A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

Traumatic Start To Breastfeeding – An Insider Perspective

By Autumn Smith

I got pregnant unexpectedly at the age of 21. I was working as a nurse aide in the hospital when I discovered I was pregnant. The hospital actually “let me go” since I couldn’t “meet the job description.” Essentially I had a note from my OB saying I shouldn’t lift over 50lbs. My job involved lifting and transferring patients all day. I was given the opportunity to apply internally for another position within the system. I ended up working as a clinical assistant in the NICU. What an eye opener to an entirely different world. I loved my job there. It gave me the chance to learn the true reality of motherhood in a different light along with breastfeeding. [Read more…]

The Realities of Breastfeeding

Gina Brocker is a documentary photographer based in Boston. Her photo essay, Latched On, depicts the realities of breastfeeding in our modern culture. It has just been published in Time and Globe and Mail.

Gina Brocker writes, “With my ten-month-old son strapped onto my front and camera in hand, I squeezed into Monica’s SUV. I began to document her feeding her sixteen-month-old daughter following the regular afternoon pick up of her older daughter. Marlin was snug in her lap nursing, while three-year-old Simona climbed to the front of the car to see what other entertainment she could find. Kids songs played on the speakers and the cracked windows let just enough breeze in. They were parked outside the Arnold Arboretum, in Boston, hoping to take advantage of the spring weather.” 
Gine Brocker Lacthed On
“As I sit here multi tasking at afternoon pick up with the older sister occupied and Marlin happily suckling in my lap I realize that breastfeeding isn’t always “beautiful”in the aesthetic sense. What I love about it is the raw immediacy. A procrastinator and unplanner by nature, breastfeeding fits my lifestyle perfectly. Nothing to remember, nothing to clean just my ladies and my baby. It’s not uncommon for me to have Marlin in the wrap or sling feeding while playing with big Sister Simona at a playground or while running errands. Breastfeeding provides me with that sort of freedom and also empowerment. I don’t think it was by mistake that God designed our bodies to be sufficient. When all is stripped away I am still enough for my babies and that is powerful. That feeling of empowerment is what continues to propel me through the unknowns & trials of parenthood with confidence.”
– Monica, Canton, Massachusetts
Gina Brocker Lacthed On
Gina Brocker Lacthed On
Gina Brocker Lacthed On
 
Breastfeeding is a choice and commitment. With its many rewards, comes challenges and sacrifices. Physical pain, being constantly on call and the unbalanced caregiving between you and your partner to name a few. Battling outside criticism and judgment is often another hurdle families have to face. Often mothers feel pressured from their own families to stop breastfeeding once their baby gets to a certain age. Partners have suggested that it’s inappropriate to nurse in certain public settings. One mother had laughing teenage boys photograph her while breastfeeding on public transportation. 
Gina Brocker Lacthed On
Gina Brocker Latched On
Gina Brocker Latched On
 
According to the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, in the US, 81.1% percent of babies are breastfeed and 51.8% of them make it to six months. Of this 51.8%, roughly one-fourth are exclusively breastfed, meaning no formula was used. Throughout the rest of the world, an average of 43% of babies are exclusively breasted until sixth months of age. This past Spring, the US opposed a resolution to encourage breastfeeding in Geneva for the United Nations-affiliated World Health Assembly. A stark contrast to the Obama administration which supported the World Health Organization’s longstanding policy of encouraging breastfeeding. A 2016 study in The Lancet found that universal breastfeeding would prevent 800,000 child deaths a year globally, save $300 billion in health care cost and improve economic outcomes for those raised on breast milk.  
Gina Brocker Latch On
Gina Brocker Latched On
Gina Brocker Latched On
After personally navigating uncomfortable and challenging situations, the need to share the realities of breastfeeding led me to begin this project. Usually worn in a wrap, and often nursing, my son, and later, daughter, and I ventured into over 50 Boston-based families’ homes and lives to document their typical breastfeeding routines. Hearing from the various caregivers reaffirmed how crucial sharing their experience is. Knowing the realities of breastfeeding empowers families and normalizes this very natural and beneficial part of life. You can follow Gina Brocker’s entire project at her website

What To Do If You Feel “Touched Out” While Breastfeeding

By Wendy Wisner, IBCLC

When my nurslings were older babies—and especially when they were toddlers—I remember feeling at times like the physical closeness of breastfeeding was just about the last thing I could tolerate. After a long day of mothering, breastfeeding even made me want to jump out of my skin at times. I felt restless, irritated, and like if my babe stayed latched on for one more second, I was going to lose it. [Read more…]

This Is How Co-Sleeping Can Support Breastfeeding – And How You Can Do It Safely

By Wendy Wisner, IBCLC

One of the things that surprised me most about breastfeeding was just how frequently my baby wanted to do it. I was told that babies needed to nurse every 2-3 hours, and would sleep a longer stretch at night. But that was not my experience at all.

[Read more…]

Exclusive Pumping Part 3 – Perspectives

Like everyone, when I had a baby, my life completely changed. And because I had spent two hours a day tied to a breast pump since my baby’s birth, being a mother and an exclusive pumper became very intertwined for me. Exclusive pumping was a big part of my identity. Because of this, it was really important to me that I was successful. This meant (after my supply snafu early on, when I would skip pumping sessions more than I should have) being a bit obsessive about getting my pumping sessions in.

[Read more…]

Exclusive Pumping Part 2 – The First Year

The Routine Early On

When I started exclusively pumping, I pumped whenever my baby ate. My routine was that I would bottle feed him, and then I’d put him on my lap and hook myself up to pump. He would fall asleep there with the pump motor apparently functioning as a lullaby. (Maybe the Medela Freestyle sounds like the inside of a uterus. Who knows?) When I was finished pumping, he’d be conked out enough that I could move him to his bassinet for the rest of his nap. [Read more…]

8 Reasons to Wean, NOT!

If you are a breastfeeder you have most definitely heard at least one of these. I am not here to tell you when to wean, but I am certainly here to tell you when not to wean. Breastfeeding is hard and days can be difficult to get through. Weaning often crosses our minds because we think life will be easier without it. But many of us don’t want to wean. I made a list of terrible reasons to wean! They all come with links to whole episodes from The Badass Breastfeeding Podcast that I cohost with Dianne Cassidy, IBCLC. The podcast is dedicated to correcting the bad information floating around out there.

You can find almost 50 episodes of information that you need. Podcast for Apple / Podcast for Android [Read more…]

Breastfeeding Through Harassment

By Badass Roni

Badass Roni tandem breastfeeding, extended breastfeeding

My photo of me proudly tandem nursing my babies was shared a couple times yesterday. But only this account [an account on Instagram not named here] got me receiving rude comments. At first I was hot with anger (“who the f*ck are they to write anything about my kid’s age?”) and why do people have to say anything negative in general? I’ve literally never left a rude, off comment on anyone’s page ever. I keep it moving when I see something I don’t agree with.

[Read more…]

My Birthday Breastfeeding Story

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, tandem breastfeeding

I have made various posts lately asking you all to share how long you have been nursing. Even I get surprised at how many of us are nursing toddlers and small children. [Read more…]

They’re Male Nipples, I Swear

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder with male nipples

I have been reviewing Facebook and Instagram’s policies on nipples and my head feels like it’s going to explode. I have never seen anything picked apart so much in my life! My nipples are sore from all the regulation. [Read more…]