Thursday, March 26, 2009

On Breastfeeding


...in public.



I was at the mall in "the closest big city to us" and I saw a poster for the video posted above. It caught my attention and made me think about my feelings toward breastfeeding in public.

I have chosen to nurse my baby. It is my personal opinion that if a woman can breastfeed and wants to breastfeed, then it is the best option for her baby. Breast milk is, after all, liquid gold. It's got all that good stuff that babies need. I won't get into it too much, because this will end up being a rather lengthy post. What could be better than passive immunity though!?

Little One, being a preemie, could surely benefit from breast milk. Even if she weren't a preemie, I'd still believe that it was the best thing for her. This said, her doctors have encouraged me to nurse her for as long as I can. I'm not sure how long that would be, but I'm hoping to do it for a year if I can.

Anyway, I have run into several situations where I don't know whether or not to feed my baby right then and there. When I was in the hospital and my SIL and her husband came to visit, I was in the midst of nursing. The nurse came in and said, "Your SIL and her husband are here. Do you want me to tell them to come back?" "Ummm...no. They've driven two hours to get here. Please tell them to come in." "Oh, but you're breastfeeding!"

I smiled and said, "It's okay". The nurse returned with a blanket to "cover me up" and said, "I wouldn't feel comfortable breastfeeding in front of my BIL".

Really, it doesn't bother me. It's not like I'm whipping them out for everyone to see. In fact, you can't even really see anything when I nurse. Nothing is exposed unless you're gawking and looking for it.

Hubby and I had to bring Little One to the hospital for her neonatal follow-up and monthly RSV shot during flu season. It's a 2 hr drive and we stopped off for a pit stop on our way home. Hubby went in for his Tim Horton's coffee and Tim Bits. I had to feed the baby. I ended up changing the baby's diaper in the vehicle and nursing her in there too. 1) I absolutely HATE public restrooms! Seriously, they're disgusting. I carry a bottle of Purel in my purse and have on in the vehicle too. I wouldn't change Little One's diaper in there unless I absolutely had to. The vehicle was fine. 2) I ended up nursing her in there too because...Well, I wouldn't know where to feed her while in Tim Horton's.

I struggle with wanting to do what's best for my baby and not wanting to offend anyone. I know that there are still some "issues" people have with women breastfeeding in public. In fact, we were having supper at the home of someone very close to us (who is of an older generation) and when it came time to nurse Little One, she told me to go into another room and that I "don't need an audience".

Whenever we've had friends or family visiting, I've always nursed Little One in their presence. I have no qualms with doing so. To me it's only natural. Why make it something perverse or awkward? Again, I don't want to make people uncomfortable, but I also have to feed my baby. One person even said to carry a bottle or two with me for times that I need to feed the baby. Why? What if I don't want her to get used to having bottles if I can help it?

I'm not a hardcore, militant, in-your-face person. Do I advocate breastfeeding? Yes. Do I think it's the right thing for my baby? Yes. Do I feed her in public? Sort of. I don't feed her in the middle of fancy restaurants or anything. I fed her while waiting to see the doctor at Sick Kids in the waiting room. It was full and there were lots of parents and children there. Hubby did put a receiving blanket over my shoulder and draped it so that Little One had a bit of privacy though. She tends to get distracted if there are too many people while she's eating.What are your thoughts on breastfeeding in public? Any tips or suggestions on how to not offend others? Where do you nurse your baby when you're out of the house? I definitely will not resign myself to feeding her in a public bathroom. Ick. Would you eat your lunch in the bathroom? I didn't think so.

56 comments:

louann said...

C, I love this post. I am obsessed with breastfeeding. When I had my eldest (when I was still a teenager-- immature and conscious about everything), I never wanted to nurse in public. But when I had my 2nd, I was more at ease and felt that it was OK to nurse in public. And now with my 3rd, I feel its totally OK. Because I don't have a nursing cover, I use a baby blanket when I feed in public. Some malls here also have breastfeeding rooms.

Cherry said...

I don't have kids and don't have personal experience from the mom side, but I do have experience from the "other" side.

I don't care personally. I notice it, and move on. I agree it is a totally natural thing to do, but I am also a little weirded out by the thought of doing it myself. I wonder if I am in that situation,if I will be the private type. I'm pretty sure I'll be the cover up with a blanket type.
If I stare it is because I'm curious. and yes, I admit to having looked too long sometimes because I haven't experienced it and want to know what's going on. I mean, did you know before any of your friends had babies, or you read books that the baby's mouth is sucking on THAT MUCH of your boob?

I also admit to checking out pregnant bellies to see if their belly button has popped out. That fascinates me. Tell me mama's out there... does it hurt? I probably want to know mostly because I once had a belly piercing and am fearful of what will happen when the belly is all big and stretched.
I know, I'm a total momma stalker. Everything fertility/pregnancy/parenting/child development intrigues me.

Veronica said...

Well written hon!

I breastfeed everywhere. In a restaurant? Yup. Supermarket? Yup. Everywhere. I even breastfed Isaac in the sling as I walked through town one day. (with that one though, I had 2 tops on, I pulled one up and one down so I wasn't walking around with a bare back.)

I'm not 'here are my boobies! Watch me feed! Rawr!' about it, but if he needs feeding, I will feed him.

I do make sure I am wearing a top that can easily be pulled up, yet still cover most of my back and the rest of my boob. I feel uncomfortable popping an entire boob out of the top of my shirt, but have done it before because I had to (however, I was visiting family for that one!)

And I refuse to cover up with a blanket because both my kids HATE/D that.

Tassie seems different though. I have never been asked to move, or cover up (which is great!).

Actually, the most opposition I have had came from my FIL and a friend of Nats family. Heh.

Ellie said...

Hi Christine!! I need to email you soon, when I have a spare minute!! Yep,I also fed my babies wherever and whenever they needed to be fed, I was a bit more relaxed with Devin, the youngest.
With Robyn I was a brand new mom and was a bit more unsure of things and getting it all right. Jeremy was partially bottle fed due to issues with weight.

Devin nursed until he was just over 2, and we did it everywhere, even the middle of the zoo! I had a couple of women say how wonderful it was that I was doing that and not afraid to do it in public! Devin was born a month early, so he nursed often for the first 6 months or so. As Devin got more curious and interested in other things, we did cover up, as he got too distracted, and let's just say, things went flying everywhere!

I think it is totally okay to nurse your baby wherever you want, and you don't need to apologize or feel awkward about it.

Have a great day! And stay away from those wolves...yikes!
Hugs,
Ellie

Dina said...

good post...this is something I have had issues with personally too...some member of my family got very upset when i nursed my DD at a party rather than going up to hide in a bedroom..well i told her where to go.
I thnk that if it okay for others to eat in a place than it's perfectly fine for babies to nurse there too. I fed DS anywhere he needed to be fed, including the subway once. I also feed myself whereever i need to eat.
As for offending people...if they get offended than they can f**K off in my opinion.In this day and age I feel there is absolutely no need to cover up under a blanket, hide in a washroom or leave the room PERIOD. No matter where you are.
Yes I sometimes use the nursing room at the mall but only if I happen to be there. I never seek it out for the sole purpose of nursing. If everyone did use those rooms than we would be telling people it's not okay to nurse in public, which it is!
That being said.. ihave also nursed in the car (while parked, not while moving) only because it was easier and the baby needed to be fed ASAP. and also changed baby there for the same reasons you mention.

fancypansy said...

i have bf both my girls anywhere and everywhere. When and where they are hungry, they eat! That is what makes BFing so convenient.

Also, I consider it important that BFing be seen...that other women know that it is okay to feed their babies wherever they are-and that BFing does not tie you to home, nursing rooms and other private places. I know that I am partially responsible for several of my friends learning to be comfortable BFing anywhere, and I am sure at least some of them would have given up BFing sooner if they did not feel they had that freedom.

Like Veronica, I do not use a cover or blanket, though I do try to ensure my top covers the top of my breast, and most of my tummy and back (I am more concerned with people seeing those than my breasts! Roll city!)

I do not spend a moment worrying if anyone is offended though. I am feeding my baby, and could care less if someone else is offended by that. I am offended that anyone would think my baby needs to eat under a blanket or on a toilet or even in a private room where I am deprived of company and conversation.

I BF Zoë for over 2 years and never, ever got a negative comment. I don't know what people really thought...but I don't care. Anyone who knows me very well would not have said anything about it to me even if they did have an issue LOL!

Autumn's Mom said...

I'm in the minority who didn't breastfeed (cuz I was young and stupid) but I really don't see why anyone gets offended. It's the most natural thing on earth. The last thing a mother needs to worry about is offending someone when their baby is hungry. they are just boobs, people. You keep doing what's right for you Chrissy.

Funny video by the way, I love it.

C said...

Louann:
:) I've caught myself asking people "Do you mind if I feed the baby?" while they're visiting. Then when I think about it, I wonder if it even matters if they mind or not. Little One needs to eat and I need to feed her. I don't know why I am so concerned with other people's feelings.

I don't have a nursing cover either. I did use a blanket when I was in the hospital waiting room once, but that is really cumbersome. It gets in the way and Little One doesn't really like having a blanket over her.

C said...

Cherry:
I remember when I was on the "other" side too. I am probably one of the last of my friends to have had a baby. All of my friends were mommies already and I had just gotten married. I remember sitting in awe as my friends and I talked and they breastfed at the same time. It amazed me and I realized that I wanted to do the same when I had my own baby. I'm a social person and would not want to excuse myself from conversation just to feed my baby. She needs to be socialized too. She enjoys listening to people talk.

One of my girlfriends was so casual about the whole breastfeeding thing and she even fed her baby while hosting a huge dinner party. Her husband's friends and colleagues were there and I thought, "Wow! She's got no issues whatsoever about BF in the presence of others!"

Her husband's colleagues sat there and talked as she nursed her baby. I don't know if they were uncomfortable or not. No one said anything about it.

Before I had a baby, I didn't really care either way if I saw a mom BF her baby. To me it's the most natural thing ever.

Sometimes, if I know our company has "issues" with BF, I will go to our room and feed LO. It just saves a lot of grief. Plus, I don't mind the quiet time with LO anyway.

The belly button sticking out...I never got big enough to experience that part of pregnancy :( Having LO at 28 weeks gestation, I missed out on my entire third trimester :(

C said...

Veronica:
Hello, luv! That's one thing I love about you...You are so pro-BF and that is so cool! I cannot believe you nursed Isaac in his sling while walking through town! I am certainly not that coordinated! I've only just mastered nursing and blogging at the same time! Add walking and nursing while baby is in the sling...that spells disaster for me! LOL! I can see it already! Little One would get so frustrated with me!

Slowly but surely I am getting the hang of this whole mom thing :) Some things take more practice than others though.

P.S. LOVE your comment! Totally made me smile! 'here are my boobies! Watch me feed! Rawr!' LOL!

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Cherry, you don't even feel the difference when your belly button sticks out. Just happens. :) And it doesn't even happen to every mom, even if they go all 9 months.

C, I'm modest, so I used a blanket to cover up when breastfeeding. I didn't want people to see my boobs. :) Also, it helped to keep Maya from getting distracted. But I'm not offended when I see women breastfeeding their children in public. It's a natural part of life, and a kids gotta eat, right?

I breastfed wherever and whenever I needed to. I enjoyed looking for places with mommy rooms, because of the quiet and privacy they afforded. I think it's different for everyone, and that people have different comfort levels with things. I don't know that I would leave my own living room to nurse if I had friends over, but I might look for a quiet place if I were at someone else's house, you know? Depending on how well I knew them.

This is a long, rambling comment, and what I mean to say is, do whatever is most comfortable for you. Taking good care of yourself and your baby is the most important thing. Most people know and respect that, and there's no need to worry about what other people think.

FancyPansy said...

*And it doesn't even happen to every mom, even if they go all 9 months.*

True. Both my babies were late, but my belly button just went flat.

BTW, I ate lunch in the bathroom every day for a week once, when a girl in high school wanted to beat me up after I told on her and got her suspended for spitting on me! Remember that, D??

just sayin' lol!

C said...

Ellie:
Thanks for your comment! BTW, I have been meaning to shoot off an e-mail or give you a shout. I have! It seems each time I want to catch up with people, my little milk monster decides it's time to eat! :)

I was told by one of the docs that they were very pleased that LO had taken to the breast because some preemies don't really get that suck reflex going strong enough and don't latch. Oh, she latches alright! LOL! She's a little vacuum!

I wonder though, if I'll be able to keep up with her demanding appetite.

C said...

Dina:
I remember you telling me about that! I was really shocked.

Yeah, I'd never feed her in a public restroom. That's just gross. I'm not a total germ-a-phobe but when it comes to public bathrooms, I'm a bit of a freak. I just don't like them.

LO is a funny baby. She gets distracted if there are too many people talking when she's eating and she wants to see what's going on. In that case, I have to cover her up or move to another room so she can eat in quiet. The weird thing is that she WANTS to be around people when she eats. I guess it depends on her mood. Sometimes we enjoy our quiet "Mommy and baby" moments while BF, and other times she wants to be in the middle of everything. She doesn't like to be covered though. I don't blame her.

Dina, I was just thinking about what your family member said. I've been with you while you were BF your baby girl. Absolutely nothing is showing when you nurse...so I wonder what the big deal is? I wonder if it's just the "idea" of BF that makes people uncomfortable?

One person once told me that there's a time and place for everything. Ummm...yeah, when my baby needs to eat, that is the time and place to feed her. :)

Jinxy said...

Great post C.

I breastfeed Lily and in her 3 months it hasn't come up outside of the house much (we stick close to home mostly) but the couple of times it has I just throw a receiving blanket over my shoulder.
We had friends over last night and I just did the same thing. I cover up mostly for my hubby's sake. He doesn't want strangers (or worse) his friends looking at my boob.

Corbett Family said...

C, I found your blog randomly while blog surfing and I love the post. I am about to have my fourth baby and have breastfed all of my kids for about a year. I breastfeed anywhere and everywhere. Usually when I am not in my own home I cover up with a blanket or sling or something, but as babies get older or it is hot, etc. that doesn't always work. (Plus when you have more than one child you find that you can nurse while walking, playing with another child, making dinner, etc. since you have to.)

I love the video because that has always been my argument about banishing nursing mothers to restrooms or other disgusting places to pump or feed--we wouldn't make you eat your food in the restroom. I must admit that I have gotten some dirty looks from people while breastfeeding in public (at the airport, in a mall, at a restaurant) EVEN WHEN I was covered with a blanket. Those are the people I want to go up to and say, "Can I give you a dirty look while you are eating???"

I do know of a few extended family members who are "uncomfortable" when I am nursing in front of them, so I will usually try to cover with a blanket when they are at my house and in the room. However, I refuse to leave the room and not be part of what is going on just to feed to the baby.

Good luck with your continued nursing, it sounds like you have given your baby a great start!

Jody

Annie @ PhD in Parenting said...

Anytime, anywhere is my thought on the topic. I do try to be discreet, but by that I mean that I try not to show more breast than it would be socially acceptable for a non-breastfeeding woman to show in the same setting. So I don't worry about covering up as much at the beach as I would in a church.

I've written about this topic a number of times (including posting the same video you did!). My most recent post was about whether it is okay to breastfeed in front of other people's children:

http://www.phdinparenting.com/2009/03/13/what-gives-you-the-right/

Desiree Fawn said...

I am ALL about the breastfeeding in public. Really I think you should do what you are comfortable with & don't worry about offending anyone. If people are offended by you feeding your child -- that is there own problem.
I have breastfed my daughter everywhere from my home, the homes of friends, in restaurants while eating & even the other day while walked around in Old Navy shopping!
Do what you're happy with & the heck with the rest of them :D

flowers said...

I have bf my two boys everywhere. With my first I got a little shy after his first birthday, but now...pshaw! I'm proud to be the mom nursing in the middle of the rest station, at christmas dinner....wherever! I hope that my comfort will open the doors for other mothers to bravely nurse wherever needed.

Great post!

C said...

Fancy:
I have a question: When Little One was in the NICU for 2 months, the docs, nurses and lactation consultants had me pumping every 3 hrs (or at least 8 x withing a 24 hr period). She wasn't able to nurse right away, but I worked on getting a very good milk supply. I ended up freezing lots and LOTS of breast milk for her and when she was finally able to nurse, I breastfed her and was happy.

Now, I've stopped pumping every 3 hrs because frankly, I couldn't be bothered. Breastfeeding, cleaning the house, cooking, taking care of other things that need to get done, trying to get a few hours of sleep in if I can...AND pumping?? No thanks! That would mean I'd have to get up and pump and sterilize bottles...all things I don't have time or energy to devote to.

Here's the thing. Now that Little One is eating A LOT more, I wonder if I'll have enough milk to satisfy her. I wonder if now that I've stopped pumping has my milk supply decreased? I used to pump about 8 oz a pumping session and now I only pump 2 or 3 oz. This worries me. I wonder if I have enough for LO now. I wonder if stopping pumping has caused the drop in the quantity of expressed breast milk?

C said...

J:
When I was younger, I was modest. Then I got older and was not as modest. Now that I'm even older, I find myself more modest than before. My mom jokes that I've turned into a prude! I'm not THAT prudish...I feed my baby in the presence of others. I do make sure that nothing is showing though. Little One pretty much covers most of the boob.

Sometimes I feed her and don't even realize that I'm in the presence of others. When I feed her, I'm in a world of my own. Then when it's time to burp her, I realize, "Oh! I wonder what was going on in so-and-so's head" or "I wonder if so-and-so minded that I just fed the baby in front of him/her?".

Like everyone has said, I guess I shouldn't be too concerned by that though. I try to be sensitive to other people's comfort levels and respect their feelings. At the same time, Little One doesn't seem to care. She wants to be fed when she wants to be fed :)

C said...

Fancy:
So true. The belly button popping out thing doesn't happen to all women. Hubby used to joke that when the belly button pops out, it means the bun is done and ready to come out of the oven.

I hope next time I get to enjoy a longer pregnancy!!! 28 weeks...Little One spent more time growing OUTSIDE of the womb than she did IN! Gah.

Annie @ PhD in Parenting said...

Trying to answer your Q to Fancy (i have quite a bit of pumping experience behind me).

Usually moms find that their supply "settles" a bit at around 6 weeks to 12 weeks sometime. It is when most moms stop feeling extremely engorged if their baby sleeps 30 minutes longer than usual! At that point, pumping output will decrease too.

As to whether your supply is high enough, if your baby is only nursing and gaining weight well, then you are probably fine. But if you are supplementing with milk that you stored earlier, then you need to pump to make that up, otherwise it will be a slippery slope. Explained well here:

http://www.workandpump.com/freezerstash.htm

C said...

Jinxy:
Lily is ADORABLE!!! Oh, I haven't even ASKED Hubby how he feels about me breastfeeding in front of others! I know he knows that Little One needs to be fed. He's pretty conservative though. Funny, when I was pregnant, everyone always asked how I was doing and how the baby was doing. Then when I had the baby, everyone asked how I was and how the baby was. No one remembered that Hubby was part of all of that too! I don't think anyone asked how Dad was doing!

True, Mom and Baby are what the focus is on, but Dads need some lovin' too, right? :)

C said...

Annie:
THANK YOU for your comments! Soooo helpful! Now I'm kind of worried about the pumping thing! I stopped pumping (except for when I'm engorged and absolutely HAVE TO pump) and have been letting Hubby give Little One a bottle in the middle of the night (expressed breast milk, of course). Now we have only 2 months or so left of frozen breast milk. I'm starting to worry about what will happen when that runs out and I haven't been pumping in the middle of the night.

Little One has been gaining steadily. She was 980 g at birth (almost 2 lbs, 3 oz) and is now 7 lbs, 3 oz. She's not gaining in leaps and bounds, but she's steady.

C said...

Jody:
The funny thing about that video is that I've been trying to not include the name of the place where we live, but the video is from "the closest big city" to the island we live on. I saw the poster for that video when I was in the mall looking for a place to nurse Little One. It totally caught my attention because it is so true! I would never expect any mom to resort to feeding her baby in a bathroom stall. I know I wouldn't want to eat my lunch in a public restroom!

C said...

Desiree Fawn:
You are so right. I do think it's all about what one is comfortable with and what is best for mom and baby.
I am totally impressed by you! I haven't mastered walking and nursing yet! I've JUST gotten the hang of blogging and nursing! Even THAT is sometimes not very successful! LOL!

.:robyn:. said...

I do a bit of breastfeeding in the sling. It makes for a hands free experience occasionally. Also, it brings less attention from gawkers in restaurants.
As far as advice goes: In my experience - people are a lot more uncomfortable and quite annoyed if your kid is crying instead.

C said...

Flowers:
That is awesome! You're right. I do think women should feel free to BF when and where they need to.

C said...

Robyn:
Several moms have mentioned breastfeeding in a sling. That is something I'd like to try with Little One! I'm going to have to work on that one!

As for the people getting annoyed and uncomfortable when a baby's crying...Yep! Little One is pretty quiet and doesn't cry much, but I've been in situations where other friends' babies were crying and people around have actually gotten edgy and upset with the crying. THAT attitude irritates me and not the babies crying.

Veronica said...

Hehe, it has taken 2 children for me to be able to BF in the sling! Amy hated moving while she fed. Hated it. Isaac is much more placid, lol.

storiesinfelt said...

I don't have kids but if I had I would nurse them. I don't think there is anything wrong with nursing in public, but I think one should use a cover of some sort if there are men present. When it is just the girls, though, I really have never understood the need some women have for privacy.

Palm Springs Savant said...

To be honest I'm a little wierded out by the whole breast feeding in public thing!

C said...

Veronica:
Tried the BF in the sling today. What a disaster! LOL! I simply cannot multitask! Walking + BF & me = crying baby! LOL!

C said...

Stories:
I know what you mean. I guess in the presence of other men, a little discretion can be had.

I was talking to a girlfriend the other day about BF. She mentioned how she thinks it's funny how seeing boobs on TV or in magazines seems more accepted or "normal" than a woman feeding her baby. For some, there's still a bit of weirdness about it.

C said...

Rick:
I can respect that! :)

Jeanna said...

When you gotta eat, you gotta eat. I'm not sure about chucking out boobage at the dinner table, which on the other hand does seem appropriate, but they don't have milking stations for moms, so, boob, it's what's for dinner.

Maria said...

I breast fed both my boys and I did it wherever we happened to be when they needed to eat! You can be very discrete about breastfeeding.. admittedly it is hard at first and I remember sitting in Starbucks and building a wall around myself with diaper bags and various purchases in case someone would 'see' something but once I was used to it.. most people don't even notice. I was at my in-laws place one day and I was sat on the couch breast feeding talking to a room full of family and my father in law walked by and lent down to kiss the baby. It happened so fast and his lips were almost on his head before he jumped back in shock and embarrassment as he had NO idea that I was breastfeeding my child! I have breast fed in Sudbury in Montanas.. I did pick a booth that wasn't in the middle of the restaurant, but we sat there waiting for our food, Caleb fed and then I had my meal. I have noticed in Sudbury in the odd place (Arby's is one) stickers saying that they are a breastfeeding friendly restaurant, and more places should display this. There shouldn't be a stigma attached to breastfeeding in public as there is nothing wrong with feeding your child wherever you happen to be. You are doing the best thing for your baby.. It's not for everyone and some people try and have a hard time with it but you do what works for you!

Maria said...

Oh BTW the sling didn't work for me either!!!

FancyPansy said...

Hey! Cannot help too much with pumping, since I never pumped and my babes never took a bottle. We tried for the first time today (hand expressed milk-I express about 5ozs a day to donate to a private recipient) and as suspected, Charlotte wanted nothing to do with it.

If your LO is still gaining weight and going through lots of diapers, your supply is fine. However, if you don't keep pumping, you probably wont able to make extra milk to pump when you want to. Your body, over time, adjusts to the amount of milk you use, so after the first few months when you seem to always have "extra" that stops unless you keep stimulating your body (via a pump or hand expressing) to make the extra. Of course your baby will also sometimes increase your supply during growth spurts, and you should take advantage of those to store some extra milk when it comes in, before you adjust again.

*i stopped pumping (except for when I'm engorged and absolutely HAVE TO pump) and have been letting Hubby give Little One a bottle in the middle of the night (expressed breast milk, of course). Now we have only 2 months or so left of frozen breast milk. I'm starting to worry about what will happen when that runs out and I haven't been pumping in the middle of the night.*

Well, she may be sleeping through by then. If not, you can either give formula, start pumping again to increase your supply and keep making the extra milk, or suck it up and BF in the middle of the night when you need to.

FancyPansy said...

Hey! Cannot help too much with pumping, since I never pumped and my babes never took a bottle. We tried for the first time today (hand expressed milk-I express about 5ozs a day to donate to a private recipient) and as suspected, Charlotte wanted nothing to do with it.

If your LO is still gaining weight and going through lots of diapers, your supply is fine. However, if you don't keep pumping, you probably wont able to make extra milk to pump when you want to. Your body, over time, adjusts to the amount of milk you use, so after the first few months when you seem to always have "extra" that stops unless you keep stimulating your body (via a pump or hand expressing) to make the extra. Of course your baby will also sometimes increase your supply during growth spurts, and you should take advantage of those to store some extra milk when it comes in, before you adjust again.

*i stopped pumping (except for when I'm engorged and absolutely HAVE TO pump) and have been letting Hubby give Little One a bottle in the middle of the night (expressed breast milk, of course). Now we have only 2 months or so left of frozen breast milk. I'm starting to worry about what will happen when that runs out and I haven't been pumping in the middle of the night.*

Well, she may be sleeping through by then. If not, you can either give formula, start pumping again to increase your supply and keep making the extra milk, or suck it up and BF in the middle of the night when you need to.

C said...

Jeanna:
I hear ya! Feeding one's baby can be done discretely. I mean, a woman doesn't have to whip them out completely to feed a baby, right?

C said...

Maria:
Oooooh! Good to know about the breastfeeding friendly places in Sudbury! We're there every month for Little One's neonatal follow-ups and other appointments.

Funny story about your FIL reaching over to kiss the baby :) That happened to me with my Dad. He pretended not to have noticed. LOL!

C said...

Fancy:
"or suck it up and BF in the middle of the night when you need to."
I was actually JUST talking about that with Hubby last night! :) I was saying that I may have to start doing that. She only wakes once in the middle of the night now (anywhere between 2AM and 4AM) and even sleeps through the entire night sometimes.

FancyPantsy said...

Chrissy if she is sleeping all the way some nights, and only waking once a night others...she'll probably be sleeping through most nights (except during growth spurts, teething, sickness, etc...when nursing will comfort her far more than a bottle anyways)in 2 months anyways. It tends to be a progression. Zoë was doing it some nights by about 12 weeks, every night by about 16 weeks. Charlotte seems to be following her sister. She also wakes once a night, between 3-5am, most nights but goes all the way one or two nights a week.

Really, waking once a night to BF is not bad at all though. I would not personally bother trying to pump and increase my supply over one waking a night. Some of my sweetest times with both my girls were middle of the night feedings. So calm and quiet, with the cat purring next to us.

jill said...

so far I've just fed her in family homes (facing away from male family members, although not necessary) and in our vehicle. I had to pump for nearly 3 months and now being free from all the 'crud' that goes with that is so liberating. No formula for her! Sure, it's all up to me, but she's happy and I never have to worry about anything. it's all right there for the taking. I am interested to see what your commenters had to say, though...

jill said...

also breastfeeding was listed as the #4 thing you should NEVER do in public according to HASBRO's survey. Gee, a toy company, I wonder if they have ties to formula.. hmm.. a good ponder. any idea who started the whole 'bf'ing is bad' campaign? was it formula companies?

Lil Mouse said...

and a couple of times now our 'sleep through the night for a couple of months'er' has woken up at an odd time and demanded to be fed. i just whipped it out, and 5 minutes later she was snoozing in bed. no big deal. i feel like i've done it all, although we never saved any expressed milk, we dumped it all because we had no bags and never got any, now i face mixing cereal with formula or pumping a few times to get some to mix. I wonder what I should do.. i guess we'll work it out somehow. dont worry about having enough milk, if your baby seems satisfied, you'll be okay. I had WAY too much milk because I was pumping both sides and I went on pump detox, took a week, but got 'us' weaned down to total nursing. 2 months later we're doing fabulous! she regulates what she needs to eat by how much she sucks at the feedings each day. it's a natural system.

Karen MEG said...

A bit late to the party, C, but here are my 2 cents.

Initially I was really quite shy about nursing the Boy in public... but that was almost 9 years ago! I'm quite a private person, but once I had him, it became "this is how my baby eats, he's hungry, I'll feed him". I remember the first time my Dad walked in on me BF him, he was a bit taken aback, but then he got used to it, even having a conversation with me while I nursed. I remember a big thing for me back then was nursing L in East Side Mario's... it was loud, crowded, but I had no problems. Mind you, I did use a blanket, just a light one, and we were good.

So when little G came along 4 years ago, I was still very pro-nursing, and in public I had no problems. Unlike others, though. Although things are getting better, and most shopping malls now have nursing areas...unfortunately attached to washrooms, but they are getting better. I remember at our local mall, the nursing room was right in the washroom and disgusting, so while I was out in the mall area, an older lady came by to admire little G, and of course G started fussing, so I put her in position. The older lady looked away, a bit shocked, and said ..."they have rooms for that, don't they?" and I said, "Yes, but in the horrific washroom and I don't want to feed my baby near the toilet). She walked away all red-faced. I guess it's a generational thing, but I think she was offended. But me, I could have cared less. I didn't show what little I had, and my baby needed it. I just wish people would get over the whole sexual aspect of the breast ... I mean, we're feeding our kids, for goodness sake!

A very hot topic, for sure, but hopefully someday this debate will no longer need to be discussed. It's really a no-brainer!

C said...

Jill:
You are so right. The beauty about breastfeeding is that there is no hassle with bottles and sterilizing them. The baby basically has a "portable meal" and can eat anywhere whenever she's hungry.

I was talking to another friend of mine who nursed her son until he was two years old. She is a doctor and she said that for her, that was the best thing for her child. She said not everyone thinks this is "acceptable", but if you think of it, in some other countries, babies nurse for much longer.

Yes, there are a lot of pros for breastfeeding :) I'm comfortable feeding her outside of the home. It's just the other people around that I'm not sure about. Then again, why should I care if Little One is hungry and needs to eat, right? BF can be done discretely but not having to hide, right?

C said...

Lil Mouse:
Hi! Thanks for popping by and commenting! :)
Excellent points you've made. I guess I was worried about my supply because when Little One was in the NICU and I was pumping every 2-3 hrs (which was crazy, but I did it religiously because the nurses said that preemies really needed breastmilk if moms could give it to them). My supply was very good. I had more milk than Little One needed. I'd pump about 8 oz each pumping session and I'd freeze the milk for the nurses to use when I wasn't at the hospital. I had Little One's shelf in the NICU freezer filled, as well as the freezer of the place I was staying at, my cousin's freezer AND Hubby had taken some of the milk back and stored it in our freezer here on the Island and in my MIL's freezer. I was shocked at how much milk I had!

Then, when we brought Little One back home from the hospital 2 months later, and I was breastfeeding her (in the NICU she was being fed by NG tube), I stopped pumping every 2-3 hrs. If I remember to pump, I pump maybe once or twice a day (and not every day). I wonder if it was a mistake to stop pumping because when I pump now, I only get about 4 oz. That's half of what I used to get! Little One seems satisfied and is gaining weight, but I was just surprised that I'm no longer getting 8 oz!

C said...

Karen:
Hey, girlfriend! :) Hubby told me this morning, "People are STILL commenting on that breastfeeding post?!?!" He said he thinks that this is the most popular post I've written. I guess breastfeeding and breastfeeding in public is a hot topic.

I just wish people would get over the whole sexual aspect of the breast ... I mean, we're feeding our kids, for goodness sake!

Hooray for that! I hear ya! It makes me wonder why it seems like women being topless on TV, movies, posters, and in magazines seems more accepted than women feeding their babies sometimes.

You're right about it being a no-brainer. Maybe by the time Little G and Little One are moms, this will no longer be an "issue" :)

Her Bad Mother said...

Well, I've been pretty open about this, but it's worth saying over and over and over again: I breastfeed whenever and wherever my baby needs it. I try to be discreet, but my baby's needs come before anyone else's social discomfort.

C said...

Her Bad Mother:
Thank you for writing that! You are right about baby's needs before others' discomfort. I must keep repeating that to myself when in the presence of people who feel otherwise! :)

Diane said...

I think it's really odd how our society has turned breastfeeding (a totally natural thing) into some perverse thing that should be hidden & not seen in public. I think it's just a scam to encourage people to bottle feed because more profit stands to be made from formula rather than breast milk.

C said...

Diane:
I think so too! As for the latter part of your comment, I had never thought of that before. Kind of makes sense though, now that you mention it.

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City girl moves to the country, falls in love, and marries a farmer. She tries to incorporate her city ways with her new country lifestyle and blogs to keep in touch with friends, family & students who live far, far away :) Can this city girl go country? Watch as she learns all sorts of exciting things about life on the farm and in a small rural community. *UPDATE* We are now parents! Our baby girl was born on Nov. 11, 2008 (at 28 weeks gestation- 12 weeks premature, but she's quite the trooper)!!!
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