It is Black Breastfeeding week and I’m talking about breastfeeding, it is such a controversial topic. There was a recent headline about a college graduate snapping a picture while breastfeeding 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.)
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.
A lot of women feel insecure about their body after pregnancy and it is no secret that breastfeeding can take its toll on your breasts. One of my friends who lives in Denver decided to get breast augmentation surgery once her daughter had grown out of breastfeeding. Ultimately, the important thing to remember about your body is that what you do with it should always be down to your own choices and decisions.
- It’s free
- It increased the bond I had with my babies.
- It gave the kid’s immune system a big boost. To this day they hardly get sick.
- My boobs looked awesome even if they were only a loan.
- 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.
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.
Breastfeeding Tips by Dr. Drai Board-Certified OBGYN
Meet with a lactation specialist BEFORE your baby arrives.
Have your doctor order you a breast pump- 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.
This blog post is intended to encourage and share my personal experience. Breastfeeding tips were provided by Dr.Drai while he is a licensed medical 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.