Breastfeeding starts off as an intimate dance between you and your baby, but pretty soon most moms are feeling ready to re-enter society. Or you’re not feeling quite ready but you realize you need some support. Either way, one of the best ways to ease out of your babymoon is to find some other nursing moms to hang out with so you can nurse your baby with other women.Whether that’s at a new mom’s group, a coffee shop date with some parents you met in your childbirth classes, or at an event like the Big Latch On on August 5th and 6th, there are more reasons than you may realize to get together with other nursing moms.
- You can get tips and tricks. You may be able to benefit from other women who are a little ahead of you in the breastfeeding journey, like the mom who has finally healed from cracked nipples, or has just navigated the return-to-work challenges, or who is beginning to introduce solids. There’s so much knowledge and wisdom you can get from other women, and it’s natural for women to share this wisdom when they get together. You may feel like a novice but pretty soon, you’ll be sharing what you know, too!
- Support helps. New parents need support, and other new parents are sometimes just the squad you want behind you. Cultivating a support network of breastfeeding parents can help you tap into the support for one of the biggest and most daunting tasks of early parenthood: nourishing and sustaining this human being you have just brought into the world! Reach out to friends and other moms in your childbirth and breastfeeding classes for starters. Chances are, they are looking for peer support as well.
- You’re hormonally hardwired to make friends. Mothers and babies secrete and respond to the hormone oxytocin while nursing. According to the scientific report, Hormonal Physiology of Childbearing, oxytocin, “promotes calm, connection, healing, and growth; … reduces fear, stress, and stress hormones; and increases sociability.” Being around so much oxytocin can make you calm and connected, which is a great way to make or deepen friendships with other mothers.
- It normalizes breastfeeding for you. Even though we realize that breastfeeding is natural, and it’s how our babies eat, that doesn’t mean that it’s easy to nurse in public. Being with other breastfeeding moms can just make you more comfortable as you find your nursing-in-public stride.
- It normalizes breastfeeding for society. The #BigLatchOn, and any time moms get together to feed our babies, makes breastfeeding – and motherhood – more visible and reminds the public that all parents have the right to feed and love their babies in public.