Our sponsor for the month is pumpspotting, an app that connects breastfeeding moms and helps them find, rate and share the best places to nurse and pump.
This is Breastfeeding
Amy VanHaren a working mom, two time breastfeeder, and the founding mama of pumpspotting.
When you are in the act of breastfeeding, you are in it.
Nursing a baby takes hold of your focus and demands your complete attention. You wake up thinking of latching and timing, right side or left, the amount of needed ounces. You nurse and nurse and nurse, and sometimes pump, and then you go to bed – briefly – often worrying about lack of sleep, sore nipples and the production of enough milk (or of too much milk).
Your life is dictated by the nursing needs of your wee one and breast milk and the logistics around feeding: nurse before you leave or on the way, pump now or later, dream feed or wait and see. What you see is purely the little one before you and the boob because that’s how it has to be.
What you can’t see, is what breastfeeding looks like beyond you and the baby and the boob. (You don’t have time, you are just getting from feed to feed, from day to day.)
But I can see.
It’s working women and stay-at-home women. Young women and older women. First time timid women and fifth child on-the-boob-while-vacuuming women. It’s women in every part of the country, every corner of the world. It’s with your baby or without.
It’s for your baby or your sister’s baby or a baby you’ve never met. It’s one-day-olds and one week olds and two month-olds and two-and-a-half-year-olds. It’s hooked up to one baby or two, to a hand pump or a mechanical pump that sounds like Darth Vadar. It’s sitting in parks and hospitals and bedrooms and subway cars and pizza joints and airplane seats and bathroom stalls.
It’s easy and impossible. It’s nothing like you planned. It’s better than you expected. It’s loaded with feelings; it’s connection and sometimes guilt. It’s beautiful. It’s sweaty. It’s magical. It’s a lot of work. It’s empowering yet sometimes deflating (just like breastfeeding boobs). It’s bittersweet when it ends.
It’s very, very personal and unique each time. It’s between a mama and a baby but sometimes intruded upon by someone else in the world. It’s talked about in the media way too much but not enough in our homes.
It’s thankfully surrounded by doulas and midwives and lactation consultants and best friends. It’s also accompanied by the occasional stares.
It’s really stinking cool.
It’s a journey and a transformation, a form of nutrition and a little comfort. It’s not for everyone. It’s not forever. It just is.
This is all breastfeeding today.
When it comes to breastfeeding, I’ve been in it. I’ve been touched by it. Drained by it. Elevated by it. Paranoid about it. And fortunate enough to experience it twice. I’ve seen the good in it and faced the challenges it brings. I’ve nursed in many-a-public venues and pumped in about 40 places (even at 40,000 feet up). I’ve learned that these boobs were made for nursing but the world wasn’t always made for us and our hard-working boobs and I’ve decided it’s time to change that.
I’m convinced that by paying attention to the acts of breastfeeding all around us we can create a more supportive world for nursing mothers.
We can drive more stories of positive experiences and optimism. We can smile – rather than stare – at nursing mothers. We can offer more resources, more mothering rooms, more time off to get the hang of nursing.
It’s the reason why I’ve created pumpspotting.
pumpspotting is an app and a community. It’s a place for all breastfeeding moms to come together to support one another, to chat, to interact, and to laugh. It’s a bright light in a world of bathroom stalls and broom closets.
It was made to bring us breastfeeding women together and to help bring awareness to the places we nurse and pump.
Think of it as Facebook meets Yelp meets boob. It’s global, it’s uplifting, and it’s completely powered by mamas.
It’s everything I wished I had in the palm of my hand while nursing.
I hope you’ll join me on the app and as part of the community and that together we’ll successfully navigate this world of nursing.
Ready to join the boob-venture?