For today’s feature, I’d like you all to meet Angie!
1. Tell us about your personal breastfeeding experience with your children:
I’ve been naturally feeding since the birth of my daughter, 4 1/2 years ago. I fed her all through the pregnancy with my second daughter and tandem nursed until just recently when #1 decided she didn’t want to anymore (although she still occasionally sees her sister doing it and asks for it). Through the pregnancy it was tough at times due to nipple sensitivity, but my daughter loved it so much I couldn’t deny her one of her favorite things. I adjusted her latch a little so it wouldn’t hurt as much. When my milk came in the second time it was only a day postpartum, and I never got engorged because I had a wonderful “pump” in my older nursling. I’ve had family and friends question my breastfeeding during pregnancy and doing what many consider extended breastfeeding, but I see it as an opportunity to inform, not usually as a put-down.
2. What is your view of breastfeeding in public, and why?
I think it needs to be done much more, and much more openly! If more people see it as normal, more people may try it as their chosen feeding method. And if there are more natural feeders, there will be more support. I think that all the hooter hiders and blankets need to disappear. I know that some people are modest or afraid to show their breasts, but honestly, there’s not much showing when there’s a baby attached.
3. What is your view of sustained breastfeeding, and why?
By sustained breastfeeding I assume you mean “extended”. I think it’s a wonderful opportunity for children to remain attached to their parents in that special bond. I see it as an extra supplement that wouldn’t be there otherwise, extra protein, vitamins, minerals, antibodies, fluids, and so much more. I see human milk as liquid love, and why wouldn’t I want to share it with my children as long as I can? My argument for it: natural feeding is normal, natural, nutritious, tastes good, feels good, fixes so many ills, protects, immunizes, and so much more. I have no negative things to say about it. Some people say it creates a child who is too clingy or dependent, but I don’t believe that to be true at all. So if something is so good and MAY have the side effect of a child being clingy, why wouldn’t you do it for your child?
4. What is your view of adoptive breastfeeding, and why?
I think it’s a wonderful gift an adoptive mother can give her child. I see it as a testament of how hard mommy is willing to work for the child. Whether the child receives donor milk, formula or in some cases his adoptive mommy’s milk (or some combination of the three), it’s a more nurturing way to deliver sustenance.
5.Is there anything you find unique about your breastfeeding story with your children?
I’m sure it’s not unique, but I never knew how passionate I’d be about it. I never thought I’d be a mom nursing her baby until she’s 4, let alone nursing through a pregnancy. I used to be one of those uninformed folks who thought you’re supposed to wean when they get teeth or when they can talk. If I’d stopped when my little one was old enough to talk she would’ve only received milk from me until 11 months. That’s nowhere near long enough.
6. Is there anything you wish you did differently?
When my oldest was a year old I pulled out a can of formula that had been sent to me by a formula company. I decided to let her try it, just for the heck of it. I had no idea how to prepare it, so I of course read the instructions. I made a bottle of 8 ounces of formula and handed it to her. She took an ounce and handed it back. I wish I hadn’t given it to her. I also wish I had not given her a pacifier. She is now a tough one to break of thumb-sucking.
7. Is there anything you would like to add?
In many cases where a mom switches to formula due to low supply, I feel that it’s usually due to improper latch or giving a baby a bottle or pacifier too early. If you have the opportunity to delay or eliminate artificial nipple usage, do it. Your supply will thank you.
Take advice only from successful feeders and successful professional organizations. If someone stopped nursing before a year, two years, anything that is less than your goal (or the recommended goal of the WHO or even AAP), pay little or no attention to their “sound advice”. Visit websites like kellymom and Dr Jack Newman’s site and la leche league for good information. If someone offers to help, TAKE THEIR HELP! But not necessarily their advice.
A clingy baby is not a product of being close to his mother. It’s because he’s a BABY. He’s supposed to be that way. He’ll grow into a confident person if you meet all his needs.
You can check out Angie’s website here: www.yourlovingbirth.com