, the truth is that #YOUAREBEST
I see you Mama, who may not make enough milk despite all the lactation appointments and herbs and pumping and tears. You are enough!
I see you Mama, who makes so much milk that you donate to your friends and community. You are a gift, and you are enough!
I see you Mama, who worked hard to breastfeed that baby for 3 months, YOU ARE AMAZING and you are enough.
I see you Mama, with a sweet little babe in the NICU, and you are doing all you can to hold it together. Whatever you can do is enough, YOU are enough!
I see you Mama, who is breastfeeding your toddler. You are enough!
I see you Mama, who, for whatever reason, chose to not breastfeed. I honor your decision to choose what helped you thrive as Mother. You are enough!
I see you Mama, advocating for normalizing breastfeeding, I salute you and stand with you!
I see you Mama, who may feel shame or guilt when someone asks you about how you feed your baby. The way you feed your baby doesn’t determine your worth as a Mom, and you are enough!
I see you Mama, who are the first in your family to breastfeed, and may feel alone and unsupported. You can do hard things, and you are enough!
I see you Mama, pumping at work and getting frustrated looks from co-workers. You are supported, and you are enough!
Mothers are warriors, and no matter how you feed your baby #YOUAREBEST
Michelle Clookie is a Lactation Consultant, and also works for the Postpartum Health Alliance supporting families in their parenting journey. As a Lactation Consultant, Michelle works to help families reach their unique goals for feeding their babies, and is passionate about normalizing all things motherhood. Michelle also works to provide Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder (PMADs) awareness by providing families, and clinicians with education through the work she does with the San Diego Postpartum Health Alliance. Before shifting her work focus after her first born, Michelle spent 9 years in non-profit working as a Training and Development Director. Michelle, along with her husband Jeremy, live in San Diego with their daughter Charlotte (4 years), son Beckett (2 years), and baby number 3 due this Fall!
You can follow on Instagram or visit her website www.michelleclookie.co