A Voice For The Community

"I am blessed. I had a wonderful and encouraging support system in my husband, family, and a few nurses who sensed my determination and frustration. I had opportunities to attend support programs and join groups of supportive women who understand. I have formed friendships and am surrounded by great people who share their knowledge. And I have learned. I have learned that every woman not only has a right to choose what is best for her and her child but to make an informed decision and receive support" Jillian, nursing mama to Jack Angelo

This is place to share the stories that come along with being a nursing mama. Wether you breast-fed your baby for 1 day or 3 years, we're not here to judge, simply to listen. Listen to what happened when you tried your best for 3 whole weeks only to be defeated. Listen to how being a mommy changed the way you looked at the world. And all the other stories, insights and moments that fall in between the complex and the truthful lessons you learned from your baby.

Read. Enjoy. Share. This is the voice of the nursing community.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Lessons I've Learned...

As Teddy approached 9 months and we are still chugging along on our BF-ing journey, I was thinking about the lessons I learned while breast feeding.  The first of many lessons came when Teddy was just 4 days old and he was nursing what seemed to be 24/7.

Lesson learned: there is no such thing as "normal".

A very frantic version of myself called a supportive lady at the Haddonfield LLL. "Why is he nursing so much?  ...Is he getting enough?  ...Is he latching properly?  ...What do I need to do??" were among my many questions.  The experienced LLL rep simply answered "you have a high-need baby".  While I don't know if I agree with the term 'high-need'-however well it sums up Teddy's personality, this general answer to all of my questions seemed to be the only answer that made my questions disappear!   He nursed so often because he needed to, because he wanted to, because, for Teddy, this is what being a newborn meant.  Although, I found mamas going through the exact same thing-glued to the rocker or couch with a newborn nursing baby attached 24/7-everyone seemed to tell me a different time frame as to when it would end.  Eventually he would nurse every 2 1/2-3 hours (which is considered "normal" for newborns but took us nearly 7 months).  I was surprised to learn how well babies can follow their instincts to get what they need, without help or any intervention from myself.  I literally had to just sit back and follow Teddy's lead and everything worked itself out... eventually:)

It seems like all the standards of "normal baby behavior" are based off the seemly consistent schedules of formula-fed babies.  I'm not sure a mama using formula would have learned this lesson.  ???  Does the heaviness that keeps a formula-fed newborn's belly full for 2-3 hours diminish the ability and need for those babies to follow their instincts?  I'd love to hear some lessons from a mama using formula- (insert pitch for more voices from the mama community!!!)

This is one of many lessons I have learned from my breast-fed baby.  Do you have a lesson that stands out in your memory?  The books that are marketed to expecting moms (at least the ones I read) don't seem to accurately depict "What to expect" from a nursing baby, and while nothing may be able to prepare a new mama for her individual journey, maybe your lesson will help a mama feel more at ease and supported with her decision to nurse through all of the obstacles our babies need to go through when exclusively breast-fed.  Send me your lesson today!!


  1. Follow the baby, follow the baby, follow the baby!

    One of the greatest things that I learned while nursing abbey in infancy was "look at the BABY not only the numbers" - a lot of moms get caught up in making sure that their little ones are following the "normal" curves, doing the right developmental things at the "right" time, eating the right number of ounces, or nursing for the "right" amount of time, in the "right" spacing throughout the day. Don't even get me started on the question "how many hours is your baby sleeping at night?" or the dreaded "is your baby sleeping through the night?"

    All of these quantitative measures are completely useless compared to the observation of the actual baby! Is your baby happy? Is he fed? Is he comforted? Is he rested? Is he smiling? Is he active? Good! Then keep doing what you're doing and don't stress yourself over the numbers or th expectations that society places for babies.

    Babies are babies. They need us and that is a good thing, not something to be fought against with "training" and "schedules"

  2. You are soo right! Ok maybe my post sounds a little like I am bashing formula (hopefully it doesn't sound like I am bashing formula using mommies!!!) You make a good point-and maybe the same point that I was aiming for-there is too much emphasis on being "normal" and having a "good" baby! It is the lucky mommies that find he support they need to follow their "guts" and let their babies follow their instincts:)