A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

U Boost is the First Breast Pump Booster to Help Moms Pump More Milk

Our names are Susan and Elizabeth and we have children whose ages are similar to the Badass Breastfeeder. We’ve watched her spread her messages for breastfeeding advocacy, which we’ve loved to support because we’ve had a parallel path – to revolutionize breastfeeding for new mothers through new technologies.

Over the past 6 years, we have worked hard with a dedicated team to develop new breastfeeding technologies that will help mothers achieve their personal feeding goals more effectively. Our new compression and vibration technology is rooted in scientific understanding of breast physiology, clinical data supporting the importance of hands on pumping and vibration as well as hundreds of hours of testing for a diverse group of volunteer testers. Our first product, U Boost, helps to increase your milk output. [Read more…]

When It Comes to Breastfeeding Everyone Has the Answer

I haven’t been totally honest with you. I haven’t been sharing my true breastfeeding journey for a while now. I was at first. I was all kinds of honest about how much breastfeeding drove me crazy, how nursing aversion set in and how I felt so touched out. I also shared the triumphs and the beauty. I still share that freely, but something has happened to my expression of the bad days.

I got so sick of hearing, “Well, time to wean!” And even the less obvious but still obnoxious, “You really need to listen to your body and it sounds like your body is telling you it’s time to end your nursing journey. But you have done so great, you should be proud!” Thanks, but I didn’t ask for your opinion and I don’t need your directive on how to feel much less on where I am in my breastfeeding journey.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding.

I got so sick of reading those comments and hearing those snide remarks from random people who I dared express a moment of frustration to. Why are we so weaning focused? It’s like as soon as we latch a baby on it’s all, “When are you going to wean? How long are you going to breastfeed?” Why can’t a person just breastfeed and see how it goes? Why do we have to know the end before the baby can even suck, swallow and breathe at the same time? [Read more…]

Breastfeeding Is Power

Breastfeeding began as the thing that brought me to my knees. It shook me to my new motherhood core. It pushed all of my buttons, buttons I didn’t know I had. It brought out anxiety, panic, fear, vulnerability and sadness. It didn’t work, it just wouldn’t work, no matter what I did. I felt like a failure, my body was letting me down and it was letting down the very person it was designed to care for. Then I got help and it began to work. It worked really well. I fought hard for it. And then I decided I would not stop until my boys were ready to stop. It gave me strength and power that I didn’t know I had in me. It has taught me about being a woman, being a mother, being strong when I feel weak, and power when I have nothing left to give.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding

Photo by Leslie at Tiny Bubbles Photography.

Breastfeeding in Public is a Human Right

You have 1 job as a parent and that is to take care of your children. You have the human and legal right to breastfeed whenever, wherever and however you see fit. You are not being disrespectful by not catering to other people’s random feelings of offense or queasiness from seeing a bit of side boob. How in the world could we possibly do that anyway when everyone has a different opinion about what we are supposed to be doing? No. It’s our job to worry about our children. It’s everyone else’s job to manage their feelings about that. Trust and believe I am managing my feelings all the time about things I see that I think are gross on the streets of Chicago.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding in public

Breastfeeding Family Support

Family support is vital to a breastfeeding relationship. It’s so important that without it breastfeeding can end early, before mom and baby feel ready. I have a supportive partner. He’s always listened to me about my breastfeeding goals and supported them even when our first son was getting older. “Extended breastfeeding” was a foreign concept to both of us at the time, but he stayed in the game when I stayed breastfeeding. As well as breastfeeding in public for the first time with a cover. I lasted 3 minutes with cover, it was such a pain. He just said, “Take it off.” Now it’s normal. Breastfeeding anywhere in the world at any age is totally normal in my family.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding Through Separation Anxiety

Exley is 3 years and 4 months old. He recently started a phase of separation anxiety with me. He has started to get upset when I take a shower, run to the store or just simply leave the room for a second. I return to find out he had a major meltdown that I had left or I can hear him start to cry and yell for me.

I see this is as a normal developmental stage. He is getting older and realizing that he and I are not connected at the breast. He’s becoming more aware of the world around him and is learning that I am a major provider of safety and security for him. The idea of separation between us is scary for him. 

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding through separation anxiety.

I deal with this by limiting my time away from him and having someone else run an errand if I can. I breastfeed him on demand. I reassure him that I will return and delay activities if needed. I invite him to other rooms with me, even the shower if he wants. I know that he will move through this stage more smoothly if I honor his feelings. I take his feelings seriously and try to be as gentle as possible.

Some people would say that I need to toughen him up; that I need to take this opportunity to teach him independence. Some people would say that I “baby” him and that he will grow up to have issues. (He actually just walked into the room as I am typing this!) Some people would say that I am doing too much and need to not “feed into” these feelings.

I call bullsh*t. He is tiny human who relies on me for keeping him safe in this world. No one would suggest that we ignore an adult’s feelings, so why are we so quick to ignore a child’s feelings? Ignoring a child’s feelings and forcing “independence” leads to adults that have no insight into their own feelings, no way of dealing with stress and increase the likelihood that they will act out or resort to drugs and alcohol. I’ve seen it as a social worker over and over.

I will not conform to disgusting social norms that push children away too soon, that don’t honor the feelings of child and adults equally and that suggest I’m damaging my child when the opposite has been proven time and time again. I will answer his cries always, I will breastfeed him until he is done and I will hold him close every time he needs me to. I know that this will lead a sense of security later in life, more emotional stability and more meaningful relationships with others.

***Edited to add that self care is a priority. This does not suggest giving up self care. This suggests seeing our children’s behavior as developmental rather than a burden and helping them through rough times.

Badass Breastfeeding

Mommin’ and nursin’ and bloggin’ and just generally badassin’.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding while working.

Breastfeeding While Sick

Exley was sick all day yesterday. It was so sad to see him throwing up, getting so thirsty and not be able to keep even a tiny sip of water down. He of course didn’t understand it when I tried to explain that he needed to give his stomach a rest. He was just so thirsty he wanted to drink the water! Then it just came back out. He didn’t breastfeed much yesterday. Today he is feeling better. Eating and drinking and nursing more. And having an impromptu boob nap. It is safe to breastfeed your child when they are sick (and when you are sick). Your breastmilk provides them important antibodies to fight the illness.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding son to sleep.

A New Definition of Breastfeeding While Babywearing

Breastfeeding while babywearing comes in more than 1 form.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding while babywearing

Breastfeeding Can Feel Old Then Fresh Again

Things get old. Sometimes going outside, making meals or playing the same old games feels old. Even breastfeeding feels old sometimes, like could you please just skip a feeding? But one thing that never feels old to me is sharing a bed with these boys. I never get tired of pulling them into my chest, smelling their heads and watching their sleeping faces. I don’t even get tired of a foot or butt in the face. It’s always a new adventure. Simply going to sleep with 2 small children is a new and unique adventure everyday. I never get tired of finding out what tonight will bring. At the end of the day it feels like such an accomplishment to see them sleeping. Healthy and safe in my bed. The house feels calm and it’s very quiet for the first time since before the sun came up. When the little one starts to stir and asks for “boobie” in the pitch dark, breastfeeding feels less heavy and old than it did earlier. A quiet night and sleeping children can freshen anything up.

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder's boys cosleeping, bed sharing.