Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Controversial parenting topics: Breastfeeding

I have three friends who are pregnant right now and who I’ve talked to about my experience, common concerns, etc. I love when they ask me for opinions or help! But I often have a tricky time in the situation because I love love love to be helpful and share any wisdom I have, but I have been told occasionally throughout my life that I can come on too strong, and I definitely don’t want to offend or alienate or give unsolicited advice. Motherhood is particularly tricky for this kind of thing because there’s a lot of judgment out there at moms and I never want to sound like I am judging my friends if I ask them questions about what they’re planning on doing. But like I said I do think I have some helpful perspectives, so I figured I would just share them with the whole world instead! ;) 

I started writing down some thoughts about a few controversial/divisive topics in parenting/motherhood but the post got way too long fast. So I'm breaking it up into a series, about all of these:

Controversial mom things I did and didn't do, and how I feel about them

  1. Breastfeeding
  2. Sleep training
  3. Co-sleeping
  4. Babywearing
  5. Baby-led weaning
  6. Cloth diapering
  7. Potty training
  8. Daycare vs. nanny
  9. Transitioning from the crib
  10. TV time

So here's my first in this series of posts about my thoughts and experiences on these 10 common often controversial decisions we make as moms/parents.


Background/intro/disclaimer... It was a personal goal/expectation of mine to breastfeed my kids long before I got pregnant. I think this goes way back, because my mom breastfed me till I was 2.5 and was very proud of that and had a very positive experience. I didn’t really understand pros and cons (and I guess I still don’t fully, scientifically), but when I got into the Paleo/real food/nutritional therapy/health community after I stop being vegan in 2012/2013, I was exposed to a lot of moms sharing how they had made ancestral-based choices for pregnancy and birth and had been healthy and successful. So I definitely valued it and wanted to give my babies all natural breastmilk, and eat a good diet to support that. 

But see even as I say this now I’m trying to be neutral! I do not judge other moms who can’t or don’t want to breastfeed, but I guess what I’m trying to say here is that breastfeeding was really important to me. I really wanted to do it, and I, too have found a lot of joy in it. There have been really hard times… my supply was not great with Otto so I got stuck pumping a lot and was anxious about how much we were giving him from the pump supply versus how much I made that day at work. I tracked every feeding in an app for something like 9 months with him! I breastfed him till he was 19 months, when I got pregnant with Lucy and knew I would be too tired and sick to have one more responsibility (although by the end I’m sure he was hardly getting any milk at all and it was just a comfort thing we did before bedtime). He also never asked for milk! 

Happened to catch a glamorous shot of me feeding Otto once

With Lucy, my supply was much better in the beginning and I used a Haakaa to capture extra milk. I have this blog post here about things I did the second time around to make breasfeeding so much easier and better. Then I messed up a few months in when the doctor told me she would start getting more efficient, and started feeding her for less time; I reduced my milk supply and then had to pump a bunch again. But anyway, now we are at the point where she’s eating plenty of solid food and I’m actually still feeding her on a pretty strong schedule, as frequently as I was as often as I was when she was 6-7 months, just for shorter amount of time. 

But! She asks for it, like all the time. I’m like her drinking fountain. She climbs on me and stands and put her butt up in the air and makes monster kisses on my boobs. She’s just so cute though and she loves it! I can’t say no, most of the time. I’m not sure how weaning will go! 

Far less flattering photo of some of Lucy's recent snack acrobatics

But again, I just am sharing that I have loved the experience, even with the hard parts and being tied to a breast pump and being anxious about getting home in time to feed them or whatever. It has all worked out with way more pros than cons for me. Plus, I haven’t had to buy formula of course, and I haven’t gotten my period back for about a year after having both of them! (Funny thing to put on the Internet. Oh well.)

Because breastfeeding is a choice now (vs. the only option hundreds of years ago) I think there is also a martyrdom element to my pride and happiness in how long I've done it (and how much I've enjoyed it). I heard a great Dr. Becky podcast episode about self-care for moms, and one of the callers was so honest about how she felt she almost didn't want to take time for herself because it would take away from her martyr status. The episode is a great one for parents at any stage, but I think of it now as I analyze this post. I occasionally think, "I can't do that [vacation, evening meeting, go to the gym before Lucy wakes up, whatever] because I'm still breastfeeding." And feel proud and annoyed at the same time. I 100% could stop any day and Lucy would be fine. (Well, I'm sure it'd be a tough transition, but nutrition-wise she'd be fine!) I'm still doing it cause I want to. Just something [for me] to think about.

Next one of these posts: sleep training! What we did, what worked, how I felt about it, what I'd do next time, etc.

The posts in this series are meant to be me sharing my personal experience only. 100% no judgment if you did things differently! If you don't like the sound of what I did, no worries! I'm just sharing for those of you out there who are interested. Best wishes to you no matter what you choose!

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