SPRING INTO SUMMER!
June marks the mid point of each year; this pivotal month moves us from Spring into Summer with gleeful anticipation of all the wonderful activities that warm weather usually brings. There are no end of parties and ‘limes’ in June as many of my close friends and family members celebrate birthdays and other important anniversaries. I linger outside during cool June evening walks as they seem to go by so quickly and before we know it we’re barreling towards the beginning of a new year.
I first learned about the celebration of Juneteenth in the 80’s when I moved to New York City. It impressed me as a female immigrant of color as I had not known the story - I then promptly forgot about it. Now with the social unrest that is happening here in the USA and subsequently around the world, shouldn’t I deepen my knowledge of the history of the country that has been my home for so many decades? Turns out I’m hardly unique as friends and colleagues, many of whom were born and educated here, are discussing the new things they too are learning about the history of their own country. History is not always pretty or as straight forward as we would like it to be, but it is the interwoven stories of us all, flawed, complex humanity that needs to be faced head on, warts and all.
Experience has taught me that the kindness and compassion we wish to see in the world, ultimately comes from our individual actions and reactions, which can set off a chain of unforeseen events. Just as many of us are agitating for societal change, we must also be mindful of our interactions with those around us, from strangers to our friends and family. Most of my interactions include listening to the concerns of new breastfeeding families, watching them grow into newly acquired roles and while much of that time is spent with mothers, I do interact with partners as well.
June is the month in which we celebrate Father’s Day, and as part of a breastfeeding family navigating this new landscape can appear challenging. It is impossible to deny the close bond between mothers and their breastfed babies, which may lead to you feeling left out and perhaps a bit confused as you embrace your new role.
First, don’t beat yourself up it's ok these feelings are totally normal, many partners feel this way at times you're definitely not alone!
Secondly keep in mind that although feeding your baby is an important activity, it’s not the only one central to nurturing. As we wrap up our How To Breastfeed Naturally workshops, my husband Peter usually encourages partners to embrace the other activities that are an integral part of caring for their new baby. Diapering, bathing, dressing and soothing your baby deeply solidifies the bond between you two, so don’t underestimate the importance of these tasks.
Sign up for an infant massage workshop you’ll be amazed at how truly wonderful and rewarding it can be to connect with your child in this way.
Keep In mind, as you get to know this new person, who is constantly changing, you are changing too. I recently read something that resonated with me, “There are many versions of us in this world. There is our concept of ourselves, plus there are the many versions of us carried in the minds of everyone we know, and they are all different.” You have the opportunity to become the best version of yourself in the mind of your child; not the perfect version, as there is no such thing. We all stumble and make mistakes yet we face them again head on, warts and all. The version of you that lives in your child's mind will always be with them, just as my late father Alpha, is always with me. This will evolve as you both grow older and the bonds deepen, you will transition in their mind, from Dad to Friend.
Happy Father’s Day, with many, many more to come!
TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT OUR PRENATAL WORKSHOPS
Wednesday June 24th 530pm-7pm EST: The Ancient Art of Breastfeeding: How to Breastfeed Naturally (Breastfeeding Prep)
Wednesday July 1st 530pm-7pm EST:Caring for a Newborn Baby
Tuesday July 21st 6pm -7:30pm EST: Caring for a Newborn Baby
BitFam Breastfeeding *Lime
The Manny Cantor Breastfeeding Support Circle meets 2 Wednesday afternoons monthly: 2pm - 4pm EST on Zoom
July 1, 15 & 29
August 12 & 26
It's FREE so join me to have your breastfeeding questions answered from the comfort of your own home!
*LIME. Verb/Noun - Trinidadian slang for hanging out, socializing, usually including eating and drinking with like minded folks.
Stream Baby in the Family Caring for a Newborn Baby workshop here!
Baby in the Family has you covered! Based on our popular workshop this streaming film features real newborn babies being bathed, dressed etc.
Contact us to gift it to your expectant friends- it's the Essential baby shower gift!
BitFam Collaboration with Bodily
A comfortable bra paired with healthy nipples is imperative while nursing. Try The Insider Bra, it's buttery soft and loved by so many nursing (and non-nursing) mums! The nipple protection and recovery system is100% organic, plant-based and literally yummy!!