Breastfeeding in a dress

Breast is best, but can it work in a dress? See what I did there? First of all, about the breast is best, it’s a slogan I’m quoting and it’s scientifically proven, at least for now. Some people can’t breast feed their baby. Some people don’t want to. I don’t care how you feed your baby. This particular post is about breastfeeding, but please don’t be offended if you’re path looks different than mine! I have been the first to admit that the thing I would miss the most if I couldn’t breast feed would be the freebies. Not the nutrition, not the bonding, but the flat out frugality of it. The second favorite is getting to eat all of those bonus calories! How noble of me. I am such a sacrificial lactavist.

I have breastfed for 4 and 1/2 years between my three children over the course of 7 years. I started out like most new moms, kind of awkward and self conscious, but now I am comfortable enough to breastfeed on an airplane with the toddlers head resting on the arm of the male college student sitting next to me. I prefer not to be in that position again, I am just saying I don’t give a rat’s patootie anymore.

I used to think there was no way of breast feeding in a dress because you would have to pull the whole garment up so I would choose my outfits accordingly.

Since then I have learned that I could gear my shopping toward dresses that I could nurse my baby in simply by pulling the neck line down. Whether sporting buttons, a crisscross wrap style, or even strapless most styles these days are very accommodating.

Here are just some of the dresses that I have to choose from.

 

 

 

This is an instagram I posted of the dresses I packed for my trip to New York and I have easily nursed in all three outfits.

Here is one that I cannot wear while breastfeeding! It’s super form fitting and really high up in the front.

Although, one time I witnessed a mom wear a shift dress like this for her babies dedication and then when it was time to nurse she went to the cry room and had someone help her unzip the top of her dress  so that she could feed the newborn. That’s quite a bit of effort, but I guess it shows that it can be done if you are really set on a particular outfit.

The point is, if you are breastfeeding, don’t be afraid to branch out. I recommend layering with nursing tanks and nursing bras. Those are my go to for wearing under everything. It just makes life simpler during this season. My advice to new moms that are just starting out, wear what you feel comfortable in and when in doubt practice at home first to see if you can nurse your baby with ease in a certain ensemble. I promise you I have done this on many occasions before I have determined what to wear. You are better off giving it a go in private before you are at a restaurant and realize the material isn’t as stretchy as you thought all the while trying to console the hungry screaming baby in your arms.

By the way, it is World Breastfeeding Week (or at least it was) so to all the women out there that are feeling exhausted, embarrassed, or the many that are just in love with the whole experience I hope you are encouraged that you are doing a great job. Hooray for the normal, beautiful, natural thing that it is!

By | August 10th, 2014|Babies & Toddlers, Motherhood, Natural Living, Uncategorized|4 Comments

More Than Words Can Say

*This was originally written over a year ago. Sometimes I just need to write even if I keep it to myself, but today, on the 2nd anniversary of her diagnosis, I am ready to share.*

In the world of hearing loss I feel like the label “Late Identified” is a big red stamp across my daughter’s forehead. These days most deaf children are diagnosed through a brief newborn hearing screening before they even leave the hospital. Since SJ wasn’t born at the hospital we never had any testing done until she was over two years old. 

SJ at two years old, a month after she was diagnosed.

SJ’s birth was perfect. It was hands down one of the most amazing, beautiful, and spiritual moments of my life, but if I could change the past then I would have had a screening test done after the home birth.


The first seconds of SJ’s life!

 As with any treatment plan, like with cancer or autism, the earlier you can diagnose and intervene, the better. There are so many benefits to getting started at a young age when it comes to language, and we lost two years of valuable time. However, having those years of not knowing did have some benefits. 

When I blogged for the first time about SJ’s hearing, Amanda (from Oh Amanda) left me a link to a woman she called her hero. That woman was Rachel Coleman of Signing Time. I read her story, got several of her videos, and she soon became my hero as well. Her daughter Leah was also late identified because the hospital had taken a break from newborn screenings for a brief time before they became mandatory and that was when Leah was born. Here is what Rachel said about her daughter being late identified.

 “Was it meant to be? I don’t know. I wonder how over-protective and lame I would have been if they had handed me my newborn baby and said, by the way she’s profoundly deaf. Looking back I can see the blessing it was that we got to know Leah for her first year with the complete expectation that she could do anything, she was limitless. When we did hear her diagnosis “severe to profound hearing impairment” when she was 14 months old, we mourned. We cried. We felt silly. We couldn’t believe it. We thought there was a mistake. We hoped it would go away. We felt all of that and more at once! Finally we looked at Leah and she was still her happy beautiful self. And we recognized that for Leah nothing had changed. Nothing was wrong.”

Boy do I relate to that! When we first came to SJ’s school, one of the advisers had commended me on how well I’ve done at communicating with SJ despite her hearing loss. She told me that many parents have a hard time just talking with their deaf children and unknowingly tend to turn their conversation toward someone that is listening to them. I’d like to take credit for being so loving, but I didn’t know she was deaf.

 Another therapist was astounded by SJ’s cognitive abilities and said she had never worked with a deaf child potty trained at such a young age. I’d like to take credit for that too, but once again I didn’t realize I was potty training a deaf child (and besides that she initiated it). For over two years I treated her like any other baby/toddler. We didn’t fret. We weren’t trying to protect her. We weren’t taking action. We just loved her as she was, and in the mean time she loved us back and proved to be a very capable, thriving, joyous little lady. 

I know now more than ever how vital communication and language is. However, in those years we “lost” by not starting therapy or using hearing devices we also gained a lot and I learned a valuable lesson. She understood me. She may not have understood my words, but our love transcended all of that. Our hearts spoke to one another. I have always told my kids that I love them more than words can say and for SJ I’ve lived that truth. 

Postpartum Body Image

 

postpartumbodyimage

A few months ago I put  getting back into my prepregnancy clothes as one of my summer goals. Then last week I accomplished that goal.

Here is what I had posted online.

“I did it! I reached my prepregnancy weight. I could use some help in the tone and definition department, but overall I feel healthy and happy”

I am ashamed to say that just that short statement had to be mulled over and rewritten several times. First off because I don’t want to make anyone feel insecure if they haven’t met their personal weight loss goals, and I also don’t want that to be the focus of what I am all about. I didn’t want to sound prideful either. But more than all that, in my mind I was thinking about how imperfect my body still is and always has been. Can I really say with confidence that I am healthy and happy?Here’s the deal ladies and this is a biggie, I reached a number on a scale that I had in my head and it still didn’t fulfill me. I had a moment of satisfaction followed by feelings of insecurity. This can’t be it, I still have a muffin top in most of my clothes. I have cellulite, and stretch marks. I am still not satisfied.

It was in this moment (and by moment what I really mean is a vague underlying feeling) that I had to make a decision to be happy and healthy.

Paul talks a lot about contentment (1 Timothy 6:6, Philipians 4:11, 2 Corinthians 9:8) and being satisfied with what you have and where you are at.

You don’t have to be anorexic or a plastic surgory glutton to have a body image problem. Do you tear yourself down for how you look? Do you compare yourself to others? Do you feel discontent with your body more often than you feel content? Then you have a problem.

If this little blog is in any way a platform that somehow can make a difference then I will say unapologetically that I LOVE my body! I may need to be reminded of this when my weight fluctuates, or when I am around the modelesque girls in North Dallas, or when I am in my sixties, but I am committed for the long haul.

It’s not about pride or conjuring up some feel good statement. It’s about giving up that area of self pity and freeing up every part of me to be whole and focus outwardly in the truth of who I was called to be, a beautiful creation inside and out.
By | September 24th, 2010|Motherhood|5 Comments