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Boobs, TaTas, Melons, Breasts, and even Flap Jacks

Posted on: August 10th, 2010 by TheHotMama 13 Comments

The Milk Machines and what they mean to me and Hot Mama Gowns (and why I’m putting my wallet where my boobs are)

So, I’m going to dedicate this first paragraph or two to clearing the air on my feelings about formula feeders; yeah, I’m talking to you, and no I didn’t just call you a bad word!

Do I support breastfeeding, hellz yeah, with all my heart, soul and breasts; do I think that breast milk is what’s best for babies, yup; do I judge those who formula feed for whatever reason, NOPE! Here’s my angle, my non-Lactation Consultant, non-medically educated, Hot Mama opinion. Ha, here’s the best part, I’m nursing my 2 year old son as I attempt to get this blog post up!! Feel free to insert a gasp if you think that’s “too old”, no offense will be taken :)

I have met women, mothers, throughout my entire life whom had various points of view on not breastfeeding. Some thought it was gross and never gave it a chance, some felt it was unnatural, especially if they had a son, some thought it made them appear in a less socio-economic status than they were in (in other words, none of their other rich friends breastfed), some felt it was too time consuming, some felt it wasn’t fair for their husbands/partners or didn’t want to take on the responsibility of feeding primarily by themselves, some honestly confided it was for vanity reasons (thought it would make their boobs look like flap jacks when all was said and done or feared larger nipples, etc) and some flat out confessed it was for selfish reasons; so, I get it, I really have heard it all. And of course I could go on, but I’m sure you get the gist, but what I had to remind myself very early on was every woman is different, loves differently, mothers differently, and has different priorities than me, and who am I to judge?

Naomi at 1 month (Yes, I'm aware how blurry it is!!)

I was not so pro-breastfeeding before I gave birth, I knew I wanted to do it but I certainly wasn’t fanatical about it, my husband also agreed he’d like his children to be breastfed and committed to supporting my efforts however he could. I was able to exclusively breastfeed our first born, our daughter for 15 months, no supplementation, no formula, all me (pats self on back). But I’ll be completely honest, it was simple for us, she was a great latcher and I never had any issues, no pain, no infections, no cracks (go ahead, hate me now!) the worst of any “problem” was the engorgement that came from waiting too long to feed her or pump, so I know now how fortunate I was, at that time I didn’t even know who or what a Lactation Consultant was, probably because I didn’t need one (nor did any visit me while in the hospital). So, enter child #2 (had to wean our daughter at 15 months in order to conceive), our son, I had the same expectations with breastfeeding, why wouldn’t I. I was working full time, pumping 4-6 times a day and then breastfeeding at night and in the morning and of course on weekends exclusively, but around month 6 I wasn’t able to keep up :( It was the stress of work, it was stress of being the only one taking care of 2 kids Mon-Fri since my husband travels, it was exhaustion, it was a lot of things. But I had to buy formula; I cried, and cried and cried, because this meant I was a failure, well that’s what I had been taught, or at least that was the message I was taking away from pro-breastfeeders at the time. I was EXTREMELY sensitive about it, so reading “Breast is Best” or any of the other various breastfeeding campaigns in magazines or on boards and forums only made me feel more guilty, more of a failure, more of a bad mother. You think I was an exception for feeling this way about formula, I would harshly disagree. Coming from where I was; an exclusive breastfeeder to a part-time formula feeder, really enabled me to see both “sides” if you will. It is a VERY fine line between being supportive and making a mother feel inadequate. And it may have nothing to do with the words you are speaking to her but her mental state at the time.

My mantra is: Support and lead by example. Support because we ALL need it, whether we ask for it or not (I’m a non-asker). And support can be as simple as a note card you drop in the mail once a week to let a friend know you are there for her and cheering her on and supporting her without judgment or a quick text, or an email, or a phone call, or sending her a batch of lactation cookies, or even researching lactation consultants in her area and finding out how much her insurance covers, however you can; SUPPORT. And lead by example, I’m not the preachy type, I was always (and still am) turned off by people who feel they need to cram a message down my throat and do so in an abrasive, harsh, direct way. I learn the most, and listen the closest, when the person has first understood where I’m coming from and what I need and then tailors their message accordingly. So I “do me”, I breastfeed, I talk about it, I share stories and resources, but I don’t push any of it. And you know what, you know what’s amazing to me, when friends/acquaintances/relatives/neighbors have questions or need help or want an opinion, they come to me. It’s like I’ve left my proverbial door open, and they know it, so when they are ready, and when they are in a good and accepting mental state, they come.

Austin at 2 years 4 months, and yes my boobs are that white and veiny!

So I mention this to say, YES, I am extremely pro-breastfeeding and I would love EVERY mother to at least get the chance to breastfeed her child to feel the connection and marvel at the wonder of nourishment that is precisely formulated for her baby, but I also see, understand, and empathize with the “other” side.

As you know, the one AMAZING (if I do say so myself) feature of Hot Mama Gowns are the breastfeeding panels. They are truly unique and amazing, and not just because I designed them (okay, maybe 80% awesome because I designed them) but they give EVERY mother a chance to have that first latch in the hospital. And do so easily and discreetly, as some women are extremely fearful of “flashing” one of their family/guests in the room. And I designed the gowns to not be a one-time use only garment; they are sized, so they WILL fit Mom before, during AND after birth. Once the baby bump is gone Mom simply cinches in the ribbon-tied panels and now the gown is a cute, empire waisted nursing nightgown!

So now the part about putting my wallet where my boobs are! I have become infatuated with a non-profit organization; Best for Babes. They have coined phrases such as “Booby Traps”; meaning all the things that interfere with a Mom’s desire to breastfeed and also “Giving Breastfeeding a Makeover” which is literally bringing breastfeeding to the 21st century and campaigning FOR breastfeeding! I approached one of their co-founders Bettina Forbes and asked if I could support their cause. I hope to grow with them, and help to be a catalyst of support and leading by example (if I’m quoting myself) and as Hot Mama Gowns grows and conquers the Expecting Mama world I will grow our contribution to their amazing efforts. It is with excitement that I am committed to donating 5% of all our online sales of Hot Mama Gowns to Best for Babes!

If you’re not already familiar with BfB and all their fabulosity (if I’m quoting Kimora Lee Simmons) go check them out on their Website, Twitter, and Facebook.

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13 Responses, join the conversation...

  1. Wonderful post! I’m am 100% PRO breastfeeding and try to also be supportive, without being judgemental to those around me. I commend you and your support for the Best for Babes organization and I look forward to learning more about their efforts!

  2. I think I speak for Bettina, Danielle and all the other corporate partners when I say that I’m SUPER excited that you’re joining us! WOOT! WOOT! for Hot Mama Gowns!

  3. Lara says:

    Well said Babe! I don’t judge either. MY BFF since birth is not into b/f’ing, natural birth, etc. We have different opinions and as I tell my kids “that’s ok!” Love your post!

  4. Jess says:

    Very well said! Struggling with my supply right now and worrying about Dots very slow growth I totally feel like a failure! Its so easy to judge others without putting yourself in their shoes. While I am very pro-breastfeeding I do understand its not always possible.

  5. Michelle says:

    What does “had to wean in order to conceive” mean? A woman certainly can get pregnant while breast feeding. As long as she’s ovulating…

    • TheHotMama says:

      Hey Michelle, for me, when I’m breastfeeding I do not ovulate. With my first child I went 24 months total (including pregnancy) without a period AND without ovulating (thus having to wean in order to ovulate), and with my second child I went 24 months total again (including pregnancy) without a period but didn’t ovulate until about 35 months..so my body doesn’t like to get pregnant while breastfeeding ;)

  6. steph says:

    love the article…I would like every woman to have the best chance at successful breastfeeding as well. Perhaps, by designing a less expensive version of the gown that could put it in everyone’s grasp? I personally do have enough money to shell out $120, but I know not every mother does, especially when you consider all the other items you need for baby.

    • TheHotMama says:

      Thanks for reading Stephanie! You may be delighted to hear..we ARE coming out with a new *affordable* line!!! Hoping to launch Dec/Jan!! Sign up for our newsletter and connect with us on Facebook because I’m letting YOU GUYS pick one of the prints!!!

  7. Sarah says:

    Great post! I think this is what pro-breast-feeders should really be like. You are amazing!!! :)

  8. Sheena Knecht says:

    Oh how I’ve missed your fire, passion, and ready laugh! You always did have me in stitches all those years ago! Thank you for your post and for rooting me on when I was breastfeeding my first! I had to quit nursing Jackson when he turned 13 months due to the upcoming birth of #2… don’t want jealousy issues. I fully plan on nursing Soraya when she arrives and am helping a fellow pregnant friend with the decision to nurse her new one. I must say that your gowns have come in handy multiple times for me (and yes I’m referring to the breastfeeding panels), and can’t wait to break them out again!

  9. Bobbi says:

    HotMama, I loved the post! I was not big into support while breastfeeding and it seems now that I have weaned earlier than I wanted to (going to school fulltime, and pumping does not work for me) I am more into the pro b/f’ing than I was before. I too had to supplement because of issues with suppoly, and felt like a failure until I realized my little girl was starving. Poor thing woke right up after supplementing the first time! I would just like to add that if any mother’s are having problems with supply, that they don’t need to supplement, but try Fenugreek (i say try because it doesn’t always work), but it worked wonders for me and I didn’t have to buy any formula until I decided to wean. I wish doctor’s would recommend natural remedies sometimes, because if I knew about this at the beginning, I wouldn’t have had to go to formula. Thank you for the post, it was great to read, and what an awesome idea for those who don’t feel comfortable whipping out their tata’s.

  10. Cymonda says:

    So proud to “know you” D. You’re amazing in what you’re doing to help other women. I am 2nd timer and been back at work 6 months and still going strong. It’s not easy but when I get tired or frustrated I look at my little men and their chunky legs (ok- not so chunky but daddy’s fault) and say – “I did that. “

  11. Courtney says:

    You are awesome! I can say that you definitely practice what you preach. As you know, I had such a hard time with breastfeeding at the beginning and I worry now about going back to work. You have been so supportive and helpful through everything. Even when most people in my life had said to give up you kept encouraging me because you knew how important it was to me to breastfeed. I honestly could not have done it without you. And if I do have to supplement while I am back at work I know you will be there for me. Thank you for being such a good friend and an outstanding person.