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Posts tagged with Breastfeeding

Excuse Me While I Breastfeed My Seven-Year-Old

I still remember the day very vividly. I was waiting tables at the Lawrence Old Chicago (may it rest in peace) and I walked up to my first table of the day to take their drink orders. When I looked down, I was horrified to see a mom openly breastfeeding her toddler. Not only had I rarely, if ever, seen a woman breastfeed so freely out in public, but I had NEVER witnessed a mom breastfeed a child old enough to ask for it... with words.

I was shocked, disgusted and downright offended. I was sure this woman was mentally scarring her child. She was a negligent mother and I was sure of it (Of course, as a 22-year-old, I had EVERYTHING figured out).

Now, I’m her. Well, not exactly her, but in the same species. It’s just one of the many things that switched in my head when I had my own children. I rarely use a cover now. I only go to a back room if I know it will make the people I’m around very uncomfortable. B is past the age of one and I don't see us stopping any time soon. Therefore, I'm the one nursing my toddler who asks for it by saying, “Meh.”

I'm a crazy hippie. I'm a weirdo. Call me whatever you want. The fact is it’s good for her. Ask the World Health Organization. They recommend exclusive breastfeeding up to six months of age and continued breastfeeding with solid foods for up to two years and beyond.

That being said, my current views on this were rocked last week. A friend of mine showed me a clip from a documentary where a child was still breastfeeding at the age of seven. She (in a British accent) says, “I'd rather have lots of breastmilk than a million melons.” Sorry, I have to laugh again as I type that.

In all seriousness though, it disturbed me that this elementary school-aged child was still breastfeeding. She drew pictures about it and even named her mother’s breasts. But I’m kind of conflicted about how I feel about this. Science has shown that kids who are breastfed longer have higher IQs. The health benefits are great — for both mom and the kiddo. However, at what point do we sacrifice a healthy relationship with breastfeeding for a higher IQ?

I mean, I personally don't have problems with a three- or even a four-year-old breastfeeding for occasional comfort, but I would be totally creeped out by 12-year-old doing it. So where is the cut off and why? Is it when they learn about sex? Is it when they go to school? Is it when they potty-train? Even though I no longer agree with my previous stance on this, I’m still not sure where to draw the line.

At what age is it detrimental to the child to continue? Or is it at all?

I don’t think I’ll nurse B much longer if we even make it to age two. That’s just where my comfort level ends. I get why other women would continue though. But there are those (even some in my own family) who think it’s crazy to continue after a year.

What is your stance (whether you breastfed or not)? At what age or stage is it time to throw in the towel and tell the kid the milk machine is closed?

By the way, if you want to check out the documentary I saw, you can watch it here. Beware, they show boobs (I know! The horror!).

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Breastfeeding is awesome… except when it’s not

It's National Breastfeeding Month. I'm sure you're already aware of it because every breastfeeder online is kind of shoving it down your throat about now.

I'm one of those people. I apologize.

I get really excited at the chance to talk about breastfeeding because I had a really hard time learning how to do it and very seriously considered giving up numerous times. It's by far the most difficult thing I've ever done in my life. SERIOUSLY.

That being said, I am insanely glad I did/am doing it.

However, I recognize that this month is a giant guilt trip for those moms out there who tried their hardest to nurse their babies and for whatever reason, couldn't. For that, I am very sorry. This month should not be a slap in the face to you ladies. You're doing what's right for your family and you're awesome.

I may not speak for all of us breastfeeding hippies, but I'm going to be honest with you: There are so many times that I am jealous of your bottles. And your freedom. And your pretty, normal bras.

And also these reasons:

  1. Your significant other probably doesn't just shrug his or her shoulders and point to you when the baby is hungry. I firmly believe they should manufacture the man-boob from Meet the Fockers. I'm totally not kidding either.

  2. People can come over to watch the baby and you can actually SLEEP. People offered to do this for me when both of my girls were born and it just made me laugh. Riiight. I'll sleep for 1 1/2 hour increments when you have to come wake me up to feed the baby again. No, thanks. That's the same as you not being here.

  3. You don't have to rush home to change your shirt when someone else's child cries at the grocery store. Did you know this happens? Breastfeeding women often will experience "letdown" at the sound of a baby crying. Mother Nature was awesome in that she gave our breasts this trigger mechanism, however, I wish I could let her know that I don't plan to feed the entire community.

  4. You are able to have help feeding the baby in the middle of the night. My husband doesn't even know when/if our girls wake up to eat. He gets long hours of uninterrupted sleep. After the previous nine months of discomfort CREATING A PERSON, I'm not bitter about this part at all.

  5. It's okay for you to have more than one beer with friends at a barbecue. I made this very terrible decision recently and had too many beverages one night when my husband and I had an overnight sitter. I paid for it for three days after my breast milk upset B's stomach. Never again.

  6. You will never have to milk yourself in a public bathroom. Obviously, this was a personal experience and it probably doesn't happen to everyone, but it was mentally scarring nonetheless. You see, a few months after I had my first girl, I forgot to pump before going out to celebrate a friend's birthday. Total rookie mistake. Three hours in to karaoke night, I was in pain and my boobs felt like they might explode. I had no pump to relieve the pressure so I had to resort to standing over a toilet and literally milking myself like a cow. It was equal parts embarrassing and fascinating to be perfectly honest. And something I never want to do again (I apologize to the childless guys out there for ruining boobs for you just now).

So yeah. I love breastfeeding my babes, but there are many times that I envy those with the rubber nipples.

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7 Things I Swore I’d Never Do as a Parent

For the inaugural post of Larryville Mom, I felt I needed to acknowledge and set straight the hugely hypocritical girl that used to be me before kids. By showing her to you all, I feel it will better set the tone for future posts here.

*Disclaimer: I get kind of self-righteous and stubborn about certain topics. This usually lasts for an undisclosed amount of time until I inevitably realize that I'm wrong and also a dummy. You've been warned.

As an example of such cluelessness on my part, here is a list of all of the things I swore on my life I'd never do when I had kids. Boy, was I stupid.

  1. No messes on the floor at restaurants. Ha! I worked in four restaurants while at KU and there was nothing I hated more than having a toddler throw half his meal on the floor for me to have to sweep up. Two kids later? I tip extra for the trouble and pick up the big pieces. If my two-year-old gets half of her food in her face, it's a good friggin' day.

  2. No non-cute clothes. Then, I had a baby, realized how much the cute clothes cost, how long they wear them, and saw the things they did to them. Play clothes may be second (or third or fourth) hand, but I will not sob into a pillow tonight because my toddler colored her shirt with a Sharpie that someone (note: her Dad) left out.

  3. No fast food. In a perfect parenting world, babies always get naps. We always have enough time to execute everything on our "To Do" list. And people are understanding in their planning of their own day to the fact that you have children. However, since that world is a joke, there are times when it's ridiculously late, I have 20 more things to cross of that damn list and my children still need to be fed. That's when those golden arches are a Godsend.

  4. Breast-feeding always requires a cover. After I spent a year nursing my first baby on toilets in public bathrooms, in hot cars, under that steamy, annoying tarp of a nursing cover, and in the back room of people's houses, I decided that my baby's comfort is more important than offending someone I don't even know. Boobs were made for feeding babies. Period.

  5. Leashes are for dogs, not toddlers. This was true for me up until I had baby number two and immediately ran out of arms to wrangle two children when left alone. We haven't bought one of those backpack leash thingies yet, but I really see the pros there.

  6. No TV. Yeah right. If I wanted to not get anything done ever, this could be a rule in our house.

  7. My kids would never throw a tantrum in public. Karma took care of this one at Dillons just a few weeks ago. I had a cart full of groceries and only half my list done on the ONLY day I had free to shop when a full-on meltdown came from kid #2. I became that parent. She had to cry it out while I finished shopping and checked out. EVERYONE in the store hated me.

To those of you there that day, I'm very sorry. I hope Karma is nicer to you than she was to me.

I'm sure this list will be never ending as my kids grow. They're only two and three months old. I'll be sure to update you all on the progress of the deterioration of my perceived expertise in child rearing.

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