Today's interview is with my mom. I loved this so much. My mom and I have talked a lot about pregnancy and birth throughout my life, and she's always had such positive things to say (no wonder I'm a doula). She said that she felt guilty explaining why she stopped breastfeeding Tyler. To that I say.... Mom, I am so sorry if anything has ever made you feel less-than for doing things a certain way as a mother. Breastfeeding is a choice, and you knew when it was time to stop. I think it's great that you made that decision on your own! You're the best.
Becky Douthett, 53
Why did you decide to breastfeed? Because I read it was important to build the baby’s immunities especially in the first six weeks.
How long did you breastfeed each of your children? I breastfed my daughter Laura until she was about 10 months old. I had to go back to work when she was 8 months and I was not very successful at pumping. We were down to mornings and evenings (since I worked full time) and then it gradually and naturally tapered off. Or at least it seemed that way…it was 28 years ago.
I breastfed my son Tyler until he was 10 months also. I always thought it was a shorter period than Laura because I went back to work when he was 6 months. Thinking back I remember the exact moment I stopped breastfeeding Tyler. We were on a 2 week road trip and it was towards the end. We were at my Uncle’s house in Colorado Springs and it was hot and I think Tyler was teething. It was really uncomfortable and did not seem to be working for either of us and then he bit me. So, I stopped.
What was your favorite thing about breastfeeding? I can only list one thing? Okay, my most favorite thing about breastfeeding was that it was such a bonding experience! I really missed having my babies inside me and breastfeeding allowed me to continue that connection. It forced me to stop and just “be” with my baby and have that eye to eye contact. My favorite time to breastfeed was the 4am feedings. It was just the two of us and such a special time.
How did your partner help you during breastfeeding? My husband was very supportive but I do remember his mother being very concerned that I did not have enough breast milk for the babies. She kept suggesting that I supplement with bottles and formula.
What was breastfeeding in public like? I did not do it very often. I felt awkward and self-conscious. I really admire women that can manage this so gracefully. Although, I remember one time being at the mall and my daughter was hungry and upset. So, I went in a large department store restroom where they had the couches in the waiting area of the restroom. There were several women breastfeeding and I joined them. It was very comfortable and I felt part of this little community of mothers.
If you worked while you breastfed, how did you manage it? I supplemented with formula and only breastfed before and after work. It was amazing how easily my milk production adjusted to the new schedule.
What resources helped you the most at being successful with breastfeeding? I had a couple of books and my brother’s wives both breastfed their children and were always ready and willing to offer advice. The nurses in the hospital were also helpful.
Is there anything else you'd like to share? After the first few weeks, I figured out how to lay on the bed to breastfeed and it was so relaxing. I did not have to worry about having to make bottles or pack them whenever I left the house. Then on the vain side, I was always flat chested and I finally had a little cleavage and it helped me to lose the baby weight and get back into shape.