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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Where I talk about b/f...and no, not your boyfriend.

Breastfeeding, that is.

I've wanted to write about this subject for a while. But, I sat back and processed my thoughts, and learned more as time went on. Besides, I've been breastfeeding for two months now--and I feel I can talk more on the subject having some more knowledge under my belt, right? If you figure I've been breastfeeding now for say...60 some days...and baby girl eats anywhere on average 8-10x a day...that's about---- 600 feedings. So--I'd say I'm an expert! Okay, kidding. Not exactly an expert, but still.

It won't stop me from speaking on it, anyway.

For me, I always knew I wanted to breastfeed. I know that it has amazing benefits to the child and is great bonding between momma and baby. But honestly? I didn't dwell much on the whole thing before having Emeline. In fact, I remember a few days before my due-date thinking, "Wow...maybe I should, like...look stuff up online about breastfeeding..." Lame, I know. What can I say? I've been Mother of the Year right from the start. [Teehee] Kidding.

The thing I recall actually making a conscious decision about ahead of time was that IF my body worked properly (hey-ya NEVER know), then my goal was to breastfeed for 3 months. [I set that goal before I knew I'd be taking the year off, and knowing that weening her would make most sense by then, seeing as my crazy school schedule allows ZERO time for pumping.]

And you know what? It turns out that I really, really enjoy it. In fact, now that I know I'll be home for the next year with her, I'd really like to do it for longer. I honestly don't know for how long, but I'll just keep on keepin' on for now.

I really enjoy the time with her...the bonding....the fact that I'm her sole nourishment and she's thriving.

If I sat here and told that it's been easy, then I'd be lying. It definitely takes heart, persistence, and sacrifice.

Breastfeeding is a natural thing, yes. But, it does not always come "naturally". It's new for both mommy (first time mom), and for baby. It takes time. It's really easy to get frustrated. It's really easy to want to give up. It's beyond painful at times (but this gets better with time). It can be really time demanding on the momma. But I'm already learning that it's so stinkin' rewarding, too.

It's rewarding when the pediatrician can look at you and say, "Good work, Mama!" when your baby gains the appropriate and healthy amount of weight. I can, literally, take all the credit. Heck, after all those hours upon hours of time that goes into it---heck yes I'll take the credit.

For me, breastfeeding was the right choice--and it works for my life and schedule. If your body produces enough (I realize sometimes it's out of our control), and you have the desire and drive to do it--I say, go for it. It's something I've learned to love, and I'm sticking with it.

On the same topic, but shifting gears slightly....

Lately, I've seen and heard things people have said about breastfeeding that has been completely inconsiderate to those of us who do it. I most certainly do not appreciate people saying it's barbaric, or gross. I don't think it's amusing in the least bit. In fact, it's seriously rude.

Look, I'm no hippie on the subject--truly, I'm not. I'm just a regular old mom who decided to give breastfeeding a go, and it worked for us. I don't walk around with my boobs hanging out feeding my kid (well, not in public anyway), and I do it modestly when I do it around others [I use a hooter-hider, or pump a bottle for on-the-go].

But, please...if you've made the choice not to do it, for whatever reason--don't bash on those of us who do to justify yourself. It's caddy, it's childish, and it's mean.

Yep. It's true. It's a sacrifice. My body is still not my 'own'. I may have to moderate what I consume. I may have "watermelons" hanging from my chest. I may leak a little, and it's awkward. But, whatever--it's a very small time in the grand scheme of things.

So, there you have it. I'm in no way voicing my opinion on what you should or shouldn't do--because obviously, that's every woman's choice. Also, I realize that every body just functions differently and all women aren't even able to do it.

What I am saying is for us...for me...it's been a great experience. Two months in and I'm going strong. It works for us. I'm really glad about that.

So, if breastfeeding is something you're considering...I'll tell you the same thing 1209812 women said to me:

Don't give up. It gets easier. It can be frustrating and difficult. It really is worth it.

And, if you're someone who has zero desire or intention of ever breastfeeding--that is SO your choice and I wouldn't argue with you. But, please...be respectful of those of us who do.

The respect goes both ways, mmkay?

and I digress....

27 comments:

  1. I agree, very well said! I chose to give it a try and honestly I didn't really enjoy it. I kept up because I knew it was best for her but it frustrated me a lot and I hated doing it in public - just me. Right before my husband died I had started introducing formula here and there because I felt my baby wasn't getting quite enough. When I told the people at WIC I was doing that they gave me a huge WHY and, knowing friends horror stories about how no excuse is good enough for the gals at WIC I simply told them - I don't like it. Luckily for me they didn't argue as I've heard some friends have had to deal with but some people were on my case about adding formula if I could breastfeed. After the accident, the stress took a toll on my body and the milk just wasn't happening, stress does not do a body good. So I stopped trying. Forcing myself to try to do it while dealing with everything was unbearable. And ya know what, there were a few people who STILL gave me crap about stopping! I definitely believe it is a mother's choice. I give mad props to moms who can keep it up and who enjoy it. But ya know what, I don't feel guilty for my choice, either.

    Ok, I wrote an ENTIRE book on the subject just to say, Amen sister people definitely need to have more respect on both sides!

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  2. Great post, Katie. It's a very personal decision and people should respect each others decision as to what's best for them.

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  3. Good for you!! I breastfed both our girls, it is one of the most rewarding things you will do as a Mommy:) Kudos to you:)

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  4. Well said Katie I totally agree. I look forward to doing it all over again next year :)

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  5. Great post. Breastfeeding is really very important to me so I am hopeful that I have a positive experience like you have had.

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  6. I agree!!! I'm expecting my first baby in October and I totally plan on breastfeeding!!!!

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  7. Well said for sure! Good for you! I don't think anyone has the right to tell anyone what they should/shouldn't do and for how long either. It's every woman's personal choice.

    Except, and I hope this never happens to me... When my sister-in-law had her baby almost two years ago, and while she was still in the hospital trying to figure out the whole b/f thing with her son, her mother-in-law grabbed my SIL's boob and shoved it into the baby's mouth. My SIL was so stunned that she didn't say anything, but you can bet if that happened to me, she would be kicked out of the room--and she'd be lucky for that! [lol]

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  8. I couldn't agree more. I love bfeeding my daughter. I had no expectations about how it'd go but it's been great! She's almost 11 months now and I'm a little sad when I think about stopping in a month or so. :)

    I had to use a nipple shield for the first few months and eventually the baby starting ripping it off and latching w/o it. I mention it b/c I think it kept me from experiencing the pain that lots of moms get from nursing in the beginning - just a suggestion to someone who may be struggling but wants to keep bfeeding! :)

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  9. I think this is a great post. It's how I feel too. I hope that I am able to make enough milk for the new baby. I am petrified that I'll have to quit after four months like I did with L. I'm also determined to figure out how to pump at work. That should be interesting. But like you said, if it doesn't work out as well as I hope, I'm also determined not to beat myself up over it this time!

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  10. Great post! I fully intend to b/f for 6 months (if my body allows). My midwife stresses how much it enhances the bond between mom and child, especially right after birth. I see nothing gross about something so natural!

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  11. Great post! When I first had Jackson, I had the same attitude. If it works, I'll do it, but I'm not going to stress about it... and here we are 13 months later! It is something that I'm proud of, and you should be too:) I pump at work and nurse at home, or use my hooter-hider when we're out and about.

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  12. Katie, you are my HERO right now! You and Gina both, actually (her post today rocked). I am not a mom yet, but I am shocked at how over-sexualized breast feeding has become in this country. I can't believe how many people out there think it's gross, disgusting, embarrassing, shameful, disrespectful, etc., etc., etc. EVERY MAMMAL BREASTFEEDS. It's LIFE! It's the beautiful ability women possess to be able to nourish their young and I don't understand how people can look at it any other way.

    Like you said, it's a personal choice. Not everyone wants to do it. But our attitudes towards it have GOT to become healthier and more realistic.

    It saddens me to know I live in one of the only 3 states (Idaho--I can't remember the other two) that have no laws in place to protect breastfeeding mothers and their children. I hope to someday be part of the change Idaho needs to protect all breastfeeding families.

    Good work, girl! You make us proud!

    (Wordpress isn't letting me log in, but this is Brittany from Lessons in Life and Light: http://lessonsinlifeandlight.wordpress.com)

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  13. I used to be one of those people who was repulsed by breastfeeding. There was NO way I was going to do it. Until I got pregnant and realized I am creating a life. It helped me see the other side on lots of things.

    I'm going to try it. I have some goals set, but ulitmately know if I can make it the 6 weeks I'm home I will be happy. My work schedule can be a little weird and while I have all the best intentions to pump...I'm not going to kill myself over it. I want to make the experience as postive as possible!

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  14. You know how I feel about this.

    So go, girl! Preach on!

    And honestly, I don't get why people say something that God designed our bodies to do is "barbaric."

    In fact, it's natural! It's just like sex/conception, pregnancy, childbirth, all that goes into making a baby. It's what our bodies were meant to do! What's ugly and barbaric about all that?

    So keep on keepin' on, girlfriend!

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  15. I'm obvioulsy not a mom, but since my best friend got pregnant I feel like I've gotten all the gritty details. She had her son in November and I can't believe all the drama that goes on regarding this issue. I think you made your point extremely well without being rude or inconsiderate. It is each woman's choice and we should respect each woman for it!

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  16. So glad it's going well for you! I plan to BF. My mom did with all 3 of us kids and we are almost never sick! That is one big reason I would love to do it. I find it strange that so many people are offended by it when that used to be the only way babies were fed! I do think some people take it over the top and let modesty go out the window. That won't be me for sure!

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  17. I ended up on your blog through a comment you made on Ashley's Avenue. I LOVE this post. I have a three month old baby girl and I was going to forego breastfeeding because of all the people out there that don't like it. I have a friend that was completely completely against it and she had me convinced it was not for me. I was SO against it, not because it grossed me out but because it grossed out others. My husband begged me to give it a try and I did and I LOVE It! Kendall is 15 weeks old today and I am still nursing her. I plan to continue nursing her until she is 12 months old or I can't do it anymore. I am just like you in I don't do it in public or around others that will be uncomfortable with it. I have always been very conservative of my body and nursing hasn't changed me of this. I really enjoyed reading this post and your little one is such a cutie!!

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  18. A comment from a formula feeder :)

    I love this post, especially the "respect goes both ways" phrase. This post also reminds me of the post you did a few weeks ago about mothers and competition.

    I hate it when the first question out of everyone's mouth is.."Are you nursing? Really...why not??"

    For me, I could care less how and what you feed your baby. That is just me. I know others who are very opinionated on the subject. You are choosing one way and I am choosing another. What works for you might not work for me. Can't we just support each other...raising kid(s) is hard enough. Why do we have to criticize or be mean to each other?

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  19. Yes! Love what you said, not easy but so worth it!
    And it's very personal so if you don't choose to b/f keep it to yourself;)

    Love this post!

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  20. i completely agree and i have no children.

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  21. Right on! I couldn't get my Emeline to latch on-apparently I have nipple issues :D and was frustrated, so I exclusively pumped for 10 months! And, to me, that is the same thing! And I get so mad when people talk about pumping or breastfeeding as yucky! Someone is coming to mind now! I bet we are referring to the same person............:0

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  22. Not cool for people to be rude about breastfeeding. I made it 6 weeks, and I would have like to have gone longer, but the ole' tata's just wouldn't cooperate.

    Yay for you for keeping up with it! That is awesome!

    Oh, and I left an award for you on my blog :)

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  23. Just to clarify..I meant "You" in general..not specifically you Katie. Sorry, if it came across that way!!!

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  24. Amen! I was actually having the same discussion with my husband the other night. None of my sisters breastfeed their boys and I totally supported them since this was their choice. They are also being very supportive of my choice to do so if my body allows me the chance. However, I did experience a similiar comment you did the other day. Someone made the comment that they would not breastfeed because "it is so cave woman." I was fuming but just chose to keep my mouth shut fearing I would say something nasty. Sometimes I really wonder if some people think before they open their mouths. I totally agree with you though, it is essential for each view to respect the others and then all is well. :)

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  25. I agree, it does get easier. I still have a hard time with how time consuming it is, but I'm becoming more patient I think.

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  26. Great post kater!! You know how I feel, we talked about it last night on our way home. ;). Love ya!

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  27. :) I wouldn't say I ENJOY breastfeeding, but I do think it's better for him :) It took us a while to get used to doing it exclusively because they were bottle feeding him in the NICU when I wasn't there. It was pumped milk, but I couldn't pump enough when he came home to feed him only pumped milk. So he got formula and breastmilk for a while. I am so glad to have him off the formula now though because we tried more than one and his poor little tummy just wouldn't have it!

    I really don't care how everyone feeds their babies though, really, isn't it just good that they are being fed? ;)

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