nursing, breast is best

You Can’t Sell Breastmilk on Craigslist & Other Lessons From Breastfeeding

Happy World Breastfeeding Week. Gee whiz, there is a week for everything.

I celebrated World Breastfeeding week with a clogged milk duct + Fever + Chills + Body aches.  Despite feeling like absolute hell,  I still think breastfeeding is one of the most wonderful things on the planet.  But no one ever told me that breastfeeding is hard. All the websites just say how natural and easy and convenient it is.  That’s all true, but getting there can have huge obstacles. Here are some interesting anecdotes about breastfeeding from my experience nursing my three amigos.

Fun fact #1: You can cure a clogged milk duct with a vibrating toothbrush. 

If you have a clogged duct, one of the most effective treatments is ultrasound. In its absence on a Sunday at midnight, a Phillips Sonicare toothbrush applied to the affected area for 5 minutes x 3 sessions produces a much less angry boob. Who knew?

Full disclosure: Sonicare is not compensating me for this endorsement. Yet. 

Fun Fact #2: Breastfeeding burns 300-500 calories a day.

And so I just ate the entire box of ice cream bars, and I wore a pair of pre-pregnancy jeans yesterday. Thanks to breastfeeding, I’m skipping the Stair Master. For now, my weight loss program involves Season 3 of Suits and letting my two week old baby do all the work.

Fun Fact #3: The American Pediatric Association recommends breastfeeding until 2 years of age.

breast is best

However, when you follow through with that advice, your friends will buy you this magazine. At 22 months, I finally pried my first daughter off my boobs primarily because of the social stigma of her looking nearly 3 (90% on the growth chart and extremely articulate) and pleading to nurse just about all day long.

Fun Fact #4 Weaning can be really hard.  

Experts say, if your child bites you while nursing to pull them off and sternly rebuke them with a strict, “No bite.” My daughter thought this was an absolutely hysterical game. I, on the other hand, did not. Bribing your weaning child with chocolate milk is very effective . . . so I’ve heard.  

nursing a teething toddler

“My what big teeth you have.”

bonding, breastfeeding, teething

“Breastfeeding is an amazing bonding experience,” said no nursing mother of a teething toddler.


Fun Fact #5 Americans are the only ones who whinge about breastfeeding in public.

For some reason, Americans complain all the time about public breastfeeding. As if feeding a baby is going to over-sexualize teenage boys. The rest of the world,  or at least Europe, is topless sunbathing in the South of France. There’s a happy compromise somewhere, friends. It is ironic to think that nursing mothers need to be so discrete and meanwhile, at the local mall . . .

breast feeding vs. store front, modesty

Fun Fact #6 It’s hard to know if they are getting enough.

I used to worry that my daughter might not be getting enough breastmilk. Looking back at photos, I just cannot believe I missed the resemblance . . . 

getting enough breast milk?, breastfeedingMichelinManThumbsUpSashFun Fact #7 I’m a human cow.

When I was nursing baby numero uno, I produced so much milk that other than a container of cool-whip, nothing else fit in our freezer.  How did this happen? In graduate school, I could get an extra break or two to pump. I might have taken advantage of that. If you want to see how pissed off a nursing mom can get, accidentally drop the milk they just expressed or tell her she has to pump and dump. There’s no use crying . . .

breast milk, expressed milk, storage, cash cow

Only a first-time mom has a picture of her breastmilk collection.

Fun Fact #8 You Can’t Sell Breastmilk on Craigslist

Craigslist post

You have to give me some props for trying. I was in graduate school trying to get the skills to pay the bills. A mom told me she would pay good money to have the supply of milk I had, and BOOM! my business venture was born.

Three days later, Craigslist sent me a nice little email about the legality of selling “bodily fluids” in Texas. You might be able to buy a gallon of cows milk, a loaf of bread, and a shotgun at the local Wal-Mart, but you cannot buy expressed human milk off the internet. Good thing I graduated.


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