Hey everyone meet Angie!
1. Tell us about your personal breastfeeding experience with your children:
Wow, my experience…. I have been exclusively breastfeeding my daughter since the hour (?) she was born, we are at 14 months now. I remember not long after I delivered asking them, “Can I feed her now?”. It was SO important to me to nurse her. To be quite honest, I am not even sure WHY, I wasn’t, my siblings weren’t, I can’t even honestly say that I ever saw/knew someone that was. What I do know is that I read everything I could about BF, I went to BF class, I think that I was still “mostly” unprepared. I am SO very fortunate, I never had any (of the big) issues with nursing my daughter, She latched just right, she “apparently” was getting nourishment. I wish though that I had not had the “new mom jitters”. I know that when I never had any leakage before labor, I was SO worried that I wouldn’t be able to accommodate her. I had probably 6 canisters of formula stocked up in my house for “just in case” and I had the WORST dread, of “Oh, my God, what if I CAN’T – What if my body doesn’t work right!”. Also, I wish that I had trusted that she DID know what she was doing, even if I didn’t. For the first 2 weeks or so, I had a fair amount of discomfort. Not to the point that I was ready to give up, but I think I was on my way there. I felt like my chest was just one HUGE bruise. Then, one day, I decided to just let her do it HER way; and we haven’t looked back! The first time that I Nursed in “Public”, she was 3 days old – we were at a Motherhood store and she was hungry and I NEEDED nursing gear. (Never thought about the shirt inconvenience until it was a fact of my life). That is honestly the only time I have ever gone to a fitting room to do it – until all of the “publicity” lately, I had never even thought about a fitting room! After that, I did have occasion that I needed to nurse her while I was out, so I always ended up in the bathroom to do so. But when she was 3 weeks old, I was at a “Craft Store” and took her and my (now empty) cart in the restroom; I had to use the handicapped stall because nothing else was big enough for us and all of our STUFF – I had to sit on a dirty toilet and nurse my baby! Then, oh…. THEN the lady in the next stall was having horrible AWFUL gas and bowel movements….. Oh. MY. GOD!!!! “What am I DOING to my child!!!!!” That moment, I vowed – I would NEVER EVER nurse her in the bathroom again, anywhere, EVER! Ironically, that same night, our family went to dinner with friends. I pumped and packed my cooler, I had bottles, I had milk…… Oh, yeah – how the HELL am I going to heat this up! So I literally had to get the server to bring me a 12″ high container filled with hot water – restaurant tables are NOT that big after all! Later in the evening, I went to use the bathroom myself and on my way back I saw a friend of mine with her 5 month old, NURSING! What?! Right at the table!!!!! I couldn’t believe it!!! What did I do? I walked my happy self over to her and said: “Oh my God, You are my HERO!” Thank you for doing that, you are my inspiration. I have never looked back – (For the record, typing that right now, brought tears to my eyes. I am very lucky that, as yet, (knock wood) I haven’t had any of the hateful run ins that I have heard from some people. I don’t know how I would react, if at all.
^^I kind of answered this already, but I will add to it.
I think that women should be permitted to feed their children, anywhere and any time. You can regularly (at least in good weather) see at least 1 man walking around topless, regardless of his attractiveness (YUCK!) – you can (at almost ANY time) see at least one female with too tight/small clothes walking around. If you go to the grocery, you can see (at least 1) parent that has gotten a snack from the shelf and opened it to keep their kid quiet and contented. Babies don’t understand the concept of “wait” they understand “this hurts and I need it NOW”. I wish that more people would understand that nursing my child is not done to offend you. I am trying to care for this little person who depends on me for everything, ESPECIALLY food and comfort. I wish that people would understand that just because a baby eats solids, or can drink from a cup doesn’t mean that I have to stop nursing them, or that they are READY for me to. I wish that people would understand that not all babies will tolerate being covered, I remember learning in BF class that when a baby is born they can only see about 8″ which happens to be the approximate distance to their mothers face when feeding (I don’t care if it’s true or not, it was a WONDERFUL thought). I wish that people were more tolerant – I wish that it didn’t have to always come down to sexuality, because that is SO far from being the point.
On the other hand, I wish that BF mothers were more understanding as well. I feel proud when I nurse my child, I feel strong when I do it in public. And while she may occasionally detach and look around, I do my best to remain discreet and modest. I don’t use a nursing cover, I felt like it drew SO much attention to me. I don’t think that it is cool for a mom to (literally) pull her shirt up or down, haul out a breast and say, well too damned bad, YOU have to deal with it. I think a lot of it has to do with being compassionate. Be empathetic to the people in your surroundings. Yes, it IS your legal right, and NO, no one should ever try to take that away from you; Yes, it IS natural and normal – but who are YOU to force another parent in to having to explain it to their child? Granted, there are times even with the utmost modesty that someone could see something, but that is completely different from being “In your face!” about it. I don’t like that attitude, it feels like I have to work twice as hard for my rights, because in a sense you are abusing yours. (not you specifically)
Honestly, I don’t know what that is – well I probably do, but not in that terminology.
I think that is AMAZING! What a wonderful WONDERFUL thing for a mama to undertake! To my understanding it is a difficult thing to achieve and I think those women are just , I’m in awe of them!
Just that it is mine 🙂
I wish that I had had more faith in myself and my daughter. And I wish – I SO wish that I had gotten a picture of the FIRST time I nursed her 🙁