I’d like everyone to meet my beautiful cousin, Whitney! And be sure to check out her awesome blog:
1. Tell us about your personal breastfeeding experience with your children:
My daughter is 15 months old. I breastfed exclusively until she was 5 months when we slowly began introducing solid foods in anticipation of my return to work when she was 6 months old. I am a lawyer and am fortunate that my firm has a generous maternity leave policy–6 months off is standard. I pumped until she was a year, but due to a supply dip had to supplement with formula starting at 7 months. When D turned one, we went down to morning and night feedings until she self-weaned at 14.5 months. And by self-weaned, I mean she did her evening nursing that night, and then pointed to the kitchen and shouted “MEL!” for cow’s milk. I took that as a sign she was over it.
2. What is your view of breastfeeding in public, and why?
Honestly, I am shocked that this is still an issue. If we can eat in public, babies should be able to eat in public. End of story. Yes, our society has boob issues, and I am not alone in that, but the solution is not to treat a new mom like a pariah. On the other hand, women should also be discreet in their feeding. Because a baby’s head covers more boob than most of Kim Kardashian’s outfits, a cover is optional,, but let’s not let the girls just hang out for the world to see. Nip flashing is inevitable, but if the kid is not actively eating, put ‘em away.
3. What is your view of sustained breastfeeding, and why?
Pre-baby, I was a member of the “if they can ask for it they are done” camp (Jamie is embarrassed to be my cousin for this). Now that I have been on the other side of things, my views are different. First, D learned how to “ask for it” pretty immediately, and ask for it she did. The girl could not get enough boob. And I am sadly a sucker when it comes to what the girl wants. Second, breast milk has a crazy amount of nutrients, and among the pile of things I worry about, top notch nutrition is one of them. It was nice to have one less thing to think about. Finally, my baby will always be a baby to me.
4. What is your view of adoptive breastfeeding, and why?
This was not an area I had thought about until Jamie adopted Samuel, but again, its a family decision. And given everything we now know about PAD, thanks again to Jamie, I think anything that anything that creates a bond between the family and their new child should be considered.
5. Is there anything you find unique about your breastfeeding story with your children?
Yes. I bruised or fractured my tailbone during childbirth, so sitting was very painful for the first three months. I would cry at night while nursing D because I was in so much pain. When she was a week old, my husband’s coworkers tipped me off to breastfeeding laying down. They convinced me to try it after all doing it with their babies’ at night so they could feed while being half asleep. It completely changed my experience–what was once stressful became manageable and even relaxing.
6. Is there anything you wish you did differently?
With breastfeeding? No. I am lucky to have loads of support from family (look who my rockstar cousin is…and multiply that times four kids to get her sister) and friends. In both my social and professional mom circles breastfeeding for at least a year was the normal goal.
7. Is there anything you would like to add? Feel free to answer questions you feel readers would like to know from breastfeeding moms.
Yes, for those working/pumping moms–major kudos because that takes serious commitment. I pumped until my daughter was a year old, and there were more than a few tears of frustration shed. I developed a love/hate relationship with my breastpump.