Episode 105: Mom Journey: Finding Joy & Confidence in Nursing
Allergies, Mom Journey, Parenting, Toddler, Weaning May 3, 2023
Jacqueline Kincer 0:39
Welcome to the Breastfeeding Talk podcast episode 105. I’m Jacqueline Kincer. And this week we are talking with Jackie Grecco about her journey of breastfeeding her two children and breastfeeding them for over a year. So full term breastfeeding and her ways that she’s found joy and has so much wisdom to share of her weaning journey. So I absolutely love Jackie’s story, and I’m so excited for you to listen to it. So I will dive into that in just a moment. But first I wanted to tell you about some special things that we have going on in this month of May inside of the Nurture Collective. I have learned so much over the years and you know, obviously made this an area of specialty within my practice. And that is tongue ties lip ties buckle ties, which we collectively call oral ties. So we’ve got Liz Turner. She is a dentist out of Colorado who does frenectomy procedures, and she is going to be our special guest speaker. She’s actually been on the podcast twice in the past. So I’d encourage you to check out her episodes and we’ve got a couple of coffee chats coming up with yours truly as well as Cait Ahern, our community manager on specifically things related to ties. And then towards the middle of the month, we’ve actually got a joint Instagram Live with Kimmy Nishimoto, who is also a past podcast guest she was on Episode 27, where we talked about sippy cups and pacifiers and bottles and all of the things along with her colleague, Megan van Noy. And so we’re going to be going live on Instagram. And I just wanted to let you know that the month of May is all about ties. So if you have questions, if you’re wondering, does my baby have this problem or my baby definitely has this problem and you’re struggling with it, you’re working through it. This month is the perfect month for you to join our supportive community of like minded moms ask questions to our team of lactation consultants, join into our guests expert call our monthly coffee chats, and just experience all of the courses that we have in there that are broken down into sort of like little mini courses, where you can learn about ties learn about how to overcome problems related to ties, what to expect at each stage of breastfeeding. So we would love for you to join us just 27 bucks to join the nurture collective and you get access to our complete library of courses, as well as interacting with our group there and asking questions and our support channels and all of that. So if you want to get access to that head over to the nurture collective.co. And that link is in the show notes for you as well. But keep listening because today I am chatting to Jackie Greco, who is just a really wise mama that has so much to share. So much to inspire you know breastfeeding did not start out easy for her. So without further ado, I am going to introduce her and let you hear from her about her beautiful breastfeeding journeys.
Jacqueline Kincer 3:45
Welcome back to the Breastfeeding Talk Podcast. I’m your host Jacqueline Kincer. And today I am joined by Jackie Greco. She lives just outside of Philadelphia with her husband and two children, a daughter who is five and a son who is 16 months. And having previously worked as a graphic designer. She now channels for creative energy on local community art projects, and at home with her kids. And Jackie is here today to share a personal story. Or you can say to stories somewhat. So we kind of connected on Instagram. She commented on a post from last year where I asked followers to share something that they’re proud of when it comes to breastfeeding. And Jackie has lots to proud up to Jackie has lots to be proud of. So I wanted to bring her on the show and share some just really inspirational uplifting stories of breastfeeding because I think those are so important. Sometimes we often hear all of the horror stories and we should tell those stories, but let’s balance it out with some good ones. So welcome, Jackie.
Jackie Greco 4:47
Hi. Thanks for having me.
Jacqueline Kincer 4:49
Yeah, absolutely. I’m yeah, I’m so excited. You’re here because you know you’ve got two kids five and one. So you’ve got a toddler running around And and you’ve done a lot of breastfeeding. So, you know, the one thing I’m always curious about when, you know, it’s worked out well, and I think a lot of other moms are too. You know, there’s never like a secret sauce. Right. But like, before you had kids if it was, you know, even before pregnancy or during pregnancy, like, what were your goals or intentions or thoughts about breastfeeding? Because I always find that fascinating. Sometimes it’s like, unintended. Oh, here we are. And I’m nursing till three. And I did not plan on that. Or, you know, maybe you’re like, I plan to breastfeed till my kid was five, and we didn’t get there. So I’d love to hear how you started out.
Jackie Greco 5:38
Yes, so I actually I looking back, I don’t think I really had very high expectations. I don’t think I was really surrounded by a lot of breastfeeding mothers. I obviously, like knew I wanted to try once I became a parent. But I specifically remember being at an appointment with the midwife and she asked, Oh, do you plan to breastfeed? And I was like, Well, I’m going to try. And she said, there’s no try, there’s only do was like, Okay, well, now I feel like that kind of is setting me up for disappointment, or it just was like a very overwhelming comment, because I was like, Well, what if it doesn’t work? You know, like, my sister struggled with her milk supply and had to supplement a lot. And that was kind of really all I knew about. It was like, okay, so I guess it really like is a crapshoot if it’s going to, if it’s going to work. And prior to my pregnancy with my daughter, I had two miscarriages. So by the time I was pregnant with her, I was like, just focused on every little milestone, like, Okay, we made it to this eight week appointment, we made it to the 12 week appointment, we got to the scan, like anything after that, like, was icing on the cake.
Jackie Greco 7:00
So I don’t think I really let myself go there. I definitely kept my guard up. And then once she was born, it was just like, a flood of information. And I just didn’t know how I was going to feel about it all. So I definitely went home on that like, schedule where it’s like nurse, pump, bottle, Nurse pump bottle, and it was just like, it was so overwhelming that I was just like, I don’t know how I’m going to do this. And then once you know things kind of started to shake out. We got into a really good groove. I do remember going to a breastfeeding support group. She was she was early. She was born right before 37 weeks. So she was tiny. And you know, keeping her weight up was important.
Jackie Greco 7:52
So I went and did weight checks. And all the moms pulled out their phones to log the feedings and the feeding times. And it like, threw me through a loop. Like I was so overwhelmed by seeing that because I wasn’t doing that. I was like, well, we just like I’m following her lead. I feed her when she’s hungry. Like I thought things were going so great. And then I was like, What am I doing wrong? I don’t have an app on my phone. So um, oh, gosh, and were you pumping because she was a bit early. And so that was part of the plan you were given. I I was pumping because that’s you know, she was in the NICU for like, maybe 30 hours, the first 30 hours. So they had me pumping and they were like literally running down a Q tip of colostrum to the NICU. And so we just went home on that.
Jackie Greco 8:45
That schedule like that structure, right? And then yeah, I got like completely and gorged was like I remember we drove to a lactation consultant in a blizzard and I was like, can you stop this or do something like this is like she’s can’t even latch at this point. And she told me she’s like, I haven’t seen someone this in gorged in 20 years. Oh, no, it was just a ball. So it was definitely a rocky start. And she was like, you can stop pumping. We just We didn’t know we didn’t know how long do we do this? Every three hours. I’m waking up in the middle of the night. I’m pumping on washing parts out at 2am. Like, is this what people do when they bring a baby? Like it just seemed crazy. So the ones we kind of got the green light from her to back off of that. I stopped pumping.
Jackie Greco 9:38
I was just nursing on demand. And that’s when I felt like I got into a really good groove with her and was like everything’s smooth sailing now. And then I got to this support group and saw all the apps and I was like, Wait a second. I’m not doing that. So that’s when like I would say all of the outside outside noise started to kind of Get into my head. And how long are you going to breastfeed? You know, when are you going to wean and switch to a bottle and this and that, and it was just like, it was overwhelming to kind of I came out of this bubble with her. And it was like a bombardment it felt like of information and pressure and questions from like, not even in person, it was just what you see on social media. I don’t know, does that make sense? Like, you kind of just get an influx, I’m sorry, I’m not sure where it’s gonna go with that. But
Jackie Greco 10:40
I do remember going to the, to the support group. And just seeing like, all of that, and feeling really overwhelmed and wanting to go back into our bubble and just like, listen to her, listen to my daughter, listen to myself. And I think that kind of became my mantra going forward. And, and I think that’s how we got to where we we ended up at three years when she finally when I finally like, made the choice to stop nursing her.
Jacqueline Kincer 11:11
Yeah, I, you know, I think that what you just described is what a lot of moms these days are going through. You know, when I had my son 10 years ago, I apps were kind of, you know, a thing. But I remember asking my Doula, like what breastfeeding app she recommended. And her first question was, why, like, what are you looking for? That the app will offer? And I was like, I don’t know, just to remember, like, which boob I used last. And she was like, you don’t even know. She was like, put a hair tie on her wrist and move it every time. And I was like, oh, and because she told me that I never downloaded an app. Thank you. Thank you, Sabrina.
Jacqueline Kincer 11:52
Because like, right, I could have gone down that road. But then, of course, you know, social media wasn’t as crazy as it is now. But Facebook groups and all of that, right? You know, what, you know, you have to it’s hard, right? Like you’re trying, you’re like, maybe I shouldn’t be getting this information. Right? You know, like, how do you know, right? So, so you made this decision? Which is great, right? To just kind of tune into your baby and yourself. And, you know, follow that path, which I think is really great.
Jacqueline Kincer 12:24
How did how did it go? Like past that point? You know, were you were there things you were avoiding places that you were still looking for information? Like, how did you kind of know what to do? Or what to expect? Or did you just roll with it? Because I think for some people, it can feel unsettling to be like, I’m not getting any guidance on this.
Jackie Greco 12:43
You know, I definitely I mean, and for sure, for some people, those apps were really helpful, like being able to track everything and log everything. And I think I had to just kind of figure out in this season of life, for me, I need to just roll with it. And so I was still nursing her and I knew I wanted to do it like past. I don’t know what would even be the standard or people told to stop at six months. I don’t know, like, I know, a lot of people do stop at six months. That’s like kind of what I heard and was used to seeing.
Jackie Greco 13:14
But I was home with her and things were going great. And I was going back to work part time and mostly working from home, but I do remember being in the office, and she was probably eight months old at this point. And I was pumping in like a supply closet on the floor and I pushed a big box in front of the door so that no one would come in. And it was like, I looked at the bottles on the pump and there were just like droplets, and I was like Okay, so there’s like really no need for me to be doing this because when I am home and I’m nursing her it seems to be fine. Like she’s getting what she needs.
Jackie Greco 13:57
And I don’t really think I need to have like a stash at home in the freezer anymore. Like it just she was eating food at that point. And so um yeah, like it was supplemental nursing, I guess you could say I mean, she was nursing throughout the day, but it was definitely starting to trail off as she was eating more food. And so I think you know, naptime bedtime first thing in the morning, those were kind of our study times when she would nurse and then after she turned one and she was drinking milk, she would have like a whole bottle of milk before bedtime.
Jackie Greco 14:44
And that kind of helped with her not needing to nurse to sleep. She had her bottle she brushed her teeth she’d go to bed, and so it kind of just started to trail off naturally And it was just continuing to follow her lead. And we’ve done that in so many other facets of parenting too, and has really shown that just tuning into your baby and listening to them and seeing where they’re gonna go next.
Jackie Greco 15:19
That’s been like the most successful thing for us. And it’s been the way to, I feel like bond with her the most. And, and nursing is one of those things like nursing is a bonding thing. You can’t. I mean, you can’t deny that. And so every time I did think about stopping, I would, I know, I would like get a little bit of emotional, I’d get emotional thinking about it, like, okay, she’s 15 months, I need to stop like this has gone for too long. Or she’s too like, How long am I going to do this? And that was like, that was outside talk. That wasn’t really me and how I felt I was saying that because I knew I felt uncomfortable if it came up and people would have a reaction. Oh, my gosh, you’re still nursing her? Wow. And it wasn’t always judgmental. It was just like shock.
Jackie Greco 16:13
And, yeah, I am. And then I would get like a little bit bashful and embarrassed about it. And, like, definitely wasn’t doing it in public anymore at that point. And we didn’t really need to like she kind of knew. Okay, I have, like I nursed before. So we weren’t really out and about doing it. And I don’t know if like, I’m that kind of person that can do that. I’m just not that comfortable.
Jacqueline Kincer 16:38
Yeah, no, I think that is very common. I tried to tell moms that are nursing toddlers, like there are way more moms out there nursing toddlers than you know, your neighbor’s probably doing it. And you’ve just never seen it happen. Because they don’t do it in public. They’re doing it at home. And that’s fine. It’s like it’s just, it’s just not comfortable to like advertise, because you’re just inviting in the possibility of judgment.
Jackie Greco 17:05
Which is a shame. And this is probably the first time I’ve really publicly talked about it. Like I’ve mentioned it to a friend or two here and there like, yeah, I nursed I nursed my daughter until she was like three and like, Oh, wow. Like, I thought that was only like, you know, crunchy vegan home birth moms and like, well, I love all that too. But like, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Like, there’s room for every variation. And, and this worked really great for us. And there was a lot of like, well, isn’t it just going to get harder, the longer you do, it is not going to get harder for her to stop. i i That was a question that I think came up, either I was asking that of myself, or that was being asked to me?
Jackie Greco 17:51
And was it hard to stop? Because no, there were times where I thought like I would give myself these like random arbitrary deadlines. Okay, I’m going to stop by June, when she’s two and a half, or whatever that her age was at the time. And I remember like sitting in the nursing chair. And I was like, Okay, it’s June now. And I would get kind of emotional about it. Like I can’t, like I can’t stop if I’m going to be emotional about it. And I’m going to be if I could be like, swayed, if she asked enough where she became persistent enough, I could cave and do it again. And then that’s just going to be confusing for her. And that’s, you know, really not fair. So I finally was like, I’m going to wait until I’m ready. Because at this point, like, what is the reason to stop?
Jackie Greco 18:43
And I really had to ask myself that, like, it’s not a crutch for us. She falls asleep independently. Like those were the things I used to ask myself like, am I using it because of this and I was a little bit nervous, like she’d stopped sleeping, or she’d stopped napping if I stopped nursing her. But I worked pretty hard at nursing her rocking her and then laying her down and her falling asleep. So I felt confident when the time came. And so as long as it wasn’t a problem for me. And it wasn’t a problem for her. I was going to keep doing it. And then right before she turned three, it was almost just like a physical reaction. Like when she would latch I was like, Oh, I just need you off. And I hadn’t really felt like that up until that point. I was like totally fine with it and comfortable with it. And then once I started to feel a little bit like alright, here we go. I don’t feel like doing this. I knew it was time.
Jackie Greco 19:42
And we were going to start trying to have another baby and I just, I didn’t want to be nursing while I was pregnant. I know that like many people do that. And I think that’s so beautiful. I just I needed like a little bit of bodily autonomy during that time for me
Jacqueline Kincer 20:00
It makes sense.
Jackie Greco 20:01
Yeah. And it’s a mutual thing. It’s a two way street. It’s her and me. It’s not all her deciding. So yeah, I, I told her, my body’s gonna stop making milk. You needed a lot when you were a baby, and then you started to eat food and you needed less. And you really don’t need very much anymore at all. So my body’s not going to make milk after the next few days. She said, okay, and then each day for like, a week before her nap, I’d say, Okay, we’re going to stop a little sooner this time, and a little, a little sooner, a little sooner. And then by I think it was a Monday to a Friday, by that Friday, I was like, okay. My body’s done making milk now. So I’m just gonna rock you. And she just, like rocked in my arms. And I laid her down, and she rolled over and went to sleep. And I went into my room, and I cried like happy tears. Because I was like, We did it. And I don’t feel like tomorrow, I might cave, I feel like very confident that that was the last time.
Jackie Greco 21:15
I know, I’m very comfortable with this decision. And I trust her, I trust that she can cope with this transition. And she’s capable of it. And I think that she can trust me to like, confidently lead her through it without there being all these mixed emotions that we could, you know, go back and forth on because I didn’t, I didn’t think that would be fair. And then that was it. I wrote her I have an email address for both my kids. And you know, I’ll give them the password when they’re older. And I just like a way of sending them little things throughout their lives. And I wrote her an email and was like, We did it. We made it three years, starting out with zero expectations. And we just had like a snuggle without any mama milk, and you went to sleep. And that was it. And that was the last time.
Jacqueline Kincer 22:12
So Oh, my goodness, that’s so beautiful. And the email thing? It was that’s really cool. Do you think that because she was three and you could utilize the language to convey this to her that that was part of what made it so seamless?
Jackie Greco 22:30
Absolutely. I thinkhaving the connection that I have with her. And like I said, really being clued into her and following her lead for her whole life has built this connection of really cooperation with each other. And an understanding and I think she really understood like, she got what I was saying and was like, okay, like, that makes sense. I get it. Wow. She didn’t even ask after that. You know, she, I think there was one time shortly after where she like tugged at my shirt. And I just like held like patted her hand against me. And then she was like, okay, like That’s right. That’s it.
Jacqueline Kincer 23:15
Oh, my goodness. I love that. That’s so cool. Yeah, that’s really cool.
Jackie Greco 23:19
Yeah, I was definitely proud of that. And it was one of those moments where I like, I want to, like, tell somebody, like we just did that. Like, that was so great that I couldn’t have planned for that to go any smoother or more or more beautifully. But nobody knew. Nobody knew that I was still doing it. So it was kind of like, okay, I’m just gonna have this little internal celebration for myself. I think I sent like my mom and my sister a text. And I don’t think they even realized that I was still nursing her once a day for you know, five or 10 minutes. And they were like, Wow, good for you. I had no idea. That’s great. But it felt so much bigger to me. And it was a milestone in parenting for sure.
Jacqueline Kincer 24:05
Wow. Yeah, that’s, that’s really cool. But bummer that it wasn’t something that you could celebrate more, but we’re celebrating you now. So I know that means so much.
Jackie Greco 24:16
That’s why when I saw the post on Instagram, I very rarely interact like that on Instagram with, you know, big accounts. And I just I saw that and I was like, You know what, I do feel really proud about this. And I want to share that. And this is just my way of doing that is commenting on that. That poll. That’s so cool. It like this. And then you know, maybe someone hears that and if they’re wondering like, I don’t know how long to nurse for like you do you do what works?
Jacqueline Kincer 24:51
Absolutely. Yeah. So So you’ve had that experience with your daughter. She’s five now. Then you said you’re Trying to have another baby, which you did. So never, ever have I seen the things go exactly the same with both babies for anybody or multiple, right? Or they’re all different. So, you know, what, what were things like with your son? And you know, you had your body back for a little bit sort of, because then the baby’s growing in there.
Jackie Greco 25:21
Right, right, I think I had like, actually, I had a chemical pregnancy like two weeks after I weaned my daughter. So there was already something going on, like remotely, that I didn’t know about. And then yes, I got pregnant again in February. And we in turn December, and then in February, I got pregnant with my son. And yeah, it was totally different.
Jackie Greco 25:46
The minute he came out, they were both C sections. And then she, of course, I mentioned was whisked to the NICU immediately. So I didn’t even get to see her for a day or so. With him. He was a week late and was a big baby. So he didn’t have to go to the NICU. And I was laying in the post op waiting, and I could hear him crying and my husband was in the hallway, just bring him to me, let him let me nurse him. And they’re I don’t know, I don’t know if it’s just it’s different. When it’s a C section, they I was a little bit lightheaded. They didn’t want me holding him. And I was really persistent. And I was like, I can sideline nurse him, just lay him down here and put this pillow here. I was directing everybody, I just had so much more confidence in like advocating for myself and asserting myself. Whereas before it was kind of like okay, whatever you say, I’m just going to do what I’m being told, because I’m just assuming that that’s the right way or the only way.
Jackie Greco 26:45
And they were like okay, sure, like I guess we can try that. And I was like laying with him nursing sideline like moments after he was born. And it was, wow, it was so cool. So that got off a little bit easier. I didn’t use an electric pump. Once I think I was just like, No, I never want to see an election. Again. After that, after doing that with my daughter, and realizing I didn’t really need to be doing it. I just was doing it because other moms were pumping. So I guess I should be pumping that kind of like thought.
Jackie Greco 27:22
So with him I just I had a haka. And a hand manual pump for when I wanted to skip a feeding overnight and get extra sleep, I would just like sleep in the guest room and use that. But it got off to a really great start with him. And then he he was diagnosed with a dairy soy allergy. So that was different for sure. Chain, we had to get a formula that you wouldn’t have a reaction to. So I was worried about my supply kind of tanking, because I didn’t know how long everything would take to get out of my system.
Jacqueline Kincer 28:07
How old was he when you found that out?
Jackie Greco 28:10
He was four months. i We i just knew something was up. But the way he was feeding, it felt like it was constant. But he never seemed satisfied and just would have like extreme fuzziness. And you know, at first it was is it reflux and we were putting like everything at it reflux, medication probiotics And then finally, they did like a test at the doctors and they’re like, Oh yeah, he’s showing a intolerance or an allergy to dairy or and or soy. So I think that’s when I got the supplements from holistic lactation. Because I was worried about my supply tanking while we were getting him kind of strict sorted out with the formula. And and then I was at that point was like, do I really want to change my whole diet? Like maybe this is it, maybe it’s just not going to be the same thing. And he’s just going to be you know, on formula, because that’s like what he needs.
Jackie Greco 29:21
And I just I couldn’t stop because we did have a good latch established. I did have a supply and it just seemed like I would be throwing it all away. So I really buckled down and I had it all out of my diet. So that was like a commitment that I that I am proud of making. Because when it first came up, I was like, oh, there’s no way there’s no way I can cut all this stuff out. Like I just don’t think I have it in me. Then I just did it and then we got to keep nursing and by eight or nine months he had grown out of the allergy
Jacqueline Kincer 30:00
Oh, that’s so cool. Yeah, that’s so awesome. Oh, my goodness. So how long did you end up using the formula for with him?
Jackie Greco 30:10
Um, wow, I can’t even probably around nine months when I think we still like had some of it. I mean, that was also when the whole formula shortage was happening. There, we were like enlisting all of our family like to keep keep your eye out for this special, hypoallergenic formula. And we did have to make some adjustments with what we could find. And then luckily, my husband’s a physician, so he brought the HEMA Colt tests home from work. So we would test him every once in a while, and we’re like, okay, it’s negative. All right, like, we can start reintroducing this stuff and open up some options a little more with what we can offer him. And he actually stopped taking a bottle by nine months old, he just pushed it away.
Jackie Greco 31:03
So now he’s kind of on the same trajectory, he nurses a little bit before his rest, and sometimes first thing in the morning. And I guess he’s 17 months now. So I really don’t like offer it. If he reaches for my shirt, and we’re in the chair rocking before his nap, I’m like, okay, sure, can do this. And then I’ll say like, Okay, it’s time for you to lay down. And I’m gonna, like, close my shirt up. And but if it’s outside of those times, and he’ll pull up my shirt, like, we’ll be out at the park, and he’ll pull up my shirt. I’m like, No, not right now. Like, I it’s not, that’s not the time, it’s, there’s a time and a place for us to do that. And I’m not like, I’m just not comfortable with it being whenever, like, it’s my body too. And I don’t feel like doing this right now. So we’re not going to say that. I think that that in mind, yeah, thank you. It’s just, you know, it’s a two way street. It’s, it’s my body. And I’m a person, and I’m showing you that’s a boundary for me, and we have our time and place where we do this. So that’s where he’s at. And it’s great. And I’m so grateful for it, I’m so thankful that there is support out there that,
Jackie Greco 32:19
you know, like, that’s how I stumbled on your account, I think when I was newly pregnant with him, and I was, or maybe when he was a newborn, and I was trying to familiarize myself again, with how long can you know, breast milk sit out when you pumped it, all those little details that I kind of, had forgotten about? So there is so much helpful and supportive information out there. And it’s just finding what, what is right for you? And like, what clicks with you, I think,
Jacqueline Kincer 32:49
yeah, I think that’s really wise, you know, because you can, you can surround yourself with things that, you know, really aren’t right for you, you know, and it can have this, you know, negative impact on your mental health, right? Whether you’re comparing yourself to someone or it’s, you know, the type of information or the way it’s presented, or, you know, all of those different things. So, I like that you really kind of seem to have listened to yourself, right, and said, okay, is this something that’s helping me? Is this serving me? Or is it not? And doing that, because that’s a skill that is like one of those soft skills that, you know, we kind of end up learning for ourselves, or maybe through a self help book, but like, the therapist, you know, but we’re not, like, ingrained with that a lot of the time. So I think that’s wonderful. And the way that you’re talking about, you know, how you’ve set these boundaries with your kids, when, you know, they’re past that, you know, newborn stage, like, obviously a newborn, you know, it’s crying, it’s hungry, it’s got a dirty diaper, or it’s tired or something right. Like, that’s, it’s pretty easy. When they get older. They can wait, they don’t need to nurse them, right. And then and they don’t need to nurse owl all the time. Right. So setting those boundaries, I think is what’s helped you have this, you know, fairly seamless transition to the weaning that’s been happening for you. So that’s so cool. I think so how many times a day on average? Is you nursing now? I think that’s, like, people want to know, it’s the burning question.
Jackie Greco 34:29
I mean, it could be two, it’s usually no more than than three. If he sees me first thing in the morning when he wakes up, then like, we’ll have that snuggle time and it also kind of just like buys me a little extra cuddle time in the morning when I’m like, I don’t want to get out of bed yet. Come in here and live with me. And then he still takes two naps. He’s like my champion sleeper. He takes a morning nap and an afternoon nap. So those two times Um, but like, over the weekend, I was away and I didn’t pump.
Jackie Greco 35:05
And he obviously didn’t nurse when I wasn’t around, so he didn’t have anything the whole weekend. And it’s like, out of sight out of mind for him. And, you know, I came home and when it was the next opportunity, like I maybe put him down for a nap that day when I got home and, and He nursed for a little bit. So, and I think he’s still getting milk, you know, I don’t really check. I don’t have like a need to pump. So
Jackie Greco 35:34
I assume he’s like, still gets a little something. But I’m sure he does. Yeah, it’s, it’s really, maybe two or three times a day. And then when Hong Kong he’ll go down to one nap, that’ll just probably be once I remember stopping the morning feeding with my daughter when she was just getting like too rambunctious for me like she was crawling all over me while she was napping, or while she was nursing. And I’m like, I can’t do this right now. Like, I can’t have you like scaling me. And like having your feet in my face somehow. While we’re doing this, so if my husband brings the kids downstairs, and then I kind of like do my thing upstairs and then come down, they kind of already started their mornings. And it’s like they, he doesn’t even think about it. My son like he’s already got a snack. And as his whole day is started already. So the morning isn’t really even the most frequent one. It’s really like at his nap yesterday, he was so tired at nap time. He didn’t even ask. Yeah, if he doesn’t ask, I don’t really offer. That’s kind of where we’re at right now. Yeah. And that works that works for us.
Jackie Greco 36:51
Something I had thought about was like, it seems like everything is just like such a race. Like when a baby is born or in any, you know, part of life. It’s like, Are they sleeping through the night yet? Are they on a schedule yet? Are they like doing this yet? And then it’s like, are you weaning them yet? And that I remember thinking like, wow, I worked really hard to get into this groove of nursing to just stop, like, for what? Like, what is the reason? And it’s like, why are we racing them out of babyhood on on to the next thing, like, let’s just be here in this moment. And, and be with it and be present with it. If, again, like if it’s not a problem for me or for my child? Why am I letting any anyone else’s or society’s expectations or question questions in to challenge that?
Jacqueline Kincer 37:48
Orderly fair, you know, and I think the thing that has happened is that the societal and cultural expectations have overridden the sort of health and medical knowledge and and recommendations that we have, where people, even pediatricians have said this to my clients, like, it’s crazy, like, there’s no nutritional benefits to breast milk after age one, like your body suddenly goes, Oh, yeah, let’s not put any like nutrients in the milk anymore. Because the kid turn one, like, that’s not how it works. There’s still a lot of benefits there. And we know that nursing until age two and beyond is very beneficial for health.
Jacqueline Kincer 38:32
We also just don’t have a ton of evidence, though, of you know, that those later years of nursing, because it is so uncommon, right, that you know, what, what realistically, you know, there is a there is a compound effect, like, the longer you breastfeed, the more beneficial, it’s going to be for that person’s life. Right. But like, we don’t know, to what extent, you know, versing for two year nursing for two years versus three years, you know, is there a big difference, but what you’re saying is, and what I’m would say to is, it doesn’t really matter, because like you said, it’s not hurting anybody, this is something that is benefiting both of you. And at this point, it’s not even really about the milk, and the nutrients, right, you have this connection. So I think that’s really cool. Like, have you found that breastfeeding? Or nursing has become just like another parenting tool? Or is there another way you would look at it?
Jackie Greco 39:28
I mean, it’s definitely a tool. Like again, was like it was always kind of paired with naptime for me. It was just like a quiet time. My kids would like wind down and get ready for stressed and I guess in that way, it was definitely a tool like I but but they also would take a nap for anybody else. Like if anyone else was putting them down for a nap. It wasn’t a problem. So that was another reason why I was like, well, it’s not like I’m the only one that can put them down for a nap because I’m nurse. I’m the nurse We’re seeing parents. But it’s just it is it’s just it’s a quiet time together with your child to, you know, just take in their details and soak them up and try to like freeze those little snippets of time. I’m just, I’m never gonna forget that. And then, of course, it’s, you know, you can’t argue the antibodies that you’re continuing to give your child. So that was another another benefit. So they just never seem to be a reason to stop until I felt like I needed to.
Jacqueline Kincer 40:45
Yeah. Oh, I love it. It’s funny, you said that about the antibodies to it makes me think of like in 2020, when all the COVID stuff went down, and people were like, well, I was gonna wean, but nevermind, because I’d rather give this immune protection. I’m sure it will help. And I thought, Wow, that’s so cool. Like, if there was going to be like a positive thing that came from this pandemic, it was that people were more interested in making breastfeeding work and breastfeeding for longer. I don’t know if that’s still happening. But it did happen for a little while, which was really cool. That is cool. Yeah, we would get questions all the time. Like, I started to lean how do I get my milk supply back up? If you’re like, Well, do you like actually want to or some milk enough? Like your kids? You know, you’re older, what have you Right? And, you know, I, I love that you’re so proud of your journey. And it’s still going. So you’re not done. But you know, is there something that maybe it was early on? In the breastfeeding support group that you want to with your daughter? Maybe it’s something now maybe it’s somewhere in between? But is there something that you would say to a mom who’s listening to this that you wish maybe you had heard early on that would have, you know, made you feel more supported or encouraged with how things have gone for you?
Jackie Greco 42:02
Huh? Just to parent the child in front of you. And of course, that’s with breastfeeding, like no one else is in the exact scenario that you’re in. No one else is parenting, this specific child? No one else is you with these set of circumstances. So looking at anyone else, and what they’re doing. And looking at apps, or, you know, I was obsessing over schedules, like napping schedules, sleeping schedules, feeding schedules, when my daughter was really little. And like, if I couldn’t match that schedule, then I felt like I failed. So just looking at the kid in front of you and saying, This is my child, and I’m their parent, and I need to look at them and parent them. No one else can do that.
Jackie Greco 43:10
So and that is that is tuning out a lot of the outside noise and, and tuning into your child, what are they saying that they need? What can I give them? What am I willing to give them? What am I not willing to do for myself and for them as well like that benefit. And being able to really do that, and be in the present? And just doing what you need to do right then and there and not thinking too far in the future? Or what anyone else is going to say or think
Jacqueline Kincer 43:52
that’s such good advice for all stages of parenting.
Jackie Greco 43:56
Jacqueline Kincer 43:59
Like ahead of you, but it’s still true.
Jackie Greco 44:03
It is. And I mean, I’m just continuing to see that, you know, I have a five year old now who is her own person and getting to really get to know who she is and not who I’m trying to make her become is, like the greatest gift. Or like she’s showing me who she is. And it’s just so cool. And allowing that space, you know.
Jacqueline Kincer 44:34
Yeah. Yeah, it makes sense. It does. You know, it really does. And I think that’s such a wonderful way of you know, if if you weren’t raised with parents like that, right, maybe they were like you have to become a doctor or lawyer or you know, whatever weights stereotype we can throw in there that you can be that change for this next generation. Right. How cool is that? Because we
Jacqueline Kincer 44:59
Maybe you were lucky enough to have parents who just accepted who you were right. But maybe you maybe you didn’t. And it’s a different time. But I think the way that parents these days are raising their children is really cool. And I love that you had this opportunity to share your perspective and everything that you’ve been going through with breastfeeding with your kids. And it’s awesome. I’m very happy for you. Thank you. Thank you. It means a lot. Yeah. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to share your story with us today. I hope that everyone who’s listening has found this really inspirational and maybe it encourages you to breastfeed for a bit longer than everyone else is telling you to.
In this episode, Jacqueline is joined by Jackie Greco, a mom of two who nursed through a chemical pregnancy and toddlerhood. She had to navigate extended nursing, nursing in public, dairy allergies, and judgment from other moms. This mama powered through it all to find the joy and confidence she needed to have her own fulfilling nursing journey.
In this episode, you’ll hear:
- Jackie’s personal nursing journeys with both her children
- How she navigated through allergies and judgment
- Why Jackie decided to wean and how she went about it
- Setting boundaries with your children
A glance at this episode:
- [5:38] Jackie’s story and how she got started
- [11:11] Finding support while navigating social media
- [13:57] How she came to realize it was time to wean her daughter
- [16:13] Jackie battles nursing a toddler in public
- [20:01] The language she used with her daughter to wean her
- [24:51] Jackie‘s nursing journey with her second child
- [27:22] Navigating through a dairy allergy with her son
- [32:49] How often Jackie’s son still nurses
- [38:32] Finding the balance in nursing
- [42:05] Jackie gives her best advice for a new mom
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