We’re moms and we all want what’s best for our babies, right? If we truly believe that, then why aren’t we more supportive of one another? We can’t possibly know all the reasons behind a mom’s decision to feed her baby- whether it’s by breastfeeding, pumping, milk sharing, or formula feeding. And still we end up judging one another, unfairly. So, how can we change this?
The Boob Group
The Mommy Wars: How Do You Feed Your Baby?
Episode 158, May 11th, 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: We are moms. And we all want what’s best for our babies, right? If we truly believe that, why we are not more supportive of one another? We can’t possible know all of the reasons behind a mom’s decision to feed her baby, whether it’s by breastfeeding, pumping, milk-sharing, formula-feeding, and we still end up judging one another, unfairly sometimes. It’s know as the mommy wars.
We are The Boob Group.
SUNNY GAULT: Welcome to The Boob Group! We are here to support all moms wanting to feed their babies breast milk and to respect the choices of moms who have chosen to feed their babies another ways. I am Sunny Gault. If you listen to our shows week after week, why not simplify the process and simply subscribe. That way a new episode will automatically download when it’s available online.
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So let’s meet the moms that are joining us on our conversation today. We do kind of have a packed house if you will, so let’s go through really quickly and learn just a little bit more about our mammas. So Leticia, let’s start with you! Tell us a little bit about yourself and your family.
LETICIA: Well, my name is Leticia. I’m 28. I’m married. I’m an attorney who works full-time. And I have a son, Theo, who’s 4months old, and I exclusively pump.
SUNNY GAULT: Wonderful! Miranda?
MIRANDA: Yeah, hi! My name is Miranda. I have four children, raging in ages from 15 all the way down to 7months. I do a little bit of everything. I work from home, I’m a co-founder of a women’s organization and I have breastfed all of my children.
SUNNY GAULT: Awesome! Priya.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Hi! I’m excited to be here! My name is Priya and I have three children from ages 14 to 8years old, so it’s been a while since I’ve breastfed and pumped. But I did all three. I even did a supplemental formula for my daughter and my first son. And I’m also the co-founder of MomsPumpHere, the app that helps moms find places to breastfeed and breast-pump.
SUNNY GAULT: Awesome! Rhian!
RHIAN: Hi, I’m Rhian! I’m 32years old. I’m married. I have two boys. An 8 year old, who’s actually my step-son and a 1year old who is my son. My 1year old has been exclusively formula-fed since he was adopted.
SUNNY GAULT: Wonderful! And Graeme!
GRAEME SEABROOK: Hi! I’m Graeme. I have two little monsters. My oldest is almost three and my youngest is six months. With my son who’s almost three now I tried breastfeeding and it just did not work for me, so I pumped. And he was formula-fed then, after a while. And with my youngest I’ve been able to exclusively breastfeed.
SUNNY GAULT: Fantastic! And really quickly about me! I have four kids of my own. My oldest is five. I have a 3year old. And then I have twins that are about two and a half. Actually my 3year old just turned 4. So 5year old, 4year old and twins that are about two and a half years old. And with my first two kids, I breastfed for about four to six months and then supplemented with formula. And with my girls I exclusively pumped for the first two months, because they couldn’t latch, they were preemies. And then I pretty-much tandem breastfed after that. So some exclusive pumping, then some exclusive breastfeeding, so I kind of have mixture of everything as well.
Alright, ladies, thanks so much for joining us! We’ll be right back.
SUNNY GAULT: So before we dive into our conversation today I found a news headline that I thought would be good to share on this, because I’m really looking forward to hearing some perspectives on this. This is from the DailyMail which is a website. It’s based out of the U.K., so most of the articles come from just across the pond.
So this headline is about a mother and baby swimming group. It says they were banned from breastfeeding and using the chairs at the poolside of the Marriott Hotel because they are “not members”. So when you look at the article, which will be sure to post on our Facebook page if you guys want to check it out, it basically says again they were taking this swimming class and after words some of the moms wanted to breastfeed their babies. I believe they also wanted to change their babies on the chairs. I don’t know if they were changing them, just changing their clothes, changing their diapers, something like that. And then they were denied. They were upset about that. They complained to management. And Marriott apologized. They said that this wasn’t within their policy and that all breastfeeding moms were welcome.
But still some of the damage was done and some moms took to social media to vent their concerns about this. Obviously they were paying for the class, even though they weren’t members of the Marriott per see or the fitness club that this was part of, and so they were a little bit concerned about that. And so just wanted to throw this out there, see what you guys thought. If you thought: hey it kind of made sense, they are not members? Or it was something I miss here?
So what do you guys think? Anyone want to chime in?
PRIYA NEMBHARD: I think this is really petty that the staff members did this to the women! Some of these things, some of these articles and incidents that come out… I kind of feel like employees need training on how to deal with nursing moms, because it’s a deep-down worth slop if you make the wrong move. And obviously you can see that they were planning a feeding after this all happened and no business wants that, you know, wants that bad press.
SUNNY GAULT: I don’t know if they actually ended up doing the feeding.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Below the picture it says the group of women planned to do it, so I don’t know if it actually happened, yeah.
SUNNY GAULT: Right! So it is like nursing, I’m assuming. Feeding, nursing, I guess that's synonymous. Any other thought on this? Go ahead and chime in!
RHIAN: As a mom who has never been able to breastfeed, because my son was adopted and my body never let me, I think it’s ridiculous! I am allowed to feed my son anywhere I want because I have a bottle with formula in it. So I don’t understand why any other woman can’t feed their children wherever they want to, however they choose to.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, I am Priya, you actually brought up a good point about more training that is needed. And we did a whole episode, you know, speaking of feed-ins, nurse-ins, The Boob Group did a whole episode on nurse-ins and we talked about that in the episode. We were like, you know, I think we would stay away from, you know, doing these types of nurse-ins, feed-ins, if we knew that we are getting through to management.
Unfortunately, usually what you got to do is kind of make a big splash in order to get people to pay attention. But if we knew we could go straight to management with our concerns and management would implement something, you know, I think more moms would choose to go that road. I don’t think anybody really wants a big show and tell. I think we just want basic feeding rights, which is what we are talking about today, regardless if you are feeding out of a bottle, or you know… Laticia, if you wanted to pump… Have you ever had to pump in a situation like this put in public?
LETICIA: Usually I’m stuck in my car, or in someone’s office, you know, just the most ridiculous places. So I haven’t had the situations like the one mentioned in the article yet.
SUNNY GAULT: So yeah… I mean it’s just about, you know, being able to feed your baby where you need to feed your baby. In this they were talking about changing your baby, and like I said, changing can mean a bunch of different things, like… I do get a little… I don’t know if you guys are the same way, but when I’m out in public, if I’m changing a diaper, especially if I know it’s a really dirty diaper, I can kind of see like if there were just named babies everywhere and that, you know… Again, I guess it maybe depends on what kind of chair you are trying to change them on.
But I always get a little weird about that. Oh, should I go to the bathroom? This is kind of a weird, you know, situation to being able to change my baby if it’s a dirty diaper. But I don’t think that article actually says. It just says that they were trying to change them. So that could actually mean, you know, changing out of a swimsuit or something. But anyone feels that way too?
GRAEME SEABROOK: How long does it take to change a diaper? I mean… It takes what? Like 30seconds, maybe at the most. Even when… I mean, my daughter is six months now and so she is totally rolling over. As soon as she is free from the diaper, she’s just an escape artist. Even so, it really doesn't take me that long to get her changed and get her back, I guess covered up. So, I just… Stuff like this just makes scratch my head. Because it had to been so much easier to just let them change the kids, feed the kids and get them out of the way, than to cause this big stinks about it.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: I wonder if somebody complained.
SUNNY GAULT: I just going to say that I wonder if someone complained and that kind of fuelled this. Because either that or someone didn't just understand… And we don’t know. Maybe there was another group trying to get in. You know what I mean. There are a lot of other things that could be happening here. But I am glad that Marriott kind of came out and said: listen, they are just trying to feed their babies and we'll let them feed their babies, you know, kind of thing, so… Props to Marriott for coming through in the end! But it would be nice for more businesses to have more training on this. So again, we'll go ahead and post this link to our Facebook page if you guys want to check it out.
SUNNY GAULT: Today we’re talking about the mommy wars. Why do we have such a hard time accepting how other mom feed their babies? So, we have a bunch of moms joining us today to share their personal experience. And just a quick disclaimer of the top: we are not expecting to solve the mommy wars in this episode! We only have about 30minutes, we are certainly not going to do that! But we do hope that it helps facilitate an important conversation with moms both online, as well as in person. So, let’s dive into this. Why do you guys think the way we feed our kids is such a hot-button topic? Priya, what do you think?
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Moms are really passionate. And it’s funny, cause when we started my company and moms were posting content about breastfeeding, and breast-pumping, and we had images using bottles, we actually had moms come out and say: "Oh, you shouldn’t post that!”, or hospitals saying: "oh we are breastfeeding certified, so we can’t post images of bottles and promotes you like that!” So it’s a very fickle thing. I don’t know why specifically moms personally don't want to accept other women bottle-feeding, but I do think it’s a lack of education and that women really need to put themselves in other women’s shoes.
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, that is true! Laticia, as an exclusive pumping mom, you know, what do you think about that? Why is this such a hot-button topic?
LETICIA: Well, for me it took a little self-reflection, but I think it comes from our night need to care for our child and that’s directly tied to how we nurse our babies. And I think as women we want to do what’s best for our child. And we think we’re doing it as we are doing it and when someone questions you, you know, I personally go to kind of “mamma bear mode" and it is like a special kind of rage that comes out of me.
I think that, you know, it’s like it’s not just that someone is questioning the bottle in your baby’s mouth, it’s like you whole purpose for living. And so you kind of just throw all rational out the window and it’s just kind of like passion driven. So I think that leads to a lot of hurt feelings, and a lot of women saying things that, you know, if they took a step they wouldn’t necessarily say.
SUNNY GAULT: And why do you guys think we have such a hard time accepting other people’s feeding choices? Because, you know, it’s one thing to have his be hot-button topic that we all kind of talk about it, but then I kind of heard some horror stories on ways that other moms have, you know, just really kind of been rude about the whole thing, not fully understanding or even knowing any information about a mom’s background and why she made that choice.
You know, you would think that we are going to kind of put ourselves in that position, to like you know: I don’t want anyone else to judge my choices and how I feed my baby, so I’m not going to do that. But apparently, there are… And you know, maybe we’ve all done it on some level in the past, even if we haven’t said anything to someone, maybe those thoughts have raced through our minds. So why do we have such a hard time accepting other people’s feeding choices. Graeme?
GRAEME SEABROOK: I think a lot of it comes from this obsession that we all have with being normal. Everybody is trying to normalize everything! You hear that a lot. Like we need to normalize breastfeeding, or we need to normalize this, or normalize that. Well, as soon as you make one thing normal, then other things are by definition abnormal. And nobody wants to be on the other side of that.
So if it is normal and natural for me to breastfeed, then that means it is unnatural and abnormal for me for formula-feed. I think we need to normalize feeding in general. Feed your baby the best way that works for you, and you baby, and your family. That is normal. Everything else, starving your baby that is abnormal! Other than that, we are all good! That’s just…my personal opinion is that it comes from you feel attached, you see somebody that’s doing something that’s different from you, and they are happy, and they are good with that, and you think: oho, I’m wrong. You know, it makes you uncomfortable and so you go on the attack, instead of saying: no, she’s doing it different, they are good, they are happy, I’m good and I’m happy.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Do you think that is an instinct of like a competitive thing that women have with each other? Do you think it has to do with that?
GRAEME SEABROOK: Yes, definitely! We all want to be… Well, because we all want to do the best for our children, you know. The problem with words like that is that if somebody is doing the best, then somebody is doing the worst, and somebody is… You know, all of these words kind of automatically divide us.
RHIAN: I think there is a lot of mom guilt too. Because if you really wanted to breastfeed and it didn’t work, and you see someone else doing it, you know, you automatically feel guilty and a lot of times you guilt turns, you know, into defense and it just kind of downhill from there, I think.
LETICIA: I think also… You know for me, I breastfed my first two relatively easily and I don’t think I’ve ever… I never felt judgmental of moms who bottle-fed, but it was more like I just didn’t understand. Until I had my third baby who was tongue and lip-tied and that went undiagnosed for nine months and if I could have that kid to take a bottle, you know, I would have done that in a heartbeat, you know. So having different experiences too has opened my eyes, you know, and allowed me to see things from a totally different perspective. You know, just going through something with breastfeeding being difficult. And then it was like: oh, ok, yeah, it’s not always easy for everybody.
SUNNY GAULT: Absolutely! So let’s talk a little bit more personally about the experiences that each of you have had with these mommy wars. So Miranda, tell us a little bit about how it’s impacted you and your baby.
MIRANDA: Well, my kids have all been exclusively breastfed mostly because none of them would take a bottle. And so I end up breastfeeding, you know, pretty long. My kids, my older three I breastfed eighteen months, twenty-one month and twenty-three months. And I'm still breastfeeding my seven-month old.
So I kind of come out from the perspective of I have felt judged for breastfeeding as long as I have. And I’ve seen some, you know, nasty, hateful comments online, about women who choose to breastfeed past six month, or year, or, you know, two years. And so that has made me feel, you know self-conscious about that decision to do that for my kids. And you know, certainly if I’m out in public now, I have felt a little bit scared of breastfeeding in public, because of the media coverage that kind of has blown-up. So you know, yeah, it makes me a little bit anxious, a little bit self-conscious from breastfeeding and breastfeeding perspective.
SUNNY GAULT: And Rhian, tell us a little bit about you experience as a formula-feeding mom for your adopted child.
RHIAN: Well, when you are taking, you know, a teeny-tiny 1-2 months old baby out to a restaurant and you start getting the Similac and putting it into the bottle, shaking it up, and you have all these people that are just, you know, just starring at you and maybe, they are not judging, but you feel very judged by it, it's really hard. It’s a very hard situation to be in when you feel like these people are looking at you like: how come you are not giving your child what’s the best thing for them? Why do you have to give them this formula? And then also, for me, there's a lot of jealousy from moms that are able to breastfeed.
I always imagined that, you know, once I had my own children, I would be able to breastfeed them, because I just think that’s such a beautiful thing. And so whenever I see mothers that are able to breastfeed, it's sad for me and I’m quite jealous of them.
SUNNY GAULT: Graeme, I remember you told me a story before about you at a baby store…?
GRAEME SEABROOK: Yeah, I was at a… I don't know if I should use the name, so I won’t. I was at a major book store, that also has a major coffee store on the inside of it. So you might all be able to guess. And I was in the coffee section with my son. And I was feeding him breast milk from a bottle, although there was no way for this woman to know that.
It was also the very first time I had left the house since being diagnosed with postpartum depression and anxiety. I had pretty crippling panic-attacks and was bordering on some agoraphobia when you are scared to leave the house or scared to leave your safe place. There was also no way for her to know that.
So this was my very first time stepping outside of my comfort zone. I was terrified and shaking pretty much the entire time. Sat down with him, brought up the bottle with breast milk, thought that would be kind of a shield, you know-I have this super-cute baby and nobody is going to bother me. And I get yelled at by a woman who told me that I was abusing my son by giving him formula. She just started yelling at me in the middle of this coffee shop like… And then in a book store where everybody is kind of sitting there being quite and drinking their coffee. That’s really loud! Like everybody looks!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Oh my God!
GRAEME SEABROOK: There is nowhere to hide from that! You, it’s not like, I guess, being anywhere else in public where you could maybe just walk away… So by the time I got him back in the stroller and got everything put away, and did all of that, I was, you know shaking and crying. It was pretty bad! I did not… This sent me back to the house! And I did not leave the house again for a while after that!
So you really just don't know when you are dealing with a mom what her story is, or what’s going on. You don't even know what’s in that bottle! You have no idea if that's formula, if that's her breast milk that she pumped, what pumping is like for her, if it's breast milk she got from a breast-bank, why she has to do that. There are so many things going on in our backgrounds, you know.
SUNNY GAULT: So Laticia, do you have experience with anything like that since you pumped for your baby? Your baby is, you know, drinking out of bottles all the time. Do have any comment on that?
LETICIA: I do have people comment, but most of the time I just explain them that it's expressed breast milk. And with me, I really found that most people don't understand exclusive pumping. So I kind of have to explain to them why there is milk in a bottle, instead of coming directly from the breast. But once I do that, you know, people understand that’s just because most people don't know it's an option. I haven't experienced it with a complete stranger, but you are much more kind than I am, Graeme! I probably would have really yelled back at her, because I think it's so presumptuous that people even think they can comment on whatever is happening with you and your child!
GRAEME SEABROOK: Exactly! Well, if I had been healthier… If it happens now, I totally would! But at that time, I was just frozen. But right now I'm like: how is it even your business? This is the part I don't understand!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: I’m surprised nobody stood up for you either!
GRAEME SEABROOK: No!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Was it crowded?
GRAEME SEABROOK: Yes, and there were plenty of women there!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Oh, wow! We would shut her down! If we were there, we were shut her down!
SUNNY GAULT: And then record it! And then we’d put it on Facebook! Oh, Gosh! Graeme, I'm so sorry you went through that! And I know that this story that is echoed around the country. And probably other countries as well. And it’s just so sad to me that, you know, to Laticia’s point, we have to prepare ourselves to be able to explain. What other thing do we have to explain? Like if I walk into the store and see someone with purple hair, they don't have to explain to me why they have purple hair! I don’t understand this! This does not make sense to me! Oh, God!
Ok, we are going to take a quick break. When we come back we are going to continue our discussion on the mommy wars, specifically on the judgment moms face about feeding their babies. So we’ll be right back!
SUNNY GAULT: Welcome back everybody! We are talking about the mommy wars and how we feed our babies, and how it’s really nobody’s business, but they make it their business, and oh, my goodness, what we are going to do about this? So moms, what do you think instigates these wars? For example, we’ve mainly been talking about, you know, other people, you know, just kind of people coming up to you and saying whatever they want to say. What about the media? And what about healthcare professionals? Do they have a role in this as well? Priya, what do you think?
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Oh, yeah! Definitely! I mean, coming from a professional stand point, media definitely instigates… I have to say I am slightly guilty of this, because from a marketing point of view you want to engage users and you want to engage your moms. And sometimes what happens is I’ll post positive stuff, amazing things for women, great content, and you get crickets. You don’t get responses, you don’t get comments.
But the minute you post something that is slightly controversial; you get a whole bunch of moms chiming in, good, bad. And it is crazy! Unfortunately from a professional stand point and for media, and for companies, you have to inside to conversation sometimes, in order to get eyes and ears paying attention to your content. I am coming from more of a professional stand point versus a personal one, but I definitely feel media instigates all the time.
SUNNY GAULT: Absolutely! Well, and you know, I’m kind of in the same boat too. Just like, you know… For example, you know, we do those new headlines in the beginning of the show. I am always thinking, I’m like: okay, what we need something that will actually facilitate conversation. We don’t want crickets.
I try to work some positive stories and say: hey, this is such a good thing that someone did to support breastfeeding. But those aren’t the ones that inside conversation usually on Facebook and stuff. And so I’m from the news business, that’s my background. And you know the tag line or whatever, if it bleeds, it leads, and it’s kind of that whole thing, you know. But we have to be careful with that, because, you know, we don’t want to push out all the bad stuff, or all the controversy, because then it kind of fuels, it fuels kind of this us versus them. And that’s really not what we are trying to do. So we want conversation, that’s good. But we don’t want a pit-size, that’s, you know, not the focus. Rhian, do you have ideas on this?
RHIAN: I think social media plays a huge role in it. And as wonderful as social media is, it’s also something that, you know, you can get really bugged down. Especially since what everyone was talking about, reading the articles and then reading the comments that everyone posts on the articles. It’s a lot easier to be an anonymous voice behind a computer when you are not, you know, face to face with people.
Unfortunately people still get face to face comments, as I’ve been learning. But I think that it’s so easy now to give your opinion. And give it in a nasty way. It’s makes it a lot harder to have a conversation rather than that just to say: this is why I am right, and this is why you are wrong.
SUNNY GAULT: Absolutely! I was talking to a mom the other day who wasn’t able to breastfeed her children. She wanted to. This mom did everything! Everything she could possibly do in order to breastfeed her babies. And it just was not working out! So she ended up formula-feeding.
We were talking about hospitals, cause she delivered in a hospital, and she was talking about, you know, you have all this now with the baby-friendly hospitals, which is a great initiative, but they are doing more and more to make it more and more difficult, if you will, for moms who really are choosing the formula route to get formula. And she was talking about how, you know, this was very challenging and it even made it more difficult for her. Because it was just, you know… They were pushing, pushing, pushing stuff and she’d already tried stuff and it really just wasn’t working out for her.
She just felt like: listen, I am a brand new mom, at some point… Actually the whole episode that we are talking about was when do you just say: I can’t breastfeeding, I’ve tried everything, it just not working out, you know, where do you draw that line? And she was saying that, you know, despite the good intentions of the hospital… You know, because the hospitals are trying to say: listen, let’s just encourage breastfeeding as much as possible, because if we don’t do it, who’s going to do it?
You know, the baby just came out, let’s get the lactation consultant in there to help the baby as much as possible. That’s their stands. And that’s great! But from the perspective of this mom, she was like: it just wasn’t working! And it came to a point where she was just like: listen, this is hurting me more than helping me, and I need the formula, so I can be a good mom, so I can move on, so that I can say listen, I tried this, it didn’t work. And so, again, just a little bit on the other side there. This was a case of healthcare professionals kind of hurting when they were trying to help. They are trying to push breastfeeding, and it just got to a point where this mom was just… She just had it! She’s like: I can’t, I can’t, I can’t!
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah, have you heard of the breastfeeding certification that these hospitals have now?
SUNNY GAULT: Oh, the ten steps, you mean, to become baby-friendly?
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Yeah, baby-friendly. I know in New York there’s like eleven of the city hospitals are working on this certification now. And a bunch of them already have it.
SUNNY GAULT: It's a very involve process, it could take years. We actually did an episode on this. So yeah, I mean, it’s very intense. And part of the whole transitioning instead of giving formula when they leave the hospital, you know, they are preparing them in another way giving them diaper-bags, and again, more lactation consultants coming in and checking on them. All good things, but again, it can also interfere. And it can hurt breastfeeding if it’s pushed too far, you know, in the breastfeeding context.
PRIYA NEMBHARD: It’s discriminatory, if you think about it!
SUNNY GAULT: Exactly!
LETICIA: I think also that healthcare professionals need also to learn to trust moms who are advocating for themselves and their babies, and what's right. And I think even experiences in paediatrician offices are kind of the same thing. At what point do we as moms… You know, we can advocate for ourselves and our children, because we know them best, and we know ourselves best. And so I think you are right. When healthcare professionals swing to far the other way, that’s damaging as well. And I think I wish more women were empowered to feel like they are qualified to make those chooses and not be shamed, regardless of what choice they are making.
SUNNY GAULT: So moms, how do we change this perception, these mommy wars? And can we all get along? Graeme, what do you think?
GRAEME SEABROOK: I think we definitely can! I think it starts with trying to not take it personally. To not take anybody else’s choices personally and to kind of notice when you are doing that. Just to notice when… I know that there are things that really trigger me. There are words that really trigger me. There are things that other people say. And it gets my backup. And I want to say something rood, or nasty. And I always stop before I post any comment anywhere online. I stop and I re-read it. And I take a deep breath before I hit send. And I think really just that pause could help a lot of people. Because most of the time, I end up deleting it. It’s really not that big a deal. It’s really not something that I need to go off on some other mom about. It’s really not, you know, a personal attack. And just taking a deep breath and a pause could go a long way.
SUNNY GAULT: I think someone mentioned this earlier. Like it's so easy just to hide behind you computer, and type whatever you want. I mean, we see that on YouTube and Facebook all the time. There are just crazy comments that no one would ever say to someone in person. That’s kind of my trigger: if I wouldn't say this to this person in person, I shouldn’t say it online. You know, there needs to be some sort of accountability and…
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Respect!
SUNNY GAULT: Respect, yes! Even just respect for another mother because she is a mother! And you know what that's like! And you know that her day is challenging just like you day is challenging. And like we said earlier-she is trying to do everything she can to be the best mom she can be. And we don't need to be tearing each other down, I don't think that that is helping.
MIRANDA: I think having a little compassion for where that mom is in that moment and remembering what that was for you because I know that when I made the decision to exclusively pump, I was going through a lot. And you know, I did reach out to people and the people I reached out to had compassion for me. And they said: I didn’t make the choice you are making, but however I can help you, I will!
I think that it’s really important that we do that for other moms when we see them posting on Facebook, and they’re struggling. You know, maybe even they’re having a hard time between type of formula. Instead of saying: "well, you should breastfeed, that’s the best way to feed your baby!”, you know just offer advice if you have it, and if you don’t-don’t! Don’t comment!
SUNNY GAULT: You don’t have to comment on everything, everybody! And a note for the exclusive pumpers out there. Like I said, I did that just for two months when my babies were first born, my twins. That is dedication! Laticia that is dedication, mamma! That can be so challenging, especially if you are pumping throughout the night or whatever. So I give you a lot of props! Because it can be difficult to do, and there’s a lot that’s involved. And you’re still doing what’s best for your baby, and I applaud you for that! That’s awesome!
LETICIA: I appreciate it! It’s definitely not fun, so…
SUNNY GAULT: Let’s share some positive examples. I kind of want to wrap up the conversation. And I know we’ve talking a lot about negative things that we do to one another. But I do want to wrap this up, because there are so many things that… If you don’t get anything else out of this episode, hopefully you get some ideas on ways to encourage other moms who, you know, you may see out in public, or you know, you see online, and what they are doing. So let’s share positive example. Rhian, you have a positive example of how someone supported you. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
RHIAN: I do! And this was actually in the hospital when we were taking our son home. The nurses there were fantastic! And they knew about the relationship, and they knew about the adoption, and they knew how hard it was for my husband and I, and how hard it was for our son’s birth parents. And they were phenomenal!
They gave us so many of these pre-made bottles of formula! They gave us so many work-sheets and pieces of paper. And so many things to read, all sorts of literature to say: you know, this is how much you should be feeding him, this is when he should be eating, you know, these are things you can try, these are different things that you can do. And they were truly incredible in giving us all of this stuff and information. And they said: call us if you need anything, if you think that, you know, he’s not getting enough, or he’s getting too much. They were just wonderful to work with and wonderful to us as new parents who were terrified taking a baby home from the hospital!
SUNNY GAULT: That’s great! That’s great to hear! And Graeme… You know, we’ve been talking a little bit about support, and there’s a lot of ways you can support another mom. In fact, there’s an event going on Facebook now that we want to tell you a little bit more about. So Graeme, can you tell us about the "31Day Mommitment”?
GRAEME SEABROOK: Yeah, I am super excited about this! This is actually our second year in a row. And it was started by my friend Julie Maida who is the genius behind Sober Mommies. And she was just noticing the same thing we have all been talking about. Just fighting about cloth diapers versus disposable diapers and breastfeeding and formula feeding, and all of these things. And she kind of had enough of it and started this campaign called… It’s a hashtag, #mommitment. It’s spelt just like commitment with a “m" at the front.
It’s basically a bunch of moms who have made a commitment to only be supportive of each other. And to do all of the things that we’ve talked about here. If you don’t know the answer to the question, then you don’t answer that question. You don’t shame the other mom. We post articles, and blogs, and memes, and just all kinds of funny, happy, supportive stuff. And it’s all during the month of May.
You can search of Facebook for “31 Days of mommitment” or you can just search the hashtag, just #mommitment, or you can go on www.mommitment.org. All of those ways will get you over to the group and you can join us. We have bloggers who have signed up to post things to post things every day.
So there is going to be a new discussion every day. But there’s also going to be a new place where you can come and say: "I’m having a rough day today" or “this really funny thing happened to me today”, or whatever you need as a mom. You know that you are going to have at least this one month of hundreds, hopefully thousand of other moms standing right behind you and giving you virtual hugs.
SUNNY GAULT: I love this! Yeah, isn’t that great? So #mommitment and we are going to link the Facebook page on the episode page for this website. I know, what I’m going to do-I’m going to go on and I’m going to start inviting my friends. I’m going to invite all my mommy friends and be like…
PRIYA NEMBHARD: I’m going to share it too!
SUNNY GAULT: Yeah, sure, more moms will appear! That’s awesome! So we’ll link to it so you guys can check it out and hopefully we can just be a little bit more understanding of moms and what they are going through, and a little bit more supportive as a result, so… Thanks, everyone! This has been a great conversation. I really do appreciate your honesty and sharing your personal stories! It’s been amazing! I really do appreciate being part of today’s show! If you are a member of The Boob Group Club, then please be sure to check out the bonus content for this episode.
We are going to talk a little bit more about the media’s role and these mommy wars, especially when it comes to social media, we talked a little bit about that. So for more information about our club visit at www.newmommymedia.com
SUNNY GAULT: Alright, so we have a “Boob Oops” and this comes from one of our listeners, Rebeca, and it’s about pumping and going back to work, and so I think it’s very apropos to our conversation today about how moms choose to breastfeed their babies or to pump for their babies. Ok, so this is what she wrote, she said:
“I had to go to work when Hanna…”
Hanna is her daughter.
“… was three months old. She says: I was working 45minutes away from home to night a week from 11pm to 7am at a nursing home. One morning I was particularly painfully in-gorge and I decided I better pump before I drive 45minutes home. After a much, or a very long night of work, I was very tired. So I sat up in the break work, because I knew that no one would be in for at least half an hour and I figured I could pump quicker than that. I turned on my electric pump, I started double-pumping, I had my shirt up to my neck, I had both breasts out with the electric pump and these cups were milking me. I was sitting on a sofa and I thought I just rest to help my milk led down. So I thought about Hanna…”
She’s doing all the right stuff, it’s awesome! She closed her eyes. She says:
“When I opened them I had been there for three hours!”
Oh, my God
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Oh, my God!
SUNNY GAULT: She said:
“It was 10am and I started pumping at 7am. I had been sleeping and pumping for three hours.
And she said…
PRIYA NEMBHARD: Oh, my God! Was it over-flowing?
SUNNY GAULT: I don’t know.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if someone snapped some pictures or something! That break-room is used quite regularly!”
Oh, Rebecca, my goodness!
LETICIA: Hopefully her pump had an automatic shut off after so long, cause…
PRIYA NEMBHARD: She needed to sleep.
SUNNY GAULT: Well, if not, her milk supply is probably going to go over the roof of all that stimulation! I imagine like the bottles are overflowing. And it’s probably what woke her up - the milk spelling everywhere. Oh, that’s so funny! Rebecca, thanks so much for sending that in! And if you guys have funny “Boob Oops” that you want to share with us whether it’s about breastfeeding, or pumping, or milk-sharing, or any of the above, please let us know, we would love to hear it. You can send us an e-mail through our website at www.newmommymedia.com You can also click on that grey banner on the side that says: send voicemail, and that way we can hear your voice, and you can share the story yourself.
SUNNY GAULT: Alright, that wraps up our show for today. Thanks for listening to the Boob Group.
Don’t forget to check out our sister shows:
∞ Preggie Pals for expecting parents
∞ Newbies for newly postpartum moms
∞ Parent Savers for moms and dads with toddlers and
∞ Twin Talks for parents with multiples.
Thanks for listening to The Boob Group where moms know breast!
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 believed 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: How would you like to have your own show on the New Mommy Media network? We are expanding our line-up and looking for great content. If you are a business or an organization interested in learning more about our co-branded podcasts, visit our website at www.newmommymedia.com.
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