So if you’re caught up to date with my blog, you know that I’ve been slowly meeting with women and discussing their views on motherhood. Well, I wanted to focus a little bit more on FEEDING and how us mommas feed our babies. It’s one of those things where EVERYONE, mother or not, seems to have some kind of opinion on how babies should be fed and what’s best and blah blah BLAH. I thought, hmm. What better way to learn a little bit more about feeding babies than to listen & photograph a handful of mommas, all of whom feed their babies differently. I asked each momma the same questions and sat with them and talked while they fed their baby with intentions of showing what it’s like – no glitz & glam – to feed a baby.
The first momma I’d like to share with you is BRIT and her daughter IRIS. She and I became friends through another local momma and she’s volunteered to share a little bit about her journey with breastfeeding and why she nourishes Iris that way. If you’re a little uncomfortable with breastfeeding images, watch out when you’re scrolling. I came over to Brit’s house with my son, Forest (who’s “friends” with her little dude, Wyatt) for these photos and experienced what it’s like being around a nursing momma. My son was also breastfed with an occasional bottle of formula and pumping here and there – Let me tell you what – when your baby needs to eat, sometimes you’re just gonna whip out the boob and give baby what they need. Follow along for her story and some adorable feeding photos.
TELL ME A LITTLE ABOUT HOW YOU FEED YOUR BABY
Feeding my second baby has been a new journey for me. I didn’t get to directly breastfeed my first, so while I knew what to do with my supply, it was a learning curve getting comfortable with feeding her. While we were fortunate to not have latch issues (or supply issues) comfort and positioning were a whole other ballgame. That boppy pillow I never thought I’d use? It’s my best friend at home, but on the go? That was harder to figure out. It took me about 2 months to really figure out when, where, and how we were both most comfortable with our feedings. Today, our family took a walk and I was comfortable enough to feed her on the go. I felt like a champ all over again.
IS THIS THE WAY YOU HAD IMAGINED FEEDING YOUR BABY? TELL ME WHAT THAT LOOKED LIKE
Honestly, yes. It’s been a dream. While Iris isn’t able to empty me and usually doesn’t have to change sides, this is what I wanted with my first. I didn’t understand when people who breastfed said they developed a bond with their baby over it. Now I get it, because when she’s eating and she looks up and smiles at me, it’s the most heartbreaking and heartwarming thing I’ve ever experienced.
HOW DID YOU HAPPEN TO SETTLE ON THIS METHOD OF FEEDING
I always wanted to breastfeed. First of all, let’s be real, it’s cheaper than formula. I liked the idea of not having to spend a ton of money on something that I could (conceivably) make myself. After having my first I knew supply wouldn’t be an issue, so I hoped with Iris I would be able to do both bottle and breast. Well, she only takes the breast – not interested in the bottle. This makes having anyone else feed her nearly impossible* but I’m happy I’ve been able to experience this.
*She will SOMETIMES take a bottle from Grandma or Daddy, but it’s rare.
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS ON INFANT FEEDING BEFORE YOU BECAME A MOTHER?
I’ve always been a “to each their own” kind of girl. I never want(ed) to put restrictions on myself or others. There is no “right way” to feed your baby. The important thing is your baby is fed and you are both feeling loved and cared for by those around you. Being a new mother is hard enough, let alone all the pressures we put on ourselves and each other. There is no room for judgment in how you choose to feed your kids, in my opinion.
HOW HAS FEEDING YOUR BABY THIS WAY MADE YOU A BETTER PERSON?
I think it’s made me the mother I need to be for Iris. I didn’t ever want to force one thing or another on my babies and that includes my boobs. When my first didn’t want any part of the breast, I didn’t “try to make it work” because he was perfectly fine with drinking breastmilk from the bottle and I was perfectly fine with pumping. Was it what I envisioned? No, but it worked and it didn’t create extra stress for me or my baby. I got news for you mama, MANY things from here on out are not going to go as planned. Try not to stress yourself out by building things up in your head about the way things “should be”. “The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” For both you and babies sakes, go with the flow as much as you can.
WHAT TYPES OF COMMENTS (GOOD AND BAD) HAVE LEFT AN IMPRESSION ON YOU?
Honestly – I shrug a lot of stuff off. Good and Bad. It’s probably not a good trait, but I learn best by experiencing things for myself. And I learned a long time ago not to let the opinions of others influence me. It’s not what I’m about. I’ll always listen to advice and sometimes I keep it in mind, but sometimes I forget. I get wrapped up in the moment. Maybe it’s ignorant, but I’ve faired pretty well so far.
WHAT KIND OF ROLE HAS YOUR PARTNER PLAYED IN FEEDING YOUR BABY?
My husband was bummed when our second only wanted the breast. He was amazing with our first and would get up with him at night for feedings, even though he woke early for work. But he still gets up with me at night and gets me water, or the pillow, or just makes sure I’m comfortable. Sometimes if I need to pump he stays up just to hold her. It’s been a real blessing.
ANY ADVICE FOR FUTURE MOMMAS?
Do YOU. Ask for help when you need it. Acknowledge your feelings, good and bad. TALK about it. Talk THROUGH it. Find a safe space and try not to be afraid. You’re never as alone as you think you are.