This is Birdy. She doesn’t want her picture taken. She’s busy nursing. If you’ve got a baby and/or a social media account, you are probably aware that it’s International Breast Feeding Week.
That means your feeds are being flooded with photos of happy, milk drunk babies, boobies, women nursing in public, articles about how breast is best, and ads for stuff like nursing covers or breast pads. But for some mommies it’s not all sunshine and flowers, soaked breast pads and milk stains on your shirts. I’m one of those mommies that isn’t blessed with bursting, milky breasts. I have IGT (insufficient glandular tissue). For me, it means trying everything I can- seeing several Lactation Consultants, having the baby checked for lip and tongue ties, supplements, special foods, pumping like it’s going out of style, tons of skin to skin. Anything to try and increase my output of milk. I’ve tried so many things and gotten a lot of advice, mostly unsolicited. Some are common sense things (get some rest, drink more water), and some were kinda weird (Eat nothing but red meat and 100 oz. of water a day). I have spent so much time crying in pain and shame because society has made mothers like me and so many others into pariahs. Well, no more. This International Breastfeeding Week, I’m holding my head high. I’m sharing with others that I have IGT! I’m still a breastfeeding mom~ I still nurse Birdy (mostly for her comfort and bonding), I still pump (only a few ounces a day) and bottle fed her expressed milk, and I give her formula.
Recently, I was able to try a new bra that helped me. Not increase my supply, but made pumping easier, and helped me get every single drop I could into the bottles and not on me. When you don’t produce a lot of breast milk EVERY DROP COUNTS. I posted on FaceBook a few weeks ago, “Whomever said, “Don’t cry over spilled Milk”, has never pumped!”.
If you’ve never seen a typical pumping bra, well, it looks like a medieval torture device. The BeliBea bra is not at all like that. You can wear it as a nursing bra, or as a pumping bra. It’s got two sets of hooks, so there is no fiddling with it, trying to get your boobs out. BeliBea bras have a seamless stretch fit, plush-lined adjustable straps and a ribbed band to provide flexible support as well as a v-neck scoop and center ruching. I’ll save you the visual of a woman 8 weeks postpartum in a nursing bra selfie…
I will, however, show you what the bra looks like in it’s full pumping glory (on a mannequin, not on me.. I like you guys, but ya’ll don’t need to see mah boobs).
Having worn a lot of nursing bras, first with Lil’ Man and now with Birdy- this bra is super comfy.
If you aren’t a nursing mom, or a parent, and you see someone in public bottle feeding their child, before you give them the side eye, stop. There are a million reasons that child is eating from a bottle. Here are just a few:
- The baby was adopted. While there are medications women can take to make themselves lactate even though they have not given birth, they can be costly, and take months and months to go through the regimen of pills (and it isn’t always covered by insurance).
- The bottle has pumped breastmilk in it (That way Dad can feed the baby too!).
- The baby has allergies and cannot consume it’s mother’s breast milk.
- The bottle contains donor milk. Wet Nursing is the oldest profession, and even today there are women who over produce breast milk and donate it to help others who can’t make enough (or any at all).
- The mother has a medical condition such as IGT and cannot produce enough milk to feed the baby.
- The mother may be ill or undergoing a medical procedure which prevents her from breastfeeding.
As someone who has received the side eye (and worse) for bottle feeding my two babies in public, there is no worse feeling than dirty looks from others or receiving the “breast is best” lecture from complete strangers (especially those who aren’t even parents). As long as the baby is being fed and loved, it shouldn’t matter the source of the food!
All moms care for their babies the best they can- and that’s what we should be celebrating this week!
I received the BeliBea Nursing and pumping bra free of charge to facilitate my review. I was not monetarily compensated, and all opinions are my own.