Clever Cleavage

Everyone meet Wendy!

1. Tell us about your personal breastfeeding experience with your child:

My breastfeeding story began long before my daughter was born or even conceived. When I was twenty-one, I discovered a lump in my left breast. At twenty-two, I underwent a core needle biopsy which revealed that I had a benign condition called Pseudoangiomatous Stromal Hyperplasia. I was told that this is just an overgrowth of normal tissue and is not pre-cancerous, but is rather rare in a solid mass and hasn’t been widely researched. I was given the option to wait and watch for changes or to have it surgically removed. Having such little information, I decided to have it removed. The mass ended up being about the size of a golf ball. My surgeon was fabulous and was even able to make the incision around my areola so it is hardly noticeable!

When I became pregnant, I immediately wondered whether or not I would be physically able to breastfeed. I was told that there is no telling for sure until the baby is born, but I was encouraged when I began producing colostrum in my third trimester. I was so relieved when my daughter was born and was a fabulous nurser! She was exclusively breastfed for the first ten months of her life and never had an ounce of formula during those ten months.
2. What is your view of breastfeeding in public, and why?
If your child is hungry, feed them!!! It’s ridiculous that some people believe that a child must be a certain age before it’s appropriate to feed them in public. I made the personal decision to use a cover when nursing in public. I’m not a very modest person, but I know that often other people are uncomfortable when they see a mother breastfeeding in public. We’ve nursed at the park, the mall, restaurants, and even at the grocery store with her in a sling.
3. What is your view of sustained breastfeeding, and why?
I knew that it wasn’t for me, but I think it’s great as long as it still works for the mom and baby/child.
4.Is there anything you find unique about your breastfeeding story with your child?
I know many women who worry about whether or not breastfeeding would work for them. I had the additional concern of wondering if my body was even physically capable of providing milk for my child.
5. Is there anything you wish you did differently?
I had really hoped to breastfeed (without supplementation) until it was time to start cow’s milk. However, I returned to work at a new job when my daughter was almost ten months old. I was going to give pumping at work a shot, even though I really disliked pumping. Between the stress of a new job, the stress of being away from my baby, and trying to acclimate my body to pumping rather than nursing, I wasn’t able to produce much. In a matter of days, we burned through all the breast milk I had worked so hard to freeze. The following weekend I got a nasty bout of food poisoning that left me dehydrated for days. My supply was nearly gone. I decided that it was time to supplement with formula. I nursed when I was with my daughter, but she began having formula while I was at work. This continued until she was thirteen months old and I decided to wean. I still feel that I did what was best for me and my family at the time; I only wish circumstances had been different so I could have reached my original goal.
6. Is there anything you would like to add?
Making the choice to breastfeed and deciding when to wean if you do breastfeed is a very personal decision. I think that it’s important for us to support other moms (particularly new moms) in their decision, whatever it may be. . We each mother in a different way and we each need to be supported in the decisions that we make.

 

 


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9 comments

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  1. Amelia @ Eating Made Easy 28 February, 2012, 09:18

    I always find it interesting to read people’s views on breastfeeding, so I really like your column! Breastfeeding definitely deserves the attention and conversation.

    Reply this comment
  2. Jeanne @JollyTomato 28 February, 2012, 09:23

    I loved my time nursing my kids (2 years for each) and I think it’s so great that you are profiling many different moms and their experiences. I had an extra challenge for my second baby: He was in the NICU for three weeks and I had to pump milk for the nurses to put in his feeding tube, and then later he had to learn how to nurse. Once he got the hang of it, he was a champ! I think many women are intimidated by the challenges initially…and the more they see different moms’ journeys, the more willing they may be to keep trying and find how rewarding it can be. I know it was for me!

    Reply this comment
  3. Deborah Stambler 28 February, 2012, 15:59

    Thanks for sharing. I loved nursing, felt the connection to my girls and myself was key.

    Reply this comment
  4. Christina Simon 28 February, 2012, 17:02

    I think the more information available to new moms about breastfeeding, the better!

    Reply this comment
  5. Caryn B 28 February, 2012, 18:51

    This is perhaps my favorite column not only b/c I nursed both of my children way beyond the 1 year mark but b/c I have worked in Obstetrics for over 11 years and am a huge advocate for women nursing their children

    Reply this comment
  6. natalie 28 February, 2012, 23:53

    I am glad breast feeding is something that worked for you. unf. it was not something that worked for me after lots and lots of tears!!

    Reply this comment
  7. vanessa 29 February, 2012, 17:09

    I didn’t breast feed.

    Reply this comment
  8. Eva Smith of Tech.Food.Life. 2 March, 2012, 17:07

    I breastfeed my child and am very happy I was able to. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Reply this comment
  9. Aimee @ Chickenville 7 March, 2012, 18:47

    I have just read through each of these profiles and I’m so impressed. Each of these women had wonderful thing to say and yet they were all different. After four breastfed kids, I am a HUGE breastfeeding advocate. I wish more teaching was done in the US to promote it. In fact, when I was breastfeeding each kid I kept thinking, I wonder if pregnant women would like to see this in action. I was so ignorant of how it all worked and I think seeing a mom do it would have really helped me. This is a great column.

    Found you from SITS – congrats on being featured.

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