As World Breastfeeding Week begins, I arrive home after almost 2 weeks in Atlanta spent helping my son Peter and his wife Ania as they cared for their new baby. My grandson Jakub, their first child, is now 6 weeks old and doing beautifully. We learned at Jakub’s 1-month pediatric visit that he had gained 2 lbs. in 2Peter & Jakub weeks, so there are no worries about breastfeeding. Ania has become a real pro.
After giving countless talks and writing many pages on the importance of having help during the first 40 days after birth, I was delighted to help my own family during this vulnerable time. As the mother of 3 sons, I will always be the mother-in-law and never the mother, so being welcomed into their home after Ania’s mother left felt like a real blessing.
Being on baby time again brought back so many memories as I played, rocked, patted, walked, and talked to Jakub during his fussy times and while Peter and Ania got some extra sleep or ate a meal. Peter smiled as he watched me pour warm rinse water over Jakub’s head during his bath. He shared that this evoked memories of having his own soapy head rinsed as a baby. It was immensely satisfying to see my son take on the mantle of fatherhood with such confidence and ease. It felt completely right to pass on this torch to the next generation.
Now as I contemplate World Breastfeeding Week, my senses still tingle from the simple pleasures babies bring to our lives. The soft skin, the sweet smell, the warm cuddles, and the miraculous way their simple existence triggers waves of love that radiate throughout a family. TheA wonderful memory three of us could hardly take our eyes off Jakub. Every movement and expression was endlessly fascinating.
So for me, this week’s celebration is about the intimacy breastfeeding fosters. This is what drew me to this profession and where—I believe-- breastfeeding’s true power lies. So this week I again offer my thanks to everyone around the world who helps new parents birth and breastfeed their babies. The future of our world depends on these newborns. Let’s never forget that their birth and breastfeeding experiences will influence the kind of world they build.