Mothers Before Me: Lessons for a New Life.

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival! This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today's post is about how the mothers before you influenced your choice to breastfeed. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!

I know that I was breastfed as an infant. For all of six weeks. And then my mother had an acute case of appendicitis and had to have surgery and was told she could no longer nurse me. This was in 1972 and she was a 21-year-old new wife, new mom and a person who was not, nor has ever been one to question the wisdom of her doctors. And that was the end of our breastfeeding relationship.

She had three more children in quick succession after me and all three of them were breastfed for at least 6 months each, if not longer. We lived in the country, my dad was a ranch hand on a cattle farm and I guess if it was good enough for the cows and horses then it was good enough for the kids! And we were kind of dirt poor too and that formula stuff was more than we could realistically afford!

I mostly remember seeing my youngest brother nurse. I was four years old when he was born and I remember my mom always saying that Desmond was born on the breast and never left it! I also have a very clear image of my mother giving myself and my two younger brothers baths together and "squirting" us with her milk. Oh, don't make faces, it was a fun bath time game back then!

To be perfectly honest aside from my own mother, I don't remember seeing other mothers nursing while I was growing up. I was born in the early 70's and perhaps the big breastfeeding resurgence of the late 1970s and 1980s had not hit our local hospitals yet, or maybe the fiasco of formula marketing that Nestle and other formula manufacturers had unleashed on third world countries was not yet common knowledge. Whatever the case and reasons for it, breastfeeding was just not something that I saw a lot of, nor was it something that was talked about either.

I don't think that I thought much about breastfeeding or really started to notice whether or not people were indeed doing it until I was pregnant with my first child. It was a complicated pregnancy with a few months of bedrest and a guaranteed premature delivery and I had a lot of time to read about what I needed to do to ensure a healthy and strong baby. Breastfeeding was number ONE on that list!

Unfortunately, no amount of reading about breastfeeding can ever fully prepare you for the full experience itself. And I have to say that it wasn't until I met other committed breastfeeding mothers at my local La Leche League and SAW for myself how normal and wonderful and amazing of an experience it truly could be, that I fully appreciated how important it is for all women, of all ages, to SEE for themselves breastfeeding in action and know that it is a normal and incredibly awesome way to nurture and nourish a child.

Today the kids and I had lunch with a good friend, her 4-year-old daughter and her 8-week old little baby girl. As we were all getting ready to leave the baby woke up and started to get all fussy and was full on crying by the time we made it to our respective cars. My two and a half year old {nursling} daughter turned and said to me, "Mommy, Baby P is hungry and needs to nurse on her mommy's boobies."

'Nuff said.

My job is done.


"Be the change you want to see in the world."

~Mahatma Ghandi

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