Happy World Breastfeeding Week Mamas! I wanted to start this week off by addressing something that’s near and dear to my heart, breastfeeding! We’re going to cover quite a bit in this post, so buckle up! I’m going to break it all down into sections. We’re going to cover a few things: World Breastfeeding Week itself, the benefits of breastfeeding, my Annual Breastfeeding Event, and also my good friend Betsy and her incredible storefront! Let’s get into it shall we?
World Breastfeeding Week happens once a year during the first week of August (hence…this post!). The week is put together through the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action, who helps support and promote breastfeeding on a worldwide scale. They use their social media platforms to talk about all the benefits of breastfeeding and provide tips to new or expecting moms. Additionally, they help provide education and necessary resources to places that may have restricted access to such things. There’s even a yearly pledge platform where you can tell them that you’re going to host an event about breastfeeding awareness in your area! The WABA will then post about your event!
I personally think World Breastfeeding Week is so important, but the WABA goes far beyond that. They support breastfeeding year-round. Having a full week where social media is blowing up with breastfeeding support though is incredible! This week I wanted to help raise awareness myself. I thought I’d start by taking this opportunity to highlight a good friend of mine who helps support breastfeeding practically every single day!
I have known Betsy for about 9 years now and I am so excited to tell you all about her. She does so much to help support the breastfeeding community. Betsy is an incredible woman who I met through her group that she runs on Tuesdays/Thursdays. The group is for breastfeeding moms with littles one’s under a year old. We met because I had just moved to the area, I didn’t have any friends yet, and I honestly just wanted to go and learn and also have something to do! So, I went, and it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I met Betsy and also a couple of friends who I have to this day through her group!
Betsy aims to use her group to empower women to breastfeed, teach them the proper methods for breastfeeding, how to work through any struggles with latching, and the benefits of breastfeeding. She even has her own storefront. Located in Massillon, OH, Betsy runs The Breastfeeding Center which is her own small business. The store is like a little piece of heaven for new and expecting moms, particularly who plan to breastfeed. However, there are items here for you even if you don’t! Her storefront has everything from cloth diapers to breast pumps, to nursing bras. She also has scales that moms can use for free to do weigh-in feeds! She’s thought of everything! Betsy is always eager to help and answer any questions new mamas have, myself included at one point! She does also offer consultations at a fee for any moms who need some guidance or direction.
Her storefront website has recently been renovated and you can make purchases on it now, which is super exciting! I highly recommend you ladies go check it out. Granted, if you want more incentive, I may be in one of the photos on her website with two of my little ones from back in the day. So, if you want…go play a little game of Where’s Waldo and try and find me! Betsy has remained in my life for years. I am so grateful to have her as a friend and, once a year, as a partner for my Annual Breastfeeding Event.
This year was my 5th Annual Breastfeeding Event, and it was an absolute blast! Every year I get a group of clients together who are breastfeeding their newborns, babies, and toddlers. I am a full supporter in extended breast feeding and love that this event gets to honor those that choose to practice it! We have a whole day of celebrating my clients, taking their photos, doing group photos, and just chatting about our lives. As an Akron, OH newborn photographer, these are the photoshoots I absolutely adore getting to do! The opportunity to capture this bonding moment between a mother and her child is priceless. I know the breastfeeding stage flew by for me, so getting to capture still images for my clients is something that will never get old.
This year, I had 16 clients in the event, and I actually held it at my studio. We did individual and group photos. When my clients booked their individual photo session for this event, they had the option to choose if they wanted their photos done in studio or outdoors! I thought this provided my clients with the opportunity to get what they want and they seemed to love it. The way the event went this year is for the first hour (from 6-7) we did in-studio shots individually. Then, we went outdoors from 7-8pm and did individual shots for those clients. We ended with a group photo at 8 and that’s a wrap! This event is an annual event, but it books up FAST so be on the lookout for 2023. I usually open up the booking for this event in February!
The energy during these shoots is amazing. All the mamas talk, get to know each other, form friendships, and just overall enjoy each other’s company. Betsy joins me for this event and helps check in the moms and their little one’s for me. She gets the chance to talk to them about her store and the benefits of breastfeeding and that’s always a hit. Of course, she also gets to use the photos for her social media as well! As a little bonus, Betsy also gives a $10 coupon to all of the clients who book and show up for the event, which is so kind and appreciated!
We have an incredible time every year and this year was no different! Check out some of my favorite shots from the day. Make sure you also reach out to me if you’re interested in learning more about the event or scheduling a newborn photoshoot or even your own personal breastfeeding photoshoot!
As a mother of four children (I say children loosely because well…two of them are full grown adults now but you know…they’re forever my babies!), I have ample experience in breastfeeding and am an avid supporter of it. Don’t get me wrong though, I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea and that’s totally fine! However, for this post, I’m going to real and open with you guys.
I only struggled to breastfeed my first born child. My other three kids had no problems latching on, so I’m grateful for that! That being said, I think a primary reason that I did struggle with my first born is because it was my first born. I had never breastfed before. It was 1994, “lactation consultants” weren’t yet all too popular and neither were storefronts like Betsy’s. There weren’t many people to guide me in this department and sometimes, it’s not as easy as the baby latching and calling it a day.
Some newborns and babies struggle and I’m glad that now, there’s people to help in those times! I learned a lot through breastfeeding my own kids though as well as hearing from the moms in my Annual Breastfeeding Event. So, I wanted to share some of what I learned for World Breastfeeding Awareness Week! Let’s talk about 10 benefits of breastfeeding your newborn!
Ladies, mamas, babies, I hope you enjoy this week’s dedication post! It is so important that we stay knowledgeable and spread awareness of breastfeeding. There’s no better time to do that than during World Breastfeeding Awareness week so take advantage! Use special hashtags on your social media posts, have those conversations with your friends and family, and educate yourselves about the benefits of breastfeeding!
I enjoyed learning about breastfeeding from the moms in my Annual Breastfeeding Event this year and I can’t wait for next years event! Don’t forget to check out Betsy’s store, the Breast Feeding Center, and I can’t wait to hear from you to schedule your incredible newborn or breastfeeding photoshoots!