5 REAL MOMS. 5 DIFFERENT BREASTFEEDING JOURNEYS: REBECCA BROCK DIXON
Our interview series taking a look at how each mother's breastfeeding journey is unique. This week we're profiling Rebecca Brock Dixon, general manager at parenting site Mommybites, and mom to three beautiful children, Eva, Lily and Major.
Rebecca was kind enough to share her breastfeeding journey with us at her Soho apartment. Her lovely mother and godmother happened to be there during the interview as well. It was great meeting the Brock family!
1) How do you feel about breastfeeding? I really like breastfeeding because I think it’s a great way to connect with the baby. I have always incorporated formula and pumping as well, because I like for my husband to be involved in feedings, and my mom and godmother too. We have a big family so it’s always nice to have them be involved. It did take a while to get the hang of it, but once I figured out how, it just felt easier than preparing a bottle. I feel very fortunate because breastfeeding all three of my children has been relatively easy. All three started breastfeeding in the hospital and knew how to latch. My milk came in…and I certainly have a lot of friends who didn’t have such an easy experience, so I’m definitely grateful.
2) Has breastfeeding Major been different from breastfeeding your daughters? With Eva, my first, I breastfed a lot, with Lily I breastfed less because Eva was 2 then and it was really hard to breastfeed with a 2 year old. She remembered breastfeeding herself and it was difficult. With Major, I’m only a few weeks in so I’m still figuring it out. I do feel more comfortable this time around because I knew what was coming. I am also someone who lets themselves off the hook. There are lots of different pressures of whether or not you’re going to breastfeed or pump.
3) How about breastfeeding in public? I definitely breastfeed when I'm out; he’s already been out to dinner with us a few times so it’s nice to have the option. There are definitely more breastfeeding tops now that make it more comfortable to breastfeed in public, the awesome products you’ve created for example. That’s definitely a big difference. With Eva I used nursing covers over my clothes. So far it’s been nice to have stuff like this Rachele poncho, it makes it a lot more convenient when we’re out and he’s hungry. (Rebecca was wearing our Rachele poncho during the interview and fed Major midway when he got hungry)
4) Did you have any issues with going back to work while you were nursing/pumping? With Eva I didn’t have any issues because I was working from home and it was very part time. With Lily I was working a lot more and I had a lot of meetings outside my home. One big difference with her is how I dealt with the complications of working and breastfeeding - I just stopped because it was too inconvenient. I would be out and needing to get home to pump or nurse and I couldn’t. I think it would have been easier if I worked in an office and had a pumping space. But I’m usually meeting people in coffee shops or in their office so I ultimately stopped breastfeeding. Although I enjoy breastfeeding, I found with Lily I didn’t like the inconvenience of it. My plan with Major is to breastfeed for as long as I can. I’m hoping I can breastfeed him for longer.
5) As mothers, we give so much to our children and tend to forget about ourselves. What did you do to feel like yourself again after your children were born? With my first it wasn’t as hard because we still did the things we had done before, we went out, we went to brunch. We took her everywhere. I joined a stroller fitness class. I’d walk to Battery Park City and we would exercise with our babies. I connected with a lot of other new moms and got to feel like myself by exercising and being outside. I’m lucky enough to have a very big and supportive family so I involved them from day one in childcare. I would spend time with my husband and have her be with my parents or in-laws. It was actually harder for me to have a second child, I was really ready for the first one and you can be pretty mobile in NYC with just one child. After the second, it was fine at first, but after 3-4 months, life did not feel the same any more. It probably took me a solid year before I realized and acknowledged it’s not as easy to go to lunch with a 1 and 3 year old. Going into my third it’s a little easier again because my two daughters are in school all day, they’re somewhat self sufficient. It’s still a little early at this point but in a few weeks I’ll start to do the same things I did before; try to go out to dinner with my husband, get a manicure and get the family support that allows us to do all this. I also can’t wait to go to the gym. I haven’t been able to exercise for a year so I can’t wait to start again. The day I get the ok, I’m going to be doing soul cycle at 6am. I also can’t wait to plan a girls night out.
6) Did you find clothing was an issue with you breastfeeding your 3 children? Yes, for sure. It took me a while to find a nursing bra that fit. What I found throughout all my pregnancies, and then after, the moment I found a bra that fit it didn’t fit any more the following week. Everything changed size a lot and often. That was one issue. My two daughters were born in March and April so I just didn’t wear much clothing because the weather was nice when we were finally able to go out. I wore a lot of t-shirts and not necessarily nursing shirts. I used a lot of breastfeeding covers. I’m finding now, with a winter baby, when you breastfeed you’re completely exposed, and it’s freezing out. So I’m definitely finding some challenges with that. How much clothing do you wear? Do you wear a shirt? And then a sweater on top, and a nursing bra and a coat? Obviously it’s great to have options that are made for breastfeeding. It’s a lot more important when you have to wear layers and warmer clothes.
7) Has it been difficult getting back into your old clothes? I had three c-sections that all went great but a few drawbacks were the recovery time and the scar, which hits me right where my pants hit my stomach. Right now I’m wearing my maternity pants which don’t fit well any more and are constantly falling down. But my regular pants won’t feel ok for a few weeks. The minute my scar feels like I can deal with jeans again, I’ll wear them. I also don’t really like wearing leggings that are soft on the top because I don’t think they’re that flattering for when you’re trying to look skinnier after having a baby. As a post natal hormonal mother, I don’t really feel like going to my daughter’s school and looking like I’m still pregnant.