Did I ever mention that on one of the eight cross-country plane trips we took before our triplets turned two years old, I once tandem nursed two babies and then, rotated in the third, during take-off while wedged next to a business man in coach class?
The babies were crying because it was around nap time, they were hungry, the change in cabin pressure was hurting their little ears and traveling cross-country in a full plane can be a real drag. Although I did have Podee Bottles with me, I have always believed that nothing calms a fussy baby down like bringing them to the breast.
So, that's what I did.
Right there in coach.
While seated next to a man dressed in his fancy pinstriped business suit.
He was a good sport about it, although he definitely gave me a shocked look and exclaimed "I've never seen anything like this in my entire life!"
And I replied, "I doubt you ever will again. Bud, this is your lucky day!"
When I tell people that story, they probably imagine that I'm sitting half naked in my small coach seat, with two babies voraciously suckling. In truth, I have always tried to be a very discreet nurser. I don't pull the girls out for all the world to see. But, I'm not - nor ever (never?) have been - nervous or embarrassed to feed my babies wherever and whenever necessary.
Why should I be ashamed?
Isn't nursing a baby the very reason I sprouted this ... equipment ... on my chest?
Breastfeeding our triplets was one experience. I've already written about that, here. Nursing a singleton is totally different and more convenient than I expected. I'm always on the go with our children. We visit various parks, the YMCA, the Zoo, church, SeaWorld, restaurants, the grocery store and Target at least once a week. And during those outings, you can almost always find my little baby Henry, strapped in to the Bjorn and contentedly nursing. I like to think of myself as employing "Mother Nature's Podee Bottles."
Although I could have invested in a hooter hider, or some other type of modest nursing cover-up or blanket clip, I don't like to fuss with too much gear. Besides, I find that whenever I drape something, like a blanket, over Henry's head, he breaks out in a profuse sweat.
Therefore, I just wear clothes that allow me to nurse my baby so that he is comfortable and I am inconspicuous. The top part of my "uniform" consists of a stretchy tank top camisole with built in bra. My absolute favorite camisoles are those made by North Face. I have one in every color and three in black.
I'll wear a camisole as my first layer and a comfortable shirt as a second.
When I need to nurse, I just pull up my shirt and pull down the camisole, exposing the tiniest amount of skin (aka: nipple) for the baby.
And this is the million dollar view that I receive.
I made the decision to nurse Henry because I've always wanted to exclusively breastfeed a baby. I believe that "Breast is Best" although formula does a fine job growing up a baby, too - and because it takes longer to digest, will probably insure that the baby sleeps through the night at an earlier age. Even though Henry is a whopping 20 pounds at almost 5 months, he still has yet to sleep through the night ... unlike our triplets who at the same age, were sleeping 12 hours when they were on a regimented schedule that involved formula supplementation.
The lack of sleep that accompanies nursing, might be considered a downside for some people. But, the fact that my infant son has been a little vacuum sucking all of my pregnancy fat out of me, more than offsets any disturbance to my slumber.
Aside from that, I love that I can pull Henry in close and feed him whenever he needs to be fed. I love that I can nurse him at night in bed, while I lightly doze. I love that I can feed him on the go and don't ever have to worry about preparing or cleaning bottles. There is something primal and awesome about pulling a baby in close and have them receive nutrition from your body. I can't put in to words, but it is the most beautiful bonding I've ever experienced.
I'm not much of an activist, probably because not much riles me up. Then again, I'm largely oblivious to what is going on in the world. But last night, I came across a blog that has really ruffled my maternal feathers.
Breastfeeding is a natural and beautiful thing.
So, I'm at a complete loss why this video montage showing images of mother's breastfeeding their babies was banned from FaceBook. It wasn't flagged as inappropriate, like so many videos are based on questionable content. It was BANNED. From FaceBook.
This is not a video depicting scantily clad women performing some perverted sexual act, like so many videos on these websites, are. It's a video of women feeding their babies. Which, I think ... might be something that women have done for as long as women have existed? Please do correct me if I'm wrong ... but I don't think Similac was around in Biblical times.
Or, Nestle Good Start?
I supplemented our triplets with formula. I do not think it is a bad thing. I've written before that it is not as important what you feed your baby as how you feed your baby. But, I am really infuriated with the public demonization of women who choose to feed their baby the way nature intended.
I want to expound on the many advantages of breastfeeding. Of course the most obvious are that it is good for baby and for mom. And those breast pads that are so useful for a lactating mother to stop the artesian gush in the early months have a plethora of uses.
Here are just a few...
OY VEY!! A yarmulke!!
More absorbent than Bounty and more environmentally friendly, too!
Can't find an oven mit? Reach for a BP!
You've heard of the Pee-Pee Teepee? A breast pad works just as well, if not better!
A coaster, maybe?
A bib, perhaps?
Use two as ear muffs to keep a youngster warm or muffle a mother yelling at her three-year old to leave their poopy diaper on!!
Once I can figure out how to affix one to my car antenna, I'm going to hoist one high. Because I think a breast pad fluttering in the breeze, would also make a great flag to draw awareness to the censorship and negative stigma that surrounds breastfeeding mothers and their babies.
I'm not quite sure how breastfeeding a baby in public is on par with masturbating in an Apple Bees restaurant, but it was that idiotic statement made by the boob Bill Maher, that made me realize I may not be much of an activist, but I am a die-hard lactivist.
And I am proud.
*Did anyone notice the five rings in the first picture? I had to point that out to Charlie. Get it?? It's a breastfeeding OLYMPIAD.*