10 Months of Breastfeeding (and Still Going Strong)

This is World Breastfeeding Week and it dawns on me that it’s my first time celebrating the holiday…and perhaps my last (with this baby, anyway). I’m so happy that I have been able to nurse Audrey for nearly 10 months so far, even through full-time work, travel and more.

(Have you seen my breastfeeding and pumping page?)

Breastfeeding at the Hospital

With apologies to Dr. Seuss: I have nursed in a car. I have nursed in a bar. I have pumped in between meetings and conference calls and lunch breaks and more; I have pumped until my breasts are saggy and sore.

I have nursed here. I have pumped there. I have breastfed just about everywhere.

</rhymes>

Breastfeeding was my #1 goal, once the baby was out and healthy. I read and researched and prepared…but as I now know, there’s not much you can do other than just jump in both feet (both boobs?) first. And I did. I am lucky to have a little partner who was just as committed as me (the girl loves to eat) and incredibly blessed to have supportive family, friends and other resources that helped when I struggled or had questions.

And even when it was going well, I had questions.

Is this normal? Should I be doing this? How many times should I do that? What if this happens? Is it weird if… (and on and on and on).

10 months in, I’m feeling as if I could be on the downhill side of nursing. My goal is to nurse her as long as she wants, but I am expecting that I’ll stop pumping after Audrey turns 1 (frankly, daycare rules make it tough to send expressed milk once she’s in the toddler room and I’ll be ready to put the pump away anyway). I love breastfeeding, and I want to keep our nursing sessions in the morning at night for another year, if possible, but when she’s ready to wean…I’ll let her. She’s healthy, happy and thriving. So am I.

I have a lot of passionate feelings about breastfeeding — but they are MY feelings for MY situation. So I sat down and rambled out a love letter to boobs and babies and lifestyles of all kinds. I was inspired by the “I Support You” post from Mama By the Bay and the movement that so many mamas — formula feeders and breastfeeders and everyone in between — are taking part in.

Comments

  1. Marie says

    Katy, just watched this while I was nursing :-) I agree with you a 100%! Breastfeeding is hard work but I am so glad I can do it (but I’ll be glad when it’s over too). It’s less stressful the second time around because I don’t stress out over the little things (is he getting enough? How long should be stay on the boob? Etc..) I have personally not experienced the “magic bond” people talk about, neither of my babies have ever looked at me while nursing, I feel more like a milk-machine than anything else, but it’s ok, because I know it’s what’s best for them.

  2. says

    I was ready to keep the morning/night feedings for as long as Em wanted but she walked away at 13 months and never came back haha.

    As it gets closer I am going to have to email you about your tips for pumping at work – I start Physician Assistant school in January when the Jellybean is 6 weeks and will be pumping for the first time. Makes me nervous! I know I can do it but am definitely going to be seeking advice :)
    Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family recently posted..A New JourneyMy Profile

    • says

      Oh my gosh, PLEASE DO! I felt so lost when I first started (while I had lots of great support, nobody around me had pumped before) so I’d love to share all that I’ve learned. There are so many logistical issues to figure out. You can absolutely do it, and it’s absolutely worth it. I can’t believe I’ve been pumping for her for 9 months!
      KatyBug recently posted..10 Months of Breastfeeding (and Still Going Strong)My Profile

  3. says

    Thanks for being such a strong role model with this. I agree, having a great support system can really make or break how successful nursing can be. My daughter is 8 months old and we are still going strong, thanks to the support of my family and husband.

    The whole concept is really overwhelming, but having other women tell / show you it is possible makes it SO MUCH EASIER.

    My absolute favorite part is the rhyme. I am totally stealing that. :)

    Yay boobies! :)
    Racheal @ Running with Racheal recently posted..Love Songs to Ina Mae: 8 Months – A Thousand YearsMy Profile

  4. says

    You are amazing! I admire women like you that reach out to others and are so supportive. Thank YOU! Breastfeeding has been QUITE a journey for Hunter and me…we went from triple feeding, to exclusively pumping, and now I am happy to say we’ve been exclusively breastfeeding for the past month. It’s the best thing ever, and I’m so glad I stuck with it. :)

    Great job at going strong for ten months!
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted..[4 Months] PostpartumMy Profile

  5. says

    Beautifully said! I especially like the part about your husband becoming a lactivist ;) I think my husband has done the same thing, much to his surprise!
    I don’t think G will want to nurse as long as I want him to, either. He’s just so independent and already will only nurse if it’s right before (or in between-he’s still up a couple times every night) sleep.
    I feel saddened that a lot of pro-breastfeeding speech gets misinterpreted to being judgmental. For me, being pro-breastfeeding is about supporting moms who want to breastfeed, or who don’t yet know if they want to breastfeed, and then helping them overcome the challenges (of varying degrees) that we all face.
    Congrats on 10 months and beyond!

  6. says

    I watched this pumping. I haaaaate pumping. But it allows me a little time to myself, so I’ll take it! I still haven’t figured it out past going to work though. Leaving E to go to a yoga class is sometimes more trouble than it’s worth!

    • says

      Do you use a handsfree bra? I can’t say enough about the Simple Wishes brand. It makes it so much easier…

      …and at least in my experience, baby starts to go longer between nursing. So on the weekends, I can now leave her with Daddy for 4 hours, which means I can go to a nice long class or have lunch with a girlfriend (I only pump on the weekends if I absolutely have to).
      KatyBug recently posted..10 Months of Breastfeeding (and Still Going Strong)My Profile

  7. Sarah says

    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful video and testimonial. Breastfeeding was extremely hard for me and my son in the beginning (latch issues, shield use, low supply, etc.) but I never gave up and worked through all the issues. He’s 11 weeks old now and we’ve developed a good routine plus I have a great supply and no more nipple shield! I’m still not to the point where I feel comfortable breastfeeding in public yet, unless it’s in a mom’s group where others are doing it too. I want to badly, but I just haven’t dived in yet. I guess I’m nervous! I have a cover but it’s frustrating to use and it makes us both hot.

    • says

      Sarah,

      UGH! You went through the wringer, huh? And I bet those first few days felt insurmountable. You are amazing…I’m so glad you stuck with it (and I know how hard it can be to wean from the nipple shield especially).

      I tried a cover once and it was awful. She pulled it down, cried, we were both sweaty and cranky…and frankly, I felt like it called more attention to us than just subtle nursing does.

      My advice? Go somewhere that isn’t a regular spot for you — so if you do find yourself embarrassed, you never have to go back — and get comfy. Sit in a booth and put baby on the inside breast, maybe toward the back of the room. Settle in and whip it out. :) It’s kind of like diving into a pool — it’s scary until you actually do it. In my experience, doing it once is the hard part. After I did it and the world didn’t stop rotating, it didn’t feel like such a big deal.

      Frankly, I have had more people smile at me or give me a knowing “been there, done that” nod of support than any attitude.

      (Last thing — do you have Undercover Mama tanks? With those, I can nurse and nobody can even tell since my stomach is covered and the top shirt covers everything except for her little head.)
      KatyBug recently posted..10 Months of Breastfeeding (and Still Going Strong)My Profile

  8. says

    ok, i have a serious question after your video, it’s something you mentioned in passing and i’ve heard it too but it’s niggling at my brain:

    What does a breast fed baby look like?

    Seriously. What is the breastfed baby look? My kid was a breastfed baby and she always had a thin face, thin arms, thinnish legs, and a teeny pot belly. Audie is breastfed and she is an adorable chunkamunk all over. They have two totally disparate body types (as babies, anyway), but they are both breast fed. I have seen many formula fed babies that are HUGE, some that are smaller. If anything, it seems like the breastfed babies I know are on the smaller side (barring the magnificent miss audie) so… where does this “breastfed baby” look come from and what is it??
    emily recently posted..The Weekly Peanut, Issue 25My Profile

    • says

      And now it’s niggling at my brain…because I have NO IDEA what that even means, or why I’d just blindly repeat the phrase. It drives me bonkers when people talk about athletic bodies — like, “oh, she must be a runner” — because I’ve never felt like I fit the stereotypical mold of what an athlete looks like. Why would this be any different?

      So, yeah. Great question. And kudos for challenging me on it.

      I’m already a little sensitive to people commenting on her cheeks and belly, even though I know that they mean it in an adorable way…because I just don’t ever want her to see her body as being big or small or skinny or chubby (like I always looked at mine). I want her to think of her strong legs and open smile and kind spirit. That’s kind of a tangent, and I think it has to do with my own issues that I’m projecting rather than a real problem, but yeah…

      (((off to niggle)))
      KatyBug recently posted..10 Months of Breastfeeding (and Still Going Strong)My Profile

  9. says

    Love this :) I feel like our experiences with breastfeeding have been really similar. I’ve been lucky that it’s gone so smoothly (overall) for me.
    I actually don’t mind pumping at work that much, but I’ve only been doing it about a month, so we’ll see how I feel when it’s been longer! One of the biggest gripes I have with it is that I really have to pay attention to what I wear so I can get access so dresses and tops that zip in the back are pretty much a no go.
    I love that I never had to figure out what kind of formula to feed her, because it made me nervous to think she might have sensitivity to some. I love knowing that my breast milk is perfect for her in that way.
    Anyway, I really love being able to feed Allie and I agree, it’s such an awesome way for us to bond.
    The thought of stopping makes me sad, but eventually I know the time will come.
    Brittney recently posted..From Flip Flops to HeelsMy Profile

    • says

      I have been surprised, too…and it’s so interesting to watch how our nursing relationship has changed the more she can engage with me. My heart soars when she pats my chest in the morning — asking for milk. I know she won’t need me forever (sniff!) but this makes me feel so connected with her.
      KatyBug recently posted..Dear Audrey (11 Months)My Profile

  10. Venny says

    Iam breastfeeding a 10 months baby girl. it has been going on well only that i have just discovered that iam pregnant. Is it fine for me to continue breastfeeding her? am in a dilema

    • says

      Venny,

      Congratulations on the pregnancy! I’m not a doctor or a lactation consultant, so if you have questions about whether it’s OK medically to continue nursing your daughter, you need to ask an expert.

      But I don’t believe there is any reason to stop breastfeeding your 10-month-old. I have read that sometimes pregnancy hormones can change the taste of your milk for your baby, so you may notice that she is less interested or refuses altogether, but since she’s not yet 1, I’d advise you to keep at it and let her be your guide. If you find that your supply has changed, I’m sure that, too, could be a result of your pregnancy but it could also be that your daughter’s needs are changing.

      Best of luck!
      KatyBug recently posted..Dear Audrey (13 Months)My Profile

Trackbacks

  1. […] Should you choose to breastfeed, the WBW 2013 Blog Carnival can help you with some tips for normalizing  (even for older children) and stories from other mothers. Over at Nursing in Public, you can find some of the best and worst airline breastfeeding policies. (If at first you feel discouraged, remember that you might not hate it the second time around. If you like it, remember that you can stay strong.) […]

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