In Need of Real Life Breastfeeding Support
Posted By: Jennifer Johnson
I didn't grow up around breastfeeding moms. In fact, I grew up making formula bottles for my little sisters.
When I was younger I asked my mom if I could go to a dance with some friends.
"No," she told me, probably with some sort of explanation I can't recall.
"But all of them are going!"
And you can probably guess her response to that...
"If all of your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you jump too?"
It's the classic "mom" response. We've all heard it at some time in our lives, and we'll use it ourselves when addressing our own children someday. But sometimes I find myself reciting those same words when I catch my mind drifting into the same mentality of watching what my friends are doing.
My "breastfeeding posse" as I call some personal friends I know in real life, who are also nursing their babies, haven't always been my go-to people for breastfeeding advice, but they are nice to bounce ideas and stories off of when I just need someone to who gets it to chat with. But they're beginning to wean their babies. One mom's daughter is over a year, and the other's is my daughter's age.
It's funny how I've gone from an "if it works it works" attitude to a "I MUST breastfeed for a year" mindset. But losing my posse makes it a little more difficult.
Breastfeeding support means a lot. I have a lot of support online but real life support, to me, makes all of the difference. Knowing that people like you, people you see and talk to every day are going through what you're going through makes it a little easier.
I'm not considering weaning my daughter earlier just because my friends are weaning now, but I am considering finding a new support group.
At my church there are women I talk to who nurse in the mother's lounge with me throughout the service. Most of the women in my postnatal yoga class breastfeed their babies. In fact, many of us do so throughout the class. But it's not the same as people I see every day, or people I'm close with.
Not everyone needs a group of friends who are also breastfeeding to feel more at ease about doing it, but as a first generation breastfeeder, I feel like I need all the support I can get.
I'm thinking of joining the local La Leche League group to widen my scope of breastfeeding support, to make more friends, but most of all to openly talk to other women about the ups and downs of nursing. The challenges of waking up in the middle of the night when you have work the next day, the biting, and feeling overwhelmingly needed constantly.
I looked up the meeting time and I think I'll go. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes! In the meantime, please share who your breastfeeding posse is!1:00pm on Tuesday December 14
As a LLL leader I love this. It is so good to have a safe place to vent and get new ideas. I would not have made it if it were not for my LLL friends.
I seek support from LLL and mom's on my birth board that I "met" almost 4 years ago when I got pregnant with my first child. I try to give support to anyone and everyone I know that is nursing. You might feel alone but all the other moms in your life might feel the same way. Check out meetup.com and search for mommy milk or breastfeeding groups in your area.
I am challenged by the lack of a real-life breastfeeding possee, even with nine years of nursing under my belt (I'm on kid #3).
I still go to LLL meetings occasionally, even though I rarely have a "question" or anything - as you said, it's so nice just to be in a room full of other moms who "get it"!
Great decision, Jen...LLL is a lifesaver for many breastfeeding women :0)
Well, Moo is two and weaned, but I never got the chance to have a breastfeeding posse. Most of my friends stopped breastfeeding after 3 months because they had to go back to work and didn't have time or a place to pump. My mom became my breastfeeding supporter. She had breastfed me and I found it helpful to talk to her about my concerns and frustrations. I'm glad that you're going to expand your posse.
Since we've moved back to the city, I've been able to find some playgroups with other moms who are going to be breastfeeding and I'm looking forward to have them to connect with this 2nd time around.
La Leche has been an incredible support to me! I can't imagine Breastfeeding this long (currently going strong at 11.5 mo) without my group's support!
Sighhhh.... I really have never had a breastfeeding posse. Yet, I have somehow managed to nurse 5 kids for a total of 90+ months so far. Jonah is 20 months and still going strong, and I am blessed that my bff's 1st child is 18 months and nursing. If companionship is what you need, by all means find a support group to help!!! A baby wearing or other "crunchy" playgroup might serve a similar purpose if you end up needing more than a LLL meeting. Which, by the way, can be absolutely wonderful! Hang in there, sweet mama - kudos to you for wanting to continue and for finding the means to give you strength! Doing it alone can really be tough!
I definitely recommend LLL. I have a friend and a sister both nursing who I can and do talk to, but it's still nice to go to LLL once a month. Brayden can get some social interaction, and I get that too. It's nice when you have questions, but even when you don't it's still great to go to possibly answer another woman's question or just to feel validation in what you are doing.
I decided to nurse until Jay naturally weaned. He decided he was done with "mama nom noms" at 18 months. I did wonder what I would have done say he waited until 4 years, lol. It's important to go with your instincts and find support that fits you best.