"If we hope to create a non-violent world where respect and kindness replace fear and hatred, we must begin with how we treat each other at the begining of life. For that is where our deepest patterns are set. From these roots grow fear and alienation or love and trust."
Suzanne Arms

Monday, August 9, 2010

World Breastfeeding Week

OK so I know I have been MIA (super busy summer here).  And of course I am behind on breastfeeding week too (which was this past week) but in honor of the occasion I put my breastfeeding stats on facebook and figured I may as well blog about them too!

 Me nursing 13mo old Thrace in Yellowstone, June 2010

OK, so here are my Breastfeeding Stats . . . . 
  • I started nursing with my first child in 2000
  • I have been nursing for almost 10 years non-stop
  • I have been tandem nursing (nursing 2) for over 8 years non-stop
  • I have nursed through 4 pregnancies
  • I have tandem nursed through 3 pregnancies
  • I have nursed 3 kids for a total of a year (6mo after #3 was born, 6mo after #4 was born)
  • I have nursed a child to sleep every night for almost 10 yrs straight (and almost every day for nap)
  • I have nursed 2 kids to sleep (for bed and nap) for 8 yrs straight
  • So far, my 3 kids who have weaned did so at 4.6, 5, and 4.8 yrs old
  • I am currently nursing my 1 and 3 yr old (to bed and for nap ;0)
  • I started pumping to donate milk after #4 and 5 and have pumped 1000's of oz
  • All of my kids nursed exclusively for a min of 6mo (till they insisted on eating table food)
  • None of my kids has ever had a drop of formula 
  • None of my kids has ever had a bottle, not even of expressed milk (nor a paci)
  • And I am very grateful that I, or my babies, have never had any 'issues' or problems nursing, other than the occasional 'episode' of mastitis, ugh.
So I suppose all of this makes me 'special' or some amazing person right?  Uh no!! LOL!!  There is nothing amazing or special about me.  I just do what I have to do and what I feel is best.  What is amazing and special is the fact that God created our bodies so wonderfully and perfectly!  That we can make the most perfect food for our babies!  That breastfeeding has a host of benefits not just for baby but for mom too!

I happen to feel very strongly about nursing, and I also happen to be pretty stubborn and determined and idealistic about some things too.  No it is not always easy (especially when you are 9mo pg nursing a toddler and just barely being able to tolerate it) but I am just so convinced that allowing them to nurse as long as they need to is not only the most natural choice, but it is also so beneficial to them, that any 'issues' I may have are simply minor inconveniences and I can suck it up and deal with it (even if it means I spend over an hour every night nursing kids to sleep, LOL).  It becomes normal, it becomes natural and it is like second nature.

It is life with little ones and I wouldn't change a thing!


  1. Do you mean 2000? You said your nursed your first child in 2010 lol

    I love that you have nursed for so long! You must have awesome support :D How did you avoid giving bottles though? DS didnt have a bottle until 6 months old and then he just wanted sippy cups. If you needed to go out with the baby, how did you handle it?

    I wanted to never give DS a bottle but things came up with his severe allergies and my goal had to change for a week :/

  2. So, do you mind a question?

    How much do you eat? You seem like a rather small sized like me when I met you at IBWC in Rigby. I'm only nursing one 15 month old and feel like I'm eating all the time and I'm waaaay underweight and it's a little scary. I don't want to stop breastfeeding but it isn't healthy anymore to weigh this little. I don't know if my body can handle being pregnant and tandem nursing but I want to be able to do it if my kids need me. Any advice? Do you have similar problems?

  3. LOL Ashley, yes it was 2000, in my defense it was like 3am when I typed that ;0)

    Not nursing was never an option, though when I was younger I figured I would nurse till they got teeth then stop, LOL!! Once I realized the benefits of nursing longer and I knew how natural it was, then letting them nurse till they weaned just made sense (I came to this conclusion before having kids). Thankfully none of them weaned when I was pg (which would have made me feel horribly guilty). I have gotten flack from some people, even family members at first, but I tend to just ignore it as I feel confident in my decisions. Dh isn't an advocate of stuff like I am (he is much more quiet about it) but he trusts me completely and supports whatever it is I feel strongly about, and it just makes sense to him too.

    I go out with babies ALL the time, I just nurse them wherever I am (which is much easier if you have a good carrier and can nurse hands free). I think the first time I nursed in public was when my first child was 3 days old in Walmart, LOL!! I don't leave my babies with family (including just dh) till they are older and OK to be without me for a short time (I don't leave them in the nursery at church or anything like that either) and that doesn't usually happen till they are closer to 2 and I am usually pregnant with their sibling at the time (I usually get a couple months to go out with dh alone before another baby comes).
    If for some reason, something came up and I couldn't nurse but HAD to give a bottle of expressed milk then I would, but that has just never happened thankfully . . . it would be a last resort ya know. I just prefer them to get it straight from the source if at all possible ;0) I didn't even own a bottle for years before I started pumping for friends.

  4. Mandy,
    I probably don't eat as much as I should, just because I get busy. I am not underweight (after the last 2 babies the weight took longer to come off) but I think I am blessed with being able to eat pretty much what I want, and I LOVE food (though now at 35, I really do need to start exercising, because I see the weight accumulating in places it didn't used to, LOL).

    I think a lot of it is genetic. How do you feel? Do you feel run down and unhealthy or do you feel good? Have you always been skinny? Could it be something other than nursing causing you to loose weight? (have you been tested for other 'issues'). When you are pregnant and nursing, at some point your body puts all it's efforts into the baby that is growing, so usually your milk supply will decrease drastically or even dry up completely. This is in part why some kids wean during pregnancy (and why I am glad mine didn't, because I wouldn't want them to wean prematurely because I was pg). So your body should grow your baby just fine even if you are nursing. I would focus on just making sure I was eating plenty of good healthy food.
    I have always had a lack of energy but I have been supplementing with chlorophyll lately and it is really helping. I think I am slightly anemic. Feel free to e-mail me if you want kelley@kozycarrier.com

  5. Thank you for wanting to help me out! I will send you an e-mail :>

  6. Wow!
    You are a strong mom!

  7. I'm glad everytime I see a woman proudly breastfeeding and being an advocate for the cause. It's sad that you have to have advocates to do what god made you to do, but we do now a days.
    Thank you for being an advocate and a wonderful example of what is possible when you believe in yourself and your convictions.

  8. It may be the nature and the natural way but still think that you're a very strong woman and a great mom!!
    just discovered your blog and loved it!
    what your are doing as a family seems really cozy ha :)



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