I'm a recovering Type-A perfectionist who has grown increasingly laid back (about most things, anyway). Pregnancy was a huge step forward for me in the “chill out” department, since I had way less energy to care about most of the stuff I used to be unnecessarily uptight about. Then came breastfeeding. After clearing the first few hurdles nursing threw our way, my son and I started (thankfully) experiencing the kinds of breastfeeding moments that prove you're a laid-back mom.
After we got the hang of nursing together, it dawned on me that, especially as a really young baby, breastfeeding could solve almost all of his problems. Hungry? Latch on. Thirsty? Latch on. Sleepy? Latch on. Cranky? Latch on. Scared? Latch on. Lonely? Latch on. (Need a diaper? Talk to daddy about that. I'm just in charge of what goes in, kid.) Before I knew it, my infallible life motto was, "Keep Calm, Latch On."Why spend time messing with swaddling blankets and all sorts of other tricks when I basically have two “Get Out Of Tears Free” cards attached to my chest?
If you recognize most if not all of the following moments in your own breastfeeding journey, chances are you're a laid-back mom, too. Welcome to the club. We've got nursing-friendly jackets, that won't make it terribly obvious that you've forgotten to close your nursing bra.
When You Master The Side-Laying Position…
When I was two weeks postpartum, one of our midwives cam to check up on us. During that visit, she taught me how to nurse while laying down, and it literally changed my life. Up until then, I had been sitting myself up, arranging an armada of pillows around myself and my baby, trying to achieve the perfect "nursing Madonna" pose every two hours round the clock.
Once we figured out how to nurse laying down? Total game-changer. For a while, my son would only nurse that way, and since I was not at all opposed to laying down and possibly napping, I didn't even fight it.
...And Become The Queen Of Co-Sleeping & Dreamfeeding
If it's an option, laid-back mamas are 100 percent about that "not waking up to do middle of the night feedings" life.
When You Nurse In Whatever Positions Make Sense
In my son's earliest days, I was so concerned about looking like the perfectly upright nursing mamas in the breastfeeding pamphlets and Medela ads that I spent a lot of time trying to achieve the "perfect" posture. After a little while I was just like, "Ugh, whatever." Too much maneuvering when you've got a fussy, hangry baby who wants that boob now. Turns out, laid-back nursing positions are better for getting a deep latch, anyway.
When You Stop Timing Your Child’s Nursing Sessions
I personally liked timing in the beginning so I could get a sense of what my son's "normal" was. After a while, though, I looked at us and said, "Nah, you know what? You know how to baby, and my boobs know how to boob. We'll notice if something is wrong, so I'mma just assume everything is OK unless I see something weird." Keep calm and nurse on.
When You Stop Caring About Nursing In Public
Or if you never did to begin with. 'Cause nobody would bat an eye if you fed your hungry kid a cheese stick while waiting for the train, so why should they care if you nurse?
When You Openly Nurse In Restaurants Or At The Dinner Table, Because Eating
I'm eating, you're eating, he's eating. Nothing to see here, surprised dude at the next table/long-lost cousin. *Yawn*
When You Realize You Forgot To Re-Snap Your Nursing Bra, And You Don’t Even Care
Forgetting to re-close my nursing bra used to be a little embarrassing when I first started nursing. Now it’s like, “Oh, that is my boob hanging somewhere random in my shirt. Huh. *snap* Whatevs.”
When You Use Your Ability To Nurse One-Handed Or In A Sling To Nurse At Literally Any Time
Especially if you can nurse while babywearing, because it only takes another move or so to pop your little one onto your boob and keep living your life. Nursing on video conference calls? Totally. Nursing while touring museums and caves? Yep. Nursing a sleeping baby while reading a book? Been there, done that.
When You Reflexively Whip Out A Boob To Resolve Most Of Your Early Parenting Issues
La Leche League calls it “Mothering Through Breastfeeding.” I call it, “ending tantrums before they start, ‘cause mama ain’t got time for that today.”
When You Spot Relaxing Places And Think, “That’d Be A Cool Nursing Spot”
When you immediately link nursing and relaxation, you know you’ve officially achieved laid-back breastfeeding mom goals. Whether it’s a shaded spot in the park, or even just your favorite chair, you’re definitely a laid-back mom if your first thought when you see someplace cozy looking is, “Ooh! We should totally nurse there!”
One of my favorites is my friend’s porch swing on a warm evening. Cool breeze wafting over me and my latched little one? Yes, please. Summertime and the living is easy.