The countdown is on and baby-time is drawing near. This is about the time I find myself nesting, preparing our space for a new tiny human and that includes getting the boobs ready for constant feedings.
I remember what it was like the 1st time ( geez over 5 yrs ago now!) trying to figure out that latch and it was NOT fun to say the least. It totally sucked! I didn’t realize it at the time, but due to my son’s shoulder dystocia and the stress associated with being separated for the first 8 hours, we had a very hard time getting the nursing thing down. For one thing, my milk took 4 days to come in and the poor little guy was clenching his jaw tight when trying to latch those first few weeks, offering everyone around me free lessons in epic-pirate quality cuss-outs. I tend to cuss like a sailor in normal daily conversations, but with the added element of aching breast and sore nipples, I could probably make black-beard blush.
I remember thinking that the pain my breasts endured was worse than the actual birth (and due to certain hormones kicking in, that was probably true!) Once things got really bad and I was dealing with like ALL the things…. All that stuff they tell you to watch out for on those well-meaning but shallow nursing pamphlets: engorgement, clogged milk ducts, bloody nipples and a fever… yeah, I had that. I sought out and received support from a lactation consultant (totally covered by insurance which my broke-self was very thankful for!) and after a couple sessions, nipple cream, and just putting my boob milk on the boo-boo nips, everything was in much better shape and we nursed mostly pain-free for several years.
I am not one to force or even talk up long-term nursing. I didn’t exactly plan it to nurse that long myself, it just sort of happened and it wasn’t stressful for either us so I went with it. I am also not one to that can be easily embarrassed about most things in general and I am not one to look away when someone (and most of the time it was other women!) gave me dirty looks while nursing in public.
I remember returning the look right back- with a “dont make me squirt ya in the eye with my boobmilk” stare-which btw should totally be an emoticon…
Over time I cared less and less about pulling the boob out for feedings. I found it particularly interesting that after months of encouraging my son to say “num-num” as a way to nonchalantly request boob-milk when in public that he would instead shout “Boob!” While also tugging at my shirt.
Well done child.
Whatever decorum was left had surely deteriorated at that point so f**k it!
BOOB it is.
I strongly feel that nursing should happen for as long or short as mom and baby deem right…But that lady on the Times cover ain’t got nothing on me.
People thought that was controversial? Hows about putting a Palestinian mom nursing her Black pre-schooler on the cover…?! What then…?!
Aaahh, but I digress…
So I am a boob-milk believer. I loved learning about it, the health and emotional impacts on both mom and baby. The unique chemical makeup. I became a boob-milk scholar, learning everything I could and sharing it with others. I could write a book on the differences between whale and human milk and everything in-between… I was a lacto-scholar. It was super interesting to me… then again so are things like glacial deposits, historical cemeteries, post-industrial rivers, and birding…We all have our ticks.
Why Nipple Butter?
Issues with Lanolin: A study published in the September 1992 issue of the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry” found that lanolin samples contained several types of pesticide residues, and the contamination level varied significantly among batches. Also, I just wasn’t really feeling the texture of it, it didn’t feel very good on my skin. I decided to hit up the mighty Pinterest and low and behold there are various homemade nipple butter/cream recipes to try out!
This recipe is a combo of couple different ones I eventually settled on:
2 parts coconut oil
2 parts shea butter
1 part beeswax
2 drops lavender essential oil
2 tablespoons of Calendula infused olive oil
Where you can order ingredients:
mountain rose herbs: https://www.mountainroseherbs.com
or, if your a local: Farmacy Herbs: http://farmacyherbs.com
step 1: Melt the coconut oil, shea butter and beeswax in a small sauce pan over low heat
* It is best to shred/ cut up the beeswax before adding in, which melts it down easier.
step 2: pour in the lavender and olive oil
step 3: pour the entire mixture into 4 oz jars (any desired container would do, but I prefer glass)
step 4: let in cool from anywhere between 1 hour to overnight!
Uses and benefits:
beeswax: protective to skin, wound healing, antibacterial, humectant (moisture retaining)
shea butter: anti-inflammatory, chemical-free moisturizer, healing
coconut oil: skin-softener, absorbable fatty acids, the lauric acid can kill bacteria, viruses and fungi
* So many possibilities! It’s exciting to try out new variations for next time including using coco-butter or different essential oils. I plan on branching out and trying a whipped all over body butter (among other goodies) for next time! Check out my growing Pinterest board on all things DIY: http://www.pinterest.com/nsamih84/health-and-beauty-diys/
Next time: My version of “necessary” baby gear and what I am packing in my labor/hospital bag and who knows what other nonsense!