This Saturday July 30th is the First Annual Colorado Breastival, a free event to celebrate all families and kick off World Breastfeeding Week. A number of community groups will also be there to help inform and support Breastival attendees!
In addition to some fantastic events for kids (fire truck and music class) and for parents (free massages and henna art!) Denver Natural Mom will be sponsoring two Community tables, located under the main Pavilion at Ruby Hill Park.
What does this mean? Women who were not pregnant can still breastfeed!
I interviewed Deziray Click, a mom of 3 who practiced adoptive breastfeeding with her third child. After following this protocol for 5 months prior to the adoption of her son, she was able to establish a full supply and is currently breastfeeding her 2.5 month old.
She is active on Facebook groups like Adoptive Breastfeeding where she is able to encourage and support other moms working toward breastfeeding their children, telling them that just because their bodies can’t carry children doesn’t mean their bodies can’t feed their children!
Deziray told me about how lonely it is to pump every 2 hours all night long, before you even have the chance to meet your baby! For her, connecting with other moms helped.
She wants you to know that WIC or your insurance will buy your pump even if you aren’t pregnant!
While she lives in Oklahoma and won’t be at our Denver event on Saturday, other moms who have induced lactation will be there to answer your questions!
As we organized this event, we heard from amazing parents who wanted to volunteer their time to connect and support others. Lejla is one of these parents who will be there on Saturday with her wife Mollie and daughter Harper.
“We are part of the LGBT Families of Denver Facebook group and attend events hosted by other parents through the group. It’s not focused to breastfeeding but we want Harper to be around other kids who have two moms or two dads. It’s to talk to other parents and their unique struggles that perhaps our straight parent friends don’t face.”
For Lejla when it came to breastfeeding, she says it’s really important to find other women who are breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is hard in a culture that doesn’t necessarily support it. It can be hard to keep going when perhaps your own mother or mother-in-law didn’t breastfeed. I was encourage to just formula feed (we did supplement with formula and donor milk from other moms) and sometimes it was hard to keep going. I definitely thought several times that it would just be easier to make her a bottle and stop pumping. But being surrounded by other breastfeeding moms and sharing my journey and listening to theirs was very helpful. I was happy for the success stories too because it was those moms who gave me donor milk. Every way you look at it, it’s great to know people going through the same thing.
Parents can also talk with Sierra and Skylar of Luna Doulas where inclusivity is a core value.
We understand that families come in all shapes and sizes and we believe that everyone deserves access to compassionate, non-judgmental doula support no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. Rather than offering a one-size-fits-all model of care based on hetero/cis-normative assumptions, we strive to meet our clients where they are and provide personalized services and support to address their specific needs. In addition, we prioritize using gender-neutral language so that LGBTQ individuals and families feel that they are centered in our practice and not just a side note.
They look forward to answering questions about resources for LGBTQ families, breastfeeding/chestfeeding choices, family building, finding community, inclusive birth services, and more! And if they don’t know the answer to your question, they probably know someone who does!
By participating in the Breastival, we hope to send the message that breastfeeding/chestfeeding is for everyone and help make the Breastival a welcoming and inclusive space for all families.
These are the other amazing community organizations who will be giving out information under the Pavilion:
- Elephant Circle – working on the childbirth system in Colorado
- La Leche League – mother to mother breastfeeding support
- Special Kids Special Care – providing education, support, and resources for parents and care providers of premature and high risk infants
- Rocky Mountain Diaper Depot – collecting and distributing diapers for families in need
- Gabriel House – helping pregnant women and families with young children in need
- Bright By Three – helping families support their children’s physical, emotional, and intellectual development during the critical first three years of life