Why I breastfed my baby on TV

 

 

guest post by Jennifer Borget, news reporter for Austin, YNN and blogger at The Baby Making Machine.

 

babymaking mama austin newscast breastfeeding

It’s amazing how something as natural and innate as breastfeeding can be so misunderstood.

I didn’t see breastfeeding growing up. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I began to learn the benefits. I believe there’s a serious gap in awareness and knowledge about breastfeeding, and so many mothers—Especially in the minority community–don’t know what they’re missing.

I work as a news reporter and have a chance to help make an impact. In an effort to bring awareness to breastfeeding, and continue this important discussion, I sat down with two other mothers and conducted an interview with our babies latched-on, on-air.  (See the original segment here.)

It was bold, and something that required quite a bit of discussion and approval from people way above my pay grade, but in the end, it aired, and I was happy with the result.

Providing breast milk to my babies—What I consider to be the best nourishment for my children, hasn’t been a walk in the park.

First, I had to do my own research on the benefits and process. My mother tried to breastfeed me, but said it didn’t work out. I remember helping with my younger sisters formula bottles as I grew up.

All I knew was formula, and we were fine. I didn’t think it would be a big deal if breastfeeding “just didn’t work” for me either.

I took many of my questions to Twitter, and often found myself getting annoyed by self-proclaimed “lactavists” who told me to throw away my emergency can of formula, and seemed to have an answer for every excuse I had for why breastfeeding may not work for me.

At the time I felt like these tweeple were acting like “know it alls” who perceived formula as poison. To this day I’m still a little intimidated by overzealous lactavists, but then again, I wonder if I’ve become one myself.

I started with a goal to breastfeed through maternity leave. I pumped almost every day, multiple times a day. I stored more than 200 ounces of frozen milk to use as an emergency stash after I went back to work. I pumped every day at work, but some days I came up short, and the stash came in handy.

My husband was very supportive, making sure not to feed our daughter right before I left to come home. It was liquid gold we were rationing.

Three months went by, and I set a new goal to breastfeed until my daughter hit six months. That’s a lot of formula money saved—One of my big motivations at the time. Then I set another goal to continue nursing until her first birthday. By the time my daughter turned one, we had survived our own personal hiccups, and made it further breastfeeding than I had ever imagined. I continued to nurse my daughter until she was about 17 months. By then I had learned an immense amount of information about breastfeeding, and found myself on the giving end of breastfeeding support.

The Baby Making Machine

Jennifer and her children on set at her job.

Now, my daughter is three and I have a three-month-old nursing baby boy. I’m excited to talk about breastfeeding with anyone who will listen. I hope I don’t come across pushy. I’m really just excited to share a secret, the secret benefits, convenience, and enjoyment breastfeeding brings, that I didn’t know about when I was about to have my baby. Though they’re not really secrets, I just didn’t know about it at first.  This excitement is what drove me to do a news segment on breastfeeding, and with it being World Breastfeeding Week, there was no better time.

Here in Austin and in other locations around the world, nursing mothers are coming together for latch-on events, and nursing in unison. These events are made to start conversations about breastfeeding and nursing in public. One idea is the more we see women breastfeeding, the more normal it becomes, and the more people can learn about the benefits of breastfeeding. If I had seen women around me breastfeeding while I grew up, maybe I wouldn’t have been so hostile towards women who tried to inform me about it. Maybe then breastfeeding would have never been a question, but an automatic decision.

If I had seen women around me breastfeeding as I grew up...

 

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Have you found yourself becoming more of an advocate for breastfeeding?  How so?  Where you ever hostile towards those that tried to inform and encourage you to breastfeed?  If you’ve changed, what inspired that change?

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Comments

  1. Jennifer Borget is one of my breastfeeding heroes! I knew she was going to do the segment while nursing. I even saw most of it the first time it aired before I realized just how brave a move it was. The second time I saw it, I also caught the intro, & that’s when it landed. That’s when I understood just how brave a move it was for her to nurse on air. I’m so proud of her. We are so lucky to have her normalizing breastfeeding for more moms & babies!

  2. As one of the moms in the video with Jennifer, I felt so proud to sit beside her. This is a HUGE step, to be broadcast on air as a normal occurrence and giving information about the benefits of breastfeeding. There are too many to be named in a small segment, of course, but maybe it’s a stepping stone. Maybe.

  3. Kristin Wolke says:

    Love this piece, really helps new moms out and encourages them as well!

  4. Great blog! I am an enormous breastfeeding advocate, nursed my son through 28 months and managed to work FT after my maternity leave expired. Please keep sharing.

  5. amanda steinmann says:

    My newborn and I just started down the breastfeeding road, and I am finding your site full of support and inspiration. Looking forward to following for more…

  6. Wendy Robertson says:

    What a fantastic piece on such an important topic. I liked the comment from the one mom about if you are uncomfortable nursing in public, so you either feel like you are trapped in your house, or else you take formula with you on outings, and then you can effect your supply and over all end up not breastfeeding at all. I love that all three mothers nursed their babies throughout the interview, including the interviewer!!! It was all very normal and simple. No big deal! I decided long ago, with my first of 6 babies, that I “refuse to be banished from society for breastfeeding my child/ren”. I hope that I have been a positive example for other mothers. Thank you for the fabulous story you did, and for being a positive roll model for others!

  7. I am currently breastfeeding, my little one is 6 weeks old, and your site is really helpful!

  8. Kira Koyro says:

    I breast fed 3 kids already and am expecting #4! My 3 are so healthy and I only ever have to take them to the dr. For their yearly physical. Breast feeding saves so much money even in the long run (not just from buying formula) and your kids really will be healthier! There’s absolutely no down sides of breastdeeding! Try it!!!

  9. Im commenting here because your site won’t let me comment on the giveaway: But As I comment I am staring at my 3 month old who just pass asleep from nursing and I am so proud that I can give him THE BEST food from myself. #GOBFingMOMS

  10. Thank you for paving the way! I love this!

  11. Kahlee Swanger says:

    I also can’t comment on the giveaway thread but wonderful story !! :)

  12. Fallon Nardi says:

    I was never hostile towards people trying to give me advice on breast feeding with my first child but I was very modest and didn’t ask for help when I should have. With my second the first thing I did was ask for the lactation consultant to come in and help me so that I could be successful at breast feeding. With my third I didn’t want to ask for help because I felt I should have known what to do but I eventually asked and was so happy I did. I don’t know what I would have done without my husband being so supportive and encouraging. I am so happy to have found this blog so that I know where to find great information and women who are supportive of breast feeding!

  13. Christina Gouveia says:

    I am amazed! :)

  14. Love our quiet times together snuggling and nursing. Hitting the 4 month mark this weekend and still going well even though we’re back to work.

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