A Dad’s Perspective on Nursing (and Nursing in Public)

I was so impressed with the insight of this blog post that I am re-blogging it!! Add to that that it was a man who posted it and not a breastfeeding mama brings it home for me. I know how I feel. I breastfeed. but I truly value the insight found here from someone indirectly familiar with the direct and indirect repercussions of feeding ones child.

I recently met a woman who was nursing her 32 month old daughter. I, at the time was new to nursing and my first reaction was “what in the world would possess you to do that”. The thought of all those teeth and a walking, talking person hanging from a breast was more than my narrow mind had bothered to think. I admit it. I had jokes about breastfeeding in college. What… it was funny. Don’t judge me. And there it is right there. Don’t judge me. For feeding my child. For doing it the way God intended. for Giving my child the best nutritional, emotional and physical start to this life that I can manage to give. For sacrificing time out with friends, personal space, and perky breasts. Don’t judge me. This woman’s child has more than nutrition. Before having this child, I could not have imagined breastfeeding without a cover in public. Yeah, well I can now more than imagine it. I have never been offended by a woman’s breast but I have been taken-aback. I don’t come from a breastfeeding family. Now my family knows that if they visit I will feed my hungry child. They are welcomed to leave, sit in another room, go for a walk or ignore it. Whatever. If I am still able to breastfeed after 12 months and the ‘Wee One’ is still interested then… Don’t Judge Me. The baby is hungry.

The Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies

by Jay Parr

I was about twelve, riding the DC Metrobus home from school, when a woman started complaining loudly about another woman breastfeeding her baby on the bus. I didn’t see anything, so I don’t know if the nursing mother was covered up or not, but that’s irrelevant here. The complaining woman made her way up to the driver, a taciturn and tough-looking man who looked like he would as soon cut your throat as say hello (I remember him because he drove that route often). He focused on the afternoon traffic as the woman complained, until he came to a light and she demanded, “Well? Aren’t you going to do something?”

The driver looked out at the cross traffic for a moment, absently drumming his fingers on the fare box, then turned to the woman and shrugged.

“Baby’s hungry.”

I can’t say for certain that the woman immediately…

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Teeth and the boobs

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“There are teeth in his mouth. I don’t wanna put this in there.” Those are the words that ran through my head when at 8.5 months old, the littlest boy sprouted a tooth and a half. We have been working hard to keep the milk up. All kinds of Hospital grade pumps, herbs and compunded pharmecuticals. And now I have to contend with teeth. As if his occasional gnawing followed by an adorable smile when I yelled firmly stated NO, wasn’t enough. If it ain’t one thing it’s another.

So here we are. Almost 9 months and I have a teething biter attached to my gi-norms. Oh. What is a gi-norm you ask? Well it refers to the milk producing ginourmous (gigantic and enormous got together and made a ginormous… yes it’s a real made up word) mounds that my wee one feels are a the best thing ever. Ok. Breasts. Big ones. I digress. 9 months and now what?

No real bites yet (thank you Almighty). A few nibbles that were quickly followed up with removal of said appendage from wee one’s mouth and a very firm no. But no bites. I hate pumping. But if he uses those new chompers on my already sore gi-norms, I am gonna be a pumping somebody.wpid-wp-1389043453251.jpg

Truly though, I am extremely thankful to have gotten this far breastfeeding. With the bigger boy (now 9 years old), I tried for a month to breastfeed and pump. He wouldn’t latch at all for a solid month and pumping throughout the day gave no more than 1 ounce combined milk. That is right… no let down ever occurred while pumping. Of course, I didn’t have the lactation help that I had this time, nor did I have a Hospital Grade pump that is as silent as a whisper. No, no. I had lactation help that considered me another number and a store bought loud as Hades pump that sent “The Marine” packing each time it came on. So I am not exaggerating when I say that this time around has been full of small goals and big accomplishments.

So my lovelies. did you continue breastfeeding while baby teethed?

Breastfeeding Challenges Part 1

With baby number 1 (um… nine years ago), even after a month of pumping and taking to breast, I couldn’t get him to latch on and couldn’t produce any milk. Let me expand on that. The bigger boy literally screamed bloody murder anytime he was near a breast. I cried. A lot. My Mother is my witness, my then, less than a month old child said NOOOOOO when the lactation specialist attempted to get him and nipple together. What on earth?

I didn’t stop trying though. Someone gave me a pump. A nice one from Medela with the bag an everything. So I pumped in between (huge air quotes here) “feedings” because well, he wouldn’t take the breast. On a good day, I could muster a measly 1 ounce of milk collected from both breasts… total. I would quickly take my 1 ounce and add it to his bottle for him to gulp down.

At just about one month, that child finally decided to give it a try!!! Whoooo Hoooo. I still only had 1 ounce so that didn’t last long at all. I continued to pump but going to the private bathroom at work was not conducive to making milk. Still I tried. I took brewer’s yeast, milk tea, almost anything that someone said would work. Still 1 ounce. Eh. Enough was enough.

My breast size went from 34b to 36C! Wowzer! All I can say about that is they get in the way of shooting pool.

This time around, I wanted to try again. There were so many things that didn’t go as I wished but this was one that I really wanted to give a chance.  I was completely blessed in that the Nurses and Lactation Specialist at GBMC were (each and everyone) not only willing to help me but did so in a caring, patient and supporting way. I had one nurse who actually cheered in the middle of the night when she heard the wee one swallow! “Did you hear that? ” She asked. ” He swallowed!” By the time I left, I had milk, I was breastfeeding, my holds were stuff of legends and my baby was being fed by me! They sent me home with a pump and a number to call in case of lactating emergency.

I didn’t mention that while in the hospital ( I was there quite often and spent a solid week an a half on a unit for high risk concerns) they actually came to my room to help me find an appropriate breastfeeding bra. I tried on several and well, they didn’t have any in stock that could fit me. I measured in at a true 40F. Booooooo on that. Ok, I was swollen and that had a good amount to do with it. I have since settled to  a UK & US 36FF. Like you read, Gi-norms.

Anyway, I suffered  milk depletion after the hospital pump went back and I waited a month (a whole month) for the insurance company to send me the ‘free’ pump. Only to find that it was a total piece of crap. In fact, it was so bad that I threw it in the trash can instead of selling or giving it away. What brand you ask Ameda, Purely Yours.pump_purely_yours

Now, the Ameda site has some extremely helpful information. But the bare minimum pump that I received produced about 2 oz. of milk. I had been getting an easy 6-4 oz depending on the time of day so you can imagine my concern as that 2 oz started to decrease. And worse yet, it was time to return to my full time gig. Oy vey!

I don’t want to leave you hanging on a cliff. Well yes, yes I do. I want you to subscribe and then read part 2 when it makes it’s appearance.

Til later lovelies.

Did you have breastfeeding challenges?