Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Lazy Breastfeeding

Josie girl got hungry during our recent family photo session, so, I sat down in the field we were in, and nursed her.  My co-shooter grabbed this image, which I love so much because: 1. my makeup looks fantastic, and 2. more importantly, I think it depicts exactly how breastfeeding is supposed to feel.  Natural.  Comfortable.  Intimate.  Close.  Sweet.  Simple.

I'm not sure if I would have been able to pull this off when my first baby was not yet three months old.  My mommy-brain might deceive me, but if I recall correctly, with baby number one, nursing in public (or anywhere) was a calculated ritual, with timers and props and measurements and a whole ordeal -- at least when baby Penny was this young, I may have eased up a bit as she got older.

I suppose you could call me a seasoned breastfeeder now with over two years of experience (twenty months with Penelope, and now four months with Josephine).  Here's how we do it now:

When I'm at home, I breastfeed almost exclusively laying down on the bed.  I find the side-lying position to be the most comfortable, and if you haven't tried it I think you should!  If you've got a newborn and side-lying isn't working for you, try it again in a month or two.  Comfort is key.  Laying down is comfortable.  Also, for those of you with only one baby, please take advantage of the fact that you can fall asleep nursing your baby and take a nap with them and not have to worry about the toddler in the other room.  And while you're napping, dream of me carefully rolling off the bed so as not to make a sound and wake up my baby but then tripping on a toy as I leave the room to turn off the princess movie that's been babysitting my two-year-old while I nursed.  No don't dream of that.  Just enjoy your nap.

When I'm out in public I am relaxed about how I sit, how I cover up and what I use to wipe up dribble.  I'll breastfeed in the front seat, in the back seat, in no seat at all.  In a booth, on a bench, leaning against a wall. With a blanket or a pillow or a scarf or a hand or a strategically placed toy.  Something I wish I had realized two years ago is that nipples are small and it doesn't take a 4x4' blanket to cover them.  All you really have to do if other people are around is create a "blind spot" so they can't see the nipple area and you are golden.  I hardly ever use my actual "nursing cover" anymore unless I'm in close proximity to a man who is not my husband (sorry ladies, I don't cover up for you).  If I'm relaxed, the milk flows better; if milk flows better, feedings are quicker and baby is happier.

We aren't on a strict schedule.  She wants to eat, she eats.  It's liberating.  I realize that this is not so feasible for pumping moms who are working outside the home, and if that's you, I COMMEND YOU  and keep at it!  If you stay home, RELAX on the scheduling mama. As long as baby is thriving, you're doing it right. 

I pump when I can.  I keep a frozen inventory that would feed Josie for about a day and a half should something ever happen to me. It also comes in handy to have a stash for photo shoots and date nights.  Other than that I'm lucky I don't have to worry about pumping all the time. [You might recall I pumped for Penelope for 12 months when I was working in a corporate environment.]  I also stopped pumping and dumping if i have a drink or two of the adult variety. New research is saying it's not necessary. 

Perhaps "Lazy" isn't the right word, because of its slovenly connotation.  But think of it as in "Lazy River" or "Lazy Saturday" -- not "Lazy Slob".... ok now I'm getting caught up in semantics...

Happy Breastfeeding!!

You can read all my other breast-feeding related posts here.

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