Friday, September 16, 2016

How to Use a Manual Breast Pump to Maximize Efficiency and Effectiveness

There is a wide selection of breast pumps available on the market, and nursing women have very discerning tastes when it comes to their particular pump of choice, often going to great lengths to find one that is perfectly suited to their particular needs. I found myself facing that same dilemma early into my non-maternal lactation journey. If you've read some of my earlier posts, you'll know that, as a breastfeeding mother, I wasn't a huge breast pump fan, and I wasn't sure that I was going to pump within my ANR. I soon discovered, however, that pumping was actually going to be a necessity, so I began to look into pump options. I first chose a single manual pump before investing in a hospital-grade electric pump.

This post has now been moved to BOUNTIFUL FRUITS

Monday, September 12, 2016

Coping with Separation as an Adult Nursing Couple

It is always difficult to be away from the person you love, but separation, even a brief one, is even more challenging when you share a dedicated adult nursing relationship.

The impending separation can cause a lot of anxiety and emotional stress for both partners, and the process of inducing lactation presents an even greater concern to the nursing couple. What will happen to the milk you've already made? How will the separation affect your progress--and your relationship?

I experienced a similar issue four months ago when Mr. S was called out of town on business, just five weeks into our lactation journey, and the days leading up to his leaving were extremely difficult. There were moments when I wondered how I would ever get through an entire week without S by my side. And it wasn't just the idea of missed nursing sessions that caused so much worry; it was the idea of being away from him that I was concerned about. Nursing creates an intimate bond and an emotional connection that is difficult to break--even temporarily.

I also worried about my milk supply, which was progressing beautifully, and I dreaded losing the lactation levels that we had worked so diligently to achieve. We had been apart before, of course; Mr. S' long military career kept him away from home quite frequently, but I had been a breastfeeding mother during those times, and my exclusively nursed little ones were there to ensure that my breast milk remained plentiful in their father's absence. The separation that I experienced back in May was quite different. S and I had not been apart for an extended period of time in five years, and it was my very first one as an exclusively nursing wife.

The separation was inevitable, so I did what any woman would do when faced with a similar situation. I drew on my own resilience and strength, improvising to create a long-distance nursing plan that would work for both of us during S' time away from home.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

Adjusting Your Inducing Schedule to Fit Your Lifestyle

The following question from a reader recently crossed my inbox, and I wanted to share it with others who may be experiencing the same dilemma regarding the inducing process within their adult nursing relationship:

"After you started a schedule to induce did having the schedule ever kill some of the joy in doing it?  By nature I'm not a real schedule person, I do for work and when I need to. I think when milk begins to come in I'll probably be more excited about that and the schedule will be worth it but my excitement has plummeted for now. Thanks for any advice."

This is not an uncommon concern.

This article can now be found HERE

Monday, September 5, 2016

An Adult Nursing Relationship Interview with Cyndy: Her Comforting Breasts

Life is full of moments and experiences. For some people, adult nursing is both, private moments of quiet reflection and an emotional experience that connects two hearts, two bodies, and two souls. It is often a respite, a means of creating a close and unbreakable bond of intimacy between two loving people. Nursing can be an experience of joyful discovery, a gentle and light-hearted joining of spirits, and for some, it is a lifeline.

Often, there are subjects that we, as humans, and society as a whole, choose to brush aside because they are simply too uncomfortable to talk--or even think--about. I think it is often much easier to pretend that reality doesn't exist, but there are people out there who are not afforded the luxury of make- believe, people who struggle with hidden secrets, people forced to cope alone.

Every message that I receive is very special to me. I collect them like the rarest of treasures and have been placing them in a scrapbook so I will always have this precious moment in time and a record of my life as the Loving Milk Maid, so that someday, I will be able to look back on my life, remember it fondly, and re-live as I stroll down the winding paths of memory lane. These messages have made me smile, have touched my heart and brightened my day--and some have moved me so deeply that words can fail me.

Cyndy's message was one of those.

When this very special lady, a 41-year-old wife and mother of two, contacted me through Bountiful Fruits' interview form, I knew that I needed to share her story with others; although I typically conduct interviews in a traditional question and answer fashion, this format just didn't seem to fit the situation. After all, Cyndy expressed her thoughts so well, and in such an open and honest way, there truly didn't seem to be much more that I could possibly ask to add to her real-life experience, so instead, I decided to simply share her story with you just as I received it, written in her very own words, as a way to show others what love can do.

Nursing is not always solely about joy--sometimes, it is about healing, repairing what has been broken and bruised, and soothing what has been hurt.

When I emailed her to let her know how much I appreciated her candor, and to thank her for giving me the opportunity to read her story and to share it with others, she responded with this message:

I'm glad it may help another couple and encourage them to try it if they have a similar issue. 

 Cyndy--and her husband--are helping to do this with their poignant story as she helps to heal him with the comfort of her breasts.

"For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance..."

Her Comforting Breasts
An Interview with Cyndy
 Three years ago, my husband broke down, admitting to me that he had been abused as an 11-year- old boy for two years by a man. This was eight years into our marriage. He had had problems with intimacy, and after he admitted the abuse, he said he didn't want to be touched in any way that the man had done to him. So nearly all normal sexual activity ceased....except with my breasts. The abuser did not have those! My husband began to get professional help for the abuse and was diagnosed with PTSD due to the years of being traumatized, some of which crossed into torture. We found that the one areas of my body we both enjoyed was nursing. It really gave him a calmness and helped relieve anxiety. We have been doing this on and off for two years, but recently decided to try to wet nurse to see if it adds even more intimacy for us.

ANR is really still the main [form of] intimacy for us. My husband is working on trying not to get anxiety about being fully intimate, but he still struggles. ANR has greatly decreased his PTSD, so I see it as part of his therapy for him. I don't see us stopping anywhere in the future. I might add, we're pretty conservative people, but we truly feel this is a blessing we can give each other.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Q & A: What Does Breast Milk Feel Like When it Comes Out?

This is an interesting question, and I can honestly say that no one has ever asked me that before--until recently. Since it's feel good Friday, I thought it would be fun to do a little Q & A with LMM post to start off the weekend. Here we go!

So, what does breast milk feel like when it comes out?

It doesn't really feel like anything. It sort of just happens.

During the suckling experience, there is a deep and pleasant pull on my breast, particularly during the initial latch when Mr. S' suckling pattern is firm and rapid, and I can normally tell when let-down has been triggered because I feel an overall sensation of complete relaxation, and something of an internal pressure release. It's sort of like my body is sighing, Ahhh, that feels wonderful, but when the milk is released and ejected from my breasts, I can't feel it come out. The release of breast milk is actually more of an emotional sensation rather than a physical one. I've been a natural milk maid for a very long time, so I use a lot of instinct stemming from my days as a breastfeeding mother to gauge the Mister's nursing success, and I typically do this by listening to his suck-and-swallow rhythm. :)

On the other hand, as the recipient of that lovely liquid gold, Mr. S can feel the release. According to him, during let-down, and several minutes after, once the flow has begun, my milk rolls onto his tongue in tiny "puddles". Further into the experience, after the flow has been established, my milk begins to spray, and when I asked him what that felt like, he replied in classic Mr. S fashion by saying:

"Imagine if you aimed the nozzle of a water pistol into your mouth and pulled the trigger, and let the spray hit the roof of your mouth and the back of your throat...that's what it feels like when your breast milk comes out."

Well...okay, then! :)

So, there you have it--LMM's and Mr. S' take on the breast milk release and ejection process.
Thank you for the question.

I hope September if off to a terrific start for everyone