Mothers Before Me

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about how the mothers before you influenced your choice to breastfeed. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


Breastfeeding an infant
Image via Wikipedia (photo in the public domain)

I guess the amazing thing is that my mom nursed at all. My grandma didn’t nurse any of her eight children. To my knowledge, none of my mother’s five sisters nursed their children.

After I was born, my mother had a roommate with a new little son my mom says was named “Hercules.” The (male) doctor came in and looked approvingly at my mother for nursing me, then asked the roommate if she’d be nursing her son. When the young mother said she wouldn’t, the doctor said, “What do you think those are for? To look good under a sweater?” I found the story a little coarse, and I certainly doubt it would have convinced Hercules’ mother to nurse him, but my mother found great encouragement in it.

My mom nursed me and each of my three younger siblings. She didn’t nurse for as long as I’ve nursed my children, and she introduced complementary foods much earlier than I did (there are photos of mom feeding me rice cereal at two weeks old), but apparently it was enough to make an impression.

I grew up assuming that I would nurse my children. When I encountered problems nursing my first, this feeling of certainty is part of what carried me through those rough times. It led me to seek out my local La Leche League group where I found a community of nursing moms who then became more “Mothers Before Me.” These women weren’t extraordinary. They were just like me. Seeing them mother their children through breastfeeding helped me see my way through the nursing and parenting challenges that have come up since. These women remain some of my closest friends.

I hope that through my example and that of the other moms in our community, my children will grow up with an even stronger sense than I had that breastfeeding is amazing, but it isn’t extraordinary. It’s just the natural progression from bearing and birthing to nursing. I want my children not to have to think about it but to just know what I’ve always known, thanks to my mom: that nursing is normal.



Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

4 Replies to “Mothers Before Me”

  1. I hope that my children grow up with that exact same mentality. Just that breastfeeding is normal. I used to think of it as something “extra” you can do for your kids, but I’m making the switch in my mindset that it’s just what you do rather than something you can choose to do. I think you’ll have a very interesting post for the language and breastfeeding topic coming up soon.


  2. Thanks for sharing your story! Sometimes it’s the simplest moments that encourage us the most=)


  3. Isn’t it amazing the change that can come with just a generation or two?! Your story reminds me that we are making a difference, simply by choosing to breastfeed our children. Thank you for writing this!


    1. Thank you, Amy! It’s definitely interesting to me that we as a culture have gone from photos of women nursing openly in public in the early 20th century, to my grandmother’s generation who were never even given a choice, to today where we’re finally realizing the extent of the health problems we’ve brought upon ourselves by trying to step away from biology. We still have a ways to go, but keeping the history in mind helps me stay hopeful!


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