We are so excited to introduce Mom Features, a series of interviews with Leche Libre moms. Topics such as public breastfeeding, personal style and plenty of tips from the moms will be covered in the feature!
Meet Allison, a Chicago mom and her cutie, Nora. Allison discuses the struggles of being a plus breastfeeding mom and her postpartum body image.
1. How would you describe your style? Do you have any tips for breastfeeding moms?
I have always been attracted to hour glass silhouettes--wrap dresses, pencil skirts. Fun prints and bright colors: cobalt blue and coral. Stuff that accentuates my curves. My tip to breastfeeding moms is to keep hydrated. Always have a glass of water on hand.
2. As a postpartum woman, how did your body image change with motherhood?
I had a traumatic birth experience and took about two months to heal so my relationship to my body changed dramatically after my daughter, Nora Jane, was born. I needed clothes that I could wear comfortably, that allowed easy access for breastfeeding and for the medical professionals who were taking care of me at home. I spent about 8 weeks in a long shapeless black skirt, a breastfeeding tank, and chunky sweater. By the time was I fully healed I barely recognized myself. It's been 15 months since my daughter was born and I've started getting used to my new body, dressing for fun--not just function and dipping my toe into a renewed social and intellectual life.
3. How long do you plan on breastfeeding?
I'll breastfeed as along as it's working for both of us.
4. What has been your biggest challenge as a breastfeeding mom? How do you overcome it?
Because I was sick and on several contraindicated medications, our start to breastfeeding was pretty rocky. I pumped and my daughter was on a combination of donor milk and formula for the first couple months. I'm very grateful for the lactation support I received in the hospital and at home. On the night of Nora's birth, I was in the ICU and she was in the neonatal ward with her dad. An LC broke all the rules and secreted her up to my room so we could bond and practice nursing. I'll always remember that kindness. We also had a lot of success going to a weekly lactation station--basically the weirdest yoga class ever--with moms and babies lined up on mats nursing quietly.
5. What has breastfeeding in public been like for you? Has it been mostly positive, or have you had any negative experiences?
I've had pretty positive experiences breastfeeding in public.
6. As a plus woman, how has it been trying to find stylish breastfeeding apparel? Has this struggle made breastfeeding difficult?
As a well-endowed woman, its not easy to be discrete so you just do what you've gotta do. Leche Libre clothes definitely help me feel cool and confident while nursing in public.
Thanks Allison for being part of our first Mom Feature!