Dear Loving Milk Maid, Do you Think I Can Have it All? (Advice on Balancing Life and Nursing)

Dear LMM,

Do you think I can have a part-time job, run our household, raise our kiddos, home school part-time and still be a dairy Queen for my husband? We love nursing but I’m not superwoman.

This is probably one of the most common questions I receive from active women who spend their days balancing marriage, motherhood, and careers, and do their best to fit a week’s worth of activities into a 24-hour period of time. Figuring out how to fit a beautiful nursing relationship into an already hectic daily schedule doesn’t have to be a daunting–or impossible–feat as long as both partners take a realistic approach to the experience. The last thing either of you wants is for nursing to feel like just another daily responsibility, or even worse, a chore.

It’s always important to remember that, in most cases, nursing is simply a beautiful addition to a pre-existing–and very real–relationship, and life seldom revolves around suckling. Finding the time to nurse is all about balancing and prioritizing, and making the experience work perfectly for you.

You can begin by choosing a nursing time that is convenient for both of you. Plan to spend an hour of quiet uninterrupted private time that belongs only to the two of you, and commit to spend that time together. Sometimes, we simply have to make the time to connect, even if that means turning off the television, setting our phones aside, or stepping away from social media. It’s often helpful for nursing parents to choose a time when the children are tucked into bed and you are both free of distractions. You can induce lactation by staying on this new schedule–even if you are only able to nurse once a day.

An alternative to this is to nurse in the morning before your day begins. Breasts are generally very responsive to lactation–and inducing–in the mornings, so early morning suckling sessions are both rejuvenating and effective.

You do not have to nurse every night to enjoy a beautiful ANR; be flexible, and rather than overextend yourself, nurse only as often as your schedule comfortably allows.

Multiple inducing times are not always practical when children and careers take precedence in your life, so along with one regulated nursing session per day, you might want to consider using a TENS Unit to provide breast stimulation. This method of stimulation is perfect for active women on the go–Tens units are very compact and discreet, and can be used throughout the day in 15-minute intervals, every two hours, and are very good alternatives to more cumbersome breast pumps, and the inconvenience of manual stimulation.

When it comes to lactation, be practical and patient, and take the time to work together to build a beautiful supply of breast milk, focusing on the intimacy of the connection rather than the process of producing.

Remember, life happens–and that is okay. If you miss a nursing session, or are unable to induce, don’t feel bad, or overthink the situation. Stay focused and relaxed, and try again when you can. There is no rush–you have a lifetime to share a beautiful adult nursing relationship. And, if you already know how much you love nursing, and have been suckling, then your journey has already begun! 🙂

So, to answer CJKT’s question: do I think she can “have it all”? Yes, I do, because she, like every wife and mother, truly is Superwoman. That’s just how we roll! 🙂