Finding your breastfeeding mama tribe can be a crucial part of your breastfeeding journey. How can a mama find a tribe that’s best for her? What are the benefits of a local tribe versus an online tribe? How can your tribe help you overcome common breastfeeding issues? Our panelists share how their mama tribes have helped them succeed in their breastfeeding goals.
The Boob Group
Finding Your Breastfeeding Mama Tribe
Episode 97, March 21st, 2014
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.
ROBIN KAPLAN: On The Boob Group we are constantly talking about how important breastfeeding support is for a new mom. Beyond a partner and family a mother support network of other women can be absolutely critical on how she views her success as a breastfeeding mother. As we talk about these mama tribes today we couldn’t think of a better tribeswoman to lead this discussion than Abby Theuring or as you might know her the badass breast feeder. Today we are discussing finding your breastfeeding mama tribe. This is The Boob Group episode 97.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Welcome to The Boob Group broadcasting from the birth education centre of San Diego. The Boob Group is your weekly online on the go support group for all things related to breastfeeding. I’m your host Robin Kaplan. I’m also an international board certified lactation consultant and owner of the San Diego breastfeeding centre. We would love to give a thanks to all of our loyal listeners who’ve joined our Boob Group club. Our members get bonus content after each new show plus special giveaways and discounts. You can subscribe to our monthly newsletter for a chance to win a membership to our club each month. Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free app available on the Android and iTune market place. Today we are joined by three lovely panellists in the studio. Ladies will you please introduce yourselves.
TIFFANY KYLE: My name is Tiffany. I’m 37 and a stay at home mom 36 not quite 37 sorry jump ahead of myself. I have one little boy and he’s just 14 months.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright.
CHELSEA POWELL: My name is Chelsea and I am 27 and I work part time as an administrator for a church and I have little boy Addison who is 8 months old.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright.
ROSY GOFORTH: My name is Rosy. I’m 26 years old. I’m a stay at home mom. I have one lovely boy over here with me. He’s 22 months old and he’s Nicky.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah we have a couple of cuties in the studio today. I’m sorry you can’t see them Abby. And I’d also like to introduce Mj who is our producer and she’s going to talk a little bit about our virtual panellist program.
MJ FISHER: Yes. Well our virtual panellist program has flourished and grown because of all the online mommas that are supporting each other. It’s kind of like a little sneak preview of our show. We’ll try to give a little of some tips that we learn from our experts but otherwise the VP’s are kind of doing the same thing that are in the studio panellists are doing. Their making time to be here, be online, share their experiences, their actually helping each other reading each other’s comments and questions and engaging and supporting.
It’s just really awesome because it’s totally an extension of our show for supporting each other. So if you can’t be in the studio if you’re not local, you can still be part of the show and give your opinions and just help you know normalize another momma out there. And we may even read your comment on the show while we record. So check out theboobgroup.com under the community tab, more info for the VP program and possible perks for participation.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright. Thanks a lot Mj.
MJ FISHER: Yes.
ROBIN KAPLAN: So here’s a question from one of our listeners. This is from Rachel. I need some help. My daughter has [inaudible] since 3 months and she’s now 7 months old. Within the last week she has woken up every 1 to 2 hours. She’s never slept through the night and I don’t expect her to. But she went sleeping 3 to 6 hours of restful sleep to constant waking and comfort nursing. I tried to move her to a pack and played asleep because I thought maybe my husband and I might have been too much stimulation for her. But I really miss having her in our bed.
She sleeps about the same there and I don’t think that it’s because she’s not use to being in there yet. I just don’t’ know what to expect. People I know were telling me to night wean and let her cry it out. But I don’t feel crying it out as an option. Maybe some advice from women who’d been here would be helpful, advice that doesn’t involve crying it out. I’m okay with not getting sleep but I just want to make sure that I’m doing what’s best for her.
VERONICA TINGZON: Hi Boob Group listeners! This is Veronica Tingzon, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, owner of The Original Comfort Food in San Diego California. Rachel, just want to answer your question. Continue to co-sleep with your baby if that’s what she wants. You got to realize that baby’s sleep patterns become disturb with any type of physical, mental or emotional growth spurt.
Your baby is waking up now every 1 to 2 hours not just to comfort nurse but because something is disrupting their sleep cycle whether it’s tooth cudding whether it’s a new milestone that they’re going to you know learn how to do like crawling or sitting up or rolling over. Sometimes they’re having physical growth spurt just like when you were a teenager if you can remember back to that point when you’re growing your body also hurt. So you got to realize that what your baby was doing just a couple of weeks ago sleeping through the night 3 or 4 hours long was really in preparation for this new growth cycle whether it’s physical or mental or emotional.
So rest assured that you know whether your baby was co-sleeping with you or in the pack and play, the baby’s going to be doing the same thing they’re going to want to comfort nonetheless so might as well go ahead and put your baby right there next to you. Forget about what other people say. A lot of people who didn’t co-sleep or didn’t breastfeed don’t understand that this is what baby’s go through because what they were doing is over stuffing their baby mouth with the bottle or putting then in another room and ignoring their baby’s cries.
Cry it out is really never a good answer because when you’re baby loses trust emotionally in you when their needs are not being met. So just go ahead and listen to your motherly instincts and continue to do what you’ve always done. Hope this helps. Thanks.
ROBIN KAPLAN: So today in The Boob Group we’re discussing finding your breastfeeding mama tribe. Our expert Abby Theuring started the wildly popular blog in Facebook page with the badass breastfeeder after her son Jack was born and she had a rough start to breastfeeding. Now she’s inspiring breastfeeding mothers around the world to seek support, normalize breastfeeding in public and practice gentle parenting. Thanks for joining us Abby and welcome back to the show.
ABBY THEURING: Thank you very much for having me and making me sound so awesome.
ROBIN KAPLAN: It’s my pleasure.
ABBY THEURING: That’s actually cool listening to.
ROBIN KAPLAN: You are awesome. So Abby one of your main premises out for you website and Facebook page is to support women along their breastfeeding journeys whether it’s breastfeeding at home, in public, half breast…you know partial breastfeeding, exclusive breastfeeding you know pumping all that kind of that stuff so why do you think women to women support is so important?
ABBY THEURING: Well I think woman to woman support is really important because you know these are the women, these are the people who know exactly what we’re going through and you know it’s really hard to do something like this and this like day and days we were so isolated from each other and you know just the normal events in the society we don’t connect as well. And I think that we struggle more with breastfeeding and having somebody that who’s been truly walked in our shoes and just having that connection does knowing that you’re there sometimes makes all the difference between you know success and well I won’t say failure but you know success and struggling. And because really no one really no one is alone in this there’s you know there’s women breastfeeding all over all over the planet. And just connecting with them at least from my experience has really made all the difference in being successful and from what I hear from other moms.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely. And how important it is to find a mama tribe of like-minded women?
ABBY THEURING: Well I know, I mean I know from myself speaking from my own experience that this gave me the confidence to really parent the way that I wanted to. It helped me to figure out what my priorities really were. It help me to you know question the things that are going wrong and question the things felt wrong and being able to talk to somebody face to face you know a spirit a human being right next to me you know going oh yeah I had this exact same you know feelings, fears and struggles. And you know they’ve given me, my mama tribe has given me really the - I mean they’re really the ones who started the Badass Breastfeeder. They’re they gave me this you know this wild confidence say like okay well you know I want to take action.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah you definitely have confidence so it’s awesome that you have this amazing group behind you because I, you know putting yourself out there like that must have been pretty scary.
ABBY THEURING: Yeah it was really scary because you don’t know what the reaction is going to be and still now when there’s you know there’s such positive reactions it is still nerve racking like okay what if people going but you know there is so much taboo and so much misinformation surrounding the topic it’s like you don’t know what people are going to say.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah.
ABBY THEURING: And having you know a group of people that support you and are always helping you up and you know helping you through the rough times it’s really why you know a women can keep going.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely. And if local friends and family aren’t necessarily the women that a mom will include in her mama tribe, where else can she find these supportive women?
ABBY THEURING: Work Harder!
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah.
ABBY THEURING: You know I think there every you know like-minded moms are everywhere and it’s really important I think to remember that a mama tribe doesn’t necessarily have to be these women that are you know are soul mates you know when you’re a parent you don’t have friendships like you did when you were 16 you know when you’re did have all the time and you’re really will gush out to each other and you’re you know it’s just a huge emotional ride well it’s an emotional ride. That part are the same. But you know they don’t have to you know put parent precisely the way that we do.
It’s about human connection and you know it’s just about finding moms others moms who want to connect and forming an emotional bond around being a parent and around breastfeeding and you know the breastfeeding momma tribe that you’re looking for. And their everywhere you know you can look everywhere. It’s all there in your neighbourhood. Their just like you, they don’t know what to do they don’t know where to look. And obviously now that we have you know the online community it’s really easy to go online as well is really easy but you know it’s easier now that you can go online and find people who, I found people who lived down the street on the Facebook page.
Like the Facebook page of 130,000 people. Some women like hey that was like the park is next to mine. What? I have a friend down the street now because…
ROBIN KAPLAN: Oh that’s awesome.
ABBY THEURING: We found each other on the internet which is so backwards.
ROBIN KAPLAN: I know.
ABBY THEURING: It how it works now. It works. You know it does work.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright so ladies I’d love to open it up to our panellists in the studio now. So ladies where did you find your mama tribe? Tiffany.
TIFFANY KYLE: I kind of created my own actually.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Nice.
TIFFANY KYLE: I had to move from Illinois. Actually I was in Great Lake when I had my son and moved back to California which is originally where I’m from when he is 10 days old. And so I had discovered Abby, Abby’s blog, and just really inspired me to find my own tribe and so as soon as I got to San Diego I realize there wasn’t one and so I kind of just started it and met a couple of women through other Facebook groups I think Baby Wearing was probably one the once that help kind of connect me with some women that where like-minded mamas and so it’s kind of expanded from there and that’s how I kind of found my tribe so…
ROBIN KAPLAN: Cool how about you Chelsea?
CHELSEA POWELL: For me I think I kind of found it through two different ways and the we took a like a you know a class for our birth and the other couples in the class the other moms in the group where just people that were we were all similar in age and just you know it was all our first kids and kind of similar life paths and what we were how we were wanting to like birth our children and we kind of raise them. So I found a tribe through that and then through there’s a Wednesday support group that I go to as well and so I started going to that when my son was 3 weeks old and he’s 8 months old now and I’ve been going ever since.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome. How about you Rosy?
ROSY GOFORTH: I found my mama tribe online from the internet because we moved from California to Tennessee when Nicky was a month old and we lived in the country side so it’s really hard to find people. And when you find one like their like spread apart so I just like let me just go online and then I stumbled across Abby’s group and then I started my network there.
ROBIN KAPLAN: That’s so cool. And you are moving back here?
ROSY GOFORTH: Yup and we’re moving back to Tennessee again next month.
MJ FISHER: Oh my God.
ROSY GOFORTH: We just loved moving around.
ROBIN KAPLAN: And your mama tribe goes right with you.
ROSY GOFORTH: That’s right I don’t have to worry about it.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah that’s a really good point. And ladies who would you consider part of your mama tribe are these women you know we’re talking about local moms, we’re talking about online and who would you consider part of this? Tiffany.
TIFFANY KYLE: For me I would say probably the women that I’m closest to are local. It’s important to me that my core mama tribe is are people that I get to interact with on a fairly regular basis. Internet is fantastic and sometimes that’s your only option when you’re dealing with sick kids or transportation issues or what have you but I think it’s also really important to try and connect face to face. I need that. And so those are the people that are closest to me are the ones that I do actually get together with in addition to keeping in touch with online through Facebook so…
ROBIN KAPLAN: How about you Chelsea?
CHELSEA POWELL: I think for me I have kind of a group of people that are both online and then in person and I think I probably find even though I find support through both avenues, the people that are actually know in person that I can like see and talk to I think I definitely found the most breastfeeding support through that just because I think it’s so visual and something that I needed help with to like to visually learn and see and so to interact with moms and just the real way with that was so huge for me that that’s been just such a huge support.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Cool how about you Rosy?
ROSY GOFORTH: Hello most of my mama tribes are online and it’s really making it easy for me but like right now I met with Tiffany and it’s really wonderful when you can just go ahead hang out, sit in the park, talk and you know you get face to face a real life person. I mean the people that you met on the internet they’re real life to but it’s nice to see them in person and hug them and everything so it’s really wonderful.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah. Mj, do we have a virtual panellist who’s responding to our questions?
MJ FISHER: We do, Ms. Pipa Hartridge who’s been a doing a lot online for us today. She said I would include Robin and Mj as a part of my tribe.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Oh that’s so nice.
MJ FISHER: I know. Even though she says even though we’ve never met and are unlikely to ever meet because I think she’s on London and we lived continents apart so…
ROBIN KAPLAN: Oh that’s so nice
MJ FISHER: I know.
ROBIN KAPLAN: I love it we’re tribeswomen. So back at you Abby, so how important is a mama tribe in influencing a mother’s view of her own breastfeeding success and determining her breastfeeding duration do you think?
ABBY THEURING: Well I think other mothers have a huge influence for better or for worst as they say. It’s really incredible what women suddenly feel mission accomplished when they’re sitting with other mother who is supportive of her choices. You know and maybe she doesn’t even choose those things but she’s supportive and encouraging of view. And for me I connected with a bunch of women who wanted to practice child weaning and it was very easy for me, well it was very difficult for me when I first started breastfeeding I was like I want to make It a year.
And breastfeeding past a year to me seems kind of weird. You know because you don’t see it. I was like no that seems kind of weird. And I started connecting with women who wanted to do it and where doing it. And so it became very easy for me to imagine myself doing that and settled right into it. I have to imagine if I have connected to women who were supportive of breastfeeding that I might not have chosen to be where I am right now. And I think this is where we get to being supportive even when someone is not going to choose something that we choose for ourselves.
Somebody in the neighbourhood park who says she’s you know want to breastfeed for six months, I don’t you know start lecturing her about you know breastfeeding and natural term breastfeeding or anything. You know I tell her that it’s a beautiful thing that her to be able to make this decision by themselves and I encourage her to listen you know to her gut and say you know block everyone out and all [inaudible] breastfeeding my 2 and a half year old.
And you know we might not choose that for herself but then she sees somebody doing it you know a normal person and a normal day doing it in the park and you know maybe now it’s within her realm of possibilities. Again she might not choose it but it’s like oh okay here’s something that I’ve been really know that people did and now I’m seeing it happen. So they have a huge influence.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah I think so to. My sister lives in Oregon and everyone that she’s friends with they all practice you know extended breastfeeding whatever the most comfortable term is for everyone to say. But anything after a year, normal breastfeeding, you know after a year and but my group in San Diego was not necessarily practicing that. And so when I look at my sister now I’m like it so much easier for her to continue this breastfeeding journey because she is surrounded by everyone else is doing it so why not. And she definitely has commented how much support she feels when she is surrounded by these women that she that are her friends up there. So absolutely I think make a really-really valid point. Alright when we come back we will continue our discussion with Abby about finding your mama tribe.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Alright well welcome back to the show we are chatting with Abby Theuring the badass breast feeder. And we are talking about finding your breastfeeding mama tribe. So Abby how can a mama tribe help a mom overcome breastfeeding challenges both small and large?
ABBY THEURING: Well a friend of mine is a lactation consultant and she told me one time there’s a woman on her neighbourhood who needed help and she was like oh connect with this woman and I said why try not to find a lactation consultant. Well you can connect with her and I was like no I don’t know what to tell her. I don’t know how you know I don’t know how to get her through these struggles and she said you know sometimes what mother needs is another mother to sit with her.
You know and I was like it really blew me away because I said you know I thought you’re so real because I remember when I was having bigger struggles with Jack and I was home all by myself. I was on the internet. I’m Googling you know everything in the book like why is my baby crazy, like why is why like you know I didn’t know what I was you know I didn’t know the answers I didn’t know the questions doesn’t know the questions I had.
So I went to a league meeting and you know all like nervous and anxious about everything is going wrong. And you know like oh yeah you know that’s a normal struggle you know everything’s fine you know just keep doing what you’re doing and it was like somebody would just look at me going you know everything is fine. You know and I was like oh my god you don’t need to be hospitalized?
Like you know I thought there was you know like this huge emergency and it’s just you know face to face human contact and you know obviously mama tribes all over including our mind. Face to face human contacts for me put the task factor down like 50 notches. It just immediately like pop my anxiety bubble and you know I think somebody else just saying oh yes been there that really sucks but you know we worked it out eventually I mean it can really get out to your head which unfortunately a lot of breastfeeding struggles are in your head and not to say that you know you’re creating them yourself but you’re so nervous and you don’t know the answers and you know you just don’t know what to do.
And so you get like nervous and anxious and then it turns into this whole circular thing. And you know I think that and also for large struggles you know that are not you know that beyond you know just feeling nervous about stuff. Having a human connection and taking that stretched stress off can you know help you moved toward actually problem solving with a professional or whatever you need?
ROBIN KAPLAN: Definitely. Ladies what support do you seek from your mama tribe? Does it differ based on the type of interaction you’re having with these women for example in person versus online versus support group? Chelsea.
CHELSEA POWELL: I think for me the type of support the kind of I’m usually looking is like am I crazy? Like you know in interacting with other moms you know I’m like okay I’m not like completely losing my mind. Other moms are going through this you know other kids you know have different struggles and reach milestones at different points like there’s just such a wide range of normal.
I think that helps so much and I think I probably definitely differs for me versus what I put out kind of online in people that I know that kind of you know, know me as a person a little bit more and know maybe more like my story. Because online can sometimes only communicate so much emotion or you have people that are having other emotions at the same time that might not be understanding as what you’re trying to say. Or you don’t type something correctly and things can kind of get blown up that aren’t necessary.
So I tend to try to be cautious about things that I’ve put kind of in writing versus people that I’m talking with because it’s easier to be like oh wait-wait like totally didn’t mean something like that versus you know trying to correct something that’s kind of just out there.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah definitely.
CHELSEA POWELL: So…
ROBIN KAPLAN: How about you Rosy?
ROSY GOFORTH: Well where I came from breastfeeding up until five years old is really normal so when I moved over here and people smirk at me when I breast with my newborn so I just look around the support from every other woman that I can met like am I doing the right thing? You know…
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah.
ROSY GOFORTH: so just a support like that like I’m a mother and I have the right to feed my baby whenever his hungry and just like everybody else. You can walk down the street with some tacos in your hand and stuff like that. Why can’t I walk down the street feeding my baby?
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah.
ROSY GOFORTH: You know it’s just no difference if you’re feeding your baby a formula or something so that’s mostly the support that I needed. So just want to make sure I’m not alone and like wherever you are on this part of the world like there’s somebody out there is doing the same thing.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Very cool. How about you Tiffany?
TIFFANY KYLE: I think I definitely look for different support online as opposed to in person if I’m looking for a specific question and I’ve been very blessed I haven’t had many challenges in the breastfeeding department thank goodness. But you know parenting questions and sleep questions and if I had a specific question I definitely tend to kind of put it out in my online mama tribe because I can feel like get a variety of answers that way. I don’t tend to put the frustrated vent things in that kind of a forum. I feel like there’s enough of like a Tiffany out there in the world and I don’t need to contribute to it. So you know I generally saved those for calling my girlfriend or going oh my gosh I’m just having the worst day ever you know or whatever so I think for me It definitely is very different in that respect.
CHELSEA POWELL: Yeah. It’s great for crowd sourcing online.
TIFFANY KYLE: Yes absolutely.
WOMAN: Oh my gosh so great I forgot outsourcing.
ROBIN KAPLAN: To finding information.
TIFFANY KYLE: Yeah and it definitely makes you feel you know gets back to that whole you feel kind of normal because you realize there’s such a wide range of normal. And so many different you know experiences and once you kind of see that when you ask a question and there’s such a wide variety of experience and answers. You’re like okay well we fell on the middle of that somewhere so clearly we must not be failing you know we must be doing something alright so.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah. Mj.
CHELSEA POWELL: It makes you feel better to.
TIFFANY KYLE: Yes absolutely.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah Right.
MJ FISHER: I don’t have a VP but I myself dealing with low milk supply from when I first had Jason. I’d surrounded myself with exclusively breastfeeding moms but I also found online a little milk supply support group and oh my god it was just like these are my people you know like at that point in time so I think sometimes you know when you do have certain issues it is really nice to be around the people that have the same issues however I mean all of us have issues with breastfeeding so even being around the mommas who were able to just take out their boob and you know nurse right away were I was taking out a supplement nursing system you know.
I still felt normal with them because they made me feel normal and they encourage me and in you know what they were doing was hard and what I was doing was hard so it was really nice to you know to have that balance of the people that you, you know are really you know you make real good contact with and then the people that are just kind of like you know they’re there in your realm but maybe a little further away than what you’re doing. So…
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah absolutely. And speaking of whipping your boob out so Abby how can a support of a mama tribe help a mother overcome here fears of breastfeeding in public?
ABBY THEURING: Now well that’s just all about empowerment and you know many women supporting each other in finding a mama tribe, a face to face mama tribe. And then you know that to me that’s the kind of thing that has to be face to face. Well you know it’s better to be face to face because you’re going out in public and you know to be those people in which other breastfeeding moms that of kind of empowerment I think when is just unbreakable.
I mean it’s really unbelievable to think I mean I’ve been breastfeeding for in public for 2 and a half years and even to this day I mean people think oh you’re the badass breast feeder you breastfeed you know standing on your head. And I don’t I breastfeed like a normal person and then I when I’m on a crowded bus I feel like oh god you know Jack please stop crying. And you know I feel that kind of pressure of like oh god okay we’re going to breastfeed here you know I don’t it but I feel you know when I was like my friends will feel completely different you know it’s a magical thing.
When I’m by myself a lot of times people are not really noticing. It’s more about me kind of being nervous about it. Most of the time people don’t really pay attention to me. And I don’t hide it you know I don’t you know I don’t go into another room or whatever or wait until I get home. I’ll just breastfeed wherever I am. But I feel like people don’t really notice, maybe it’s a big city thing. But when I’m with my friends I feel like people notice in a really beautiful way even when I’m with my friends and where kind of all nursing at the same time my husband’s like where’s the camera? Where’s the camera? Let’s take a picture of this because this is so cool.
And when people passing by you know will smile they kind of looks like oh look at these women who are all smiling, all glowing and you know it’s like people can tell there’s some sort of like energy going on. And it’s not like you know going out and having drinks with your friends. You know there’s so much involve really around breastfeeding in public still I think not with everyone but I think when you’re doing it whether you do it for this reason or not you don’t see a little it’s a little bit of your act of you know civil disobedience where you’re you know you’re going to normalize breastfeeding your people exposing and you’re something that they might not see a group of you know you’re mama tribe it could be two people but I mean 2, 3, 4, 5 , 6 women breastfeeding toddlers is you know you’re exposing into something that most people don’t see.
You don’t really see that around. And so with a group it like singlizes everything about this breastfeeding movement and you know people being happy and proud and empowered and support each other, taking a stand and sort of taking it to the streets you know I mean this is where I get a little very passionate about breastfeeding in public because of the overall societal changes and impact it makes. But I think it’s a very powerful thing.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Our support group that we have on Wednesday that Chelsea had mentioned that it’s so cool we have a bunch of women with you know children who are not in their infant stage you know their 5, 6, 7 months up to a year and they kind of indoctrinate the moms with the younger babies into going out to lunch afterwards after the group and we’ve totally change like this neighbourhood that where our group is in is awesome because they’re so use to the breastfeeding moms coming out on Wednesday afternoons that I mean they even send people to the support group like it’s awesome.
And so it’s such a great way of helping these moms with younger babies get over their fears because they see all these other women breastfeeding in public and it’s no big deal so I just think you know power and numbers to like it definitely helps you overcome your fear if you’re not the only one doing it. So it’s really cool I’m so grateful for these women for doing this for our women on our community because it really I think it made such a powerful difference.
So ladies how was your mama tribe help you along your breastfeeding journey? And have you been able to help mamas as well do you think? Chelsea.
CHELSEA POWELL: My tribe has definitely helped me I think kind of talking about what you’re talking about with the nursing in public. My first kind of experience of nursing in public and feeling kind of confident was when I had gone out with all the other mamas from my birthing class and we went to bubble park and you know we were there for the whole day so all of us just you know and every time a baby sees another baby eating is like they want to eat to so.
We’re just you know everywhere we go we’re just feeding these babies and that gave me the confidence I think with being with those other moms doing the same thing just living life doing you know going to the park like normal people and feeding you know my baby however I choose to and doing that without a cover. It just kind of gave me the confidence be like I can do this, it’s okay, people aren’t going to like throw stones at me you know. It’s alright but I felt the confidence to do it because I was with other people doing it. And I think as far as helping other moms as well just you know I had other friends have babies and it’s like I pretty much only know like two moms out of you know all of the moms that I know that haven’t really had struggled with breastfeeding.
Everyone else has had pretty tough journey especially at the beginning. And just being able to be there like you know what yeah it stinks and it’s really rough and you know it can be really hard but if you’re willing to work at it, it can get so much better. Like it does get better and you know you can do this. It will take work usually you know you got to put in the effort and it’s a relationship with your kid and learning to trust your baby and to trust your body but you know if you’re willing to do it then it will get better you know. You will survive. You will survive your baby will survive and there’s people here to help you do that.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely. How about you Tiffany?
TIFFANY KYLE: I think for me the biggest impact that my mama tribe has had on me is the idea of natural term breastfeeding. It probably would’ve never occurred to me prior to getting pregnant to or even after having my son to breastfeed him for as long and now I’m sitting here saying my minimum goal was 2 and half. You know I mean I’m not even… I’m hoping that that it’s you know as the littlest amount that we go in and if he wants to breastfeed longer than that then great. I’m totally fine with that and I think that I would’ve never even consider that had I not been kind of exposed to my mama tribe and different women you know breastfeeding 3 year olds, 4 year olds and I think that that is awesome that that’s now an option.
So I think for me that’s the biggest thing. One of my girlfriends I met through my mama tribe and one of my really close friends actually really blessed me a few weeks ago. She had said that I really helped her had the confidence to nurse in public because I always look like it was no big deal and I had shared something at one point in about being nervous in a situation but you know I still breastfed my son but in the back on my mind I’m going those people over there might not really like what’s about to happen and you know I mean I still did it and it was funny.
I had said something about that to her and she goes I’m glad you said that because you always seems so confident and it’s like no big deal and it’s kind of nice to know that you do kind of have a split second. I say sure I mean of course I kind of wonder oh I hope nobody is going to give me any issues and thank god nobody has but I’m still going to do what I need to do. And so it was kind of nice to hear that you know for her It was also very empowering to see me breastfeeding confidently in the all the situation so that was kind of nice.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely. Mj, you had something you wanted to add?
MJ FISHER: Yes. Ms. Stacey Spencely she commented and said: A huge part was helping me more comfortable nursing in public. Her mama tribe helped her with nursing in public and she also got to connect with moms as a milk donor which is a really special relationship she said.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Awesome. And just as a side note Stacey’s the spearhead of our nursing in public after our breastfeeding supporters that it’s so cool she’s following along. I loved it.
Alright and ladies do you think you would be where you are right now on this breastfeeding journey without your mama tribe? Tiffany.
TIFFANY KYLE: Absolutely not. I can honestly say I don’t think that like I said I don’t think it would’ve occurred to me to continue breastfeeding this long. You know I mean maybe I would have followed my instincts but you know it’s hard when you don’t have you don’t see it. If you don’t see it then it isn’t normal then you’re like okay well I must have to stop you know but if you’re around women who are still breastfeeding and encouraging it then it’s like oh gosh! There’s nothing wrong with it? And we’re still enjoying it my son still enjoys it. It’s not a problem for me so let’s keep on going. So…
ROBIN KAPLAN: How about you Chelsea?
CHELSEA POWELL: I definitely don’t think that we would be at where we were at now. I think for me part of what was so rough early on and breastfeeding was absolutely stressed about it and I’m someone that’s want to do things correctly and so all the different positions and things that you know I kept reading about that the baby should be in and how should I be holding him. I think that stressed me out so much because I was so concerned about doing it right and having the right angle. And going to the Wednesday support group with the tribe of women there and one just seemed like there was a bunch of older babies there to at that time seemed like hey these babies you know are older and thriving and their moms you know survived past the first couple of months.
Okay so maybe I can do this. And then the other thing because when I first got there was like I only know like how to feed my baby really like in this very specific way right now, specific position and I was like I don’t know if I can do that here. Oh no like what am I going to do? And just looking around the room and watching all the other women feeding their babies to me like oh okay so their just kind of like doing this and this person is doing that so maybe like I can be a little more relax about this. I don’t have to be so stress like you know we can kind of just find like a natural way to be. And then once I kind of got past that and saw just how everyone does it differently, I was like oh this stupid books and ideas and diagrams I need to get them out of my head. And I think that was kind of a breaking point for us were I was able to relax enough to kind of you know move forward.
ROBIND KAPLAN: Rosy do you feel like you’ll be where you are on your breastfeeding journey without your mama tribe?
ROSY GOFORTH: Absolutely not. I probably gave up a long time ago because if there’s no support around like if I don’t find my mama tribe where I can [inaudible 00:37:19] and ask and look for support, I’ll probably gave up like around his 6 months old but now we’re 32 months and I don’t see anywhere near so I’m really glad that I find my mama tribe.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Absolutely. And Abby how can other mom start a badass breastfeeding Facebook group in their own city?
ABBY THEURING: Oh okay yes. You can go to the badass breastfeeder mama tribe meeting points is the name of the Facebook group. And you can go into this group and once you’re in the group there is a file in the group it’s called the mama tribe directory. And you can just go in and you can see you know first of all check to see if there’s already one in your area because there might be. There’s nearly 200 hundred already in 9 different countries so it’s a very big thing we’re on. And you know there’s woman coming all the time looking for people so it’s a place where people are really you know it’s growing and people are meeting up. And I you know I get the pictures, I get the notes, you know they’re meeting up it’s really happening so the badass breastfeeder mama tribe meeting points. You know I would go there and start there.
MJ FISHER: We have the founder of the badass breastfeeder of San Diego in the studio right now.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Yeah Tiffany.
ABBY THEURING: [inaudible]
TIFFANY KYLE: Yeah it’s been pretty great. I have to admit it’s been fun.
CHELSEA POWELL: We’re almost like 300.
TIFFANY KYLE: I think we got about 350 people in the group. Yeah.
ABBY THEURING: WoW!!!
TIFFANY KYLE: Say yeah. Yeah it’s been pretty awesome we even have a couple of dads that are joining the group been so yeah it’s been fun.
ROBIN KAPLAN: Can you believe what you started Abby? You started a revolution.
So cool. Well thank you so much Abby and to our wonderful panellists for sharing all of your amazing information about finding your breastfeeding mama tribe. We so loved having you on the show Abby. We thank you for your time.
ABBY THEURING: Yeah thank you so much for having me. I love the show. I love being on and the panellists are always so cool.
ROBIN KAPLAN: I know they’re fun. And for our Boob Group club members our conversation will continue after the end of the show as Abby will discuss her top 5 favourite in person and online resources for finding a mama tribe. For more information about our Boob Group club please visit our website at theboobgroup.com
DENISE HOFFMAN: Hey there Boob Group. My name is Denise Hoffman and I’m a private practice IBCLC otherwise known as the registered lactation consultant. Private practice means that I have my own business. And I specialized in prenatal education and breastfeeding support. This session is about prenatal prep to breastfeeding something that I definitely have an opinion about. In addition, this session is for grandma, and daddy, and other support persons helping the breastfeeding momma. Daddies in particular can really make or break a breastfeeding experience.
Often times that important partner is mom’s greatest advocate. When the partner is the daddy and the dad is attending the class. Most men think differently than women think. Daddies are great for remembering geiger counts, times and durations of feeding that forte. And we’ll start taking notes about that, mental notes about those facts and topics during the class itself. When mommas are in that emotional tailspin of being a new mother all wrap up it that baby and that feeding experience, often times its dad who’s the one that can kind of pull up these facts from his memory and used that male analytical thinking to help be supportive and help her figure the her way through any difficulty or challenges. Grandmas are a great resource on a breastfeeding process especially. Many grandmas on my experience are very interested in breastfeeding.
They’ve heard enough through the media to know that this is how things are being done this day and age. But often grandma herself did not breastfeed or didn’t have a positive breastfeeding experience. If grandmas educated prenatally, it’s far more likely that she would be a help, an advocate for momma. I loved it when I see grandmas coming to feeding consultation or sitting in class because often they have lots of good comments and suggestions about baby care. They just help momma as well. I hope that the information in this session can get you started on exploring your options. For additional tips on choosing breastfeeding class please visit my website at featurebaby.com and keep listening to The Boob Group.
ROBIN KAPLAN: That wraps up our show for today. We appreciate you listening to The Boob Group.
Don’t forget to check out our sister shows:
• Preggie Pals for expecting parents
• Parent Savers for parents with newborns, infants and toddlers
• Twin Talks for parents of multiples.
Thanks for listening to The Boob Group; Your judgement free breastfeeding resource.
This has been a New Mommy Media production. 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. Though information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor 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 organization interested in joining our network of shows through a co-branded podcast, visit www.NewMommyMedia.com .
[END OF AUDIO]