Tag Archives: nursing

I hate thinking of posting titles

Even when I know exactly what I’m going to type out, the clever words rarely come for a title.  And if I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to type, well, forget it.

I’ve been doing a lot of pondering of late.  Frank and I have both been wondering if we want to have another baby.  By the time Lane was Jake’s age, I was already pregnant with Jake, after making the deliberate decision to have my IUD removed.  Frank was on board, and we were excited.  These days, the idea of trying to get pregnant has us both looking for the nearest fallout shelter.  Mostly, I waffle on the idea.  I love the idea of having another baby, but am generally freaked out by the reality of adding another body to the madness.   It probably doesn’t help that Lane’s never been the easiest kid on the block, and Jake’s steadily gearing up for the terrible twos (mostly by finding writing implements and leaving his mark on any inappropriate surface at his eye level).  Lane is so interested in babies right now, and breastfeeding, and playing Mommy to her baby dolls, and I know she would be beyond the moon over a new, real baby.  But that’s really little justification for conception.  🙂

And even though the idea of pregnancy sends me into heart palpitations right now, who knows how I’ll feel a couple years, or months, or even weeks from now.  For a long time after Lane was born I couldn’t imagine adding another child to our family.  I just couldn’t even create the mental pictures of what it would be like, of how I could love that baby as much, of why would I want to mess with the perfection that is my beautiful daughter?!?  But then one day, I could.  And a few months later I was pregnant with Jake, and he’s just completely awesome.  So, it will probably happen.  Maybe once Lane starts kindergarten in the fall and the quiet:chaos ratio improves a bit in my favor.

The other big thought-provoking subject for me is what I’m going to be when I grow up.  I’ve toyed with the idea of starting my own photography business to do portraits, or to becoming a birth & postpartum doula, but both require the whole working-for-myself thing, and at this point of my life I’m not feeling the energy to be super entrepreneurial.  I also keep coming back to the idea of going to school to become an RN.  There are loads of programs around for people who already have college degrees; you go to school for about 15 months, give or take a couple depending on the program, and you have another bachelor’s degree and you’re an RN (once you take the certification exam, of course).  And there are a number of schools with programs in reasonable driving distance.  And, I definitely find myself leaning toward state schools for the affordability factor, which reduces my choices to Brooklyn or Binghamton.  Or Long Island… but who in their right mind wants to go to Long Island every day?  There’s also a private college only a few miles away with a program, which would certainly lend itself best to the juggling act that being in school full time would require.

So no decisions there, but I may get started on those prereqs in the meantime at the local community college.  If nothing else, I love taking classes, and can you THINK of a cooler way to spend your time than by taking Anatomy and Physiology I?

Cover girls, June 2006

June 2006 was an interesting month for magazine covers. We saw this one:

Cosmo June 2006

Cosmo June 2006

Now as far as Cosmopolitan goes, this ain’t all that racy. But there’s definitely some boob, and those pants are very low riding. And not very long. And sorta see-through.
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Then, there was Harper’s Bazaar:
Harpers Bazaar June 2006

Harper's Bazaar June 2006

This wasn’t long before the trainwreck heard ’round the world. But she’s obviously pregnant. And obviously happy (or manic, as it were). And obviously, glaringly naked. I’m not quite sure how we’re managing not to see nipple on this, in all honesty.
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And this one:
People June 2006

People June 2006

There’s Angelina Jolie, gorgeous as always. And Brad Pitt, gorgeous as always. And a cute baby, who is destined to be either a gorgeous mega-superstar or a meth addict. Heck, maybe both. But back to the picture. It’s sweet, it’s innocent…. but what’s that?! You can sort of see Angelina’s bra straps… and that’s a NURSING BRA! Neat.
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Lastly, there was this one, which came out a couple months later:
babytalk June 2006

babytalk August 2006

Out of all these covers… this is the one I remember best. Not because the image is so incredibly striking, although there is definitely an intimacy to it that I like. I remember this cover the best because people went off the freakin’ deep end because of it. It was indecent, it was gross, it was offensive. This simple picture, of a baby doing what’s it’s supposed to do, sent people into hysterics. We can quibble over the square yardage, but really I don’t see much difference in the boobage exposed here vs. in the Britney cover. Now, I know there are lots of people around who’d gouge their own eyes out with a knitting needle if they happened to witness the abhorrence that is breastfeeding in public. I really don’t get it, but whatever. But man, did this cover make those people ooze out of the woodwork to vociferously vocalize their objection and disdain of this cover. It simply blew my mind.
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All this comes to mind because the new issue of “W” magazine is supposed to feature pictures of Angelina Jolie taken by Brad Pitt, and at least one of the pictures is of her nursing at least one of her twins. I was reading an AP article that recalled her nursing bra strap showing picture on the People cover and how it “caused a stir”. I know it fueled a few conversations, as I was privy to at least a couple of them, but a stir? Really? Over a bra strap? Isn’t “causing a stir” like causing a controversy? Was her bra strap, and her implicit endorsement of breastfeeding really controversial, given that every health agency from here to China advocates breastfeeding as the best way to feed a baby? Anyway, I digress. “W” is coming out with Angelina breastfeeding on the cover, and I’m very curious to see what the reaction will be. Will she be labeled a “lactivist” who wants to shove her breastfeeding in everyone’s face… or is that label only saved for us more normal, homely looking moms? Will she be lauded for being so open about breastfeeding, and praised for her open advocacy? Will my blog get more and more hits for people searching for husbands breastfeeding? I’m guessing all of the above. One thing certainly accomplished — I’d never heard of “W” magazine before reading the article on CNN.

Going Public: Breastfeeding Narrative #6

There comes a time after your wee one arrives where you may, possibly, potentially, start to consider actually leaving the house.  It may take a few days, or months, before the idea of heading out doesn’t seem to be so complex an operation that it makes your brain stall.

“They” like to say that if you nurse your baby right before you leave, and don’t plan to be out for more than a couple of hours, then you’ll avoid having to nurse in public.

“They” never met my daughter.

Lane was a nurse-a-holic.  I could nurse her before we left the house, and she’d be content to snooze away in her comfy infant car seat in the shopping cart while I tooled around Target, but the second it was my turn to check out my purchases in line, she wanted a boob in her mouth pronto.  As a baby she always had impeccable timing.  It wasn’t long before I’d mastered the art of nursing and paying.  Paying with a debit card, I’ve found works best when you’re paying one-handed.

The fact of the matter is, if you’re a breastfeeding mom, chances are you’re going to end up breastfeeding in public.  There are moms that choose to avoid this at all costs.  They nurse in the car, they nurse in the restroom, and in case they absolutely must nurse where someone might see them, they own a nursing cover.  I’m not that mom.

Oh, for certain, I was nervous to breastfeed in public.  What if someone started or gawked?  What if someone gave me a dirty look or chided me for corrupting their precious snowflakes with my boobs?  What if I was asked to stop?  What if my overactive letdown flooded the shoe section at Macy’s?  But I found the best course of action was just to climb up on that horse and ride it.  I dare say, I have had great success with nursing in public.  I feel I can do it discreetly, without any extraneous props or apparatus.

In learning the ropes myself, I’ve come across a few morsels of wisdom:

1)  Pick a good spot to make your first foray into public breastfeeding.  For some moms, this is someplace quiet and out of the way… the lounge in a department store, the bench by the pharmacy in the supermarket, a corner booth in a restaurant.  These are all excellent choices, and I’ve nursed on all of them.  However, I went in a slightly different direction.  My first public breastfeeding experience was when Lane was about 3 weeks old.  I took her to the mall to walk around, and despite all my efforts to tank her up before we left, she was looking for a boob after about 30 minutes at the mall.  I considered my options, and went with the bench right in front of Victoria’s Secret, where there were giant posters of larger-than-life woman with larger-than-life, mostly naked breasts hanging in the windows for all to see.  I figured, there’s no way ANYONE would have the gall to reprimand me for nursing here!  And honestly, I’m not sure a single person noticed we were nursing.

2)  Dress appropriately.  Nursing bras are your friend!  I personally prefer the type I can just pull to the side vs. the drop-down flap/cup thing.  Mostly because I fumble too much with the little claspy things on the cups.  Lots of women love nursing wear, but I’ve found more often than not it’s more awkward than just hiking up my shirt, and sometimes doesn’t even provide the supposed benefit of more modesty.  I’m a big fan of wearing nursing tank tops — like a nursing bra, but a tank top — under regular shirts.  Also, I’ve gerryrigged my own maternity wear, by buying a pack of wife-beater tank tops and just cutting a horizontal slit across the chest.  They are super long, and thin, so I can wear them under anything and get great midsection coverage when I hoist my shirt.  Some women will swear by button-down shirts, but they’ve never worked well for me.

Of course in this same vein, you’ll find some of your wardrobe gets shoved to the back of your closet for awhile.  Tight shirts without any stretch to them will not see much daylight… especially stuff that is empire-wasted.  One piece dresses are a thing of the past.

3) Prepare for the unexpected.  As I’ve mentioned, I have an overactive, forceful letdown, which means when I start nursing, my non-utilized boob is capable of randomly offloading an ounce or two of milk in about 30 seconds.  Nursing pads helped but if they were out of position, or if I’d done a boneheaded thing like put them in backwards (yes, I have, even when there was a sticky part to duly demonstrate which side was ‘out’) I’d leak all over the place.  I therefore kept a clean shirt in the car as much as I could remember to do so.  I kept a stockpile of burp cloths and breast pads in the diaper bag.  (By the way, nursing pads are great in a pinch if you forget diapers.  What you can do is put a nursing pad right into the pee-pee area of the diaper, and change it out, thus extending the life of the only diaper you have with you.)

I’m happy to report that through frequent public breastfeeding of two babies, I’ve never received a dirty look or a disapproving stare when I’ve breastfed in public.  Most people have no idea what you’re doing.  I have received plenty of smiles, a few “good for you’s” and shared a few nice conversations with other women who have breastfed or are currently doing so.

The best thing about my willingness to nurse in public, I have to say, is the benefits in a time of crisis.

When Lane was just shy of her second birthday, we took a trip to Arizona.  On the flight back, our plane was delayed on the tarmac before takeoff, for two hours.  Lane is a boisterous, energetic, intense girl… when she’s happy she’s loud and feisty… when she’s upset she’s loud and sometimes inconsolable.  It’s a tough package to deal with… but nursing was always a welcome distraction for her.  We sat on this hot, crowded plane, with a businessman next to us and a family in front of us for that two hour delay (during which I nursed Lane at least four times to settle her down and just as something for her to do, and she didn’t nap at all) plus our three hour flight.  When the ordeal was finally over, some five-plus hours later and we were de-planing, the man next to us said how pleasant our daughter was — even though I was sitting right next to him, I’m pretty certain he had no clue that Lane ever breastfed.  The family in front of us was shocked to see there’d been a toddler behind them the whole time.  I’m certain without nursing in my bag of tricks, we would have been the most reviled people on the plane.

Are breastpumps distracting?

Stephen Colbert wants to get to the bottom of things. Please, please, please watch this.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

WordPress tells me the above is going to embed the video, but if it doesn’t, here’s a linkity link:

http://www.comedycentral.com/colbertreport/videos.jhtml?videoId=177933

Is this baby going to nurse forever? Breastfeeding Narrative #3

This is one in a series of breastfeeding posts. Really, I’m no expert – I’m not a doctor, I’m not a doula, I’m not a lactation consultant. I am simply a breastfeeding mom who has nursed one child to three years old, and am currently nursing another who is nearly a year old.
If you’re looking for specific answers, I recommend giving a visit to http://www.kellymom.com, a breastfeeding site written by a lactation consultant. These will simply be me blabbering about my experiences and is not medical advice.
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There are people out there who say things like, “If they’re old enough to ask for it, they’re too old to breastfeed.”  Or, “What are you going to do, go with him to kindergarten so he’ll have something to drink?”  Or, “A woman who’d breastfeed a preschooler must be getting pleasure from it.”  Or, the slightly less tacky but still intruding, “You’re not still breastfeeding, are you?”  People who say these things are, in a word, idiots.  Anthropologists tend to concur, based on comparative studies with other primates, that humans are naturally supposed to nurse anywhere from 15 months to 5 years old.  Left to their own devices, a child will usually wean herself in that time frame.

I started writing this post around the idea of weaning, but from me that would be odd, because I have never really actively weaned a baby.  Or a toddler.  Or a preschooler.

I’m not sure when and how I decided upon it, but rather early on with Lane I decided to mostly follow the practice of child-led weaning.  Basically, letting breastfeeding happen as long as Lane wanted to, and I was still comfortable doing it.  Lane as a baby was a breastfeeding  hound; she wanted it a lot, and protested vehemently when it wasn’t provided.  I knew that any sort of active weaning was going to cause more heartache and lost sleep than it was worth.  So, I went with the flow, mostly.

Lane nursed feverishly and with wanton abandon through her first year.  I was even pumping for her until she was 16 months old.  (I was working full-time at this point – I’ll definitely talk about breastfeeding and working in another post.)  By the time she was about 20 months I’d night-weaned her, which wasn’t too difficult because she only woke up once to nurse and after a few nights of Frank attending to her instead of me, and/or a few nights of explaining that she couldn’t nurse until the sun was back up, she was good.  At about the same time or shortly thereafter, I instituted an at-home-only rule.  She could only nurse if we were at home, not out in public.  Soon after her second birthday she only nursed first thing when she woke up, and right before bed.  She held onto those twice a day sessions for a long time: I think around the time Jake was born (she was 2.5 when he was born) she only asked to nurse in the morning maybe every other day, which gradually reduced in frequency even more.  Not long before her 3rd birthday, I instituted a 10-second rule.  When she nursed, I would count to 10.  I started counting very slowly, stretching it out to nearly the length I knew she normally nursed (2-3 minutes), and slowly the counting got faster, until she was really nursing a true ten-count.  Before she turned 3 the morning nurse was gone completely, and a couple of months after she turned 3 the bedtime session became less of a staple and more of an occasional occurrence.  Even now, maybe once every other week she might ask to nurse.  And she does, for a quick ten-count.  She still mentions nursing as part of her bedtime routine (“first we’ll brush our teeth, then read three books, then nurse, then turn off the light”) but once we’re in the routine, she so rarely actually asks to nurse.

Now through all this, I pretty much followed a “Don’t offer, don’t refuse” method – let her nurse whenever she wants, don’t say no when she asks.  Well, she asked a LOT.  So there were times I’d say no, and then I started saying no (or at least saying “not now” once the at-home-only rule was in effect).  And there were also times I offered… like soon after Jake was born and I’d be all engorged because he was in the middle of a three hour nap and my boobs hurt, or back in the day when he’d sleep through the night (yeah… he used to… and doesn’t now… oh that fact drives me insane) and I’d wake up in the morning, my boobs throbbing, and Lane would be more than willing to skim off the top for me and ease the pressure.  It was awesome that she was still nursing then, let me tell you!

Jake is pretty laid back about nursing during the day – when he gets hungry he’s just as easily satisfied with some food as he is with my milk.  Nighttime is a different matter, boy is he hooked on nursing.  I’m working through ways right now to try to minimize his night nursing because at this point it really is a habit and not a nutritional need, and I think it’s interfering with his ability to sleep more than 2-3 hours at a stretch.  So, yeah, working on ways to gently reduce his night nursing, with limited success.

So no, your baby will not nurse forever.

And if you do opt to maintain an extended breastfeeding relationship, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be nursing your 3 year-old with the same frequency you nurse your 3 month-old.  People share weird stories about kindergartners  lifting their mother’s shirts to nurse in front of other people… extended breastfeeding simply isn’t like that with most people.  Just because you nurse past your child’s first birthday doesn’t mean you can’t make rules and set boundaries.  Allowing the breastfeeding relationship to continue is not the same as being completely permissive about how the relationship continues.  As you probably ascertained from my above timeline, by the time Lane was about 18 months old, nursing for us was largely a private matter.  If she asked in public I said no, but that when we were home, she could.  Even being the single-minded, intense, willful child she can be, she handled the postponement well; as long as she knew it would happen soon, eventually, she was OK.  Remember, your body is still your body, and nobody can or should make you feel forced or manipulated or indebted to do anything with it with which you’re not comfortable.

And, certainly, my way is not the “right” way.  It’s not the only way.  It’s not the best way.  It’s just a way, and it worked for me and my family.  It was what was easiest.  I have a husband who is crazy supportive of breastfeeding, a family (both mine and his) that isn’t overly meddlesome or outwardly judgmental of extended breastfeeding, and I’m not the sort of person to cave to that sort of pressure anyway.   Any breastfeeding is better than no breastfeeding, and while I’ve found it to be one of the most awesome and rewarding things I’ve ever done, and I’ve cherished the breastfeeding relationship I have with my children more than any connection I’ve ever had with another human, breastfeeding is also the most draining, challenging, and selfless things I’ve ever done as well; it is a lot of work and it takes a great amount of willpower to stick with it even when things are going smoothly.  Throw in issues like recurring mastitis, a baby who won’t stop biting you, pregnancy and the ensuing breast pain, tandem nursing, etc., and it’s just that much more challenging.  So please don’t take this post as an unconditional endorsement of breastfeeding past a year and anything less is subpar.  I don’t feel like that’s true at all.  If you make it six days, or six months, or six years, you’ve done a great job.

So your wife wants to breastfeed? Breastfeeding Narrative #2

This is one in a series of breastfeeding posts. Really, I’m no expert – I’m not a doctor, I’m not a doula, I’m not a lactation consultant. I am simply a breastfeeding mom who has nursed one child to three years old, and am currently nursing another who is nearly a year old.
If you’re looking for specific answers, I recommend giving a visit to http://www.kellymom.com, a breastfeeding site written by a lactation consultant. These will simply be me blabbering about my experiences and is not medical advice.
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Maybe she isn’t your wife… maybe she’s your fiance or girlfriend or partner, and she’s pregnant with your child. Or maybe it’s not even “your” child. But her belly’s getting bigger, she’s having difficulty tying her shoes, and the baby’s arrival is imminent. Or, maybe the little dude or dudette arrived not so long ago. But regardless, maybe you’re looking at your wife’s boobs and are feeling a little territorial. You’ve had unfettered access for awhile. What’s this going to be like?
Some men have a hard time getting over the sexualness of a woman’s breasts. Breasts are for fun! Breasts are for you to play with and touch and lube up and do unholy things with! Breasts are fun to look at! Well, all this is true. And it will continue to be true. But breasts, primarily, are for the nourishment of a baby. I took an evolutionary psychology class in college, and the basis of evolutionary psychology is that most normal behaviors, emotions, desires, etc. are tied to some sort of furtherance of the human species — what you think, how you feel, what you do, all serve in some way to ensure you’ll spread your proverbial seed. From this standpoint, it would be the argument that the sexualization of a woman’s breasts has occurred because round, voluptuous breasts indicate that this woman would be a good mating partner; were she to birth your offspring, she could adequately feed that baby and help ensure its survival, to further spread your seed.
(Let me just note here that it really isn’t necessary for a woman’s breasts to be round or voluptuous to successfully breastfeed. If your partner’s sporting a perky set of A’s they should not be a hindrance to her breastfeeding success.)
First understand, breastfeeding is the best way to feed a baby. (Even formula companies will tell you this.) It’s also way cheaper than formula. Breastmilk is nutritionally optimal, and contains chemicals and enzymes and immunity boosting stuff that formula cannot and will never be able to duplicate. Your child is very lucky to be breastfed. That isn’t to say that formula is “bad”. Formula is great. Formula has been lifesaving for so many babies who couldn’t be breastfed, for the zillion reasons there are for not breastfeeding. Formula is wonderful. Breastmilk is even better.
It’s sort of like the difference between a Mercedes and a Bentley. A Mercedes is a great car. It’s safe and beautiful and really has just about everything could ever need from a car. The Bentley, however, is a Bentley.
My big piece of advice is, get over it. Having a kid changes everything; this is no different. Some women are cool about their breasts’ continued involvement in your lovemaking or general day-to-day getting-felt-upedness, but some aren’t. For me personally, I’m OK with my breasts being touched, but not within like 15 minutes of a feeding. And DEFINITELY not WHILE I’m nursing. (My husband made that mistake once. Once.) So please respect your partner’s wishes here. She’s not asking you to leave the girls out to punish you. The boundaries of comfort just have shifted. There may need to be other adjustments, too. The hormone that surges through her body when she nurses her baby happens to be the same one that surges through her body when she has an orgasm. So for a while, you may need to deal with getting wet, or she may need to wear a bra with nursing pads during lovemaking. Or maybe you’re a big pervert and you’ll like it; I don’t know you. (Just kidding about that pervert thing. Well, sort of.)
For most women, the breastfeeding relationship they have with their kids is extremely cherished and valuable to them. As a breastfeeding mom, it’s not something I would trade for the world. Expect that this bond between your partner and the baby will be strong and special, and for a long time only Mommy will do. And yes, you will not be able to help much with the feeding itself, but there are many other things you can do to share in the parenting workload, and bond and hang out and get to know the baby. Change diapers. Give baths. Wear the baby to sleep in a sling. Cuddle with her on your bare chest (babies often love this). Watch hockey games with him.
Now, amuse me for a moment while I go through some other thoughts I wish someone would have told my husband!
– Remember to “mother the mother”. Especially during those first few weeks, when the breastfeeding relationship is being established and your partner is still recovering from childbirth, you have to take care of her. Make sure she always has a drink within reach. (Not a DRINK drink… if she always has a martini in reach, perhaps she shouldn’t be breastfeeding!) Offer to rub her feet while she’s breastfeeding. Take over some of the chores she usually does for a few weeks, and don’t slack on the stuff you’re supposed to do, either. E.g., don’t make her nag you to take out the trash like she has every week for the last three years. And if you want to be your partner’s hero, a couple times a week take the baby somewhere and leave mom at home. Take him for a drive, or a walk, or on an errand with you, and give your partner 30 minutes of alone time where she’s guaranteed to not have to respond to or hear a baby cry. If you make sure you go right after a feeding, you don’t have to worry about having milk with you. Moms have very little opportunity to be truly alone, especially in the early baby weeks, and especially in their own home. This is different than letting her get out of the house without the baby, which will also be appreciated.
– Consider co-sleeping. I’m not sure I could have had a successful breastfeeding relationship with my babies if I didn’t bring them to bed with me. Be open to this idea, and even suggest it if your wife’s up a dozen times a night feeding a baby. With a bit of practice, it’s so easy to nurse lying down, and it is really nice to cuddle with your baby at night. Some of my favorite pictures of my husband with our kids are ones where I’ve caught them cuddling in the morning when I woke up and they were still snoozing away, nuzzling. If you do co-sleep, be sure to do it safely.
– Nursing in public: Your wife wants to breastfeed in public and it makes you feel a little weird? See above: Get over it. Remember, they aren’t your breasts. If she feels comfortable, that’s what matters. No one’s paying attention anyway. And chances are, 75% of anyone who pays enough attention to your partner won’t even realize she’s breastfeeding. I’ve had minutes-long conversation with my brother’s early-20s friends (who I know are all sorts of perverted), baby on boob, and they never even realized we were breastfeeding; they thought the baby was sleeping. Most of the people who will realize there’s nursing going on are other women who have breastfed babies. In other words, you don’t really have to worry about the pervs flocking around your partner, because they simply won’t know better. And in any event, breastfeeding doesn’t generally show any more boobage than your everyday bikini, and most guys that I know really enjoy their partners to wear bikinis.
– Remember, it will get better. Eventually, your partner won’t be as tired. She’ll get more sleep. The baby will start to sleep better, too. (Maybe not “great”, but definitely better.)
– I won’t even talk about extended breastfeeding. I think that’s probably a post in itself. Just remember like all good things, breastfeeding will come to an end, sooner or later. Your child will not celebrate getting his driver’s license by taking a guzzle off mom’s boobs.

Kind of weird but mostly sweet

I’ve talked about breastfeeding before.

Jake’s still a nursling, and probably will be for the foreseeable future, especially at bedtime. And that’s fine.

Lane, pretty much is not. Which, given she’s closer to four years old than three years old, is also quite fine. These days, she will very occasionally ask to nurse at bedtime. Frequency-wise, we’re talking maybe once every two weeks. Our rule since around the time she turned three is that she can nurse if she asks, but only until I count to ten. And it works; she nurses, I count, she pops off happily. When the rule was implemented, she nursed vigorously for those ten seconds.  Gradually that has evolved into two seconds on, two or three seconds off, three seconds on, and then she’s off at about the eight count and she’s done.  I don’t foresee her nursing much longer.

Coupled with her increasing ability to communicate, our ongoing nursing relationship has become interesting.  After she nurses she usually reports that “Mommy’s milk is yummy” or that she likes nursing.  Once she told me my milk tasted like ice cream.  🙂   Last night was a first though… she asked to nurse, and after she was done and we cuddled in her bed for a minute, she looked at me and said, “Mommy, would you like to nurse from Alena?”

Umm…. well….

I responded something to the effect of, “Oh honey, that’s very nice of you, but only babies and kids can nurse from mommies.  I can’t nurse from you.”  And she was cool with it.  So we cuddled a little longer, and the whole thing just made me smile.  Nursing has become for her more a way to connect with me.  Usually the times she asks to nurse are after a busy day, or if she’s really tired and needs the little bit of extra comfort, or if she’s not feeling well.  I just thought it was so sweet that she wanted to offer that to me, too.