How Do Babes Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week?

First of all, apologies for not getting this post up yesterday, or even this morning; I was at a family reunion, and then one kerfuffle (thanks Amy for the new word) after another came up on my radar, and I didn’t have a chunk of time to concentrate.   My kids were out of whack by the time we spilled out of the car, and I have been trying to do a better job of setting clear boundaries between BfB and family time (often unsuccessfully, as I am known to sneak in a text or email reply on a trip to the loo) . . . so here we are, with the first day of World Breastfeeding Week already waning.   Anyhoo . . .

We are really excited about World Breastfeeding Week’s theme this year, which is “Just 10 steps.  The Baby Friendly Way”   As the Motherwear Blog so persuasively explained, only 8% of our nations hospitals follow just six of those steps.   Only 3% follow all of them as designated by the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative.    The hospital booby traps are so ginormous that most moms can’t breastfeed exclusively for the first three days, let alone the first 6 months recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.  We are working hard to raise awareness of the hospital booby traps (the link I reference most often is this one), and have also developed a close relationship with Baby Friendly USA.   We will be dedicating a separate blog post to our thoughts on Baby-Friendly, and what we can all do to advance it. 

If you are expecting or thinking of starting a family, the single most important thing you can do, long before you go to the hospital or maternity center, give birth at home, or waltz the Ten Steps, is to PREPARE.   This means educating yourself so you can make an informed feeding decision and then arming yourself with the tools that will inspire, prepare and empower you to achieve your personal breastfeeding goals.  

My Baby Experts Simply Breastfeeding DVD is now available FREE online until September 30!

 One of the most powerful tools we have come across since starting Best for Babes is the Simply Breastfeeding DVD by Shari Criso.   We are thrilled that in honor of World Breastfeeding Week (and months August and September around the world); Shari is making the entire class available online FREE of charge . . . a savings of  $29.99 as available on Babies R Us . . . through September 30th!    When I first saw Shari’s DVD, I jumped up on the couch, Tom Cruise style, because it is the first full-length class on DVD that I’ve seen that every expecting mother can use to gain confidence, information, and be reassured.   We endorsed it because it is a best-in-class tool but also because it is modern, non-judgmental, and very importantly, not boring!    Not all breastfeeding classes are teaching evidence-based, unbiased information, in a way that commands interest and attention, and not all moms have access to that information.   Shari has a tremendous track record helping clients near a hospital that is a black hole for breastfeeding, and has some jaw-dropping (literally for those babies!) new techniques.   (We are hoping to find a researcher and funding to create a study that will examine whether watching the DVD will improve breastfeeding rates; based on anecdotal evidence, we think it does!   Shari’s clients have been known to sneak the DVD into the hospital and watch it on their laptops after delivery for help with latches etc.)  Here’s where we need your help:   We would love to have 10,000 people (expecting moms, dads, grandmas, friends, health professionals) watch the class during the next two months, so Shari can make a case to her sponsors to make the class available free permanently.   Please share the free online video with your expecting and new mom friends!     We’re interested to hear what you think!       

We’ll also be celebrating World Breastfeeding Week with lots of hot info, super style, glam giveaways, and actions you can take!  We have a fabulous new celebrity interview coming out, a new line-up of great products that boost your breastfeeding or advocacy style or comfort while helping to grow our cause, and lots of love for our wonderful supporters—from our nearly 7,000 moms on Facebook to the  companies and nonprofits that believe in us to all of those who have helped spread the word, donate or help us in some way–you all make it possible for us to do the work we do.   This World Breastfeeding Week, we celebrate ♥YOU♥!!

8 thoughts on “How Do Babes Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week?

  1. WHOA! Coming to a grinding halt – Chapter 7, she advices timing feeds in the first week and restricting feeding length. NO WAY. Been there, done that. I thought we had all agreed that a well-attached baby will not damage nipples and therefore the length of feed doesn’t matter.

    There is some good material in this DVD, but this is a really disappointing recommendation. No mention of any evidence to support this claim.


    1. Hi Yvette,
      Thank you for taking the time to watch and review the program. You raised a very valid question and giving me the opportunity to explain is a huge contribution to others.

      I totally understand your concerns about my method of limiting the length (not the frequency) of the feedings in the early days before the milk actually comes in. I also was of the philosophy to let the baby just suck and suck as much as they wanted for all the years that I was a L&D Nurse and Nurse Midwife. I even did that with my own babies, and I know I had a good latch. It left me with cracked and bleeding nipples by day 5! When I became a lactation consultant, I started looking at the results that my clients were having as a result of following this same age-old advice. After reading everything there was to know about Lactogenesis II, how your milk supply is established and how little the baby actually needs to eat per feeding on day 1-3, I decided to try something different. Well, I can tell you, thousands of clients later, the only sore bleeding nipples I see are the ones that don’t follow my method. I can only report on what I see in my practice. I also do not see any decrease in milk production or delay in milk coming in. This is not to say that if you allow your baby to suck for 30-40 minutes on each breast starting with the first feeding you will definately end up sore, it is just a very common reason that moms give up on breastfeeding and I am looking for a simple solution. As I clearly state in the program, some of the techniques you will hear are my own opinion and practice. I have not had a formal research study done on this particular aspect but I certainly welcome it. I will ask some of my thousands of students to comment themselves on the results of using and following my method so you can hear directly from the successful breastfeeding moms themselves.
      Maybe things are different in Austrailia, but when I look at the abysimal 13% exclusive breastfeeding rate in our country, it makes me realize that we need to change many things. Maybe the way we are currently teaching is not working for most moms. I only know that my exclusive breastfeeding rates are at least 85% by 6 months! There must be something to it.
      I believe that there is the “ideal” and the “reality”. Ideally, letting the baby do as much as they want “may” be best, but the reality is that it may not be best for most moms. We need to find the “Sweet Spot”…the place where the baby is totally taken care of and so is the mom. 🙂 I believe this will greatly improve the success rates in our country and encourage more moms to continue to breastfeed their babies as long as possible. That is the ultimate goal. Hope this explains it a little better.


    2. Yvette, I totally agree with you. Both my babies nursed completely on demand, and I never had any nipple soreness at all, much less the horror of cracked and bleeding nipples! I can see it’s logical that if you have a bad latch and your nipples will become sore and bleed, that limiting the amount of time the baby spends on the breast will reduce the irritation; but good latches shouldn’t hurt, regardless of the amount of time spent on the breast, so the key is to correct the latch, not limit the time feeding.

      Besides, nursing in those early days is more than just feeding the infant. Even taking it as accurate that your milk supply is not affected one way or the other by nursing or not, nursing is soothing for babies as they transition from the dark, cozy uterus to the big, bright outside world, not to mention better for moms, as the oxytocin helps the uterus to contract! Plus, it just seems terribly unnatural either to watch the clock or to give a pacifier to soothe the baby when nature has provided the perfect source of soothing, right there in the mother’s arms, with her breasts at the ready.

      Well do I remember my schedule-feeding SIL who had a nightmare nursing experience! The nurse or “lactation consultant/counselor” — whatever or whoever she was, perhaps given that title just because she had taken a class or was the only nurse who breastfed her own children, you never know for sure — in the hospital assured my SIL that she had a good latch, so she never sought to correct it, trusting in the authority of this “breastfeeding expert.” She cried every feeding, her breasts cracked and bled constantly, and she rejoiced when her baby weaned. When I was pregnant, she warned me about sore, cracked, and bleeding nipples; and pressed me to get the biggest tub of Lanolin available because I *would* be using it, particularly in the winter. She was absolutely flabbergasted when, after the baby was born, I never had even a moment of pain. Then she said it must be genetic. ?!?


  2. PS….I appreciate you having an open mind to a new approach and respect for the thousands of moms that have contributed to a new base of anecdotal evidence. Reminds me of a powerful quote I once read from William James, a famous American Psychologist and Philosopher:

    “When a thing is new, people say, ‘It is not true!’
    Later, when its truth becomes obvious, they say, ‘it is not important’
    Finally, when its importance can not be denied,
    they say ‘Anyway, it is not new!’ 😉


  3. Thank you Shari for everything you and your DVD has done for me and my daughter! I am a first-time mommy to a beautiful little girl. I went into all of this thinking that breastfeeding would be easy since I am a RN in mother/baby. Boy, was I wrong! Within less then two weeks I ended up with sore/cracked/bleeding nipples to the point where I cried at everyfeeding. I had an overactive milk let-down and engorgement still at one month from too much milk! So, I decided that I would exclusively pump instead. Then I ended up suffering with mastitis! It was then time to meet Shari! If I hadn’t gone to her practice the next night, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t still be breastfeeding my daughter now at 7 months old. I was so done with breastfeeding! Shari shared some amazing tips to help me correct what I was doing wrong, and how to suceed with nursing if that was what I wanted to do! Deep down I did want to continue, I just needed that support and guidance. Once I had that all I needed was to be confident in myself. Before I knew it we were both enjoying our quality time breastfeeding together.
    The Simply Breastfeeding DVD in my opinion is amazing! Very insightful and to me a fullproof method to suceed in breastfeeding! I recommend this DVD to all my patients. 🙂
    So again thank you Shari, for helping me and my daughter form such a sacred bond that I feel was made stronger by me nursing her!
    To all the moms out there struggling, I suggest seeing a lactation consultant. Nursing isn’t always as easy as it looks and it is OK to ask for help! 🙂 Best of luck!!!


  4. I can only speak from my own experience but I took Shari’s class and then re watched the DVD right before and after giving birth to my daughter. It helped me to feel confident enough that I WAS going to be able to BF no matter what. I wasn’t sore at all and when you realize how small a newborn’s stomach is, there really seems to be no reason to nurse for a long period of time during the first initial days. While in the hospital I had so many people telling me completely different ways of doing things and if I hadn’t learned this method and trusted in it, I would’ve been completely frustrated and possibly even given up. It would’ve been too overwhelming. Two days after giving birth a pediatrician was almost insisting that I supplement with formula because I wasn’t nursing long enough and my milk hadn’t come in yet and my daughter was supposedly starving. She didn’t even encourage me to stick with BF and to be patient. Fortunately, I knew better and trusted what I had learned and now my 3 week old daughter has been gaining weight and doing great! My pediatrician was even impressed that she had already gained weight by her 4th day. I would highly recommend this DVD! It was the best recommendation from my friend who also had great success with Shari’s method.


  5. When I became pregnant with my first child, I knew I wanted to breastfeed, but was totally clueless about everything. I was not breastfed myself, and did not know ANYONE who had done it successfully for any amount of time. Everyone I knew gave up by 6 weeks. I read everything I could and even took a class at my hospital. While I felt informed I still wasn’t confidant I could do it, then I found Shari.

    Her method was simple and precise. Everything I read and heard spoke about proper latch, but although I knew what it was supposed to look like, I didn’t know how to achieve it. Her suggestions of sitting upright, using a pillow and stool worked amazing. By using the pillow I was able to use my other hand to support the breast and was able to get a proper latch.

    Her suggestion to limit the length of feeding time is ONLY IN THE FIRST FEW DAYS before your milk comes in. No matter how great the latch, in the first few days your nipples get sore, this is when most people give up. She offers merely a suggestion to help alleviate this. After your milk comes in she NEVER SUGGESTS limiting feeding times, in fact its the opposite. she says to not watch a clock and take your cues from your body and baby

    I was able to successfully breastfeed both of my children, while working full time. My older one is now 3 and is an extremely healthy child; in fact she has only needed an antibiotic once, something that I attribute to breastfeeding.

    We all know that breastfeeding is best; we just unfortunately live in a society where it is not the norm. I know my family has benefited greatly from Shari’s method and I encourage everyone to please send this link to every woman they know expecting or not. There are so many women who would like to breastfeed their children they just don’t know how and that it is possible to do so successfully.


  6. I’ve watched all the videos, and while there was a lot of good in it, I had some problems with it. Maybe it was just me — maybe I prefer a different style of teaching, and others like her style, though. I didn’t like that she basically says that successful breastfeeding requires expert help, that it is a learned skill which *must* be taught by an expert. Sorry, but that’s not true. If so, the human race would not have lasted as long as it has.

    Also, while it is true that having a C-section won’t prevent you from being able to breastfeed, studies show (here and 3 in the footnotes) that onset of lactation is delayed in women having a C-section. While I admire her attempt at assuaging the fear of women that a C-section will lead to breastfeeding failure (particularly since 1/3 of births are by C/s), it would be more helpful to acknowledge that it may be more difficult and/or take longer, so mothers should be prepared — otherwise, they may just throw in the towel, as soon as it gets tough.

    There were numerous “absolute” statements she makes, like “you must use a nipple cream from the start” or else you will have cracked nipples — I never used a cream one time, and never had soreness at all. Even assuming these “absolutes” to be typical, they are *not* absolute — there is far too much variety in the world to have such absolutes. Words like “frequently, often, usually, typically” would help.

    Finally, there were a few contradictions, which perhaps she can clear up. Towards the end of the video, she says “follow your instincts” — but it can’t possibly be instinctual to remove your happily nursing newborn from your breast and put a pacifier in his mouth. Also, in the discussion on engorgement and pumping and hand-expressing, I was confused. [Btw, I didn’t get engorged my first baby, so that’s another thing that is not absolute, even if it is common.] She says not to push milk out through the nipple because that will just make more, but rather to push it back into the lymphatic system; but she recommends a little pumping over a little hand-expressing in those early days. So, push the extra milk backward instead of expressing it through the nipple so you don’t make more, but use a pump instead of expressing it when you need to soften your breast?


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