Thursday, November 6, 2014

What's A Mommy To Do?



     As a mom who nursed each of my daughters for 18+ months, I found this cartoon hilarious:



     It's been a little over 4 years since I weaned my youngest, but I still remember well, the odd looks, and the whispers, directed my way as I struggled continuously to be modest and retain a tad of privacy for my baby and me.  This post is about that time, what I discovered, and I'll feature the links to all the goodies, if you are interested.  Many I think are a tad silly.  BUT THIS IS MOTHERHOOD.  So if there's a gadget that makes it a tad easier, or lifts your spirits; far be it for me to say squat.
    Let's face it, as for breastfeeding, the baby could not care less.  As long as they get what they want, pronto- when they want it- all is somewhat calm. 

That is not to say they are willing to be covered up while dining.  Oh no, not a chance.
   
     I remember most times of nursing in public, no matter what cover, no matter how fashionable the shawl, or whathaveyou, my child would yank it off or flip it up, exposing my breasts.  Yes, breasts. Because if you've ever nursed, you know, that no matter which side you think it's going to be, your child will not be satisfied till both breasts are fully exposed for their culinary grazing, flashing everyone that happens to pass.  Keep in mind, this was long before the current "Free The Nipple" campaign.
     In nursing, you keep journals.  You use safety pins, (the mnemonic device ends up being where you prick yourself) or whatever, to remember which side you left off with during the last feeding, and for how long you fed.  Today there's nursing bracelets.  Neat idea in theory.  I never heard of or used anything of the like during my breastfeeding time, (I gave up the notion of control) so I can't attest to their usefulness.  However, at $7 per bracelet, if one chose to color coordinate, that could become pricey.  Not to worry, if it hasn't already, the notion of coordinating anything, colors or otherwise, will soon pass.

     Before you have a child, you have no idea, the pressure a woman receives to breastfeed.  It's the natural way.  The way nature intended.  It's the best for everyone.   Even the president benefits from our breastfeeding.  Whatever.

     While you are in the hospital, awaiting to give birth, regardless if you're experiencing an epidural calm, or contractions that could close the Grand Canyon; you can add being felt up by total strangers
"Just checking dear, to see if your milk's come in."  Totally befuddling.  My eyes still roll thinking about that time.

If only I could get that attentive service today, anywhere; grocery store, department store; I'd be set.

     Add this to the looks you get from the public.

      I breastfed in Southern California, which, as you may or may not know, in addition to being one of the more liberal areas of the country, is in proximity to the adult film industry capital.

     I always felt the looks I received were an odd mix of pity and disgust.  Due to the fact, that I could never finagle the cover up.  Or who knows?  It might have been I didn't quite measure up, so to speak.  
Again, who knows?

So, while society tells women they should nurse; heaven forbid one ventures out into the great blue yonder, to ensure the best for our future generation.
 
     Things have gotten a little bit better for the moms of today.  May be there are just more shopping options.   Websites hoping to cash in on that special time, when a woman is so rat bastard tired that she's willing to buy anything and everything, that promises to bring a bit of sanity or peace to her life.

Take note:  most of these items will not be useful past 2 years. 

Face it, with most of this kind of stuff, you are so freakin' keen to be free of it, that once you can chuck it, you do.  

Then, you forget all about the first two years of your little bundle of joy's life, (mostly due to the start of that bundle of joy's terrible twos) and you long for that sweet first 24 months of a baby's life, with all those wonderful firsts.  You know, before they learn how to talk back. 

Thus siblings.  And the cycle repeats.  With each new addition to your family.  You'll end up spending a small fortune on nursing bras, tops, cover ups, the perfect binky, and *nursing pillows.  With each child you forget.  With each child you buy it all again.  The latest.  The products with the biggest promise of restoring order to what is now your daily chaotic reality.

     *A note about breastfeeding pillows.  Notice the beautifully coifed mommies and their smiling babies featured on this site.  THIS IS A SHAM.  And I'm not talking about the pretty ruffly kind.  Rarely will you be coifed in any manner other than pure exhaustion, plus remember, regardless of baby-THEY SPIT UP.  Not only on the Egyptian cotton of the $50+ nursing pillow, but also on your favorite silk blouse from Ann Taylor. 

Also, nursing enables you to discover muscles in your back that you never knew were there.  For this reason alone, I strongly recommend MyBrestFriend.  Be forewarned: to my knowledge the Brest Friend is the only nursing pillow that latches around you like a belt.  Thus, you may find, (as I did) that you end up wearing it for more than just nursing.  Not that you should.  Just as that one time automatic notion to coordinate, your sense of, well face it, pretty much anything, becomes... flexed.
      The nursing coverup market has expanded in the last few years.  I might have been able to stay covered if these were around when I was nursing.  Who knows, maybe they were and I just was suffering from mommy brain.

If you find yourself in the market these days, here's the latest in ways to attempt to retain some shred of modesty and privacy.

Udder Covers -On their site the title reads: "Udder Covers, for nursing mothers".  Glad they cleared that up.  Hate to think a dairy farmer might end up there by mistake.  Reminds me of a time when I was pumping, only to have my long weaned oldest say, "Mom, you look like a cow. "  Ah, HONESTY.  Children give it a whole new meaning.

Bebe au Lait- If you want that chic, European, je ne sais quoi feel.  Although if you're thinking of cafe au lait, "au lait" generally translates as, "with milk".  Still, "baby with milk" is I guess, the name of the game.  Needless to say you'll look tres chic, donning one of these.  If you took high school French you may even be compelled to spout out MON DIEU!  ZUT!  MERDE! or some other choice French phrase from time to time to complete the facade.  In addition to their own Bebe au Lait Nursing Covers, they also offer the nursing cover that "started it all":  HOOTER HIDERS.

Balboa Baby- With the coverage of the Balboa Nursing Covers, people may think you're up to a lot more than nursing a baby.  Still, when it's time, you may have enough fabric for a cute summer dress.

The Peanut Shell-  Again, a good amount of fabric to cover up everything; you, your baby, your other kids... only the Peanut Shell fabrics add a touch of Spandex to the mix.  Hmm.  May come in handy.
Then you can turn it into a cute summer dress; with Spandex.  It's slimming.

Toys R Us- Your one stop shop; where you can suit up for breastfeeding and shell out your nest egg for the never ending parade of toys that will clutter your house for next 20 years.

So have fun and good luck.  
Remember:
The #1 rule in motherhood is:  Don't ever lose your sense of humor.
The #2 rule in motherhood is:  If at all possible, get a good sense of self and confidence before you enter motherhood.   A child's honesty is brutal.


For more Parenting fun, check out these posts:

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What Nobody Tells You About Being A Parent



























Today's Toys: Kids' Dream; Parents' Nightmare