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Health, Home, and Happiness: Interview with Jessica of Breastfeeding Basics

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Interview with Jessica of Breastfeeding Basics

I met Jessica online when I was researching home birth over 3 years ago, and we've been long distance buddies since. She has challenged me to question everything for myself, rather than relying on the mis-information spread by the media about such important things as health, childbirth, breastfeeding, and parenting.

She's a mother of 5 young children and her current passion is helping others breastfeed. Where previous generations all had an entire generation of women that had breastfed to draw information from, our generation doesn't have that 'motherly advice' to rely on since a lot of our mothers used formula. On top of that, lots of doctors that we have been told to look to for advice don't have the correct information about breastfeeding, and while they agree that human milk is best for human babies, a lot of bad information is passed on. Jess is working to virtually fill that mother-to-mother need to help women and babies have the solid breastfeeding relationship that they need. Visit her blog at and leave her a comment! She's happy to answer any questions that you might have in the comments too. She has my breastfeeding story up too, see it here.

First off, tell me a little bit about your 'mission' with Breastfeeding Basics

My mission is to target the most common breastfeeding issues that face women who want to breastfeed and provide the most simple, down-to-earth explanations possible. I also seek to provide a sense of community and support for mothers, because what I have found is that the biggest barrier between the mother and child in the breastfeeding relationship is the messages society gives to moms about breastfeeding. For that reason I also try to reach out to other breastfeeding activists and friends of breastfeeding in general, because if mothers don't have real life connections who are prepared to defend them against doubt, uncertainty and an overload of expectations, their chances for long term success go way down.

What do you think the biggest hindrance in America is today that keeps women and babies from having a strong breastfeeding relationship?

I believe the biggest threat would have to be the fact that breastfeeding is a lost art - and a changing one. A hundred years ago moms knew many other moms locally who were very experienced with breastfeeding and were prepared to rally around a new mom and show her the ropes. But now new mothers frequently have jobs, breast pumps and other equipment they need to use, especially if they are going to work away from the home. Even stay-at-home moms live in what we call "nuclear families" where they don't have their mom or aunt living right next door or down the hall for support or help with the household responsibilities. Most new moms have to wear many hats alone - which can be a real strain on a breastfeeding relationship.

What do you think the best thing going for America today as far as breastfeeding goes?

Right now there is a large amount of superficial support which has lead to three quarters of new mothers starting out trying to breastfeed.This is good news! But the bad news is that most people don't have a clue how challenging breastfeeding really is, so aside from the initial lip service of support at the child's birth, the support quickly fades away, leaving the mom alone to struggle. That's why most mothers who start out trying to breastfeed quickly run into troubles that lead to early weaning.

What are some tips for moms who want to breastfeed but have unsupportive family?

Educate them. A great place to start would be a blog like mine. Send them specific information that explains the challenges you are facing and what you need to succeed. Most family members are generous with their own kin and will bend over backwards to help breastfeeding succeed when they understand what is needed and how important their help really is.

(my note: This was really true with me. My husband wasn't educated about breastfeeding at all when we met, but I showed him lots and lots of information on it, and now he's very supportive. If I say that I need something (more sleep, good prenatal vitamins, etc) so that I can keep making good milk for Sam, he's all on board now)

What articles do you have that cover frequently needed information for new moms?

One of the most urgently needed bits of info for new moms is on the topic of scheduling. Scheduling used to be popular but had such poor outcomes, including early weaning, that it has since been abandoned, but your mother in law or other family members may swear by it, so check out Ezzo's Dangerous Breastfeeding Schedules

Breastpumps have a reputation for saving breastfeeding relationships that are complicated by birth emergencies, illness, or job requirements so I wrote two articles about this important subject; Choosing the Best Breastpump and Fitting Your Breastpump

I also had a friend named Dana write a wonderful encouraging article about how she used a supplimental nursing system to save her breastfeeding relationship with her son Silas and increase her milk supply at the same time. Supplemental Nursing System aka SNS And I put a follow up to that promoting my favorite SNS by Medella - Medela Supplemental Nursing System (SNS)

As a community, there are many other great articles by moms who breastfed their babies and share their joys with us, as well as interviews and resources from lactation professionals.

In fact, there's so much good stuff with pictures and video, I don't have the time to create article links to it all - plus, I am constantly adding new content. So you're invited to come on over and send any friends you think may be interested, as well.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great review on this topic - I really needed this a year ago!!!!! I completely agree that the whole BabyWise scheduling deal is a joke. What mom can lay there and listen to there little baby screaming for food and convince them that sleep is more important! Those 2 am feedings are the most awesome quality bonding times in the world and I truly do miss them! I nursed my first till she was 8 months old - then she completely refused to nurse anymore because she could sit up on her own and wanted to see the world when she ate - I was crushed! My second daughter had issues and I completely lost my milk by the time she was 4 months old (pumping never worked for me). I was suffering from post-pardom and was lacking a good support system at that time - I felt so alone and then when I lost my milk I felt like a complete failure. But God is great and I got threw it. Now my 1 year old is an extremely healthy, growing and thriving little girl and for that I am thankful.

August 26, 2009 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Cara said...

I agree that those middle of the night feedings are important. For me, I don't even get up, I just roll over and nurse while I sleep. I feel good about giving them food at night too, so that way I don't have to be nervous about not feeding them enough during the day if we're out doing errands or something. They just make up for it at night. Sorry you had so much trouble :(


August 26, 2009 at 12:35 PM  

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