Happy World Breastfeeding Week

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! Today I’m pulling an entry from last year’s
archives. 

 

–Originally posted Aug 3rd 2016–

World Breastfeeding week is a time where moms get to talk about their struggles and their own breastfeeding journey.  It can be a week where breastfeeding moms get to feel pride in all they’ve overcome and achieved. Often times breastfeeding moms feel they need to hide, especially after they’ve hit the 12 month mark. So it’s really nice to see breastfeeding in a positive light.

Sometimes WBW comes across as breastfeeding moms trying to ‘prove’ they’re better. Sometimes some breastfeeding moms use this week to shame those who are formula feeding.
Many formula feeding moms feel this week may be an attack on them personally.

None of that is what this week is about.

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Spilled Milk

No Use Crying Over Spilled Milk: (A theme from Mama Kat)

I remember when C was a baby. I had decided to give breastfeeding a go. That went well for a while, but like most moms, after a while I wanted to be able to go out for a period of time without him, and since nature hadn’t figured out a way for us to detach our breasts to leave at home with baby, that meant pumping.
I learned quickly that pumping wasn’t fun. I had a crappy manual pump (it was early 2002, I didn’t have home access to the internet, so I couldn’t quickly look up reviews before purchases. Totally a first world problem)  that barely did it’s job, and even when it did do it’s job, it took forever.  I remember wanting to go to a concert (Aerosmith!)  so pumped milk was a need. After all, C was almost one. Surely I had earned a few hours out, right? So I sat there, and pumped, and ended up with 6 oz after 30 mins.  SIX! This might just be doable! I decided I’d be smart and put the milk in the fridge until later when I could pump some more. I put the lid on, and put it in the fridge, patting myself on the back and feeling good about it.  Until later when I went into the fridge to get something and saw the bottle tipped over. No biggie, right? Wrong. Apparently the lid was not on right because there on the shelf was a puddle of milk. The precious milk I had spent thirty minutes pumping.  I cried. I managed to salvage two of those ounces, and luckily I had given myself more than enough days to be able to leave a couple of feeds and I made my concert.  But in those moments after discovering the puddle I saw my ability to go out for the night pouring out too.

Royal Parents

This morning a link crossed my facebook home page, the caption read
“Will Kate Middleton breastfeed the Royal Baby” with this link

Now, I’m all for breastfeeding. I breastfed all four of my kids. I am an advocate for breastfeeding and of nursing in public, but I think this is really ridiculous. Here’s this new mother who has already had the world watching her every move during pregnancy,trying to do whatever is best for her and her family. New mothers have enough pressure, including the Duchess, why add to that pressure by making her feel she ‘has’ to breastfeed, and a certain way because people look up to her.

I don’t know where people get off thinking that they can decide what the Duchess should or shouldn’t do, how she will or won’t raise this child, and her actions will affect other new mothers.
Whether the Duchess, the princess before her or the Queen  choose to breastfeed or not (or publicly or not) didn’t influence my choice at all. In fact I don’t think most new mothers are going to think “gee, the Duchess of Cambridge breastfed, I better get on that” If a new mother wants to breastfeed, she’s going to, if she doesn’t want to, she’s not going to. Leave this new mother alone and let her make the choices that are right for her & her family, like every other new mother.

“In this country of billboards covered in tits, I think we should try to get used to this”

This video has been all over my facebook and twitter. When I first saw it I had tears.


It captured so much of what I felt as a new mother, nursing my child. Feeling like I should hide, run, cover up. Then, like most mothers, I reached a point where I stopped hiding. Stopped worrying about what everyone else may have though about my simply feeding my hungry infant.

“At first I thought it was ok
I could understand their reasons
They said ‘There might be young children, or a nervous man seeing’
this small piece of flesh that they weren’t quite expecting
so I whispered and tiptoed with nervous discretion.

But after six months of her life sat sitting on lids
as she sips on her milk nostrils sniffing up piss
Trying not to bang her head on toilet roll dispensers
I wonder whether these public loo feeds offend her?
Cos I’m getting tired of discretion and being ‘polite’ as my baby’s first sips are drowned drenched in shite,”

This spoken word poem by Hollie McNish is so powerful and captured so much of what I think most mothers feel.
At first, worried about everyone else, and about being discreet. Then comes the realization that you’re hiding, cowering away while breasts are being used to sell food, movies, alcohol, clothes, body spray (etc), followed by the anger. Why are mothers being made to feel ashamed for feeding their young the way nature had always intended? Being made to feel as if they are doing something wrong for that one simple act. No one should be made to feel like that.

This isn’t about the mom war, or about breastfeeders being ‘better’ than formulafeeders.
It’s about a mother’s right to feed her child without feeling shamed by doing so.

 

“In this country of billboards covered in tits, I think we should try to get used to this”

VanessSig

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