A resource to inspire, inform and empower parents.

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…]

Kids Need To See Breastfeeding

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding in public

Breastfeeding in Public

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding in public

Every time someone says breastfeeding in public is indecent they make the world a little bit more dull. Breasts are for breastfeeding. Breasts are also beautiful and you can see a bit of side boob when breastfeeding so what is up everyone’s butt about this? Stop trying to control us, stop messing with our babies and stop sexualizing every last thing about us. Our bark is loud, but our bite is much worse. If you need a pep talk about nursing in public head over to The Badass Breastfeeding Podcast, we have a 3 part series to help you breastfeed in public with confidence!

Breastfeeding is Normal

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, breastfeeding in public, nursing in public

So here, let me explain something.

I think feet are gross. Like I really don’t like to look at feet. Summer comes and I’m all, “UGH, everyone is going to in sandals. Gross!” I really don’t care if you get pedicures or paint your toe nails a pretty color. I don’t like feet and I don’t want to see them.

So guess what? I look away. I simply turn my head and look away. I shut my mouth and don’t look.

I don’t say, “Hey! All you people need to wear boots all year long so that I don’t have to see your feet!” I don’t tell people that they can’t come outside with sandals on. I don’t tell people that they should hang out in dirty places and leave the clean places for only boot-wearing folks.

Get it? Breastfeeding is as normal as feet. If you don’t like it look away. You have no right to tell me to cover up or hide myself away. Shut your mouth and look away.

Breastfeeding, Breasts and Rules

Abby Theuring, The Badass Breastfeeder, tandem nursing

Rules. Man, I hate rules. Most rules are arbitrary; anchored in control and profit. Traffic rules that keep cars flowing and not hitting each other, fine, I get that. But there are some rules that we never question that are simply there to oppress and control people. Some of them are loved so dearly that we made them LAWS. Like laws regarding my nipples. In most places I can get a ticket or even arrested if my nipples are exposed! The “I” in this sentence is important because I am a female and if I were not I would not be able to write that sentence. If I were a male I would not have any laws regarding my nipples. I would not be able to find ANY laws regarding the control of my body. Well, you can piss off with your rules about my body! And what about these other rules that aren’t laws, but they are so ingrained in our culture that we don’t even need them to be laws because the citizens keep them alive through social norms? Like I need to wean my child at a certain age or I need to cover when breastfeeding in public. You can piss off with those too!

Photo by Ivette Ivens

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.