Thursday, July 8, 2010


In light of the Nursing in Public Carnival I have been thinking about all the people and situations that have influenced breastfeeding for me.
I assumed I would breastfeed when I was pregnant. In fact, I didn't do any research at all, I just thought that's what you did unless you had some different circumstance (like I was adopted so not breastfed). Then, a friend of my parents (who breastfed all her kids until one) asked me 'are you breastfeeding?' I was kind of taken back. I just thought everyone breastfed. She gave me a breastfeeding book when I told her that I was planning on it. When I started reading it (mostly after my son was born) I realized how breastfeeding wasn't exactly the norm. I had no idea!
When I would first go to my in-laws after we had our son, and after my sister-in-law had her baby a month and a half later, I saw her nurse. She just did it, right out in the living room in front of all of us. And easily too! I was so jealous. I had been going back into another room because I had to take my shirt and bra off just to get a good latch (I had a lot of problems in the beginning). When she wasn't looking, I watched her. It was so easy and I knew that's what breastfeeding was supposed to look like. I really looked up to her for that.
When my son was about 2 months old I started going to a new mom's breastfeeding group at a local store. The first day, I told the lady who led the meeting that I didn't know how to nurse in public. I didn't know how to get him latched on with out just like ripping my shirt off. She showed me. My son latched on, and I nursed wonderfully, in public, for the first time ever. It helped that there were so many supportive moms there who nursed openly there too. I watched them all, trying to see how everyone did it. I learned so much there.
Then, just to get it down, when I was at my parents for the weekend, I decided just to try breastfeeding in front of everyone to practice. It was easy. After that weekend I felt free. Free to go anywhere and nurse my son.
Now, I don't think I'm as worried about it. I don't think I even think about whether or not I can nurse. I just do it. I guess I sometimes nurse in private, but only to get my son to go to sleep or to leave a room of distractions. But I do have to admit that I feel a little less sure about myself now that Luke is older than one year. I always wonder what people are thinking about me and if they approve or disapprove. I try really hard to ignore that because if I'm confident then no one will think twice. I have even come up with something to say if someone says 'you're still nursing him?' I will say 'yeah, the American Academy of Family Physicians (i think that's the one, they just came out with something last year about this) recommends nursing until 2 to prevent disease.' I haven't had to say anything yet.
I'm so happy that I've found so many mothers in my life and at blogs that are so pro-breastfeeding. It has really helped me through my journey, especially now when it's really not the norm.


Lisa C said...

I totally remember that moment at New Seasons! I really felt for you because we had such a hard time in the beginning, too. Now you are even more confident than I am, and I've been doing it longer! lol

Megan said...

Found your blog through a comment you left at Hobo Mama and came on over b/c your son is about the same age as my daughter. He is doing so many of the same things. It's pretty unheard of to nurse past a year in my area (really it's pretty rare to nurse past 6 months!), so like you, now I'm a little self-conscious about nursing in public. I still do it, but it's definitely a bit harder now. Ah well. My little girl needs it! Looking forward to reading more of your blog!

Erin said...

Online moms really helped me feel confident when nursing my first toddler, too.

I noticed that you read Momopoly too... I think all us Catholic extended breastfeeders should get together somehow! ;)

Pickle said...

Lisa, I think you are more confident than me!!
Megan, thanks for stopping by! I wish you luck nursing past one... I think, for me, it's more that I'm looking around to see if people are noticing that I'm nursing a one year old. Sometimes I wonder how much is in my head.
Erin, thanks for stopping by too. I love to meet new Catholic bloggers, especially extended breastfeeders!!! It makes me feel like i'm not the only one! I can't wait to read more of your blog!

Megan said...

I think I do the same thing of putting up my guard, wondering what other people are thinking. So far, no one has said anything WHILE I'm nursing, but people are starting to do the "You're STILL nursing???!!!" So they've noticed. I'm now trying to tell myself that I'm helping make breastfeeding commonplace as I do what's best for my child. I've even found myself nursing her in places I never would have before!