It's always refreshing to find and connect with other hip nursing moms. It makes me oh-so happy to think that we all share a special little bond with one another. This being said, I am on a mission to find and bring to you, other fabulous, breastfeedin' and bloggin'-mamas.
Hi, I'm Megan from Boho Mama. I live in Portland, Oregon with my husband and our six month old twin daughters Ruthie and Afton, born last July. In the Fall of 2010, we gave up our lease, sold our stuff and took a 9 week trip to Europe. Our biggest souvenir? Shortly after we returned, we found out that I was having not one, but two babies! My life has slowed down a lot - I'm now a stay-at-home mama - but I'm learning that with babes, there is hardly a dull moment.
What were the top 2 reasons you decided to breastfeed?
My mom nursed all three of her babies, so for me it felt natural and normal. When I was pregnant, I was really nervous but excited about attempting to exclusively breastfeed the twins, so I read voraciously and talked to everyone I could. When the girls were born at just shy of 35 weeks, they were in the NICU for 16 days. I felt helpless, but the one thing that I could do was to start pumping around the clock. Fortunately, the NICU had brand new Medela Symphony pumps for the moms to use and the nursing staff was very encouraging. They came home on breastmilk and, despite many obstacles, we've never looked back. Plus, one milky-sweet smile looking up at you is precious, but two? Heartbreakingly sweet!
What's your breastfeeding "must-have" item?
I have a few items. In the beginning, Green Sprouts organic cotton nursing pads. Those were invaluable for the first few months when I was leaking everywhere. I also relied solely on nipple shields for about four months. One day, the girls decided they didn't need them anymore and just quit cold turkey. Oh, and books, especially Mothering Multiples by Karen Gromada, Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck, and Mother Food by Hilary Jacobson.
Have you found yourself sacrificing style in order to be able to dress "milk-friendly"?
Unfortunately, yes, but it's getting better! For me, 2011 was the year of gauchos and a comfy Old Navy maternity sweatshirt. At first, I was really uncomfortable with the new size of my chest and I hated how all my pre-pregnancy shirts looked. I'm getting more comfortable with it and feeling less self-conscious, and am optimistic for 2012!
Have you had any wardrobe malfunctions? If so, I'm sure there's a story, do tell!
My only real wardrobe malfunctions were due to leakage...so much leakage. I ended up with an oversupply problem and I was really full for most of the first four months. Any wrong movement or pressure, or a too-hot shower, would start the flow. Nipple shields are also incredibly messy. I was completely covered in milk until just recently.
What's the best advice you can give new breast feeding moms?
My advice is to set your breastfeeding goal and use positive language when you talk about it, whether it's to yourself or to others. Instead of saying, "I'd like to try and breastfeed, but we'll see" say "I am going to breastfeed." Then, when challenges come (because they will come), you are more emotionally and psychologically prepared to do battle. My other piece of advice is to get support from the very beginning. Talk to breastfeeding friends. Visit online forums, read books, find a local support group. See a lactation consultant if you are able. There are a lot of reasons for low supply and there are things you can do to help. Although breastfeeding is completely natural, it is not easy, especially at first. It's like a dance - toes get stepped on while you're learning, but it's a beautiful thing when it finally comes together.