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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Pour Your Heart Out: Thoughts on Breastfeeding

Welcome to Pour Your Heart Out- if you need more info on how to participate, check out THIS post. But it's personal- it's what YOU think is pouring your heart out. Please grab the PYHO button or link back in your post if you are participating.

Again, just a brief reminder that everyone linking is pouring their hearts out and we should all be respectful in our comments. ;)


 



Now, this isn't Pour Your Heart Out-y in the way that it's all emotional.  But, I realized it was World Breastfeeding Week. And another side of PYHO is talking about an issue you feel passionately about. So, you'll hear my thoughts on boobs.

Here's my bottom line: Your boobs are your business. And mine are my business and my husband's.


If I tell anyone my breastfeeding story, I get labeled an earthy, crunchy, granola boob-nazi. Not because I actually am one, but when you exclusively breastfeed, especially when you extended bf, assumptions get made that you must be one of those moms who will freak out on any mom who dares bottle feed their baby. And that just isn't true.

I got pregnant with baby #2 when baby #1 was just 8 months old. I was determined to still get to a year with baby #1.  And we did... and it didn't seem like he was ready to stop then, though we cut down. When baby #2 was born when baby #1 was just shy of 17 months... my milk supply increased and baby #1 thought this was awesome and had no desire to quit.

So, I actually tandem nursed for about a year.  Only at nap and bedtimes and just for about a minute or two and only from my side with the weaker supply for my older baby. Then, he stopped.

Baby #2 continued nursing. He stopped one day, cold turkey when he was about 18 months old. I was pregnant with baby #3 and I think because he was older when I got pregnant, he noticed the change in my milk.

Baby #3 weaned himself at about 14 months old. Again, cold turkey.

Now, I could sit here and talk about why I made the decisions I did, but that isn't really my point. My point is that I'm a mama who breastfed.  It worked for my babies and for me.

But, I also have many friends and family members that it did not work for. And oh, how they tried.

I also know friends who never tried to breastfeed and never had any interest in trying.

To me, this is one of those decisions that each person has to make for themselves. While I will give my opinion about breastfeeding and tell my own stories about it- that is only IF I'm asked.  Want breastfeeding advice or to trade war stories? I'm totally game. But only if you ask.

I'm not going to cram what I did with my kids down your throat, trying to convince you that you should do what I did.

Because your boobs are your business.

And you are not me and your kids are not my kids.

I can't tell you that you should breastfeed any more than I can tell you whether a time out or redirect would work better when your toddler is misbehaving. We all parent differently. I realize that some would disagree with my comparison and go there with the health benefits. But, this is my blog and my viewpoint.

Whether someone chooses to breastfeed or not is really none of my business. We never really know why someone is making the choices that they do. As long as their babies are being fed period it's not our place to judge.

And this goes both ways: whether you are a breastfeeding mom about to comment on the formula bottle in the diaper bag of the mom beside you at the playground or if you are a formula-feeding mom about to make a comment about how a breastfeeding mom should be sure to have herself completely covered at all times....

Remember that your boobs are your business. And someone else's are theirs.



If you are linking up to Pour Your Heart Out, please visit the linker before and after you. You can always visit more.

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100 Comments:

Blogger Jules said...

I expressed for 3mths, but with 2 prems in NICU/SCN, when the time came for them to learn how to feed, a bottle was easier. I could have them home & when my supply dropped...

I didn't get any support & would have loved to BF. If there's a next time, I will give it a go, but wont feel guilty if it doesn't work.

Thanks for hosting.

August 3, 2011 at 7:23 AM  
Blogger Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Once again, I agree. I BFed both of mien for 10 months each. I stopped DS because I was pregnant and with DD, I would have kept at it longer but once I started to wean her she was DONE. I will confess though, that sometimes I have a moment of pause when I hear someone hasn't tried... you are right, it's her choice and not my business, but I think because I found it so rewarding, I want that for others. It's not a judgement, though, more just a...well, like I said, a moment of pause...

August 3, 2011 at 7:29 AM  
Blogger Natalie said...

Ha ha love the line "your boobs are your business." I am currently breastfeeding, and it was the right choice for me. I am hoping to do it to at least a year and to do it when I have more children. I don't judge people who don't do it b/c like you said it's their choice and as long as the child is fed that is important. I am very supportive for those who do and want to try and am there as positive feedback b/c bf is not easy and can be very tiring on a new mother. I must say I'm proud of you for doing it with all the 3 and some at the same time! That's an accomplishment!

August 3, 2011 at 7:46 AM  
Blogger livingsj77 said...

Great post Shell!

I BF'd both my kids well past the first birthday. I'm still nursing my son, he'll be 17 months old soon. I am just starting the weaning process with him because he has shown no interest in stopping.

Anyway, I agree. I really try not to judge the way someone parents as long as they are indeed parenting. I always try to help my friends who want to breastfeed because I know how hard it can be and I have been lucky enough to find success. But I know that sometimes I come across as this crunchy, granola, push BFing down your throat type...and that's really not what I'm trying to do.

I do hate the looks I get when I BF my son in public. It was never an issue when he was small, I actually had people come up and commend me for it. But as he got older, I definitely get the "WTF" looks.

August 3, 2011 at 7:47 AM  
Blogger Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Absolutely. I wanted desperately to breastfeed and I fought so hard w/ 2 of mine to make that happen - many trips to the LC, many tears. It did happen and I was thankful I fought for it. But you have to make the right decision for your family.

August 3, 2011 at 7:48 AM  
Blogger Not a Perfect Mom said...

wonderfully said! As long as baby is fed and happy and healthy that's all that counts...
I too was a BF mama-but I never cram it down anyone's throat-I never thought I'd be a BF mom, but it worked after I tried it...
and after so many moms find out I did they're scared to tell me they didn't BF, like I'm going to be upset...
crazy...

August 3, 2011 at 7:50 AM  
Blogger Angie said...

I was happy to make it to the 6 month mark with both my kids. I figured 6 months were better than none! My mom bf all of us (back in the day when it wasn't done or really acceptable) and my brother did not quit for a long time - he was able to walk up to her lift up her shirt and help himself LOL

August 3, 2011 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

I love your viewpoint. This issue tends to get emotional for folks no matter which side you are on, mostly, I think, because we all feel protective and want to do what's right for our kids. I, like you, think that there is more than one right path and we all have to walk the path that works for our families.

August 3, 2011 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Kakunaa said...

Exactly. I breastfeed and supplement because my supply is crap. And I plan to do so past the 1 year mark if I can. but it certainly isn't for everyone. And many would have quit facing the challenges I have. And I don't judge. We do what works best for us to keep baby happy and fed :-)

August 3, 2011 at 8:08 AM  
Blogger Krista @ Not Mommy of the Year said...

I couldn't agree with you more. This is such a hot topic issue and feelings get hurt every time the subject comes up. But when it comes down to it, every woman makes the best decision they can for their families.
Your boobs. Your decision. The end.

August 3, 2011 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger Joshua said...

I all for boobs, don't get me wrong on this. However, I did not need my FB feed to show me my SIL's boob with baby attached. I also didn't need The Wife pointing it out to me first. But for everyone else, as you were; I have no problems with it.

In my experience with two preemies, some people have to supplement with formula for medical and biological reasons, so before people go off either deep end of the spectrum on breastfeeding opinions, think about the fact that the child might be in medical need. Or that the mom had an emergency c-section and hysterectomy at 30 to save her and the baby, and maybe, just maybe her body's having a little trouble producing.

Opinions, on any topic, are like assholes: I don't want to hear it and I don't want to see it.

August 3, 2011 at 8:16 AM  
Blogger Kmama said...

Excellent post!! Bfing didn't work with my oldest (I tried for two weeks), but I BF Buster until he was 1 year old.

Bfing is way more convenient (and cheap) than formula feeding, but it also requires a HUGE commitment from a working mom like myself, therefore, I never really liked it.

Being on both sides of the fence, I can't and won't judge anyone for any of their choices when it comes to feeding their child.

August 3, 2011 at 8:20 AM  
OpenID mamatrack.com said...

I completely agree. It's such a personal decision. I breastfed my first until he was 20 months old. It was a beautiful part of our relationship, and it worked for us. But it doesn't work for everyone.

This reminds me of my parenting maxim: never judge another mom until you've walked a mile in her shoes. Because you just don't know.

August 3, 2011 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger angela said...

I TRY not to judge. Sometimes I do have a gut reaction when I hear someone doesn't try it at all. But I NEVER react to that person, because I know it's wrong for me to push what worked for me onto other people. I also absolutely understand that there are issues that make BFing not an option for women, and I do understand, but I can't help that little twinge when I hear it right away :(

And I agree "your boobs, your business" unless they are particularly nice, perky boobs. Then they become my business as well, because I get perky-boob-envy.

August 3, 2011 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger Brandi said...

100% agree with you! So... your kiddlets stopped on their own? I'm nearing a year with this one and I feel like I'm ready to have my boobs back. Problem? She's been exclusively BF'd. No bottle, no sippy. I think we're past the point of going the bottle route now, so I keep trying a sippy but she's not having it. I'm hopeful after what you said that maybe she'll stop on her own. ;) Great post!

August 3, 2011 at 8:27 AM  
Blogger An Imperfect Momma said...

I agree w ya. Your boobs your business. I just gave birth to #2 and have chosen not to breastfeed. I had a lot of problems w monkey & could not imagine going through that w her & dealing w him (plus other issues I had). I was fine w my decision, but on my last day in hospital the nurse chastised me for my decision. Why cant people respect anothers decision?

August 3, 2011 at 8:36 AM  
Blogger Dawna said...

I tried breast feeding with kid #1. There was no support for it at the time. The nurse pretty much told me to just "pop him on there". That was it. I tried until he was waking up every hour because he wasn't getting enough and my nipples were so sore and bleeding that I was in tears every time he tried to eat.

With kid #2, I remembered the "horrors" and went straight for the formula.

Kid #3 came along 9 years after that. I decided that I wanted to give it a go again, and, by that time, I had plenty of support for it. She breastfed until she was over a year old.

But, yes... I have my opinions where I and my family were concerned, but believe, too, that it's the individual family's choice based on their own circumstances.

August 3, 2011 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Tara R. said...

I could not agree more. Breastfeeding is intensely personal. I breastfed both of my children for about a year. It was right for us, but I would never judge another mother for her choices.

August 3, 2011 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger tessica said...

well well well said!
it's nice to hear that from a someone who was able to!
it wasn't an option for me and i always felt so ridiculous and terrible when people would stop me and tell me what a terrible thing i was doing by not breastfeeding

August 3, 2011 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

What a great post. I struggled so much and felt so judged ... but ultimately, I realized I was probably judging myself more harshly than anyone else. We all have to make the decisions that are in the best interest of our own family and try not to judge others for their decisions.

That said, I could probably do without my cousin whipping hers out in public (no cover whatsoever) to nurse her almost 4yo. I like the motto 'your boobs, your business' ... just would prefer that people keep it their business and not broadcast it to the world.

The times I was able to nurse were so intimate and special, I just can't imagine putting it all out there (but, of course, there I go judging again ... to each their own, I suppose.)

August 3, 2011 at 9:00 AM  
OpenID pmlevitt said...

I am still nursing my daughter at 21 months. I love nursing, although we are working to reduce the number of night nursings she still wants when she is teething:)

I have family and friends who have stopped breastfeeding by or around 6 months, and honestly, I think for many working moms, long term breastfeeding can be really challenging if you can't produce enough while pumping. So I don't judge them! And like my daughter, some kids don't take to formula because of allergies or preference. So I hope formula feeding moms give me a break too! I know I have been judged for nursing in public, even under a nursing blanket, but honestly, I'm feeding my child, so those people can stuff it! I applaud you for tandem nursing, with my little eager nurser, if we have another one soon, I'll be in the same situation! Thanks for sharing a non-judging post on this hot topic.

August 3, 2011 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Oka said...

Personally disgusted with all the judgement placed on mothers for how they feed their infants. It pisses me off when I hear a method being shoved on someone. Raising a newborn is a hard enough adjustment for a woman, let's not make her feel like a failure for her feeding choices.

August 3, 2011 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger JDaniel4's Mom said...

At 13 months JDaniel was finished. I loved every minute of it.

August 3, 2011 at 9:10 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I LOVE this post and LOVE you for writing it!! Why are we as women, as mothers, so judgmental towards each other!? We all do what is best for our families and our children whether we choose to Breastfeed or not.

August 3, 2011 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger Di said...

I try not to judge but it does make me sad to know that some mom's will never experience that awesome bond and connection you feel when breastfeed. Getting breastfeeding established was such a struggle with Jellybean being a preemie that I am incredibly proud to still be doing it now. That being said - I hate the looks and expressions I get when someone asks me how long I plan to breastfeed him and I answer with until he decides he's done. Why is it so taboo to extended breastfeed?

August 3, 2011 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Tara said...

I just wanted to totally agree with you! I still get gasps from other mothers when they hear that I did not breast feed my kids (who are 3 and 7). I also had the experience in the hospital of a nurse who tried to convince my HUSBAND that I should continue to work on breast-feeding with a screaming, starving baby when my milk had not come in after 3 days and she had lost more weight than I was comfortable with. My breaking point was when they put formula on my breast to get her interested. I thought "Let's take out the middle man and just giver her formula."

But I digress - you didn't ask about my story. :0)

Thank you for the view point - I agree, my boobs are my business and no one elses.

August 3, 2011 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Renegades said...

I think sometimes the medical field to much promotes breastfeeding. I had my heart set on it for all the good reasons, yet my body just didn'd make milk. I felt like such a failure. I can see showing the reasons why to, yet they need to realize some woman simply don't make milk.

August 3, 2011 at 9:34 AM  
Blogger RoryBore said...

Well said! Especially the obvious point that the most important thing is that You Are Feeding your Baby!!! That's what should be considered first and foremost. I Bfed all 3 of mine, but certainly didn't bat an eye at those who bottle fed. With my 2nd I expressed Bmilk and she received it via bottle because I kept getting infections. So I pumped AND fed it via bottle = very time consuming. All got all kinds of comments, but the most hurtful was "ah, your mama doesn't want to bond with you, poor baby." Here I was going through hell to pump, feed and watch a 2 year old... Mind your P's & Q's lady!

August 3, 2011 at 9:37 AM  
Blogger shellycoulter said...

I agree! Well said! I have tried to really watch myself on this. Not because I judge women who don't. I was right there and ready to give up with Baby #1...but I tend to want to encourage them not to give up because it is so worth it even though its hard and really strange to begin with. This could come off as pressure when I don't mean it to be. I think I will just keep my mouth shut from now on unless somebody asks about my experience! :) Good idea!

August 3, 2011 at 9:47 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I agree. I breastfeed my oldest till he was 11.5 months when my supply died because I was pregnant. My daughter is now nearly 10 months and my supply is dropping. I don't care what you do with your boobs, but I am damn, damn, proud that I never gave either of my kids one drop of formula, and proud that I pumped three times a day everyday while working to make sure they didn't have to have it. And I am proud of that.

August 3, 2011 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger Anastasia said...

Amen! It sounds like you had such a great breastfeeding experience. Although you may have disagreed at the time. ;) You are totally right, every parent and every child is different and you can't assume to judge.

August 3, 2011 at 9:56 AM  
Blogger Alison@Mama Wants This said...

Well said Shell. I breastfed exclusively for 18 months and although no one said anything outright, I know some family members were a little surprised and probably somewhat judgy when they asked & I told them.

I am however, not a breastfeeding nazi. Like you, I feel that it's no one's business, and I mind my own. Whether someone breastfeeds or not, by choice or not, as long as the baby is fed and healthy, who are we to say anything?

So, thank you for saying it out loud!

August 3, 2011 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger bigguysmama said...

4 kids ~ 6+ years of nursing. My last little Doodle nursed until he was just over 2yrs old. Of course there were ppl (incl family) who kept asking when he'd be done! NOYB! As you said, they're MY boobs (and the baby's) we'll finish when we're good an ready. I can't tell you how much I miss nursing. I haven't done that for almost 6yrs. waaaaah If I had to make a bottle, my baby would probably starve! LOL It's hard not to judge sometimes and when I say that I don't mean it in an actually bad way...most of the time. If I hear someone say they can't stand the thought of their baby sucking on their ta-ta or that they don't want their breast to change in appearance, I just think, "Oh, you're missing out on something so beautiful." Makes me sad for them. That's about the extent of my judging, if you'd call it that. I'd NEVER in a million years say something either way, that's for darn sure. Like you said, it's none of our bees wax!

~Mimi

August 3, 2011 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger John said...

Obviously, not having boobs, I can't add too much here, but I can relate my own story.

My wife had breast-reduction surgery before we met. Being 4'10" and a H cup simply was wreaking havoc on her back . . . she chose a pain-free life, and was happy with the decision, even if she knew that it meant that she might not be able to breast feed.

Then, infertility struck us - unexplained infertility, there didn't seem to be any reason why we couldn't get pregnant, but we couldn't. So, we chose adoption . . . which meant, no breast feeding.

Of course, she was pregnant when we adopted.

When Leila was born, CJ was nearly 7 months old. He was already looking to walk, but had been "on the bottle" for all of his life.

The lactation consultant really tried to work with us to see if we could get Leila to nurse. But, nothing worked. Pumping was futile. CJ wouldn't nurse to increase flow (he saw any attempt at being held that was as an attempt to get him down for a nap, and he was an a-grade nap fighter even then).

My stance on the whole thing remains unchanged. Being able to feed your kid with "just you," is pretty damn cool. If you can't (by nature or by convenience/choice) is no biggie, though, at all.

August 3, 2011 at 10:05 AM  
Blogger MamaMash said...

Standing ovation on this one! There is absolutely nothing else that needs to be said but "Your boobs are your business!"

August 3, 2011 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger John and Allie Fields said...

Yes, yes, yes! My friends assume because I am pro breastfeeding that I will judge their choice not to breastfeed and in turn attack me before I can tell them that their choice is their own business and I support them either way.

August 3, 2011 at 10:10 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

Great post! It's so true - your boobs are no one else's business!

August 3, 2011 at 10:18 AM  
Blogger Jenn [ Crippled Girl ] said...

A-freakin'-men.


We're not even pregnant and I've had people asking me about it. It's unbelievable.

August 3, 2011 at 10:20 AM  
Blogger Debbie said...

I think breastfeeding is beautiful and what our boobs were made for. I think breastfeeding a 3 year old is icky - give them a sippy cup! I think a breastfeeding mom should mind her own business. I think a formula feeding mom should mind hers. Both breast milk and formula will nourish a baby. Does it really matter what the other mom is doing? Why do BF moms get so defensive and judgemental over a formula feeding mom? Other babies are none of her business so back off! I think formula feeding moms should respect BF moms and encourage them. Great post! And it amazes me how this topic is so sensitive between women of differing opinions. But the bottom line is, this is personal and no one has the right to preach their beliefs to you.

August 3, 2011 at 10:36 AM  
Blogger Kristin @ What She Said said...

My daughter self-weaned at just shy of seven months. I was heartbroken - I had really wanted to make it to a year. But it all started going downhill when I went back to work at 4 months - my supply dropped no matter how committed I was to pumping and she started nursing less and less. Already full of mommy guilt for going back to work and now, apparently, not being able to feed my child, I did some research on self-weaning. And came across an article on the La Leche League web site stating that self-weaning before the age of one is really not possible and is probably only the mother projecting her own desires to quit nursing onto her child.

Well. At the time, in my fragile mental state, that statement was the straw that broke the camel's back and sent me spiraling into full-on PPD. I convinced myself that it was true, that I really hadn't wanted to continue nursing my daughter and that I was a failure as a result.

Now? A year later and mentally balanced again, that statement and all of its judgment and inaccuracy and ignorance ENRAGES me. How dare they?

Judgment hurts, people. In more ways than you can imagine. Keep it to yourself.

August 3, 2011 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Amanda @ It's Blogworthy said...

Really couldn't agree more. While I love to see new Mamas begin breastfeeding successfully (only because I have enjoyed it SO MUCH and want them to experience it) I do realize it's not for everyone and it's not worth feeling guilty or sad. YOu are so right, if a baby is fed and growing, who cares?

August 3, 2011 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger MommaKiss said...

you're damn smart, I'll share that! I didn't care how my kids got fed, as long as they got nutrition. Not gonna lie, I tried it because I thought it would help me lose weight. But due to inverted nips (hot, right?) I had to use a shield and that just sucked. Not enjoyable. I pumped a LOT and then just decided to bail. For both kids.
Anyway. That was my choice, just like it should be.

oh, i'm adding my link because i wasn't a snarky asshole today. so there.

August 3, 2011 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Cindi said...

Boy, haven't thought about this topic in a long time. (LoL)

Like the my boobies, my business too. (LoL)

August 3, 2011 at 11:37 AM  
Blogger Grumpy Grateful Mom said...

Well said! I think it's so silly when moms judge other moms for something like that, except for that mom I saw on TV breastfeeding her 8-year-old. I might have judged her.

August 3, 2011 at 11:57 AM  
Blogger Andrea (ace1028) said...

A huge ditto from me on that. Someone who nursed my kid until a long time, but ages before motherhood never knew anyone who even tried. Hardly. And who cares. It's not my business, not my kid and certainly not my boobs. Props, mama!

August 3, 2011 at 12:06 PM  
Blogger championm2000 said...

Oh, how this topic haunted me for so long.

Thanks for reminding me again that feeding our babies (regardless of means) is really what's important.

August 3, 2011 at 12:26 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

Love this post, my thoughts are much the same. My boobs are mine and I will do with them what I please.

August 3, 2011 at 12:28 PM  
Blogger Just Jennifer said...

I did breastfeed. I weaned my daughter a little too early at around 8 months only because I thought with the start of solids she was as interested.

When I had my son I vowed to do the full year, and I did. When he turned 1 I decided to continue on for awhile because he seemed to just be a baby who still needed/wanted it. My weaning process whith him was natural, totally not forced. We were done at around 16 months.

I am someone who doesn't really understand why anyone would not even try breastfeeding. But I would never say that out loud. I know it's ultimately none of my business.

August 3, 2011 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Emmy said...

Love the crossed-out line about your husband. I know when my babies are breastfeeding my boobs are kind of off limits to my husband. They just don't feel sexy to me while I am doing that- feel like a bit of a cow at times ;)

August 3, 2011 at 12:56 PM  
Blogger Not Blessed Mama said...

i didn't technically do a PYHO, but I did post about nursing today- and why I rarely talk about it, for fear of being judged. I totally agree with you Shell, and I hope I can post this link-
http://t.co/PeU2w6V

August 3, 2011 at 1:11 PM  
Blogger Lourie said...

Awesome! Awesome! Awesome! I remember when I had baby #3 I was in a semi private room. Sucked. Anyway, the other mom was a first time mom and she was having a heck of a time with it and the stupid nurses were not letting up on how nursing was better and blah blah. i wanted so badly to go on the other side of the curtain and hug that poor girl. She was crying. You do what is right by your kids. Boobs, bottles, whatever. great post, Shell!

August 3, 2011 at 1:14 PM  
Blogger Hutch said...

I know this has caused a lot of annoyance with mom friends. I just sit there cringing as people give unsolicited advice.

August 3, 2011 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Not Blessed Mama said...

I just wanted to make sure you saw this- I sincerely appreciate your kind comment on my breastfeeding post today. I was anxious putting out there. You're awesome!

August 3, 2011 at 1:21 PM  
Blogger diane rene said...

L♥VE this!! and so true :)

August 3, 2011 at 1:23 PM  
Blogger amygrew said...

I tell everyone (if they ask), you have to do what works for you and your family.

Great advice:)

August 3, 2011 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Kir said...

This. This right here, is the best post I've EVER READ about the pro and cons of BFing and how we handle the decision to do it.

BRAVO.

From a girl (me) who never even considered BFing and who frankly starts to roll her eyes everytime someone wants to take me to task with it, I felt myself NOT doing that while reading this, to just acknowledge that it works for some people, not for others, that it's right for some women and "Not right" for some others (like me) is exactly the way it should be.

thank you for this, I'm almost in tears for how eloquent it was in just giving every mother who is FEEDING her baby the benefit of the doubt that she is doing what she needs to for her children.

WOW

August 3, 2011 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

I totally agree!! Great post!

August 3, 2011 at 1:48 PM  
Blogger mama marchand said...

I am fist pumping at my desk right now - you go, Shell! AMEN AMEN AMEN. I'm a mama who wished she could have nursed so much longer that I did because of supply issues and I have one more person tell me that I didn't "try hard enough," I might kill them. I did EVERYTHING I could to make it work ... to no avail.

Thanks for this post, mama. You rock.

August 3, 2011 at 1:49 PM  
Blogger story girl said...

I feel the same way - but perhaps a little conflicted. When women tell me they want to bottle feed, I'm so sad for them because in my heart, I think they're missing out. I know so many women who've tried and couldn't for whatever reason, but not to even try? Seems a shame. But I don't ever want to say that because I don't want to come across as a boob nazi either.

August 3, 2011 at 2:07 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

I try not to judge. Lord knows my thoughts on breastfeeding (and everything else) my own kids changed in the thirteen year span I was having kids.
I am pretty sure the shortest I bf was three months and the longest six.....by that time I was so sad it was over, but couldn't seem to get us over the hump!!

August 3, 2011 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Rach (DonutsMama) said...

I was pretty judge-y about breastfeeding before I became a mom and wanted to quit after 3 days because of the pain. (But I pushed through and am so glad I did.) I admit I thought it was selfish of women to not breastfeed, but now I wonder if maybe a lot of them actually tried but couldn't or had difficulties like I did. I'm proud that we nurse and I'm not ashamed of it. But I understand how hard it is for other moms.

August 3, 2011 at 3:03 PM  
Blogger Ms Bibi said...

Love this post....yes, your boobs are your business. I would never judge a mother because of breastfeeding (I would for other things....just kidding). I tried to breastfeed both of my boys as long as could unfortunately my body was on strike so I managed 5 months for #1 and only 2 months for #2 even that I had to supplement with formula...

August 3, 2011 at 3:07 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Great post Shell...definitely gives you both perspectives. I am definitely going to give it my all this time around and hopefully nurse when i am home and have bottles ready for when I am working.

August 3, 2011 at 3:10 PM  
Blogger gin said...

Loved breastfeeding my child and wouldn't change it for anything...however, those first three weeks were effing miserable and I was convinced mother nature was playing a cruel joke on me. Then, things turned around and I started to love it. But, those three weeks gave me plenty of insight as to why moms would choose formula.

August 3, 2011 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger Tiffany said...

Great post. Breastfeeding is such a hot topic to discuss, but like you said the bottom line is, "your boobs, your body, your business".
I had a hard time BF my first and no support. So I ultimately decided that she had to eat, so we went with formula. I wasn't going to let the issues with baby #1 affect BF'ing #2. It went very well and it was a wonderful experience.

I will not chastise anyone for their choices, every mom has their child's best interest at heart. I commend the mothers who do BF in this country, because it is not widely accepted and hard to find places to discreetly do so in public.

August 3, 2011 at 3:33 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Well put!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

August 3, 2011 at 3:36 PM  
Blogger DysFUNctional Mom said...

This right here says so much:

"While I will give my opinion about breastfeeding and tell my own stories about it- that is only IF I'm asked. Want breastfeeding advice or to trade war stories? I'm totally game. But only if you ask."

If everyone were like this, about all subjects, the world would be a better place!

August 3, 2011 at 3:52 PM  
Blogger Peeper said...

Prior to getting pregnant I had no opinion about breastfeeding. What a shock to find how rabid some people can be about this topic!!

After trying every single thing there was to try to make it work (except domperidone as it is contraindicated if you have a prolactin-producing pituitary tumor, like I do) I try very hard to remember that there are a million things that come behind this decision. They are personal. As you say, those other boobs? Not my business. Now, if only that were a more prominent opinion....

August 3, 2011 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I love love love this post. With my first one my milk never came in and I felt like a failure. I got extremely depressed and was embarrassed to feed him a bottle in public. I felt like everyone was judging me, and while Im sure there were the ones who werent I did have a woman yell at me in a restaurant.

When my second came around I was determined to do it. Then he was put in the NICU and almost didnt make it. When they started him on a bottle before I was allowed to hold him I was devestated. However, since then I have come to realize its MY business why my babies are on bottles and other women should not judge me. I am taking care of my kids, isnt that all that matters!?

August 3, 2011 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Ma What's 4 dinner said...

It's so strange that this is such a huge topic. Because you're right...they are my boobs, and your boobs, and what we do should be up to us.

I tried and failed with the first due to a breast reduction so I saved myself the torture the next two times. I would have liked to but the kid was starving to death, so c'est la vie!

Thanks for this though...everyone should just chill out on this subject and make their own decisions.

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner?

August 3, 2011 at 4:13 PM  
Blogger Kelley said...

So very well said! I breastfed both my boys until they were 12-13 months. I got lots of heat for it, too. Boo on boobs with milk haters!

August 3, 2011 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

"As long as their babies are being fed period it's not our place to judge." Haha!!

This is a great post. I wish I could have BF longer. I loved that time with my little guy. So special!

I didn't with my first. I really wish I had!

August 3, 2011 at 4:59 PM  
Anonymous erin margolin said...

Love this post, Shell. Excellent points and I love "your boobs are YOUR business." so true!

Breastfeeding didn't work w/ my twins b/c they were preemies and just couldn't figure out the latching, plus they were too sleepy to "work for it," but could suck down a bottle in a few minutes. SO I pumped for a few months, and then gave that up b/c it got to be too much to pump 8x/day, often with at least one crying kiddo in my lap.

This time around? With just one, hopefully full-term baby, I am hoping it will work out. But if I have trouble, I may be coming to you!! I'm so scared I won't know what I'm doing (since I never really got to learn the first time around) or how to get them latched properly, etc...I mean, I still thinking pumping is awesome, but I would honestly love the freedom to be able to nurse AND then do bottles of expressed milk some of the time (so that DH can bond w/ baby and/or I can have a sitter or family member to help out sometimes)...am I crazy?

Do you have any books or sites to recommend? Thank you for this.

xoxo

August 3, 2011 at 5:51 PM  
Blogger Jessica {Team Rasler} said...

I'm not even going to read everyone's comments because I know they will be filled with breastfeeding credentials or reasons why they quit, etc. before they go on to say they agree with you. So I'm just going to say that a while back I wrote an entire post about why I wish this weren't even an issue or topic of conversation because it mostly just makes people on both sides feel bad.

I'm also sad because I know that so many people who breastfed say they don't judge when deep down, they do. I think those of us who have been following along with you for a long time probably trust that YOU, at least, mean what you say that you don't. I wish more moms were like you. And I wish that everyone could feel good about her choices, no matter what they are! I'm definitely working on finding peace with my decisions for each of my boys.

August 3, 2011 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger Hopes said...

Here! Here!!

We should be supporting eachother instead of judging eachother over how our children are fed. I tried breastfeeding with all three boys and each time there was an issue. Big T had something funky going on with his tongue, Sweet Pea had acid reflux and so always had the need to eat, and Buggy and I both ended up getting Thrush *shudder* so they all went to formula at some point.

August 3, 2011 at 6:45 PM  
Blogger FamilyFoodFitnessandFun said...

Great post! This is such a touchy subject for many moms. I didn't breastfeed because I couldn't...I didn't have enough supply even after taking medication to try and increase it. I'm sad that it didn't work out, but I had to do whatever worked in the end. It's sad that other moms may judge me, but none of them know my story and my circumstance at the time. We need to do what is best for us, not others!

August 3, 2011 at 7:06 PM  
Blogger Rhiannon said...

i never realized how touchy this issue was until I breastfed. I did it because I thought it was the natural God intended way to do things. my husband and I took a breastfeeding and lactation class and was well informed that its not for everyone and mothers milk is best. I never knew until I did it myself that it aint easy, you really have to work hard at it, but its soooo convenient at the same time. I breastfed for exactly one year where my son stopped on his own. We had our struggles with comfort sucking and thrush (oh the thrush was awful) but I stuck it out and cannot imagine not being able to do it, it was an amazing experience!

August 3, 2011 at 7:39 PM  
OpenID adashofdomestic said...

Ha ha! boob-nazi....funny stuff.

I was not able to breast feed. I would have if I could have. I had a breast reduction when I was 16 and (with out TMI) it was extensive. We were not even sure I would be able to produce milk. As it turned out, I could not. Not enough to matter anyway.

I, like you, feel that it's totally a personal choice.

Great post.

August 3, 2011 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Oh this is so true, I breatfed my kids and it worked for me but I really don't care what anyone else does as long as they feed their children.

August 3, 2011 at 8:46 PM  
Blogger I'm Jennifer. said...

I completely agree that it's not our place to judge. I have friends who breastfed for years, tried to breastfeed for a month, switched to formula, never tried breastfeeding, always used formula...I've never said anything to any of them except maybe some version of, "do what works best for you and the baby." It's sad though that so many people do judge.

August 3, 2011 at 9:52 PM  
Blogger Carly said...

this can be a controversial topic, but after nursing for 6 weeks so far, I completely understand why a mother would give up. I've not had any of the big problems that many moms have, and even so it's been difficult. I plan to continue, but would not judge a mother for quitting.

August 3, 2011 at 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Tina said...

Thank you so much for this post. Simply awesome. I did not, could not bf because I lost both breasts to cancer. Whenever anyone asked if I was bf'ing, and I said no, I always felt very judged, even though I really had no choice. It's great to read all the comments that so many choose not to judge others for not bf'ing, since we never really know the reasons.

August 3, 2011 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger KSK said...

Great post and very true! Sometimes people need to mind their own beeswax! <--like that? That's some 4th grade (?) wording right there! :)

*I nursed for 8 months, and did feel like a bit of a failure when I stopped -- sickness/holidays - I just wasn't producing enough-I even tried to 'revive' my supply.. but herbal tea and pumped like a mad women.. but I was missing out on time with LB because I was attached to a machine! So, we went to formula. And I think LB is just fine! ;)

And my best friend formula fed from the beginning. Her daughter is just fine too! She was held close and bottle fed, feeling loved. She just turned 8, and is the sweetest little girl... formula did not turn her into a monster! *Surprise!*

August 3, 2011 at 10:29 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

I couldn't agree more. But I am happy to read you had such a good experience with it because it can be a really beautiful thing, if you want it to be.

August 3, 2011 at 11:09 PM  
Blogger Heather H said...

Awesome post, Shell! You could not be more right!

I tried to breastfeed. I wanted to breastfeed. But my milk either didn't come in or dried up before I realized it. I struggled, but I felt like I failure every time I had to supplement with formula. And I learned that not every mom who formula feeds does it because she wants to. Some of us had to. And it's nobody else's business.

August 4, 2011 at 12:34 AM  
Anonymous Mama and the City said...

Bravo!

You couldn't have said it more perfectly.

August 4, 2011 at 2:30 AM  
Blogger Jennie said...

Oh my gosh, I was SO planning on posting this exact topic for PYHO today! Not even lying. But then I got busy today and couldn't, so I'm glad you did.

I'm just like you, and I say a mom's boobs and what she does/doesn't do with them are her business. I myself am an avid bf supporter and will encourage anyone to try...if they ask. I've been on both ends, where my first would NOT nurse (broke my heart), and my other two did (I've even blogged about this before).

I tried EVERYTHING with my first, to no avail, and even let others' judgment let me think I was a bad mom because I couldn't at one point. And then when my other babies (I'm still nursing one), I nurse as long as they'll go. And I've also gotten the judgment there.

So I've seen it from BOTH sides. And either way, it SUCKS. Hard.

When a granola chic tells me it's too bad I CHOSE not to bf my baby (my first) and give him the best nourishment I could give, and then proceed to offer herself and help me try, as though she was amazing and better than the six lactation consultants she didn't know I'd worked with, I want to go ballistic.

After that, I knew I could never judge a mama for the way she feeds her baby.

Whoa, sorry for the long comment.

August 4, 2011 at 2:34 AM  
Anonymous Lydia said...

I actually had something else in mind when I thought of linking here, then the comment I was going to leave you got ridiculously long and I realized I may still have issues with this topic! So I wrote about breastfeeding too and linked up. (Hope that's okay)

August 4, 2011 at 4:45 AM  
Anonymous Denelle @CaitsConcepts said...

I agree with this for the most part... the other part being the one where I feel the need to try to educate people who make up things like "I'm not going to breastfeed this baby because I can't; my boobs are too small" or "Everyone in my family is prone to infections, so I know I'll get one, too." Then I have to speak, but never in a judgmental way, just an informative one.

August 4, 2011 at 1:25 PM  
Blogger Courtney K. said...

THANK YOU for writing this. I tried and tried and tried with no avail to nurse my son. It just didn't happen, for many many reasons. I got labeled a "bad mother" because we had to use formula. It just didn't workout. And it drives me NUTS when people automatically pass judgement on moms who don't or can't BF. You don't know the full story. And, like you said, it's none of your business.

August 4, 2011 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Amen to all of this.

I breastfed both of my babies for over a year.

But.

I loved the experience and it came easily to me and my children.

I know this is not the case for a lot of mothers.

There are so many choices we have to make as mothers; and for some, breastfeeding isn't even a choice.

We all have enough guilt as it is!

I'm glad you took the judgment out of it on both sides, Shell.

Bravo.

August 4, 2011 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger mintifresh said...

I couldn't agree more and thank heavens we live in a time where there are both options to keep our babies fed and healthy!

August 4, 2011 at 3:21 PM  
Blogger Rebecca Watson said...

well said my dear, well said. As a future new mom, I truly enjoyed the post, and all the comments that came with it too :)

August 4, 2011 at 9:05 PM  
Blogger adrienzgirl said...

Love your point of view on this Shell. Everyone should realize the choice to Breast or Bottle feed is up to the mother. I tried to breast feed with my first two and my milk never came in due to blocked glands. It was devastating with my first, not as much with the second. Then when Kamden came along I was resigned to the fact that it just wasn't in the cards.

That said, I absolutely HATED having to defend my boobs inadequacy to others. Especially with the first baby. I was heartbroken not being able to bond that way. Then to turn around and get it coming and going from the psycho breastfeeding boob-nazis as you called them, ugh! It was painful.

Great post as always Momma.

August 4, 2011 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Helene said...

I love your view on this topic and I really wish more women would adopt your attitude when it comes to something so controversial, yet so personal.

I wished I had been able to BF successfully but my milk supply was very low so I had to pump and supplement with formula. I felt incredibly guilty but I did the best I could and I was happy that I could provide my babies with even just that little amount that I could pump.

Either way, whatever a mother decides to do is her business, as you said. I hope this post will help more people to keep an open mind on this subject!

August 4, 2011 at 11:49 PM  
Blogger Veronica said...

That's my stance on it as well. The only real reason people go on tirades is to build themselves and their parenting choices up by tearing someone else down.

Not gonna do it. You boobs, your business.

I did breastfeed all three of my kiddos. I also co-slept with them. We did what was best for our family.

Might not be the best for anyone else or it might be, what ever works I say!

Great post!

August 4, 2011 at 11:53 PM  
Blogger Impulsive Addict said...

Very cool meme!

I breastfed my baby. I didn't know if I wanted to at first but I changed my mind once she was born. She was born 6 weeks early and was in the NICU. This was challenging. I gave her breast milk through her feeding tube and nursed her a few times while in the hospital.

It got better once we got home and then the whole "nipple pain" kicked in. I was also pumping. I was feeling like a champ for keeping after it. I actually enjoyed it. And then, I DRIED RIGHT UP after just 5 1/2 months. I was heartbroken. If we ever GET to have another baby (it took us 6 years to have ONE), then I hope my milk supply sticks around. IT was a great experience.

I love what you said about boobs being your business. So true.

Ok, so I should go now. I've told a stranger a lot about me. I'm sorry. I'm a talker.

August 5, 2011 at 12:56 AM  
Blogger Impulsive Addict said...

I shouldn't say stranger. I've been here before. You know what I mean, right? Ok. I'm done now. I promise.

August 5, 2011 at 12:58 AM  
Blogger Babes Mami said...

I tried so hard, I wanted to so badly but he just wouldn't latch. I managed to pump for three months and supplement with formula and went over to only formula when I stopped producing. I had wanted a completely natural birth and ended up having to be induced, get an epidural, bag popped and baby turned with a csection so I was determined to make it so I could breastfeed but I just couldn't. I had a good support system so I didn't end up hating myself over it but I did have a brief my body failed me moment. When I see women bf out in public I want to go shake their hand because there are lots of people who make that a really hard experience and I think it's an amazing thing.

August 5, 2011 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger Krystyn said...

I was devastated why daughter #2 stopped at 8 months. Like wanted nothing to do with me.

When I get upset about nursing, is when people say they nurse and then smoke and/or drink (too much). One drink, promise no judging....getting drunk often and smoking, well, I will judge because I don't think it's fair to the baby.

August 8, 2011 at 2:08 PM  

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