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Cool Idea: Nursing Parties

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Despite all of the research I did while pregnant with my first son, I realized very quickly after his birth just how little I knew about breastfeeding -- and how isolating an experience it can be. My doula helped him to latch on shortly after he was born, but over the next few days in the hospital, we struggled mightily on our own with breastfeeding. A few days later, I finally got to see the hospital lactation consultant who gasped in horror at my raw, bloody nipples and reprimanded me for letting him nurse for too long on each side. Needless to say, I was in tears and completely confused as to how something so natural could be so painful and hard to grasp. With the help of another lactation consultant and a new mom group, I eventually figured it out and nursed my first son for 13 months. And my second son, now 14 months, is still nursing. But without that kind of support, I would most likely have given up on my goal to breastfeed for the first year.

All of which is to say that I love the idea of BYOBoobz, a series of parties launching this fall with the help of “house party” kits designed by the fabulous pro-BFing non-profit group Best for Babes, led by friends and co-founders, Danielle Rigg and Bettina Forbes. The gatherings aim to help expectant and new parents feel in-the-know about nursing and avoid the aptly-named “booby traps” that thwart many women’s efforts to breastfeed, including lack of support at the hospital and dirty looks when you breastfeed in public. The social aspect of these parties is particularly appealing -- not only are they an opportunity to learn how exactly you do it, but they’re a chance to start creating a local support network, even before you have your baby. Given how lonely nursing can be, especially in those first few weeks when you may feel stuck inside your house and aren’t entirely sure what you’re doing, these parties seem like a great way to work out the kinks while having some fun too.

Forbes recently told me that they hope the parties will also provide women with information about local breastfeeding-friendly resources, including the names of pro-nursing pediatricians, lactation consultants, and more, in addition to giving women the opportunity to try out products like nursing pillows, wraps and slings (with the help of an expert to assist with sizing and fitting), product samples, and coupons toward bigger-ticket items. To find out about how you can host a party, email info@bestforbabes.org.

Moms, if you could have attended a party like BYOBoobz while you were pregnant or newly nursing, do you think it would have made breastfeeding easier? Moms-to-be, if you plan to breastfeed, what are you doing to set yourselves up for success? 

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