In honor of today, the Great Breast Fest, or the Virtual Nurse-In, I have posted a ridiculously conservative photo of me nursing my nearly-3-month old. I wish I was bolder, but I’m not. But I TOTALLY believe if there are women out there that are comfortable nearly flashing their nips in an attempt to help bring more awareness to all the close-minded freaks at Facebook who are deleting images and accounts of women who have posted their breastfeeding pictures, then they should (and should be allowed to) do so. The worst part, it sounds like Facebook is even doing it to women who have posted pictures like mine, where no breast is actually exposed (unless you look REALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLYYYYYYYYY close, you can see a sliver….whoa! nakedness! bring on the prudes!).
So breastfeeding women (and all the non-breastfeeding supporters) unite! Flash a little or a lot of baby-feedin’! Why should we be made ashamed to feed our babies? That’s like hiding a cow that’s nursing her calf from kids at the farm, or hiding the big mama gorilla nursing her baby at the zoo. It’s natural and should be viewed as such.
Now I can totally understand non-breastfeeders (men, women who chose for whatever reason to not breastfeed, anyone without children who don’t understand, children, etc.) feeling a little uncomfortable with women who will just whip it out and feed their kid (especially if that child doesn’t really latch on, so there’s a LOT of boob getting flapped around). You are witnessing someone’s partial nakedness, and you’re witnessing a beautiful bond between mom and baby (or toddler, which even I still feel a little funny about…please don’t kill me LaLeche Leaguers!). But would you ban the woman from wherever you are? Prevent her from eating at the restaurant? Kick her out of the store? No. You’d probably just advert your eyes, blush a little, maybe a nervous smile. So why folks on Facebook (supposedly an adult site…and by adult, I don’t mean ADULT XXX, I mean, a slightly more mature/older community site) can’t just smile and avert their eyes is beyond me. As it is, I’m one of those women who will actually feed her child in public, but under a light blanket. As he’s gotten older and more interested in his surroundings, Cooper has gotten a bit more
annoying curious and will pop off and on while eating so that he can take a quick break and look around. As you can imagine, that is (1) not terribly comfortable, and (2) not terribly modest. So the blanket helps block out distractions and also preserves the little bit of modesty that I am trying to maintain…and that’s modesty about my breast (yes, LaLeche Leaguers, I know it’s my son’s meal, but it’s still my nekid-boobie!) and my funny flabby post-baby belly. Actually I’m more worried about flashing that crazy, deflated-balloon-looking belly than my breast, but I wouldn’t mind keeping my breasts mostly to myself.
So please, if you feel that women should be allowed to post their breastfeeding photos, breastfeed in public (which they are protected by law in many states), then post your pics and dump your Facebook site (nudge nudge, Justin).
Now for some musings and/or journal entries on breastfeeding:
I only breastfed Gavin for 6 weeks because I was having a major supply problem…by a week old, I was already needing to give him a bottle following every feeding. I couldn’t seem to get anywhere pumping milk, so I weaned him by the time I went back to work at 7 weeks. I felt guilty, but a little relieved. Now he wasn’t freaking out because he was still hungry and I wasn’t dying of guilt and shame because my body couldn’t figure out how to feed by baby. I swore I would try harder with the next baby…read up on stuff, etc.
Friends whom I never thought would even have children went and had babies, and then breastfed them for several months…that also inspired me to try harder.
I read about Fenugreek, a supplement that is supposed to help increase your milk supply.
I read about other ways of keeping up your supply (pumping after feeding baby to signal to brain “more milk, please”; not skipping any feedings, if possible; try to squeeze in a pumping session after baby is down for the night; pump as many times at work as you would normally be feeding your baby, etc.).
So Cooper the Hoover Power-Vac was born (I thought about naming him Dyson, but it turns out there was another baby boy born the same day in our hospital who was legally named Dyson….wonder if his mama’s boobs were as sore as mine!) and I nursed him like a champ! And nursed him, and nursed him, and doggone-it that-kid-is-eating-again nursed him.
Since I failed my GBS (Group B Strep) test, I was given a LOT of antibiotics…so I developed a raging complete-body yeast infection that culminated in Thrush, the most amazingly painful thing I have ever encountered in my life (and I’ve delivered two 8+Pound babies). I even lost skin on my breasts from the infection and bled…to not only painful, but terrifying, too. But I trudged on by pumping (thanks to my mom for buying my Playtex Double Embrace pump!…I love it…it has been a life (boob) saver!) and giving Cooper bottles so that I could heal enough to feed him at the breast again.
Around 5 weeks of age, Cooper started eating way more than I could seemingly provide for him (didn’t help he hit a growth spurt and was eating every 2 hours), and I had a re-emergence of the dreaded Thrush (although since I recognized it right away, I nipped it in the bud before I was biting my tongue to keep from screaming while feeding Cooper). This is also when I was put on Reglan…and OMG! It was so wonderful to be able to feed my baby and not need to provide a follow-up bottle for him! Then I was able to sufficiently provide for his nutritional needs in 20 minutes every 2 hours instead of 45 minutes every 2 hours (I let him empty each breast and then STILL had to give him a bottle–and he was colicky–totally exhausting!)
After I finished my Reglan, Cooper was done with his growth spurt, so it seemed I was doing alright keeping up with his hunger…I usually only needed 2 ounces of formula per day to supplement his last feeding before bed. But then I started work.
While I’m at work, I pump 3 times per day (sometimes 2 if my schedule gets crazy), and without the Reglan, I was lucky to get 6 ounces TOTAL…and this is with a hospital-grade pump (Cooper actually eats 4 times in the time that he’s at daycare…so he gets 2 milk and 2 formula bottles).
So I called my doctor and begged to have the Reglan again…whoo! up to about 10 ounces total per day! Still kept Cooper on 2 milk bottles and 2 formula bottles and froze any extra milk.
Ran out of Reglan and expected it to be like before…some lingering residual boobie boost where I might not get 10 ounces, but maybe 8…nope. Within 1 day of being off the Reglan, I was only getting 5 and 6 ounces total again. So depressing…so I called my doctor again.
By the way, I’m on so much Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle that I smell like a giant, white, Aunt Jamima. I also eat oatmeal nearly every day, and drink a crap-load of fluids. I am doing all the anecdotal things…
So the doctor put me on my ‘final’ bout of Reglan and instructed me that I need to call an LC. I called the LC and told her my tale…she pretty much said, “wow…you actually have a real supply problem because you are doing all that you can and still aren’t getting the results. Wish some of my other patients were as dedicated.” She also told me that since the doctor wasn’t keen on giving me any more Reglan, to maybe change my thinking from “I can’t pump enough to feed my baby” to “My baby is eating all I can pump” so that it’s mroe positive and less upsetting. Nope….not working.
I cried myself silly all the way home and all the way to the store to pick up my prescription of Reglan. As an experiment, instead of ramping up to 3-10mg doses per day, I’ve kept it at 2-10mg doses per day and am getting the same results. At least I have been able to stretch out my medicine. Once it’s gone, however, I think I might just freak out a bit again…then maybe scale back to only feeding him in the mornings and at night (but of course, with my sensitive supply, I will still need to pump during the day so that my dumb boobs will make sure there’s milk for him at night).
I really wanted to go for 6 months, and I’m scared that my body won’t let me nurse him for even 4 months. I mean, I know I tried, and I have nothing against formula (except smellier poop!), but I really wanted to do the best I could since I copped-out early last time around. Any other suggestions out there?
So there’s my breastfeeding story.
On a totally unrelated note…happy birthday to my friend, Sany…don’t think I will make the party, bud (too old, too married, too breastfeeding), but wanted to wish you a great day just the same. Also, happy birthday to Mrs. Sneaky at Precarious Tomato (hope she doesn’t think I’m too weird…but I like birthdays and recognizing others for their birthdays).
Thank you! Happy Birthday backatcha! Unless it isn’t your birthday, in which case you should just go and have some cake on my behalf. 😀
Man I wish I had a breastfeeding picture to post today! But, none exist from when my kids are small (I don’t think) and since they are now 2 and 4.5 I’m not sure I want to try to recapture the moment in a photograph. They both might end up traumatized!! Me too, for that matter.
I know it’s hard, but don’t beat yourself up if the breastfeeding thing doesn’t work out this time. You have given it a *very* valiant effort and have given Cooper so many benefits already. It’s okay to cry about it but then remember all the GOOD things you’ve done.
Why doesn’t the doctor want to keep prescribing Reglan? Does it have side effects?
I wish we had gotten a good pic of me breastfeeding…too late now! I miss that closeness of feeding Zane…but I tried and made it to 6 months before my milk supply died.
Good for you for being so dedicated with how difficult it has been!
I’ve delurked 🙂 maybe I’ll be able to work up the nerve and take a breastfeeding pic…but just wanted to chime in on the low milk supply. I feel your pain. I’ve been supplementing at almost every feeding since Zach was born and when I pump, I get about the same levels as you. I’ve gone through the highs and lows…let’s just say in my case, bigger isn’t better 🙂
[…] light of Sarcastic Mom’s Breastfeeding Carnival, I’m offering up the link to my BF’ing story for anyone who’d like to read it again or for anyone who missed it. As a follow up, I […]
I’m still breastfeeding. He’s 10 months. I thought I’d be lucky to go six weeks.
And, I had to tell everyone, including my supportive mother, to MYOB (mind your own boobs/baby). My body. My baby. My boobs.
She was all–you CAN’T give him formula. Well, J was a month early, jaundiced (with a dreaded bili blanket) and losing weight (dropping to 5 lbs 2 ounces). My milk was taking forever to come in. I was going to do everything I could to make sure he was healthy.
On the other side, my SIL said that breastfeeding beyond the first six weeks is really useless (she works at an OB’s office, thinks she’s a doctor. She’s not.) and “kinda gross.” I’d tell you what I told her, but I’d rather not spread vulgarities on your blog.
Dump Facebook. You have enough good stuff going on anyway . . .
Thanks for sharing!!!