Are you a single mom and breastfeeding or pumping for your baby? How do you have time to manage it all? If you’re sharing custody of your child, how do you handle time away so you don’t experience a drop in milk supply? How do you manage the stress of being a single parent? Today single moms share their experience to help other moms going through the same thing.
The Boob Group
Breastfeeding and Pumping for Single Moms
Episode 155, April 23rd, 2016
Please be advised, this transcription was performed from a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.
SUNNY GAULT: This episode of The Boob Group is brought to you by Rumina Nursingwear. Hands-free pumping and nursing tanks and bras to support your breastfeeding goals. Visit www.pumpandnurse.com and save 20% with promo code BOOBGROUP20.
SUNNY GAULT: Are you a single mom and breastfeeding or pumping for your baby? How do you have time to manage at all? If you’re sharing custody of your child, how do you handle time away so you don’t experience the dropping milk supply? How do you manage the stress of just being a single parent? Today, single moms share their experience to help other moms going through the same thing. We’re supporting one another.
We’re The Boob Group.
SUNNY GAULT: Welcome to The Boob Group. We’re here to support all moms wanting to provide breastmilk for their babies. I'm Sunny Gault and I'm super excited to be with all of you today. Thanks so much for listening. Instead of just listening to our show, why not be part of The Boob group? It’s now easier than ever to join the conversation right in your own home, you just need a computer, a pretty good internet connection and you’re all set.
For more information, visit our website at www.newmommymedia.com. We’re always looking for episode ideas and you can email those ideas to us through our website or if you guys are friends with us on Facebook, if you’ve liked our Facebook page, just send us a message that way, post it on our wall and we will totally get it and we’ll take care of that for you.
All right, so let’s meet the mammas that are joining our conversation today. We’ve got handful of mamas. I think this is going to be really good conversation. Trisa, you haven’t been on the show before so tell us a little bit of yourself.
TRISA: Thank you for having me on the show. My name is Trisa. I have three beautiful kids. I have a 10 year old. I have a six year old boy. I have now eight month old girl, and my oldest as a girl as well. I'm currently breastfeeding my eight month old which is the longest I breastfeed. I breastfeed my son for about a month and my oldest daughter for about a month as well, and I live in Detroit Michigan.
SUNNY GAULT: Wonderful. Well, congratulations on the eight months. That’s amazing.
TRISA: thank you.
SUNNY GAULT: Awesome. Myra is new to the show. Welcome Myra. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
MYRA: Hi everyone. My name is Myra. I am raising my children solo. I have a son who is seven years old and a daughter who is almost three and still with me on our breastfeeding journey. I breastfeed my first born until he was about two years old, and then I’ve consider myself being a single mom for the longest.
SUNNY GAULT: Awesome. Well, welcome to the show. African Moon, Moon, tell us a little bit about yourself.
AFRICAN MOON: I have three children. They are eight, four, and six months. I breastfeed my eight year old until she was three. My four year old until he was three. I intend on letting my child breastfeed as long as he wants as well. I have been single parents off and on for the last … Havrel, my oldest daughter is this not coming to me right … Bu yes, I am like I said a single parent off and on for the last eight years I think. We have a lot of experience with the two breastfeeding and being single.
SUNNY GAULT: Awesome. Okay, thanks Moon. Priya, you and I are the marry couples I think on this show. I think we have some stuff to contribute as well but tell us a little bit about your self Priya.
PRIYA: Sure. My name is Priya. I am the co-founder of MomsPumpHere, the app that helps moms find places to breastfeed and breast pump all over the world. I am married and I have three children. My oldest is 14, so it’s been a long time since I breastfeed and breastfeed pump for him, but for him, I breastfed for about nine months and probably breast pumped a little bit longer than that. I can’t remember because it’s little fuzzy now.
My second, my daughter, I breastfed her for two weeks and breast pump longer than that, and then my last one Leom, I breastfed him for three years. It was up to where my sister was like okay, this is weekend. We’re stopping right now. We’re not doing this anymore, but it was more out of guilt that’s why it lasted that long, but he’s strong as an Ox now. I'm glad to be here. Thank you for having me.
SUNNY GAULT: Yes, absolutely awesome. Okay, well, ladies, thanks for being with us. We’re going to take a quick break and we’ll be right back.
SUNNY GAULT: Okay, so before we kick off our conversation today, we have our “Boob Oops” segment. I love this segment, you guys because it just makes me feel so normal as a breastfeeding mom because sometimes, things happen when you’re breastfeeding or pumping for your baby and it’s not really what you play on, right? Even if it’s not so funny in the moment, it’s usually pretty funny afterward.
This comes from one of our listeners, Mia, Mia, thank you so much for sending this in. She rights;
“It’s amazing to me that although lots of mothers nurse their babies now a day, there’re still people and children who have never seen the mother breastfeed. I think we can all relate to this. Once, when my youngest son was a baby, he started brooding while we were at church. I took him back to the nursery and even though the workers and lots of children where there, I was more at ease, there the nursing in appeal. Well, anyways, I got situated and my son was nursing awake, covered by a blanket, suddenly, a little about four comes up, jerks the blanket up as higher as she can, stairs at my son nursing and loudly asked, “What are you doing?”
“I tell her, “I'm feeding the baby. “She looks at me like I was crazy and says, “Oh, no, you’re not.” I think she thought I was suffocating him. At that point, I didn’t argue with such a vocal child. I simply recovered myself, held on to the blanket to prevent further peaks from her and continue to nurse my son. To make manners worst, I'm not sure if some of the other mothers on the room even knew what I was doing as very few of them were breastfeeding or breastfeeding mothers. Needless to say I was embarrassed but thank goodness you can’t die of embarrassment”.
I think we can all kind of relate to that for all the moms that are part of the conversation today. I know I'm personally one of those moms that I'm a little more private when I am breastfeeding in public, I do prefer covers and things like that and I usually try to keep to myself, so I'm putting myself mentally in Mia’s position. I'm like, oh my gosh, if someone, you know, the little child doesn’t know any different, right? So a little child comes up and yanks the blanket off. I feel like, oh my gosh, give me back that blanket. Has anyone had any kind of situation like that happen in a semi-public situation?
TRISA: I was at a birthday party. A friend of mine have son was turning I like seven. It was outside at the park. I was like, oh I tell the moms I have now to go feed the baby, so I'm going to go off to the side here. I went off to the side, turn my back to the kids. Before I sat down, I heard her son say, hey guys, let’s go see the baby, and like 20 kids came charging towards me…
SUNNY GAULT: Oh, no.
TRISA: And I was trying to take my boob out of my shirt and I said, no. Then she said, oh my gosh, she’s like come on guys, come on, let’s go play football out. It was oh, my god, it was crazy, so yes.
SUNNY GAULT: Saved by the football. That’s awesome, all right. Well, Mia, thanks so much for sending this I and Trisa for sharing your story too. That was great. If you guys have a funny breastfeeding Oops or pumping Oops or breastmilk Oops, whatever you have that’s kind of funny that you’re willing to share with all of our listeners, please send it to us. You can email us. You can also go to our website at www.newmommedia.com. There’s a grey banner on the side that says send voice mail so you can actually send it straight through your computer and we’d love to share it on our show.
SUNNY GAULT: Today, we’re talking about breastfeeding and pumping for single moms. This topic was actually requested by one of our listeners Judy who is another single mom, and real quickly, I just wanted to read the email that Judy sends us because I love getting email from our listeners. If you guys are listening and there’s a topic you really want us to explore, please let me know.
This is what Judy have to say about this topic. She says;
“Hello, I’ve been listening two of you of your podcast and I found them to be very helpful, but I also find them very much geared towards women who have partners. Of course this is understandable as most women with new babies have partners yet. There are some of us out there who are doing this on our own and would probably find it helpful to have some support as well. Perhaps, some ideas on how to manage breastfeeding as a single mom, what others can do to support a single mom breastfeeding in topics like that? I would’ve left the voicemail but I don’t have any storage on my phone to download an app, thanks.”
I understand that last part totally. Judy, my phone is always filled up with other apps and stuff on my phone. Thank you so much for sending that in. I really do appreciate it and Judy and I’ve emailed a little bit back and forth because I really wanted to make sure that this was an episode that worked really well with her. After she sent an email, I sent some request out and that’s how we came up with today’s episode. So ladies, I'm really excited to have you as part of that call today to learn more about your personal experience. As I mentioned at the beginning of the show, this isn’t something that I have a lot of experience with, so I'm going to really just be looking for you guys to share what is worked for you.
Let’s talk a little bit about your experience as a single mom. I’d love to kind of just go through and so we can have kind of a snapshot of what your life kind of looks like right now. Let’s see, Trisa, let’s start with you. Tell us a little bit about your experience. How long you’ve been in a single mom and yeah, just more about your experience.
TRISA: Okay, so I’ve been a single mom. My daughter is now 10. So probably about 10 years, I was married my oldest. We got a divorce when she was born. I have been experiencing that I’ve been in relationship in between there; however, the responsibility at the end has fallen on me. My experience with that is hard, it’s very, very hard. You have to have proper support, trying to find time for yourself is something that you have to fight for. It’s not something that you can go to someone and be like, hey.
You know, if you don’t have a support system which I have maybe 25% support which is not a whole lot. So it has been a struggle. It has been a struggle with my daughter. It was very hard going to the divorce and while trying to take of her.
SUNNY GAULT: Okay. Well, thank you for sharing that. Myra, let’s learn a little bit more about your situation.
MYRA: Yes. I have been a single mom. I felt like it since the pregnancy with my first born and in many ways, it’s also been blessing in the skies. I’ve learned so much from becoming single mom in raising my children, just on my own although financial and emotionally, all the responsibility falls on me. Luckily, I’ve had the support of my parents and my sisters. So together, I feel like they’re all my thrive and that’s helped me a lot going through those journey because it is a journey that can be difficult at times but you also learned a lot.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, absolutely, I'm glad your family was there to support you because I know a lot of people don’t have family. So at least you had your sisters and that was a little bit of support system for you. We’re going to talk a lot about support throughout this episode. Moon, tell us a little bit about your situation.
AFRICAN MOON: Like Trisa, I actually filed for a divorce when I was pregnant with my eldest. When I listen to a lot of people who are a mothers, who are single and even a lot of mothers who are married, I realized I sort of have had a gravy tight lifestyle as a single mother because I work in a job where the daycare was down stairs from where I work.
SUNNY GAULT: Okay.
AFRICAN MOON: So I was able to avoid pumping a lot. When I had a break, I was able to go down to the daycare area to nurse my child or my children because with my oldest too, I was able to go down and nurse them and go back to work. So that sort of me things a lot easier for me because I was able to bypass a lot of the obstacles but it is difficult. It really is. It’s difficult when you want to have some time to yourself and everybody is always looking for mom to entertain them.
You know, I need for you to talk to me. I need for you to look at me, and you don’t have that person there to say, hey, can you watch them so I can just go and breathe. You don’t get a chance to have that which is why I think this conversation is so important because people who are married, they don’t necessarily realize how much the person next door to you or your friend may just need for you to say hey, you want me to come, sit in the house with your children for 10 minutes.
That 10 minutes can make a world of difference for someone. Even for myself, I'm not the most organized person in the world, so if I get 10 minutes where everybody is taking a nap at the same time, I actually got a chance to figure out what the rest of the day is supposed to look like because they sort to ends up scattered when someone is talking to you every moment or they want … They’re looking for you to basically cater to them because they’re your children and they want for you to tell them exactly what to do and are they doing it right? And look mamma, I can jump on my foot and I can have on this foot, and it’s beautiful but it’s also, it’s really trying because you need to think. You need to be able to process, okay, what I'm going to do next. What are we going to do for tomorrow? And those kind of things.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, no, absolutely. I have some friends and I do realize this is a little bit different but you know, I live in San Diego and that’s a big military town and I have friends who’s spouses are deployed, and for bouts of time, they truly are a single parent. Yeah, there’re some support within the military community for sure but yeah, it’s very difficult when I see them go through this a lot. Priya, I know you’re married by I'm sure you have some single friends that are going through some similar struggles.
PRIYA: Yeah, definitely. I have to say, I really admire women that come from situations like this because there are certain inner power that you have to possess to really manage your life and your baby and figure out how are you going to do things in your daily schedule. That takes a lot of inner power and strength to get through all of that. There are, although I married, I have a very happy marriage and I had a lot of support from my husband. I do have friends, one of my closest friends. She’s single mom. She went through divorce when her baby was young. There was a lot of like, oh, can I come over and help you? And maybe baby sit, you know? And I still do that. I still offer. He’s older now but I still offer.
And you know, I bring my own kids along. We have a play day or something but yeah, I admire it so much because not everybody is in a situation where they have that support or they have that help. It’s really tough situation to go through sometimes.
SUNNY GAULT: So for our single moms on the call today, what would you say as your biggest struggle that you’re dealing with this, as breastfeeding or pumping mom? Myra, what would you say?
MYRA: Yes, I would say one of the biggest struggles for me was definitely kind of also an adventure at the same time was returning to work when my daughter was about two months old, knowing I was solely responsible for emotionally and financially even though it just kind of limited my options as it was. Although I truly wanted to spend time with her, be there 24/7, I didn’t have that option.
I have to be the one driving them to schedules, you know, fit my schedule according theirs, driving to school, driving to doctor appointments and additional activities. So luckly, my work establishment was really supportive of me pumping at that time but again, I always had the urge of saying, you know, I wish I could be home with my baby where I really feel like I belong.
And then, when you come home, tired from work, it’s like you don’t have another pair of hands to hold your baby to say, can I take a shower or pump some out and can someone feed it to her, you know. You don’t have those options and I thought that was like the hardest thing. You do learned a lot but automatically, your options are limited right from the moment you become a single parent.
SUNNY GAULT: And I think there’s probably some guilt that’s tied to that too. I think moms, if doesn’t matter if you’re single, married, whatever, when you’re going back to work, sometimes there’s just that guilt, you want to spend time with your baby and it’s just not possible, right? You have to make money. You’ve got to support your family and I can imagine as a single mom, there’s equally that guilt because that’s not an option for you to stay home and your spouse or significant other partner to take care of the family. So Trisa, tell us a little bit about what is the major cause of stress or what has been the major cause of stress for you as a breastfeeding and pumping mom?
TRISA: I will say time and just having enough time to do everything because with my third, now I'm having my third child, you know, as doctor’s appointment especially when you have a new baby, they want to see him every two months, so I'm like yeah, I don’t need to see her every two months. I have two others, you could see every three.
SUNNY GAULT: Right.
TRISA: So we got doctor’s appointment, she got dentist appointment. You got to go to work. You try to put in 40 hours. I am a contractor so if I don’t work, I don’t get paid. You know, and then my oldest child, she’s getting involved in more after school activities. We are have it in my church, you know, as soon as make a time and then at the end of the week, I am drain, is like I am so tired, and with me, dealing with … You still deal with some of the depression at least I do. My biggest trigger is not getting enough sleep. There are times, I'm like you know, I'll two weeks and I say you know what, I want to have to take a day off because I just need to sleep while the oldest to our school and my youngest is at daycare.
My mom, you know, she watches my youngest, you know, sometimes, that’s a struggle because your mom will also do things opposite as you. She doesn’t understand while I'm cuff diaper. Why do I have to give her this breastmilk, just give her some formula. You know, always going against the grain. So when you have someone like that, you know, they can add to you know, your day to day stress.
That is a lot … I did take away pumping at my job because I was like I can’t do this on top of everything else. With me, trying to carve up time, I picked up a class so that I can change my career and move more to the freelance area. I am doing a crashed course with this. So, you know, just trying to think ahead because I'm like, I can’t continue to go at this phase and also to bring in more finances since I am the breadwinner in my household, the only breadwinner at this time.
So, just make it sure that I curve out enough time to make sure that each of my children know that they are love and then also curving out enough just to be able to function to the highest capability they needed.
SUNNY GAULT: Trisa, I think it’s so important that you were able to recognize what the whole pumping situation that that was just too much for you because I think just it’s just weird in our brain says moms that we’ve got to kind of do it all, and you can’t. Especially as a single mom, there are stuff that’s going to have to be cut out and I think it’s so smart that you were able to say, listen, you know, I'm going to stick with the breastfeeding when I can but this pumping thing, you know, somethings got to go and I commend you for recognizing that and being able to cut that out.
TRISA: Yes, and thank you. I need to let people that I’ve got donations on milk from other mom.
SUNNY GAULT: That’s awesome.
TRISA: So that kind of offset the pumping and I wasn’t get in a very big supply when I was pumping. So that’s kind of where I was like, you know, let’s make some decisions here. Am I being smart with my time, because I'm going three times to the breast room to pump at work, three times a day with 30 to 45 minutes and that whole day, I'm getting my eight ounces of milk. I'm like this mom makes no sense.
SUNNY GAULT: No, you’re right.
TRISA: You know, while I was in that room, there were other moms that will come in and out and you know, I had two they were just as frustrated and then it’s like, you know, I'm encourage and stay on top of it but don’t beat yourself up about it because the more you beat yourself up about it the hard it’s going to be for you to pump.
So you know, just to make it sure I was encourage in them as well but yes, sometimes, we just have to stop and make rational decision based on our circumstance and not let other people opinions influence ours because at the end of the day, we go home with those kids and we are the one that have to manage everything that’s going on. So you know, you can give me some advice but if it’s not inline, well, I'll see. It’s just that advice.
SUNNY GAULT: That’s right, that’s right. All right, so let’s continue this conversation about time management. Moon, what do you do in order to manage this time, because there’s only so many hours in the day.
AFRICAN MOON: So I like what Trisa brought up because being a single mother in itself is almost like trying to tap into that super power but being a single mother and breastfeeding and now, I have three like I definitely had to become super woman like I had to realize that everything is on me, okay? So I'm home schooling my children. I'm trying to exclusively breastfeed. I'm trying to entertain three children at the same time, and I'm trying to be the breadwinner of the family. I had to make a decision for one that some of the things that I would like to have are just not feasible at this moment. If I'm going to home school, then I had to let go of some of the things that they may want to have, some of the toys they may want to have, some of the places that I would love to take them to.
We have to basically choose what’s important for me now, what’s important for us now and they may not look like you give them a new toy, you know, they may look like as going to the Salvation Army and getting used toy or you know, something of that sort. So I definitely had to make those kinds of decisions. And also really realizing that it’s okay, it’s okay for me not to be able to do at all. That’s one of the important parts of being a super woman, is to realize that you can’t do it all. You know, we cannot keep listening to everything that everybody says. We’re not capable of being able to work 40 hours, spend all of our day with our children have the biggest house and the nicest car and everybody has new clothes and everything is clean and all the clothes are washed and folded and it’s just not possible.
So you have to realize that as well and to be able to say it’s okay if I went to sleep last night and I did, and I hadn’t wash any of my dishes yet. You know, that’s okay. It’s okay like what Trisa was saying that I may not be able to pump but someone else gave me some breastmilk so I'll be able to say can you watch my child for me for or watch my children for me for a while. I do have some breastmilk and I can go and get some fresh air for a moment. That’s okay. That’s okay too. That’s a part of it. It’s a part of being able to say I can do it all but as long as I have some help, every now and again and that I realize that I can do it all today, maybe I have … I won’t wash my dishes today or tomorrow, maybe I won’t get done until the next day, so what is that look like?
I'm actually told my four year old how to load the dishwasher like look, we need to come in here because mamma needs some help, you know.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah.
AFRICAN MOON: So even those kind of things, and I'll watch him and part of me feels, was feeling bad originally like, oh he’s four and he’s cleaning but yeah, he’s four and he’s cleaning. He used it. You know, so why not have him help. We need to make sure that things should be, are operating the certain way. So lay your children. Help you regardless of how old they are and realize that that’s okay as well.
SUNNY GAULT: And sometimes they want to help. I mean, we think of it as kind of oh, I got to teach him how to do this or whatever but a lot of kids really want to be part. I mean, don’t view it as just a chore that you’re giving to a little kid and why do I have to do that but they want to help up the family, so I think that’s a great idea. All right, so when we come back, we’re going to talk about going back to work a little bit more. I know we touched on that just a little bit. And then, also, what do you do to maintain your milk supply, and how do you just manage the stress of it all? We’ll be right back.
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SUNNY GAULT: Welcome back. We’re talking about breastfeeding and pumping for single moms. I want to focus a little bit on moms that need to spend an extend a period of time away from their baby. So this could be a result of needing to go back to work which we talked a little bit in the first half of the show. Also, a lot of moms have to deal with sharing custody on some level even if it’s not full custody or whatever. I know we don’t have anyone on the call that has had to deal with sharing custody like for days and stuff like that but Priya, I wanted to get you back and involved in the conversation because I know you have a friend that dealt with this, so can you share a little bit about that?
PRIYA: Yes. So she had to do a lot of management. I figure out how she was going to get the support and resources that she needed while having to go through her custody battle. This is a very difficult situation and without getting in to too many details, it did involve domestic violence, and she had to really figure out how she wasn’t get breastmilk to her son, you know, she was in daycare. Her mom was flying back between here and Florida. So really took a lot of time management for her and figuring out how she was going to get the necessary nutrient she wanted her baby to have through the breastmilk to him. And, you know, this is a while ago.
Now, they are … Some of the other moms mentioned donor milk, you know, I think that’s such a great resource, you know, back when she was dealing with this whole situation. She didn’t have access to that resource or didn’t know there are any resources like that available to her which probably would’ve been helpful to her in doing the custody battle and going through this horrible situation with her ex-husband. Yeah, it was just really tough for her and it took a lot of listening for me, obviously, I was not in that situation. I wish I could just fix it for her, and I couldn’t. It was more about me being there as a friend, helping her out whenever she needed it, just listening and crying with her because it was just that tough of this situation for her.
So yeah, it was a little bit different than just a normal, you know, custody battle and not that any custody battles are normal but…
SUNNY GAULT: Right.
PRIYA: It was an extreme situation for her where she had to make sure her son was safe.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, absolutely, and I'm so glad you were there as a friend. We’re going to talk about that, you know, the importance of support in just a little bit. Myra, I know that you, you know, you’ve already mentioned that you had to go back to work. You know, you are the breadwinner of your family, right? You’re bringing in the income. So, what advice do you have for other mammas out there that have to go through that and you know, are still trying to keep their milk supply because when they are with their babies, they do want to breastfeed.
MYRA: Yes, absolutely. I actually felt since the beginning of my pregnancy actually that one of my biggest hauls was actually the pump, the breastmilk pump, just because I'm like this is what’s going to help me keep up my milk supply, you know, provide milk for my baby when I know I have to return to work within two months.
So I started building my supply, you know, three weeks before I return to work, and again, like the pump was like my savior because every time I looked at it, I'm like, you know, work is not something that’s taken away the breastfeeding experience, it’s actually giving me something else to do for my baby. And so, that’s how I took in and I'm like, I'm going to pump because I feel committed. I feel like, when I'm … I mean, it’s you know, I know some people have a difficult experience with the pump.
You know, it’s obviously not the same at all to your baby and all that love, you know, looking at their eyes and everything but I feel like oxytocin, you know, the hormone of love is always present as long as you love your baby. So when I have the pump, you know, stucked to me, I thought about my baby. I had a picture of her, that’s what kind of helped. Those days when I did return to work, I had to pump between breaks. I was always constantly thinking of my baby like I'm doing this for her.
It didn’t feel like, you know, like a struggle or like an added responsibility. It feel more like, it almost feel natural, you know, like … So I would tell single moms that have to return to work and they feel like they’re deciding whether to pump or just provide breastmilk when they’re with their babies that whatever you feels right in your heart, that’s what usually helps, you know, kind of the process flow without any added stress because like one of the moms mentioned here on the show. I know she said like you know, she kind of made priorities and the pump didn’t work out for her.
I'm not going to say it wasn’t difficult for me to decide to stay with the pump but like I said, if they give me that extra thought of my baby, you know, it’s the thing that kind of kept me in touch when I was at work. When I was here dealing with you know, people. I used to work at a newspaper and I would have to you know, talk to people about nothing related to motherhood and nobody was a parent there. So when I went in that little break with my little pump, I'm like, this is for my baby. My baby will get this breastmilk that you know, I’ve been thinking about her all along.
SUNNY GAULT: Good for you. Yeah, so Trisa, let’s talk about stress. You don’t experience any stress in your life, do you?
TRISA: Yeah, we’ve been it all, stress free over here.
SUNNY GAULT: How do you manage it? I imagine there’s lots of stress every day.
TRISA: Yeah, so it may sound very weird however breathing, works for me.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah.
TRISA: Also, have some road range. It was like a double whamming. So it’s like I had to remind myself, okay Trisa, just breathe through this, you know, and making sure that I'm doing I guess I'm just active, you know, not to the point where is taking over my day where I can’t you know, I'm not maintaining my household but you know, at least get out once a day and making sure that the kids are taken care of that helps my stress level up too because it’s like, okay, when we got, we may have schedule 10 things today but we got two of those 10 things done. And me okay with it. It’s like, like Moon indicates it, you know, going to bed and okay, those dishes can wait. You know, they’re not going to walk away and it’d be nice if they did or they wash themselves but they’re not, so you know, we’ll get with them tomorrow.
Recently, thank goodness because I have a job that is very flexible. I can work from home, here and there, you know, you do have to show your face in corporate America. So they all want every day but I did talked to my boss just yesterday Friday and I told her you know, I'm going to have to take Monday as off. I'm just going to go have to sacrifice a day and work Tuesday to Friday because that Monday either I'm going to sleep or I'm going to clean, and you know, to focus on our fancies. Sometimes, you just have to again, sit back and see what works for you. Sometimes we get so hang up on getting a paycheck every day and it’s like we do need them. We do need them maintain. We do need a roof over our head and those other things necessities.
However, do you need it to the extreme of working 40 hours a week? You know, can you sacrifice a day? And that’s kind of where I was. I was like, okay, we can cut out eating out so much. And that, since I'm taking that one day off, I can cook meals for the whole week. You know, so just really sitting back, reevaluating things and that may be everyday may you reevaluate or maybe once a week like okay, we’re getting off track. You know, where do we need to go, you know, my kids right this point, I'm getting them to school late every day. I'm like, this is not going to happen.
So it’s like, you know, you have to really sit back because you will get caught up in the world we in and before you know it, you will crash and you will burn and I have been there before. And it’s like, okay, how that we came here and then you have to rebuild yourself out of that ditch that you know, you did not did just because you want it too, it just happen because life happen.
So making sure that you mentally think about what you’re doing and being at present and you know, just breathing through it, you know, this is rough day, let me just walk away whether it’d be just a living room or one of the kids room because you know they’re in your room for whatever reason bothering you. So let me go in their room. So let me go in their room, and you know, under their covers for a second, you know, just take 10 minutes to yourself and say, hey, you know, the three of you, don’t tear up my house. Just sit there and just act like you’re going to be nice kids for 10 minutes.
So that is very, very important. And then, you know, reaching outside of your family, you know, maybe you don’t get the support from your family but you may have friends around that are willing to support you but they don’t’ know. They don’t know that you’re over there struggling
So if you open your mouth which I had to learn and say, hey, you know, I'm struggling today. Can you just kind of pick up the kids and just have them for half a day? And they will go, okay, you know, no problem. I didn’t I wasn’t aware, it’s like it’s okay. You know, sometimes, a single parent because we take so much all, it’s so hard as to let go and let just somebody else to help us.
SUNNY GAULT: Yup. I think that’s good advice for all moms out there. Sometimes, moms just need help in general, you know, and so I'm glad you’re able to reach out for help. So let’s talk about support because everything is boiling down to support, right? So if it’s not support from a partner, you know, support from friends, support from you know, like Trisa was talking about your neighbors, or somebody that can just watch the kids for a little bit. So I guess, Myra, let’s go back to you. Let’s talk a little bit about support. You said you had some support from your family?
MYRA: Yes, I have support from my parents. My mom was a big help the first couple of days after my second baby was born, and so it kind of help me. Mostly, she help me with my older son you know, because once you become a parent of two or more children, everything just automatically you have more responsibilities. So she kind of help my just when I was you know, breastfeeding the baby, especially those cluster feeding episodes that we had.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah.
MYRA: Those are really difficult because I really had to just kind of you know, on the bed with my baby for hours on end, and so, she kind of help me with my son, in that way that she was able to you know, she loves his grandma so it was no big deal for him, and she was actually transitioning too to kind of understanding. You know, there’s a new person in our lives and she needs a little bit more attention than you but I didn’t want to kind of give him that message, so I did try to spend time with me and my mom kind of help me with that. So you know, hold the baby, she would hold the baby and then, I can play with my son for a little bit and stuff, you know. So that really helped a lot.
Another thing I kind of learned as a single parent is who kind of learned to say no to things I really couldn’t commit whether it was a work or with friends that allowed, you know, time to be with my children. And then, also I kind of got out of my comfort zone and I did join some local mom groups. I know there’s like “meet up” and things like that but also Facebook communities are kind of taking more presence online and you find stuff …
I'm from Chicago and luckily, I was able to find some groups. You know, it was intimidating to just it’s kind of like a blind date for moms. So you have to just go as you are and so you know, there’s a connection there, and fortunately, there was some connection with some moms. I do learned that some of them breastfeed.
So I feel that that’s a way to find support if you really have you know, family that’s not nearby or friends that are not parents, there’s always someone out there willing to even just connect, even just having an adult conversation is a way to support someone or just telling them, you know, I'm going through the same thing, and I’ve met some wonderful parents through there, so I would really recommend that. Just searching online for like mom groups, local mom groups that have like play days and things like that. And I love it that there’s like some gear towards you know, as single parents.
SUNNY GAULT: Moon, what do you do for support? How do you get support from friends, family, people like that?
AFRICAN MOON: You know, what, it’s so funny because I'm listening to Trisa and Myra speak and so many things were popping up in my head like oh my gosh, she’s right, oh my gosh, she’s right. So first thing that that was the best thing ever thought to me, okay, was how to wrap my baby so they can breastfeed in a wrap? Lifesaver, every mother, I don’t care whether you’re single or not, every mother needs to learn how to wrap their child so they can breastfeed in a wrap and mom hands are free. This has saved my life. This is the reason why I was able to breastfeed each of my elder two children for three years of peace. Tie them on, let them breastfeed and then you can still do things with your children. You can still cook, and like I said we home school.
So I have my youngest son tied on my chest while I'm teaching my children their lesson and he’s still breastfeed so I don’t have to take my attention off of them, so I can go and lay down or sit down or whatever to breastfeed him. I'm telling you that it’s a lifesaver. Also, check your libraries. Every library has a story time. That is also a lifesaver. Go and you can put your children in the story time. They’re engage with other children. They’re learning things and you can breathe.
The libraries have become like the biggest part of our day. I go to different library every day for story time. That’s where I find my support through the libraries. Go online. There are tons of sites on Facebook and twitter or whatever and they have list of all of these different programs that are free or almost free.
They’re really, really low cost programs and a lot of these places have where, they’ll have any event or something for the parents and they’ll have free daycare. Look at those kinds of things as your support system. People are putting these things into place and you know, it wasn’t … people didn’t always think about the fact that there needs to be a childcare in place for if you’re having an event for parents but take advantage of those things because they’re really helpful.
My mother, she was not my big support person when I first have my daughter and I was breastfeeding, and she just didn’t get it. And after a while, over the years or me being an advocate, she’s jumped on board you know, and she has the breastfeeding back with me, you know.
But she has become a big support person but if you don’t have that, like she, mom, she just move to Pittsburgh and I'm in Detroit, so I don’t have that support from her anymore. So I take advantage of what my community offers as much as I possibly can. You will be surprised once you start looking how many gyms your city holds where you can go and your children are around other children and you can just sit down and have a moment. Those have become big lifesavers for me, baby-wearing and taking advantage of my libraries. It definitely saved my sanity, also event.
SUNNY GAULT: Great idea. Thanks so much for sharing that. All right, ladies, we’re out of time unfortunately but I think we gave everyone you know, really good, you know, some really good ideas in this episodes, so thanks so much for being part of today’s show. If you're a member of The Boob Group, then place check out our bonus content after this episode. We’re going to discuss some ways moms can connect with other single moms. We talked about Facebook and some stuff like that. We’ll see if our moms have any other ideas. For more information about our Boob Group Club, you can visit our website at www.newmommymedia.com.
SUNNY GAULT: So before we wrap up our show, we do have a question from one of our listeners. So if you guys have questions out there, obviously any immediate breastfeeding pumping concerns. You need to talk with the lactation educator of sort, but you know, if you have a general question that you think other moms could benefit from or want to share some experience, you can also “ask our experts” your lactation questions as well. And so this question comes from Sarah. And Sarah writes us and says wow;
“I just found your website and I love the information available. I'm looking for some information to prevent plugged ducts and have never been able to find much information or help in the past. I’ve nursed previously for 18 months and had frequent plugged ducts with the few bouts of mastitis. One went so bad then it turned into an abscess and requires surgical procedure which was a nightmare. I just had my second baby and I would like to nurse again for at least a year but I’ve already had a plugged duct. I don’t wear tight bras or put pressure on my boobs. I’ve taken Lithosun and I'm just not convinced if that really helps. Could this mean there was something really wrong with my breast or my diet or hydration? Please help. Thanks, Sarah”.
HELEN ANDERSON: Hi Sarah. This is Helen Anderson, one of the experts at New Mommy Media. I'm a registered nurse and a certified lactation educator. So I help parent prepare for breastfeeding and then allocate breastfeeding once baby is born.
So I really appreciated your question about plugged ducts and mastitis. It’s something that a lot of moms have to deal with. There are some things that we can do to help lower the risk of that. The first thing that you need to do to minimize your risk is to empty breast often. There are no scheduling, no strict thing, when you look for baby to see if they’re hungry, rooting, and at that point, we’re going to breastfeed, try not to use any pacifiers to satisfy your baby’s sucking.
You want to be sure that you are satisfying all of your baby’s sucking needs by putting him or her to breast. Couple other things you can do to prevent plugged ducts, watch your baby wearing. So if you’re wearing apparatus that putting this pressure on different parts of your breast that can put you at risk for plugged ducts as well. We see a high incidents of plugged ducts around the holidays, around birthdays when moms have a lot of other commitments and then maybe don’t breastfeed as often as they should, so be sure that you’re watching that no matter what you’re prioritizing and be in the breastfeeding and pumping.
Once you do have a pug ducks, couple things you can do, you want to direct your infant chin towards the plug and then you can use hot compresses to help dissolve that to catch hours for example, and then you want to massage the mass towards the plug, so you start behind it and try to massage it towards the nipple.
If the plug is very stubborn, you can start at the nipple and massage it actually back and then it help break it up. And then after that, you can then massage it forwards and out of the nipple again. And then when your baby is nursing, you can place a finger behind the plug to help work with your baby to remove the plug. And remember, breastfeed anatomy is different for different women. A lot of women have kind of coagulated twisty tube that lead the milk leaking to the milk storing area up to the nipple. So you may have and especially twisting duck or one that has a narrow area. And on that case, you might be more prone to having clogs in that area. I hope that help. Thanks for your question, happy breastfeeding.
SUNNY GAULT: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to The Boob Group. Don't forget to check out our sister show:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Newbies for newly post-partum moms and babies
• Parent Savers for moms and dads with infants and toddlers, and
• Twin Talks for parents with multiples.
Thanks for listening to the Boob Group, your judgement-free breast feeding resource.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. While such information and materials are released to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.
SUNNY GAULT: New Mommy Media is expanding our line-up of shows for new and expecting parents. If you have an idea for a new series, or if you’re a business, or an organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit www.NewMommyMedia.com.
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