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24 March 2009

Breastfeeding, La Leche & The Coming Of Spring

This morning Gretchen & I went to a meeting with the La Leche League. My friend (who helped me through labour) brought her six month old son & we sat around on the floor in one woman's living room to talk about all kinds of baby issues -- not just breastfeeding related, but all sorts of things. We talked about diapering, postpartum depression, anxiety, supplementation and more. It was so great to be in a safe & welcoming environment to talk about issues like these -- it's really nice to hear stories from the other women who are experiencing the same sorts of problems and successes that I am.

There are so few truly positive all female spaces & so I am happy to have found this one. I know that some of the women aren't as comfortable with the idea of supplementation, but most are, and no one seems to climb up on their high horse at the mention of formula. As they talked about on Momversation a little while ago -- formula is not the "f word".

I realize I haven't been talking too much about how my breastfeeding journey is going lately -- I'm still experimenting with what works best for Gretchen & for myself. As of now, I am mostly breastfeeding, but if she is still hungry and doesn't seem fulfilled by the boob I feel completely comfortable topping her off with some formula. A satisfied baby is a happy baby. I love breastfeeding 90% of the time -- I love laying her down to sleep at the breast & it's so convenient at 3am to just roll over, pop out a nipple and let her drink her fill (which often results in me waking up several hours later in a cold puddle of milk because I haven't put myself away). The one thing that I love about either pumping milk or giving her some formula in a bottle is that I can measure it. There is something very nice about knowing exactly how much she is getting & being able to have that kind of peace of mind -- the OCD part of me really digs that.

There is a really good chance that I will stick with this routine that I have worked out so far. I am happy about the amount of breast milk that she is getting and I am happy that she will take a bottle of formula without a hitch. I really feel as though I don't have to chose one or the other and it's a shame when mamas are made to feel poorly for the choices that they make for their children about eating. It makes me really upset to see people being bashed for not breastfeeding, or being harassed about breast feeding for too long -- anyway you look at it, a mother who is providing nourishment for their child is a fabulous mother and it is only their business how they go about it.

I suppose I didn't meant to rant about this, but it can be touchy & I feel very strongly about women being able to make decisions freely without being judged and without having to feel ashamed.

Babies need nourishment & love -- as long as they have these things we need not worry about how, what or why.


After the meeting I walked through the park with Gretchen on our way home. It was such a nice walk -- a little brisk & very sunny.

Held close in my arms, safe & warm --

-- with the shadows of branches at my feet.

My beautiful little girl.

I think Spring is finally here.

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Blogger thewindhover said...

Thank you sharing your thoughts, your story... I cannot help but be inspired by your courage and perserverance.

March 25, 2009 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger Desiree Fawn said...

I'm very happy to be able to share stories like this -- thank you so much for reading.

March 26, 2009 at 12:20 AM  

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