Boob Chat. A Post on Breast Feeding

6:34 AM Elizabeth Seckman 28 Comments


Years ago, when I had my first son, I decided to breast feed. At that time in my area, breast feeding wasn't overly common- at least not among the people I knew. Even at the hospital where I delivered, there was a lot of misinformation and not much support for my decision.

The nurse on duty in the nursery actually tried to talk me out of doing it. She insinuated I'd starve my baby trying to nurse him. I'll never forget her telling me that I could "try" the nursing thing, but the baby would have to be weighed after feedings and given bottle supplements if he wasn't heavier by however many ounces.

That was a lot of pressure, but I was always obstinate where my kids were concerned. No matter how much I sweated and stressed trying to do the most unnaturally natural thing, I stuck with it until one day it was the easiest thing on earth and I couldn't remember why I ever thought it was so hard.

But it WAS hard. I remember wondering how in the world humanity had survived so many centuries when nothing about the baby process seemed easy. Delivery? Awful. Recovery? Painful. Nursing? Awkward as an adolescent at their first dance.

With all of this in mind, when my niece, Tabitha, announced she planned to breast feed, I didn't want to be the one to tell her all the negatives. Instead, I told her what a friend told me- nursing feels impossible and then one day, you'll wonder why you ever had a problem with it because it's suddenly so much easier (and cheaper!) than the hassle of formula and bottles.

Fast forward to now, my niece did so well, she's gone pro! She's not just your average breast feeding alumni, she's now a certified lactation consultant. To help other moms, she's started a blog and a Facebook group. I sure wish I had had this sort of resource twenty-five years ago!

Paislee, Tabitha, and Abe

Tabitha Hartman Howell is a wonderful mom to two perfect kids, Paislee and Abram. Check out her blog here or visit her Facebook page here.

28 comments:

  1. I don't think I was ever discouraged to breast feed, though I did find it difficult with working a full-time job at the same time. I ended up doing half and half. The lactation consultants are great, though. I got to talk to one when I had my first daughter, and they're a very supportive bunch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did the half and half with Boy #1 because I returned to work and was never comfortable pumping.

      I think I was either living in a backward pocket or a few years ahead of the breastfeeding boom. I delivered two of my boys in a different hospital that was totally supportive. The one must have been operating on 1960's practices.

      Delete
  2. My friend Valerie, who had four kids, breast-fed all of them and even joined the La Leche League. She firmly believed in it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once you "master" it, it's like the easiest thing in the world.

      Delete
  3. One topic I'm not an expert in. Amazing, huh!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Here it is the exact opposite, they go on and on about breast feeding as soon as the poop machine pops out. Parents should be able to do what they want and are comfortable with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's not cool either. There are plenty of situations where a mom can't or isn't comfortable and there is nothing wrong with that. I was bottle fed and look at how perfect I am! LOL

      Delete
  5. this great post my friend

    i was not lucky enough to feed my three sons ,due to being extremely anemic i had no fluid nor any medicine worked to bring it on

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have a friend who had gastric bypass surgery and could only eat tiny amounts of food at a time. I was not a fan of her breast feeding because I couldn't imagine her being able to get enough nutrition to maintain her own good health.

      Bottle feeding is a good, healthy option. I am living proof of that!

      Delete
  6. I'm in favor of breastfeeding but if need be then bottle and formula are fine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was lured in by the diet free weight loss and also the health benefits. I feel bad for women who are made to feel bad one way or another. Motherhood has enough challenges without us ganging up on each other.

      Delete
  7. I'm happy I breast fed both of my kids. I know, if you can, it's the best option (health wise for the baby and emotionally for the mom), but totally understand mothers who work full time, etc. My cousin pumped at work (they had a room for it!) and was able to nurse both of her girls even while working full time. It can be done, but it does take work, which, in my opinion, is worth it! Great post Elizabeth! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I could never get the pumping thing to work. If I had had someone like Tabitha to call, I might have figured it out, but I didn't so I gave up. I would try until I was bruised. I was definitely doing something wrong.

      Delete
  8. Congrats to your niece! It's wonderful that there is support and encouragement for mothers these days.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I don't have children, but I have friends who do, and I think its great you followed your own intuition. My friend was so worried about breastfeeding, and like you said, after a while she was okay. Thank you for talking about this tough subject, Elizabeth. And congratulations to your niece. I'm sure she's helping lots of momma's. Good for her.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Until you get used to it, it feels like the most impossible thing ever. A bit like trying to do algebra after a night at the bar.

      Delete
  10. It was my intention to breast feed our first child, but I had some medical issues, and he was already a few days old before I was allowed to see him for the first time. (I actually got out of bed and, hanging onto my IV pole for dear life, tried to sneak to the nursery, but they caught me...) Anyhow, they didn't give me a pill to dry up my milk. Oh, no... they used a barbaric thing called a breast binder. It was made of a coarse fabric, and they strapped it around my chest as tightly as they could. Miserably painful! Our son turns 48 in a couple weeks, and after all these years, I can still remember how awful that contraption was.

    It's cool that you were able to breast feed. To me, it seems the most natural thing in the world to do, and there are lots of benefits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can't imagine not being able to have seen my baby after they were born. I was extremely blessed with mostly uneventful deliveries. After boy #3 was born, I lost a bit more blood than usual. I got to snuggle him and nurse him, then pretty much passed out for the day. I woke in the middle of the night feeling a bit better and tried your trick of heading to the nursery with my IV pole and also got stopped and sent back to my room. FYI, starting is the 1990's there are video cameras in the hospital nursery hallways and security arrives pretty darned fast. I think they thought I was trying to escape or something.

      Delete
  11. I appreciate this post :) I breastfed both of my kiddos and I do not regret it. It was time and discipline since I worked full time and had to pump on a regular schedule, but I made it work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Working and breastfeeding is most impressive. I made my brother babysit because he lived close to where I worked and I could stop in for feedings.

      Delete
  12. The weight control aspect puts me completely in favor!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was the tipping point decision making information for me!

      Delete
  13. Good for her for helping other mothers. My mother and my mother-in-law were opposed to breast feeding. Both said they hadn't been able to breast feed. I don't know why. It's a shame they didn't have any help. The two of them put so much pressure on me that I stopped nursing my son after three months. I'm still disappointed that the bond between us was disrupted by them ganging up against me. When I had my daughter, I didn't live near any relatives. I breast fed her for a year. It was a lovely, special time for us.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My mother told me that in the sixties and seventies, formula was the new miracle for babies and moms were told that was the best thing for baby, so breastfeeding not only went out of style, but became a shaming point. That may be what swayed your mom and mother-in-law.

      Delete
  14. Ugh, it was scary enough the first few days and I didn't even have a professional medical person telling me what I was secretly afraid of was true! But you're so right, it seems impossibly hard until one day it's the easiest thing on earth. At least, that was my experience all three times! haha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't it the weirdest thing? It's like the breast feeding epiphany!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...