A few weeks ago I had the experience of attending a workshop called When Survivors Give Birth. The workshop, developed by Penny Simkin, helps birth professionals identify the unique needs of women who have experienced sexual abuse in order to support their pregnancy and postpartum experiences. While this was fascinating and useful on a professional level as a doula, it also revealed a great deal to me personally because I, myself, am a survivor of childhood sexual abuse.
One thing that truly stuck with me from the workshop was the idea that much emotional baggage can fall on breastfeeding. This is true in general, but may be especially true for women with a past history of abuse. For me, it definitely shed light on some of my experiences breastfeeding my first child. (more…)
Long, long ago, the counsel of the Great Bra Authority had a very important meeting. On that day, it was decided that all nursing bras shall be ill fitting, unsupportive and so repulsively unattractive that not a woman alive would be excited to wear one. Well, at least that’s what I have to ASSUME happened.
I’ve been nursing for two years now, and in all that time I’ve yet to find the “perfect” solution for a nursing bra. The great majority of shops that sell “regular” bras have either one style of nursing bra available or none at all. If you happen to come across a store with a few style options, sizing tends to be very limited. Shifting the search to the web yields more options, but the prices at times can be sky high. If you’re anything like me, it’s agonizing to think of spending a large amount of money on such a temporary necessity. (more…)
When I started breastfeeding, I never had an exact goal in mind. I knew I wanted to make it to one year, but wasn’t set on any exact date or timeline. I just figured that my son would be ready to stop at one year and that would be it. One year came and went and nursing continued, and I was totally fine with that. In fact I thought he still seemed too young to stop nursing at that point.
Fast forward to my son’s second birthday, and we are still nursing and there seems to be no end in sight. My son sure does love his “nursies”, and although at times I feel ready to be done, I think of all the reasons why nursing a toddler is so much more laid back and relaxed then it was in those early baby days and why it is still working for us. (more…)
Eventually all babies get to a point where they begin to nurse less often. For some, the change is so gradual that the good old rule of supply and demand eases off their supply without mom even noticing the change. But sometimes something comes up that means baby will be cutting back nursings right away. This moment for us was when my little one had his feeding tube placed. We were nursing around 16 times a day until he began fasting for the procedure, and after the tube was placed we initially were only nursing about 4 times daily. While our bodies are extremely in tune with baby’s nursing habits, unfortunately it doesn’t always get the memo to slow down quite fast enough. This left me in an interesting position. How can I let my body know that I don’t need such an enormous supply anymore without cutting it completely off? (more…)
Nursing in public. NIP. It’s a pretty controversial topic as of late. All over the country women are being shunned. They are being kicked out of store after store. Restaurant after restaurant. Shamed for covering. Shamed for not covering. Asked to nurse in bathrooms.
Federal Law states:
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breastfeed her child at any location in a Federal building or on Federal property, if the woman and her child are otherwise authorized to be present at the location.
This doesn’t state that the woman is only allowed to nurse in bathrooms. Only allowed to nurse with a cover. This doesn’t state that the woman is only allowed to nurse the way others deem appropriate. (more…)