As we "graduate" the first class of Bravado bloggers I am taken not only by what we have accomplished in terms of sharing our experiences and voices – but also how much we have all evolved since last year. When I first pitched the idea of the Breastfeeding Diaries, I proposed that it would chronicle the ins and outs of motherhood through the lens of breastfeeding. I wanted to incorporate my personal experience, as a mother whose thoughts about and goals for breastfeeding changed as my relationship with my daughter grew and also my voice as an editor who has, written so much about and within the breastfeeding space.
With her baby due any day now, April is equal parts excited and nervous. She’s amazed by the life growing inside her (especially how the pregnancy seems to have taken over her body) and can’t wait for the arrival of her new baby boy. At the same time, the job of parenting sometimes feels very daunting.
Get to know April better: read her Q&A!
I’ve been taking some time to look back over the last 9 months since having my baby and to be honest; those first days are already kind of hazy in my memory. I wish I can relive the moment when Aiden was first placed in my arms but here I am, the mother to this growing boy with a budding personality and I am in awe every single day. He is by far the greatest thing that has ever happened to me and I am so grateful that I get to be his Mama. He started cutting his first tooth this past weekend and all he wanted was for me to hold him and cuddle him. I know that our bond is special and for that I know I can thank breastfeeding.12:20pm on Thursday January 26
Lisa had her first child at the age of 37. A self-proclaimed “late bloomer,” Lisa now finds it hard to remember what life was like before her daughter was born. So far parenting has been amazing, exhausting, frustrating, joyous, emotional and even hilarious - all wrapped up into one.
Get to know Lisa better: read her Q&A!
Saying goodbye to breastfeeding is like saying goodbye to an old friend. I should know because I've had to do both. Both were hard decisions. Both decisions involved guilt and second-guessing. Both decisions kept me up at night. But I knew both were the right decisions.9:00am on Monday September 26
Desiree is a brand new mom to a baby girl. Fresh from the hospital, she’s navigating the initiation into parenthood and everything that goes along with it - from waiting for her milk to come in, to learning to get a proper latch, to decoding her baby’s cries in the middle of the night.
Get to know Desiree better: read her Q&A!
Sorry, couldn't resist the bad pun. My daughter and I are closing in one year of nursing. It has been a wonderful journey and I'm so thankful and blessed to have been able to take this path. To be sure, we're not done nursing but it's amazing to think about how far we've come.12:20pm on Friday February 3
I'm returned to work as a teacher in September. I'm not a big fan of pumping and my son has rarely used bottles so I know that going back to work is going to be a big adjustment for both of us. I know that other moms at my school have breastfed before, I just need to do the leg work to find a way to make it work for me.
Joshua is now 18 months old, which also means that I’ve been breastfeeding for 18 months! I’ve decided to combine two of my favorite things-breastfeeding and math-to calculate the actual amount of time I’ve spent breastfeeding in the past year and a half.9:00am on Monday October 17
Your eyes are not deceiving you! Mike Schaffer is here to provide our first-ever male breastfeeding perspective. He and his wife, Marisa, a TV production executive, are expecting their first child this summer and have decided to attempt to breastfeed. Neither of them were breastfed, so they are anxious to go through this process together.
Get to know Mike better: read his Q&A!
It was just under a year ago when I was presented with the opportunity to write for Bravado and be the first male breastfeeding blogger. Here’s how much my life has changed since then: When I received the offer, my wife was about half-way through the pregnancy. Now, my daughter, Hava, is seven months old and cuddling next to me as I write this farewell. So if there are any typos, blame the baby.12:14pm on Friday February 3
I went back to work at eight weeks. The biggest fear I have is that because I am not breastfeeding or able to pump with the same frequency, my milk is going to dry up. Formula is not an option for me. But I can't stress out! How do I keep zen about something I have become obsessed with?
I'm reading this book about management strategy and it says to look at the bright spots, what small glints of success are in the work you do. The authors also explained that laziness is often a disguise for exhaustion and boy, oh boy am I exhausted! So exhausted that I melt into the couch and exert only enough energy to press the buttons on the remote control, or enough energy to open my mouth and tell my four-year-old to find the remote for me.12:00pm on Monday January 31
I didn't grow up around breastfeeding moms. In fact, I grew up making formula bottles for my little sisters. I chose to breastfeed mostly because it will save me money (although I do understand the health benefits for both myself and my daughter).
Eight months ago if you had asked me if I thought I’d still be breastfeeding today I would have said “I hope so, but I doubt it.” Eight months ago I said I would try to breastfeed, that my goal was to make it through maternity leave. I didn’t expect to last much longer. Eight months ago I thought formula was a fine substitute for breast milk and had no problem using it if I didn’t pump enough. I thought I’d never want to nurse in public, and that I’d wean my daughter by the time she got teeth.9:00am on Monday April 4
After struggling with breastfeeding my first two children, I'm extremely optimistic about a more successful experience with my third. Together with the help of a great lactation consultant and the Bravado audience cheering me on, I hope to make it to at least six months.
My heart is heavy as I write my last Breastfeeding Diaries post. I have loved chronicling my breastfeeding journey with my now 6-½ month old son. It's been so cathartic to write about my previous breastfeeding attempts with my older children and my highs and lows with my newest child. I have changed as a person due to it -- I've learned to trust my body and know my success could possibly inspire another mother who may have had a rocky time breastfeeding their first (and subsequent) children.9:00am on Friday April 8
I am eager, anxious, nervous, and exciting to get this baby to my breast. I am very much looking forward to breastfeeding and motherhood and am prepared for breastfeeding but understand that it might not always be easy.
Over the past eight months the landscape of my life has done a complete 180. Before Sammy was born I had all sorts of preconceived notions about motherhood. I had this vision of breastfeeding my son that he would lay calmly in my lap peacefully drinking his mama's milk till he was content. I thought, after reading tens and tens of books, that I had an idea of what it would be like to be a breastfeeding mother. Boy, was I wrong! I had no idea. After reading all of the books I had a vague inkling of what might happen, but my Sammy is my Sammy, he is no one else's baby and he is definitely not the baby described in all the books. Since Sammy joined my life I have become more focused, more dedicated and more committed to living fulfilled, living with meaning and living with passion. Sammy has taught me how to be alive, how to live each day with conviction and passion, while still being able to go with the flow and roll with the punches. Being a breastfeeding mom is such a joy and such a challenge.9:00am on Monday April 11