4

Some of my favorite nursing pictures. We struggled so hard to build this relationship. I’ve had glares in public, people whispering about me and more. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. This lady has been exclusively breast fed since birth and we still and will continue to do so for as long as she wants! We are going on 10months! She may climb all over me now and pull down my shirt for a nipple in the most inconvenient places but I am so blessed to be able to provide the healthiest nutrition. Happy breastfeeding week err something!

"It felt like we were capturing that multifaceted woman we’ve been discussing — that we know we can be," the actress continued. "You can be someone who is at once maternal and professional and sexy and self-possessed. [But] I mean, I certainly don’t really look like that when I’m [typically] breastfeeding. And there’s usually a diaper involved.” — Olivia Wilde, Olivia Wilde Breastfeeds Her Son Otis In Glamour Magazine’s September Issue via HuffingtonPost

moments in motherhood: my breastfeeding journey, so far

image

I’ve mentioned before that the beginning was some of the most painful experiences I’ve ever had living. After a while (but what can honestly feel like eternity. Imagine this happening all day and night because it must) it got super easy, but I had to get there first.

Then there’s the hurdle of learning how to nurse in public. Or feeling comfortable and confident to do it in public. Because no one preps you for that part. You just confront it when your little bean looks at you with big hungry eyes. I never had a problem with public nursing personally and thankfully absolutely no one has communicated anything verbal or nonverbal to me all this time. I love getting knowing smiles from other mothers and giving them right back.

Only once in the beginning did I feel super unsure of what to do. I still couldn’t handle holding him for long periods and Dennis was wearing him exclusively in public. We were close to the Apple Store and he was crying. We stopped in because we were certain there was a family bathroom, but we were wrong. Instead, I found myself hunched up in the ladies room using the handicap stall and hating every second of it. I vowed to never hide away again after that experience. Now I carry a sarong that a friend gave me and I slip him under it so we can stare at each other while he nurses and has a ball. Seriously, he makes all kinds of sounds and flings his arms and legs the entire time usually. It’s hilarious.

I duck into any store or restaurant and nurse him without hesitancy. I do it at the table with friends when we’re eating or having drinks. I do it in the park. The only place I haven’t done it, but I’ve been tempted to, is public transportation. That’s only because our rides to anywhere are so short we just wait to get off. Not that he’s a screamer for food or anything. I can explain to him that it will be a tiny while and he usually calms down once I sing to him or something.

Recently, we’ve entered the world of teeth. That has its own set of new hurdles, like somehow teaching a baby not to use those little sharp things to tear open such a sensitive mound of flesh. He’s become much more of a man handler with me, which I’m fine with. I just cannot handle being bitten. We are still working on it since he hasn’t done it often and teeth are new to us both. He got 2 in the span of a week which was relatively painless I think, but now he’s on again/off again feeling pain because a third tooth is on the way. That’s increased his need for feedings and I’m such a tired mama as a result.

I’m prepared for some anon hate on this but I don’t back down just because others may have a problem with what I believe. I don’t care about the hate I may or may not receive, this needs said.

I am so tired of hearing how women are breastfeeding in bathroom stalls because they want to avoid the backlash of breastfeeding, completely covered up, in public. A bathroom stall is no place for anybody to eat their meals, so why should an infant be fed theirs there?

Get the fuck over yourself and turn your head if you aren’t mature enough to accept that a mother is choosing to give her child the nutrients that God (and/or nature or science or whichever higher power(s) you do or do not believe in) allows her to give.

moments in motherhood: exclusively pumping with Brittany

The Secret Life of Exclusively Pumpers

image

Since pumping is an enormous part of my life, I figured I would do a post on it. In the baby feeding community, there are 2 kinds of mothers. Those who breastfeed their babies and those that formula feed their babies. Prior to having my own child, I was vehemently against the idea of giving my baby formula. Breast milk isn’t only the best milk but it’s free. There’s no bottle prep. It’s just…there. It’s the easiest option, right?

Wrong.

Breastfeeding is the the most challenging thing I’ve ever done. 9 months of pregnancy and having a natural childbirth was waaaaay easier. I could point my finger at many factors as to why breastfeeding was so difficult for me.

-Lack of knowledge.
-Very little assistance at getting Elle to the breast the hours and days after birth.
-Elle being born 3 weeks early.
-My huge boob + Elle’s small mouth = difficulty.
-Ineffective guidance from a lactation consultant.

image

And it wasn’t like I didn’t try. My child had a poor latch. She made plenty of efforts to breastfeed but they didn’t result in her getting enough milk to be satiated. When she did latch, she would not only chew my breast into bits but she would erupt in tears every time. Which only devastated me. Talk about feeling inadequate. Here I am, a new mother, and I can’t even effectively give my child food. And lack of milk wasn’t an option because I was flowin’…

So I decided to enter the Secret World of EP’ing. I call it a secret because you don’t hear many women talking about it. It is perhaps the most difficult track to take when it comes to feeding newborns and infants. With breastfeeding, you just whip out a boob and feed baby. With formula feeding, you (or someone else – BONUS!) prepare a bottle and give it to baby. With exclusively pumping, I have to juggle between not only pumping to get milk but then I also have to find time to feed the baby. It’s a juggling act, really and it was the #1 reason that made the first weeks of motherhood difficult.

In order to keep my supply up, I have to pump to Elle’s schedule. That means I need to pump around the time that she would be eating or more. BUT – since I am back to work, I’d like for her to continue to receive breast milk while at daycare. And so I not only pump enough for her to eat, but I pump enough to freeze. Breast milk stored in a deep freezer has a shelf life of 6-12 months so that means even after I return to work and Elle goes to daycare, she will continue to get breast milk.

image

I produce quite a bit of milk so what can’t fit in my freezers is donated to other mommies. That’s right! Thanks to the great community of Human Milk 4 Human Babies, I was able to find 3 mommies who were looking for a donor. These moms have adopted newborns or foster babies that had issues with formula but are thriving off of my breast milk. Some find it to be gross and unsanitary. I think not. In fact, Elle’s first few days of milk came from another mommy who had donated her breast milk to my birthing center.

So let’s rewind…

PRO’S of pumping
-I get to feed my baby breastmilk. I’m very grateful for the electric pump technology.
-I can SEE how much she’s getting and deliver that info to my pediatrician.
-Someone else can feed her which is awesome. Mama needs a break too, yo.
-Unlike formula, a bottle of breast milk can be left out for hours. HUGE pro.
-I can donate to other babies.
-I burn an insane amount of calories and pumping has lead to me being smaller than my pre-preggo weight.

CON’S of pumping
-The judgement I get from exclusive breastfeeders (Why don’t you try harder to make her latch?) and formula feeders (Why don’t you give her a formula bottle?).
-Very little sleep. I have to pump every 3-4 hours and haven’t slept a straight 3-4 hours since Elle has been born.
-It makes social outings difficult. If I will be out for more than 4 hours, my breasts become engorged and painful. I also risk a chance to getting clogged milk ducts which can turn into mastitis which I hear sucksssss. So yeah. My boobs are always on a ticking clock.
-Never-ending bottle washing.
-Pumping can be very lonely. You’re up by yourself in the middle of the night or have to excuse yourself to pump.

Why don’t I just give her formula? It’s simple. I don’t want to. I want her to have breast milk so while pumping is extremely difficult, I plan to only do it for a year. And I’m hoping I can make it to a year because I think about quitting every single day. But hey, everything happens for a reason and while I go through moments of being sad that I couldn’t breastfeed Elle, I am grateful for my abundant supply of milk. I’ve pumped over 31 gallons of breast milk that has nourished 4 children. It feels kinda awesome.

____________________
This post was reposted by permission. Check out her site, Clumps of Mascara.

Read other posts in the Moments in Motherhood series.

"I know breast feeding is natural but people don’t want to see it! Please be modest and discreet about it!!"

Yeah a baby doesn’t give a shit that people don’t want to see it. Baby just wants to eat.
People need to be reminded that breasts exist for one purpose only- to feed babies.
I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t tell someone “I know your feet are made for you to walk and it’s natural, but please be modest and discreet about it!”

Tiny Bird Photography | Breastfeeding Mini Sessions


Since August is breast feeding appreciation month Tiny Bird Photography is offering some Breast feeding mini sessions. Only 75$ for 20 min session, with 3 digital download images with printing rights. Additional images $10 per image.

Location |  would be Glenn Valley Nature park

Date |  would be Aug 10th. 

 Email |  jtinkham33@gmail.com if interested

Toddler Tuesday!

When I was nursing my son, I joked with another new mom friend that it might be funny to chart all of the places we had either nursed or changed a diaper, creating a big boob and poop map of NYC (and the world). Well, I was too busy nursing and changing diapers and never did it.  But this mommy did, at least in the form of a top ten list of her favorite nursing spots: 

Oh the Places I’ve Nursed!

Text
Photo
Quote
Link
Chat
Audio
Video