Our goal is to provide information, ideas and support for working women who are also full-time mothers.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Support for Working Moms who are Breastfeeding and/or Pumping

There's a thread devoted to this on our RealWorkingMom.com bulletin boards. If you're looking for tips or advice on pumping or breastfeeding while working--or if you have some tips or advice to share, please check it out:


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Best Breast Decision...for me

Like so many others, I had no doubts that I would breastfeed my daughter. According to the barrage of information fed to me in my birthing class, in the “recommended” breastfeeding class, and in every pregnancy guide I seemed to pick up, there was no downside. Heck, you would save a small fortune by not buying formula, your child would be healthier, and there was that all-important bonding time. (Oh, and let’s not forget the bonus of losing the pregnancy pounds faster than formula-feeding mom’s.)

I felt I was fully equipped. After all, compared to most of my friends I was blessed with particularly generous boob-age. What could go wrong?

Well, somewhere in my blissful ignorance, I neglected to evaluate my nipple condition (apparently, too flat…not that I had ever received any complaints). I missed the stories about cracking and bleeding and dreading each feeding and the intense pain of it all. I didn’t hear anyone mention that the bonding experience might not be as positive if you fear having your infant’s mouth within a six inch radius of your breast.

What I did not miss from all the information presented to me is the sense of obligation to try, and the overwhelming guilt that came when, after only a week, I had to give in to the bottle. For my own emotional well-being, I needed to enjoy feeding time. When I gave her that first bottle, the realization that I could actually relax while feeding her was amazing to me – though the guilt continually fought its way to the surface and raised havoc with my already volatile post-partum hormones.

When child #2 came along, I decided that I would not try. I wanted to be able to appreciate every feeding…especially during the first week of his life. I also realized that there was no way on earth that my displaced and jealous almost-two-year-old was going to give me any time to mess around with inefficient breast-time.

Do I wish that I could have made it work – and then battled with Management to find a private corner of the office? In some ways…yes. But I can also appreciate that by taking care of my emotional health (and physical – lest I forget the cracking/bleeding portion of the program), I have been able to be a happier parent for my kids. My decision is certainly not right for everyone, but ultimately, it was right for me.