Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lactivism and Sisterhood ...

So, I did my lactivist duty today.

A friend came over for just a tic to feed her baby ... who refused to nurse (too excited).

Since my friend was engorged ... and my manual pump is still put away in the shop ... and I KNOW how bad being engorged can hurt (also, I don't want ANYONE to have to suffer the pain that is Mastitis. It's BAAAAD. I know this for a fact.), I asked her if she needed to hand-express to relieve some engorgement.

She had never done that.

So Michael sent us to the back bathroom where I did a talk-through, demonstrating over my shirt ... and she's a FAST learner (not that I'd ever had any doubt of that).

She got to relieve some pressure and learn a new skill. I gave her some nursing pads for the ride home.
And everyone was happy.

It's nice to help someone learn a new skill. Especially one that can relieve a LOT of discomfort.

(I've had to hand express on occasion... even though it's been about four years ... It's good to know that I still recall some of my old mad breastfeeding skillz. Hand expression is AWESOME when you're engorged. Because if you're TOO engorged, your baby [or in my case, babies] can't form a good latch. Which leads to PAIN. ... The BEST place to hand express, in case you ever wondered, imho, is in the shower. The warm water and no fears of making a mess. Sinks are also good. But you have to massage the breast a little more first to encourage let-down.)

If you practice, you can get decently emptied. Not nearly as well as with a pump ... but decently. Enough to make you feel a LOT more comfortable.

And, seriously ... I LOVE that Michael just sent us to take care of things. It's so nice that I got a husband who supports my obsession with breastfeeding. (Now, yes, he DID think I was crazy at first for wanting to breastfeed for over a year ... but I think he's happy with how healthy and happy the kiddos are. That and he's behind the science supporting breastfeeding.)

Now ... hopefully, BabyGirl will have a good latch like her siblings. Then we'll be in business. ... Especially if I can remember how to get latched on and off in the ninja-like manner I perfected years ago.
(Cracked me up something fierce when I'd nurse and people would just think I had a sacked out baby on my lap. ... Until the kiddos got older and more distractable. But, hey, by then I could give them a solid-food snack and postpone a feeding until later. Which, occasionally, necessitated a hand-expression in the meanwhile.)

Ladies who've struggled with breastfeeding or who've chosen (whether by choice or necessity) to formula-feed ... Don't feel bad about it. As long as you love your child(ren) and are working to raise them with love and care, you're ALL all right by me.

But, hey, if you NEED someone to talk you through the basics of hand-expression ... I can do that.
One of the perks (heh ... since my rack is severely lacking some perkiness, it had to go SOMEWHERE, amirite? :P) of being a veteran breastfeeder.

Yeah, I just made a boob joke.
And, no, I'm not going to apologize. I'm pregnant, tired, and a lactivist. I also have been BURSTY since about the sixth grade or so. I accept that I have breasts. And, hey, FINALLY they really made themselves worthwhile. (I love saving around $30 every few days for a couple years. I hope I get that opportunity again. Because I love the cuddles, the less-aromatic diapers, and the money. Money, money, money ... money with which I could buy or rent an electric pump. Or BOOKS. Or new shoes. ... And not having to get out of bed in the middle of the night to mix up formula? That's awesome. Just sayin'.)
Though Michael would argue that my chesticicles are worthwhile ALL of the time. (Glad he likes them. Even though they've ruined my childhood dreams of being an Olympic Gymnast. I've dealt with that, though. :P)

Okay ... that's it. I'm rambling now. Good night, everyone!


Bex said...

When/how did you wean your twins? Did you cosleep? I'm struggling with getting my 20 month old off the boob and out of my bed before we start trying for another :(

Allanna said...

Checking my records, the last date that I have for nursing Bruise and Bucket was September 2007 ... which made them just shy of 21 months.

It was a gradual process. Eventually, it got down to just the morning and the nighttime feedings ... and we cut out the morning ... and eventually the just-before-bedtime feed came to an end.

We didn't really co-sleep. I knew that I had coslept with my parents when I was little ... and I also remembered HOW DANG LONG it took to get me to sleep in my own bed.
So ... I wasn't such a fan of that. (That and I don't sleep as deeply when I have a child next to me. So it's pretty selfish of me. Oh well).

Michael was pretty good about bringing Bruise and Bucket into bed. If he wasn't too tired, after a feeding (IF we were still awake. BIG IF), he'd take the kiddo back to the crib. Bucket was sleeping through the night earlier (around 5 months-ish, I think? It's been a while) ... so she was in the crib all night by that point. Bruise took about 6-7 months to give up those middle-of-the-night nursing sessions. Then we were able to ALL sleep through the night.

Also, another reason we did NOT plan on having a family bed: Four people:1 Queen-sized mattress = Michael having to sleep either ON THE EDGE of the bed or on the couch, depending on how we were situated.
I wasn't about to ask that of him on a regular basis. I like cuddling with him too much.
That and, without a washer in the apartment, I would rather just change the LITTLE crib sheets when there's a leak. Since I'm lazy.

Good luck!
I know that La Leche League has a book on weaning. I thought that I might need to invest in it ... somehow we didn't. It was just to the point where I was ready to have my breasts be my own again.

Do I miss nursing the kidlets? Yes, especially when they're sick. Thankfully, that's not often.
And I got PRETTY CLOSE to my goal of nursing them for two years. (I almost thought three ... Nah. We were ready before then.)

Again, good luck!! And hope you have an easy time conceiving this next one! ^_^

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