Lifestyle, Parenting, Publications, self love

FabUPlus Summer ‘18 Digital Issue Giveaway

So excited to share with you Loves a FREE digital copy of FabUPlus Magazine’s Summer 2018 issue featuring my article Breastfeeding: There Is No Shame, featuring original images shot by House Of Winter.

The article delves in to the stigma formula feeding Mom’s face in public and my own personal experience with medical professionals .

Click the link for your very own copy:

FabUPlus Digital Issue

Now, hopefully you Loves headed over and collected your own copy and meandered back this way for a bit more of an in-depth plunge in to the topic of this plus size mom who was unable to breastfeed and was shamed as a result.

Three months after giving birth I was unable to continue producing breast milk, I was pressured to take prescriptions to induce lactation (that irritated an intestinal condition I deal with on the regular and mind you I was also healing from a c-section) that never worked and even tried herbal remedies (tea that tasted like I was licking the forest floor yuck- which is saying something because I LOVE tea!), I just couldn’t produce it. Mentally I was devastated – I was so prepared to be apart of this group of women who took part of a tradition that has been happening since the beginning of time.

Then you factor in the hormones and changes my body was still going through after giving birth and then having to visit my OB or my daughter’s pediatric doctor: each visit would be bombarded with posters encouraging breast feeding, having to deal with every nurse asking repeatedly why I didn’t breastfeed my child and how much healthier it would be for her if I did, and I’d have to endure this speech and pressure until finally I’d be able to get a word in and tell them I physically couldn’t produce breast milk and boom! End of conversation. Beyond frustrating.

I also had to deal with several public instances where I was told by a fellow shopper that I was “poisoning” my daughter and she’d end up unhealthy and fat like me. I had a cashier judgmentally ask me, “Haven’t you heard how bad it is to feed your baby this stuff?” And I’ve had acquaintances of friends feel free to comment about my lack of health awareness feeding my daughter formula – lack of health awareness meaning I’m fat of course. Insert biggest eye roll possible!

With every frustration I faced I had my daughter’s healthy smile to beam back at me, for every nay-sayer that we encountered my daughter just proved them wrong with every milestone she hit and surpassed, and honestly, that’s the best mute button I’ve encountered to silencing people’s judgements when it comes to parenting.

I’m interested in hearing from my fellow parents: when it came to feeding your little one did you experience any shame or societal pressure for your choices?

Share your experiences below and I’ll make sure to join in on the convo!

Until next time my Loves,

Kat XO

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Parenting, Publications

Breastfeeding: No Shame – FabUPlus Summer ‘18 Issue

Recently I had an article published in the latest issue of FabUPlus Magazine that addressed a topic I’d like to expand on here… There is a TON of talk about women who breastfeed; should breastfeeding be allowed in public, should women face shame for feeding their children in the same way it’s always been done, should women be forced to cover up while breastfeeding, is breastfeeding the preferable choice to formula. The list goes on… But what I don’t see is the discussion about women who just plain out can’t breastfeed and the pressure and stigma they face when they can’t produce for their child.

In quick summary the article touched base on the pressure I faced from medical professionals, random strangers condemning my choice of formula, and the utter devastation I felt when I stopped lactating three months after my daughter was born. I encourage you Loves to run to the nearest Barnes & Noble or the link above to get this issue!! With that being said… I’m going to expand on each area here below. But first a little cuteness before we dive in to the ugly!

Three months after my daughter was born I stopped producing breast milk and felt like such a failure. Now mind you, the month prior my supply was already dwindling so I began to stress about it which everyone will tell you only makes matters worse. So I go to my O.B. (who is fabulous and never tries to shame me about my weight) and explain my concerns, she suggests this herbal tea that has helped other mothers with similar issues. I literally Amazon that stuff while I was still in the parking lot, two days later I start drinking this god awful forest floor tasting tea 4x a day! Nauseating. Which was a bummer because I genuinely like most kinds of tea.

Back on point: my third month and daily forest mulch tea drinks and BAM no more breast milk. Go back to my O.B. feeling panicked and upset, my husband and I had decided on breast milk and that’s what our plan had been (I’m a planner and organizer so when the plan derails so does my anxiety), and ask her if there is anything else I can do? So she prescribes this pill that for two short weeks worked but also caused my intestinal condition to worsen – so no more pills. Which left me with no way to breast feed my daughter.

I felt like a failure as a mother, never did I consider I wouldn’t be able to continue doing what countless other women have done for their babies. I felt shame that my body was somehow lacking. And every time I went for one of my daughters check ups I had to deal with nurses badgering me to ‘make the healthy choice’ for my baby. Throwing in suggestions on how to improve my lactation, rude questions about what I was eating as if my poor “diet” choices where preventing my breast milk from escaping my fatness (all that crap we plus bodies consume on an hourly basis of course – insert heavy eye roll) and tactless questions on my apparent choice of diet for my baby. Add in my hormones and I was one HOT MESS.

I’ll never forget how my husband found me on the bathroom floor crying because I couldn’t pump a drop of breast milk. Very gently he collected me off of the floor and brought me to stand over our daughters crib and told me to look and see how healthy she was. That I didn’t fail her but instead was making an effort to make sure she was provided with every vitamin and nutrients she needed, which in this case was formula, while giving her so much love that there was no way she could be anything BUT healthy.

So I made a new plan. If I couldn’t breastfeed then I’d still make sure my daughter was receiving everything she needed and more with the added formula. My daughters doctor was thrilled with her health and her growth. Which meant so should I. I began to let the anxiety go and forgave myself for being human. Some of us just can’t breastfeed and there is nothing wrong with that. And even if you can and decide not too, there’s nothing wrong with that either.

Mom to Mom – If you ever have the unwanted opinions of others barging in to your day just tune them out (or my approach – telling them to kiss my fat ass). My child is healthy and happy and that’s all that matters.

Breastfeed. Don’t breastfeed. There is no shame.

Ok parents I want to hear those crazy encounters with strangers – you know the kind I’m talking about, the kind of encounter where they impart their unwanted bat-shit crazy “parenting wisdoms” to you.

Example: as I was purchasing the formula for my daughter the check stand clerk promptly told me that as a fat person she understood that I didn’t understand I was feeding my daughter poison and it was her “moral duty” to inform me as such. I politely told her that my daughters health wasn’t any of her concern and that she should put that effort in to becoming a person who minds her own business and judges other less. The look on her face was priceless! Talking full on jaw hanging open, eyes wide and filled with shock and rage, and the utter indignation of being put her in place by a fat woman was seriously the highlight of my day.

So share those parenting gems below and let’s all have a bit of a laugh!

Kat XO