Friday, October 26, 2012

Support for Nursing Moms (because we know it's not always easy)

A mom mentioned to me the other day that she's been exclusively breastfeeding her child for 5 months now. Immediately I thought, that mother deserves a medal! I was on the other side of the spectrum and could never exclusively breastfeed. In fact, my kids were off the good stuff by about three months.

I work with a gal who pumps in the office! Another mommy medal is in order. When she's done hiding out with her pump, I often make my way over and praise her for the commitment.To be your child's only source of nourishment while lovely and bonding isn't like it appears in movies. I mean you're leaking all the time, pumping (or feeding) outside of the comfort of your home, and though the baby is finally outside of your body, you still feel your body is being held hostage! I once took too long to pump between feedings and developed a wretched breast tissue infection. I had my children without an epidural, but could not take a breast infection without angrily demanding every medication that would relieve the ENORMOUS pain caused by a tini-tiny clogged breast duct.

Breast milk as we all know is the best nourishment there is, so to those moms out there feeding exclusively, part-time, or maybe only for only a few weeks: way to go! Keep going and remember some of the reasons why you do it: 
  • Breast milk provides lifelong protection against illness and disease because it contains antibodies, antivirals, antiallergens, and other living factors. 
  • Breastfed babies have a lower chance of SIDS and suffer less from diarrhea, constipation, and ear infections.
  • Your breast milk changes to address the nutritional needs of your baby. 
  • Breast milk is easier for your baby to digest
And to those of us who didn't quite make it this far, leave guilt at the door. We're all in this together giving our child the best we can and that too can come from Enfamil or Similac, so cheers to every baby chugging away from the best source possible who is surely growing up with an endless supply of LOVE, a superpower all moms have in COMMON.

Links to find helpful breastfeeding tips and support:
La Leche League - http://forums.llli.org/
La Leche League HOTLINE info: http://breastfeedinghelpline.com/
Breastfeeding.com: http://www.breastfeeding.com/
Breastfeeding Tips, Support and Advice: http://www.babycenter.com/breastfeeding-basics

Finally, another great source for moms to find support is each other. Make sure to visit HerMamas.com and hit the forums, add comments or visit our fan page to post your breastfeeding questions & tips or simply to find encouragement from other breastfeeding moms in your community whether local or virtual!  




8 comments:

  1. I exclusively breastfed my first for 13 months and i'm now exclusively breastfeeding my 2nd baby, we are on month 5! It's hard for all the reasons mentioned above and many more. I work full time and sometimes have to travel which makes nursing that much more challenging. I have pumped in bathrooms, my car, empty offices, gym locker rooms, basically anywhere where I can find an outlet and/or some privacy. I carry ice packs in my little travel cooler and have had to show my bm baggies to the security personnel at airports in order to keep it since you are not allowed to bring on fluids past the security checkpoints.
    it has not been easy but it's very rewarding to see my children thrive due to the benefits of nursing.
    Props to all the moms that opt to nurse regardless of length. If you are having a hard time and would like to continue nursing, seek support. I joined at breast feeding support group with my first one because I was having a hard time and it made all the difference in the world! a lot of the hospitals have them. check with your pediatrician and/or ob/gyn and they can probably give you some referrals too.

    Delia

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    1. Wow Delia! That is awesome and some dedication to nursing. I had even intention to nurse my girls for the first year but was not able to produce milk. I was so jealous of those Moms who would talk about squirting milk across the room. That's awesome that you joined a support group. Hospitals are a great way to find a support group! Thanks for all the info!

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    2. Thanks for this amazing comment Delia! Your input is just the kind breastfeeding moms need to read! You rock for being so dedicated to the cause! Thanks again for your comment!

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  2. Great post! With my first daughter I will admit, I gave up way too easily. With my second, I vowed to give it all I had. So now 5 months later, and the mommy of a healthy 17 lb. baby, I'm very proud of myself! The start with tough, but submerging myself in all the 'breast feeding' blogs, newsletters, and support groups. It's made this experience so much more meaningful. It helped having mommies around who had been through similar experiences to talk to. As the mommy above mentioned, I myself have also nursed in the most wackiest of places! When thinking of returning back to work my anxiety would shoot through the roof ( I'm a mental health clinician, go figure). But I've adapted my life to all the nursing in's and outs. That means lugging my pump to work, on a conference call on mute, while I handle my nursing needs. And packing lots of cooler pack to store! Phew!! Tonight will be the first night I escape with my gals, and will be away from baby to have "fun". Definitely nervous, but sure dad will do great! Nursing our not, mommies are definitely on this journey together and for that, yes, we ALL deserve medals! Now back to pumping...

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    1. Best of luck at girl's night tonight! Way to go sticking to it! Even in the kookiest of places, you've made it happen, no excuses! I love that! On another note, thanks for my medal and thanks for your comment/support!

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  3. When my son was born I had told myself I was going to breast feed for 3 months he is almost 4 months now and I have no intention of stopping. It has been one of the hardest things I have ever done, but has also been one of the best. I have wanted to give up so many times especially at first when my nipples were bleeding from him not latching on correctly. Now that I'm back I work I have to pump which I hate always trying to find an empty office or really anywhere that I have found an outlet. I too have joined support groups and read about breast feeding all the time it helps to read about other women doing the same thing and there challenges. My best advice to any new mom that wants to breast feed is don’t give up if you push through the pain and leaking that you are bound to get in the first 2 months it gets much easier after that. Not to mention the wonderful bounding experience you get with your child I love feeding him, it’s our special time together.

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    1. Such great input! Thanks for sharing your story Regina!

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Comment aka Props!