A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

Breastfeeding and Boobs

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding in public

They are just boobs. Boobs in all their glory. Boobs are so awesome people just don’t even know it. They have so many uses. They are incredible! So then why is it that people freak out at the sight of a breastfeeding mother? Even go to such lengths to shield their children’s eyes! Yet we walk around the mall and flip through magazines with magnificent boobs on display and no one blinks.

My theory is that breasts have become so fetishized (as means of controlling women and our bodies) that when people see breastfeeding they see it as a sexual act. And therefore are repulsed by it.

The more we breastfeed in public and the more we question the insanity and the more we confront the dysfunction of society the better chance we have of our children and grandchildren growing up in a saner world.

Comparing Breastfeeding Experiences

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, tandem nursing, tandem breastfeeding

I’m sure you’ve heard about not comparing your child to another child. Every child develops differently and there is no way you can judge your baby’s development based on someone else’s baby.

So why do we do the same thing to ourselves? I have a friend who told me that breastfeeding was no problem for her at all. She never had any struggles and breastfed both of her children until they stopped on their own. It used to make me feel jealous and defensive to hear her talk about breastfeeding.

Then I realized that my journey is just as awesome. It’s different than hers. And it’s different than any other mother’s journey. It has been a roller coaster of emotions and problems from kicking formula supplements, to nursing aversion, to tandem feeding and breastfeeding while pregnant. I don’t see my breastfeeding journey with my boys as “problem free.” And I am proud of that now rather than jealous of others.

I have a unique story with my boys. We all do. No one’s story is more valuable than any other’s. This is one beautiful, crazy, messy life that I am proud to call my own and to share with my boys every day. 

Breastfeeding Feedback

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding advocate

It’s worn out now, but this shirt used to say, “Human. Kind. Be both.” I think this is a good motto when going about life. I often see comments under breastfeeding posts (especially when the child is beyond infancy) that it’s “disgusting,” “ridiculous” or “inappropriate.” Listen up, these statements are subjective at best and totally insulting. You don’t get to hide behind “Well that’s just my opinion.” It’s not an opinion, it’s an insult. And you can take your insults and shove them. You are welcome to ask questions, we love to answer them and share our experiences. We are moms making decisions for our families just like you. It might not look the same as yours, but that doesn’t matter. And you should be capable of understanding that you are not in charge of anyone’s life but your own. We’ve got this. We promise.

 

Breastfeeding Ends, No Need to Rush It

My husband caught this slice of life today at the indoor festival. My littlest son was tired and overwhelmed. He asked to nurse so we sat and had a snack while he had mommy time and dozed off for a nap. My biggest son gave the hot dog a thumbs up. Just a couple years ago my biggest would have done the same thing, sought me out to nurse for comfort. But now he, like all the kids, has adjusted and finds comfort in other ways, like a hot dog or hug or just sitting and resting with the family. He is beautiful living proof that they all stop breastfeeding eventually, that breastfeeding beyond infancy does not cause bad habits or psychological harm and that even if left to breastfeed until they themselves decide to stop it will all happen sooner than you think and go by in a flash. And when the comes it will resemble a punch to the throat. Hold them close, badasses, there’s no need to rush it.

The Badass Breastfeeder, Abby Theuring, breastfeeding in public

Breastfeeding and the Holidays

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding

The holiday season is upon us! This means breastfeeding around extended family. It’s a positive experience for some people. For some people it’s downright awful.

Let me tell you that you are not required to change anything about your parenting choices when you are around others. It doesn’t matter who it is or where you are. Even someone else’s house. You are not required to leave the room to breastfeed unless you find this helpful such as moving to a quiet area so baby is not distracted. You are not required to move to make others comfortable. You are not required to cover yourself to make others comfortable. You not required to provide anyone with an explanation about how long you plan to breastfeed, why you feel the need to do it in the open or any other questions that makes you feel put on the spot. If you want to engage family in conversations about why these decision are good for your family then by all means, it can be a teaching moment. However, if you want to keep it simple, “I’m comfortable here, thank you,” “This works for us,” “We’re happy, thank you for asking,” and other non-engaging responses are perfectly acceptable. You do not have to try to please anyone. You know are right. Happy Holidays.

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.

Unsolicited Breastfeeding Advice

When people criticize, give unsolicited advice, insult or claim they are offended by breastfeeding, breastfeeding beyond infancy, tandem breastfeeding or any other decision you are making about your own family you can simply ignore them. People can say whatever they want and it never has to affect your personal choices. Go ahead and waste your time being offended. I’ll be over here living my own life.Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, tandem breastfeeding

10 Things I Hate About Breastfeeding

It’s Breastfeeding Awareness Month 2017 baby! And I am here to rant about things I cannot stand about breastfeeding! Why? Because this is hard. Breastfeeding is really hard! It’s magical and empowering and all that stuff but I need all you new parents and parents struggling right now to know that you will not like everything about breastfeeding. And that’s OK! We do a disservice to each other when we wash over the negative feelings that breastfeeding can bring us. We can find comfort and community in the tough things that we deal with just like with any other journey in life. It’s the secret to our success. So let’s get to it. 10 things I hate about breastfeeding!

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