Hi friends – in an effort to consolidate everything into one slightly less insane mess, I’m moving this blog over to my website. Please join me at http://workpumprepeat.weebly.com/blog!
My book, Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom’s Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work is out September 8, 2015, from ABRAMS Books. It’ll be in stores and online all over the damn place, and I am so excited to share this collected wisdom, humor, and support with new working moms. You can pre-order now for very early September delivery:
I’m so excited to be blogging over on The Bump, one of the largest online communities for expecting and new moms. My latest: http://blog.thebump.com/2015/05/27/working-mom-breastfeeding-goals/
It’s the tail end of #ISupportYou week, and I wanted to share what I think is the best video ever made about motherhood for our generation. I never cease to sob a little when it gets to the “Now I tell you love each other as I have loved you” part.
LOVE YOU, MAMAS OF EVERY STRIPE!
A kindred spirit!
This is a picture of me with my youngest son, who was born 10 years ago during World Breastfeeding Week. It is hard to believe that just 10 years ago, the method a woman chose to feed her baby was not a heated subject, like it is now! Today, five years after opening my private lactation practice, and during World Breastfeeding Week, I have decided I no longer want to be a lactivist.
That’s right – I QUIT!
I think I should define the word lactivist. This is from Wikipedia:
Lactivism (a portmanteau of “lactation” and “activism”) is the advocacy of breastfeeding. Supporters, referred to as “lactivists”, seek to promote the health benefits of breastfeeding over formula-feeding and to ensure that nursing mothers are not discriminated against.
Ironically, if a woman cannot breastfeed, or simply chooses not to, she may now be the one facing discrimination! How did this happen?
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***Update!! My new book, Work. Pump. Repeat: How to Survive Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work, is in pre-publication. No judgment, no pressure, no Mommy Wars. Just the advice you need, from hundreds of working moms who’ve been there. You can place an advance order by going to www.workpumprepeat.com. Thanks! -JS.***
I’m getting closer and closer to the publication of my book for working, breastfeeding women, and as I accidentally become one of those people who moves in breastfeeding circles a lot, I’m starting to notice something disturbing about how mothers of new babies are sometimes viewed and treated. I don’t know if what I’m about to write applies to YOU, lactivist hopefully reading this right now, but I’d like to ask you to read this with an open mind and ask yourself whether you recognize anything here.
Here is the major disclaimer: I am talking about a minority of breastfeeding advocates here. Most of you lovely people do not do what I am about to talk about. And “lactivists” are super important. And all of you – including the ones I’m talking about here – are amazing people who are working hard for women and babies. I’m not going to keep disclaiming this throughout this post, so please write this on your heart. I mean it: you are awesome.
OK, here goes: If your job or public persona is related to breastfeeding, do any of these sound familiar?
- You push exclusive breastfeeding as the only viable or laudable option for baby-feeding
- You believe that virtually any mother can and should exclusively breastfeed for two years if she just tries hard enough
- You don’t like to share information with new mothers about how to supplement with formula, or how to wean off the breast altogether
- You tell exhausted working mothers with supply issues to set an alarm in the middle of the night to pump, or to “reverse-cycle” – have the baby sleep all day and then co-sleep and nurse with the mother all night
If this is you, I want to gently tell you that you are making me feel like you don’t care about ME. At all.
***Update!! From building a freezer stash to talking about your body with the person who signs your paychecks, my new book, Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom’s Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work, is now on sale. You can order now, via:
- Barnes & Noble
- Powell’s Books
- Indigo (Canada)
- …and more – check out the list from my publisher, ABRAMS Books
…and this blog has a new home, at http://workpumprepeat.weebly.com/blog. Please join me there!
Once you start thinking about your first day back at work, you’re likely to have some burning questions about how on earth to store up enough milk to leave with your baby’s caregiver. How to build up a stash is the question I get asked most often by new parents.
After you’ve learned how to pump, you have to get on a regular schedule of pumping and saving milk if you want to build up a stash. You have likely heard a lot about the supply and demand aspect of breastfeeding – that supposedly perfect cycle of your body making as much milk as your baby needs. This might make you wonder how you will ever get any additional milk to save for when you go back to work. But it is entirely possible, assuming you have a pretty normal milk supply. (If you have a low supply and/or are already supplementing with formula, you will have to work harder to store up milk, and you are likely looking at your caregiver supplementing during the day. And you are still an awesome parent.) Continue reading Breast Milk on Ice: How to Build a Freezer Stash Before You Go Back to Work
What is it about motherhood that makes you the property of anyone and everyone? From the moment your belly pops out, people – STRANGERS – are touching you, rubbing you, caressing you. My most distinct memory of this was after I had gotten a pedicure (at least I think I got a pedicure – I couldn’t actually see my toes). I stood up from the chair and the woman looked at me and exclaimed, “Ohhhhh! You are pregnant! I just thought you were fat!” And then she double-handed my belly like a Harlem Globetrotter.
I also remember people coming up to me in the supermarket and asking me what my birth plan was. Maybe this is the slightly hippie nature of the city I lived in at the time. I knew well ahead of time that I’d have to have a planned C-section (long story), and when I told people this, their faces inevitably fell. Responses ranged from “I’m so sorry!” to “Why???” to “Are you sure you HAVE to do that?” – but all were negative.
Hi there! My Facebook group is the hub for what I’m writing (here on the blog and over at HuffPost and others), reading, and working on in modern motherhood, parenthood, and breastfeeding. Like my page (click here) to get all the latest – and to share your own thoughts! And I’d love it if you would share with friends.
I love my kids. I mean, I flipping LOVE them. I love their little faces, their funny smiles, the way they smell. I love that they are mine in a way that is unique to them and me. I love that they surprise me. I love that they are curious and happy and amazed by the world. I love that they don’t judge me; they just love me. I love them.
I feel I need to state that up front, in case anything I am about to type seems to contradict that incontrovertible fact.
OK. Sometimes I don’t want them to touch me. Not, like, not EVER. But there are some times – a moment, a minute, an hour – when I really think I’ll just take leave of my sanity if someone touches me. I think breastfeeding has a lot to do with this. It is so much physical touching, which everyone says is supposed to be wonderful and borderline ecstasy-inducing. It sometimes is those things, but many months into it, it is just as often tedious, and it is sometimes even overwhelming. Continue reading Stop. TOUCHING. Me.