Breastfeeding Essentials

 by Janelle Sorensen, Chief Communications Officer, Healthy Child Healthy World

I did nothing to prepare for breastfeeding my first child. Zero. I figured, it’s such a natural act, there can’t be that much to it. Boy was I wrong.

I would have failed entirely in the very first few hours had it not been for an extremely supportive nurse (something many moms don’t have). And I only lasted four months because I became very ill and was on medication that made it unsafe for my daughter to breastfeed. I dried up. I was devastated.

Later, I learned that I should have pumped and dumped the milk to keep producing. I also learned that if I would have simply let my daughter start to suckle regularly, there would have been a good chance that my milk would have come back in. Sad.

I know many moms out there have their own breastfeeding stories and obstacles that perhaps they did or did not overcome. Let’s share them this week – in honor of World Breastfeeding Week. The more we talk about our experiences, the more we can empower new moms and future moms.

And, speaking of empowering moms for successful breastfeeding, I’d like to share some awesome videos highlighting breastfeeding essentials from expert, Shari Criso, MSN, RN, CNM, IBCLC. (All those letters represent a whole lotta expertise!)

Shari Criso’s Breastfeeding Essentials 

Breastfeeding Essentials from Joe Criso on Vimeo.


Shari’s Tips for Pumping at Work

Pumping at Work from Joe Criso on Vimeo.


Shari’s Daughters Share the Four Signs Your Baby Is Getting Enough Milk (This is so cute and funny!)

Out of the Mouths of Babes! from Joe Criso on Vimeo.


Shari is not only an amazing resource for expecting moms, she is also one of our 2011 Mom on a Mission nominees – here’s what Emily Dickey, who nominated her, had to say:

Although Shari has been a medical expert for 21 years, her mission started when she personally struggled to breastfeed her babies as a new mom. She followed the same advice she had been preaching from what she was taught in medical school and as a Hospital nurse. Shari had a turning point in her career and her life when she realized if she was struggling this much as an "expert," it is no wonder our breastfeeding rates in America are among the lowest in the world. She realized most medical professionals a new parent encounters receive little to no formal education on teaching a new mother how to successfully breastfeed, and in fact, they often receive and pass along a lot of inaccurate information that creates a lot of avoidable issues with breastfeeding, including unnecessary low milk supply. Believing there had to be a better way, Shari dedicated her life to discovering an easier way to teach parents to succeed, and after years of additional study, practice, and revisions, she did!

Congratulations on your nomination, Shari!

Learn more! Join us on Facebook on Wednesday August 3rd for our all day breastfeeding chat! We’ll be posting questions & tips throughout the day, as well as encouraging everyone to share their own stories and advice. Shari will be joining us here and there, too!

Note: Each year, we invite our community to help us identify exceptional moms working in their communities to create a healthier environment for children. We get so many wonderful submissions, we’ve started a blog series to feature the inspirational stories of our nominees. Stay tuned for the announcement of our 2011 "Mom on a Mission" winner in September who will receive a $5,000 grant from Lifetime Television to continue her work and will be honored at a Healthy Child event.