Don't be bullied into giving up breastfeeding
ELIZABETH Pohlmann is on a mission to promote 'breast is best' by hosting a global Big Latch On event in Hervey Bay next month.
The Hervey Bay birth and newborn photographer and mother of five boys, hasn't slept a wink in five years but says tandem feeding her two youngest children, aged two and four, is well worth it for the associated benefits, despite constant criticism from the public.
With her first three children, Ms Pohlmann said she gave in to pressure and stopped feeding early on - a decision she doesn't want other mothers to be forced to make.
"When I was breastfeeding my older kids I stopped because of outside pressure ... I gave up at nine months," she said.
"With my four-and-a-half year old, he still feeds three times a night. It's him, there's no stopping him.
"With your first, you feel quite self-conscious of everything you do but when you have five, it's pretty free, you don't care what people think.
"Breastfeeding is important for their immune system when they are newborn, because that's how they get all their antibodies, and that doesn't stop.
"They are still getting their nutrients from me, are still getting vitamin A and all the antibodies, especially with the last two I have noticed a decrease in sickness."
The passionate advocate searched for an event to host during World Breastfeeding Week from August 1-7, to protect, promote and support breastfeeding families.
The ladies will be invited to have their children 'latch-on' for one minute at 10.30am to try and beat last year's global record of 17,790 breastfeeding children from 23 countries.
"This event is for mothers to get together and celebrate breastfeeding," Ms Pohlmann said.
"I know of other women who don't have the support of breastfeeding so we need to put it in the public eye and let them know there's support here."
Ms Pohlmann said younger mothers especially could benefit from attending.
"My niece is 18 and had a baby - eight months old now - and she's actually copping flack with people asking 'why are you still breastfeeding your baby?'," she said.
"Hervey Bay has a really high teenage pregnancy rate and we also have a really low rate of breastfeeding mothers in that age group.
"When they are under 20, they still see the breast as a sexual thing and that's why a lot of people around that age group don't breastfeed.
"If you don't have that support, it's a really hard thing in the start."
A training consultant from the Australian Breastfeeding Association will be on hand to answer any questions or address any concerns.
Sue-Mi from Mama's Milk Collection will have breastfeeding jewellery and pin products for sale.
Ms Pohlmann will offer mini breastfeeding photography sessions for guests on the day for $50, with $10 from each shoot going to a number of global and Australian breastfeeding associations.
The event will be held at the Botanic Gardens, Elizabeth St, Urangan, on Sunday, August 5, from 9am. Entry is free. To find out more or to book a photo session on the day, find The Big Latch On - Fraser Coast Free Event on Facebook.
WHAT IS THE BIG LATCH ON?
It is held to ...
- Provide support for communities to identify and grow opportunities to provide ongoing breastfeeding support and promotion in local communities.
- Raise awareness of breastfeeding support and knowledge available locally and globally.
- Help communities positively support breastfeeding in public places.
- Make breastfeeding as normal part of day-to-day life at a local community level.
- Increase support for women who breastfeed - women are supported by their partners, family and their communities.