Meet Mandi!!!! Head of a cloth diapering group where I’ve met so many fun moms. She’s also hilarious……
1. Tell us about your personal breastfeeding experience with
I have exclusively breastfed all three of my kiddos. My first
and second babies both nursed perfectly for about a year, at
which time they lost interest. My daughter is a whole other
ball game! She was in the NICU for 10 days because of meconium
aspiration/ingestion. She couldn’t even digest food for the
first few days, so she had to have IV nutrients. After that,
she couldn’t breathe well enough to suckle, but was given my
colostrum though a feeding tube. Once she could suckle, she was
nursed, and had only my breastmilk in a bottle when I couldn’t
be there (I had a 2-year-old and 4-year-old at home who also
needed me, otherwise I would have been there in the NICU 24/7).
When I brought her home on day 10, she was doing great, but had
a very strong preference for the bottle. She knew how to nurse
but would get pissed (that’s the only accurate word for it)
that the milk wasn’t immediate like it is with a bottle. So
each nursing session for the first day-and-a-half involved 10
minutes of her suckling for 2 seconds, then screaming for 2
minutes, then suckling for another 2 seconds, then screaming. I
was so frustrated, as was she, but I knew if I gave her the
bottle she would never get the hang of nursing at the breast.
After about 10 minutes of this at each nursing session, she
would finally stop protesting, and suckle long enough for the
milk to come down. By the 2nd day she was a pro, but I can see
how easy it could be to say “forget this, I’m giving her the
bottle!” Luckily, I am incredibly stubborn. 🙂 She is 2-years-
old now and still addicted to “buboo.”
2. What is your view of breastfeeding in public, and why?
I think it’s wonderful, and I wish more women felt comfortable
doing it without a tarp. That being said, of course I would
much rather see a woman nursing her baby with a cover, rather
than being too embarrassed and choosing not to nurse at all. I
just wish our culture was one where women never felt like they
had to give it a second thought. I can’t wrap my brain around
how it’s okay for every skank in America to walk around with a
strip of fabric barely covering the nippage, yet people freak
out at the though of a breast being visibly used for it’s
biological purpose of feeding a baby. And don’t get me wrong…
I’m totally cool with skanks walking around half-naked – no one
should take around their right the be skanky. I just hate the
3. What is your view of sustained breastfeeding, and why?
I think it rocks out loud! I fed each of my babies until they
stopped on their own (and I’m still nursing the 2-year-old). As
far as why… I guess it just makes sense in my mind.
Anthropologically, we are not meant to be weaned at a year. I
wish my boys would have gone longer. I won’t lie, though, I do
have moments where I just want my body to be completely my own
4. What is your view of adoptive breastfeeding, and why? (you
may skip this if you feel you do not have adequate knowledge of
I think any adoptive mother who breastfeeds any amount, whether
already lactating or by re-lactation, deserves some kind of
special trophy! And a spa day! The gift of giving a child a
loving family and safe home is one beyond measure, but to add
to it the many unique gifts of nursing… WOW!
5.Is there anything you find unique about your breastfeeding
story with your children?
My boys are only 19 months apart, so I did breastfeed the first
while I pregnant with the second. Also, I think the odds
stacked against my daughter and I with her NICU stay and her
preference with the bottle in the beginning. I feel very proud
that I can say even with ALL of that she never had any formula.
That’s not to say that someone with the same circumstances who
does end up needing or choosing formula has failed in any way.
It just makes me feel proud, like a conquered a great challenge!
6. Is there anything you wish you did differently?
You know, not really. I’ve loved my nursing time and I can’t
really think of anything I would change.
7. Is there anything you would like to add? Feel free to answer
questions you feel readers would like to know from
Obviously, the ideal would be 100% breastmilk, all the time.
But I always impress upon my students that I would rather see a
mom breastfeed for even ONE feeding a day, rather than NONE.
Ideally it would be exclusive breastfeeding, but even SOME
breastmilk is something to be very proud of in a society with
such low breastfeeding rates. 🙂
Mandi Woolery is a mama to three breastfed kids, as well as a childbirth educator and birth doula in the Inland Empire area of Southern California. Visit her website: http://peachykeenbirth.com/