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Monday, August 08, 2011

Motherhood Mondays: On boobs. :)

This may be a little intimate, but let's talk about breasts! After the jump, of course...

I've always been a pretty modest person (in high school gym class, I was one of the girls who would change in the bathroom) but now that I've had a baby, I'm much more open about certain body parts: namely, breasts. They just seem so functional and quotidian to me now. So, if you're game, I'd love to chat about all things breasty.

Seven things that surprised me about breastfeeding:

1. Breastfeeding burns a whopping 500 calories per day! Yowza! I was really surprised to hear that. Even if you sit perfectly still all day, you burn as many calories as if you'd run five miles. Needless to say, you get hungry like the wolf. I remember drinking an average of four glasses of whole milk every day, and once, I ate an entire tuna pasta salad in the middle of the night. The next morning, my mom, who was visiting, was like, "Where's the pasta salad?" I was like....In. My. Belly.

2. You get overwhelmingly thirsty. As soon as I'd start nursing Toby, I'd get hit with a wave of thirst like a Mack truck. All I would be able to think was, "Water, water, water...." until I was glugging down a huge glass. Alex actually bought me a giant water bottle, and honestly it was one of my favorite gifts I've ever gotten.

3. You can squirt milk across the room. (Is that TMI?) Before having a baby, I imagined that a nipple would function like a single straw, but actually they're more like this kitchen faucet. Milk sprays out a bunch of teeny holes, and, if you squeeze your breast, you can spray milk right across the room! It would be an awesome party trick if it were the least bit socially acceptable.

4. Nursing bras can be sexy. I dragged my feet when shopping for a nursing bra because I figured I'd be stuck wearing a hideous functional number for the next twelve months. But! I was thrilled to discover Elle MacPherson nursing bras. They're soft and pretty, and I love how the black lace peeks out from beneath tank tops and cardigans.

5. Babies are completely over-the-moon about milk. It's so, so, so adorable how much babies love milk. Toby would get so excited before feeding; he'd root around trying to find the boob. He'd frantically move his tiny head around, like, where is it, where is it...he'd find his fist and suck like crazy...and then be like, oh, wait, that's not it....where is it....YES, here it is!!!! And his eyes would basically roll back in his head, he was so happy. (And then he'd get his drunken sailor face:)

6. You can literally feel drained afterward. Sometimes I'd stumble out of the nursery after giving Toby his bedtime feed, and tell Alex, "I feel like the energy was just truly sucked out of me." It can be exhausting. I mean, you're fattening up a baby. Of course, it can be really wonderful, cozy and profound at the same time.

7. You get big boobs! Kind of embarrassing but one of my favorite parts of pregnancy/nursing was finally experiencing big boobs. I've always been a flat-chested girl (I even wore those chicken cutlets at my wedding), and I've long been curious about what it would be like to have big breasts even just for one day. Well, when I was pregnant, my breasts kept growing, and when Toby was born and I started nursing, they felt HUGE (at least to me). It was a thrill to have big boobs, including cleavage, for the first time ever! (Here are my small boobs; here are my big boobs:) Of course, now that Toby has stopped nursing, my boobs have shrunk down to their pre-baby size. But I'll never forget my one glorious well-endowed year.
Toby eating lunch in our hospital room when he was one day old.

Finally, the breastfeeding book I swear by: A few of my best friends found breastfeeding very difficult at first (one even said it was harder than labor, ouch!). I felt hugely grateful to have a relatively easy time with nursing, and, along with biology and luck, I credit The Nursing Mother's Companion for helping make breastfeeding easier. With a straightforward, reassuring tone, the book shows you how to help your baby latch on correctly and overcome obstacles. My friend Samantha gave me her dog-eared copy before Toby was born, and I'm so thankful she did. I'd highly recommend it to all mothers-to-be who plan to nurse. (And good luck to you! I know everyone's experience is different.)
I'm so curious: What was your experience with breastfeeding? Did you breastfeed or decide not to? What were those early days like for you? (I am so amazed by moms who handled sore breasts on top of everything else in new motherhood! What heros!) What surprised you? I would LOVE to hear...
(Heehee)

P.S. Breastfeeding in public.

256 comments:

1 – 200 of 256   Newer›   Newest»
Morgane said...

Thanks for this post! Even though I not near the stage in my life where I need this information, it is quite reassuring to hear this.

stephanie michele said...

I breastfed for the first six months (we weaned naturally at 6mos. for various reasons). I remember it being one of the most painful things right at first, but it was such an amazing way to bond with my new baby. I wrote more about it on my blog in the beginning...

http://www.thiscasita.com/2011/02/my-rambles-on-breastfeeding-etc.html

Kelly said...

I loved breastfeeding! I was also so amazed by HOW HUNGRY I was! I would eat full meals in the middle of the night during the first couple months. The other thing that amazed me was HOW HUGE my boob looked next to my son's tiny head. At first I thought, how is this ever going to work out? But it does, and it was a wonderful experience. Now that I'm expecting our second baby, I can't wait to experience it all over again. :)

jenny said...

I don't have any kids, but this post cracked me up! I am fairly open about things like this with my girlfriends and it was really fun coming from you.

Maybe you'll get big boobs again soon (: (I have them, and I gotta say, i like them quite a lot. [I'm a D Cup] But it's a little overwhelming to think how big they will get when I do decide to have kids. Ha!)

Trina said...

#3 just made me laugh. And #7 I've heard is a DEFINITE perk, haha!

Giulia Doyle said...

I never nursed, but they still grow and I could not fit in anything (i'm large chested).
I women got arrested recently at a concert here because in a drunken state she used her boobs as a weapon and squirted milk into police officers faces.

sherri lynn said...

This is really helpful information! A baby is not in our immediate plans, but I love knowing things to expect for when that does happen! I'm slightly nervous about the big boob issue because I am already quite endowed! yikes!

Jennifer said...

Joanna, I can't speak as a mother, but I appreciate knowing these things about breastfeeding as one of my closest friends has been going through much of the same with her baby son; I feel like I now have a little hint of what she's been experiencing. I remember when she first went to nurse in front of me, she apologized for having to "flash" me, but it was just such a natural thing, and I nor anyone else there felt uncomfortable.

In my own "boob" experiences, I can say that I went from being very self-conscious in my teens and twenties to being a bit less so as I had to start having mammograms, sonograms, and a few (thankfully benign) biopsies in my thirties... you get to a point where having to stand, sit, or lie around in a medical facility with your top half exposed to everyone becomes no big deal!

ashlie said...

It's funny how people's perspectives change. The hardest part about breastfeeding for me was the change in boob size! I went from a 34H to spilling out of the 34J nursing bra I had. It was a struggle everyday just to get dressed and feel somewhat comfortable. When my baby weaned herself at 6 months, it was a huge relief to have my body back at least somewhat. The whole nursing burns so many calories you have an easier time of losing weight didn't work at all for me either - I only lost 4 pounds the whole time I was nursing!

husbandofyear said...

Thanks for posting so honestly about breastfeeding. I'm currently breastfeeding my 5 month old, and it has been very rewarding and exhausting; but thankfully, it has also been a relatively easy experience. Just curious, did you decided when to wean your son, or did you let him decide? How did you know it was time to stop?

Emikos Werid Unexplained thoughts said...

what a great post. i have big boobs and im glad u were able to share my joy lol if i could i have enough to share with you. i have a (I) cup and have to say i was born wit it( only one in the family though) lol so i would dread them getting bigger.

My niece now is 13 use to nurse for a very long time. I mean she was like 1 or 2 im like oh my are u suppose to? wow i never thought id get to actually relate to this. lol

Stephanie said...

I had twins 9 months ago. I had very neutral feelings about breast feeding prior to giving birth (I'll give it my best shot, and we'll see). For several reasons, I gave up pumping out of sheer exhaustion after 8 weeks, and being scared the girls wouldn't be getting enough nursing only. Since then it's been a battle fighting the guilt of not trying harder and wishing so terribly much I could have had that experience. I never thought I would feel such regret not making it work. However, so happy that you (and others) were able to have such a wonderful experience with it! I enjoy reading your breastfeeding posts!

Designs Good said...

I don't have any children yet, but really enjoy reading about your experiences as a mother ... it gives me a lot to look forward to--even the scary stuff! I hope I'll be able to breast feed when the time comes.

jfb said...

I really wanted to nurse my babies but discovered after the birth of my first that I am among the 2% of women who do not produce milk. It was VERY frustrating to meet with nurses and lactation specialists that kept insisting that I just needed to try harder ... as if any pregnant/postpartum woman has any say over what her body does!

Camila said...

Breastfeeding was something I really looked forward to when I was pregnant. By my daughter's third day of life my nipples were destroyed, so bad that her pee would come out with blood from my breast. I went to see a lactation consultant because it was really bad. She told me I was not producing anything. I went home with a pump and recommendation to put her on formula. For a couple months I pumped every two hours and put her on the breast, to stimulate it, but I never produced much milk. All I have are drops (literally), but I still put her on the breast at 3 months old. Even though those drops are not enough to feed her, I still do it because a little bit is better than nothing, and she gets so calm when she's on the breast. And I have to say it's a little bit for me too, my eyes water everytime she stares at me, and I keep asking myself how I can freeze that moment forever...

Rachee said...

#3 is so hilarious and true. Sometimes, my baby girl would pull off after let down and milk would spray all over her face. Thanks for posting this! Your post back in Oct/Nov about breastfeeding in public encouraged me to keep going with BF. I had only been doing it for a few weeks and I was so ready to quit until I read your post, so thank you!

Sarah Katie said...

This was a very interesting post. I'm not a mother, but it was still very neat.

And, that t-shirt is hilarious. Plus, that store is in Iowa City, cool beans, because I am in Iowa City three times a week.

Anonymous said...

Yes. I breasfed both of my sons. Now 6 and 8 years old. Not doing that any more ;-) I have (funny?) story related to #3 in your post. Coincidentally I was about 6 months pregnant when this took place. I was at Oz Fest one year, with my younger brother and some of his friends. There are all sorts of crazy things that happen there. One of which is girls getting up on guys' shoulders and showing the excitable crowd their breasts. Anyway, one woman was up on shoulders and clearly going to flash some boob but she took it a step further. She grabbed her breasts and squirted the onlookers with her milk. Yes, breast milk can travel great distances, especially with the added advantage of height. I was outside of the "spray radius" and probably blushed a little, wondering if in 6 months I too would be armed with these milk cannons. When I look back, it was pretty awesome. And I think wins a personal prize I am awarding to women on an ongoing basis "Best Alternative Use of Breastmilk".

tatum said...

i've been breastfeeding for 6 months now, yay! i think that's called "silver boobs," with a full year they get promoted to "platinum." i think i was more afraid of breast-feeding than actual labor & delivery, i had heard one too many horror stories of bleeding, cracked nipples. nothing could sound worse. happily, my baby latched easily, i was so grateful that one of us knew what we were supposed to do. the first 10 days or so were painful and sore, and i definitely felt like quitting, but i'm so glad i didn't. the #1 thing that surprised me was how self-conscious i'd get around other people, particularly those who are not parents, when i'd have to feed my baby. i always go to another room or pump a bottle, but even then, i worry about what they're thinking, like, "ew, she's feeding her boob to her baby." i know that's what i would be thinking before i had had kids! oh well, i know it's a beautiful thing, but for some reason i just really need my privacy when breastfeeding. oh, and had to share, this is the FUNNIEST post about breastfeeding: http://www.modgblog.com/2011/08/04/10-things-about-boob-feeding-that-only-im-going-to-tell-you-you-my-friend-are-welcome/

Callista said...

You are so funny! I don't have kids of my own, but I absolutely love the candor and humor you use to tackle posts like this one. As I was reading, I found myself giggling out loud, even though I'm all alone in my apartment. :)

Thanks for being so much fun! Even via cyberspace.

Not your goddess said...

I had such difficulties at first breastfeeding my first born, bleeding nipples, mastitis, you name it. It took me 6 weeks to get it right but from then on it was a dream, I breastfed until he was 14 monts. My second born was the same, although the nipples only bled a little this time. I got mastitis when he was 8 weeks but after that cleared up it was a dream and I breastfed until he was 21 months and I was 4 months pregnant with nr 3. Third time round the nipples were in good shape but the mastitis was horrible. Long story short: 6 rounds of antibiotics and several trips to the hospital to have puss removed from my breasts with a needle that looked like it was intended for a horse (HUGE). But now my daughter is 3 months and it's all wonderful again!

Keri said...

i love this post! (especially because my younger daughter finished breastfeeding last week, and my nursing days are over.) Thank you for being so honest about it. I loved nursing and am feeling a bit wistful about finally finishing -- as I nursed both my kids for a long time. I have always been flat also, and am wondering whether I'm going to have to say goodbye to my B cups. Too bad!

Carol said...

Oh this made me laugh! Good memories. I am also a flat chested girl (51 year old woman now!) who breastfed two babies for 2 years each. They had to pull them off me and take them away to wean - I (and they) loved it so much. I loved the little gurgling noises they made when the milk let down and they tried to keep up, and the eyes rolling back - yes!
My girls never had any childhood illnesses or infections like ear infections. It was one of the best parts of the whole experience of having a child. Not to mention the best diet I was ever on ;)

Brenna said...

I loved breastfeeding all three of my babies. They all nursed until they met the 12-14 month old mark. Not really by intention, but more because my milk production had slowed down... and they were hungrier than I was supplyin'.
I too am small chested and loved actually having 'roundness' to my shirts and dresses.
I don't think I'll ever forget the "let down" sensation that comes after the first few minutes of baby's suckling.
For babies 2 and 3, I had mastered nursing while lying down which equalled a little bit more resting time for me. Perfect.
Breastfeeding was honestly one of my favorite parts of the early stages of the baby's life...and something I would look forward to/long for near the end of my pregnancies.
Thanks for your candid post!

Little Treasures said...

I breastfed both my children for almost a year and loved the experience. I can totally relate to the frantic nipple seek, ha.ha, I loved those couple of seconds.

As for the boob size, being big in that department, I got huge during pregnancy and breastfeeding and since I am a petite woman I didn't like how I looked. I have to be honest and say I couldn't wait for their size to get a bit smaller.

Thank you for the lovely post! I quite enjoyed reading it!

chelsea lee said...

I am so glad you decided to post this! It feels like so many people are afraid of breastfeeding or chose to give it up so early but really, it's free, it burns calories and it helps our babies brains grow - so it was a no-brainer for me. It came fairly easily in that I had a huge supply and it came in easy, but I struggled with plugged ducts occasionally and sometimes you definitely feel like a milk-machine but overall some of my favorite memories of my littles are looking down at them during a feeding. Bravo for your honest portrayal of motherhood!!

macaca grava por cima said...

I stop breast feeding exactly one month ago (when my baby was 7 months old) and when I think about it I totally agree with the reflection you make in this post. So true and so honest!!

1. I felt even more hungry then when I was pregnant. I would go to the kitchen in the middle of the night and I would eat whatever I could find in the fridge.

2. I never felt so thirsty in my intire life. I kept a bottle of water in my bedside table and I would drink it while breast feeding

3. funny... yet, spookie!!! :-) I use to try that in the bath

4. I can't agree with you in this one. The bras I bought were very unsexy. And it was a really nightmare to sleep with a bra.

5. and moms are also over-th-moon about breast-feeding! I was!!!

6. totally!

7. pregnancy is the silicone of the poor people!!! ahahahahah My boobs were regular size before pregnancy, I guess now they are smaller than they used to be :-(

For me, breastfeeding was a very good experience. Everything was so natural, never had any pain, even the end was natural (I was kinda concerned about it).
I never had a help book, but this one seems great!!!
Once again thank you for sharing

Lexi said...

WARNING, TTMI!!!! I breastfed my first child for a year and am just about to wean my second child, in another week or so. It was very painful both times, but with the second I had a recurring staph infection in my nipples that is still lingering. I had severe engorgement that came on right after I gave birth to my second, and nursed almost every hour, as pumping gave no relief. Due to the constant nursing, I got sore cracked nipples. I had to use a shield because I was so engorged, and while in the hospital contracted staph. I took 5 rounds of 10 day antibiotic treatments, and it would clear while on the medication, but come right back after I finished. I pumped often, since nursing became too painful (and my nipples were pussing, gross). I would STOP my pump session after 17 ounces of milk would come out of ONE breast... it was THAT severe!! My entire freezer consisted of milk, which I had hoped to donate, but due to the staph they would not accept. So over 300 ounces were thrown away :( . I also had mastitis a few times from blocked ducts, and the milk would come out in huge mucousy clumps. I saw an infectious disease specialist and they recommended that I wean (not what I wanted to hear) BUT, here I am almost 12 months later... still nursing a BIG BIG healthy boy!! (Off the charts big) If I could do it through all of that, then anyone can!!! I wish I could have been some sort of test subject for doctors, anything that could possibly happen to a nursing mother, happened to me. UG!!

Demelza Fey said...

I loved breastfeeding, it just came so naturally and it felt so right, and I'm sure it made a huge difference when bonding with my little one.
Unfortunately I stopped producing milk about a month after he was born so I had to start bottle feeding him :(
But if I ever have another baby I will definitely breastfeed for as long as I can!!!

DeeDee said...

Great post! I loved nursing my baby girls. For the first time in my life, I loved my tits. Really loved them. They were working girls with a superb function.

My first daughter latched on easily and breastfeeding was a breeze. She nursed until she was 3 years old.

My second girlie had a funny latch and made me SO sore. We worked for days and days to get it just right, and then it was easy again. She also nursed until she was 3.

I wouldn't trade the experience of nursing them for the whole wide world. Seriously.

Kacie @ A Collection of Passions said...

I have been so surprised by breastfeeding too. I'm shocked at how much I love it and at how much freakin' work it is! My daughter just started biting (and she has one tiny tooth) eek and I'm hoping this stops. I really want to keep feeding her so she's gotta stop chomping! I'm also surprised at how much work it is, how challenging it is and how rewarding it is.

Kacie
http://www.acollectionofpassions.blogspot.com/

kristin said...

Oh Jo, I love you! Your Motherhood Mondays posts are my favorite. You're so right about the hunger, thirst, baby's excitement, and giant knockers. It's also amazing to finally realize that breasts are FUNCTIONAL. Nursing really is a great experience once you get through the initial learning/adjusting period. I nursed my daughter for 13 months and am still nursing my 8 month old son. It's even easier with the second baby because you know what to do. The Nursing Mother's Companion was a great help when I had questions the first time, and La Leche League's website is another please I consult if I have "issues."

Gray Skies said...

This was hilarious and wonderful to read! I've always been on the fence about having kids, but the more I read your Motherhood Monday posts and see the obvious joys of motherhood, the more I lean towards wanting kids :)

ohnomyboots said...

I loved breastfeeding! My funny little girl would get so excited when she saw me take my shirt off (when we were at home) that she'd start hyperventilating with this maniacal gleam in her eye- I have it on video and it's pretty hilarious. Did you hear about La Leche League's world wide latch-on last week?

I do miss my pre-pregnancy boob roundness. After a year of hard core sucking, they became a bit flattened- I even fantasize about a late-in-life boob job just to regain some of the bounce I once had. I'm not even kidding! Well worth the loss of my young vixen rack, though.

Evelyn-everywhere said...

I definitely agree that breastfeeding for me was harder and more painful than giving birth! Just thinking of that first month still makes me shudder! But it eventually got easier and now my babe just turned 1 and i'm trying to figure the whole weaning thing out! Any tips??

Heather said...

Great post! You crack me up and I love your honesty Joanna! I'm currently breastfeeding my 6 month old daughter. In the beginning, it was awful. I cracked and bled and scabbed, and then cracked and bled some more! (sorry, TMI?). I was so determined to make it work though, and with the help of a lactation consultant (worth every penny!), after about a month, we we're finally pain free. I love the bonding and the intimacy I feel while nursing my daughter. I love that she is growing strong and beautiful from what I have been able to feed her from my breast. I do not like the big boobs (was big to start with; now feeling HUGE) and the fact that nothing fits me anymore. Dressing has been a bit challenging for sure.. But it's a small price to pay. And I'd do it all again. Mostly, I feel grateful that I've been able to have the opportunity to nurse my baby. I know someday soon, she won't need me in quite the same way.. trying to enjoy each and every moment!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I'm so glad that you had an easy time of it! My babe is 6 mos old now and while she only gets breastmilk, she hasn't been on the boob since she was about a month and a half old. I'm one of those folks who thought breastfeeding was MUCH harder than the actual labor--and I didn't even take drugs! I also never anticipated how emotional I would be about my difficulty breastfeeding--which was definitely made worse by all the people/books that made it sound as though you weren't really trying if you were having trouble. I also had production problems early on, as I think a lot of people do--despite some books that say that it's rare. All that to say: New moms--hang in there! Just do what's right for you and your body, whether it's breastfeeding, bottle feeding or formula feeding. Everything will work out just fine!

Susan/Mommy said...

When I had my baby boy in 2008, I had never talked to anyone who had a difficult time nursing. From the books I read and the mamas I talked to in pre-natal yoga class, I was expecting my baby to seek out my breast and just latch on. Well, it certainly didn't happen that way for us - it was a lot of work and a lot of discomfort (to put it mildly!). It really was about 6 weeks before we had it down. I kept thinking, "How could the most natural thing in the world be so damn hard?" But I stuck with it and I ended up nursing him for 26 months!

Oh, and the most pleasant surprise was definitely #1. The best diet ever. How I miss those days...

Liz said...

Wonderfully honest and simple, what a wonderful read. BF my daughter till she was almost 2 after a shakey start. I carried on with good support from friends and my local BF group. Now a trained BF helper with BFN supporting Mums in the community and online.

Theophanie said...

I nursed both of mine. My first couldn't latch properly, so I pumped for her too. Breastfeeding was a little traumatic for me as before children I wore a 32DD - now I am an 'A' cup! The midwives "reassured" me that "sometimes that just happens." As much as I hate that nasty little side effect, I would still nurse if I could start over again. :)

Full Bleed Screen said...

Breastfeeding my son was hard at first. He got 'thrush' which was the most painful thing I've ever experienced-think needles coming out of your nipple. Once we cured that, it was smooth sailing, for over 2 years. It felt like a magical experience.

With my twins, it felt like a whole new experience. I had a harder time enjoying it because I was literally breastfeeding night and day, around the clock. With them, I lasted a year. I'm glad I stuck with it because it helped with the bonding experience since I was now a mother to 3 and felt pulled in every direction. Those minutes alone were valuable.
I am so grateful for those precious years and cherish them immensely.

Anna said...

This post was hilarious and I love the comments! I had a really painful beginning to breastfeeding - I had thrush and was so miserable for a few weeks, but once it was treated, breastfeeding became the most lovely, sweet, fulfilling thing! I ended up being much crunchier than I would have guessed and I breastfed for nearly 2 years, up until my daughter basically weaned herself.

Though she clearly got enough milk to thrive (as in, she was huge), I was never able to pump adequately, and I also definitely couldn't squirt milk across the room, though I would love to have that superpower...

Thanks for another candid, hysterical, wonderful post.

Jessie said...

I am always so happy when people talk honestly about the highs and lows of breast feeding. It sometimes feels like the elephant in the room.

I had such a difficult time with my baby girl that I made the (very hard) decision to switch over to formula at three months. My body just would not produce enough, no matter how hard I tried (feeding, then pumping every three hours was so exhausting!), even after consulting with a lactation specialist.

But I can't say I also didn't mind having a larger chest, even if it was temporary! :)

Jackie Geschwind said...

that kitchen faucet image is HILARIOUS!

i breastfed all 3 of my kids--loved it, each time a different experience. and while breastfeeding is natural, it doesn't always happen so naturally. you credit Nursing Mother's Companion, and i was grateful for the lactation consultant at the hospital.:)

Brooke said...

I breastfed our daughter to 13 months and am currently still breastfeeding our Toby who is 8 months.

Breastfeeding Isla was tough for the first two-three months - I was in so much pain with mastitis and cracked nipples, it was truly awful. I would dread feed times because it was so painful. But we persisted and finally clicked and I was so incredibly glad we did. It worked for us and the benefit outweighed the negatives.

With Toby it was a different story. The first couple of weeks were still tricky, with a few cracked nipples etc, but I was so much more relaxed and he was a more natural feeder, so we settled in much more quickly. Still going strong and I;m glad of it every day.

I know lots of women have a tough time and I hope they get comfort from reading everyone's experiences - no-one's journey is the same and ultimately what works best for mum and bub is what makes them happiest.

PS. Jo, I think you're doing a fabulous job of talking openly about motherhood and parenthood issues. No part of raising kids should be taboo, because parents need all the support and dialogue they can get! x

anilia said...

I breastfed for 15 months with my son. I was so hungry that I gave up trying to feel full after a little while. I got skinny quick! I felt like it was really hard until about 6 weeks. cracked, bleeding, latching and re-latching every time to get it right. But it was so worth it. He loved it and I loved it. He showed me he was ready to stop. Even for a couple months after weaning I seemed to lose an ounce for every one he gained. I would love a boob job now though. For real.

Luciane at HomeBunch.com said...

This is one of the most interesting post I've read. HONESTLY!

I'm pregnant with my 3rd child and I'm so eager to breast feed him. I couldn't breast feed my first 2 children because I didn't have enough milk, but I'm feeling totally different this time. I'm fuller up here.. lol... and I know I'll have lots of milk... I really want to.

Thank you for being so candid about it!


xo

Luciane at HomeBunch.com

Stacey B said...

Breast feeding was one of the hardest things for me. I had my son via c-section and he immediately latched to me like a champion feeder. In fact, all the nurses even said what a great feeder he would be. 24 hours later he became constantly irate and would not take the breast. No matter what tricks and positions the nurses tried he would put it in his mouth for a second and then spit it out. I cried, I felt like a loser, I also felt criticized by the lactation consultants and nurses. Come to find out, I wouldn't produce any milk for 7 days. I tried breast feeding and the baby wouldn't have it and so I pumped every 2 hours and fed him the collestrum via bottle. When my milk came in I almost cried, and yet knew I had a hard road ahead because nipple confusion, nipple confusion, nipple confusion. Except, as soon as milk was there my son latched right on again and ate like a champ. Six weeks later, my happy baby changed again and became a screamer. I decided to take a day of "nursing rest" so I could pump and assess the situation. The situation I was completely dried up. My breast milk well had completely gone dry. I never got the bigger boobs (they are big anyway), I never felt engorged, my breasts just weren't meant to produce milk no matter how hard I tried. It was a hard pill to swallow with all of the breast is best movement. Now, I understand that it just doesn't work for everyone...even if it is best. My son was formula fed and the bond that we have is unlike any other. If I have another child I will try again, but I will not beat myself up next time. I'm only human.

stacy said...

I nursed for 6 months- but unfortunately it did not come easily! I did enjoy the experience, and am so glad I stuck it out as long as I did, but for me, it was truly a day by day thing. AS in, I will do this today, and see how it goes, and if I make it, I will do it again tomorrow! My daughter wasn't latching on correctly, and my nipples were so sore that what I really needed was a break from nursing for a few days while they healed, but that's not possible because it will interrupt your production, ect, etc! I was really amazed to discover what an artform breastfeeding is. It's fascinating stuff! You really have to get it right the first few days so your supply is good. I had to see a laactation specialist, apply medicated prescription cream, and wear nipple guards while I slept! Alas, I kept reminding myself how good this was for her and it kept me going. After two weeks, we got the hang of it and the pain started to go away. Once we got the hang of it it was easy peasy.

Anonymous said...

I also breast fed (not for very long), but did get the big chest for the first time ever! It was fun to feel curvy and womanly, since I am flat-chested as well. I think my mistake was supplementing formula bc I wasn't sure if I was producing enough milk. I think supply and demand is the key here. I also would just leak milk sometimes, especially when my baby cried.

sarahpcpress said...

I had a difficult time breastfeeding (really low production, even after all the pumping) and so it was also very difficult to face my own guilt and the judgements made by other mothers who assumed it was as easy for others as it was for them. I had my second daughter five months ago and decided to just do breastfeeding in the hospital for the colostrum and the formula for the rest and this time around I have really been able to enjoy the newborn stage. My calm in the storm was this article:

http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2009/04/the-case-against-breast-feeding/7311/

I am happy to report that both of my daughters are happy and healthy. It is wonderful that breastfeeding is so easy for many but there are those out there who spent many nights on the phone with lactation consultants and support groups and still had to give it up…

Anonymous said...

I just have to say that I have absolutely loved your blog ever since I found it a couple years ago - and this is my FAVORITE post so far. My son was born not long after yours and it has been so fun/comforting/sweet to read about your life as a new mom. Thank you so much for being so open about your life - I know I am not the only mom that appreciates it. -Nicki

Juliette Muracchioli said...

I have a nine month old little guy named Adrian. He's still very attached to nursing and it's a bit like handcuffs at times, but all in all, I really love it.

My little family and I live in Panama and we don't have a car. I walk or ride the bus everywhere with my son, and I'm 10 lbs thinner now than I ever have been in my life. I eat like a horse, but still the weight keeps falling off. It's pretty unbelievable-- I had NO clue this could happen just from breastfeeding and carrying my baby!

And man, having huge boobs is really something. I'm just waiting for my big boobs to deflate and my waist to grow back...surely this can't last forever!

Courtney said...

I love when people talk so openly about these things! And I'm glad things went so well for you. My daughter experienced some "oral trauma" when she was born (because they thought she wasn't breathing she was very aggressively suctioned and whisked away to the NICU) and so she really didn't like things being shoved in her face. :) So, she wouldn't even try to latch. It was so devastating for me! I felt like that was one thing no one prepared me for-- I thought since my body was designed to do it, it would be a piece of cake! But no such luck. I pumped for a while, but then it just worked better for us (emotionally) to switch to formula. I'm glad things turned out well, because she is such a healthy girl, but I will do everything I can to make breastfeeding work for my future children. So thanks for mentioning how hard it can be for some people!

Just For Today said...

I NURSED OUR THIRD CHILD, A GIRL, AFTER THREE BOYS. NO REAL REASON FOR NOT NURSING THE BOYS. JUST DIDN'T. BUT MY TIME WITH MY BABY GIRL WAS NOTHING LESS THEN PRECIOUS. I STILL MISS THAT TIME WITH HER. SHE IS 16. :(

GREAT POST

HUGS FROM MY HEART

Anonymous said...

Love you Jo! It's great to have an open blog that discusses this.
I am only just starting to wean my 12 month old, much to his dismay, and mine, but lots coming up that i can't be breastfeeding for.
I also had 3 weeks of sore scabby nipples and had to use a nipple shield but after that it was smooth sailing. i perservered because i didnt really feel there was any other option, and my older sisters had told me about the excruciating toe curling pain when you first start, so I just thought it was par for the course. I have absolutely adored breastfeeding, and can't wait to do it again. The only downside is my breasts arent what they were, the left one taking the whole thing a bit harder than the right, buts its a small sacrifice. I had 30 years of good boobs so i should be happy with that ;)

bailey said...

It will be a while before I have kids but your posts always make me less scared! I still read all the Motherhood Monday posts!

Kate said...

Great post. Breastfeeding rocks for all sorts of reasons doesn't it. My personal surprise was how intimate and beautiful it was. I often go up to mothers feeding in public and tell them how lovely it is to see - and it is!!!

chole said...

What a wonderful celebration of breast feeding!

you did such a wonderful job posting with out assuming its the right choice for everyone, I love that about you. :)

I bf'ed and did formula with my fist son, and then exclusively bf'ed my second son for 14 mo. Phew! that was seriously exhausting, but really awesome too.

Charity said...

In. My. Belly. hahaha. I haven't had children yet but when I do I hope to be lucky enough to be able to breastfeed and to experience what you experienced.

Emma said...

Jessie, I'm right there with you and frankly surprised by how many positive breastfeeding stories there are on here! I had supply issues from day one, not to mention a baby with GERD, who wouldn't latch easily. So I had to supplement from the very beginning, despite my best intentions not to. Everyone assumed that because I am well-endowed, I would be overflowing with milk, but that was definitely not the case.

I struggled with mommy guilt for months (and would feel triumph at EVERY lonely drop that came out of the pump), and finally went 100% formula when my son was three months old. I can't tell you how much sheer determination I had to MAKE. IT. WORK. But my body just wouldn't cooperate. I took every supplement under the sun; ate all the right foods, took in tons of liquid, had homemade, fatty chicken soup several times a day, pumped every few hours... and the most I ever got in one day was probably 6 oz total (and that happened maybe twice). My baby would eat a LOT and it was never, ever enough for him. Ultimately, the effort and emotional toll was not worth it for such a small percentage of his intake.

The important thing, as a parent, is to ensure that your baby eats! I still get judged by people on not breastfeeding, though I'm not sure if I'm projecting, because I struggled with the guilt for a VERY long time. On the flip side, I know people who INSIST on exclusively breastfeeding when they don't produce nearly enough milk... and to me that's hugely selfish. Yes, it's superior to formula and all that, but at the end of the day your baby needs sustenance. And sometimes you just have no other choice.

Hoping things will be different with baby #2! I still feel sad that I didn't have the beautiful experience that so many have had so effortlessly, and definitely feel a twinge of envy reading posts like these. Happy for you, though. :)

the wanghouse said...

i think this is the first time commenting on your blog...i have wanted to so many other times...but, motherhood was calling!! :) i absolutely adore this series and love reading about your experiences.
my little bebe is almost 8 months old. i am still BF. i do cherish the times that he nurses but i had painful challenges in the first several months. i had two episodes of mastitis and often would get milk blisters {what are milk blisters you might ask? exactly what it sounds like...blisters, filled with milk - OUCH}
i too, love the search for the boob and the drunken sailor face after a great session...heheee

thanks again for sharing your life...you and your sweet family are beautiful!!

Heba said...

WOW Joanna, I couldn't help but notice that your breasts were tripled during pregnancy.
lovely post :)

http://girlynote.blogspot.com/

Michelle said...

Four kids, very few bottles, and only the formula the NICU forced us to use for the two youngest.

I really could've done without temporarily becoming an EE cup!

Lost gallons of frozen breastmilk when our freezer got accidentally unplugged. Not that I ever needed to use any of it, but the loss still upset me. It was the point of the thing!

And those stories of women spraying strangers with breastmilk just make me shudder. YUCK!

I'm go glad I had good information before my first was born - it's what kept me going. If I hadn't known how well things could work, I don't think I'd have fought so hard to nurse my two premies.

Laura @ Sawan-Heaven said...

Thanks for posting! My husband and I just found out we are expecting our first baby. I'm only 6 weeks, and I think he is a million times more excited than I am! Your posts make me really look forward to expecting what is to come. :o)

Rose said...

Aw, so sweet! Makes me excited to be a Mom.

Rose
http://roselillian.blogspot.com/

Deanna (Silly Goose Farm) said...

I had the worst time ever breastfeeding. First, I apparently have "inverted nipples" so neither of my kids could latch properly. I also have DD boobs non-preggers, so when I was pregnant/breastfeeding, they swelled up to F cups. Those two things together made breastfeeing near impossible (the babies would get smothered under my boob). I also had c-sections with both kids, and I was so sore, it hurt to even hold the baby for a week or two after they were born.

I always will feel like a failure for not breastfeeding, even though I tried for 3 months with each kid. I already felt like a failure (or less of a woman) for not being able to have a kid naturally, so this made me really depressed. Lots of women romanticize breastfeeding, but no one tells you about the "other side" of it. Many who breastfeed seem to rub it in about how special/wonderful/etc it is. Often when people would ask if I was breastfeeding, they would give me looks or embarrass me/make me feel bad for not being able to (not choosing NOT to, physically not able to). I tried pumping, I tried everything. There was a lot else to this but this would take me all day to write about.

SmartBear said...

I am just LOVING these motherhood monday posts! Seriously...over the moon! I even did my own "balance" post on my little ol' blog because I loved reading all those posts so much.
I nursed my son for almost 14 months and I will forever treasure that time. I did have the book you mentioned, but I also went to a breastfeeding class and had an amazing lactation consultant. I never had any pain or bleeding. Once when he was getting his tooth he bit me. It only happened once but it was awful! My lac consultant helped me through that. (It didn't hurt so much when nursing but it hurt like hell and opened up the wound every time I pumped!)
I loved your little fun trivia about nursing and no one ever tells you how HUNGRY and thirsty you get!!! I was shocked by this. I remember one night, our second night home, I was up nursing in the middle of the night and my husband came to check on me in the nursery. I was sitting in the glider in the dark and nursing and crying like a baby. "What's wrong", he asked. "Please, please....just shove a cookie in my mouth or something!" Oh, I was so hungry! LOL!
Best,
Tina

fleur_delicious said...

500 calories? Holy moly! No WONDER you're hungry. I'd read this before - and a neighbour confirmed - so I made my friend (and recent new mother) a month's worth of comfort-food italian dinner entrees (lasagnes, pasta, gnocchi) and froze them in individual portions for a baby-shower gift. Now that I read this, I'm thinking maybe it was only enough for a week! =)

Brooke said...

What a great post! Motherhood Monday is one reason to look forward to Mondays ; )

The first 3 weeks of breastfeeding my daughter were brutal. I even wrote a post titled "I hate breastfeeding" Ha. The following 3 weeks, it got easier. By 6 weeks postpartum, I loved it. We're at 12 weeks now my 6 month goal has now been extended to one year.

My daughter also does this little excited giggle thing when my boob comes out. It's hysterical.

Brooke said...

Oh and how could I forget my oversupply. I make so much milk, I don't even have to press my breast. Once they let-down, it's like a sprinkler system. Breastmilk=everywhere. That wasn't fun when she was younger and choking on it, but now that she can handle the flow, it's quite funny.

Heidi said...

I had my baby via surrogate but managed to induce lactation. I am so glad I did because the experience of exclusively breastfeeding my (now almost 5 month) baby has been nothing but a joy. She knew exactly what to do from Day 1 and it's given us a physical connection that I feared would be missing since I didn't carry her myself.

Megan said...

Great post, JoAnna. I'll admit the part I'm concerned about is my mind separating boobs for baby and boobs for, er, intimate time, if I can be so frank. Aside from those concerns, I hope if we're lucky enough to have our own little babies that I'll be able to experience it for myself. It's reassuring to hear these stories -- including the milk spray detail. We need to know and be prepared for these things!

Oh, and LOVE the shirt. Being from Iowa, it's nice to see a home-state t-shirt shop get a little love. :)

romanholiday said...

I don't have a baby but I love reading your Motherhood posts! I love gleaning wisdom from you and all the other mamas in preparation for the day I might one day become one too :) I'm so glad we can all discuss topics like this openly.

My sister-in-law had much difficulty breastfeeding and I remember how despondent she seemed; she was really hard on herself. Since I'm not a mum I didn't know what to say to her, I just felt so bad that she blamed herself. I've heard Mommy guilt begins the moment the baby is born- seems so true.

Thank you for sharing your birth story- I just read it and cried buckets of tears. What a beautiful experience!

East Coast-er Momma said...

Hahah, wow, I loved nursing my babies. Goodness, not only do all of those nifty things happen that you wrote about, but also this amazing endorphin like feeling, too. I miss those days. Kinda...not the whole waking up in the middle of the night to find my bed soaking with soft boobymilk.

mandi said...

What a wonderful post! I love any time breast feeding gets positive press!
I breast fed both of mine, the first for 13 mos and the second for 16 mos. I loved breast feeding! My hardest obstacle was mastitis and thrush (in my breast). I got it 7 times with my first! Ugh! But I never quit. I just winced through it. I'm pretty proud of that. Now we are adopting our third (first adoption) and I am excited to start preparing for induced lactation.
Breast feeding is remarkable and wonderful. It is for sure like having a super hero power!

ps- my boobs didn't go back to pre-baby size...they got even smaller : (

joannah said...

Breastfeeding completely stripped all the post-baby weight off of my body. I always averaged a size maybe 8 for most of my adult life, but with some strength training and a super-healthy diet, I was a size 4 by my second babe's 1st birthday. Nice! There's nothing like the bonding... it can be so hard when you're new to mothering and you have this crazy small wrinkled thing yelling at you and you're no longer the glowing pregnant center of the universe, you're an addled, bloated baby slave... but those nursing moments, you and your baby become this calm center of the maelstrom, no one has ever understood you better, you've never felt more connected in your life. The start can be rough, but in a few weeks it's amazing. And they stay healthy when everyone around them is sick. It's incredible. Any woman who can, absolutely should. It's the brightest bit of early motherhood. (And you will whip a boob out ANYWHERE when your baby needs you. No shame!! My mother-in-law still has a mild facial tic, she was scandalized.)

Chessa! said...

Yes I nursed Lucia and yes my boobs were ENORMOUS! I've always been on the large (polite way of putting it) side and they were so big while I was nursing that I sometimes felt uncomfortable (well, more like self-conscious). Nothing fit at all. I was losing the baby weight even though I felt starved and so thirsty but I felt like each of my breasts weighed about 20 pounds! Still, it was the most amazing experience for me to be able to do that for my baby. I almost gave up after just 6 days bc I felt so engorged and Lucia and I couldn't seem to find our rhythm but thanks to the support of a few fellow nursing moms and an amazing lactation consultant I stuck with it and was able to do it for almost 9 months.

I was shocked at the spray factor! My sister and I called it "windex" lol...I sprayed my poor baby so many times but it was also so sweet.

Trysha said...

Isn't it adorable how their eyebrows shoot up when they get the good stuff?
Adorable

Jamie @ charmingly ordinary said...

Kitchen faucet! HA! So true. I was shocked with the whole "let down" thing. Intense!

Catherine Masi said...

What an awesome post. I will say this a million times over (and have probably already)... you are the loveliest and cutest blogger out there. And I get inspired by a lot of blogs, too. Yours just instantly connects, makes me smile, and- heck- makes the world right again.
And besides, I'm pretty fine with my A cup, but can definitely identify with loving just a bit more cleavage (why I loved being on the pill!).

Louisa said...

Hi Joanna,

Thank you so much for writing about this - and for recognizing that even though you had a wonderful nursing experience, unfortunately not everyone does. Women can be so judgmental which is disheartening.

I nursed my daughter for 3 months. She was in the NICU for the first 48 hours so I pumped from the beginning. She was a big baby, we had trouble latching her on - in spite of help from lactation specialists and a doula. (Btw, I really hate that some lactation specialists make you feel at fault if you have trouble nursing...Not helpful at all!) I had to use a nipple shield because it was the only way to get her to latch at all. I also pumped before and after she nursed to stimulate my milk supply and to draw out my nipples (sorry, tmi). I also tried that Mother's Milk Tea and fenugreek (=horrible headaches). I could never produce enough milk so we ended up supplementing with a bottle. After three months, I was dreading each feeding, in tears every time, and my sweet baby was so hungry and frustrated that she went on a nursing strike. I still feel guilty about not nursing her longer, especially since people are so judgmental. I gave it my best, it wasn't enough, and I certainly didn't need anyone else to make me feel worse about it than I already did.
I think there is such a huge push for breastfeeding right now - and I understand that it's best and can be wonderful - but I wish that new mommas could be told that there is a way to mix breast and bottle - it's not all or nothing, and you are not a failure if you use some formula. Above all else, it's a personal decision and each mom has to do what is best for herself and her baby.
Thanks so much for this post. I love Motherhood Mondays!

rachael said...

Breast feeding has been one of the loveliest experiences of my life. Though sometimes the process can be exhausting and time consuming, my favorite part of the day is nursing my sweet boy to sleep every night and I hope we'll be able to nurse for a full year.

The most frustrating part right now is that my almost five month old hates nursing under a nursing cover and I'm not one to stay at home because I have to nurse. It's quite a challenge to not offend anyone when we're in public (people are so sensitive about women breast feeding in public) but still get little Henry to eat and not tear the nursing cover off. It often leads to some comical situations.

Spencer and Michelle said...

As a new mom right in the midst of those early breast feeding days, I was delighted to read this post!

The most surprising thing to me (about breast feeding and motherhood in general) is how easy it has been. I don't want to jinx myself - but I have been blessed with a low-key, easy going little girl. Who also latched on like a champ at just an hour old!

I am treasuring each moment of it, instead of just waiting for that "bomb" to drop when she decides to wake up more during the night or be a fussy girl.

Kudos to the moms who can make it through and persevere with sore nipples!!!

Joanna Goddard said...

tatum, that post was hilarious!!!! thank you!!! :)

Jessica Tremp said...

you are adorable

Hannah said...

I breastfed until I was 3.5, so I was adamant about breastfeeding our girl Stella, who is now 8 months. It was painful in the beginning, as many of the ladies here already remarked on. I too dreaded nursing when my nipples were cracked and bleeding. After working on the latch everything improved. I'm now a little sad about the thought of one day not having that intimate connection with our girl.

Joanna, your line about the tuna casserole in your belly made me laugh out loud. Fabulous post. Yay for boobies!

Katie said...

I love posts like this. I don't have children yet, but breastfeeding is something I'm totally planning on doing and there are so many horror stories out there! Thanks for the information!

Joanna Goddard said...

LOVE these comments!!!! so fascinating and heartfelt and wonderful. i totally understand not being able to breastfeed and feeling that "momma guilt" -- i felt it too, when i weaned toby (at about 8 months) -- i think you feel guilt sometimes no matter what you do. it's just part of being a mother because our babies are so unbelievably important to us. as my own mom said to me, "oh, poor mamas! we care so much!"

Joanna Goddard said...

heidi, WOW, i am so amazed by you, incredible! fleur-delicious, that is THE NICEST GIFT EVER. laura, huge congratulations to your and your husband!!!!! xoxo

Norbyah said...

hi joanna, i LOVE this post. thank you for your openness. i think we should all be able to feel confident sharing things like this about nursing and other mothering experiences because these are the experiences that bond us. motherhood can otherwise be so isolating. somedays it can feel like everyone around you can be so judging (sadly, mostly other women and mothers).

i first found your blog and started reading it shortly after the post you did about your day out and about in the west village nursing toby. i commented on that post because i just loved it so much.

i nursed all three of my kids for 12 months each. my youngest hung on for 15 months. even now, she still nuzzles into my chest when she's tired (she's 2 1/2). it is fun to look back at pictures and realize just how big my boobs were. at first, i really hated them because none of my clothes fit the way i was used to them fitting (i am also a flat chested woman). i also found that with each child, my chest did not get as big as the first time. i LOVED nursing....and i have nursing envy when i see new babies feeding. it was a wonderful experience for me and very rewarding. now, i must live vicariously through my sister, who is in that stage of her motherhood.

xo
norbyah

JenAHM said...

I'm breastfeeding my almost 4 month old daughter and I can't believe I've made it this long! Before I had her, I was pretty ambivalent about it...I thought I'd give it the good old college try and see what happened. The first few weeks were rough, very rough. Besides the pain, she went through a three week growth spurt like it was her job.(Which, I guess in retrospect, it is her job) She ate every hour for at least 45 minutes, so my boobs only got a 15 minute break in between. After I finally got through that, I just wanted to make it to two months, and then three...and now it's just second nature. I love that time with her...and it also gives me an excuse to not have my mother-in-law babysit her for too long. Bonus.

buildingatlantis said...

I have never breastfed (way too young for kids!), but I have lot of friends with kids that are big on breastfeeding. I also nanny a newborn who's mother breastfeeds and pumps. I've heard all sorts of breastfeeding adventure stories and hope someday I'll get to experience it as well.

It's nice to see someone talk so openly about it. Boobs are way too taboo in our culture.

Mama Bird said...

I am so very happy (and jealous!) for every mother that who wants to, can breastfeed. I had my first child in November 2010. Prior to his birth, I was really turned off by breastfeeding and I NEVER thought I would want to. I did plan on pumping for awhile as the benefits of breastmilk are great. He was born 3 weeks early and a immediately deemed a "lazy eater." He took right to bottles but NOT the breast. I was surprised how much I actually wanted to breastfeed and was so devastated when he refused to breastfeed. I tried for 3 long weeks to breastfeed but for the first two weeks, everytime I put him to the breast he screamed bloody murder. By the third week, he resigned to turning into a statue everytime he got near the breast. I felt like I tried everything: nipple shields (that I had to go to 3 stores to find), priming the boobs with the pump so he did not have to wait for the let down, dribbling breastmilk or formula down the nipple, withholding the bottle, giving a small bottle first so he was not so ravenous hungry but it just never worked out. I did pump for 4 weeks but with no stimulation from a baby, my supply was weak. I am still disappointed at my experience but I have friends with the same experience who were there for me when I was crying my eyes out over this. Sometimes it just does not work out and we were all happier when I stopped trying to force something that was not working for any of us.

Kelli said...

Thanks for reminding me about the breastfeeding. I have three kids, 27, 18 and 12. The first one I only tried for about a week and just didn't feel like I was doing it right. I didn't really have any support system so I switched to the bottle. 9 years later I nursed my second child for 6 months. It was great and I wanted him to take the bottle because I thought I was going back to work, but when he did I cried haha! With the third baby I nursed him til he was 13 months old. He never took a bottle. So I did it all and and everything worked out great for each kid. They all are healthy (thank God) and happy. Loved the pictures, they bring back good memories!

Kate said...

I love that you talk about this stuff, Joanna! You are awesome! I am a few years out from all of this, but it is very fun and informative to read about!

KatieB said...

Thank you, Jonanna - your post and all these stories about breastfeeding are great! My babe is 13 months old and we still nurse a couple times a day - I love it. I certainly didn't always love it, though - the first two or three weeks when my breasts were so sore, or the super-distracted, nurse for 5 seconds, look around, nurse for 5 seconds phase around 7 months come to mind!

The thing I wish for all mothers who want to breastfeed is the kind of support I received. I had wonderful midwives who guided me through the tough first weeks, a husband who took on nighttime diapers changes, water and snack-fetching, and great friends willing to pass on tips and pep talks. So my own pep talk for new moms: I worried so much about Breastfeeding in Public. How could I manage? Wouldn't it attract a lot of attention? Then I just started doing it - with one of those capes when the babe was tiny and latching was still a bit hit-or-miss, and then without when she started to get annoyed by it. I promise: you can do it anywhere, most people won't even notice (even when the baby fusses!), and a nursing bra, shirt you can lift easily, and your baby's head provide plenty of coverage. If worst comes to worst...most of the people in Starbucks have seen a breast before, and it won't kill them;)

lady lee said...

Yay for breast talk! I am chatting about boobies all week on my blog so I was so excited to see this post from you, I think I am going to link to it tomorrow in my post because it is so good!

I am breastfeeding my Westley who is 3 months old and am loooooving it. I have had some challenges but we overcame them together and am so happy that we did. I plan on nursing for a year and am already sad thinking of the time when I won't be nursing him anymore!

Anonymous said...

I wanted to breast feed, but was not very informed. I got a very painful cracked nipple and had to literally brace myself for the pain when my baby started to suck. Then it was ok. I think the whole problem was that he wasn't latched on properly. It could have been avoided. I wish I had read this book!

Ingrid said...

My three girls are all grown now, but I'm so glad you're talking about, and encouraging, breast feeding. It was one of the best things of my life. I cannot stress enough how important it is to read and learn about breastfeeding before the baby is born. I did not do that for my first, and because I had no support, it did not work. If it could be done wrong, I did it. I had to wait a long time to have my second baby, and that time I read three books on breastfeeding before she was born. Even though I was sore at first, things went so much better. I thought she would be my only nurser, so I nursed her until her third birthday!!! I would be nursing yet! Imagine my delight when in my 40's I had a bonus baby and got to nurse again! I nursed her until she was close to three, but she was too busy to be bothered by that time. I encourage every pregnant woman to nurse if she can. My shower gift is always a book on nursing (I'm glad to know your favorite) and I write my name and phone number in it, and say I'm available for support 24 hours a day, especially in the middle of the night! Thanks again for telling of the wonder and joy of such a loving and sweet gift you can give your children...

Robot Baby said...

I'm 4.5 months into breastfeeding my son. Things started off so easily for us that I expected it to go on that way. We had a major challenge at 2 months when I developed mastitis. I had the biggest, hormone induced, postpartum freak out over the possibility of not being able to continue breastfeeding. I've had tons of clogged ducts and a even a clogged nipple pore! Luckily, with lots of support we were able to continue. I say we to include my husband. He deserves a great deal of credit for all the help and support he's offered. I am never without a giant Ball jar of ice water, with one of those bendy straws, each and every time I'm breastfeeding! That of course is just an example of a small way that he's been supportive. I'm also surrounded by lots of close friends, all breastfeeding their babies. But even with all of the support it can be an exhausting and lonely experience, at times. But so much of the time it is such a wonderfully simple thing. I love Anne Lamott's quote about breastfeeding her son in her book Operating Instructions. She says, "This is the easiest, purest communication I've ever known."

michelle said...

Currently nursing baby number three. My second and third babies have been great feeders, but my first baby required extra help.

Baby 1 never latched in the hospital and the hippie lactation consultant swore the baby would figure it out and told me to never use a breast pump or a nipple shield. She then said if the baby got hungry to SPOON FEED the baby. AND I DID IT! I actually expressed milk with my fingers into a SPOON (so painful) and fed it to my three-day old starving daughter. Insanity.

Finally, day four I had enough. I went to a different lactation consultant who examined me, the baby and finally gave me a nipple shield, which worked! I tried a few more techniques to see if we could get her off the shield, but that's what worked for her.

I'm so pissed at that lame consultant in the hospital. I almost didn't nurse my baby all because she thought a piece of silicone over my nipple was terrible. And the experience was so bad that I probably would have abandoned nursing my other kids, who amazingly all latched on great.

God bless you Nancy Held at Day One in SF!

emily said...

7 yeses! Although #7 itself was, for me, not so great, as I was already further along than I'd like in that category before pregnancy thankyouverymuch. I love nursing now, but the first few weeks were really hard. What got me through it was 1) I'd had multiple friends say that 6 weeks and 4 months were the magic numbers for things getting easier (and they were), and 2) the thought of having to buy and mix formula and handwash bottles on top of everything else - it sounded a lot more daunting than just figuring out breastfeeding! I had so much good help from friends, though, esp. when it came to nursing-in-public confidence.

Anna Alter said...

I love your Motherhood Mondays posts! I have an eight month old and love breastfeeding her. It's such a good feeling to meet your baby's most basic need in such a simple way.

Hendrick Family said...

I live and work in Haiti with my husband and four boys. I spend my days teaching Haitian mothers to breastfeed their babies. It is amazing how something so simple can save so many lives. This post made me smile. Way to go!

I also wanted to mention that our last child is adopted. I breastfed him too. Breastfeeding was such a sweet part of motherhood for me with my three biological kids. Even though I knew we wanted to adopt, I grieved the thought of not being able to nurse our newest baby.

Just wanted to throw that out there in case anyone is hesitant about considering adoption because of how much they love breastfeeding, or is in the middle of the adoption process and had never thought that nursing an adopted child is possible.

It can be done!

Heather

natasha said...

I nursed my daughter until the week she turned two...not planned, just happened that she had some health problems and developmental delays, so I let her interest dictate when each feeding would be dropped. We had a rough start - it took 6 weeks of me crying and pumping before she could latch properly, so I never took it for granted once we got going. Plus I was with her all the time and it was super- convenient and beat the hell out of sterilizing bottles! Anyway, I LOVED nursing her, but only after she turned 18 months and dropped back to one feeding a day did I realize how much it had sapped my energy and changed my brain. Whatever it did to me hormonally, it was like someone gave me a lobotomy and took out the part that controlled my libido. And to be honest, it also wiped out my other passions - creative things I had always enjoyed doing and my career ambitions, etc. The good news is that it ALL came rushing back to me soon after my daughter was mostly weaned and my period came back. I loved the closeness of breastfeeding, the convenience, the way it melted off my pregnancy weight. I would do it again for sure. But I want to be honest about the temporary sacrifice - I was not my usual self while I was doing it, and looking back at that, I am now a bit afraid of going for number 2!

By Maclatchy said...

How timely.... I have a 14 month old (my second child) who I'm still breastfeeding. Since she turned 1 people constantly ask me when I intend to stop.....I fed my first until he was just over 2, not because I planned to but just cos that's how it panned out. When I did wean him it was a pretty painless affair and seemed to be the right time for both of us. I remember with my first that there was a point where people found it inappropriate, a subtle change in reactions. Breast feeding has been the most wonderful rewarding thing....boobies are fabulous, and useful!

Darling Kelsey said...

I knew I wouldn't have any trouble supplying milk because I started leaking when I was 6 months pregnant. I wore nipple guards more when I was pregnant than I did after G was born.

I had a little trouble in the first 24 hours at the hospital but after a visit from the lactation consultant things were well on the way to being great! I had pain until about 2 months. I remember crying and putting music on for my own calm. G latched well and my body produced milk well for him. I did bleed and crack, but rubbed some olive oil after each nursing and that helped a great deal.

I remember my husband telling me how jealous he was of my breasts because he got to spend so much more time with G and bond with him right away.

I was amazed how natural I felt when I nursed G. By 6 months I could carry him in one arm and shop with the other (he would be covered, of course). I love how, in the beginning, when he would only be wearing a diaper and I would be topless it felt most natural... Made me think of La Pieta and the many renditions.

I started weaning at 12 months and finished by 15 months. In retrospect I feel guilty for nursing him and not knowing I was passing along foods to which he was allergic. He had severe eczema and spit up after EVERY feeding. The doctors told us he was just a baby who spit up a lot. It wasn't until he started eating table foods we realized something was amiss. At 13 months he was diagnosed with Dairy, Egg and Nut allergies. At 18 months he was diagnosed with Asthma after a 5-day hospital stay.

I appreciate that we had an 'easy' time breastfeeding but wish I had the knowledge and/ or awareness about passing along food allergens. I am sure I'll be sensitive to that the next time around.

I'm with ohnomyboots... My breasts, though the same size they were before pregnancy, feel deflated. I have told my husband I intend in invest in a little lift sometime in the next decade.

Also want to say Thank You for your wonderfully honest and kind posts about Motherhood. I would love to contribute if you do a post about mothers who do not work in or out of the home. 'Stay at Home Moms' if you will. My viewpoint will be one that it is not in any way for me or my family.

Merrilyn said...

I nursed both of my children for 14 months, and I could totally have written your post, word for word! When I was pregnant with my first, my husband used to joke about how much I ate, but it paled in comparison to how hungry I got when nursing. And the thirst, oh the thirst! I drank huge 32 oz. bottles of water multiple times a day.

Thanks for sharing your breastfeeding experiences. I hope it inspires more women to stick with it, because it is one of my most treasured times with my children.

Nina said...

Wellsince my son was born 7 weeks early and was itty bitty they did not want me to nurse but i did pump. I recall the doula who was helping me and the nicu nurses were quite impressed with the amount i produced. I wasnt sure what to expect...i am well endowed and maybe that helped? It was frustrating not to be able to nurse him...i was able to try once in the nicu in a month and then going home it was so hard. So hard! I got pretty stubborn after like a week, ignored the advice and just did what felt right for us and it worked. The problem is being large breatsed they rec the football hold which we both hated. So its good to get advice and then just trust yourseld. Im letting him self-wean....hes 4 in 2 months and hasnt stopped yet but hes never been a root at my shirt whenever kid or i probably wouldve stopped it earlier. Though when hes really tired hed often rub his hands on my upper arm and sometimes into my shirt which can be embarrassing. Just naptime on wkends and at night for the last few years. I never was able to manually manipulate more than a few drops out but perhaps because the thought of squirting milk
horrified me. I also never spontaneously leaked as many
women say they do hearing their baby or another leak. It
has been expensive getting supportive nursing bras. Ive really enjoyed it though the first few weeks once we got the go ahead from the dr were uber frustrating. Im glad i didnt give up.

Amber said...

Great post! In my experience the hardest part of breastfeeding (beyond the initial horrible pain during the first two weeks which I thought for sure wouldn't happen with the second baby...it did) is giving it up! My second baby is a year old now and I want to wean her, at least at night, but she is so addicted to milk that it can't be done without a lot of crying and loss of sleep (on both or parts). I have loved breastfeeding both my babies. Thanks again for writing about it!

Anna said...

My sister has just had a little one and was so so scared Delilah wouldnt take to breastfeeding - but luckily she did! :) I havent experienced so far but have loved reading all the comments from readers sharing their experiences! I especially loved your initial post - you have a fantastic ability to make people feel involved through your writing!

Anna xo

http://www.lifesshinyprettythings.blogspot.com/

Michal said...

Im sitting here crying. My baby is turning 1 year old tomorrow and while i feel so lucky to have a healthy happy baby i will always carry the pain and guilt of not being able to nurse him. I tried so hard for 5 months, nursing, pumping, drinking the teas, taking blessed thistle, nettle, mothers milk plus, you name it i took it...i never produced enough milk. Its breaks my heart thinking about the bond that i didnt get to experience, those first months were pure agony...feeling like crap about myself, being hormonal, it made me gain 15 lbs! I stopped and finally lost all the baby weight but it was hard work, i cant imagine just sitting there losing 500 calories a day. instead i spend my days at the gym, chasing the stupid warm bottle, washing them, sterilizing. its all such a pain. im tempted to get pregnant again just to be able to experience the joy of nursing, im hoping and praying that the next time will be different. im so scared though, what if its the same thing all over again? what if i just cant produce milk?! No one told me that it would be this hard, i thought you gave birth and instantly became a cow. oh the joys of motherhood!

www.mybabyshungry.com

asiajane said...

I agree with your friend who said breastfeeding is harder than labor-- it was for me, at least the first time around. I've never felt so tired and drained :) in my entire life. I got thrush, too, which manifested itself in shooting pains throughout my breasts and a nasty cut on my nipple that took forever to heal. I still have a scar.

But that said, I'm glad I was able to manage to breastfeed both my girls (first for 21 months and second for 26 months). Now my boobs are smaller than they were before I got pregnant :(

melissa said...

I'm currently (ok, literally five minutes ago) nursing a 6-month-old. this is my second baby, and it's so interesting to me how *different* this experience is from my first time. i happily breastfed our older daughter as well (along with 1 bottle a day of formula), but when she naturally weaned at around this time, i think we were both very ready. with this baby, i almost never give her formula (or even pumped milk; i save that for when i'm away from home/baby), and just *feel* like we're not ready to wean yet. maybe that's because this kiddo is smaller than my first (she's 25th percentile, whereas her sister was always 90th), or maybe it's because she *might* be my last baby and i'm more aware of how fleeting the time is.

for the last few days, the little one has gotten a *HUGE* grin on her face mid-feed, pulled herself off the boob and just laughed/grinned at me. it's "our moment"; i lock eyes and snuggle her for a minute or two, give her a kiss and she goes back to feeding.

i also notice that with this baby i'm MUCH more comfortable feeding (modestly) in public, and no longer self-conscious about feeding in front of family and close friends. (maybe that's part of why this experience has been easier than last time.)

i also have to say that, even though i've read that breastfeeding burns 500 calories a day, i wonder if that's really true for everyone; i eat less than pre-pregnancy, walk many miles a day, and still can't manage to lose a pound. hmph.

Anonymous said...

That t-shirt says it all!

the lil bee said...

Oh, Jo. I heart you!

Breast feeding with Devon was BEYOND hard. Worth it, of course, but wow. Not easy. I pumped 10 times a day just to make enough for one and a half ounces per feeding. Awful, right?! She weaned herself off at about 4.5 months. I was devastated, but she was so frustrated. And I was hoovering Fenugreek and water, to no avail.

Breast feeding with Blake has been way easier, but I still only produce the same small amount. A measly 1.5 oz. No. Matter. What. I'm SO envious of my friend who pumps and gets 8 ounces each time. I've tried EVERYTHING short of acupuncture. I'm OK with it now, but boy was it hard to deal with at first.

PS: My word verification is OZOOLOTE. Doesn't it somehow seem like a breast-appropriate word?!

the lil bee said...

PS: I can't believe how TINY Toby was in those shots! So, so sweet;)

Swiss said...

I love your candid post on breasts when nursing- I am way past it but even at 63 still have such fond memories I was so lucky like you it was easy. I saw my daughter and a sister in law struggle so I knew how lucky I was. I also had a breastfeeding book guide from the LeLeche League and know it helped me feel ready and confident.

I have seen the new contraption for expressing milk too and think they are great, I remember doing it the hard way expressing my own and learned about the multiple holes too- once I spend an hour self-expressing and then spilled the whole thing!

My son went past 2 years and my daughter nursed for one year and they will always be my sweetest of memories ever in my life!

ALi said...

I breastfed my baby boy until he was 10 or 11 months old and lucky for me everything went smoothly. It also helped me lose the baby weight fast and now that I am not breastfeeding anymore I have to be much more careful or the pounds start creeping back. I took a breastfeeding class that was offered by my insurance and was so glad I did. It helped tremendously on how to do it and the proper technique. I think I would have had problems if it weren't for that class. Although I loved breastfeeding my baby I am glad we have moved on to another phase of our lives.

Joya said...

I love this post! Am currently nursing my third baby and was inspired to not be so shy about the topic/photos for my blog, by you! (previous posts you wrote/shared)
I just finally had my husband take photos to document my everyday moment : http://www.joyababy.com/blog/?p=1632

After finding a photo of my mom nursing me. Loved your in my belly comment haha! :) and love Elle M bras!

Xo joya

Katy said...

I love this post! Great information and so true!

The only thing I would mention is if breastfeeding is painful, then something is wrong. There shouldn't be any pain... even at the beginning! So, if nursing mommies out there are experiencing pain, talk to a lactation consultant and they can help you :)

Alicia Marie said...

oh man. Breastfeeding.
My first start was rough. ROUGH. My son did not suck properly. He moved his tongue wrong and we had to train him how to suck by pressing our pinky down on his tongue while syringing pumped breastmilk into his mouth. (A lactation consultant figured out the problem) So, for the first 4 weeks, it was attempt nursing for 20 mins, hand the baby to dad/grandma, they supplimented him with the syringe/finger and I pumped. Every. Single. Time...for 4 weeks straight. I ended up using a nursing shield for the next 4 weeks and than by 7 he got it! we made it! He nursed happily till 15 months when he weened himself.
Second baby was better, but i still needed the shield for the first 6 weeks to draw my nipples out.

I also have a really crappy milk supply and barely get dribbles out of my boobs. No shooting across the room for me. :( I am jealous for those who can.

Next babe...totally looking into the Elle M bras...

Katie said...

Great post!
I was also flat chested before falling pregnant and loved having boobs for once!
And I know what you mean about feeling so drained after feeding.. I actually lost a huge amount of weight while I was breast-feeding. Even though I ate huge amounts of food, after a year of feeding I was 10kg below my normal weight (and painfully thin!)
I used to keep really quiet at mothers group when everyone was complaining about not losing their baby weight and I was thinking "How do I put on more weight?"!!

Anonymous said...

Breastfeeding was almost impossible for me. I have inverted nipples and nobody told me that it was going to be a HUGE problem. A dear friend who also happens to be a dermatologist told me that I should consider "preparing" my nipples before my little Milo was born. Turns out it was too late because I was seven months pregnant and it could accelerate giving birth...
I tried to nurse Milo for 2 months and it was heartbreaking. Milo's doctor told me it was time to let it go and stop punishing myself. The guilt was unbearable and I would cry in my husband's shoulder telling him I was afraid my baby didn't know that I was his mother.
He is 6 months old now. He never got sick and our bond is great.
The whole breastfeeding movement is very frustating for those of us who really couldn't do it.

Amy said...

I breast-fed my now 2-year old for 5 months, and I'm still breastfeeding my 6 month old and hope to do it for as long as we can. With my first daughter it was a challenge - painful & exhausting. But this second time has been wonderful. From day one it has been simple and sweet. She practically hyperventilates when she sees me getting ready to feed her! I don't think I'll ever forget the tingly let-down sensation that lets me know it's working! The bigger bra size and the enormous appetite are kind of fun, too. :) Becoming a mother has been an incredible and unexpected adventure. (I'm new to your blog, and I adore it! Can't get enough of it...)

Notes from Holly St. said...

Breast feeding was an absolute challenge with my baby. No matter what we tried she had trouble latching on from the beginning. I began using a breast shield but then her latch became extremely painful so the next option was to pump. So I would breast feed until she was too frustrated to eat and then pump and bottle feed. I eventually had to stop forcing the breast because it was too frustrating for the both of us. I ended up pumping and bottle feeding until she was four months. Eventually, my supply dwindled and I began to supplement formula. She is now 6 months old and exclusively formula fed. Every time I think about breast feeding I feel like a big fat failure. I'm going to do my homework ahead of time with my second child and hopefully have an easier time.

p.s. love love love motherhood Mondays!

angry birds said...

Thanks for share this post! it is quite reassuring to hear this.

The Slick Mom said...

If we're being honest...I hated breastfeeding. :( I almost cant' write the word hate about something that should be so joyous. I had a difficult time with both my boys. Bleeding, cracks, infections, pain, pain, pain. I saw several LCs and nurses and read everything I could. I even watched videos. Still I just couldn't take it. There were times I wanted to give up. I ended up switching to using a nipple shield and this really helped. I actually lied to my LC on the phone because I knew she'd frown upon it. I mean it took her and me holding the baby in an awkward position and massaging my breast at the same time to get it to where it didn't kill when my son latched on. Not sustainable. I ended up going 5 months with both kids. I went back to work fairly soon after they were born and pumping at work, etc just isn't sustainable either. I couldn't get any work done when I was in a room pumping every couple hours. I'm glad I did it for a little bit, but I was happy to have my body and my sanity back when we were done. I also cheer on everyone that can do it with pleasure and keep on going for as long as they can.

Foxglove Accessories said...

I have a 9-month old little girl and we're still going strong with breastfeeding. I do enjoy it, but don't LOVE it like some women seem to. Sometimes (especially in the early weeks), I just feel completely tethered to her and like I'm more of a food source than a comforting, loving mom. But I'm so glad I've stuck with it, and I feel very lucky that it came so naturally to both of us. One HUGE perk with nursing is getting those baby pounds off fast. 9 months post-pregnancy, I'm actually 5 pounds lighter than my pre-pregnancy weight (with no dieting included). I'll definitely nurse the next time around.

Ms. Kaitlin Boyer said...

I breastfed my son for 2.5 years and LOVED every minute of it.

Dana said...

i think the thing that surprised me the most about breastfeeding is how much i have come to love it. my first two months were so hard and painful--i think i kept at it by sheer force of will. once we turned the corner between two and three months, it became so special. my little dude will be one next month and i love that he still wants to cuddle and nurse. he reaches up and touches my face and hair. it's so sweet. i will miss this so much when it's over. i'd love to read about your experience weaning toby. i hope you will share!

DustyLu said...

Ok, I have to be honest! IT hurts so bad but, I would not have it any other way. I breast fed my first son until he was one. It does wonders for baby. Now with my second son only 8 weeks old, I am typing while he is breastfeeding. LOL... WOW, we women can multi-task!

Joanna Goddard said...

the slick mom, wow, i would have hated it too! that's so intense. yes, i completely agree that some women can't do it -- who knows, i might not be able to do it with our second baby (if we have one) -- every mother/baby/pregnancy is different. huge cheers to all mothers for all they do, whether you breastfeed or not!

Anonymous said...

Great post! I nursed my daughter for 14 months and she kind of weaned herself (which was heartbreaking for me). Now that we are expecting baby #2 I am SO looking forward to nursing again!I remember the sleepless nights with fondness - it was a time for just the babe and me. I only hope breastfeeding goes as well with this baby as it did with our daughter!

Mia

PS For some reason I actually do not dig having big boobs. I am normally an A and right now I fill out a C quite easily - makes me very self conscious

Joanna Goddard said...

michal, you sweet mama! i am so moved by all these stories of mothers who tried so hard to breastfeed but couldn't. i can imagine the heartbreak and the guilt, especially when others are telling you that you can do it -- but you know it's impossible. how difficult. but the whole "bonding" thing with mother and baby over breastfeeding is great -- but honestly, i feel just as bonded with toby after we've weaned than before. it's the same. i don't think you need breastfeeding to bond with your baby and have that deep love for each other. you're a mother and child, and nothing can change that!!

suann said...

great to know that you talk about something breastfeeding again. i wrote an email to ask where to buy a better nursing bras, thanks for your suggestion indeed. For me, i prefer flat chest rather than big boobs. i dun know what to wear every morning as my boobs are bigger than before and i cannot wear one piece dress as i need to nurse my baby in the publics...

Liz said...

Love this! I don't have kids yet, but I loved reading about breastfeeding with such honesty and humor :)

R.Anne said...

Thank you, Jo for your funny post and everybody since for your replies (I have read each and every one). So eye-opening and informative!

I hope that when I become a Mum that breastfeeding is possible for us. Now, I look forward to it, despite the potential (probable?) difficulties.

I do look forward to having boobs for once; for my own wedding, I didn't even wear a bra! For this reason, I've always worried that maybe I'm not going to be a good "feeder". But if it doesn't work out, now I won't beat myself up about it.

Discussions like this are fun and important; they protect us from ignorance, misconceptions and each other- it's sad Mums can be made to feel judged and guilty, even by professionals!

From these comments, difficulties and inabilities seem like a natural occurrence, but I suspect that in times past, and in certain cultures still, Mums "mothered" together and Mums (and babies) with problems were helped by the group. Mums with breastfeeding difficulties are probably perfectly natural- it's our expectations that have changed!

Claire said...

Joanna, This is totally unrelated, but I was clicking on all the links in this post and I just love your eye glasses (seen in the "to the hospital.." pictures)! Do you know what brand they are?

Nancy E. J. said...

I loved this post! I laughed out loud about #3; especially since I recently did squirt across the room. I'm still nursing my daughter who is 13 months old and a few weeks ago I had a feeling like maybe I wasn't producing enough. Well, after Amélie's bedtime feeding I went into the bathroom and squeezed one breast lightly and milk went spraying everywhere!

Breastfeeding was extremely difficult for us in the beginning. We had a few problems and it was so emotionally draining. I just wanted to feed my baby!! I drank the teas, took the pills, and visited our LC a lot. It all worked out, though.

I don't know how much longer I'll continue breastfeeding, but I'm sure I'll miss it when we're done. I have the sweetest memories of nursing in the middle of the night- just my girl and me in the soft light.

Claire said...

Eeee!! I am having my first bubba in early Jan 2012, and can't wait to breastfeed!! I am really hoping I don't have any big problems and it all just comes naturally... but I know that's often not the case.
Pregnancy and motherhood are pretty crazy things!

songfang said...

I learned a lot from these blog!I am not married yet!Mother is great !show my respect to all the mother!Mother is angel created by God!

riorita said...

Hey, My daughter was to modest about her boobs until she had her baby last year. It seems she loves her body much more nowadays, which makes me very happy!

Anja said...

I just loved this. The only question left is: Why do men have nipples?

Jilly said...

My breastfeeding experience with my daughter was less than perfect but I cherish every minute of it. She was born 1 month early, completely fine, but couldnt latch onto my breast excect for a few minutes at a time. After consulting with a lactation specialist who came to my home and worked with us she said that my baby had an underdeveloped palette and that was why she couldn't suck. So I reluctantly gave up and decided to pump for 4 months so she could have mothers milk. I really missed the special moments we shared where she was latched on and sucking the life milk out of me. It was so intimate and loving and I wished there could have been more. I was just blessed to have a healthy baby.

Bia said...

Oh, I can so much agree with everything you wrote! Also I become sooo hungry after breastfeeding! And can drink gallons of water! Also I have changed my thoughts about breastfeeding in public. Before I became mother I thought i would be shy of doing it. But now I know that i mostly don't have any other option and I can easily breastfeed my dear 2 months old Helena on the bench in a park.
I love your posts, especially i wait for Monday Motherhood posts. There is one another topic I would love to read from you and other moms - How are you dealing with all the good advices on children care that comes from the relatives? I love my family and i do understand that my mom, my mom in law and grandmothers care much about us and want all the best for my daughter. But sometimes it is so hard to have them at our house because of all the comments how to handle with baby. Perhaps I am not too self assured and don't want to hurt them by saying to stop comments? Would be nice to read how was it with you!

Carla Maia said...

Hello

I still breastfeed, and my Kid is 19th months.
It has been a great battle. My Kid is alergic to cow milk, so I am realy lucky that I have milk.
The difficult part is that I have to take milk with the machine, so sometimes I feel like a "cow"!!!
Did you know that breastfeeding is a natural somniferous, for the mum and for the baby!

Suka said...

Hello Joanna!

I've found your blog yesterday and already I'm loving it! I'm portuguese, so I've discovered it by searching the web.

Thank you for your post about breastfeeding and your tips (like the book).

I'm pregnant now (25 weeks). :)

And of course, congratulations! You have a beautiful boy!

Giselle said...

great post! so funny!

ZHENYA ZHURAVLYOVA said...

wow!!!!i see great blog!

christina said...

When I found out that my first baby was actually going to be my first THREE babies breast feeding was one of the biggest concerns I had. Here's a long and detailed blog post I wrote about it after my triplets were born: http://www.threeleggedrace.us/category/breastfeeding/

(I've loved getting to experience what its like to actually have boobs too! This month is my last month of pumping though and I'm a little worried about getting the dreaded "pancake boobs". Did yours go back to "normal" or are they very different than pre-baby?)

Alison Kilpatrick said...

I really loved reading this, thank you. I remember when my daughter would be so excited to eat she would do little karate chops and make sucking noises. She's 5 months now, and doesn't do the chops, but I love the little smile on her face she gets when she knows what's coming.

P.S. I also have a huge water bottle on my nightstand and with me at all times.

how to get bigger breast said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

Michelle Kendrick Hartney said...

Joanna,
I love this post and I really look forward to Motherhood Mondays! I am breastfeeding my 5 month old right now and truly love everything about it, although it's hard at times because my baby refuses the bottle, so I can't really get away for long at all! One thing I haven't seen mentioned yet which is another great benefit to breastfeeding is how helpful it can be during immunizations. After my daughter gets her shots (and we're spreading them out so there are TONS!) she screams her head off in pain (poor babe!), and all I have to do is whip out my boob and comfort nurse her and the crying stops. I was wondering what it would be like for her after shots if I was not breastfeeding. Obviously she would eventually stop crying, but I do believe it's a bit less traumatic because she gets calmed so quickly with the boob. Add it to the list of benefits to breastfeeding!

maticki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
maticki said...

oh, I always read your blog but I rarely comment. I had to comment on this one!

My baby is almost 10 months old and I just stopped breastfeeding. It was so hard in the beginning that I almost gave up, I ended up visiting lactation speacialist (!!!) and paying loads of money but if not for her, I would have not made 4 weeks of breastfeeding. The PAIN was worst than the labor and my nipples were distroyed and cracked and for first 3 weeks I was pumping day and night to keep the milk supply, I also didnt know what to do with the huge boobs, it felt uncomfortable and unsexy, my baby girl also refused to eat from the left breast until I figured out one and only position where she would eat from that breast as well (which left me with 2 different size boobs!!!). Three month into breastfeeding and we finally tuned in and (both) started enjoying it.

http://flic.kr/p/9dFEvb

http://flic.kr/p/9vEmzA

As soon as I got pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed, but I never expected it to be so hard and painful!

oh, and now I have stopped my boobs look quite sad...:( like empty sacks (sory for/if TMI). I hope they will recover. I am wondering how they will end up looking if I ever have another baby.

Leslie said...

Ok, I have no children, but eventually I do want them. I definitely plan on trying to breast feed. Question for all of you moms...this may sound a little superficial...but I really like my B cups right now and I'm wondering if they'll be saggy if I breast feed. What's your experience?

Sarah said...

Love this post! You are too funny. I'm also so much less shy about boobs now that I've breastfed. Funny how you suddenly lose your inhibitions and realize that they are just boobs- nothing to get too worked up about for heaven's sake!
I breastfed each of my two children. Nursed my son for 2 1/2 years, stopping when I reached my 2nd trimester with my daughter. I just weaned my daughter last month-- she'll be turning 3 in two weeks. Before kids I would never have imagined that I would have breastfed for so long. My "plan" was to nurse for 12-18 months. But, it was such a natural, loving experience and it felt so right that we kept going. I've actually considered looking into training as a lactation counselor. If I had to do it over again, I think I might have gone to nursing school to become a lactation consultant. Something I would never have considered before I had kids of my own. I never had any major issues, although it was uncomfortable, exhausting, and at times frustrating at first. I learned much more from Dr. Sears' Breastfeeding Book than the lactation consultant in the hospital, who was NO help at all. I give his book as baby shower gift now to those moms who I know will be breastfeeding.

H said...

It is truly a joy. I am nursing my second baby and love it. Our bond is unshakable. I was back in my pre-pregnancy jeans in no time. What's not to love about that?
I tear up a little seeing your little Toby nursing in the hospital photos because I remember both my girls at that time. The first time you hold your baby and the first time they latch on to eat is just euphoric and magic! Motherhood gives my life such meaning.

Jessica said...

Ahh, nursing. I too become enormously thirsty when I nurse and pump. I had twins my first pregnancy and since they were born five weeks early I couldn't nurse them right away so I just pumped and well, ended up pumping for 18 months. I had LOADS of milk and I lost LOADS of weight. I miss the miracle of my pumping metabolism. I had a baby girl nine months ago and was not prepared for the pain, anguish, and challenge of actually nursing a baby! Even with a c-section my milk came in the DAY I delivered and my body wanted to feed TWO babies. I was engorged nearly immediately and my baby was tongue tied so I suffered nipple tears that took 13 LONG weeks to heal. I thought I would die on occasion. The weight also did not come off like it did pumping for two but now that I can nurse without pain--I adore that time with my baby and already I mourn the time when I will no longer nurse her.

Jenn said...

My daughter is 8 months old and I'm breastfeeding. During the day I pump, nurse in the evening/night, and send her to daycare with little milksicles in the morning that her caregivers thaw and feed her with.

When my milk came in it was excruciating - but only for a few days - and mostly because somehow that situation was not something I was educated on, so when it happened, I was completely unprepared and was playing catch-up learning what I was supposed to do to ease the pain and engorgement! So that wasn't great.

Otherwise, I'm relieved to say that breastfeeding has been so easy for me! After hearing so many horror stories, I feel incredibly lucky that my daughter needed very little adjustment with latching and everything's been great - no chapped, cracked, bleeding nipples - I've had a little soreness on occasion, but really nothing to complain about. It's been fantastic. And the way she gets so excited to nurse is incredibly adorable!

I was hoping to nurse for two years, but I've heard that nursing can make getting pregnant a little more difficult, which isn't great for me since I'm older - 38 now - so it's already a little harder for me to get pregnant than it would have been a few years ago. So I'm thinking about weaning her at one year so that we can start trying for a second child. That said, she's eating more solids now and I feel like my milk production is slowing. I'm probably just adjusting to what she needs, but just in case, I just started drinking a cup of "Milkmaid" tea a night that's supposed to increase milk production. I don't know if it's helping of not. Wish me luck :)

prettyshaw said...

This post was so sweet and hilarious! I totally understand all of your points, as I have just finished the breastfeeding stage after almost nine months. I thought that I would be very uncomfortable with breastfeeding, but I have loved every moment of it, EXCEPT for the sever scratches across my chest. I promise, my son is Wolverine. Thanks for sharing!

Erica @ Acire Adventures said...

What a sweet post! I adore your complete openness about breasts! (Nobody EVER talks about #3, but come on, we must have all been totally surprised and even a little cracked up by that one)

You are lucky that you had such a great, easy experience with nursing. My experience was a total disaster. My little guy had a lot of trouble latching and I was in pain for the whole two months I nursed. Then on top of that, he would projectile vomit pretty much all the milk he consumed all over me when we were done. He would also have frequent fits of screaming. It was terrible. Add on how delicate I was feeling as a new mom recovering from a c-section, and I took it all pretty personally. After 2 months I found out a friend of mine had the exact same experience and lactose-free formula was the answer. We tried it out and my son stopped the projectile vomiting and endless screaming fits at night. While it was an expensive 10 months, and I struggled with some guilt over the whole ordeal, it made us a much happier family. I'm hoping that our future children won't have the same problem!

Stacy said...

Oh yes! You are right on there! I loved how they were so content when they were nursing. Such sweetness. :)

I had a great experience with my kids, but I did't last as long. I work in an office, so I had to pump when I went back to work at 3 months. That gets old pretty quick. I did 6 months for my son and 8 months for my daughter, but I had milk stored in the freezer for a few weeks/month past that. I could produce milk like nobody's business LOL! I have always been an avid water drinker, so I think that helped. I also lost all the baby weight by about 4 months with the nursing, healthy diet (lots of whole grains, veggies, etc.) and exercise. My husband said the best I ever looked was between nursing and pregnant with #2 (that lasted all of 2 months!). I still had the nursing boobs and I went under my pre-pregnancy weight since I was burning so many calories. I recommended it to all my friends, to at least give it a shot.

Red Penny said...

so amazing to read all of these stories and hear the variety of experiences. i think we all put a bit too much pressure on ourselves.
with my son, eliot, nursing started out so easy and lovely. i assumed i'd nurse for at least a year... then at 2 months he started exhibiting symptoms of milk protein allergy and GERD. so much spitting up and crying! we struggled through 2.5 more months, while i pursued a no-diary and no-soy diet (and lost a significant amount of weight). going back to my full-time job was the real clincher. i just could not work, pump, stick to this insane diet and be a normal, happy human being!
we weaned around 4 months, and eliot was happy to drink formula and have cuddles with us afterwards. he is a big, beautiful boy and i have no regrets.
except that by boobs are now even smaller than they were pre-pregnancy... and I didn't start out with a whole lot :-) i do still like looking at them post-shower and reminding myself that they served such an amazing, essential purpose. i love them!

Angela said...

With my first it took at least 6 weeks of hour long feedings to get it down. I was determined to stick with it! It all worked out and I nursed her for 10 months! My second latched on from day one and we too made it 10 months! Overall it's such a wonderful thing to nurse your baby and I am so glad you wrote about it here. So many people get heebie jeebies about it. I think it's natural and can be done tastefully as well! Love your blog.

Lisa said...

Thank you so much for this post. As a woman inching closer to feeling brave enough to try for a baby, your words are very reassuring and honest in the best way.

Nicole said...

My experience of breastfeeding (and the birthing process as well) can be summed up as an inverse relationship between humility and modesty. Humility, up; modesty down!

Alexis said...

Thanks for such an open, honest post.
In the days leading up to my son's birth, I put a TON of pressure on myself to breastfeed. I just SO wanted it to work out. Luckily, it did and 13 months later, I'm still nursing and slowly weaning. My son's 1st night home was a huge test- he screamed all night like he was in pain. My husband and I called the dr. and we were instructed to give him a tiny bit of formula. We did. He slept for 3 straight hours. He had been starving, my milk hadn't come in yet, and I felt like such a failure. Luckily, it worked out but wow- that was stressful.
I love #5- it's so true and so nice to provide that kind of happiness to your baby. Something that suprised me?...the feeling of let-down. So weird at first.

Not-Too-Crafty said...

Yay for boobs! I didn't have the best nursing experience with my twin who were preemies and spent some time in the NICU, so when I got pg again 7 years later (surprise!) I didn't know what to expect. It turns out that my ttiny, local hospital wholeheartedly supports BF - no formula sponsored diaper bags and other parting gifts. Complimentary follow up visits with a Board Certified Lactation Consultant. And my saving grace, a weekly support group of BF Mom's lead by the LC. We even have a Facebook group! I joke that I am going to nurse Scout until she is a teenager so I can keep going to group. I am proud to be a BF, baby wearing, bed sharing momma :) These days go by so fast and I am going to enjoy every minute of it...even though I have mastitis right now and that kind of sucks...

Christy said...

This post is fantastic. I just finished nursing my 2nd child. She just turned 1. We were lucky as nursing came very easy for me and both of my girls. I work full time outside of the home and so the darn pump was glued to my side (making me look like a bag lady carrying my laptop bag, purse, pump, and lunch each day to work). I absolutely loved nursing. It was such an amazing experience for me to bond with both of my girls. The side effect of a large chest and burning calories were just added bonuses!
I’m semi-back to my normal chest size (kind of waiting for the empty bags to fill back up with texture).
One thing you didn’t mention was the emotional stress some mothers endure after they quit nursing? Just curious if any other mothers felt super emotional, had ups-and-down, crying for no reason, etc.? I’ve definitely been going through this (just hit my one month completed nursing mark) and I also realized I went through this with my first child. There’s a feeling of guilt for quitting (even though I went a year) because I feel like my baby misses it (although she’s just fine). There’s also sadness just knowing I may never experience this again….
Ugh..

Diana said...

thanks so much for sharing your intimate story! it was so special to read. I nursed my daughter until she was 18 months old. I was so determined to breastfeed my daughter and so nervous about it throughout my whole pregnancy that i hired a doula/lactation consultant to be with me for 2 weeks after i gave birth (to get it right). (well.. nervousness comes from the fact that no one in my family has breastfed before).

it was the most bonding and special time of my life. the only reason i weaned her at 18 months was because i was trying to get pregnant and i think breastfeeding was hindering my fertile hormones to work : )

i also read your birth story! ok, i cried. and i shared it with my husband (esp. the quote your husband used "our son is coming into this work because of you".. and he even admitted it "wow, that's good.. i got to use that next time" lol)

thanks joanna!

Kelly said...

loved the post! i am currently breastfeeding, and while at times challenging, it is truly my favorite thing! i love it! i love the bond i feel with my daughter, love that it has nurtured and grown her into a chubby little baby, love the effects it's had on my body. love love love. i, too, am fortunate to be able to breastfeed.

HDemaray said...

Love this post--I too, loved the boob side of having a baby! However, I really hated breastfeeding, in spite of the fact that my son latched on just fine. I had a lactation consultant and everything, but it just didn't take. Just want to mention that to encourage all you out there who may not be wild about breastfeeding. I pumped and bottle fed for 6 months. It was a lot of work, but SO worth it as a workable alternative. Joanna, thanks for the book recommendation. I'm going to give bf another try with baby #2 and am excited to read this. Love your blog and so enjoy MM posts (my husband and I had fun discussing the kissing baby on the mouth post! :-) ).

art deco engagement rings said...

Such fantastic photos....enjoy!

Nina said...

I felt a bit silly checking you boobs out but thought of all the others that do exactly the same :) Great post! I am not a mother yet but your series here has me wanting to become one within a few years.

Anonymous said...

Love this post! I am a exclusively breastfeeding mama and so appreciate the positive boob love! It is such an amazing experience every mother should have. Not to mention the crazy good benefits for our little ones. I have such a new appreciation for my body now, all thanks to my wonderful boobs!

- Sheena

LoveLife{s.a.h.m.} said...

i exclusively breastfed my daughter still 6 months. then when i introduced her to solids she was not ready. so i just continued to nurse her till she was 1 and just tried to offer her new foods. at 1yrs. old she began eating and still wanted to nurse. so i conitnued. at 19 months of still nursing she one day decided to be done and no longer wanted it. it was the best time in my life and i cherished every moment nursing her for so long! yay for breastfeeding! its truly the best for baby and mama!

S. Fox said...

Can I just say that I'm the opposite of you.....in that...I would LOVE to experience small boobs for a day (or longer)! I'm a 32 D and have been basically since I hit puberty (okay, maybe not D, but I was a C in high school)....I come from big breasted women....not that I'm complaining, but sometimes I think small chested women are so much luckier! You can wear certain things that if I was to put on, I'd just look like a street walker. Anyway, it's one of those grass is greener on the other side things, isn't it? =)

Shan <><

Bladh photography said...

Honestly, Breast feeding was a horrible experience for me. I love my son and wanted everything for him but i could only breast feed for a month. It hurt internally and externally and it hurt ALL the time. Not just while i was breast feeding him. I pumped some times and the first time i put a bottle in his mouth I balled my eyes out. For many reasons. I got mastitis, depression, and the worst case of cracked nipple I have ever heard of. The bonding with my son didn't exist because he was hurting me so bad I had thoughts of hurting him back. That's when i knew i needed to consider other options. I continued to pump but the milk wasn't coming in as much and my life consisted of feeding and pumping..... Finally i gave in to formula. If i could do it all over again i would try to breast feed, but unfortunately its not a reality for all mothers.

blythe said...

guess what i'm doing right now? pumping (holla medela PIS)! my part-time job... powering a baby through your own body alone is addictive! i've been back at work since the babe was six weeks (he's five months now)and am determined to make it to six months EBF or else. in the meantime, my life revolves around my pump, three hour pump/feed schedules (goodbye movies, meetings, general life activities), piles of herbal supplements and one handed typing. but i wouldn' trade the convenience for the cost of formula, i mean experience and benefits for henry and me.

VH McKenzie said...

ahh, the huge breasts -- for a little A-cup gal, those days of what felt like D cups were so daunting! I actually had to walk around the house with my shirt unbuttoned during those first days at home. They were ENGORGED and too big for all of my clothes!

And yes -- totally hear you on the spraying across the room. A bit surprised at that feature. And how about the "letting down" of the milk, when I heard somebody ELSE'S baby cry? That freaked me out. So out of control of my body that another woman's baby could make my milk flow...Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor.

Having watched my weight since puberty, I was delighted to move from the days of "dry toast" to slathering my english muffin with butter and marmalade in the morning and still seeing the pounds drop away.

I ate like a truck driver -- oh, happy days.

Lucy B said...

Funny!...I just sat down to breastfeed my son and clicked onto read your blog while I was feeding him. How very apt your Motherhood subject was! Thank you for your (as always) wonderful words...

Bec Hem said...

I'm sitting here at 3am breastfeeding my little 5week old, so this is such a timely post!
Don't you think it's quite amazing/weird/miraculous that we actually can PRODUCE our very own milk to feed our child?? Really, it totally blows me away that our child can grow and thrive exclusively from us!

Olivia : I am still learning said...

#1- that shirt is hilarious...

And #2, breastfeeding didn't go so well for us :( My son is now almost 3, and when he was born he was born early and without the rooting reflux they said. So every time I tried to get him to latch he would just cry and literally try to push me away. I pumped and pumped until somehow I just stopped producing enough milk for him. They said it's really an emotional bond, and pumping sometimes is hard for people, they even recommend smelling a blanket your baby was wrapped in or looking at a photo, etc. to help.

We stopped at 3 weeks. It was tough! And you know when your baby cries it just POURS out... I remember trying to get him to latch and milk just pouring down my sides. It makes me sad.

I also think we needed some literature to help steer me in the right direction, I think many times I was engorged and maybe pumping first then trying to latch would have helped us.

I'm so glad it worked so well for you though, and I highly encourage it! It is an amazing bond, even though it didn't work out for us. I think we had three successful feedings.

cay said...

Joanna this post is my favorite to date. Love it.

I come from a long line of breastfeeding women and didn't think twice about it when I got pregnant. My lad was born with a tied tongue, and the first week of nursing resulted in the an open wound on the entire underside of my nipple that took two months to heal. But! I had such incredible support from a lactation consultant and her breastfeeding support group that I decided to pump for only one week, and nursed through it until it was healed. Whew. It was frustrating and so painful, especially for that week of pumping. (Kudos to moms who do that! What a feat.) But the support of other women who had similar (or worse!) experiences and still managed to exclusively nurse gave me the courage to keep going.

Now almost eight months later, my boy is in the 93% for weight and nurses like a pro. So well, in fact, he's not really taken a liking to solid food yet.

It really does feel like an accomplishment when I look at how tiny he was when he was born. I'm totally amazed that the whole process works. That my body made food the could thrive on.

I, like you, have always been flat-chested and having boobs has been a fun advantage. I missed my small boobs at first, but now, I think I might miss these C cups!

Awesome post. Thanks again for sharing.

Catherine said...

Not only did I find breastfeeding extremely painful at first (sore nipples, engorged breasts)but I had a very hard time nursing my baby in public. While I was still pregnant, I took encouragement from your posts about public nursing and thought I'd be okay with it...but then I tried it. Oh, the stares and glares I got! It's possible that people in Oklahoma aren't comfortable with it like New Yorkers are, or maybe my larger breasts (D-cups pre-baby) attracted the negative attention. Anyway, for the first six months of my baby's life, I was relegated to skulking around town in 1-2 hour spurts, or if I was out longer than that, stopping at a place like Baby's R Us so I could cower in a "Mommy's Room" to feed him.
That said, those private moments with my son were more precious than anything I'd ever experienced before. I'm very glad I chose to stick with nursing and made it as far as 6 months...actually, it feels like quite a victory for us.

Jo @ In Corners of My Mind said...

I breast fed all three of my girls to varying degrees. I was only 16 when I had my first daughter and though I tried for several weeks, I would cry every time I had to feed her. I was totally uncomfortable with the whole idea of it and as my mother was not a breastfeeder, I had no support, or knowledge base to draw from. I ended up bottle feeding her from 3 weeks on.
When I was 18 I had breast reduction surgery and when asked if I would want to breast feed again I said no...BIG mistake. The type of surgery they did meant that all milk ducts were severed and there was no guarantee I would be able to nurse in future. So when I got pregant with baby number two 18 years later I did everthing I could to ensure that I would be able to nurse her. We tried to nurse exclusively but after three weeks she was not growing and it became aparent that she was not getting enough so I started supplementing with a bottle. We tried pumping but this did not produce enough. We managed to keep up the nursing until she was 4 months old and by then she was just frustrated whenever she was on the breast. Going into pregnancy number three we knew so much more. We nursed exclusively for a few days hoping we had made some headway with baby number two but this was not to be. Supplementing was the name of the game. So I nursed first on each side and then bottle fed. This worked out really well, and we managed to get to six months which was my goal. I loved nursing and was devastated when I learned I couldn't do it exclusiely, but at the end of the day my younger girls got the benefits of nursing and the overall nutrition they needed from the formula.
Thanks for this post Joanna. Talking about breasts and breast feeding is a great thing!

Christy said...

To Blythe-Read your comments and you have got to get the Easy Expressions Nursing Bra! OMG-this thing is the best. It truly is hands-free...just like the picture: http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/product.asp?sku=15002930&utm_source=google&utm_medium=organic&utm_campaign=shopping

Dee said...

Thank you for posting this! I believe that there is such a great need for society to be exposed to breastfeeding and see it as something absolutely normal. I mean, why is it so "normal" to see an infant sucking on a baby bottle with milk from an animal and not normal to see an infant drinking the milk from its human mother? Something's wrong here, and mothers like you can change that! You're doing a great job by posting this blog! I had a great experience breastfeeding my two children. My first, I breastfed for 20 months, and my second, for 14 months. It was very difficult breastfeeding the first, but I was determined to fulfill my goal of breastfeeding for at least a year! So glad I did... my children rarely ever get sick! :)


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Kate said...

I love this post, and it's so refreshing to discuss with other moms! I am still breastfeeding my son at 4.5 months. I'd like to continue for a year, if I can stick it out pumping at work!

At first, we had a really hard time. He latched so well and was so hungry, and as a result I was sore and cracked from his voracious appetite. That, plus a c-section recovery, did not make for a good few weeks. But I was determined to do it and I am so glad we stuck it out. I remember feeling the most surprised about how painful breastfeeding was at first, since every lactation nurse kept describing that "gentle tug" and not "intense pain." They probably just don't want to scare you away from it!

My little hungry hippo started some supplemental formula at about 3 months, because I couldn't pump enough for what he needed once I returned to work. My mom is a nurse and keeps repeating this mantra to me: "As long as you are enjoying your baby, that's the most important thing for them." (In other words, a happy bottle-feeding relationship would be better than a miserable breast-feeding relationship.) I am so glad I've had that in my head, and hope other moms or moms-to-be can take some comfort from it, too!

Con amore Bella Rose said...

I never breast fed but i have to tell you my breast fed, but where my breast sore, and Big. Some days I couldn't even get out of bed. Thanks to my Mom in Ireland, and her old family recipes , she put cabbage leaves on my breasts, for an 20 mins for a week and it worked it really did. Theres something in cabbage leaves that soothes the breasts. I know you're probably laughing when you read this, but it worked, hey when you're desperate you'll try anything right. Enjoy been a Mother, its the most amazing experience , they grow up so fast. If you feel blue at times, don't ever be afraid to reach out to your friends. All moms know what its like. Best of luck.

arttesana said...

I was so happy when I got pregnant. Not only because I was having a boy, but because I thought that I would go through the big breast experience. Well, I wasn't so lucky. My breasts never knew I was pregnant. At least I was able to breastfeed my boy for a little bit.

Erin said...

My baby boy turns 11 months old tomorrow. My favorite recent thing about breastfeeding is that in the morning when he wakes up, I get him out of his crib and bring him to bed with me and while he nurses he rubs my side. It is the most precious thing, ever.

Laura said...

I never expected the total joy that would come from breastfeeding my daughter. I'm not a religious person but it was such a spiritual experience feeding this new life with my own body. Bonus: I took the baby weight off in less than 3 months. Sadly, my poor boobs are now smaller than they were before and lopsided. So sad. I miss my big boobs.

2 by Design said...

To my surprise, breastfeeding has been completely heart-wrenching. I had an emergency c-section and was totally drugged out of my head the first time the nurse tried to get my little one to latch. When he wouldn't, he became extremely frustrated and started screaming which of course put me over the edge. It's my first memory of him :( Sadly, nothing got any easier despite several visits from lactation experts and endless, ENDLESS tries over the course of the last month. Whether that was because he was almost ten pounds at birth, or my breasts just wouldn't cooperate is hard to say. What I do know is that after so many tears shed by both the baby and me, my doctor told me it was time to move on - that the stress wasn't doing either of us any good. I've been pumping as a result so I feel good about that, but can't help but continue feeling guilty and grieving a little for missing out on the experience. I just never realized that I COULD have trouble, and none of my friends ever seemed to talk about it if they did, so I was unprepared to face such an obstacle. Sigh. I love hearing when other women have great success, but I'll admit I'm always a little envious :)

Anonymous said...

Preparing a formula bottle with love for your child is as equally loving as breastfeeding.

There are so many different types of mamas out there; no way of cutting two alike. Each one does what she can.

@tishushu said...

Great post, all true as I remember... What you didnt mention was the ability to shoot milk across the room without squeezing. Once, my son was crying when I got out of the shower. The letdown made a mess on the bathroom floor! LOL!

Joanna Goddard said...

"Preparing a formula bottle with love for your child is as equally loving as breastfeeding." = thank you, anonymous, i TOTALLY agree. all mamas who love their babies are amazing. toby had formula for a few months and i felt just as connected/loving. xo

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