Motherhood | Celebrate Breastfeeding

National Breastfeeding MonthHey loves! Since last week was celebrated as World Breastfeeding Week and August has been dedicated as National Breastfeeding Month I figured this would be the perfect time to share a little more about this beautiful journey.  I haven’t visited the topic of breastfeeding on This Brown Queen since here, when I was celebrating 5 months! Well, August marks 10 months still going strong and I am SO happy and proud of my accomplishment!

Ok, let’s get this out there: I’m not about formula bashing. Nope. So if you’re expecting some long winded breast milk is the best milk and formula is poison rant…you’re at the wrong blog. Sorry. Although I’ve made it 10 months, I won’t for one second pretend my son has not had formula. In fact, at 10 months we’re kind of 50/50. That’s what works for ME and MY FAMILY so that’s what we do. Breastfeeding alone is a very personal decision, so of course each woman’s journey is going to be very personal and unique. Far too often I see these guidelines of what and how you SHOULD be breastfeeding and to be honest, it can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming. It’s no wonder that women run to the hills. I’m here to tell you that, there is no guideline. You do what’s best for you and your family. If nursing all day works for you, nurse. If you feel better pumping and taking turns with your partner, do that. If you need help, don’t be ashamed to reach out and get it. There are many resources available to women who need assistance. Check out La Leche League or visit your local WIC center for helpful information.

If I could give one piece of advice to newly breastfeeding mamas or those who are thinking about it, it would be: Don’t Give Up. The beginning is hard. There will be moments you want to quit. It can be exhausting, draining, and overall just difficult. But this passes. I promise. Breastfeeding for me was the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s easier, healthier, and the bond between my son and I is like no other. Push through those days and you won’t regret it.

For more information on National Breastfeeding Month visit: USbreastfeeding.org

Peace, Love, & Blessings

Tyshia Shante
Founder & Editor of This Brown Queen

**Stay Connected! Follow me on Twitter @thisbrownqueen & Instagram @tyshia_shante**

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5 months Strong! Mother’s Milk!

I’m talking about breastfeeding. And yes I am proud.

I’m not exactly what you’d call a breastfeeding extremist. I don’t bash formula (in fact I feed my son it often). I’m not screaming breast milk is the best milk. I won’t look down on queens who don’t breastfeed. But for my personal journey, I am QUITE excited about my accomplishment of being only a month shy of SILVER BOOBIES!! (My boobs aren’t actually silver but that’s code name in breastfeeding culture for 6 months of nursing). What I will tell you, are my thoughts, my personal experiences, and my decision to breastfeed my son.

I like to think I have unbiased view of breastfeeding. I have two sons, one I breastfed, one I didn’t. I can tell you what it’s like from both sides of the fence. Of course that makes me no expert, but that makes me experienced so here goes.

Shawn is my oldest prince. I didn’t breastfeed him. I was young, easily influenced, and I let mainstream society views sway my decision. I didn’t want to breastfeed. People thought it was weird. People thought it was sexual. My boobs would get saggy (Queens listen…they gonna sag…embrace it). I respectfully declined the invitation at the hospital. No thanks I’m fine. But then we got home and the problems started. He didn’t react well to regular formula. So we switched to Soy. And that made him constipated. We switched back and forth to no avail and so there was an actual period in time where my prince was so uncomfortable that I had to literally help him poop each morning while he screamed at the top of his lungs in pain. It lasted a month or so then all was fine. He caught colds, but he was fine. We bonded just great. And once my milk dried up, my boobs sagged a bit. Oh well. Embrace it. If I could do it all over again: I would breastfeed.

My youngest prince Joey was born. I breastfed him. I was older. I didn’t care. I’m breastfeeding this baby. Who cares what anyone thinks about it. My boobs…well…as long as my husband likes them. Where’s my baby, take this breast. But then we got home and the challenges started. For breastfeeding to be so natural it’s HARD. Those first few weeks are torture! All he did was want to eat. All day. All night. I was leaking everywhere. It was a nightmare. And I ALMOST quit. In fact. I did quit. I told my husband I was done. Thanks for his support. Bought some formula (the kind that Shawn did best with) and was done. Except, Joey didn’t quit. And giving him a bottle was even worse than breastfeeding 24/7. He looked at me like I was crazy and just wouldn’t accept it. He kept searching for his “real milk” and when he got frustrated he freaked. Like crying so hard he turned red. I gave up and let him nurse and the INSTANT comfort he had melted my heart. I couldn’t stop. So I kept at it. And next thing I know, it was second nature. And so here we are 5 months in and I’ll keep going until he wants to stop.

It’s not always easy but the best things in life usually aren’t. But it’s worth it. Going back to work, it’s been bittersweet. Pumping S.U.C.K.S. but our bonding time at home makes up for it. If you were to ask me in public I’d say: There’s no need to ask me if I’ll be breastfeeding my next kid because I’m DONE! But if you were to ask me for real, ya know, between queens I’d say: Well…if I were to try once more for that princess, YES MA’AM I’m breastfeeding!

~

This Brown Queen