Thursday, June 30, 2016

Breast Milk for Sale

Over the past three days, several messages have floated into my email inbox, and as I was reading through each one, preparing to send a personal reply to everyone who was kind enough to take the time to write, I have to admit, I was a little surprised by four of them. It wasn't really the content of the emails that surprised me, but the fact that in three months, I have never before been asked this question, which, of course, sparked a great deal of intrigue, and reminded me of an event that transpired about 10 years ago when I was a "Marine wife" living in North Carolina.

"So, you may ask, "LMM, what is the question that stirred you to write this article?"

I'm glad you asked! ;) The question of the day is...

Can you tell me where I can buy breast milk?

The reasons for this request varied, although 3/4 of them were in regard to acquiring this liquid gold for the health benefits it provides. I am completely in favor of drinking breast milk; every member of my family has done so (and continues to do so) on a daily basis, and we have been blessed to reap the rewards of consuming nature's finest super food, but purchasing "black market boob juice" online is a very bad idea, and here's why.

In order for breast milk to be healthy, it must come from healthy breasts. While it is true that breast milk is a food and not a bodily fluid, it can carry many frightening communicable diseases (including HIV) that are transferrable to the recipient. These illnesses are not contracted from the breast, but from the milk that flows through the breast, which means, of course, that consuming tainted breast milk is just as dangerous if taken from a cup, even if it has been properly stored by means of refrigeration or freezing.

Milk banks are a beautiful resource for adoptive mothers who wish to give their new additions breast milk, and for mother of premature little ones who are unable to nurse. These non-profit organizations also give breast milk to abandoned or orphaned infants who have become wards of the state, which is very moving. But the milk they receive through legal donations is healthy milk. The intended donor must complete a lengthy screening process that includes filling out appropriate applications and questionnaires, conducting a telephone interview, providing detailed medical history and records, and submitting approval forms from her physician. Once that is done, she must submit samples of her breast milk for lab testing, and if the applicant meets every standard of the screening process, she is approved as a breast milk donor.

From what I have found after conducting a bit of research on the subject of attaining underground breast milk, none of these things take place before the milk is sold, either by the ounce or the bag. I discovered four of these sites (and I'm sure there are more), and each of them seemed to be the equivalent of Craigslist, with a sole focus on the sale and purchase of breast milk throughout the United States. The ads were also very similar, with would-be entrepreneurs offering a brief physical description of themselves and their children, their intent behind their sale (for babies, for curious men, for bodybuilders), shipping or home delivery methods, quantity available, and the assurance of a clean bill of health. Prices ranged from $1.00 to $5.00 an ounce, depending if the milk was "freshly pumped on demand" or had been "properly stored" prior to purchase, and the competition was obviously quite stiff, as some women's prices were "negotiable", and others were offering a mark-down clearance sale on their milk.

All of thee findings truly made me think. I began to wonder...if a person was illegally offering the sale of breast milk on an un-screened site in the hopes of making a bit of extra income, would this person be honest enough to state the true condition of her milk, or be concerned about the safety and well-being of others?

While living on a military base in the beautiful and hospitable south many years ago, there were two local online communities where military wives could convene and communicate; one of them was a buy-sell-and-trade site, and some of the ads on that site often caught the interest of others, who would then send the ads on a viral mission along the community site and other social media sites.
One day, a small group of us were enjoying a sunny lunch and play date at my house, and as the children played in the back yard, I settled down to nurse my middle child, who was a little over a year old at the time. As he was snuggled down, his face smeared with that drowsy, milk-drunk bliss common to suckling infants worldwide, one of the women seated nearby reached into her diaper bag and pulled out a piece of paper.

"Look what I found on the yard sale site!" she exclaimed. "Did any of you see this yesterday?"

Curiosity was immediately piqued, and the paper was quickly passed around the circle. When it reached my hand, I found a print-out of an ad that read:

BREAST MILK FOR SALE $1.25 an ounce

The unidentified woman was offering precisely what her ad stated: fresh-pumped or frozen breast milk at affordable prices, ready for pick-up on-base during the afternoon hours of 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. For those who lived off-base, arrangements could be made for delivery. Her advertisement went on to explain that she and her husband were both young and healthy, their daughter was thriving, and that, due to recent financial struggle, she wa hoping to sell her surplus of breast milk. She had put her email address and telephone number at the bottom of her ad, with the additional note of serious inquiries only, please.

When I looked up from the ad, the other women were watching me with interest, to see if I had an opinion on such a "weird" and "gross" listing. They just couldn't believe that a freak would actually drink breast milk. None of them knew, of course, about my own adult nursing relationship, or that I didn't find the consumption of breast milk odd in any way. I honestly believed that the poster's intention behind the sale of her milk was well-meaning, and done for the "right" reasons. She'd just gone about it the wrong way.

"Well?" said one woman. "What do you think about that?"

"I think this is going to go viral," I replied. "And I think it was a mistake for her to put her phone number on the listing. She's going to get harassed."

"It was a mistake for her to list it in the first place," was another wife's opinion. "That's nasty."

"Hey!" said another. "I have an idea! Let's all call her and order tons of milk, and tell her we need it for a homemade  ice cream party!"

Laughter ensued. Three of us did not laugh, and when the ruckus had died down, I once again became something of the odd woman out when I offered my own opinion on the conversation by saying, "You ladies are mean." My closest friends, M and J, nodded in agreement.

The woman who'd brought the ad said, "You know I wouldn't share this around, right? I only brought it here to show you."

I'm not sure how the listing went viral, but by late-afternoon, it had, and the original poster became the brunt of a flurry of vicious jokes across various social media outlets. When I told S about it, he said, "Maybe you should call her, just to let her know that her husband can get in a lot of trouble for that if his CO finds out. They could lose their house."

I decided he was right, and when I went online a few minutes later, I found that her ad had been removed and her account had been deleted from the buy-sell-and-trade site. A couple of ladies "kindly" offered updates on the listing by writing: "Her email address is no longer working, and her phone number has already been disconnected! lol."

I've often wondered over the years if that woman knew something that even I, a nursing wife of over four years at the time, didn't know back then: there has always been a private and secret demand for breast milk.

Maybe not. Maybe her intention was based solely on financial need; maybe she didn't know who would be using her breast milk, or for what purpose, and maybe she didn't care. But she certainly believed it was marketable. If not, why bother to post the ad in the first place?

So...to answer the question that stands behind this post:

Yes, I could tell you where to buy breast milk, but I'm afraid I can't. I certainly don't question your desire for purchasing it, nor do I think your reason for wishing to do so is wrong in any way. But your health and well-being is important to me, even though we have never really met, so I cannot comfortably advocate the online purchase of un-screened breast milk.

Remember, all breast milk is good breast milk, but healthy breast milk is safe breast milk. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Areola Massage to Aid in Lactation

In order to help assist the lactation process along, the breasts require deep and consistent stimulation. The best form of this stimulation is produced by a properly suckling mouth, but if your partner is unavailable to come to the breast for a nursing session, manual, or hand, stimulation is  wonderful alternative. Many women prefer to use a breast pump in their partner's absence, and while this is a perfectly acceptable choice to aid in stimulation, a pump really doesn't provide the depth of stimulation required to help with milk production and flow in the beginning of the lactation process.  Even before you are producing breast milk, you need to express your breasts as if you are lactating to let them know that there is a need for that beautiful milk.

Areola stimulation is a terrific way to get those milk ducts contracting, and this inducing technique can be done alone, or with your partner prior to nursing.

Nestled within the areolae in a circular pattern is a network of nerve and tiny muscles that, when stimulated, send signals to your breasts--and brain--that encourage your body to begin the process of milk production. During breast massage, be sure to focus on the entire breast, particularly the areola.

To manually express your breasts (even if you aren't yet producing breast milk) using this method of stimulation, simply cover your areola with the flat of your hand, fingers pointing down, and center your nipple against your palm. Press inward firmly, pulling your breast against the wall of the chest, and begin to massage the areola in a smooth, circular counter-clockwise motion. Be sure to move your breast rather than your hand while performing this stimulation technique. Your grip should provide smooth, firm pressure, but never any pain.



You can apply this technique to both breasts simultaneously, or stimulate each breast individually. When using areola stimulation, be sure to massage each breast for a full 10-15 minutes every 3-4 hours.

This is a technique that I used quite often during the first days of my own journey into re-lactation, and it worked beautifully! I am now a week into full lactation, and Mr. S and I could not be happier!

Remember: it is perfectly fine to incorporate a variety of inducing techniques into your daily routine! As a matter of fact, I recommend it. There's no better way to get that breast milk flowing! :) No matter what techniques you use, be sure to nurse as frequently as you can, and definitely during your set nursing times!

I hope this helps!

Happy Wednesday to you!


Monday, June 27, 2016

An Adult Nursing Relationship LOVE Story in Photos


The Nursing Diary: Weeks 11-13

The Eleventh Week (6/6/16-6/12/16)

I am growing closer to reaching full lactation. It has been an exciting and rewarding week. Between nursing sessions, my breasts are replenishing my milk supply much more quickly than they have been, and grow very firm during the day, as I am nearing the end of the ninth level of lactation. I am now producing 22 ounces of breast milk throughout the day, and it seems that S is receiving approximately 8 ounces per suckling session. He says he feels "full" (and obviously very content!) following each nursing.

My milk supply is increasing steadily at 1-2 additional ounces per week. My new pump arrived on Friday afternoon; because I wanted a double-side hospital-grade model for quick and effective pumping, and had heard so many good things about a particular pump, I chose a Spectra brand, but did not have time to begin using it right after it was delivered; S and I were able to nurse steadily over the weekend.

The Twelfth Week (6/13/16-6/19/16)

I am very pleased with my new electric pump! On Monday (6/13), I was able to use it for the first time during my 2 p.m. pumping session, and it is really wonderful! After using this pump, my breasts felt much more comfortable, and were effectively emptied, which I have not been able to accomplish on my own lately when using my manual pump and hand expression.

By Wednesday (6/15), I noticed an unexpected surge in my milk supply, and a new and exciting change following our regular 6 a.m. nursing session. By 10:00 that morning, I was growing very uncomfortable. The sensation is a bit difficult to describe; it wasn't painful, but there was a heavy discomfort that pulled at my areolae, and I realized that I needed to pump. This continued over the next two days, and I found myself pumping out of necessity every morning from 10-10:30, and then again at 2 p.m. On Thursday and Friday, I had to ask S to nurse just before 8 p.m. because of fullness. The heaviness in my breasts made me feel both uncomfortable and agitated, but I felt fantastic once he had finished suckling. Three hours later, he was actually able (and willing) to nurse again--and very effectively! It was during the middle of the week that my breasts began to actively let-down on their own between nursing and pumping sessions.

The weekend was very busy. I experienced my first "juggling act" as I near the end of the ninth lactation phase. By Saturday, the desire to pump at 10 a.m. had begun to lessen as my milk supply stabilized and became naturally balanced, and the natural let-down reflex had shifted once more. Unfortunately, S was not able to nurse at 2:00; he had taken the children out for the afternoon so I could relax and begin getting ready for our weekly date night. I was unable to pump until 2:30, and by that time, it was extremely necessary. I was a little concerned if I would let-down or leak while we were out together during the evening, but all went very well, and during our regular night-time nursing session, there was a large increase in milk volume.

The following day was Father's Day, and this was another challenge. Until I am able to balance my new milk supply, an afternoon pumping or nursing session is vital. Because of this, S nursed at 2:00, so we could comfortably spend the rest of the afternoon out with the children. There was no let-down, but my breasts did begin to experience another bout of heaviness and mild discomfort. During hand expression, I was unable to produce milk manually, but S experienced no difficulty while nursing, and received a fantastic amount of milk! We are very close to achieving our goal of full lactation--and we are ecstatic!

The Thirteenth Week (6/20/16-6/26/16)

My journey into lactation has come full circle. I am now a fully lactating nursing wife.

The week was a difficult one, but together, S and I weathered the storm, and emerged more in love than ever.

On Monday, I wasn't feeling well. My breasts were very uncomfortable and warm, and although nursing sessions were providing plenty of milk, pumping was used to ease discomfort rather than to produce expression results. Both breasts were very stubborn during hand expression, too, and by Tuesday, I was suffering from my first bout of engorgement in my right breast. Fortunately, it was very mild; there was a tight discomfort in my nipple and a warm, swollen, painful place at the bae of my areola that traveled to the underside of my breast. Nursing was a bit unpleasant, but S had no problem with his latch, and once he was properly suckling, I was immensely relieved. Unfortunately, he was unable to effectively empty the right breast, but he took very good care of me by helping with massage and bringing me cool gel packs. It was wonderful to know that I was blessed to have such a loving and supportive partner! I never could have gotten through the physical and emotional roller coater without him!

By Thursday, all was well once more, and during hand expression and pumping, I was able to express a significant amount of milk on my own! The flow was rapidly rolling, as we have noticed during nursing sessions, and it was so exciting! During our 11 p.m. session, S received a flood of breast milk.

It was during our Friday morning nursing session that we received the amazing gift of full lactation. It was beautifully unexpected! As he was nursing, my flow suddenly changed. Rather than rolling from my breasts, the milk began to spray. As over-the-moon thrilled as we were both were, he and I were stunned by the realization that after nearly three months of working together to produce this milk, we had achieved our goal. I felt so closely connected to him at that moment. I never wanted to let him go. Friday was a wonderful day, very relaxing and comfortable. I was easily able to pump and collect milk. S texted me as much as he could throughout the day; neither of us could wait to be together again. Our night-time nursing wa our second following full lactation, and it was an incredibly emotional experience for both of us.

On Saturday, S surprised me by planning a romantic date for me. We went to a beautiful botanical garden where we had our first date 16 years ago, and as we strolled those cobblestone paths, surrounded by the beauty of trees and exotic flowers, I realized that, somehow, we had fallen in love again.

Our journey into lactation has come to an end, but our adventure as a nursing couple has just begun!

You can read the beginning of my journey by CLICKING HERE!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Bountiful Fruits Adult Nursing Relationship (ANR) Chat Episode: The Flexible 30-Day Nursing Schedule

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The Flexible 30-Day Adult Nursing Schedule (Updated)

Although I've previously posted my nursing schedule, I've recently received a lot of requests to learn more about it, so I decided to share a more detailed explanation of what I did to naturally induce lactation within 14 days with "The Flexible 30-Day Nursing Schedule".

A common problem that many active nursing couples who hope to induce lactation within their loving ANR face is finding a nursing schedule that they can commit to. This simple schedule is wonderful because it revolves around your busy lifestyle, and is completely customizable. What's even better is that it will produce results within 30 days with just one dedicated nursing session, and without the need of incorporating herbal supplements or additional pumping sessions.

The key to successful lactation is regularity. For this nursing schedule to work, you really need to make to connect with your partner. There is no better way to induce lactation than with a willing, suckling mouth! Your body will respond beautifully to this schedule, and your breasts will soon understand that the time to make milk has arrived. :) While your partner is doing his job by stimulating the breast with proper suckling, your body will begin doing its job by producing breast milk!

To begin using this schedule, you should first choose a time that works perfectly for you and your partner. Plan this carefully, as this will become your "set time", the time that your body will adjust to as a means of producing breast milk. Often, the breasts are much more receptive to lactation--and sometimes produce more milk--in the morning, so if you are able to begin each day with a beautifully rejuvenating nursing session, that is fantastic! If not, don't worry. Remember, this schedule is completely customizable to fit your needs, so select a time that's convenient for you.

This schedule works perfectly for someone who has not previously lactated as well as for women who have begun the journey of re-lactation. It is also helpful to post-menopausal women, and those who have undergone hysterectomies.

Another beautiful factor is the 2.4-hour time window that this flexible nursing schedule provides. If you find that you truly aren't able to nurse at your set time, you will be able to nurse 2.4 hours prior to or 2.4 hours after your regularly scheduled nursing without fear of missing the opportunity to induce.

When using this schedule, you must be sure to nurse 9 out of every 10 days, which means that you will have to nurse 27 times in a 30-day period of time to ensure resulting lactation,s.

When Mr. S and I committed to induce lactation, we nursed for the entire 30 days. The example nursing calendar shown below is my actual calendar from April, and although it shows three "free days", we chose to nurse on those days, too. I would suggest that you and your partner nurse consecutively for the first 30 days without taking a "free day" if at all possible, as the first month is very important to the inducing of lactation.

Another tip to help boost that milk supply is to drink an 8-ounce glass of water 15-20 minutes before nursing; you should then drink at least 4 ounces of water following each nursing session to ensure that your body remains well hydrated.

This is the nursing schedule that Mr. S and I have used with incredible results. We have now followed this schedule for three months, and I have reached full lactation. You can personalize it in a way that suits you.

LMM & Mr. S' Flexible 30-Day Nursing Schedule

Set nursing time: 11:00 p.m.
Earliest time available to nurse: 8:45 p.m.
Latest time available to nurse: 1:15 a.m.

It's honestly that easy!

An example of our April 2016 nursing calendar:


I hope you find this helpful!

If you'd like to listen about the Flexible 30-Day Nursing Schedule, I'll be posting my podcast later!

Good luck!!


Lessons in Lactation: Levels 9 and 10 (or What to Expect When Producing Breast Milk Within the Adult Nursing Relationship)

My own journey into full lactation has now come full circle. Today was a day of true celebration for me--and Mr. S--when we received this gift during our morning nursing session. Throughout the week, my body had given very clear signs that I was on the brink of becoming a fully lactated nursing wife, and as I was metamorphosing into this final beautiful stage, I was reminded again of the incredible bond that my husband and I share.

Sometimes, it seems that he knows my breasts and my heart as well as I do.

This article has been moved HERE

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Lessons in Lactation: Levels 7 and 8 (or What to Expect when Producing Breast Milk within the Adult Nursing Relationship)

If you have read my blog at any time over the past three months, then I'm quite certain that you know that I have professed on more than one occasion the gentle reminder that the adult nursing relationship is about love, intimacy, commitment, and an unbreakable bond that only two suckling people can truly understand rather than the breast milk they produce. I believe that, even as a woman who unashamedly produces breast milk.

Mr. S and I enjoy everything about lactation, and when my breasts are producing milk, I feel very feminine, very maternal, and very, very sensual. Lactation is an experience within the nursing relationship I share with the man I love.
You see, even though breast milk shouldn't be the focus within the loving ANR doesn't mean that it shouldn't be a part of it. Lactation is intimate. What two people go through to make the milk that will be drawn from the giving breasts to be accepted as a gift of reverence is emotionally encompassing.
And it is a special part of many devoted long-term adult nursing relationships.

This article has been moved HERE

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Lessons in Lactation: Levels 5 and 6 (or What to Expect when Producing Breast Milk within the Adult Nursing Relationship)

For many people, the world of the Adult Nursing Relationship holds a great deal of intrigue and mystique; curiosity is piqued the moment they realize that two adults enjoy such a lifestyle. Often, these very curious individuals, who focus their fascination on the  act of suckling, don't understand that, to the dedicated nursing couple, the letter R within the abbreviation "ANR" holds deep meaning and significance.

They don't understand that it is a relationship.

This article has been moved HERE

Bountiful Fruits Adult Nursing Relationship (ANR) Chat Episode: The Proper Latch and Breast Care

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Lessons in Lactation: Levels 3 and 4 (or What to Expect when Producing Breast Milk within the Adult Nursing Relationship)

For some, suckling from a pair of warm, soft lactating breasts to receive the sweet sustenance of breast milk is a beautiful and scintillating fantasy, but dedicated nursing couples who have chosen to wet nurse within the bond of their own ANRs know the reality that lies netled within this intriguing dream: lactation is a labor of love.

This article has been moved HERE

Monday, June 20, 2016

Lessons in Lactation: Levels 1 and 2 (Or What to Expect When Producing Breast Milk within your Adult Nursing Relationship)

Breast milk is often a truly intimate part of the loving and dedicated adult nursing relationship, and for many couples, lactation further enhances the suckling experience. Although it is not the milk itself that creates the bond between two committed nursing people, it is often the devoted labor of love required to produce the milk that draws them so closely together. To be able to see and feel and taste the fruits of such exquisite labor is awe-inspiring.

This article can now be found HERE :)

An Adult Nursing Relationship Interview with Mr. D and Mrs. A

I first had the privilege of meeting Mr. D, 37, who works in the financial services industry and his 35-year-old wife of seven years, Mrs. A, a busy stay at home mother to their five-year-old son, through Bountiful Fruits, and have had the pleasure of exchanging e-mails with them on several occasions. When I first met this wonderful couple, I was immediately drawn to their genuineness regarding the world of the loving long-term adult nursing relationship, and the manner in which they help to shed the light of reality on what is often considered immoral and taboo in our society. This thoughtful and compassionate couple truly reaffirm the healthy and normal aspects of the dedicated ANR. Because so many couples face the challenge of juggling responsibilities of work, parenthood, and daily life into their hectic schedules, I also asked Mrs. A to share how she and her husband make the time to connect. Please enjoy their story!
Happily Ever After
An Interview with Mr. D and Mrs. A
LMM: Before we begin, I want to thank you again for graciously agreeing to share your personal story with others. How did you first discover ANR, and what interested you most about the lifestyle?
Mrs. A: So probably like many nursing couples, we first discovered the idea after we had our baby boy. I was nursing our little guy at the time and would read a lot of blogs about breastfeeding. I saw a post one day about a woman who said that she breastfed her husband and she listed all of the amazing benefits it had on their relationship and their closeness. A few other women had chimed in on the comments that they also had a nursing relationship with their husband. So I told my husband about the post just to gauge his reaction.
Mr. D: When she first told me about the post, I was definitely intrigued by the idea, but we kind of laughed it off. We had moments during our initiate times where I "sampled", but never thought about nursing or knew about ANRs. So then I started thinking about it more, and I decided that I wanted to try it, but didn't know if she would be interested.
LMM: Which partner initially expressed the desire for an ANR? And how did the other react to the idea of adult nursing?
Mr. D: Neither one of us technically initiated the conversation. I had a hard time coming up with a good way to say that I wanted to try it. I didn't know if she would be interested. So I thought the best way would be to just go for it while we were having sex one day. I just latched on and suckled for a little bit.
Mrs. A: This definitely took me by surprise...in the best way. I had been thinking the same thing he was the entire time. So afterwards, we both talked about how amazing it was and said, "Hey do you want to try this?"
LMM: Sometimes, the most beautiful experiences really do happen by chance! While some couples choose to wet nurse, others are content to dry nurse without the aid of lactation. Have you experienced both aspects of ANR, and can you share your opinion on the experience of nursing without lactation, as opposed to nursing with lactation? Have you experience the same emotional connection, the same bond and level of intimacy whether or not breast milk is incorporated in the relationship?
Mrs. A: We've experienced nursing both ways. As our little guy got older and life started to happen, we fell off our nursing schedule and my supply dropped. Then a few months ago, we started dry nursing again to try to induce my milk flow. For me, the intimacy and the closeness is absolutely the same. There's no better feeling than the bond nursing creates and being able to connect with my husband in that way. There is something incredibly feminine about it.
Mr. D: I agree. The feeling of closeness, intimacy, and relaxation can't be compared to anything else. The lactation part is nice simply because you have a physical manifestation of all the time you've spent together. When I'm at work, I can't wait to get back home to her.
LMM: Lactation can definitely be a rewarding benefit within any loving ANR, but it can also be a challenging reality for many women. Did you face any challenges within your own personal lactation journey, Mrs. A, and what advice would you give to women and/or couples who hope to induce lactation into their own nursing relationships?
Mrs. A: Getting back to lactating is definitely a journey. Your body will start to pick it back up naturally, but you just need consistency. I personally haven't used any herbal products; only my Medela hand pump when Mr. D is at work. I just think it is important to be patient, enjoy the process, and not put too much pressure on yourself. Mr. D has been really supportive, and we both view this as a lifestyle and something that we want to continue doing for years to come.
LMM: What are some of the benefits and positive experiences that you two have gained from sharing a dedicated adult nursing relationship?
Mr. D: I think the most beneficial thing has been having dedicated time for the two of us each day. Life is stressful no matter what you do, but there is no better way to start and end the day than nursing with your partner. In an ANR, you need each other in an emotional way and in a physical way. She's even used nursing as a way of comfort. When she senses that I'm getting stressed by bills or stuff happening at work, she'll take time out to nurse me or even just let me lie between her breasts. It is amazing how quickly I feel re-centered.
LMM: Making the time to connect, and truly knowing that there is no place you would rather be than in your spouse's arms is definitely an amazing part of the experience. Do either of you feel that you've faced any challenge within your ANR?
Mr. D: I've had two big hurdles in our ANR journey: one physical and one mental. The physical hurdle was just learning how to properly latch and suckle. The first couple of times, she was in pain until I could get everything down. But once you get a rhythm, you start to settle in each time you nurse. The mental block was just breaking down the stigma of being a "grown man" and nursing. I think it's hard for men to allow themselves to be vulnerable and cared for when we are "providers and protectors". But as time passed, I realized that it's a truly special thing that I share with my wife. Two Bible verses I refer to are Proverbs 5:19 and Song of Solomon 4:5.
Mrs. A: Pumping! Since he's gone for most of the day, I have to pump regularly. Needless to say, I'm happy when he comes home.
LMM: Have you been able to openly discus your lifestyle choice with others, or, like so many other couples who share such a unique relationship, do you feel that the nursing experience is something that you must keep private because of stigma and misconception?
Mr. D: No, we haven't shared our nursing experience with anyone else. I think you always worry about being judged. But I honestly believe there are more couples in an ANR or wanting to try it than people know about. That's why it's great to see sites like this that share all of the beautiful and positive experiences that come from ANR. Hopefully, it won't be so taboo and people can begin to talk about it more.
LMM: As long-time and long-term nursers, what advice would you give to other couples who are considering opening an ANR, particularly if one partner is reluctant to try nursing?
Mr. D: I think just being open about it and not pressuring your partner. Both people have to be on board for an ANR to really work.
Mrs. A: Just communicate with your partner and give it a shot. It has been such a wonderful thing in our marriage and I would definitely encourage other couples to try it out.
LMM: Because day-to-day living can be so hectic, many women, particularly those with children, don't feel that they're afforded the time to enjoy a nursing relationship. As a stay at home mom, which is a full-time career in itself, can you tell others how you and your husband make that time to connect, Mrs. A?
Mrs. A: I think because we both have busy and exhausting days that we just look forward to the time together. It helps because we really try to set the mood for nursing. So once our little guy goes to sleep we give each other massages or maybe have a glass of wine. Anything that can help set that time apart from the rest of the day. Nursing is our time to relax and decompress.
LMM: I love that! You make the time to connect. Once again, thank you both so much for talking with me, and for generously sharing your experience with others. I know your message is going to be so beneficial in helping others understand that nursing truly can be a beautiful and healthy part of any loving marriage!
Mr. D and Mrs. A: Thank you for doing this interview with us, and for all the great stuff you're doing with the site and podcast! Hopefully, this was helpful for couples looking to get started. We wish you all the best!



 If you enjoyed "Happily Ever After", please be sure to visit BOUNTIFUL FRUITS to read six more unique adult nursing relationship stories generously shared by others in the ANR community.

If you would be interested in sharing your own journey, please contact me by e-mail, or feel free to use the convenient and discreet contact form located on my website. New interviews are posted every two weeks.
 

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The Art of Suckling: Coping with Jaw Fatigue and Gaining Stamina within the Adult Nursing Relationship

If a medical condition known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (sometimes referred to as TMD) sounds quite painful, you're correct. It is. The temporomandibular joint is actually a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of the skull, which are in front of each ear. This joint allow you to move your jaw up and down and side to side so you are able to talk, chew, and yawn.
Although at this point there is no known cause for TMD, although medical professionals believe that the disorder's symptoms, which may include, but are not limited to, pain or tenderness in the face, jaw, neck, or ear, swelling on the side of the face, and difficulty opening the mouth wide, arise from problems with the jaw or, specifically, the joint itself, due to injury, grinding or clenching the teeth, and even stress. Unfortunately, suckling can exacerbate the condition, and this makes it very difficult to fully enjoy the nursing experience. Nursing should never be painful--for either partner. Jaw
 fatigue and discomfort can be very discouraging, and often a hindrances  to everything that is wonderful about the loving nursing relationship.
 The art of suckling takes a lot of dedicated work. Drawing milk from the breast, or even suckling within a dry nursing relationship, requires a strong latch that forces the nursing partner to open his mouth rather wide to ensure that he is taking in as much of the breast as he possibly can. As he begins the rhythmic motion of suckling, the jaws flex, sometimes quite rapidly, as he stimulates the areola and nipple to encourage the let-down reflex. This is done in a series of short, rapid pulls, what I often refer to as pacifier sucks, that can last from 3-5 minutes before milk begins to flow. Once the milk has been released, the nursing partner will often remain on the breast for an additional 10-15 minutes, so you can understand why suckling can be quite taxing. I often feel that the process of drawing milk from the breast is just as much a labor of love as making that lovely milk can be.
Even without the diagnosis of TMD, jaw fatigue is often a common problem within the dedicated adult nursing relationship, and building stamina can take time and concentrated effort. If you read PURE SERENITY, then you'll remember that Mrs. D and her husband, Mr. E, openly discussed the challenge of facing this concern within their own long-term ANR. When preparing to write this post, I turned to this wonderful couple once more to ask Mr. E if he could give a bit of insight on the subject, and this is what he generously shared with me:
"My fatigue was brought on by the new experience of suckling. There was no previous condition of TMD. My symptom was mainly a tired, overworked feeling in the joint of my jaw, and that was the only discomfort I felt after about five minutes into the suckling experience. Fortunately, it didn’t lead to anything else, such as headaches, neck pain, or earaches, and once I stopped suckling, the tired feeling in my jaw subsided. 
"As far as remedies go for working through this? Practice, practice, practice! Seriously, just experiment with different positions. We came to the realization that I was more comfortable nursing in any position that allowed Mrs. D’s breast to fall naturally into my mouth as oppose to positions that forced me to do more work by pulling in or suckling upward. One device we did come across is a half-moon nursing pillow by JJ Cole that we use for alternate positions, and it helps a lot. Since we’ve made position adjustments and began to consistently nurse, I haven’t had any further issues.
"I would say that I have grown accustomed to the art of suckling. I don’t think it is something that anyone could automatically know how to do from the start. I think what someone is trying to accomplish, and the motivation and determination behind it is going to play into how long it will take to improve stamina. I’m quite sure it will happen sooner for some than others. It truly depends on the couple."
Another tip that may be helpful is to nurse in sets. Suckle just until you begin to feel the onset of jaw fatigue, and then rest for a moment or two until your jaw feels relaxed once more, and then proceed with suckling. Mr. S often uses this technique during our own nursing sessions, and it is really helpful--providing that he doesn't doze off between sets! ;)
To prepare the jaw for the impending suckling experience, it can often be beneficial to begin with a short series of jaw stretching exercise to loosen and relax the temporomandibular joint. They're very simple to do, and quite effective. Just open your mouth as widely as you possibly can, as if you're yawning, and then slowly bring the lower jaw upward without allowing the upper and lower teeth to meet. Afterwards, apply a warm, moist towel to the jaw for 3-5 minutes to sustain the loose and relaxed feeling of the joint.
To ease post-nursing discomfort, you can take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, to ease muscle pain; if you're unable to take ibuprofen, acetaminophen may also help. Cool compresses or moist heat applied to the jaw are also helpful, and remember to relax! Stay focused while suckling, but don't concentrate so hard that you begin to tense up and clench the jaw. Keep your jaw loose and relaxed to ensure a beautiful and pain-free nursing experience!
While theses are just a few tips and tricks offered to you by long-term nursers, remember that you can always visit your healthcare provider if the problem persists, or you feel that you may be suffering from TMD. He or she will be able to provide proper treatment for your condition.
If you have experienced jaw fatigue, and possibly have some advice for others who suffer from nursing discomfort, please send me an e-mail, or leave a comment on this post. You may just have a tip or trick of your own that will be valuable to other dedicated nursing couples!

Friday, June 17, 2016

How to Properly Handle and Store Breast Milk

Breast milk is one of the healthiest foods a person will ever consume. As a matter of fact, it is so vitamin and nutrient-enriched that medical research now shows that this "liquid gold" is just as beneficial for adults as it is for infants, and research has concluded that an adult can actually thrive, not merely survive, on a diet consisting of only breast milk. Remember, this is the good stuff, the pure stuff, and it is unadulterated with artificial additive and preservatives, so to truly reap all of the fantastic health benefits that breast milk naturally provides, it needs to be handled and stored properly. Here's how you can do this!

Preparing to Store Fresh Breast Milk

•Prior to expressing, be sure to wash your hands to prevent transferring bacteria to your breast milk. You should actually do this before nursing, too, and be sure that your breasts are free of lotions, perfumes, and powders.
•Store collected milk in either screw-cap bottles, hard plastic cups with tight-fitting lids, or breast milk storage bags, which are sterile, BPA free, freezer-safe, and designed specifically for proper milk storage. It isn't recommended that breast milk is stored in traditional freezer bags or other plastic bags.
•Be sure to label your containers with the date of expression, and use the oldest breast milk first. •You shouldn't mix "old" and "new" breast milk together in one container. •I know...I know...breast milk is a precious commodity, and you don't want to waste a drop, but be sure to discard any unused and left-over milk. No hoarding! ;)
•Breast milk bags are disposable, and should be thrown away after each use.
•Wash your breast pump after each use.

How to Thaw Frozen Breast Milk

•The best (and safest) way to thaw frozen breast milk is by transferring it from the freezer to the refrigerator, but if you need it in a hurry, you can thaw your milk more quickly by swirling the storage container in a bowl of warm water. Breast milk will often separate, and you may notice that the "cream" has risen to the top. This is perfectly normal, and the milk is safe for drinking. Swirling the container (either in a bowl of warm water as it thaws or after thawing) will usually help to mix the separated layers of milk.
•Don't thaw frozen breast milk in a microwave oven.
•Once thawed, breast milk should never be re-frozen. (I know...there's that waste not, want not thing again...)

Storage Methods and Duration of Fresh Breast Milk

If you're planning to use your breast milk fairly soon after expression, it can be left out at room temperature, up to 77 degrees F or 25 degrees C, for 6-8 hours. To preserve its freshness, you can cover the collection container with a cool, dry towel.

Insulated Cooler Bag: A cooler comes in very handy while traveling, or if you're planning a vacation. The bag's internal temperature should remain between 5 and 39 degrees F or -15 and 4 degrees C. Keep ice packs in contact with your breast milk at all times, and be sure to limit how often you open the cooler bag. If using this method of storage, milk will stay fresh for 24 hours.

Refrigerator: With a temperature of 39 degrees F or 4 degrees C, breast milk can be safely stored in this way for up to 5 days. Try to place your milk in the back of the fridge where its cooler if possible.

Freezer Compartment of a Refrigerator: As long as the temperature remains at 5 degrees F or -15 degrees C, breast milk can be stored safely here for 2 weeks.

Freezer Compartment of a Refrigerator with Separate Doors: If you choose to freeze your breast milk, a freezer with an internal temperature of 0 degrees F or -18 degrees C will preserve the milk's freshness for 3-6 months.

Chest or Upright Deep Freezer: If you choose to freeze your milk in this way, at a temperature of -4 degrees F or -20 degrees C, it will remain fresh and perfectly safe for drinking for 6-12 months.

To further ensure the quality of your breast milk, store your containers at the back of the freezer if you can; the temperature is much more consistent, and this preserves all of those fantastic lipids in your milk!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Taking the First Steps into the World of the Adult Nursing Relationship: Part III

While it may seem daunting to embark on the unknown journey into the beautiful world of the adult nursing relationship, the experience, while vast and emotionally encompassing, truly can begin in the simplest of ways, by employing the three key elements that every successful ANR requires:

1.Communication (which you can read about HERE)
2.Touch (which you can read about HERE)
3.Time, which we will explore further in today's post

The world outside of the adult nursing relationship is a busy one, often fraught with chaos and challenges that can make time seem very much like a precious commodity. Within the realm of the beautiful adult nursing relationship, time stands still and the outside world remains at rest. It is a magnificent place that two loving people create for themselves, a place that belongs only to them, where they are free to roam and revere and receive respite from reality as they share the most intimate of unbreakable bonds.

You can read the full article HERE.

Bountiful Fruits Adult Nursing Relationship Chat: Episode #3: Q & A With LMM: Part I

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Taking the First Steps into the World of the Adult Nursing Relationship: Part II

There truly is so much more to the opening of a dedicated nursing relationship than simply taking your partner to your giving breast, or learning the best ways to produce a large supply of breast milk. Those are two wonderful elements within every successful ANR, of course, but they aren't always foremost--and they sometimes appear much later along the path that leads you along the way, particularly if you and your loving partner haven't yet stepped onto a middle ground within the lifestyle that is satisfying to both of you. It takes a great deal of time--and patience--to cultivate something as beautiful as the adult nursing relationship.

You can read the complete article HERE.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Taking the First Steps into the Beautiful World of the Adult Nursing Relationship: Part I

Although I normally reserve Monday as the day to post fresh interviews and nursing diary updates, I was inspired to write this article. Recently, a very important question regarding the world of the adult nursing relationship has been brought to my attention on several occasions, and because it seems to be of great interest to many women as of late, I decided to explore the inquiry further, and share some thoughts, and, perhaps, hopefully, a bit of helpful advice with others who wish to experience the joyful intimacy the dedicated nursing relationship can bring to their existing partnerships.

I want to begin an ANR with my husband...but where do I start?


You can read the complete article HERE.


Friday, June 10, 2016

The Media and ANR

It seems that ANR and ABR are now hot new topics in the media. Maybe they always have been, and I'm just noticing the trend now that my circle within the adult nursing relationship community has expanded a bit, and I'm much more aware of my surroundings. Regardless, something has been troubling me over the past week, and I've found that blogging is quite therapeutic, so, after quite a bit of consideration, I decided to post this publicly with only the best intentions behind my written words.

Before I continue, I think it's very important that readers understand that I am, in no way, a controversial person. I believe in the age-old adage "live and let live", and always do my best to respect others' lifestyle choices and belief systems, and this has always been my goal as I share my thoughts and feelings, opinion, and advice  on the loving adult nursing relationship. Although I am certainly not a serious journalist, nor will I ever be the Great American Novelist, I do take my writing very seriously--as seriously as I take my own ANR, and as seriously as I take the feelings and privacy of others regarding their ANRs.

So, with all of this being said, I'll confess that my concern pertains to the media; and, specifically, how the media handles the topic of ANR.

I was actually able to briefly discuss this concern with another couple two nights ago, and I feel that we share the same views on this issue--the media seems to feel that this lifestyle is a farce, some bizarre and unexplainable oddity, something that will intrigue and amuse their readers, as these "journalists" twist the truth into sensationalized fodder, and make a mockery out of the nursing relationship, and the couples who practice it. As the other husband and wife said, the problem with some journalists is that they only care about how many hits they receive on a particular story. I agree with that. Often, presenting the fact-based reality of a seemingly fascinating subject is far less interesting than transforming it into a tabloid story to catch readers' attention. I doubt many people would be fascinated by my life outside of the bedroom where I nurse my husband. It isn't very exciting to learn that I enjoy raising roses or growing vegetables or knitting doll clothes for my little lady's menagerie of blinky-eyed babies. There is not much mystique to explore, I'm afraid. I'm just an average woman with average struggles--and I just happen to nurse my husband.

Because of this, I do offer glimpses into the mundane part of my everyday life, as a way to keep this very real, as a way to normalize what could easily become sensationalized. I have taken part in two interviews at this point, with the potential for two more on the horizon, but I have turned down three offers to discuss my lifestyle choice because I questioned the motive behind the reporters' interest. I love to laugh, but I do not love being laughed at. There is humor in every aspect of life, including nursing, but I just don't see anything funny about the practice itself. It is so easy to handle any issues that arise within your lifestyle choice, as long as you hold onto the control you have over it. You can ignore rude and disrespectful questions, refusing to take the offered bait and feed the flames of ill-meaning fascination, and utilize social media's "unlike", "unfriend", and "unfollow" buttons, or block someone's e-mail from passing through your inbox, but once you hand your story over to the media, even with the best intentions behind it, your journey immediately becomes their story, to do with as they see fitting. I especially dislike the manner in which some journalists utilize quotation marks--they are an easy way to establish sarcasm and a can you believe this? camaraderie with their readers --within the written word. For example, when discussing ANR, some journalists will print: This woman "feeds" her husband. Those innocent quotation marks are offensive to me. And I worry a lot that I will make a terrible judgment call and share my story with the wrong reporter. Sometimes, it feels as if I am taking one step forward to spread the word that ANR can be a completely healthy and absolutely normal part of a couple's everyday life, and then some "journalist" (see what I just did there with the quotation marks? ;)) comes along and pushes me two steps back.

It's really no wonder there's so little trust within the nursing community. Everyone has feelings. No one wants to be the butt of a horrible joke.

I decided to conduct my own interviews for very specific reasons. When I ask to speak to a couple about their own journey, it is always done with the greatest of intentions, as a way to share fresh perspectives on the lifestyle, as a way to build understanding and something of a kinship. I also use these interviews as an outlet for people who would love to be able to share the beauty of their personal ANRs in a safe, secure, and discreet way without the fear of embarrassment, criticism, amusement, or shame. And when these wonderful people agree to speak with me, I am fully aware of the truth: they don't know me. Their willingness to discuss this with me is based solely on trust. They are entrusting me with an extremely tender part of their personal lives, and this is quite meaningful to me.

As a matter of fact, one of the most touching messages I have ever received came from a woman who agreed to a Bountiful Fruits interview, and she contacted me after her story was posted on my website.

"You truly just touched my heart with your article/story. You wrote it so respectfully and just so beautiful. Thank you!"

I don't think I could ever explain what her words meant to me.

Although this post isn't the type that I would normally publish, I'm glad that I decided to share my thoughts--and hope that you are, too. I'll return soon with new articles, which I'm very excited about, and, don't forget that ANR Chat Episode #3 is set to air in five days! Actually, it may become ANR Chat Episode #3, Part I and II, because I've received so many fantastic questions! Thank you, all!

Enjoy your Friday. Enjoy your weekend. Enjoy your partner, and the beautiful lifestyle you share!

Take care!


Thursday, June 9, 2016

My Interview with Leigh Cuen of Mic

I was recently asked to contribute my thoughts on ANR to an interview conducted by Leigh Cuen. Although I was uncertain of whether or not this was the right decision to make, I consented, and I'm glad I did, as a way to "normalize" rather than sensationalize the beautiful adult nursing relationship.

I received a follow-up note from Ms. Cuen earlier that read:

"Thank you for contributing such a thoughtful interview to this article. It was a great help in taking a sensationalist viral story and giving it real, humanizing context..."

I hope you'll take a moment to read and share this piece with others.


Does Caffeine Affect Breast Milk?

There is a widespread myth that the consumption of caffeine can adversely affect a woman's breast milk supply, and because so many women who choose to incorporate lactation into the loving ANR that they share with their partner, work so strenuously to ensure an increase in production and flow, taking any measure that they find suitable to make milk, this can be a very big concern for them. Because this post revolves around the nursing of an adult rather than an infant, I've chosen to focus my attention on the effects that caffeine has on milk supply rather than the physical effects an adult may experience from consuming "caffeinated milk", (which, if you just happen to be curious, should prove to present no problems for your partner :)).

In preparing this post, I did a lot of research, because I, personally, do love coffee. It is my only vice. As much as I enjoy it, I wanted to be really sure that it was not going to negatively affect my milk supply in any way; during my pregnancies, I avoided caffeine like the plague, and avoided it almost as rigidly throughout the entire two years that I was breastfeeding my oldest son, per my doctor's advice. While I was nursing my second son and brought up the age-old caffeine debate to my lactation consultant, she assured me that caffeine was "okay, in moderation", and by the time my third child was born, I ran into my lactation consultant in the hospital's coffee shop where she found me debating over which decaf drink to order. When I told her my quandary, she laughed and said, "Have a real coffee, Mom!", and went on to ease my worries regarding the baby's health and my milk supply. Information changes--quickly--and because of this, and the fact that I haven't produced breast milk and attempted to maintain a full supply in five years, I turned my focus onto education (with the worry that I was about to kiss my morning coffee good-bye, which I was truly prepared to do if necessary to preserve my precious milk and be able to nurture Mr. S...now that is love!), and spoke to my friend Holly to get her advice and thoughts on the subject at hand. (If you've read some of my other posts, then you'll know that the lovely Holly is a Labor and Delivery RN at one of our large local hospitals, who has "connections" with a team of terrific lactation consultants, and is always willing to answer all of my questions.)

Caffeine has been categorized as "Lactation Risk L2" (safer), and is thought to possibly decrease milk supply immediately upon consumption; breast milk is believed to peak once more 1-2 hours after ingestion. The American Academy of Pediatrics has actually classified caffeine as a "Maternal Medication Usually Compatible with Breastfeeding". It is s often recommended that breastfeeding women consume no more than  300-750 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day, with 500 mg set at the "ideal" consumption dosage. But opinion still varies greatly on this. Many lactating women consume caffeine on a daily basis, and even though it would be very simple to conduct effective studies on the subject,  very little research has emerged regarding the effects of caffeine on breast milk supply, although one study shows that caffeine may actually stimulate and possibly increase milk production and flow. The truth is, very little is known about this issue, and there is no concrete evidence to support the idea that caffeine can harm (or help) breast milk supply.

The best way to gauge the effects that caffeine has on your milk supply is to pay close attention to your body and breasts, and observe your partner's nursing routine. Be sure to keep the lines of communication open; he'll be able to tell you if he notices a change in your milk supply. (See? There's another beautiful benefit to the adult nursing relationship! :)) If you do see a noticeable difference in the amount of milk you're producing, you might want to decrease the amount of caffeine you consume, and then chart your progress to see if your levels rise once more. If the problem of poor milk supply continues even after caffeine elimination, then you'll need to look elsewhere for the underlying cause.

While coffee and tea are known to contain caffeine, it can also be found in soft drinks, sports and energy drinks, including sports waters, some over the counter and prescription medications, and foods containing chocolate. Herbal products containing guarana/paullinea cupana, kola nut, yerba mate, or green tea also contain caffeine.

If you want to keep track of the amount of caffeine you're consuming in hopes of staying true to the 300-750 mg per day mark, read on!
  • Starbucks Coffee, short: 250 mg per 8-ounce cup
  • Starbucks Coffee, tall: 375 mg per 12-ounce cup
  • Starbucks Coffee, grande: 500 mg per 16-ounce cup
  • Starbucks Caffee Latte or Cappuccino, grande: 70 mg per 16-ounce cup
  • Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino: 98 mg per 9.5-ounce cup
  • Starbucks Espresso, double: 70 mg per 2-ounce cup
  • Coffee, brewed (non-gourmet): 120-180 mg per 8-ounce cup
  • Coffee, instant: 80 mg per 8-ounce cup
  • Coffee, decaffeinated: 3 mg per 8-ounce cup
  • Tea (leaf or bag): 48 mg per 8-ounce cup
  • Tea, green: 30-35 mg per 8-ounce cup
  • Hot Chocolate: 2-5 mg per 8-ounce cup
  • Herbal iced tea, lemonade, fruit juice, milk, water (tap or plain bottled): 0 mg per 12 ounces
  • Mountain Dew: 55 mg per 12 ounces
  • Coke: 36 mg per 12 ounces
  • Diet Coke: 46 mg per 12 ounces
  • Dr. Pepper, regular or diet: 42 mg per 12 ounces
  • Pepsi: 40 mg per 12 ounces
  • Orange soda, non-specified brand: Approximately 34 mg per 12 ounces
  • Root beer, depending on the brand selected: Up to 22 mg per 12 ounces
  • 7-Up and Sprite: 0 mg per 12 ounces
  • Hershey's Milk Chocolate: 10 mg per 1.55-ounce bar
  • Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate: 31 mg per 1.45-ounce bar
So, there you have it! The mystery of caffeine's effects on breast milk supply has been (sort of) solved! I guess how much of this "maternal medication usually compatible with breastfeeding" you choose to consume is dependent on whether your partner enjoys his milk caffeinated or decaf. ;)

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Beautiful New Horizon

Where to begin with this post?

I suppose I should just start at the beginning. Forgive me for allowing you the small glimpse into my life that eradicates a bit of the LMM mystique, but I was in the middle of an extremely mundane "average housewife" chore (all right, I confess, I was cleaning the toilet) while I waited for the AC repairman to come by; S was at work, the children, now free to enjoy the summer, were off playing, and my latest podcast had been uploaded to Soundcloud, so my mind was free to wander a bit.

That was when my phone chimed.

I had a message from a reporter in New York who wanted to interview me as part of an article on nursing relationships!

Within 15 minutes, we were Skyping!

And things just got better from there!

There have been new visitors to my site and chat room, and (a few) more Facebook likes and Twitter followers. I've had the pleasure of meeting two new couples, reconnected with an acquaintance I made over a month ago, when she and her husband agreed to a Bountiful Fruits interview, and heard from a friend of mine who I haven't had the chance to talk to in almost two weeks!

Not to mention the fact that my toilet bowl is sparkling and as fresh as a daisy, and I didn't faint when I received the estimate from the AC repairman.

How lucky can one girl get??

And I am lucky, so very lucky, and today has been a day of beautiful reaffirmation. Sometimes, we all need to feel re-inspired, and just when I begin to question if I am taking my writing in the right direction, or possibly making a difference in the lives of others, something wonderful happens to boost my confidence and morale.

Sometimes, several wonderful things happen--just like today.

So, what is going on now that Bountiful Fruits stands upon this beautiful new horizon?
  1. Two brand new ANR interviews
  2. Lots and lots of new posts that will explore a variety of informative topics, including one that discusses a new milk enhancing supplement
  3. Weekly podcasts
  4. Several site additions
I know that none of this could be possible without you, the reader who coaxes me forward with your support, encouragement, and input.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Now, I'm off to answer my friend's e-mail, check on dinner, and ensure that our rec room is still standing because the children are suspiciously quiet...;)
Have a wonderful Wednesday!


Bountiful Fruits ANR Chat Podcast Episode #2 is Live

Although I'd originally planned to air my podcast every two weeks, the plans have changed a bit, and ANR Chat is running on a weekly basis. :)

Today's episode is "The Magic of Oxytocin", and on June 15, the topic will be "Q & A with LMM".

To listen to "The Magic of Oxytocin", please click HERE

or visit BOUNTIFUL FRUITS

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Face of ANR

One of the reasons I enjoy talking to others, and sometimes interviewing them, is because I can learn so much from the conversations. Every time I meet a new nursing acquaintance, I gain something from the experience, and I feel that's so important, because, as you know, I do write on a very personal level. When it comes to the emotional aspects of ANR, I can only share what I know, and what I have learned along the way of the very intimate journey I share with my husband.

"Can you tell my wife why she should try ANR?"

When this question crosses my email inbox, I always give it a great deal of consideration before I reply. I could explain the reason that S and I had for opening our ANR so long ago, and I could speak about the beautiful benefits I've been blessed to receive within the relationship that S and I share; I could even talk about the physical changes that I've seen take place over time, and offer a direct, open, and honest opinion on the matter at hand.

But would it be relatable? Would this woman (or any other) find relevance in my experience?

Probably not.

The Adult Nursing Relationship is a very personal one, unique to every individual--and couple-- and what "works" for one person may not be "right" for another. People nurse for many different reasons, and, believe it or not, there truly doesn't have to be a deep, psychological meaning behind the desire to suckle. Some people simply want to. Many healthy, loving, long-term Adult Nursing Relationships have been borne of curiosity. To overthink and attempt to decipher the mystery of why you long to nurse takes so much joy out of the experience. And that's truly what ANR is about--the joy, regardless of the reason behind it.

It can be difficult to answer such a question. Although I do my best to personalize my responses to every email I receive, this particular inquiry normally receives a standard reply:

Although I would love to be able to help you with this, I'm afraid I can't. The desire and decision to nurse is a very personal one. I suggest you sit down with your wife and openly discuss the lifestyle with her. Explain why you feel a desire to nurse, and express why you feel that it might be beneficial to your relationship. Listen to her, allow her to respond with her own feelings...

Is that sound advice? Does it help in any way?

Probably not.

Because even though this man is her husband, his feelings on ANR belong to him, and she may not understand, even after a lengthy discussion about the lifestyle, how nursing could possibly be right for her.

Often, I believe that many people are hoping for a different response to the question; no matter how firmly I believe in the joy and benefits that ANR can bring to two loving people, I could never contact someone with a message that reads: "Just let him nurse! Do it, you'll love it," because it would be so unfair to the person who doesn't view nursing in the same light.

I recently interviewed a woman named Lily, whose ANR story you can read HERE. While initially researching the lifestyle in hopes of lending emotional support to her partner, Lily didn't feel that ANR was right for her, until, as she explained, she made it relevant to her life.

She put a face to it.

When I heard this, I immediately thought, What a fantastic way to explain this to others! because it is. And this is something that we all do. We personalize our nursing relationships, and the glorious benefits we gain from within them, and make them suited to our tastes and desires. Your own ANR is a reflection of you, and what you hope to experience while you're nursing, and what you wish to take from the experience is dependent upon you. While the adult nursing relationship is a partnership that belongs to each couple who participates in the lifestyle, it also belongs solely to each individual within that partnership. Two compatible people can indulge in a loving long-term committed ANR for very different reasons, and still enjoy the same beauty and connection. As long as the experience is pleasing to both of you, there is no right or wrong reason to nurse.

In essence, ANR does have a face. It is the wonderful one that you gaze at in the mirror every day.
Happy Tuesday!

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Nursing Diary: Week 10

The Tenth Week (5/29/16-5/6/16)


71 days have passed since S and I re-opened our committed ANR, and the time has sped by in a blissful blur, bringing with it more happiness--and love--than I had ever dreamed possible. Every week offers so much hope and promise that it is difficult not to anticipate the weeks (and months) to come.

On a very personal note, my monthly cycle has begun, and I am mentioning it simply because I've discovered that it has changed a bit since S and I began a regulated nursing schedule. Apparently, it is now "programmed" to follow last month's cycle, which was slightly irregular than what I was accustomed to. My biggest concern was that my milk supply would be affected, as some women have a tendency to notice a decrease in production and flow during the onset of their menstrual periods, but I'm relieved that I haven't experienced such as of yet. Production is continuing as before! ;) I am a very happy lady!

I am remaining steadily, and contentedly, at Level 9 in my lactation journey, and am currently producing approximately 20 ounces of breast milk per day! This means that my goal of achieving full lactation has nearly been achieved, and although I cannot even estimate how soon I'll reach my final lactation stage, it is certainly something to anticipate. I plan to freeze any excess breast milk for the Mister's pleasure, which he is truly looking forward to. :)

I had hoped to be able to journal about my new electric breast pump this week, but, unfortunately, I haven't purchased one yet. There is so much to consider in regard to the proper pump, and I've received so much greatly-appreciated and helpful advice on the matter that I just haven't been able to choose a model yet. And I really need to! I'm not sure how much longer I will be able to rely on my manual pump and hand expression for effectiveness. I am planning to make a final decision very soon, and hope to be double pumping by the beginning of next week.

On Monday (5/30), because of Memorial Day, S' work schedule altered slightly, which meant that he was available to nurse at 2 p.m., just as he had over the weekend. That luxury spoiled me! It was really difficult to pump the following day because I'd grown so used to three days of afternoon nursings! On Tuesday, it felt as if something were missing, but the pumping went well, and by Wednesday, I was back on track, with the weekend to look forward to! On Saturday (5/4) and Sunday (5/5), we were again able to indulge in three 40-minute nursing sessions.

As my breasts continue to produce milk, they have become naturally fuller and firmer (a change that has taken place once more over the past seven days), and with this progression, I've noticed that nursing has become much easier. There is no longer a need for additional support, which means that our hands are free to roam elsewhere, if they so choose, and the additional touches and caresses have added greatly to the beautiful physical connection that I share with my love.

I am so excited to see what this new week will bring!

To read Weeks 1-6 of my nursing diary, please CLICK HERE and
Weeks 7-9 can be found HERE

An Interview with Lily: Long-Distance Love

I first met Lily through my original blog (http://marriedmilkmaid.blogspot.com), and I really enjoyed her thoughts on the dedicated Adult Nursing Relationship. Lily's reason for opening an ANR with her future husband, who must cope with many stressors in his chosen profession, is a testimony to love and commitment, and she was gracious enough to allow me to share her experience with others. Please enjoy "Long-Distance Love".

LONG-DISTANCE LOVE
An Interview with Lily


LMM: Before we begin, I'd like to thank you once more, Lily, for agreeing to talk to me about your nursing relationship. How did you first learn about ANR, and what interested you most about the lifestyle?

Lily: I came across ANR by accident in an article online.  I think I was reading about hugs, which lead to oxytocin (dubbed the hug hormone), which then spoke about bonding between a mother and her baby, and then lead into the bond between a woman and her partner that she nurses or breastfeeds. At first I thought,  "How gross! I wouldn't want a grown man hanging off my boob." The article also mentioned how this release of oxytocin can calm or de-stress a person, and can work like an anti-depressant.  That's what caught my eye; at the time,  my fiancée was unhappy,  and would tell me that he was depressed, so I started to research it, and even though my initial reaction was "How gross!", I tried to give ANR a face and make it relative to me and my fiancée. I thought if this could help him, would I do it for him?  And my answer was yes.  If breastfeeding my future husband would help him overcome depression, then I would try it for him. The more I learned of it, the more I realized that I wanted ANR for me, too.  I wanted the bonding and the intimacy that an ANR creates and maintains within a marriage.

 LMM: I think the idea of relevancy within ANR is a wonderful way to personalize it for a couple who might be leery of opening such a meaningful, albeit misunderstood, relationship, particularly if they don't feel the lifestyle is "for them". How did you express your desire for an ANR to your partner?

Lily: My fiancée  and I are in a Long Distance Relationship and most of our correspondence is online.  When he complained of being unhappy, I raised ANR with him in a chat, and his first reaction was, "Breastmilk is for babies!"  He did not want to know about it at all!  I was disappointed in his initial reaction and felt like an idiot. He also said that we would have to have a baby for me to have milk.  And if we had a baby then he would only have some after the baby had been fed.  I explained that I didn't need to be pregnant to produce milk.  But he didn't understand and I left it at that. During following chats I would drop hints about breastfeeding and would explain ANR a bit more and how we could induce lactation.  He started to say that he would try it, because he knew that it was important to me.  But I wanted him to want it for him. Over time, with more discussion and conversation, he started to understand, and now likes the idea of my breasts becoming milky and him being able to nurse from me.  He's looking forward to being able to nurse in our bed and have full access to my breasts.

 LMM: I know that your partner has a very masculine job, and I thought his initial response to the suggestion of adult nursing--"breast milk is for babies!" was fabulous! What convinced him that breast milk is for grown men, too?
 
Lily: Yes, he's a US Marine, a man's man, not the type to be treated like a little baby at his mother's titty! (laughter) However, I think it was his love for me that allowed him to consider including this type of lifestyle into our marriage.  Also the thought of us cuddling and him nursing throughout the day and night would definitely be calming and soothing.  He agrees that it could become an anti-depressant.  Either way, he's open to giving it a try.
 
LMM: Because of his job, I know you are often separated by distance. Have you been able to physically nurse, or is this your ultimate goal when you are together again? Have you attempted to long-distance nurse, if that is an option, and, if so, what did you and your partner think of the experience?

Lily: We have a plan to work together to induce lactation; we do not want to start induction without being married first.  However, a couple of months ago, I tried to induce lactation on my own through massage, as he has been overseas. I would massage during the night, when I woke in the morning, in the shower, and would finish it off with coconut oil after my shower.  At work,  I would take myself off to the bathroom or an empty room to massage, and that's quite difficult-- especially when you're trying to stay low key for at least 10 minutes.

LMM: Prior to attempting to induce lactation, had you ever lactated and/or breastfed previously? How successful have your methods of inducing been, and can you tell me about your personal lactation goals?

Lily: I've never lactated before.  I've not had children and not had a reason to breastfeed. After a week of massaging my breasts with coconut oil every three hours, I started looking into herbal supplements and manual pumps to assist me..  Unfortunately, at the time, I had eczema on my right hand and all the massaging and oil started to aggravate the eczema.  The aggravation had me dreading the next session, which was counteractive to milk production.  After 8 days, I decided to stop   My fiancée  was okay with my decision, as he really wanted to be part of the process from the beginning.  He laughed at me and said, "See, you can't do this without Daddy!"  (laughter) He was right!  I agreed to wait for him and haven't tried again since.  Although I really did want to surprise him with a few drops of milk at least.
 
LMM: Once you are together and lactation has begun, how do you and your fiancée plan to increase and maintain your milk supply? And what are some of your hopes within a long-term nursing relationship?
 
Lily: He said that I won't need to work after we are married, so I will be able to concentrate on our goal.  I have researched herbal supplements and may look at ordering some as our time to induce comes closer. We will set up a nursing schedule; in the beginning, we will set regular nursing sessions for every three to four hours, and I will massage or pump if he is unavailable. Once we settle into the lifestyle, I want to have enough milk to regularly nurse my husband at least two to three times per day for the rest of our lives, and I hope to establish an ANR that will last through our upcoming marriage and well into old age.
 
LMM: That really is a beautiful dream, isn't it? Do you have any suggestions or advice for women who hope to achieve lactation?
 
Lily: Until I am able to produce milk myself, I don't feel that I can give any advice to others on inducing lactation.  However, I am very open to learning from others who are experienced.
 
LMM: What are the benefits and positive experiences that you have gained from sharing a dedicated ANR, and can you discuss any challenges you've faced within the relationship?
 
Lily: I am yet to find out--and looking forward to learning the benefits and positives of a dedicated ANR. As I have never lactated before, I expect that inducing lactation will be a challenge for us.  However, I feel that I am really lucky that I have someone who loves me enough to be open to trying it.  I know there are a multitude of people out there who would absolutely love to have what you currently have with Mr. S., LMM.
 
LMM: Oh, how sweet, and I hope that those people will all have the opportunity to share the beautiful adult nursing relationship! What advice would you give to couples who are thinking of opening their own ANR, particularly if one partner is a bit reluctant to try nursing?
 
Lily: If you love your partner, and it's something that they want to try, then give it a good try--if not for yourself, then for him or her.  It may be something that you will grow to love.  Keep your heart open to the experience-- and especially to your partner.
 
LMM: That's a wonderful suggestion! We never really know what we might like until we try it for the first time, do we? Is there anything else you'd like to add before we close?
 
Lily: Thanks for this opportunity to share. I'm not sure if I have really contributed, but feel privileged to have been asked to do this.  I also appreciate your blog and reading about a couple who love the lifestyle and are willing and open to share with the rest of us. Thank you, LMM and Mr. S.
 
LMM: I enjoyed your interview very much, and I know that others will, too. I want to thank you again, Lily, for graciously sharing your personal story  with the rest of us!


 Five More Unique ANR Stories
 
ONE MAN'S OPINION: The Loving Milk Maid's very own Mr. S discusses his views on the dedicated Adult Nursing Relationship
ISO: LT ANR: Maddie discusses why she no longer searches for the casual nursing relationship
A BEAUTIFUL DISCOVERY: When Samantha and Mr. M opened a loving ANR, they found new levels of love and intimacy that neither had believed possible
MENDING METHOD: Nancy tells how ANR helped to repair a somewhat troubled marriage.
PURE SERENITY: Mr. E shows that love is limitless within the bonds of the marriage he shares with Mrs. D

Friday, June 3, 2016

Non-Maternal Milk Production

Nursing the person you love is an undeniably beautiful experience, one that can be beneficial to any relationship, and fully enjoyed by both partners regardless of lactation. Over the years, I have dry and wet nursed my husband, S, and we discovered that the emotional connection and level of intimacy we shared during our time together was identical in both circumstances, regardless of milk production, thanks, in part, to the magic of oxytocin, and the large quantities of that "cuddle chemical" he and I were both releasing every time he came to the breast.

But no matter how lovely the practice of dry nursing may be, many women feel the deep need to incorporate breast milk into their personal ANRs. I can certainly empathize with that desire. While I know that S and I would be sharing the nursing experience even if my breasts were unable to produce a drop of milk, lactation is extremely important to me. I see milk production, and my ability to nourish him, as bringing the nursing experience full-circle, a completion of the process, and a reward for all of the dedicated effort I have put into our relationship.

Because, you see, making breast milk really is a labor of love, particularly if you are encouraging what I refer to as non-maternal milk production. Inducing lactation without the natural aid of pregnancy and childbirth present at any point in your life may very well be one of the most challenging, but rewarding, tasks you have ever undertaken. In essence, you--and your partner--will be attempting to trick your body into believing that there is a need for that breast milk, and there is, of course...but in a bit of an atypical manner.

But don't be discouraged! It is possible to produce breast milk, even if you have never been pregnant. Over the years, many childless women have successfully produced breast milk. It simply takes determination, focus, and dedicated effort. To successfully produce breast milk, you truly have to want to.

And anything worth having is worth working for, right? :)

When attempting non-maternal milk production, remaining realistic is extremely important. As magical as the milk-making process is, it does not happen overnight. Setting lactation expectations too high can lead to disappointment, frustration, and discouragement, and can actually hinder the nursing experience you share with your partner. Remember, you two are nursing as a way to build intimacy and an unbreakable bond within your foundation relationship. Continue to enjoy that aspect of your ANR as you wait for milk flow to begin.

ANR is a partnership in every aspect, including the art of non-maternal milk production, so use this to your advantage! Working together toward the ultimate  goal of achieving the wonder of lactation is a beautiful way to heighten the mutual love and respect you have for one another, increase passion, and the intimacy you share as a couple. Believe it or not, working together to produce breast milk can actually improve a relationship, as the process opens up lines of communication. Simply discussing the process, talking openly about the techniques you would like to employ, and sharing your feelings--as well as your elation and even frustration along the paths of this exquisite journey of self-discovery--is an intimate form of bonding.

As focused as you are on the goal of inducing lactation, be sure to remain relaxed along the way, as high levels of stress are counter-productive, and can actually decrease your chance of successful milk production. Remember to enjoy the sensation of suckling, and spend as much time dry nursing as possible, as touch and skin to skin contact actually releases great amounts of oxytocin, which is necessary to produce breast milk. Sometimes, the little things make a big difference in the amount of milk you're able to produce!

Making milk comes in steps, so celebrate each new milestone that you achieve. Revel in the sheer joy of seeing that first glistening droplet of beautiful breast milk gleaming from the tip of your breast, and know that you have accomplished something spectacular, as you understand that you may be well on your way to producing many drops of milk, and achieving your ideal level of lactation. It's very exciting to produce breast milk; it brings a sense of empowerment and euphoric feelings of accomplishment to many women, so cherish the moments you're given, and enjoy them with your partner.
As your breasts begin the beautiful transformation from non-lactating bosoms to lactating ones, you'll probably experience a roller coaster ride of emotions, as the hormone levels in your body shift and change. At this time, the support of an encouraging partner becomes even more important. You'll need his strength and closeness, and you may be surprised at the attentiveness and tenderness he shows you as you work to provide such an incredibly miraculous  gift to him. This can be an amazing part of a dedicated and committed relationship, as it strengthens the bond you are already sharing.

While there is no way to guarantee that you'll make large quantities of breast milk, or how quickly your lactation journey will progress, remember that you can do this by using (or even clicking the links to read about) a variety of milk-making techniques you might find helpful along the way!
  1. Dedicate a regulated NURSING SCHEDULE to your daily routine
  2. Employ tried-and-true LACTATION TECHNIQUES
  3. Incorporate HERBS to aid in lactation
  4. Be sure to use THE PROPER LATCH during each feeding session
  5. Boost milk supply by baking (and eating) a batch of LACTATION COOKIES
  6. Remember the INTIMACY
  7. Nurse, nurse, NURSE!
I wish you well on your magical milk-making mission!

Happy Friday! :)