Summertime and the Nursing Body

Summertime and the Nursing Body

School is out and Memorial Day has just passed. All anyone can talk about is what to do with the kids over the summer or which beach trip / resort stay is the best. What’s currently on MY mind is not only how am I going to keep six children occupied in this Louisiana heat, but also what am I to wear outside being newly postpartum (again) and breastfeeding.

This past Tuesday, I took a trip to the Uptown Crescent City Farmer’s Market with the youngest five while my husband and oldest were out of town. I had my toddler in a stroller and infant in a carrier on my chest. It did not take us long at all to start breaking out in a sweat after getting out of the car and walking to the market. For a visual, the parking lot was literally steps away from the first set of tents. It was only mid-morning and it felt like the sun wanted revenge for being tucked away all night! Needless to say, I had to wear something that would allow me to pop out my “all-natural bottle” at a moment’s notice AND was comfortable enough for the weather. Let’s not even get to aesthetics. Finding clothing that isn’t my pre-pregnancy size, looks nice, and makes nursing easy is hard to come by, especially if they aren’t specialty nursing clothes. These days, if I need to opt for less material to bear the weather, I will simply put on a strappy top or dress and add a lightweight covering for added protection from the sun.

I hope I am not alone when it comes to this ongoing dilemma of balancing accepting that our bodies create these beautiful beings and the process therefore births change. Change in our brains, our hormones, our bodies, and so much more. I have to remind myself that this time, nursing my last baby is truly fleeting. You hear that often, too, I am sure. It’s true though. As I watch my 13 year old transition from middle school and acquire internships this past month, I see how fast time really does fly. Reflecting makes me realize that what I put on to wear out of the house is not for anyone but me and my baby right now. That’s the stage I am in, and I am okay with that because I know it will be over soon. Too soon.

So, to the mama who feels like this baggy shirt or that dress that’s now too small is making you feel down on your current stage in motherhood, it’s okay. This is normal. Let those feelings show and be honest and open about them. Share them. You are not alone. Just know that things aren’t, and never will be, perfect. That’s okay, too. Having a baby is a BIG deal and feeding that baby is a journey indeed. Don’t let a wardrobe stop you from being the warrior you are, conquering each day, giving your best. I’ll keep this in mind myself the next time I step into the closet wishing this stage to be over so I can dress more freely. That day will come in due time, but for now, I’ll grab a fan and a bottle of water and head out into this Louisiana heat in whatever can get my baby to the boob that quickest!

Keonshae Freeman
Keonshae Freeman is a certified personal trainer and birth-worker/doula. She graduated Mississippi State University with a bachelor’s degree in Food Science, Nutrition, and Health Promotion. Keonshae teaches Zumba, group fitness, and childbirth education classes. When she isn’t in the gym, with family, or with a client, you can find Keonshae reading a good book or exploring parts of the Big Easy. Originally from Biloxi, MS, she lives in St. Bernard Parish with her husband and 6 children.


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