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It’s a Boob… Not a Bear Trap!

By Danielle |

Freedom in a bottle?

I read a post yesterday written by one of my colleagues on Being Pregnant and it made me stop and think about the trapped stigma surrounding breastfeeding, and why so many people are turned off because they think choosing to breastfeed their child will essentially trap them.

We know, as mothers we need time to ourselves.  Whether it is a movie with our husband, vegging out at Starbucks to do some work by ourselves without the ciaos of home interrupting, or a girls night out.  There is no need to feel bad about going out without your children!  IT IS HEALTHY!

But being a breastfeeding mother does not mean you will never leave the house again, or always have a baby with out because you are their main meal source. Nor should you put that big of a burden on yourself, because again… it simply just isn’t healthy!  We all need help, and a break. We are not super woman, and if you try to do it all you are only going to end up resentful!    Believe me, I have been there!

Of course we love out children, and love being with them, but there is nothing wrong admitting you need a break sometimes. You are human, and you did have a social life before you had your children. If you can remember!

Anyway… back to my point.

You don’t need to feel trapped by breastfeeding, and you shouldn’t feel trapped because you made the choice to breastfeed. There are so many options out there that enable you to leave your baby for a period of time, and still continue to have that little one enjoy the great benefits of breast milk!

With my oldest son, I tried desperately to pump a hand full of times via instructions from my lactation consultant to see exactly why my son wasn’t gaining much weight although he was feeding constantly. It turns out he was getting too much foremilk, and not enough of the hind milk, but that is totally besides the point.

Pumps are your friend!  Whether you get an ounce in a pumping session, of 5 ounces. Every drop makes a difference, and storing it helps to break the stereotype of being forever trapped with your breastfeeding baby, and get out for a little bit.

I have also found through pumping with various different kinds of pumps that the most effective for pumping, unfortunately seem to cost the most. But if you aren’t going to need a ton of milk pumped, a simple hand pump… or even hand expressing milk will work.  What ever truly works best for you!

Have you felt trapped by breastfeeding?

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About Danielle

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Danielle

Danielle Elwood is a straight-shooting Florida based mom of three and emerging indie author. Read bio and latest posts → Read Danielle's latest posts →

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15 thoughts on “It’s a Boob… Not a Bear Trap!

  1. Danielle says:

    If anything, breastfeeding frees you up to go anywhere with your baby without the hassle of having to bring bottles, formula, water. You always have a fresh, warm supply that never runs out so if you’re delayed in returning home you don’t need to worry that your baby will starve.

    That said, in the first few months after my first child was born, I did feel ruled by her tiny stomach. Newborns need to eat often and not on a schedule. When they’re hungry, they’re hungry – they don’t care if they just ate 30 minutes ago. So that made it difficult for me to leave her with my husband for some time alone outside our home (like a manicure or haircut). However, after the first few months, babies’ tummies get bigger so they can hold more food and need to eat less often and usually they get on a more predictable feeding schedule. Also I learned that I didn’t need to space out feedings – if I offered her my boob, she would almost always take it so I was able to nurse her right before my appointment and be back in two hours to a baby who was not miserably hungry.

    She never accepted milk from a bottle or cup so for the first six months, I was her sole food supply. I survived!

    With my second child, those six months of exclusive breastfeeding flew by so quickly because of the lessons I had learned with my daughter and because I realized I could take him anywhere – even to get that hair cut – he nursed under my cape quite happily!

  2. Monica says:

    I’ve never felt trapped by breastfeeding. I felt more trapped by bottle feeding. When to eat again how much bottles and cleaning and nipples and everything. My boobs are always with me. If my baby needs to eat or just a snack there you go. And I have gotten out of the house too without the baby. Just went out yesterday for a nice afternoon with my oldest daughter. Didn’t have to pump or give a bottle. Just fed her before I left and by the time I got home she had about enough of daddy anyways and was wanting me. Not even to eat just for some cuddles. And for the record she has her I want daddy moments too. I have used formula with my older children and with the baby this is the first time I’ve gotten this far with breastfeeding. Looking back and comparing the situations I remember what a pain it was to plan to go out. Having to make up bottles and stuff. And I remember night feedings were a pain. Stumbling around in the dark trying to make a bottle while half asleep and by that time the baby is so upset she’s woken the whole house. So in my opinion breastfeeding is more freeing than bottle feeding and you don’t need to pump either to feel that way. Just a little planning and I guess being okay with an hour or two away. An hour or two has been more than enough for me to come back feeling refreshed.

  3. Adrianna says:

    I have a hand pump and I hate pumping with it so I don’t leave my baby for longer than a couple of hours. 2 hours is about all the time I need to feel refreshed though. I think I would feel more trapped with having to prepare bottles and doing more dishes!

    Can you share what you did to correct your milk imbalance? I think I might be in the same boat with my son!

  4. Danielle625 says:

    @Adrianna with my oldest son we had to supplement after some feedings, as well as pumping before I fed him so he got more hind milk. :( My daughter is actually the only one of my three children children I haven’t had any feeding issues with at all.

  5. lo says:

    I did not breastfeed my girl but I am breastfeeding my son for two months now. I feel much better without the bottle. I did feel trapped and tired the first few weeks but mostly because I wanted to hang out more with my daughter but now it is all ok. We went out a few times and in my diaper bag there are more items for my 3 year old that for my 2 month old son and it is amazing. I leak a lot, I joke with my husband that I always know when 90 mins without him eating passed, :e has days when he want to eat constantly (I did not give him a pacifier) but it just feels amazing to have him snuggled at my chest.

  6. Shannon says:

    After the first few weeks, I got good at figuring out how long it would be before my son would want to nurse again and would high-tail it out of the house as soon as he was fed and keep an eye on the time so I could get home a little bit before he’d (theoretically) want to eat again. I also stayed near home so I could hurry up and get back if my husband called and said the baby was getting hungry. Even an hour away from home, by myself, helped a lot. I did pump bottles every now and then when I wanted to be gone for several hours, but that wasn’t very often.

    And Adrianna, I produced too much foremilk too, and also had an overactive letdown which caused my son to use a shallow latch. I switched to block nursing for a few days: I nursed only on one side at each feeding and switched sides every 4 hours or so. He resisted at first because the flow was slower as he got to the hindmilk, but eventually I made a little less milk (but still more than enough) and the balance was better. Just express enough from the other side to keep you comfortable while you’re trying this. Kellymom.com has great detailed instructions on block nursing.

  7. Raia says:

    My daughter is 8 months old and has been almost exclusivly breastfed. I was able to leave the house without her for 2-3 hours after about 8 weeks, I think. I feel less trapped by the need to feed her than my boobs! I have a good supply of milk in the freezer that she’ll take while I am gone but my boobs will let me know if it’s been too long. I am OK nursing in public but not pumping while I am out (other than at work).
    When I want some “me-time” I make sure to feed her before I leave and am ready to nurse again when I get home and I can be gone a few hours.
    Overall, I love the convience of breastfeeding!

  8. Adrianna says:

    Thanks Danielle and Shannon for your experiences! I love nursing and just want to make sure I can give my baby what he needs! Breastfeeding can come with challenges but I am glad to be able to do it.

  9. RaeAnne says:

    I love breast feeding my daughter, though sometimes I do feel trapped. Not so much because I am feeding, but because I have issues with supply. I have crohns disease, which has been active before, throughout, and now after my pregnancy. Crohns severly affects my health and body’s nutrition, which in turn affects my milk. There are days that I can’t make milk at all. So I still offer her the breast and pump daily to keep my meager supply up. I think I feel trapped because I feel inadequate. Sometimes, almost daily, I need to supplement at least one feeding, letting someone else give her the bottle while I pump too keep my supply up. I ususually get only a few ounces, and stick in the the freezer to use for when I leave back to school three hours away.

  10. Laura says:

    I think we need to talk about perspective. Sure you had a social life before children, and you will have one again someday… but surely, as the adult, you are able to delay your wish for some “alone” time to meet the NEEDS of your infant…
    Thank goodness for all the great comments, because article is truly a BOOBY TRAP in every sense of the phrase. I hope you don’t really think it is empowering women….

  11. Danielle625 says:

    @Laura – I am confused as to why you think this is a booby trap and not empowering women at all? There are many women who fell trapped by breastfeeding and in turn stop, or use formula. The whole POINT of the post was there is NO NEED to do that… there are other ways to get adult time without having to use formula.
    You certainly can disagree that mothers can wait to have their own adult time, but simply supporting mothers in this need is by NO means a booby trap at all.

  12. Holly says:

    I now have to work. But I feel that running away from the job to “pump” is looked down upon, whereas running away from the job to “breastfeed” is looked upon more favorably.

  13. Amanda says:

    In the newborn “feed every 2 hours” stage, it does feel as if you do nothing else but nurse. However, after that it gets better. On a day to day basis for a stay at home mom, breastfeeding us WAY easier. No preparing or cleaning. Always a convenient meal ready to go. You especially appreciate that in the middle if the night or if you have older children to look after.
    I exclusively bf my sons UNLESS I was going out, that was the only time they got formula ( I hate pumping). If you introduce the bottle around 3 weeks old, that usually helps them accept it.

  14. Danielle625 says:

    @Amanda – I think that you, and a lot of others are missing my point. I am not, and never would say bottle feeding is easier… because it isn’t. I have breastfed 2 children, and formula fed one because of allergies he had… and it was the biggest pain in the ass ever.
    But the point here is more so of comments I have heard from mothers feeling like they can never go anywhere (without) the baby… not with the baby, or going to the mall, or whatever chores need to be done…

  15. Elle says:

    I’m actually feeling kind of trapped. I have low supply and so my freezer stash is basically non-existent. I also HAVE to take every opportunity I can to breastfeed to keep up my supply. At work I have to pump every 2 hours for 20 minutes, and when I’m home I’m feeding every 1-2 hours. My son will be 3 months on Friday and my husband hasn’t ever been able to do a middle-of-the-night feeding because I need to use that time to breastfeed. Just knowing that there’s no way for me to get an uninterrupted night of sleep just kind of sucks.

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