Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Breastfeeding - The End

Baby and I are are officially done nursing. I guess I should stop calling him baby. :-(  :-( Nah, I don't wanna, and you can't make me.
We made it till 15 months, that's not too shabby.  We made it through supply issues, work trips, a nursing strike and teething. Whew!

Part of me is sad. I miss our intimate snuggles. His little gurgles, hums and coos. Part of me is happy, my nipples are no longer teething rings! I can wear whatever shirt I want!

Sadly I didn't have enough supply to build up a frozen milk stash for donation. I was really hoping I would, but it just didn't happen. Oh well, no one is perfect.

I'm really happy with how much support I got at work for breastfeeding. Never a derogatory word. Never any problems with customers. I had to find places to pump at two different job sites. Hard hat construction sites. No problem. I'm planning to make some simple little thank you cards for my managers.

The following are some breastfeeding stories I found online, and I liked them enough to share here. Enjoy!

"In Mongolia, instead of relegating me to a "Mothers Only" section, breastfeeding in public brought me firmly to center stage. Their universal practice of breast feeding anywhere, anytime, and the close quarters at which most Mongolians live, mean that everyone is pretty familiar with the sight of a working boob. They were happy to see I was doing things their way (which was, of course, the right way).

When I breastfed in the park, grandmothers would regale me with tales of the dozen children they had fed. When I breastfed in the back of taxis, drivers would give me the thumbs-up in the rearview mirror and assure me that Calum would grow up to be a great wrestler. When I walked through the market cradling my feeding son in my arms, vendors would make a space for me at their stalls and tell him to drink up. Instead of looking away, people would lean right in and kiss Calum on the cheek. If he popped off in response to the attention and left my streaming breast completely exposed, not a beat was missed. No one stared, no one looked away - they just laughed and wiped the milk off their noses.

From the time Calum was four months old until he was three years old, wherever I went, I heard the same thing over and over again: "Breastfeeding is the best thing for your baby, the best thing for you." The constant approval made me feel that I was doing something important that mattered to everyone - exactly the kind of public applause every new mother needs.

By Calum's second year, I had fully realized just how useful breastfeeding could be. Nothing gets a child to sleep as quickly, relieves the boredom of a long car journey as well, or calms a breaking storm as swiftly as a little warm milk from mummy. It's the lazy mother's most useful parenting aid, and by now I thought I was using it to its maximum effect. But the Mongolians took it one step further.
During the Mongolian winters, I spent many afternoons in my friend Tsetsgee's yurt, escaping the bitter cold outside. It was enlightening to compare our different parenting techniques. Whenever a tussle over toys broke out between our two-year-olds, my first reaction would be to try to restore peace by distracting Calum with another toy while explaining the principle of sharing. But this took a while, and had a success rate of only about 50 percent. The other times, when Calum was unwilling to back down and his frustration escalated to near boiling point, I would pick him up and cradle him in my arms for a feed.

Tsetsgee had a different approach. At the first murmur of discord, she would lift her shirt and start waving her boobs around enthusiastically, calling out, "Come here, baby, look what mama's got for you!" Her son would look up from the toys to the bull's-eyes of his mother's breasts and invariably toddle over.

Success rate? 100 percent.

Not to be outdone, I adopted the same strategy. There we were, two mothers flapping our breasts like competing strippers trying to entice a client. If the grandparents were around, they'd get in on the act. The poor kids wouldn't know where to look - the reassuring fullness of their own mothers' breasts, granny's withered pancake boasting its long experience, or the strange mound of flesh granddad was squeezing up in breast envy. Try as I might, I can't picture a similar scene at a La Leche League meeting." source - check out the rest of the story, it's AWESOME.

"The Nyangatom tribe resides in Ethiopia’s Omo Valley.
They are known for  for their heavy (beautiful) necklaces.
Women wear the necklaces with long goatskin skirts.
Breastfeeding is celebrated, and given the culture’s attire, babies seem pretty happy about the easy access to their mother’s milk. :-)" source

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