Well, Wisconsin IS the Dairy State

This here post is going to be about breastfeeding.  You’ve been warned.

It started because I came across this image:

And HAD to share it with everyone.  Awesome. 

I then also found these at Babble:

19 Extreme Breastfeeding: a Collection of Images From Around The Web

22 Extreme Breastfeeding: a Collection of Images From Around The Web

11 Extreme Breastfeeding Images: 2nd Edition

OMG, how hysterical is that last one?

So, I love breastfeeding.  In an almost obnoxious way.  It is the thing that turns me into a sappy sappy momma.  There are several things about breastfeeding that I’d like to address today.

1. Nursing in Public. 

It is not only Okay, it is important.  It is a flippin public service.  I am borderline preachy on this subject. 

When I first started nursing Lola, it never even occurred to me that it was anything other than fine and normal.  I nursed my baby at a restaurant 3 days after she was born.  I didn’t realize until later that all those stares were probably not of the “oh how cute” variety.  I nursed my baby at a restaurant while sitting across from my dad.  I now wonder if maybe that was a little weird for him.  After a while it was brought to my attention (on a message board, so you can imagine how POLITELY it was brought to my attention) that this is gross and offensive.  MORE THAN ONE person compared it to ejaculating where people eat!  More than one! 

I started to worry.  Was it bad?  Gross?  Was I rude and offensive?

And then it slowly dawned on me: we don’t have a right to not be offended in this country.  And as a parent, pretty much every. single. thing you do is going to make someone pissy.  So get over it.  If they are upset, that is THEIR issue, not yours.  You’re doing something important.

And every time that you are seen nursing in public, you are making it a more common occurrence, one that we can hopefully someday take for granted.  There are women who don’t breastfeed their babies because they don’t want to have to go into hiding every time their baby is hungry, which is often.  But it is healthy for mom and for baby and it’s GREAT, so lets try to do what we can to promote the practice.  I don’t mean you have to whip off your top in the Red Lobster or anything.  But don’t go hide in a bathroom stall every time your child wants to eat, either.  This culture where  feeding your baby in the way your body was designed to do is somehow taboo?  It is ridiculous.  And we all need to do our part to stop the ridiculousness.

2. Pumping sucks.  Can I get an Amen from the pumping moms!? 

I am not blessed with a prolific milk supply.  So I have to pump 3 times a day at work, and I still don’t get enough milk, so I have to try to find time to pump at home too.  It’s boring.  It requires extra dishwashing.  INEVITABLY I pump all day and then knock over a bottle cause I’m so tired.  Or leave ALL of them sitting out overnight accidentally (that one nearly brought me to tears.  And I did it, so I couldn’t even yell at my husband to make me feel better.)  And every single workday is a reminder that my milk supply is not where it should be.  Which brings me to…

3. My lack of abundant supply makes me sad.  I know I’m usually trying to be witty around here, or get a chuckle out of you.  But here I’m just going to vent my sadness because I can’t afford therapy.  (Really, I can’t.  I went twice, but I couldn’t afford to keep paying the copays.)

I love nursing.  Did I mention that?  And I’m so sad that my milk is not just flowing like a damn river.  I do Okay.  It could be worse.  I am able to breastfeed exclusively when we’re together.  But, because my pumping output is not so great, I live in fear of the 6 month slump.  What if my milk supply dips so low that I have to supplement even on the days that I’m with him all day?  What if my milk just starts drying up altogether?  I get teary every time I think about it.

I am doing what I can to increase my supply (which, by the way, is costing more than it would to just supplement formula).  The primary galactagogue (that’s just a word for breastmilk-booster) is an herbal tincture.  I started with the More Milk Plus.  It was the MOST disgusting thing I ever put in my mouth.  And everyone with a dirty mind says “are you SURE?”  Yes.  I am.  And when it didn’t work, I tried the More Milk Special Blend with Goat’s Rue.  I didn’t think it could get more disgusting, but it did.  Now NOTHING could be worse right?  Well I accidentally purchased the alcohol free version this last time.  It CAN!  It CAN get worse!  Alcohol free!?  There is not enough alcohol in this world to make this palatable.  I have really thought of taking it with a shot of bourbon each time.  In fact, I haven’t even come close to ruling that out yet.

My next option is to buy some drug from New Zealand because they don’t sell it in the States.  I just don’t know if I can afford that.  But it’s looking like a better and better option.

Because I am not ready to give this up!  Nourishing another human that you love more than yourself with nothing BUT yourself.  It is wonderful.  It is so stinkin MOTHERLY.  Watching that sweet baby find contentment in you. Blissful.  Corbin is not AS into it as Lola (which could be because my supply was better with her.  I worry that he gets frustrated.)  And that breaks my heart a little.  With Lola, ANY time she was ever upset about anything, my boobies made it better.  Corbin sure doesn’t hate it though.  That innocent face looking up at you.  Sometimes they hold your hand while they do it.  And when they SMILE at you, with your milk trickling out of the corner of their mouth.  It’s just the happiest, sappiest shit on the planet. 

Please Milk Gods, don’t take this away from me too soon!

4.  On a shallower note: why in the WORLD does EVERY OTHER WOMAN IN HISTORY find that breastfeeding helps her lose weight, while I am the EXACT OPPOSITE!?  Yes, I’m a little bitter.  I can never lose weight while nursing.  And everyone else is claiming that it just FALLS RIGHT OFF.  Jerks!  I swear, I am convinced that my body knows about my less than abundant supply and is hanging on to every ounce of fat so I can feed my baby through a famine.  Newsflash!  There will be no famine!  Someone please alert my metabolism!

I think that’s enough now.  Though I can’t promise I won’t have more to say on the subject in the future.  Watch this spot.

International symbol:

Shirt I like:

I also saw one once that said something like “if it makes you uncomfortable feel free to put a blanket over your head” and it made me laugh out loud.

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17 thoughts on “Well, Wisconsin IS the Dairy State

  1. Ohhh I hated pumping so much. I pumped at work until 9 months with my son. At that point I had reached the diminishing returns stage and I didn’t want to try galactagogues to keep pumping so I gave him formula at daycare and nursed at home until he self-weaned at 16 mo. This time I’m working at home so I am really excited to nurse this baby and NOT have to pump!

    I lost weight gradually when I was breastfeeding. I didn’t fit into pre-pregnancy jeans until I was 9 mo post partum. But hey, that’s what the fat stores are there for. At least having done it once, I will be able to tell myself the weight IS coming off, just a bit slowly! Last time I was nervous that that was just my new body and nothing I could do about it.

  2. BLESS YOU for admitting that it took 9 months for your prepreggo jeans. I feel like either I’m a failure or everyone is lying, cause it seems like everywhere I turn, someone is like “whew, I finally fit into my prepregnancy jeans, it took 2 whole months!”

    I’m also so encouraged to hear you were able to keep nursing even when not pumping. This is my dream for the future.

  3. First, you rock.

    Second….

    a) I did not breastfeed publicly, but I also never breastfed in a bathroom. If I don’t eat in the bathroom, my baby shouldn’t. I did however breastfeed in the car…. Everyone around me (except J) was weird about me breastfeeding (“It’s barbaric” – from my mother), which made me feel weird about breastfeeding when I was anywhere other than in my home. More women need to breastfeed in public. A lot more.

    b) Yes, nourishing and comforting your baby is *exactly* the same thing as ejaculating where people eat. Exactly. Friggin’ morons.

    c) Pumping sucks SO much. I don’t care if you’ve got the cadillac of breast pumps (which I had), it sucks. It’s boring. It’s uncomfortable. It takes so bloody long. And knocking over those bottles or leaving them out accidentally? So many tears after doing that.

    d) Are you able, yet, to get Domperidone in the U.S.? It’s a drug for stomach issues, but one of the side effects is that it increases milk supply. My doctor prescribed it for me with my first and it worked well enough. Not great, but my milk supply did increase. If I recall, though, my American friends were not able to get it.

    e) Especially with my second, the weight did not just melt off. I was nine months post-pregnancy to get into my pre-peggo jeans after my first. It took eighteen months with my second.

    • First, thank you! also-
      a. totally my point. If more people saw it regularly, fewer people would think it was something to hide. At least, that’s my theory. It’s not common among my family. But I nurse at the dinner table with them all. A quiet baby attatched to a boob is better than a screaming one to nearly everyone.
      b. RIGHT!?
      c. yup. I really do like my Freestyle, as far as pumps go. Its a love hate relationship. I just pumped 6.5oz!! That’s llike my record for this go-round.
      d. Domperidone is what I was talking about ordering from New Zealand. I am going to giv it a whirl. It feels so stupid to spend more on galatagogues than I would on formula, but of course its not just about money. Though, the usual FREE factor of breastfeeding is great.
      e. Yay for more honesty on the weight loss! Let’s start a movement, lol!

  4. I admire you HUGELY for pumping at work. I tried that, because I was afraid if I didn’t, I would dry up. After a few weeks of sitting in the awful, smelly bathroom stall, I was just like, you know what? I can’t deal with this anymore. I HATE THIS. And I gave up. I was still able to nurse at night, somehow or other. It was kind of amazing that it still worked (because, honestly, I just know nothing about breastfeeding…it’s all a mystery to me).

    So, anyway, I am impressed, awed, and admiring of you for the work pump.

    It took me forever to get used to all the judginess (yes, I like that work! red squiggle all you want, internets!) with parenting. With my first child, I could not figure out nursing, and I didn’t do it, and there was tons of judginess aimed at me. With my second child, I nursed and pumped and there was tons of judginess aimed at me! So, it was a tough lesson, but judginess prevails all things.

    • “judginess prevails.” Aint that the truth? In pretty much all matters.

      Also, i’m fortunate enough to have a semi-decent place to pump, so that helps.
      I am so heartened to hear of people who are able to keep nursing while quitting pumping! Someday! My goal is to stop pumping around 9 months but still be able to breastfeed when we’re together. I’ll probably be too scared to do it though.

      • I think I stopped pumping around 6 months. I just wasn’t dedicated enough to breastfeeding to do it in the dingy bathroom. So icky.

        We stopped nursing at 10 months or so. That was all her, though.

  5. Congrats on having made it this far with the nursing!
    I pumped at work 3x per day until 9 months at which point I cut back to 2x for another month and 1x the last couple of months to a year. After that I was able to nurse nights and mornings until we were both ready to be done. Can you read while you pump, or find some other relaxing activity? That always helped me. Or sometimes I’d look at pictures of my babies. They say that helps with output too although to be honest I never really saw a difference, it just reminded me why I was sitting there.

    I think I fit in my pre-preggo jeans around 9 months too – with the caveat that I still had a major muffin top. I didn’t seriously diet and lose the last 5-10 until I was done nursing because I was more concerned about milk supply than my body. Though it would have been nice to be thin with nursing boobs!

    • Oh, you are all so nice with your appreciation of all my nursing and pumping. But I have to confess that the baby isn’t quite 4 months old yet. Your plan is exactly what I’m hoping for though. Starting to taper down the pumpin at 9 months.

  6. I think I mentioned this on the board: I am so pro-breastfeeding that I make it my personal mission to desensitize everyone around me to the sight at any given time. I think we’re on the same page here. Today it was in the middle of the mall.
    Keep up the good work, you’re doing great!

  7. As a lactivist, I absolutely agree. Those crappy, archaic, taboo walls have to be shredded, and all the emotionally-constipated naysayers would do well to lighten-up. Their prudish behavior is very far from evolved, despite a common belief to the opposite. *steps off of Lactivist Soap Box*

    I nursed all of my Elflings (I call them that. It’s a “me” thing). My youngest are twins, and I admit to trying domeperidone. There was a lot of talk, but I truly did not notice anything specifically different before, while or after taking it. The most significant difference I had was with red raspberry leaf tea. Cumin (either seeds or powder, what’s easiest to get is what you use) and ginger are both useful to boost supply, because they stimulate secretions. You could try a combination of the three in a tea with lemon and maple syrup/honey.

    I’m no doctor, just a Mama who has been there. What worked for me may not work for all, but it’s an inexpensive option to try. It’s also important to think positive:

    I will produce enough/loads of milk = brain reads positive

    compared with…

    I will not run out/dry up = brain reads negative

    Anyway, sorry to hi-jack your post. I love your blog! Glad I found it!
    Thank you, Meizac!

  8. President Obama is fighting for better nursing at work laws – of course with much opposition.
    Wi is fighting to bring our nursing laws back to 50’s

  9. Way to go for pumping at work! I never really pumped, but the few times I needed to it sucked. I miss have a little one nursing, so I will live vicariously through you, okay?

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