Sunday, August 12, 2012

Big Boobie Nursing

My boobs are huge. I mean HUGE. I wear a size 44F or 44G bra. Clearly this complicates nursing positions a little. I'm pretty sure nursing while babywearing is an impossibility for me, but I'm still working on it. It has been a long journey of finding out which nursing positions work for me, and when you add in the fact that my daughter has reflux and needs to be fairly upright while eating, my positions are very limited. I usually do the Boppy, propped up on the arm of the couch for elevation. This means I have to switch sides of the couch when I switch boobs. My hubby is getting used to playing musical chairs every evening while my daughter cluster feeds before bed. In the middle of the night I like to stay in my bed to nurse so I prop up one side of the Boppy with a pillow. This morning, however, I decided to try something new. With my son, I loved to nurse lying down (while holding my giant boob back so it wouldn't suffocate him), but I can't really do lying down with my reflux baby. So, I propped her up on two pillows and lay next to her, with a couple pillow behind myself as well. It worked out so well I actually had a free hand to take a picture. The moral of the story is - pillows are your friend. If you need help with positioning, make sure you have plenty of pillow. I believe this position took five. So, here ya go! Don't mind the giant boobies, it was first thing in the morning so I didn't have a bra on.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Nothing Cuter

I'm pretty sure there's nothing cuter than a baby nursing. I mean, babies are usually cute (I say usually because when they're spraying poop in your face or puking down your cleavage at the zoo, they're not overly cute) but I think a nursing baby is pretty darn cute. At least once a day, I look at baby Ange, staring at me from behind my big ole boobie and I can't help but melt. Man, I'm gonna miss this one day!

Here's my baby girl today :)

Has anyone made their Facebook profile pic a nursing pic for WBW? If you have, tell me about it. I just may pick a random commenter to win a prize ;)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why I Breastfeed

I recently got into a bit of a debate with an online friend of mine who chose to formula feed both of her children. While I think she is an excellent mother, I simply cannot come to terms with the fact that she didn't even give breastfeeding a chance. I know it's none of my business and I chose not to let it escalate (it's too late anyway, so no point in trying to change her mind). She linked me to an article that makes a case against breastfeeding which is honestly the most ridiculous thing I have ever read in my life. I promise, I went into it with an open mind. I am somewhat of a believer in conspiracy theories so I'm always open to something that will challenge what I have been told. Well, it's a piece of junk, full of lies and exaggerations as well as ridiculous sarcasm and assumptions. Anyhow, go ahead and read it if you like, I'm thinking of writing a detailed review on it, but it's gonna take me a while since I don't want to point fingers at the lies without facts to back myself up.

So while i was reading that article that attempted to negate all of the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding, I started thinking about the most important reasons I breastfeed my babies. There are dozens of benefits but I can honestly say that the tiny possible decrease in the likelihood of them getting diabetes is not on the top of my list. It's an added bonus but it's not the main reason I do it.

Here are my top 3 reasons I breastfeed.

1. The bonding. Even if my breasts produced Similac, I would still choose nursing over bottle feeding because nothing beats that constant skin-to-skin contact. Sure, it would be nice to alternate night feedings with my husband but I adore the fact that I am the one who feeds my babies (most of time time. I do let others feed her pumped milk on occasion). Maybe it's selfish, but I like the fact that my baby relies on me to stay alive. I like being her #1 supporter. I also love that time when, even if there are a million crazy things going on around us, I sit down with my little girl, stare into her eyes and we bond. She has recently taken to holding my hand while she nurses and I freakin love it! No, I do not feel guilty that my son doesn't get an equivalent because he got it, for 17 months, and he now gets a different type of quality time. He has no interest in holding my hand and staring into my eyes 8 times a day.

2. It's natural. I know all to well that the day will come when I'm busy enough to justify feeding Angelina a Happy Meal or hot dogs for lunch. My son eats that crap way too often. Until she is old enough to ask for an Oreo or scarf down a burger I plan to keep her on an all natural diet. I will make my own baby food (mostly organic). So why would I give her synthetic, chemical-laden, laboratory derived formula? Ok, I'm making it sound worse than it is, it's really not all that bad and certainly better than McDonalds, but since I'm able to produce enough mama's milk for her, I can't imagine choosing to give her something man made. Sort of like how I buy GMO tomatoes if that's all they have, but if there are organic tomatoes and especially if they were cheaper than the GMO ones, I would pick those. Common sense, right?

3. It's easy. Formula is a huge pain in the butt. Huge. You have to go to the store and buy it, find somewhere in your house to store it, mix bottles in the middle of the night when you're so tired you can barely see, and then wash said bottles. Big pain. This way I just whip out a boob, feed, and I'm done. Easy peasy. I also have more than enough things to fill my diaper bag with, I can't imagine adding bottles, bottled water and formula to the mix. I'll pass, thanks.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

World Breastfeeding Week

Today marks the first day of World Breastfeeding Week. To celebrate, I will be posting every day this week!

To start off, I am actually going to copy and paste something I wrote 2 years ago during WBW. I promise the rest of my posts will be new, but I really think this one sums up what I want to say on the topic.

I want to start by saying I am not a "breastfeeding elitist". I do not judge those who formula feed (as long as they gave breastfeeding a shot) and, in fact, I think it is extremely important to recognize all those mamas who tried but were not able to breastfeed.

Formula is not the devil. In fact, it is a very, very close second to breastmilk. It is called "formula" because it is made from an exact scientific formula that is aimed to mimic breastmilk as closely as possible. So many mamas put their hearts and souls into trying to breastfeed and, in some cases, are so preoccupied with the pressure to nurse that they miss out on some of the joy during those wonderful first days of parenthood.

The main goals of breastfeeding week are to recognize mothers around the world who breastfeed their children, to ensure their rights (such as breastfeeding in public and pumping at work) and to promote breastfeeding awareness. These are awesome goals and I am so happy that this week exists. However, I would like to add a goal to the list, a very important one: supporting mamas who tried to breastfeed but could not.

I think mothers who try but are not able to breastfeed, or who have to give it up sooner than they would like to, need to be recognized and supported too. I came really close to having to give up on breastfeeding, and when Jackson sucked down a bottle of Similac in the hospital my heart literally broke. That is wrong, and something needs to be done about the stigma associated with formula. While I appreciate all of the support I got from the nurses, doctors and lactation consultants, I should not have felt like a failure when I fed my hungry son. I was so fortunate to be able to get my supply back up and Jax has not had any formula since he was one week old but not all mamas are as fortunate as I am. Its not that they didn't try as hard, their bodies or circumstances just did not allow them to breastfeed. 

I wholeheartedly believe that all mothers need to try to breastfeed. Science has shown that it is best for both the baby and the mother. BUT, I want to emphasize how important it is to not put down or shame those who don't breastfeed. You can't expect a full explanation as to why someone is buying formula, or fixing a bottle for their child and there's a good chance they did in fact try to breastfeed and could not do it, so DON'T judge them.
Please use this week to give some mad credit to all mothers. Those who are breastfeeding their little ones, those who have breastfed in the past AND those who tried their hardest to breastfeed. All of these moms deserve equal recognition. I can tell you from experience, breastfeeding is HARD WORK and anyone who even attempts to do it deserves to be recognized this week.