We were born with boobs so shouldn’t we use them?

Breastfeeding is such a controversial topic. There was a recent headline about a college graduate snapping a picture while breast feeding her 3 month old during her graduation ceremony. It went viral and everyone had something to say about it. Good or bad, they were standing in their  truth I suppose.

For whatever reason breastfeeding has always been a part of the Mommy Wars. I realize that breastfeeding isn’t for everyone but why is something so natural complained about so much? Many non-American cultures breastfeed and they are celebrated not shamed. (Read the comments of online articles and you will see exactly what I mean.)

Black women Breastfeed
{The first bottle pumped the 2nd time around}

I’m not one to fight with people online or in person about breastfeeding. What I will do is offer a positive perspective. I also offer my availability to assist them in any way I can while they are navigating the breastfeeding experience. I joke and call myself the boob whisperer to my friends. Most of them did not breastfeed or didn’t do it very long. They frequently say “I don’t know how you did it.” Funny thing is when they have a friend that has breastfeeding questions they send them to me.

My top 5 perks of breastfeeding:
  1. It’s free
  2. It increased the bond I had with my babies.
  3. It gave the kid’s immune system a big boost. To this day they hardly get sick.
  4. My boobs looked awesome even if they were only a loan.
  5. It helped me get better in tune with my body.

I am very proud to say that I breastfeed each of my children (two total) for 14 months each. BLACK WOMEN BREASTFEED TOO! I know the numbers are lower for breastfeeding African Americans however I am proud to be one in that number.

Black women Breastfeed
{My then 7 year old son feeding his baby sister a bottle of breast milk.}

Why did I breastfeed? Because my boyfriend asked me to do it when we found out I was pregnant. Did I know anyone that breastfeed before? No Did I know what the experience was going to be like? No, I had no idea what I signed up for. I didn’t research much because I didn’t want a head full of a thousand let me tell you how to do it articles. I just knew I was committed to the process. Did I ever want to quit? YES! Then I would see the price tag for formula and go right home and pump.

Routine was key I was home with both of my babies the first 3 months. During that time I was feeding and storing milk in the freezer. When I returned to the office I was feeding in the morning and pumping at work 2-3 times a day and then feed in the evening and night time. Get up and do it again.  I had a cooler I would commute with to bring the milk back home and add to the stash I collected.

As awesome as breastfeeding is it comes with a lot of ups and down. My nursing experience with my son was much different than my experience with my daughter. (7 years a part) The basic fundamentals stay the same though and that’s a big help. Silly things happened like for 14 months my son would only nurse from one boob no matter what I tried to do. With my daughter she nursed from both with no issues.  No experience is the same just like all pregnancies are different. When in doubt take a deep breath, grab a bottle of water, put your feet up and know that you and your new baby will figure it out.
Breastfeeding Tips by Dr. Drai Board-Certified OBGYN
Dr.-Drai-Board-Certified OBGYN
  • Meet with a lactation specialist BEFORE your baby arrives.
  • Have your doctor order you a breastpump- electronic double
  • If possible, breastfeed within an hour after your baby’s birth.
  • To be the most comfortable, put your nipple as far back in your baby’s mouth as possible. 
  • Breastfeed your baby regularly and frequently, as often as every two hours and at least eight times in a 24-hour period. 
  • Unless advised by your physician, do not give your baby sugar water or formula
  • Air dry your nipples to prevent cracking and soreness.
  • Try to stay as healthy as possible by eating a balanced diet, resting as often as possible and drinking plenty of fluids, mostly water. 
  • Be patient. It will take time for you and your baby to learn how to breastfeed.

 Dr. Drai is one of the nation’s top board-certified OBGYNs and President of the National Osteopathic Medical Association. He is a practicing physician and teaching faculty member at Magee-Womens Hospital of The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, one of the nation’s top five hospitals specializing in obstetrical and gynecological care.

I would love to hear/talk about your experience, share in the conversation in the comments below or on FBThis blog post is intended to encourage and share my personal experience. Breastfeeding tips were provided by Dr.Drai while he is a license medial professional this information was provided for educational purposes only and should not be misconstrued as official medical advice. Please consult your doctor or lactation specialist.

21 Comments on We were born with boobs so shouldn’t we use them?

  1. Carin Kilby Clark
    July 2, 2014 at 10:48 am (6 months ago)

    Great post! The longest I breastfed was six weeks with my first… and four weeks with my second and third… It was my choice not to stick with it and to use formula {I had my reasons} and I just hate the fact that there’s so much judgement surrounding this topic. Every mom has to do what works best for her. I applaud any mother who has children who aren’t homeless or hungry – job well done. On that note, you are certainly the breast whisperer! And it’s great that you are showing another side of this issue that isn’t talked about {or celebrated} much; which is that black women do breastfeed too! Thanks for sharing :)

    Reply
    • Mimicutelips
      July 2, 2014 at 2:44 pm (6 months ago)

      The great thing is that you at least gave it a try. You still gave them a boost when they needed it the most. Being a mom is hard enough. I totally agree that we don’t need to fight about such things. You support and encourage others that do and that’s the amazing part. We can all still be a champion.

      Reply
  2. Christina
    July 2, 2014 at 2:16 pm (6 months ago)

    Yes, you were the “boob whisperer”. Collectively I breastfed for 12 weeks with your help, although I would have loved to continue – it was many factors that stopped me. I am not really understanding the “hoopla” about women breastfeeding in public. I personally feel if I can go to the store and purchase a drink and chips; then proceed to walk around in a mall and eat, why can’t a baby eat in public? I’ve read comments about people thinking you should go into the bathroom and breastfeed your child, and I often think – do you go into a public bathroom to eat your lunch? The American’s have sensitivity issues with everything especially breastfeeding, but with women like you in the world who celebrate breastfeeding, it makes so many of us comfortable! Thanks for sharing and being my #1 supporter in the nutrition education for my daughter!

    Reply
    • Mimicutelips
      July 2, 2014 at 2:48 pm (6 months ago)

      Again at least you gave it a try. You gave her a solid beginning that served her well. I love that you gave it a try, it takes a village for sure. I too dislike the stigma that we should hide in a closet or bathroom to feed our babies. As women we still have to make sure our voice is heard and that we are sitting at the head of the table with the men. American needs a bit of a chill pill, I can only hope that we can continue to make our voice heard. Even if its only one blog or comment at a time. :)

      Reply
    • Mimicutelips
      July 2, 2014 at 10:28 pm (6 months ago)

      I totally agree Amber, thanks for stopping by.

      Reply
  3. Tanay @ Life with Tanay
    July 2, 2014 at 10:11 pm (6 months ago)

    OOOOO so funny you wrote this post I was just thinking about writing on breastfeeding since I’m pregnant and have seen SOOOOO much controversy on it lately. LOL @ The Boob Whisperer. I might need to hire you! haha

    Reply
    • Mimicutelips
      July 2, 2014 at 11:26 pm (6 months ago)

      Hahahaha, I will happily be a resource if needed, you can find me @mimicutelips on all social media. Congratulations on your pregnancy, welcome to club motherhood. I was 24 years old when I had my son.

      Reply
  4. Yani Ransome
    July 3, 2014 at 6:27 am (6 months ago)

    I love that breastfeeding is being normalized!! I have 2 myself, both breastfed, and 1 still feeding (15 months in 2 days) I never thought not to. My mom breastfed all of us, my god-mother breastfed her children. It was normal. I wouldn’t even think of buying formula. Breastfeeding is fun. lol My daughter and I play boobie games while she eats, makes feeding time less boring. She looks at me with such love and appreciation and has so much fun during that time together. My son did also. He’s 3 now and has been off breast milk since about 20 months. It really changes the dynamics of the relationship. and the breast is the best cure all!! LOL I love Katie Madden of Balanced Breastfeeding’s work, she is helping women fit and adjust to breastfeeding in their lives and helping baby have good breastfeeding manners (I don’t like my nipple bit!!) Awesome post!! #BlackWomenBreastfeedToo

    Reply
    • Mimicutelips
      July 3, 2014 at 10:40 pm (6 months ago)

      Thanks Yani! I totally love this, I wish I had generations of resources. How amazing is that, probably would have gotten me a little more sleep. ahahhahahaha Thanks for you input.

      Reply
  5. Dr. Drai
    July 3, 2014 at 6:55 am (6 months ago)

    Loved the article. TY for allowing me to contribute. We need more boob whisperers like you.

    Reply
    • Mimicutelips
      July 3, 2014 at 10:32 pm (6 months ago)

      You are awesome, I’m glad we were able to collaborate. This was a great topic. Long live the boob whisperers. lol

      Reply
  6. Mimi
    July 3, 2014 at 7:26 am (6 months ago)

    I breastfed both of mine and I never knew anyone who had done it and been successful. I had a lactation consultant the first time and she saved me. I was a pro when I had my daughter. Luckily I was able to get here all the way to 16 months so she never had formula.

    I keep saying I am going to go and be a doula because I think women in our communities could stand the encouragement because we don’t get it. If you aren’t strong or find a community of support the likelihood of succeeding is low..

    Reply
    • Mimicutelips
      July 3, 2014 at 10:34 pm (6 months ago)

      Kudos for doing it, you are so right women in our community need the encouragement and support at their fingertips. It takes a village for sure. Thanks Mimi

      Reply
  7. Ayana Pitterson
    July 3, 2014 at 4:41 pm (6 months ago)

    LOVE the article! Thank you for stating what to me is the obvious. There is a reason milk comes from us, there is a reason the formula bottles state in their advertising, “as close to breastmilk.” I grew up in Trinidad and breastfeeding wasn’t really an option. You just did it. When I became pregnant with my first, that was the first time there were options given to me regarding breastfeeding — whether I would do it or not. I breastfed both kids and will do it again and again and again. Luckily though, I don’t want anymore kids..lol. I am just not sure what the fuss is about really. If you can do it, want to do it and enjoy doing it, go for it!

    Thrifting Diva
    http://www.thriftingdiva.com

    Reply
    • Mimicutelips
      July 3, 2014 at 10:43 pm (6 months ago)

      Ayana, sometimes we forget the obvious. lol I love that it is a cultural thing for you. We as African Americans are lacking in the culture department. I like you are done with babies but if I wanted more then I would do it every single time.

      Other people like to put THEIR insecurities on us. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  8. chanell gaines
    July 5, 2014 at 11:23 am (6 months ago)

    I love this topic. I was able breastfeed my son for almost 15months. So many African American women choose not to breasted for whatever reason. I remember hearing from people how hard it was.
    I remember having the lactation consultant visit while we were still in the hospital and being amazed when she showed me how my newborn could find my breast without any assistance. breastfeeding was such a beautiful experience. I loved our time alone. Just us. Bonding.
    In my doctoral program (before I quit), I did a lot of research on the rates of breastfeeding among African American women and was astonished at how low they were. I really think that a media campaign should be developed to help increase the rates of breastfeeding in the black community.

    Reply
    • Mimicutelips
      July 7, 2014 at 1:25 pm (5 months ago)

      Chanell the process from start to finish is really amazing when we think about it. Our bodies know what to do and when to do it. Our babies also know what to do and how to do it. Amazing! A media campaign is exactly what’s needed, I would totally support it too.

      Reply
  9. Jarreau Robinson
    July 11, 2014 at 10:30 am (5 months ago)

    As a [real] man and a father I want the best life has to offer for my kids. And on the topic at hand, breastfeeding (i.e. the milk from the mothers breast) is the best there is for a developing baby. Research says that it not only helps with the immune system, but also with developing brain function. At 9 and 2 years later, I believe you can see the effects in my smart, healthy babies. Despite what most say, I believe if a woman can do it, she should! ….and I have no clue why so many people get so disgusted or upset when they see a woman breastfeeding a baby in public…their mother probaby did it with them…and beside, who doesn’t like to see some side boob action! lol :-D

    Reply
    • Mimicutelips
      July 13, 2014 at 11:32 pm (5 months ago)

      hahahahahahaha lol @ some boob action

      Thanks for the male point of view and your support and encouragement for me to nurse both of our babies. If it weren’t for you I don’t know if I would have done it. *smooches*

      Reply
  10. Shaunte
    July 14, 2014 at 11:26 am (5 months ago)

    People continue to ask when I am going to stop breastfeeding my two year old. If only they knew the journey that it took for us to get where we are today! I remember I almost quit trying because we weren’t quite getting it at first. Due to an extended stay in the hospital we ended up experiencing nipple confusion and it was so stressful. I really appreciate you posting this article- the first step is having the knowledge to try!

    Reply

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