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You hear it everywhere; “Breast is best.” Yes, breastfeeding is by far superior to formula feeding. Breast milk has all the good stuff that formula can’t quite cut it. And I don’t mean cutting it like how I would “cut” rum with a little coke. “Breast is best. Breast is best. Breast is best.” I heard it over and over like a bad 80’s song that would get stuck in your head. Cue “Wake Me Up, Before You Go Go.” I’m sure George Michael would even agree that women everywhere should just pull out a boob to feed your baby and “Whip It Good.” But when I wasn’t able to breastfeed my baby, I was crushed. Not crushed, more like disappointed with the sadness of a thousand depressed suns. (Bet ya didn’t know suns could be depressed. Well surprise!)
But for now, it’s all about the pillow. Breastfeeding pillow that is. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I went into overdrive. No, I didn’t organize my entire life and sort through baby magazines and life hack tips. I dove into learning about how to be successful at breastfeeding. At one of my baby showers while I was opening a gift that happened to be the Boppy Pillow we registered for, I mentioned that the Lactation Consultant at our hospital was going to teach us the techniques and nuances of breastfeeding at our next prenatal class. My friend who was a mother of three grown kids gave a chuckle and said, “What’s to learn? Just put the baby on the boob.” My sudden embarrassment had an underlying “Aha” moment. (I’m an INFJ, I get embarrassed at pretty much anything I say.) Well sure, put that baby on the boob is the first step. Then what? I felt completely unprepared about everything baby related, let alone breastfeeding. And in that moment I felt like I was over complicating things (which I often do, as you’ll soon find out) while at the same time being clueless; like a cat starring at the ceiling fan for the first time, perplexed and overwhelmed.
I made sure to pack our newly washed Boppy Pillow and cute flower slipcover in our hospital bag. I was ready. I had done all the research online, took copious notes in our “Breastfeeding 101” prenatal class. I had one of the highest rated nursing pillows out there. Bring on the milk! Aaaaaaand, cue sad sun. Not only were my breasts not cooperating (kind of like trying to make a cat do anything, just doesn’t work) the Boppy Pillow that I was so excited about, was failing me. Another sad sun. There were two factors to make my Boppy time a lot less bop a little more boop. I had to have a C-section. Yes, with my first child, I had to have a C-Section. Since my abdomen now had a 9 inch, horizontal, glued back together baby exit; breastfeeding in the cradle hold was simply out of the question. I couldn’t rest ANYTHING on my belly without searing (although the Oxycodone helped). So until I healed, I couldn’t use the Boppy to breastfeed my newborn baby girl. In the mean time, we used lots of bed pillows for the football hold. I was pretty stoked about the name of this breastfeeding strategy. My husband got me hooked on fantasy football six years ago and it’s been my method of lovingly defeating my INTJ co-worker who loves to lose. Maybe he doesn’t love it but he sure is used to it! (Insert evil, lying smile.)
I mentioned that there were two reasons why I couldn’t use the Boppy successfully for breastfeeding. I am a plus size Mama. Now I’m not saying that Plus Size Mamas can’t use Boppy Pillows for breastfeeding. I’m sure there are a lot of women, of all shapes and sizes, who use it successfully. But I just about pulled my hair out! And since I didn’t want to go bald, I chucked it to the side and was glad I didn’t spend my own money on it. Cue yet another sad sun. Since there is a little more of me around the middle to love, the “C” shaped pillow quickly turned into an awkward “M” when it was forced into a hug around my waist. Not to mention the pillow wouldn’t sit high enough on my waist for baby to reach dinner! Now, I am only 5’4″ and I have never been accused of having a long torso. So I was surprised to discover that my sweet bundle of joy would have to have the neck of a giraffe to reach the all-nourishing boobie juice. I think we are now up to 1,000 suns?
If you have ever trolled through Facebook marketplace looking for cheap treasure then you know you have to sift through all the crap that people didn’t want to drive to the local thrift store to donate to find something of value. If you look often enough you can find something excellent that a Baby-Mama’s baby didn’t use and they are looking to get rid of it for a few bucks. And the curtain opens to the golden “My Brest Friend“! Now this is something I would gladly spend the money on! I had never heard of this pillow before weeding through “rustic” (aka water damaged) baby furniture, toys missing batteries, eyeballs, etc; and a sundry of other items. I thought, here it is! My tool for easier breastfeeding! Since it had a clip to go around the waist, it certainly stayed where I put it. Kind of like a well-trained set of lost keys. My Brest Friend did work………while I nursed. Which didn’t last long. How many suns of sadness are we up to? Around 6 weeks, my selfish bundle of joy was tired of working for what little my boobs could give her. So we bottle fed exclusively. And go figure, my poop-filled princess was a lot happier and this Mama was no longer going insane. I’m sure this won’t be the last time I try to hold onto my sanity for dear life. Kind of like a fat kid with the last box of thin mints.
Fast forward three weeks. My sweet little fireball was doing well and my arms were cramping from feeding her developing little chunks. I tried using My Brest Friend for bottle feeding and it was so uncomfortable! I was shocked! Although not as shocked as I was when John Travolta mispronounced Idina’s Menzel’s name at the 2014 Oscars. Come on, rehearse a little. Anyway, since My Brest Friend was about to be thrown into the fiery hot sun of sadness, I pulled out good ‘ol Señor Boppy. The giant “M” of a pillow that laid across my lap was perfect for bottle feeding! Go figure!
Fast forward another three weeks and our ten pound sass machine loved tummy time on the Boppy as well as being propped up! Who knew I would get so much use out of this thing that I came to be so disappointed by! Kind of like an over-bearing parent being disappointed by an B+.
I am a very visual person so here is a hand dandy pros and cons list for you to recap my over-load of information. Or maybe you didn’t read the above information and skipped down here to read a quick over-view. Either way, here ya go:
If you are planning to breastfeed at all, use My Brest friend! And it’s great for any mama, not just plus size gals! Even if you never bottle feed, you’ll still want to register for the Boppy as well. Because it is by far the best thing for tummy time and propping up. Plus, you’ll want the Boppy for helpers to bottle feed your hungry, hungry hippo.
Hope this helps you is some way! And if you are having troubling deciding between two items, give me a shout and I would love to feature it on our “This Vs. That”! God bless and happy lifeing!
♥ Nyssa Bear