Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Adventures in Baby Nursing

I wanted to post to Facebook many times while traveling to see family, but I don't really manage to do social media much away from home.  So here are some breastfeeding-related highlights of our trip that I might have shared if I was better at keeping my phone charged or I wasn't constantly chasing my toddler through un-childproofed places:

  • The Car-Seat-Lean-In is, incredibly, still possible when the car seat is in the outboard position (with three across - thank you, Ford Fusion rental car).  It is particularly difficult to nurse standing up while leaning into a car seat - in the freezing cold - but this is an important fact for me to be aware of.  Because sometimes my kid just will not get into a car seat without a boob "reward."
  • We started our trip by going to see Elephant and Piggie's We Are in a Play, because we are huge fans of Mo Willems' Elephant and Piggie books.  (The play is awesome - see it if you can!  The books are wonderful - get them - get them now!)  I was worried that Bellybean, exhausted from the loss of four hours of sleep thanks to a 6AM flight, would cause a ruckus and make me miss the play.  But I think nursing helped keep him calm and attentive.  And actually, it was while nursing him during the play that I realized he had a fever.  So being able to NIP was a huge comfort to him.
  • My husband's cousin arrived at a party and I was sitting on the floor nursing Bellybean.  He gave me a sideways hug & ruffled Bellybean's hair, either without noticing that he was nursing or without caring.  Either way, a bf win.
Lititz, PA is pretty conservative.  Like, really pretty conservative.
Which added to my NIP nerves at the Donmoyer gatherings there.
  • I got to feeling really shy at the party (a feeling I loathe, but which is an integral part of me - blargh), unable to connect with people much as I supervised Bellybean on the stairs and helped him wash his hands just for funsies - seventeen times.  A couple of times he was very fussy and wanted to nurse but I wanted him to respect some nursing manners boundaries (I like to be in charge of my shirt, thank you very much), and as he got louder I felt awkward, like I was drawing so much attention to us. But I stayed in my little bubble, as oblivious of everyone else as I could be, and focused on my little one.  As loud as Donmoyers are, I probably didn't draw nearly as much attention as I imagined.  And they've never given me any reason to think they wouldn't support me.  In fact some of the Lititz family members have made a point of telling me they do, which means the world to me!
  • I told my SIL I was anxious about nursing Bellybean around family in a way I'd never been before, because he shoves my shirt up over my boob, unlike my older sons, who tolerated a shirt right up to their noses.  She didn't reassure me, but she didn't tell me not to nurse around her girls or my BIL, either.  I'll take it.
  • *Bellybean was super fussy during our Dhistmas (Donmoyer Christmas) celebration, and finally chilled out and nursed, and giggled, while nursing, at something silly I did.  My darling niece looked at him and said, "Now he's a happy baby!"  (*This one's a favorite!)
  • I got to thank Adam's uncle for sending me a breastfeeding-related article awhile back.  I'm sometimes bad about replying to emails.  I was so touched by the support it represented that he thought of me and took the time to share it, and I was glad to finally let him know.
  • I started our trip with what was starting to look like a bad eye infection, but after dumping a little breastmilk into my eyes just a couple of times, it was almost gone!  Now I'm home with a pointless bottle of Visine and two healthy eyes.
  • When we arrived in New Jersey for the second leg of our trip, Adam's grandmother was rushing out of her house because her daughter had just been taken to the emergency room.  We spent hours in the waiting room there.  Any nervous feelings I had about nursing four feet away from people who were facing me in the next row of chairs were stuffed down firmly under my gratitude and relief that I was creating antibodies to feed to my toddler for all of the germs he was being exposed to there.  (Adam's aunt had surgery yesterday to save her life and my MIL is taking care of Grandma for the time being.)
  • My cousin just had a baby, and my aunt told me I'd be happy to know she's breastfeeding!  (This was extra nice to be told because other than my sister, I've had exactly zero support from my side of our family since the incident that made me an advocate.  In fact someone tried to start a conversation with my sister that she knew from the first comment would have been a snarky one if she hadn't shut it down.)
  • I nursed Bellybean to sleep on the first flight home, and nursed him to calm a few tantrums when he was still exhausted on the second flight.  Flying with a calm/sleeping baby rather than a screaming and crying one has to be one of the best pro-NIP arguments ever.

I had a little talk with myself at a coffee shop one morning that set my priorities straight.  He may be 18 months old, but my toddler needs to nurse.  And even if I'm not feeling it, I will do my best to meet his needs.
I nursed Bellybean at the party with loads of Donmoyers, at restaurants and truck stops, at Hershey's Chocolate World, at my sister's, during Dhistmas...  I'm quite certain boob was glimpsed my some family members as well as strangers.  And not one person said anything about it.  All the worrying that someone might was a whole lotta wasted energy.

Oh - and we gave our snowman woman boobs.  Because boobs are awesome.  

Have you breastfed while traveling?


  1. Great post! I'm so happy that you had a smooth time nursing in front of your family and on vacation after getting over your worries. And the snow boobs cracked me up!

    1. Ha! They cracked me up, too! And you know, I don't even know if my kids noticed we popped those on there. Cause boobs are just food to them, so it wasn't a big deal. :) Thanks, Paala.