Category Archives: Support

Robin Williams on Birth & Breastfeeding


One of the funniest and most beautiful souls in entertainment died today. Robin Williams was one of my favorite actors and I am so saddened by the news of his death.

I’m shocked beyond words over his death and can only focus on the laughter that he brought to so many and the remembrance of the incredible talent that he had.
You’ll be happy to know that Robin was a breastfeeding advocate and he mentioned breastfeeding several times in his monologues.

*Some of the terms & language that he uses in his monologues may be offensive to some, so please be aware of this before you watch.
On his debut on Saturday Night Live in 1984, he spoke of being a father and said that the best thing about being a dad was watching his wife breastfeed his son.
This is what he had to say about it:

No, being a father, you feel incredible. It’s outrageous. The best thing for me is, well.. watching my baby breastfeed. It’s something very special. I know he’s only ten months old, but that’s enough! Because I have this incredible fear, I have this fear that, during the night, a [little person] came in and took his place. So while my wife’s breastfeeding, there’s this [little person] going, “Hey, nice tomatoes! How are ya’!

In his 1986 A Night at the Met he discusses childbirth in his classic witty way. He goes through the hilarious details of his wife’s labor and birth and also talks about breastfeeding and mother’s milk.

Rest in peace, Robin. Thank you for being an advocate without even realizing it.


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Breastfeeding IS a Big Deal…



I recently ran across a blog post that posed the question, “Should We Stop Acting Like Breastfeeding is a Big Deal?”

While I agree with a few of her points, I believe that the post is very subjective and the author has blissfully lived in a land of acceptance and privilege and has never encountered the harsh realities that some of us have. But the answer to the question is ABSOLUTELY NOT!

I do agree with the fact that breastfeeding should be viewed as the normal thing to do. It absolutely is the normal thing to do. However, the whole world doesn’t see it that way, and until it does, and mothers are no longer being harrassed for doing such a normal thing, there is a real need for activism in the breastfeeding community.

The author wrote this, which really stuck out to me:

 I (like most nursing mothers) was never ever asked to leave or cover when nursing despite doing it front and center in the middle of church, at theme parks, stores, and restaurants and even wedged between two men on many a flight and many other places. I never once had a negative word spoken to me while nursing and lived in three states with widely varying opinions and acceptance for breastfeeding (California, Texas and New Mexico).

Maybe that’s why she doesn’t understand why we should NOT stop acting as if breastfeeding is a big deal.  She has never had to deal with the negativity. She’s never been asked to leave the mall while she was breastfeeding her toddler in the play area because the security guard on duty wasn’t made aware of the malls pro-breastfeeding policy. I have, and it wasn’t fun. It was humiliating. It was embarrassing. It should never have happened, and the reason that it did is because I live in Mississippi and just the word “breastfeeding” is associated with a shameful act.

Perhaps she doesn’t understand why we should NOT stop acting as if breastfeeding is a big deal is because she hasn’t been forced to nurse or pump in a filthy bathroom or encountered the glaring looks of her fellow worshipers during church services while she breastfeeds her infant.

Or maybe she hasn’t been called a “child molester” because she was “still” breastfeeding her 3 year old or had her child taken away because he was breastfed longer than what is socially acceptable. She hasn’t been told that she was only doing it for her own pleasure and that she was leaving a permanent scar on her child because of it.

If it were so easy to “just breastfeed as if it were the normal thing to do” the breastfeeding rates wouldn’t be so low and this wouldn’t be an issue.

So it isn’t realistic to say, “Oh, just simply breastfeed.” That’s exactly what we are trying to do. We aren’t trying to make a statement, we aren’t trying to create controversy, nor do we have an agenda. But when these things happen, breastfeeding mothers NEED support. They need others to rally around them and know that there are others who understand and support them. It isn’t about getting blog hits or creating drama. It’s about mothers supporting mothers.

Part of the problem, though, is that it isn’t just that easy. In this hyper-sexualized culture, breastfeeding is the underdog. Many children don’t grow up seeing others breastfeed, and the deficit in the breastfeeding rates is contributed largely to that.  Breastfeeding is a right-brain function, therefore, when mothers don’t see it, sometimes they really don’t know how to do it. We are bombarded with books and information on how to breastfeed, but when we over-think it and let the left brain take over, the emotional aspect takes a back burner. The way that we remedy this is by seeing other mothers breastfeed. When we learn from others, we don’t have to “overthink” it too much and that allows the right brain to take over.

So, what happens when we don’t know any other breastfeeding mothers to watch?

This is where social media comes into play for a lot of mothers. In an informal poll on my Instagram account, I asked mothers about their experience with breastfeeding and social media, and if any of them “learned” to breastfeed through social media and immediately got comments like these:

I totally did!! Y’all I’ll be honest- I never gave it much thought. I wasn’t for or against it. But during my pregnancy I found websites, blogs, etc and discovered just how AWESOME breastfeeding is! And through pages like this one I saw pictures and it made it seem beautiful and natural. I’m proud to say we are going on 8 months ebf and have no end in sight. It’s a beautiful and sweet experience and I’m SO SO SO thankful for social media making it out there and ‘normal’ for mass amounts of people.”
Social media didn”t help me “learn” to breastfeed BUT I did learn a lot breastfeeding in general. But ultimately, taking a breastfeeding class while I was still pregnant was the best decision I ever made. And then having a great LC afterwards. Social media did help me decide to nurse in public!
Several people mentioned that they had learned to breastfeed from watching YouTube videos. So, having those “in your face” breastfeeding photos has a very important purpose for those without the priviledge of a “real life” support system.
The point is, until breastfeeding IS viewed as the normal thing to do, breastfeeding needs to be marketed  just as much as formula is marketed (although it won’t happen, since we are up against BILLIONS of dollars…). We are in the overwhelming majority, and when mothers are harrassed and discriminated against it is a big deal.


Pumping in the Bathroom: A Look at the Real Dangers



A Fall River, Massachusetts breastfeeding mother who was prepared to meet her civic obligation as a juror in district court last week was told by an officer of the court to pump breastmilk for her 5 month old baby in the restroom.

Although there are no laws to specifically exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty, according to the Massachussetts Trial Juror’s Handbook, jurors “have the right to reschedule your jury service to a date that is convenient for you, up to a year from the date you were originally summoned.”
Nonetheless, nurse & first time mother Colleen Swanson, who was at the time unaware of the hardship extension clause, showed up for jury duty prepared to pump for her baby during their absence, but reasonable and sanitary pumping accomodations were not given to her. Mrs. Swanson told me that apparently this is not the first time that a breastfeeding mother has been asked to pump in the restroom since the officer didn’t seem taken aback when she asked for a place to pump and immediately directed her toward the restroom and even gave her an extension cord to use.
She was told by a local reporter covering her story that a representative from the court stated that had she complained, she would have been given better accommodations.
Thankfully, Mrs. Swanson was not impaneled, which is a good thing since the case involved was a murder trial!
I doubt that, given their lack of sensitivity in regards to a sanitary, private pumping area, they would have been accommodating for a mother who has to step out to pump every couple of hours.

So what’s the big deal? The bathroom isn’t so bad, and at least it’s a private place, right?

Let’s just put this matter into perspective with peer reviewed research, shall we?
Raise your hand if you refuse to even sit down on a public toilet seat? I canter into a public restroom and proceed to squat over the seat, being very careful not to touch the germs that I know are lurking there. (Ok, most of the time I do use the seat covers & sit down…I just said that to make the point that we already know that bathrooms are gross) I flush with my foot, and after I wash my hands, I keep my paper towel so that I won’t have to touch the germ-laden door knob. But according to the research, toilet seats are the least of our worries…
New research conducted by microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona, showed that the average toilet paper dispenser has more than 150 times the amount of bacteria than the average toilet seat. Paper towel dispensers were found to have over 50 times more bacteria on average than a typical public restroom toilet seat. Further, this study concluded that toilet plume aerosol (the water & particles that are ejected from the toilet when we flush) could play a contributory role in the transmission of infectious diseases.
That’s right. When we flush, millions of tiny fecal (POOP!) particles are thrust into the air and land on all of the surfaces of the restroom. Have you ever been into one of those mega-fast, overdrive toilets that sound like a jet plane taking off flushed? Can you imagine the “plume aerosol” from those???

A study by the Infectious Diseases Society of America seen here showed that mall, hospital, offices, lecture hall, conference center, department stores, restaurants, airport, and resort restrooms contained “predominant gram-positive organisms including Staphylococcus spp., Micrococcus spp., Bacillus spp., and Enterococcus spp. Isolated Gram-negative microorganisms were mostly Enterobacteriaceae (e.g., Escherichia coli, Klebsiella spp., Cronobacter spp., Leclercia spp., Pantoea spp., Serratia spp.) or non-fermenters. Quantitative cultures documented extensive contamination of all high-touch surfaces. For several restrooms, the quantity of microorganisms was too numerous to count (TNTC), even given our process of counting up to 1,000 CFU/ml. Faucets, soap and paper dispenser operating levers, and the exit door handle of restaurants and aircraft restrooms were more likely to have concentrations of microorganisms TNTC compared with other locations. ”
You read that right: There were so many harmful microbes in the restrooms that they tested, because there was so much bacteria, it was too much to count!
They concluded that “documented extensive bacterial contamination of high-touch environmental sites in 22 public restrooms and aircraft, including a wide spectrum of Gram-positive and Gram-negative microorganisms. Cultures obtained in the restrooms of fast-food restaurants were more likely to have quantitative colony counts TNTC. Cultures of high-touch sites in three restrooms located in different areas of a tertiary care hospital yielded six microorganisms that are responsible for two-thirds of healthcare-associated infections.”

Private, indeed.
Actually, when we use a public restroom, it isn’t a private experience at all. We are subjecting ourselves to all of the bacteria of all of the people who have used that restroom recently, and this poses a serious heath risk, especially for vulnerable individuals such as infants.

A restroom is no place for food, of any kind, and is certainly not the place for a tiny baby to eat!
Knowing all of the dangerous germs that are lurking in public restrooms, would you prepare your food or sit down and eat your dinner there?
Certainly not! So please don’t expect an infant to.

Here’s how you can help:
Call or write the Fall River District Court and let them know that a public restroom is NOT a sanitary place for breastfeeding mothers to pump and respectfully ask them to make accommodations for future use.

Mailing Address
Fall River District Court
186 South Main Street
Fall River, MA 02721

Main phone number

Have a boobiful day & leave a supportive comment for beautiful mama Colleen! ❤️

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My Body is My Own: Breastfeeding After Sexual Abuse



****TRIGGER WARNING! This post deals with sexual abuse and the content may be disturbing to some.****

I hate the phrase, “Time heals all wounds.” The truth is, it doesn’t. Some wounds are so deep that it becomes ingrained in who we are. Sure, time makes them easier to bear, but like a glass vase that has been broken and then glued back together, those scars will always be there, even when it appears that the seams of the shattered glass match up perfectly.
I would love to say that I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I would give almost anything for that to be true. However, as I sit here struggling to find my words and calm my train of thought, I have the bitter taste of bile rising in the back of my throat and I realize that I still have very deep wounds that I may never completely recover from. I have moved on in a lot of ways, and I try to not let it dictate my life, but it’s still a struggle. Every day. It’s a struggle in self worth, mainly, but also a struggle of trying to arrange emotions in a way that they make sense. It’s how I deal with things..I rationalize them. This, however, is almost impossible, because what happened to me will never make sense.
I was sexually abused.
When I was around the age of eight, the fondling started by my step father. He and my mother had lived together then married a couple of years before the abuse started, and I had grown to love him as the stable father figure in my life. This is one of the things that makes it so hard for me to deal with. I had conflicting feelings when it started…on one hand, I did love him. On the other hand, I really didn’t know how to feel. It wasn’t a case of me feeling victimized as the abuse was happening. I was a child, I didn’t fully understand exactly what WAS happening, and the hardest part for me to deal with: at times I may have even enjoyed the attention. He didn’t cause me physical pain, and he never tried to have intercourse with me, thankfully, but I was still forced to deal with very adult issues as a very young girl. It started out as a very subtle thing. Now I know that he was grooming me. There would be a touch here and there, sometimes he made it seem accidental, sometimes not. Sometimes playful, sometimes serious. This is why so many child molestors get away with what they do…because they groom, and according to they do it in six stages.
In the first stage, they target their victim, which was easy for my step father, since I lived in the home with him and was a seemingly trustworthy person to my mother and the rest of my family.
In the second stage, they gain trust. He did that for probably two years before it began. He wasn’t the typical “bad guy” that I was warned about by well meaning family members; he was family, and family can be trusted, right? He wasn’t the creep who might offer me candy to get into his van, like I had seen on movies. He was a normal, decent looking, well dressed, hard working guy. Most are.
The next thing that child molesters do is stage three: fill a need. I’m going to be honest here, I believe that he knew that he could take advantage of me from day one. I also believe that a child molester can stand in a room filled with 100 children and pick out the ONE that they can molest. I had grown up in an unstable home environment up to this point. My parents divorced when I was a baby, and since my mother worked two jobs, I was basically raised by my great aunt and uncle. My mother had been married three times prior to this man. No doubt that he used that entire situation to place himself into our lives. I’m not even convinced that he didn’t marry my mother for this reason, even though the molestation did not start immediately.
Stage four is when they isolate the child. They will create a special bond with the child and create opportunities to spend time alone. This was easy since he drove a truck and was able to carry me on trips with him, and because of my mother’s long working hours.
Stage five is when they start to sexualize the situation. When the abuser has the childs trust and emotional dependence, the molester will progressively sexualize the relationship, and will desensitize the child to various situations, and then use that to exploit a child’s natural curiosity. This is the absolute most difficult part for me to deal with personally. He manipulated me until he found what aroused me and used that to extend the relationship, and he used the things that I loved to create opportunities for himself. I remember on several occasions, we would be alone in the house and he would bring me my mothers sexy nighties to “try on” and “play dress up”, then he suggest that we have a “dance party”. He knew that I loved to dance more than anything. He danced with me, and at some point would pick me up over his head and then slide me down his body, and his underwear would slide down with me and his naked penis would be exposed. Then he would stroke himself as I continued to dance at a distance and tried unsucessfully not to sneak glances at his penis. My curiosity got the better of me, as he knew that it would.
Stage six is maintaining control of the child. He had it. I “clearly” liked it, and whatever was happening was my fault too, since I went along with it. In my own mind, I wasn’t a victim, although I had conflicting feelings of liking the attention, but yet not wanting it to continue…and no one else, I felt, was going to see me as a victim either. Not after what I had done.
I didn’t hate it at first, and that’s what I hate myself for now that I am an adult. However, as I grew older, my feelings about it transitioned as I came to the realization that what was happening was wrong.
Since he drove a semi-truck over the road, he didn’t have a regular work schedule and was home in the afternoon and weekends while my mother worked. When I was out of school for holidays and the summer, I would go on over the road trips with him. I enjoyed getting out of the house and seeing the country. I also liked the fact that we ate at different truck stops and he allowed me to order anything that I wanted. We traveled by day and when the sun went down, I would climb in the back and sleep. He would climb into the sleeper with me when he parked the truck for the night and then he would start to fondle my overdeveloped for my age breasts, then he would raise my shirt up and start to lick and suck on them. Most of the time, I would pretend to be asleep, because I thought that would make him lose interest. Sometimes it did, but sometimes he would continue for most of the night.
He never touched me when my mother was at home. He was an opportunistic predator.
The molestation continued until I was ten, almost eleven. I will never forget the day that I decided to tell my mother. I’d been dreading it for days and went back and forth on the decision to talk to her about it. The day that I finally got up the courage to tell her, I wrote her a note and stuck it on the kitchen table. I knew that she would blame me, and I honestly didn’t want to live anymore. I just wanted to die, but I didn’t want to die with this secret. I went to the kitchen and took almost an entire bottle of aspirin, thinking that it would kill me in my sleep, and then I went to bed. I woke up a few hours later and my mother, brother, and step father had gone out for dinner and left me there. I stayed in the bathroom all night puking up the aspirin that I had taken and wondered why my mother hadn’t came in to check on me. Apparantly she hadn’t read the note that night, because it was the next day when she came in. She gave me a speech about the seriousness of my accusations. I was a seriously dramatic child by nature, and was sure that she would think that I was just trying to cause a stir. He knew this too, and I think it’s why he thought he would get away with it. I believe that my mom was in shock over the allegations and went through different stages as we talked. Nonetheless, when I convinced her that it was really happening, she packed me up and took me to my grandparents to get me into a safe environment while she worked everything out. Afterwards was a whirlwind of going to doctors, counselors, and lawyers offices. My grandparents got emergency temporary custody of me and my mother eventually divorced him and she and my brother moved.

Fast forward several years, I got married and got pregnant my first baby. I knew when I got pregnant that I wanted to breastfeed, but I constantly questioned my ability to endure it. How could I allow an infant to suckle on the same breasts that my abuser fondled and licked? When I brought my baby up to my breast, would I see my molestors face? Would the stimulation be too much for me to bear, and would I develop an aversion toward my baby from breastfeeding him? I was haunted by severe apprehension. My greatest fear was that I would be so overtaken by my emotions that it would destroy any confidence in breastfeeding that I had.
Although I carried horrendous emotional scars that I wouldn’t face even for years to come, I convinced myself that I would push through it if those scars resurfaced after the birth of my baby.
Thankfully, when my baby was born, the hormones and instinct took over and the dread that I had felt about it was much worse than the reality. I was able to disconnect myself from what had happened and keep those feelings locked up for a while to sucessfully breastfeed, but it wasn’t easy, and eventually they did resurface.
However, the breastfeeding isn’t what stirred them again.
It was simply being a mother.
I developed an overwhelming urge to protect my child from what had happened to me, but in order to do that I had to face it. I had to take myself back and re-feel all of those emotions. I had to remember and ponder on the events that led up to what had happened to me. It was important to me as a mother to understand the mind of the one who molested me and stripped away my child-like view of the world entirely too soon.
Overcoming my abuse is still a daily struggle, but writing about it and talking about it has helped me to start to heal, and ironically, the thing that I thought would be a trigger has been what has allowed me to face my demons and begin to move on.
Knowing that my body is being used for what it was designed to has changed my outlook completely. I believed that I would struggle with not having my body “to myself”, yet the opposite has happened. I don’t view it in that way. My intense self-loathing has subsided a great deal just knowing that my body has supported four tiny lives, all on its own. It has been empowering to know that my body came through for my babies and its intended purpose, even though I did not treat it very well in the years follwing my abuse. I feel as though I have reconnected with my own body through my breastfeeding journey and have been able to not only accept my body, but also appreciate the magical thing that it has done in creating and sustaining life. My body is my own, even though it was used to grow and feed my babies. My babies may have been demanding, but not in the same malicious, devious way as my abuser. Their innocence and dependence on me allowed me to remove those mind barriers and fear that I had conjured up in the beginning of my first pregnancy. Having and nourishing my babies has ALLOWED me to claim back my own body.

I may periodically come back and add things to this, as my emotions are always evolving as I take steps to heal. I feel that it’s important as a victim to get those emotions out and at least try to put them into perspective.

Other mothers have sent me their experiences to be included in this and I would like to share them below:

When I was little a male family member abused me many times. It was right after I had started developing breasts. Since then I have had a very negative view of my breasts.
I didn’t tell anyone about the abuse for 5 years. I blamed it on myself, my breasts were too large, they were gross. I felt they were something to be ashamed of. As a teenager with size D breasts it was something I really struggled with.
In my sexual relationship with my partner, I asked to keep my breasts out of it. He was a total boob man, but respected my past and never touched my breasts.
Once pregnant I took the usual baby class and one night was breastfeeding night. After learning all the benefits for my son, I SO wanted to breastfeed him. But, I was scared. If I couldn’t let my partner touch my breasts after 3 years of having sex how would I feel with this little baby touching and sucking on my nipple?
I had nightmares about it throughout my pregnancy. Yet I was still 100% determined to breastfeed.
When my son was born we cuddled, his birth was unmedicated so he was very alert. He soon found his way to my breast. One of the nurses went to touch my breast, without asking, and I quickly asked her not to. I helped my son latch and we began our beautiful breastfeeding relationship.
I feel so lucky that I have never felt any of the things I feared I would. But if I had never tried, I wouldn’t know how beautiful breastfeeding truly is.

When I was 14 and my boyfriend at the time was 16, he decided he was ready for sex. I was not. I begged for us to be able to wait, I was too young and scared. He wasn’t willing to accept that and told me that “if I truly loved him, I would let him.” He forced himself onto me and took my virginity. He covered my face with a pillow and held me down while I cried the entire time. He continued to abuse me physically and sexually, threatening my life, until I was 17. I gained the strength to leave him after losing my father. I became pregnant a year later with my now husband’s baby. The first time I breastfed my son in the hospital, I cried the entire time. I convinced myself that because of my past, I couldn’t nurse my son. I felt too dirty, and almost as if I was abusing my son somehow. I cried every single time I breastfed my son. I made it to 3 months of nursing until I gave up. It took a few years of soul searching and turning to God before I was able to realize that what happened to me, was NOT my fault. In 2013, I gave birth to my daughter. She is almost 7 months old and has not had a single drop of formula. I feel guilty at times that I wasn’t able to overcome my problems to breastfeed my son, but he is a beautiful healthy and happy 4 year old. I am thankful everyday that I am able to give my daughter the best start I can by breastfeeding her.

Important Resources

Victoria’s Secret: Go Breastfeed in the Alley



Yet again, a breastfeeding mother has been discriminated against, but this time in the incident happened inside a Victoria’s Secret in Texas.
Of course it’s fine to show your breasts…just not if there is a baby attached to it!
This brought of memories of my own experience when my local BIG Latch On group was asked to leave our local mall for breastfeeding. We were sitting quietly in the play area when a security guard told us that we had to leave. When we informed him that we were protected by law to feed our babies anywhere we need to, he argued that because we were on private property, the law didn’t apply.
Anyway, just yards away were Victoria’s Secret posters that exposed MUCH more skin than any of us! One mom in our group was even using a cover!
The Mall at Barnes Crossing repeatedly apologized, and Victoria’s Secret issued a statement apologizing to the mother, but this brings up the serious issue that businesses need to inform their employees of the law protecting breastfeeding mothers BEFORE things like this happens!

The news story from Fox 7 in Austin, TX states this:

A mother shopping at the Victoria’s Secret store at the Domain says she was denied the right to breastfeed. Instead, she was told to go to an alley.

Under Texas law, “a mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.”

But that wasn’t the case for one mother who came to us in disbelief. Now she’s hoping other women don’t have to go through what she had to.

Ashley Clawson had just finished spending $150 at Victoria’s Secret. But she left with more than she bargained for.

“I was humiliated by the whole thing, I immediately called my husband,” Clawson said.

On Monday afternoon she asked an employee behind the counter if she could nurse her 4-month-old son in the fitting room. It was the response she got that came as a shock.

“Said no, you cannot nurse your son in our fitting room but you can go outside to the alley and nurse him there, no one usually goes there,” Clawson said.

After clarifying with the employee what was said, she knew it was no misunderstanding.

“I don’t even know what alley she was talking about. I didn’t explore it because my son. Obviously if you’ve been around a baby… once they start crying there is no going back,” Clawson said.

Once she got home, she posted what had happened on Facebook, getting more support than she could have ever imagined.

“Some of these people I’ve been getting friend requests from I have no clue who they are and people who have shared it on their page, their friends have shared it, and they’ve tagged certain groups that I never even knew existed,” Clawson said.

She filed two complaints before being told she would be receiving something in the mail. Clawson now has a different perspective on the company.

“The posters and everything are just women showing their breasts and obviously to Victoria’s Secret in my eyes, it’s looked at as a play toy. Not necessarily, means for you know nursing your child, which is why we have breasts to begin with,” Clawson said.

She is hoping this situation can be used as an example for change.

“I do think that Victoria’s Secret needs to train their employee’s better on the breastfeeding policy and know the laws on it,” Clawson said.

Victoria’s Secret issued the following statement:

“We take this issue very seriously. We have a longstanding policy permitting mothers to nurse their children in our stores and we are sorry that it was not followed in this case. We have apologized to Ms. Clawson, and we are taking actions to ensure all associates understand our policy that welcomes mothers to breastfeed in our stores.”

I have tried to contact Mrs. Clawson & will update when I get a chance to speak with her.

In the meantime, I encourage you to call or email Victoria’s Secret and let them know the importance of informing all of their employees of the laws protecting breastfeeding mothers. All it takes is a simple note on a bulletin board or by the time clock, people! Get it together, businesses!

The contact page for Victoria’s Secret is here.

Bottoms up! Gettin’ Your Drink on While Breastfeeding



You’ve probably heard about the recent incident in which an uniformed & uneducated about breastfeeding waitress called the police on a mother who was drinking & breastfeeding. The waitress reported that the mother was consuming “drink after drink” & “even took a drink WHILE breastfeeding the baby” GASP! The mother maintains that she only had two drinks.
News flash lady….our mouths don’t act as a funnel leading straight to the breast. So really, since it takes a little while for the tiny amount that is actually passed through the milk, the mom was doing the best thing, since by the next feeding the alcohol would be gone!
Anyway, the mama was arrested for child endangerment & the waitress was fired.
I’m glad the waitress lost her job.
She was completely out of line.

So in light of that, and because it’s the Eve of New Years Eve, here are some facts about consuming alcohol & breastfeeding!

If you are sober enough to drive, you are sober enough to nurse!

Alcohol doesn’t go into the milk and just live there forever. As it exits your bloodstream, it also exits your milk.

Here is a brilliant post from Dr. Jack Newman about breastfeeding & alcohol consumption:

The following is from a blog by a mother who tested her milk for alcohol. Not one of those useless kits that you can buy at various stores, but tested at a toxicology laboratory. I will copy from her blog the method she used and the results. I think this puts the lie to the notion that women should not drink while breastfeeding or need to “pump and dump” (an appalling term) after having even one drink. The following is an exact quote from her blog:

First I took a sample of my milk (about 1 mL) prior to drinking any alcoholic beverage. I expressed the milk mid-nursing session to ensure I had a goodly portion of fore & hind milk. After completing the nursing session, I mixed myself an alcoholic beverage consisting of 2 oz of 80 proof (40%) vodka in 10 oz of soda (Sprite). I proceeded to drink the entire 12 oz in about 30 minutes. About 30 minutes after finishing (1 hour after beginning to drink), I expressed some milk (about 1 mL) and labeled it ‘immediate’. I then waited 1 hour and expressed more milk (about 1 mL) and labeled it ‘2 hours’. In the 2 hours (from the beginning), I did not drink any more alcoholic beverages, drink other beverages, or eat any other foods. Another day, 1/2 of a beer (4.3% alcohol) and 2-6 oz glasses of wine were consumed within 1.5 hours. About an hour from the beginning of the last drink, a milk sample (about 1 mL) was taken. This sample was labeled ‘1 hour – 3 drinks’. Another sample was taken about an hour after that (2 hours after the beginning of the last drink). This sample was labeled ‘2 hours – 3 drinks’.

The samples were stored in the refrigerator until processing. An Agilent headspace instrument was used to run the tests. Propanol and ethanol standards were also tested to ensure the instrument was within limits. The instrument is maintained by the KSP Lab Toxicology Section and used in forensic determinations of blood and urine alcohol content.

The sample labeled as ‘immediate’ registered as 0.1370 mg/mL which correlates to 0.01370% alcohol in the sample. The sample labeled ‘2 hours’ registered as 0.0000 mg/ml which correlates to 0.0000%. The sample labeled ‘1 hour – 3 drinks’ registered as 0.3749 mg/mL which correlates to 0.03749% alcohol in the sample. The sample labeled ‘2 hours – 3 drinks’ registered as 0.0629 mg/mL which correlates to 0.00629% alcohol in the sample.

The alcohol content in breast milk immediately after drinking is equivalent to a 0.0274 proof beverage. That’s like mixing 1 oz of 80 proof vodka (one shot) with 2919 oz of mixer . By the way, 2919 oz is over 70 liters. Two hours after drinking one (strong) drink the alcohol has disappeared from the sample. Completely harmless to the nursing infant. Drinking about 3 drinks in 1.5 hours resulted in higher numbers, but still negligible amounts of alcohol would be transferred to the child. One hour after imbibing in 3 drinks, the milk was the equivalent of 0.07498 proof beverage. That would be like adding 1 oz of 80 proof vodka (one shot) to 1066 oz of mixer (1066 oz is over 26 liters). Two hours after imbibing in 3 drinks, the milk was 0.01258 proof. That would be like adding 1 oz of 80 proof vodka to 3179 oz of mixer (over almost 80 liters). So, even though an infant has much less body weight, any of these percentage of alcohol in breast milk is unlikely to adversely affect the baby. Bottoms up!

So, from this we see that very little alcohol is passed to the baby.

My tips for drinking while breastfeeding:

Consume right after a feeding (or even during) so that by the next feeding, the alcohol will be gone from your milk.

If you plan to consume several drinks, plan ahead and pump a bottle or two & resume breastfeeding when you feel sober again.

NEVER share your bed with your baby while intoxicated!

Useful links:

Infant Risk Center

La Leche League info on Breastfeeding & Alcohol Consumption


Party on, beautiful mamas!

Enforce the Right: Protecting Breastfeeding Mothers



As World Breastfeeding Month comes to a close, I’m reflecting on all of the things that have occurred this month….the positive & the negative.
As the month started out with amazing events such as the BIG Latch On that bring awareness to the importance of breastfeeding & helps to normalize it, which is vitally important as evidenced by the countless women who were discriminated against this month as they fed their babies in public and was asked to cover or to leave.
The negative.
Texas mama Lucy Eades was harassed by an employee at her local gym for nursing her days old baby. This harassment was captured on video by her husband and Lucy received support from around the country after the video went viral on the internet. See it here.
Only a couple of days later, my own La Leche League group was asked to leave our local mall by a security guard because we were breastfeeding in the play area at center court. My post about it on Facebook received 20,000 views, shares, likes, and comments before it was removed by Facebook the following day. See the media coverage here. and Pa.laa’s coverage here.
Fortunately, in both of these instances, an apology was issued and policy changes have occurred due because of them.
Unfortunately, not all breastfeeding harassment cases have been so positive.
Just in case you missed the American Airlines incident, in which a mother was asked to cover & then offered hush money (a whopping $100!) to keep quiet about the incident, read blogger’s in-depth story here.

This should not be happening!
Although breastfeeding mothers are protected by law to breastfeed wherever they need to, there are no provisions in place to enforce these laws, which means that until there are, there are no real consequences for businesses harassing or discriminating against mothers.
This will not stop until there are real consequences!
This is why I have decided to team up with beautiful mama Lauren Quackenbush, and am starting the Enforce our Right Campaign
Lauren has started a White House petition urging them to put in place provisions to fully protect breastfeeding mothers rights, and offer consequences to those who do not adhere to the laws that are already in place. See the breastfeeding laws by state here.

Our goal is to get 100,000 signatures by September 27th.
It’s a tall order but we CAN DO IT!

The petition seen here reads:
Fully protect a woman’s right to breastfeed her child in public, including full enforcement provisions for that right.
Most states (though not all) have laws stating that a woman is free to breastfeed her child anywhere, public or private, that she and her child are otherwise allowed to be. However, with the exception of a few states (CT, DC, NJ, VT, & WA), there exist no enforcement provisions. This means that as soon as a woman who is legally breastfeeding her child is asked by a business owner or security to leave, she is then trespassing.

Other countries (i.e. Taiwan, the UK) have fines for those who would interfere with a woman’s right to breastfeed; the US should as well.

A woman should not be forced to hide, whether under a fabric cover, in the restroom, or in her car, simply because she elects to breastfeed her child. At its core, this is an issue of discrimination and should be treated as such.

Please help us by signing the petition!
And by sharing on Facebook, twitter, and Instagram by hash tagging #ENFORCEOURRIGHT & by helping us to spread the word!
We need full protection from discrimination!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support that this community gives other women!

Sinclair College student told to go to bathroom to pump.



Shelbi Wallace, an American Sign Language major at Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, has been denied a place to pump for her two month old baby and has been forced to pump in the hallway while using a cover. Any mother who has ever pumped knows that not having a quiet, comfortable place to pump can greatly decrease letdown and the amount of milk pumped can be compromised from the stress. This can be detrimental to the breastfeeding relationship between mother and baby.

Ms Wallace has gone through several different support services at the college to no avail. She called the ombudsman, whose job according to Sinclair’s website, is:

The Ombudsman provides assistance to the students who indicate they have problems/issues or concerns that need resolution.

It may involve:

  • Listening Carefully
  • Answering Questions
  • Investigating Complaints
  • Making Appropriate Referrals
  • Mediating a Resolution
  • Helping Students Persist Toward Educational Goals

The Ombudsman can:

  • Listen to problems
  • Investigate
  • Mediate, facilitate, and clarify policies and procedures

Ms Wallace was basically told, “Sorry, there’s nothing that I can do. But at least we know about it. Good luck.” She then spoke with the director of the ASL lab where she was told to use the bathroom, even though there are private areas that could be used for pumping. Someone named Kevin in the Department of Facilities told Shelbi that “there was nothing he could do until his manager got back from vacation in 2 weeks and that all the space they have is for learning”

Hey Kevin…find an empty classroom with a plug in! Simple as that!

She finally decided to seek help on Sinclair’s Facebook page and their reply to her post was, “We contacted several departments and were given the same reply, so we aren’t sure who else to contact that could make some progress…perhaps the Ombudsman. She is the campus/student advocate for Sinclair and may be able to help move your voice along. You can contact her office at 937-512-2205. It’s no guarantee that she’ll be able to find a new spot for you, but at least she’ll be aware of the situation. Good luck and please let us know if you have any more questions or concerns!”

Then when she pressed further, she was told that there was a locker room that she could use in buiding 8, which is all the way across campus from where her classes are in building 9, which would mean her having to walk 15 minutes across campus, pump, then walk 15 minutes back to class. This is an unreasonable suggestion and is flat out discrimination.

They were nice enough to provide a map for her, though with the message, ” Shelbi — according to several campus sources, the women’s locker room in building 8 is available for these sorts of things. We attached a campus map so you can visually see where building 8 is.”

These sorts of things? Seriously, Sinclair? This woman just wants to be able to provide milk for her child!

What I find ironic though, Sinclair offers a list of 53 resources spanning from drug addiction to preparing resumes, but absolutely none for mothers who need to pump for their babies. Find that page here:

They even provide a nice little powerpoint presentation on helping students to succeed seen here, , but yet they have no interest in helping Shelbi to suceed, since clearly she doesn’t fall into the appropriate category of those who need support, her being a breastfeeding mother and all…

In Shelbi’s words, “It’s a shame I have to use my energy in finding a place to pump instead of focusing on my classes”

Perhaps we should MAKE them care about supporting breastfeeding mothers….

Here is their facebook page:

Ohio State University has 8 nursing rooms on their campus. Duke University has one in every building. Maybe Sinclair should take some serious notes from them!

Shelbi has started a petition urging the school to support breastfeeding mothers.

A breastfeeding mother who returns to work or school cannot continue to breastfeed if she can not pump. A breastfeeding mother cannot express milk sufficiently if there is not a comfortable and sanitary place to do so. The United States government has recognized this issue and has put in place “The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” (PPACA).The law requires employers to provide “reasonable” break time and a private place other than a bathroom where a working mom can express breast milk for her nursing baby. However, the law doesn’t say anything about college’s doing the same for their students.This petition can help change that for Sinclair. As of right now, there is one area that is known as the “mother’s room” and this room is actually a locker room. A locker room is not an appropriate place to make food for a child. It also does not offer privacy. In addition to it being in an inappropriate location, it is only on one side of campus. What about the mom’s who have classes on the other side of campus? It is not reasonable to think that these mom’s can leave class, walk 10-20 minutes to this space, pump for 15 minutes, and then walk back another 10-20 minutes. In the time it takes for someone to do that, class would be over. Some women might be embarrassed or not want to deal with the hassle of getting someone to help her find a place to pump and thus, quit breastfeeding. Sinclair should support breastfeeding and encourage mother’s to continue to breastfeed by providing spaces that are not a bathroom and that have privacy available. These spaces should also be available through out campus and not just one area. It is important for mothers perusing their education, to know that just because they are going to college, does not mean that they have to sacrifice their breastfeeding relationship with their child.

You can sign the petition here:


After the blog post went viral, Shelbi was finally contacted by SCC and was told that they would open up the lactation room for students. She was also given a private spot in her building to pump.
This happened after several media outlets like the one seen heregot word of the story and started contacting the school.
Do you think this is enough or should they take further steps? Let us know on our Facebook page

Discreet breastfeeding? What would Jesus do?


Oh what a hot button topic! Nursing in public. Can you imagine that some women actually go into public places, pull out their breasts and *gasp* nurse their babies?? Right there in front of God and everyone! Sometimes they don’t even cover up!! What if my children see that? Or worse, what if my husband sees it and it causes him to fall into lust? Can you imagine the nerve of some women?

….But wait. Wasn’t Jesus himself breastfed? History will tell you that he was. There are no mention of bottles in the Bible. They simply didn’t exist.

I realize that not all of my followers are Christians and some don’t believe in anything at all, and that is ok. I still support you in your breastfeeding journey. However, there are many breastfeeding mothers that are Christian, and the scathing glares, hateful comments, and all around lack of support even from their fellow Christians is appalling. This is an area that Christian breastfeeding mothers desperately need support in and providing support is why I am here.
I know the need from first hand experience. When I had my youngest son, I remember going to church for the first time after delivery. I did not take a bottle since I didn’t plan to give bottles. There was no need. I stayed at home with him and rarely left him for more than an hour or so. The first question that I was asked when I dropped him off in the nursery was not, “How are you feeling?” and there was no statement about how sweet the baby was. It was “Where is his bottle?” When I told them that I did not give bottles, you would have thought that I had brought in Satan himself for them to watch by the look on their faces. Oh the horror! They would have to alert me should he get fussy. Worse yet, they might have to see me nurse him! Another mother brought in her baby and told them to just give him a bottle should he get fussy. The nursery worker made a point to say “Now THAT’s a good mother!”, referring to the non-breastfeeding mother who was ok with them giving her child a bottle, suggesting that I was not a good mother because I preferred not to. This happened Sunday after Sunday…
Right then, my thoughts were, “If I can’t breastfeed my baby in my own church, among my “friends” and church family, then I have no chance out in the real world. This is supposed to be my support system. These are the people who pray for me when I’m sick. The people who go out of their way to speak to me at the ball fields or at the grocery store. My second family.
For that reason, I haven’t been back to my church since the birth of my daughter. I have been to other churches and have breastfed during service & without a cover without even a glance. I didn’t want to deal with it, I didn’t feel like seeing the unapproving glances at my percieved lust inducing act. But is seeing a breastfeeding mother lust inducing? How many times do we see men turn their heads at a pretty woman crossing the street or passing by them at the mall? Some men have fetishes with feet and women walk around in flip flops and open toed sandals every day. Should we ban those acts in public also? Don’t get me started on the things that men, Christian men, see on television.
The fact is, breasts are not sexual organs. Their sole purpose is for lactation. Whatever our culture has made out of them is NOT what they were intended for. They are made up of ducts and lobules. Breasts are not genitals. By medical definition, the sex organs are “any organ involved in sexual reproduction”. Guess what? You can make a baby without any involvement of the breasts! As a matter of fact, without muscle tissue, sex, conception, and birth would be impossible! However, breasts have ZERO muscle tissue in them!
But just in case you’re not convinced that breasts aren’t sexual organs, perhaps this quick lesson in breast anatomy & physiology might be helpful.

So now that we have established that breasts are not sexual organs, let’s talk about why women should not be forced to “use discretion” while breastfeeding. I’m not saying that women shouldn’t cover if they choose. I’m saying that women should not feel shunned when they don’t. Women should be able to feed their babies whenever they get hungry & without disapproving comments or disgusted looks . Even at church. After all, all throughout the Bible, there are unashamed and beautiful references to breastfeeding. There are no references to mothers being required to cover. Breastfeeding is seen as the normal and natural thing that it is. But not only that…

Genesis 49:25
New King James Version (NKJV)
25 By the God of your father who will help you,
And by the Almighty who will bless you
With blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

Did you hear that? Blessings. According to the word of God, breasts are blessings.
They bring life sustaining nourishment and in 1 Peter 2:2 2

As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby

we are even told to be like newborn babies. We are to crave spirituality as a baby craves his mothers milk! How profound is it that loving and desiring God is compared to a newborns desire for his mothers breast?!
In Joel, we are told to gather…

Joel 2:16
King James Version (KJV)
16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that suck the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.

Gather everyone for the glory and worshiping of our Lord! Even nursing babies!!! No mention of pumping a bottle for church. No mention of bringing a cover for church so that the elders, bridegroom, and children won’t see breasts! Just gather and bring the nurslings! Wow! I can just see them all gathered eager to worship The Lord, babies happily latched onto the breasts, and can’t help but think that if some Christians held on to verses like these as they do others, we might not be having this conversation at all.
In 1 Thessalonians we are told

But we were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children.

which indicates that a breastfeeding mother gives her child the ULTIMATE gentleness. Why else would it be compared? After all, this particular chapter is telling us that we are Gods glory and joy.
Christians should refrain from shunning breastfeeding mothers. Not only should that, but we should support it. We should embrace it even when it isn’t done with our definition of discretion. Just as Jesus himself would have, as indicated in the word of God. Every single reference to breastfeeding in the Bible, and there are many, is written without any shame or stigma. If our ultimate goal as Christians is to live and behave as Jesus would, this is one area that will be easy to achieve that goal.