“Weaning and Beyond!” The Leaky Times Newsletter, Vol. 3

Welcome to The Leaky Boob’s latest newsletter: “Weaning and Beyond!”

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The following is a little preview of what’s included in this week’s newsletter:

Hi, Leakies! This week we’re focusing on Weaning and Beyond!  We have some articles we hope are helpful, exclusive content, giveaway links, a nursing and maternity wear shopping discount code, and some exciting new features in this latest edition that we hope will inspire you, make you laugh, and support you as your journey in breastfeeding transitions!

*Tip: Most of the images in our newsletter are interactive links! Try them!

Peace and Milk,

TLB Team

 

Dear Leakies,

Weaning.

For some the word strikes a tender cord of sadness, an ending of a precious time. For other it is a bittersweet word that represents freedom and reclaiming their bodies. For many it’s a conflicting combination of feelings. Weaning, no matter why, when, or even how it happens is a significant milestone.

For many of us, we spend a lot of time getting ready to have our babies, learning about pregnancy and getting updates delivered to our inboxes on the size and development of our growing babies and preparing for birth. After baby, some mothers find themselves feeling isolated and alone with feeding a consuming responsibility. It can come as a shock.

I promise though, they do eventually wean. These are my girls and all but one of them are no longer breastfeeding. Even the teens.  😉

View More: http://yourstreetphotography.pass.us/martinwebberfamily2

 

But for all that we put into figuring out that whole feeding thing, often there is very little going into feeding transitions, particularly for weaning from the breast. It can almost seem taboo to talk about weaning, as if supporting breastfeeding requires breastfeeding forever. And so once again some mothers find themselves feeling isolated and alone, overwhelmed during a time of conflicting emotion. The topic is expansive, we couldn’t begin to cover all the aspects of weaning in one newsletter so this time we’ll just give a bit of an overview.

My personal weaning stories vary, as you might expect with 6 children. Not a single one of them is identical to the other. My children are all different people with different personalities and our breastfeeding journeys reflect that reality. Letting us have our own relationship, free to be who we are and appreciate our unique dynamic together has given us the space to relax into what makes up our unique dynamic and releases me from making comparisons.

__________________

To read the rest of the newsletter, click here

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#MyStoryMatters

“I always feel bad sharing my story because I don’t want to make others feel bad, breastfeeding my baby was so easy for me, it was just perfect. I almost feel like my story doesn’t count.”

The woman standing in front of me had a sleeping little one strapped on her back and a worried expression pressed on her face. She shared briefly in this rushed moment with hundreds of people around us that she rarely talked about her breastfeeding experience when she knows so many women struggle in their own journeys. Concern that sharing her own story may cause them pain, she keeps it to herself.

Another woman before her told me she didn’t talk about her breastfeeding journey except around a few key friends because it was so discouraging and difficult she didn’t want anyone else to feel sorry for her or not try breastfeeding out of fear that they would have a similar experience.

And before that a mother told me that she never talked about her experience feeding her baby for fear of judgment because she switched to formula just a few weeks in due to difficulties and postpartum depression compounded by needing to return to work. She just couldn’t take hearing more of the inevitable questions that would follow if she shared, asking if she tried any number of herbs and medications for her supply, if she saw the right kind of breastfeeding support, or how she felt about poisoning her baby with formula, or that if she truly loved her son she would have tried harder to give him breastmilk.

Following all of them was the mother that loved breastfeeding, had overcome a few difficulties, and went one to breastfeed for 3 years before weaning and starting all over again with a new little one. But she was a quiet person and not comfortable with breastfeeding in public, it was even challenging for her to do so with a cover and she preferred a private location away from other people. Awkward and very self-aware, she hated breastfeeding in public and she never posted breastfeeding pictures online (does that mean she even really breastfed if she didn’t take and share a #brelfie? Would people think she was lying?). So she didn’t talk about breastfeeding much because she felt like a fraud. There were some points she would love to tell but not all of it and not to just anyone. Her past history of sexual abuse made it even more difficult for her and she didn’t want to share more about her infant feeding path than she was comfortable with but that seemed inadequate and wouldn’t really help anyone.

All of these women and thousands of others I have heard from felt that their story didn’t matter. They felt their stories weren’t happy enough, dramatic enough, perfect enough, difficult enough, strong enough, smart enough, right enough, important enough, painful enough, humble enough, promising enough, advocate enough, bold enough.

Enough.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

You aren’t perfect and you never will be, whatever perfect means.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Your highs, your lows.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

The flab, the stretch marks, the skin and bones, or the extra padding.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

The moments of pride, the moments of shame.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Your hurt and your joy.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Your vagina, your scars, your breasts, and your bottles.

YOU ARE ENOUGH.

And #YourStoryMatters.

#MyStoryMatters too.

Our children are watching, long before you will realize they are aware, they are watching. Every criticism you bestow upon yourself eats away at your confidence and how you view yourself. Which eats away at your child. How they will grow to see you, how they will grow to believe you see them, and how they will grow to see themselves. Are you treating yourself as well as you want your child to be treated by themselves and others some day? We are their models, is this what we want for them? And are we treating others, our friends and peers, how we want our children to treat others and how we want others to treat our children?

Will your child look at you and see that you are enough?

Will your child look at themselves and see that they are enough?

Perfection is far too high to aim for and since it is unattainable we are setting ourselves and our children up for failure if we tell them they are perfect and berate ourselves when we’re not. Someday they will know the truth that they aren’t perfect and we will have been the ones that lied to them.

But enough is enough. Within enough, there’s room for growth but still acceptance of where you are. When we are enough we can see how our stories matter. All of ours.

#IAmEnough

 

TLB is celebrating its 5th birthday this month. A month long celebration of our community and the thousands upon thousands of stories shared there. For 5 years families have been finding support in their journeys, receiving support and giving support. After finding the support they needed, many stay to pay it forward. Support forward. #TLBSupportForward. There is no better way to celebrate this milestone than going back to our roots, sharing our stories of feeding our children, our babies. To share your story with our community, email it to content @ theleakyboob.com (no spaces). All stories are welcome, we will have to be selective in what we publish to be sure it is a good fit and due to the volume of submissions it is possible we won’t be able to publish them all, but your story matters; so whether it is published on TLB or shared in the comments and interactions of our community, we hope you share your story. You can help encourage others with your story by making your own sign like above and taking a picture of you holding it to share on social media with these hashtags. Whatever it may be, from pure bliss of rainbows and sunshine to heartache and pain, your story matters. In sharing it you testify that you are enough and encourage others that they are enough too.

And together we all can say #IAmEnough #MyStoryMatters #TLBSupportForward.

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