Keva is a mother of 4 who is currently breastfeeding her youngest who is 14 months old. Keva supports other breastfeeding mothers as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor and writes about her life at Single Mama Tales It All.
What motivated you to breastfeed?
Seeing my good friend who was 25 exclusively breastfeed her baby. It just inspired me to see someone young being so diligent. She became my mentor.
What is the history of breastfeeding like in your family?
My grandma and my mom said they did it for a “minute” as they say…meaning a few months…told me they use some homemade “pablem” as they called it, petmilk, kayro syrup and water. UGH at the thought.
What was your attitude toward breastfeeding before having done it yourself?
I thought it was nasty. I was more concerned about my feelings and it making my sex life difficult. Therefore I didn’t give it a good try with my 3 older kids. Maybe 2 weeks off and on till WIC kicked in.
What were the early days of breastfeeding like?
Well since I breastfeed my last child and it was new to me, I assumed breastfeeding would come easy. Just put the nipple in the baby mouth and that’s that. Well it wasn’t that easy at all. Muffin wouldn’t latch for almost a month. I ended up getting wonderful help from my hospital LC and my breastfeeding support group. It took a month and a half before she was actually nursing at the breast. I was so determined to make it work. I wanted to say I gave it my all before I threw in the towel, so to speak. There was supplementing, but not much after she learned to latch.
What has been your biggest breastfeeding-related challenge?
People. Negative people. But fortunate for me I dont give a hoot about any opinion about me breastfeeding.
What has been easiest about breastfeeding?
Talking about it to other moms and helping them to know the benefits and joys of breastfeeding.
How long did/will you breastfeed? How long exclusively?
Im still breastfeeding and she is 14 months.
Who have been your breastfeeding role models?
My good friend, and all the moms at the 2 breastfeeding support groups I attend. Just being around them was motivating.
How did you learn to breastfeed?
I met [for]1 hour 3 times a week with a LC and had a home visit 2 times a week and 2 monthly BF support groups I attended and still go to.
What’s the best/worst breastfeeding advice you’ve ever received?
The best advice I received was “how proud will you feel when you look at your baby growing and gaining weight and can say, hey I DID THAT, not anything from a can”…when I heard that I got all excited and more determined. I felt PROUD. The worst advice I got was ” It will be hard to do”….I didn’t get how NOT making a bottle, being able to sleep and feed my baby laying down and not getting out of bed every 2 hours was going to be hard.
Have you experienced any negative reactions from others regarding breastfeeding?
Yes. Mostly people saying it’s something that don’t need be done in public. I never use a cover. I’m modest in my nursing and I’m quick to let anyone know, my baby has a right to eat when and were she wants.
Who has been your biggest supporter about breastfeeding?
My kids..and immediate family.
What is/was your breastfeeding routine like?
Early morning (6am) nursing before I head to work. I pumped a sippy cup/bottle of breastmilk for the sitter and regular milk..then after work (5pm) immediate nursing. Then around 8pm after her bath. Another nursing [at] 11pm before bed and sometimes once during the night at 2am.
How do/did you handle separations from your breastfeeding child?
I pump once when I don’t forget my pump at work. For the most part my body has adjusted to not nursing from 8 to 5 Monday through Friday. [On] the weekends she nurses at will..sometimes up to 8 times a day.
Is there anything that you wish you would have done differently?
I wish I could go back and breastfeed ALL my kids.
What would you say to a woman who is unsure about whether or not to breastfeed?
Just TRY it. Just please try. Do research about the benefits of breastfeeding for you as a mom and the baby. Then research the benefits formula has for you and the baby. Weigh the pros and cons. Enough said right there.