The Boob Group
Breastfeeding for One Year (How Experienced Moms Made It Work)
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SUNNY GAULT: How long will you breastfeed your baby? Do you have any goals in mind? There are different recommendations out there but most experts say, giving your baby breast milk for the first six month to one year is ideal but how do you actually make this happen? Today we are exploring the practical side of breastfeeding, featuring moms who have been there done that. We are The Boob Group.
SUNNY GAULT: Welcome to The Boob Group were here to support all moms who want to give their babies breast milk and to respect the choices of moms who want to feed their babies in other ways. I’m Sunny Gault thanks so much for listening. What are your breastfeeding and pumping goals because we want to support you throughout your breastfeeding journey or your pumping journey whatever your personal journey is? You can check out the complete list of all of our episodes we featured so far, simply got our website at www.NewMommyMedia.com go to The Boob Group portion of the website and click on episodes to see our guide, if there’s a topic you want to know more about and it’s not on our list then please contact us through our website or Facebook or any of our social media really and we will explore it for you.
Alright so let introduce everyone that is part of the conversation today I am part of the conversation, I am proud to be a mom that’s breastfeed for at least a year so I’ll introduce myself real quick. I’m Sunny and as you know in producing and moderating todays show and I have four kids of my own and my oldest is five and I have a four year old boy and then I have twins that are two and half those are girls. One of the things I want to do today that might be kind of fine is to add up how many months or years you have been breastfeeding between all your kids, so I have got four kids and mines are a little bit complicated because I got twins but I figured I have been breastfeeding or pumping for three and half years.
Although with the twins most of the times it was tandem so in not counting like you know right now in at the two and half year mark with the girls and in not counting them separately. So I mean I could kind of, I could kind of count those as two but I don’t know just for fun I am not doing that so my number is three and half years and yeah that’s a little bit about me so let’s continue on, let’s say Shelly tell us a little a bit about yourself?
SHELLY ROGERS: I’m Shelly Rogers, I have three children Caroline is six, Norah is three and Marygold is 11 months and I have been nursing or pumping for 69 months and I tandem nursed Caroline and Norah for 20 months yeah almost two years.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, yeah another tandem momma, wohooooo.
SHELLY ROGERS: Yeah. There was hate let me tell you.
SUNNY GAULT: It definitely has its own challenges that’s for sure. Alright Moon tell us a little bit about yourself.
AFRICAN MOON: Greetings everyone my name is African Moon in from Detroit Michigan and I just added it up, I have been breastfeeding for 105 month.
SUNNY GAULT: That is awesome. I love it that is fantastic and I broke mine down in years, in going to have to bust out a calculator here and then see what my months are, no I think Moon takes the cake.
AFRICAN MOON: Well my children are older, my children are older vie been a mother for almost nine years now so.
SUNNY GAULT: Oh wow. That is awesome. Alright so Alicia tell us a little bit about yourself.
ALICIA SEIGHFORD: So in Alicia Seighford, I have one son who is, he just turned one last month I’m 33 I work in communications and I’ve been breastfeeding for 12 and half months and I pumped for 12 months and then I happily sent my pump to the basement.
SUNNY GAULT: That’s impressive, that’s impressive to pump for that long. So was it primarily pumping at work or how did you do that?
ALICIA SEIGHFORD: Yeah pumping at work, I did a lot of pumping before I went back to work and then found out I had higher lipase in my milk so my frozen milk tasted like soup and I couldn’t use any of it.
SUNNY GAULT: Oh you are kidding....
ALICIA SEIGHFORD: So yeah,
SUNNY GAULT: Oh no, I had that happen with some of my milk but not like all of my milk so, oh my heart goes out to you.
ALICIA SEIGHFORD: We ended up donating it, which was nice but it was really stressful when I found out you know two weeks after I went back to work I didn’t have anything I could use so that we made it to to the one month or the one year in pumping and then I was so happy to be done with finding some place to go and I work in a couple different offices so I always had to carry my pump with me everywhere.
SUNNY GAULT: Right.
ALICIA SEIGHFORD: It was never a good time and it was very miserable trying to do it and then he wasn’t even that found of bottles so I would pick him up from daycare and she would tell me like, "oh he only had about two ounces" like, I sent him with 15. So it was really like adding insults to injury that I had all of this milk that he wants even drinking.
SUNNY GAULT: Right.
ALICIA SEIGHFORD: And I was killing myself, you know to produce it.
SUNNY GAULT: Well still, kudos to you for being able to do it for as long as you did, I have a little bit experience with exclusive pumping that was only when my wins were preemies and they couldn’t latch and I know even for those two months of exclusive pumping I was just beyond like get me out of this us because, in not a really a big pump person, I just love breastfeeding so much that the pump thing drives me crazy. It is something we absolutely have to have in our society but it was just one of those things for me that was a struggle so I hear you on that friend, but kudos for doing it for as long as you did.
SUNNY GAULT: Alright, so before we kick off our conversation today we have a news headline that we are going to talk about. I believe this is in Australia and this is a positive story about a mom breastfeeding in public. I like to share these stories on the show because I feel there’s a lot of, we share a lot of stuff about you know people not supporting breastfeeding but there are people out there that truly do want to help and they may even be complete strangers which is the case in this article here.
So a mom by the name of Brier McQueen which is just a fabulous name by the way like, her parents get extra points for that because that’s just amazing. So she was out in public with her eight-week-old son and it says that she was at a cafe and she happened to be breastfeeding her baby and it says an elderly woman, in not sure if it actually lists her name or sorry her age, but anyway this elderly woman comes up to her and honestly the mom was like "oh no, she’s going to tell me to cover up, she’s going to be like, be mean about this or you know or how dare I be, you know doing this in public kind of thing" and the only thing the elderly wanted to do was to help the mom be able to eat.
So she literally, of course, she asked and stuff but she helped the mom but cutting up her food so the mom didn’t have to put the baby down, you know and stop with the breastfeeding because you then the baby goes crazy and stuff like that and so she literally help cut her food which I just thought was just the most heartwarming thing just because it was just so different then you know, kind of what was going on in the moms head. So anyways wanted to share the story and kind of get your ladies take on this and see what you thought, so Shelly any thoughts on this article?
SHELLY ROGERS: I saw this, I guess it was last week or earlier this week and I, every time I see it makes tear up, because it is so sweet. It honestly makes me want to cry, it’s such a sweet thing for that lady to do for her, I’m looking at the picture since just, I mean that’s all I can do I just want to tear up and cry.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, yeah and think there is some just support there on another mommy even though she is a lot older, I am assuming that this elderly women you know, is a mom and you know just kind of wanted to help out a fellow mom so really nice bridging that, that generation gap even right there. So Alicia any thoughts on your end about this article?
ALICIA SEIGHFORD: You know it just made me think about my own grandmother who passed away several years ago but she breastfeed five babies and it was back before they had car seats and that sort of thing that whenever the baby was hungry and she was holding him, my grandpa would say well you got the milk right there like no matter where they were, what they were doing, I just kind of I get a feeling of her that generation was just so much better at appreciating like, well this is what you have to do and this is what your baby needs and so we help each other out. Somewhere in that like the bottle feeding craze that, that was my parents’ generation be kind of lost some of that you know like, it’s really important that you do this and I’m going to help you do that and she just sort of embody that but I thought it was really wonderful when I read it.
SUNNY GAULT: I felt like it was such a motherly thing for her to do too. I think that’s why I thought that the elderly women was a mom like to cut, I mean you moms know this like you know, how often do you have to cut your kids food everyday it was just like I don’t know just kind of, I don’t know just really sweet and very motherly I thought which was so beautiful about all this, Moon what did you think?
AFRICAN MOON: You know my thoughts where right where yours was, when you are a breastfeeding mother whether you have one child or ten you know, it becomes overwhelming and just to have someone stopped to mother, mother I thought was absolutely beautiful. It’s so necessary when you hear a sea of negative, everything about breastfeeding for us to just to stop and say "oh that was so awesome" you know it was so necessary.
SUNNY GAULT: Alright, alright well we will go ahead and we will post the link to our Facebook page mommas if you want to check this out and share it because we need more positivity about breastfeeding in public.
SUNNY GAULT: Today we are talking about how to provide breast milk to your baby for the first year and we are going to talk about this from a very practical point of view. I feel like most the information out there and honestly The Boob group we are guilty of doing this too, focus is on the mechanics of it. How do you hitch your baby the latch? How do you hold your baby? But once you get passed that you know there’s a practically side to breastfeeding and just making it part of your life and being able to live your life and do it and be able to care for your other kids and do it and I don’t feel like that is discussed as much, so that’s the whole point of our conversation today.
We have a bunch of moms that are joining us that have breastfeed their babies for at least a year and hopefully going to impart some knowledge and expertise and just some love on other mommas trying to do this. So one thing I didn’t want to say off the top is that you know as far as recommendations are concerned we hear a lot about this like, how long should we be breastfeeding for. There were a couple things that I just wanted to pull, they are all pretty much in the same thing but ACOG which stands for the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologist, they recommend that you exclusively breastfeed for the first six months and then hopefully continue to breastfeed along with cooperating other foods for at least a year and pretty much the AAP which is the American Academy of Pediatrics says the same thing, exclusively breastfeed for six months and then up to a year and then the World Health Organization actually extends a little bit more, they say exclusive breastfeeding for six months obviously that’s the kind of standard with all of them and then up to foods for up to two years. So they, they kind of extend.
The other two ACOG and the AAP don’t say stop at a year I want to be just very clear they just say continue to breastfeed for as long as you can and for as long as it makes since for you and your baby, whatever works best for you and you baby. But the WHO kind of extends it, says "No we are actually going to say two, we are going to actually say two years if it all possible" Alright so in this first half of the conversation I just wanted to reflect, for all of us to reflect on what worked for us for this first year. Reflect a little bit on your success and then you know, what do you think really lead to this so the first thing that came to mind was goal setting you know before your baby was born and even maybe right after your baby was born you were thinking about breastfeeding and pumping, did anyone set any goals or have any plans in mind and then how did that factor end do you think do you overall success, Moon let’s start with you?
AFRICAN MOON: Ok, you know I think what helped me the success for my first daughter or for my first child it was the fact that people didn’t think I could do it. I’m just that kind of person that I have to prove people wrong and people didn’t think that, one as a black women that I would breastfeed, two as you know you go to work you go to school you are not going to be able to keep up with that breastfeeding thing you know, so I had to prove them wrong you know, and I think that’s what pushed me as far as my success goes.
When my daughter was about six months older I think I had a woman show me how to breastfeed with a baby wrap that has saved my life, this is how come I’ve been able to breastfeed for the last eight years. Baby wearing I mean it saved your life, you don’t have to worry about anything, you tie your child to your chest and just go forward and do whatever and it’s the best thing. I tell you if I could find her no Iwould give her a big kiss, because she really did, she saved our breastfeeding lives.
SUNNY GAULT: Oh that’s awesome, Shelly what would you tribute your sucess to is ther anytthing that stands ut in our mind?
SHELLY ROGERS: I did set a goal for one year with my oldest and white moon baby wearing was a huge contributing factor to success with nursing. I was very fortunate to get a baby wearing shirt before I had my oldest, so I could put my daughter in the shirt and just kind of scout over to the left or scout her over to the right and nurse her and it made such a difference. So that was probably the biggest contribute to success too, like I said I agree with Moon it was, baby waering was a big diffrence.
SUNNY GAULT: Alright and Alicia what would you attribute your success too?
ALICIA SEIGHFORD: So my mom always called me a freak train and so that like Moon I think a big part of it was just that, I was going to do this and we had a really complicated pregnacy or really complicated delivery but this is something I felt like I could have control over and nothing was going to stop me. So it was kind of, half share force of will, half really supportive partner. We did some baby wearing my child tends to get really, really hot really, really quickley and does not like to touch me. So that only lasted for a little while but I also I have really, really large breasts, really large and I felt like I was not going to get through life with these giant boobs and not use them and like I, just had to, like I could not have them for that many years and not have some functional purpose out of that, so...
SUNNY GAULT: I love that.
ALICIA SEIGHFORD: My sisters who, hers arent quite as large but they are still pretty big, she wasn’t able to breastfeed she never produced enough milk at all like she had insuficient glandular tissue and its been a point that like she tried and tried and tried and shes got these huge boobs and she can’t use them for what they are there for. So it kind of felt like it was taking out her part too, I’m going to do this for both of us, make sure that they get used and that they are there for a reason. So it was a good combination of those two things.
SUNNY GAULT: That’s awesome, alright so I mentioned goal setting. Did anyone set out and really have a specific goal in mind like, "Hey I want to breastfeed for a year or two years or hey I just want to make it past the first month" did anyone have anything in mind like that from the get go, or even when you were still pregnant?
AFRICAN MOON: I never thought about breastfeeding when I was pregnant, the thought never entered into my mind and I’m not really organized enough to say that I set goals, who is just like, you know what this is kind of awesome you know. I don’t have to put anything other than throw a diaper in my pocket and then I can just go you know. So we just kept on that way and then my daughter was a total boob babe so I don’t care where we were, her breastfeeding sessions became like desert. So whenever she would finish eating she had to finish her meal with breast milk and she stayed like that until she was like three. So I didn’t fight it, it was like, ok she's had a big meal I’m thinking she is done and she is like, "No" now it’s time to nurse you know so. I just followed her lead when that came it’s like ok well she wants to keep going I’m just going to let her.
SUNNY GAULT: Right, I think sometimes we can get these dates or these time periods in our head like "oh I got to do this for this amount of time" and then if we are struggling let’s just say we have the six month mark in mind right? And we are really struggling at month two, I think it sometimes can work against us just based on my own personal experience because I’m like "Oh my gosh I got four more months of this, you know and so I understand even for people that are more type “A” kind of personality that want to set more goals and have you know, things in mind as far as dates are concerned and stuff, kind of keep that in mind.I found that dates actually overall, I would say, dates helped me in the beginning reached the six month and then when I got to the six month I was like now I think can do a year, can I do a year? I think I can do a year and then I got to the one year mark and then after that I just threw everything out the book, after that I was like, you know what you know with my twins, by the way my twins were the only ones that I breastfeed that long.
My boys, so my first two were boys, so my first son was about six months and same thing really for my second son and I was really personally disappointed by that, that wasn’t my plan, my plan was to breastfeed them a lot longer than that and just other things just kind of got in the way and education and everything that probably could get in the way and with my girls I just kind of was like and I think what helped me too was knowing that the twins were my last plan pregnancy, like after that like, if I get pregnant you know "Surprise" but we are not planning have any more kids and I think knowing going into to it that I wasn’t able to do what I wanted to do with my first two, really, really motivated me and knowing that these are my last babies that I’m planning to have so if I, it’s now or never so it’s kind of like putting a little bit of pressure on me I guess on that regard.
But it was good pressure but then like I said, once I got to the one year mark I'm like "Whatever the girls want to do it's fine" and now we are two and half years and I’m like "What are you doing, how long are you going to do this for?" but again for me it more about them you know, as long as they make the decision I’m fine with it you know, I don’t want someone else making the decision for them but either then that like whatever its works for me.
ALICIA SEIGHFORD: I actually worked with women, my previous job that everyone who had a baby pumped for a full year and it just kind of set this expectation in my mind like, well that’s what you do and I knew that breastfeeding would be hard and everyone said once you get through the first month, once you get through the second month like it gets easier it gets better. So I kept keeping that in mind because it was a struggle in the beginning for sure and then I just sort of had this idea, that well everybody just pumps for a year right not really knowing that, that’s actually kind of unusual and really a lot of work I mean to the benefit the place that I worked at that time was really accommodating. So it was not easy but women were definitely able to pump for a full year so, I kind of went into it thinking like, "Well yeah they say breastfeed for a year so I’ll breastfeed for a year and I’ll pump for a year you know, maybe I’ll even pump longer than that" Then as you kind of get into the like, seven, eight, nine, ten months of pumping you realize how hard that is. So I definite started out with the idea that "I'm definitely going to breastfeed for a year" just coming from that mind set and then, my month to month goals were like, "Ok let’s just get to the hard part" like once you get to the hard part it’s supposed to be easy like so just kind of waiting for that easy part to kick in and then it did and we were kind of home free after that.
SUNNY GAULT: Alright, what about lactation support or even being part of breastfeeding support groups? Mommas did you have any experience with that? Did that help you personally in your journey? Moon what would you say to that?
AFRICAN MOON: I say breastfeeding support groups rock because my family did not breastfeed. So I would give, there those things again you know, so it definitely helped to have people around that not necessarily would just agree with me, with that I could see that yes her child is a year older and she is still doing it like wait, her child just walked over to her and laid across her lap you know so all of those things that people kept saying, "Oh my god she's still breastfeeding, she will still be breastfeeding until high school" you know like, those things weren’t important in that group because everyone was doing it so it definitely made life a lot easier just to see it just to be around people who are doing the same things that I was doing.
SUNNY GAULT: Good and Shelly or Alicia do you guys have experience with using lactation consultancy or educators and being part of these groups did that help you at all?
SHELLY ROGERS: It did me, I went to a life change league when I was pregnant with my first and that was a big influence because like moon I saw women that were you know, that had older kids that were breastfeeding or I say older kids toddlers then, and a little older than that and that’s how I actually met my light patient consultant was through a life change league and that was a big influence, just seeing like moon said seeing women who were nursing their toddlers and kids just walking up to them in nursing even seeing the little babies and the six months olds that helped tremendously put in my mind that this is complete normal and this is what I wanted to do.
SUNNY GAULT: Alright, Alicia what was your situation?
ALICIA SEIGHFORD: We saw several lactation consults at the beginning. I’d used the nipple shield for the first couple of months and we had some issues of latch and weight loss and all of those fun things after he was born. So we saw a lactation consultant probably every three days for the first two weeks and it really helped we saw, I think we counted up that we saw like 16 different people who returned to lactation consultant but there were two that were actually really, really helpful and then I didn’t go to any groups but around the eight and half, nine month mark we actually started having some latch issues and I had cracked bleeding nipples when you expect when you first have a new born.
So I contacted the lactation consultant in my OB Joanne's office and we actually went in for a consultation when he was about 10 months old which they had the little baby weighing scale and everything and we were like, well I’m not concerned he is not getting enough but I’m mostly concerned why I’m bleeding. So that was a great visit it felt a little awkward at first because that lactation consultation its designed for little babies, its designed for the new kids and here he was 10 months old and crawling but we still needed help and if I hadn't gone in it probably would’ve been the end of our nursing, I had to use ointments I had a lot like, it was really painful and uncomfortable.
I meet with the consultation or the consult and it was wonderful like, she was really helpful she gave me some tips you know, he was getting really distracted he was also dealing with ear infections and so like positioning him in a way that was comfortable for him and then enable him to latch properly and kind of timing things so that he wasn’t super distracted by things going on around him really helped. I also got to talk to her on a personal level and she was also nursing almost two year old and gave me some insights that I wouldn’t otherwise had because no one in my family breastfed for that long. I did get a lot of this questions like, well how long are you going to let him do that for or would you care if you had to give him a bottle or give him formula and that was really nice to have a perceptiveness. I understand what you are trying to do and here's how we can make it happen and here is how it can stop hurting and so that was, it was completely invaluable at the time.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, I think support is probably one of the biggest things that can help us as breastfeeding moms, it doesn’t mean it has to come from you know professional Moon brought up friends and family, not having a lot of support within family what kind of support did you ladies have overall with family was that an important part of your success?
SHELLY ROGERS: My sister had nursed so she was pretty supportive but her kids weaned at like nine months she said so I didn’t have any experience with family members after anyone nursing after that and my mom at first was, she was confused because she couldn’t nurse my sister and me when we were babies so was kind of confused as well, how long do you nurse, when do you give water, why can’t you just do this. But after it was just kind of this, I don’t know I guess they got used to me nursing so much that it just became normal, if not a joke that I was always whipping my boobs out and feeding the kid, it got to where I actually found a lot more support within my family and even my extended family with nursing and nursing longer. I had an uncle, great uncle tells me that my, oh goodness likes, I don’t know another cousin of his who would come home from first grade and nurse yeah. This is back in the 30's so it was just apparently common in the older generation of my family and then my generation was doing it again so I had a whole lot of support it turned out, which was surprising.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, I think for me support is kind of waned I think we actually did a whole episode of different types of support a couple different episodes actually support from partners and then support in general and mine has kind of changed over the years. I think everyone knew how bad I wanted to breastfeed and breastfeed you know, for as long as I possibly could and I think everyone was super-duper supportive through the first year and then after that I started to get the comments that you guys were talking about specially from my mom which I was kind of surprised.
I was breastfeed as a baby and not for extremely long I think for like four months but my mom was always very pro breastfeeding but now when I see her, because like I said I’m still feeding my twins imp still breastfeeding my twins and so she kind of gives me that "Are you done yet" kind of look like really you got to whip those out and it’s not that she is modest, she is not modest or anything like that. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know but I kind of would expect her to be a little bit more understanding that she is but I feel like imp in the education role now with them like, they are seeing it more now with me and I think its breaking down some barriers at least with my own family to know that, ok you really can do that and then you know my girls are older they are not always on my breasts, you know it’s just they fall down they hurt themselves they want to nurse like it’s definitely a comfort thing but man like I could be really sad when they eat to give it up because I just love it, I just love it and I us kind of role with you know whatever they want to do.
So I mentioned this a little bit earlier as far as me and my progression with my kids you know I got my twins I’m like "Oh I’m really going to do this for at least a year now" but for the moms that have more than one child how did that impact things for you? Was it easier because you kind of knew what to expect or what did you experience Moon?
AFRICAN MOON: You know I had a mixture of the two so when my daughter was born we had a lot of issues, initially getting her to latch and when I had my second child I had to work through all those things you know, so it made life a lot more easier but once he got older and he started getting heavier and he was a little bit more busy then I realized "wow I have two children" you know like they are running and they are chasing me and now I’m supposed to actually sit down and breastfeed like what the hey so that toke a little maneuvering. Once he got a little bit older to figure out how could I continue to breastfeed a very busy male child when I had another child so again baby wearing definitely helped in those situations and now that I have my third child and I’m home schooling and everything the support of my sons father he is super supportive, he is like "ok well while you are nursing I will talk to the children for a minute" or you know, I’ll tie him on and he will nurse while I’m teaching my elder two children so the more children I have the more complicated it becomes.
But I have been able to pull in more support because now people know, like they know Moon is, that is what she does, she is the breastfeeding person so I have more support in that sense and then my family have become very supportive of my breastfeeding when they weren’t initially. You know the longer it goes it’s like "Oh wow you can do that, oh I didn’t know that" you know my mother who was a big nose air when I first started breastfeeding she actually stopped going out with us when I had my daughter because she was like I don’t want to see your breast out so you go ahead and got to the store and I’ll stay home and it’s like really. But know she tells folks look, that’s just what she does so you will even have to deal with it or you know stick your head in the sand because she is going to breastfeed so you might as well get used to it, you know so those kinds of things eight years down the line really does help in order for me too, to be able to say "yeah I have three babies" everybody is moving, everybody wants to watch me, watch them entertain, they try to entertain me in some fashion. Momma I need you to watch me hope on my foot and all of these kind of things but now people are helping in different ways so that helps me further my breastfeeding relationship with my third child.
SUNNY GAULT: Shelly what's your experience been?
SHELLY ROGERS: I kind of nursed my first and second for like that almost 2 years until I got my third and then I cut everybody off because I wanted a break. But the biggest surprise for me when I had my second was I actually went to the lactation consultant when she was about two or three days old because as I told the consultant I can't just tell her how to change her mouth and she's not latching correctly and that's what I'm used to doing with my oldest because she was three and I could say okay Caroline you know you need to open your mouth wider you need to not try and bite with your teeth you need to use your lips. So with the newborn, I had no clue it is just all left off my brain as to how to do a latch correctly and all that so that was a little surprising with having a second one but I kind of [inaudible] goals out the window with my second because I knew I had gone three years at that point was my first that it was just like you know I would just nurse as long as she wants to nurse and you know whatever happens, happens, I'm fine and we joked because my second was much more independent we joked that she would've to wean more sooner than her older sister which almost happened because of my oldest nurse for almost 5 years.
She didn't want to stop nursing and my middle one was like okay whatever you don't want to nurse that's fine you know I mean it was just night and day and then my third she's been a challenging one honestly but because I would tandem nurse the older two and I was used to being stepped on and crawled over. My third one is very vaguely so I was just kind of used to it at that point. I am used to been crawled on, pushed and kicked in the face and whatever she throws her arms and legs and wanting to do with the time. It has made it to where like Moon said people I don't if I would call it support, I don't know if the people are more supportive of me nursing if it's just they've excepted it as a fact and know that nothing they can do about it just go along with their lives because my work just kind of except that I'm pumping. I mean there's no discussion about it you know it's just that it's enlightening because she does she breast-feed she doing it yeah. So I think that made me the breastfeeding person of my little circle of people.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah I know absolutely and I'm glad that we're making these you know kind of changing people's minds little bit I think a lot of it's unintentional like we're just doing what we think is best for our babies and if that helps change the minds of people I think that is great. It's normalizing breastfeeding we say this a lot right. Okay when we come back we're going to explore some of the challenges we've been talking about our success and everything which is awesome but we want to kind of dive into some of the challenges that we have faced and how we overcame them perhaps we are still working through some of this and we also are going to share what advice we have for moms out there that are just now getting into it in the beginning so we'll be right back.
SUNNY GAULT: Alright welcome back we are continuing our discussion about breastfeeding for one year and how to actually make it happen. We're giving you practical tips from moms who've been there done that and we've been talking a lot about success. I want to now talk about some of the roadblocks or challenges I don't want to get you know in everyone's mind that it's all gumdrops and rainbows because it in on it as it is and always there's a lot of amazing moments but then after you have an amazing moment you could go downhill really fast. It is just a matter of picking yourself back up and having people to we talked about earlier support you and encourage you see you can get back up and tried again.
So mammas what is your biggest concern? Or did you have any big concerns? Or did you have any real big concerns going into this? What would you say Moon?
AFRICAN MOON: I didn't have any concerns going into this what has become a concern now, is my son is seven months old and my four-year-old has decided that I must like my son my seven-month-old more than him because I won't let him nurse anymore. So that has become a problem that I was never expecting. You know he talked he remembers, he remembers breast-feeding you know but when I got pregnant I’m like you know, mom needs a couple months before I start on the next you know. So he's like “wow so you don't love me any more or you love so Caius more than me” and that sort of hurt my feelings it is like no you know we, luckily he's very intelligent you know so we got a chance to sit down and have these discussions but I have noticed I get dirty looks from him every now and again when my son is nursing. So yeah that, that has become a problem that within the last two or three weeks actually feel like you know, “Caius is a big boy now mom he's sitting up and he's crawling maybe he shouldn't have to nurse anymore either” you know wow and it’s like wow I'm really surprised by that I was never expecting that.
SUNNY GAULT: yeah that's really interesting I have had some similar things happened not directly with my older children wanting to breast-feed but you know breast-feeding is very personal kind of experience and I cradle my girls when I'm breast-feeding them and stuff and I stroke their hair and I give them kisses and I have noticed that my older boys want to come sit on my lap while I'm doing that now keep in mind I got two, two and half year old toddlers already in my lap breast-feeding and then I have a six year almost six-year-old boy that was to consider my lab and then perhaps a four-year-old boy wants to come sit on my lap. So I have noticed that a little bit but I don't know if it's a little bit of jealousy there and they have been asked to latch. I haven't yet but I've noticed that a little bit to. What would you say Shelly is here where was your biggest concern going into this?
SHELLY ROGERS: I don’t know if I really had any major concerns you know, I had the same kind of issues with my oldest and my second as far as honestly that's the reason I tandem nursed was to keep the jealousy down to a minimum because my older daughter she and I have to work in our bond and we really have to make sure that we connect. Whereas my second is very natural and so I have to work as part of her so I think that nursing was a big bond for Caroline and I. I didn't want to give that up and make her and I didn't want to give that up and make her feel like we didn't have something to bond on. So that was why I continue to nurse, when, after Nora was born and I mean we set some ground rules if you know, the baby get the milk first or you can have that side when she turned that side and it actually ended up to get some really cute pictures of the two of them sitting in my lap it kind of became a ritual when I get home from work one would get on one side and one would get on the other and we stay that way for gosh you know, 20-30 minutes with them two nursing.
I think that helps kind of really give Caroline a sense of connection with me it wouldn’t come as naturally if we hadn't nursed and had continued to first five years. So didn’t have really super big challenges other than having to make sure that she didn't feel left out because if she had I think that would really hurt her emotionally. She wouldn’t have handled feeling left out very well at all I don't think you're sitting at talking to her would have worked where with my second with Nora she didn't care if she nursed or not after we were done and with so I never had a tandem nurse her with my third.
SUNNY GAULT: I know Alicia we've been talking a lot about breastfeeding more than one baby and you have one child so, what were some of the challenges you know or did you have any concerns from the beginning? Or challenges throughout?
ALICIA SEIGHFORD: Yeah in the beginning I was worried mostly because both of my sisters had trouble breast-feeding and one of my sisters had to use a nipple shield and she was able to nurse that she didn't go past her like 12 week mature and then my other sister that I mentioned earlier just wasn't able to at all and so I felt like I listen to every episode of The Boob Group, I read every online discussion board I tried to figure out like, common predicaments and problems that people encounter so that I be able to figure out what was what was wrong when something is wrong and of course it doesn't always work that way. So I did a ton of research and he still had a lot of problems early on problems early on, but it was really that one-on-one interaction that actually got me through it. But I was nervous about a lot of my really didn't want to have to use a nipple shield. I knew that they were handed out pretty regularly as sort of an instance fix when babies have trouble latching and I was really resistant to using one and I ended up having to use one. I had really flat nipples and it just was not able to latch at all.
So we used one and then the struggle of getting off of it just not knowing even with all the research that I did and I felt like I was really prepared there was still so much that I didn't know. One of the things that I wish I had known about before I ever gave birth was instead of a nipple shield they have this Lance know make the nipple inverts like a plunger that pulls your nipple out and I had never heard of it before. I was researching how to get him off shield and I found it and used it for like two days and then after that he was good. Like he figured it out like it was just what we needed and I felt like simultaneously really happy but at the same time frustrated that I hadn't had it from the beginning. Looking back you now, now I know that I'll be prepared for the second one there are a lot of things I mean it made nursing in public really difficult and it made latching anywhere but on the couch at the lobby really hard to do and I think that's where my older sister had struggled that she always had to have the shield with her and I knew that I wanted to get it passed that again like that by establishing your routine period of time. The timer it's just like wonderful and regular and you are like the quiet bonding time together. I really nervous I would never get to that.
SUNNY GAULT: Would you say that your experience with the nipple shield was your biggest challenge that you had with your baby?
ALICIA SEIGHFORD: Probably I also had an overactive letdown and oversupply and so we dealt with some of the like green frothy poop and having to manually express before feeding. I couldn't go to long between feedings. So going out in public or if she slept a really long time I have to run in and express manually first and then let him latch on. But I would say that the nipple shield is probably the major the major hurdle just because it didn't make it so much harder especially when you're in public because you're trying to like to hold the baby and hold the shielding and get comfortable and I mean I could remember we were at the zoo and he was two months old and it was just before we got off the nipple shield but like trying to hold him and I was wearing him and carry him like keep him in the right position keep the shield in position and like we are out in the sun there's people everywhere it was really hot and noisy and I just wanted to throw that nipple shield in the trash right then, I would have if he like, just gone with it but…
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah.
ALICIA SEIGHFORD: But he was resistant at first really liked it at first so.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah I yeah I have some expensive nipple shields and I would probably say that that was one of the issues that I had with my first two and it was using it for too long and then just getting frustrated with it not being able to find it and ultimately I think that probably contributed to me not being able to nurse him for as long as I wanted to. With Shelly and with Moon what would you say your biggest challenges overall if you look back at all your breast-feeding and so not necessarily all with the same child right, what would you say was the biggest issue that you encountered and how did you overcome it Shelly?
SHELLY ROGERS: I had rash for, oh gosh almost two years with nursing Caroline and Nora tandem nursing I fought that often on for a long time and that was very hard and that was one reason why I wean both when I got pregnant with my third because it was that was probably the hardest part of nursing Nora and thankfully I almost forgot about it and it has a color that was that was my quite the hardest part of nursing Nora. Then Marigold has been kind of a high need baby she she's very needs to be on me I mean my husband can hold her and she will scream and scream and scream and once I take her she just immediately calms down. So it has to something about me.
So she's very clingy and needs to be on me or with me if I’m around and her nursing has been challenging because she had reflux and she still has it, she's on medication for that and she had an upper lip and tongue tie that we got diagnosed when she's probably about six weeks old have to get released and then made a huge difference in nursing but it still has been a challenge to figure out why is she crying so much what's going on with her you know, there's obviously a problem lets you know, try to sort it and working out.
I mean for a good six months it was it was just fighting with her crying and trying to nurse her and trying to give her a bottle with medicine or trying to give her medicine or trying to get her to latch properly. So her nursing experience probably been the hardest and then she was my only fighter. So I haven’t had an easy time figuring out how to deal with the biting. She's a consistent bitter, not just me and she bites my husband too who is very validating when she actually he was shirtless and she bit his nipples that was very but she has been my more challenging baby to nurse out of the all three.
SUNNY GAULT: And Moon is there one big challenge that you can think of when you look back on all your babies and all your breastfeeding experiences?
AFRICAN MOON: You know my biggest challenge with breast-feeding didn't come from myself or my children it came from the outside world harassing me in some form of fashion when I would go out and breast-feed in public. So that became really difficult for me because after you know we’ve talked about this were I have had the police called on me, I had websites talking about you know the N-word breast-feeding mother and all of these kind of things. So that became a big struggle because while I'm trying to breast-feed I'm trying to figure out how to have two children and you know that and itself is difficult and I have all the hormones in and now all of a sudden I'm like this hussy who wants to just show her boobs to everyone and that became my biggest my biggest challenge with being harassed when I wanted to breast-feed my children.
Being able to overcome that I think is how come I'm able to say yeah you know we stuck through it because everyone didn't think we could that’s how come I have been able to breast-feed for almost 9 years. But yeah, that was that was a big struggle for me because the outside world couldn't stand to seeing Moon breast-feeding for some reason.
SUNNY GAULT: Wow, that's so frustrating, but you know, I mean that's where the reasons we do these episodes right to help you know, other people to just feel more comfortable with the situation we bring up topics that people don't feel that comfortable about you know, talking about, to raise awareness. So I guess we can just keep doing what we're doing and hopefully where we're making a difference out there. But mom is that we're out of time but thank you so much for being part of our conversation today and sharing your experience and what worked for you and breast-feeding for at least a year.
If you are part of the Boob Group club, then be sure to check out the bonus content for this episode so now that our moms have breast-fed for at least a year sounds like you know, in a lot of situations a lot more than that what advice should thy have for other moms out there? So if you want to answer that question be sure to subscribe and be part of our Boob group club and there's more information on that on our website just check out the member section of the website.
SUNNY GAULT: We have a question from one of our listeners this comes from Ginger and she posted it on our Facebook page Ginger says, “How can I re-lactate I just stop nursing and pumping a couple weeks ago”
MICHELLE STULBERGER: Ginger this is Michelle Stulberger an IBCLC in the Washington DC area with metropolitan breast-feeding. Great question about re-lactate the short answer is that yes you can re-lactate, however without having a consultation and getting a full history from you the best advice I can give is to begin pumping frequently as you need to tell your body that milk production is needed. Depending on where you are in the process though, it's important to work closely with a qualified IBCLC or a physician as there are several medical protocols that can be followed to assist with this. One of these protocols is the Newman Goldfarb protocol, that’s NEWMAN, Goldfarb GOLDFARB protocol and you can find that online through Google search, good luck.
SUNNY GAULT: That wraps up our show for today. I know it was a longer one. Thanks so much for hanging in there with me.
Don’t forget to check out our sister shows:
∞ Preggie Pals for expecting parents
∞ Newbies for newly postpartum moms
∞ Parent Savers for moms and dads with toddlers and
∞ Twin Talks for parents with multiples.
This is The Boob Group where moms know breast!
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