August 16, 2012

Nursing in Nature

Nursing in Nature: Memories

My favorite indoor nursing experience,  I remember it clearly.  I was sitting at a corner booth in the San Francisco Ghiradelli restaurant at about 10 am with my mom and sister.  I was slurping the whipped cream off of the most amazing Chocolate Peppermint Milk Shake.  I had my son in the Ergo nursing while I replaced the calories in a magnificent way!

When I try to pinpoint my best Nursing in Nature event, my brain hops from one possibility to the other.  The time on the bank of the Little Susitna River sitting on my life jacket as my older son tried to reel in a salmon.  That amazingly cold hike along Powerline Pass with a bluebird sky and tiny cold fingers touching my previously warm skin.  Oh, sitting on the shore in Seward watching boats on the water.  The beach in Maui was also hard to beat.

A picture of the Amazing Ground Truth Trekking Erin McKittrick nursing while snowshoeing

If you have never Nursed in Nature, please give it a try.  Take a hike with your child and find some grass.  You don’t have to worry about people giving you that second glance over their shoulder.  You won’t get bored as you can find beautiful scenery and let your mind wander.  The fresh air often calms kiddos and mamas as well.

I asked a few of my Outdoor Mothers about their favorite Nursing in Nature experience and loved each and every response.

 Chiniak beach here on Kodiak Island watching whales breach and sea lions swim by. (Harmony)

The first is nursing Nico in front of a glacial lake in Cordova and the second is nursing Rowan while hiking in the Swiss Alps (Jamie)

My favorite place was on the mall in Washington DC after a great run with my BOB stroller. I think it was by the reflecting pool? All of the "while hiking" nursing sessions, sponsored by Ergobaby too! I remember feeling so empowered by that. Knowing that I could hike AND feed Z at the same time was pretty damn cool.(Amanda)

 One recent experience was sitting outside at the park, with my then pregnant 43 year old sister-in-law, nursing Elliott and watching our children play in the sun and water talking about imminent birth, children, family, life...all while just enjoying sun and family and sisterhood...outside! Or maybe sitting in the snow, at the top of Whistler, on a sunny summer day. (Maria)

On a bench somewhere on the coastal trail in the winter while skiing. There have been so many, but no matter where, it is always such a grounding and calming experience for both mother and child. (Lisa)

The most memorable time is when we were playing on the dock at the lake near our house just days before the first freeze. Violet fell off the edge of the dock and into the water in her full snowsuit. Gordon was able to grab her and pull her back out instantly, but she was still chilled to the bone. We quickly undressed her and I opened my jacket and lifted my shirt. With the combination of nursing and skin to skin contact, her body temperature was back to normal and she was calmed in a matter of minutes. A scary memory, but I was so grateful to have just what she needed to recover quickly without damage. (Erin)

Nursing in nature is always so relaxing, I remember taking Lu outside every time just to sit with her in the beauty of Alaska.  I did nurse her in some pretty cool places when we first got to NY.   A quiet wooded trail alongside a lake, as she drifted off near the thundering Pixley waterfalls, but honestly the most memorable one was just the side of the road. We had just arrived and the two of us were driving to my mothers in the country. Lilly started to fuss so I found a pull off next to a large creek. I had driven this road a million times in my youth, but holding her next to me, the beautiful scene in front of us, the warmth in the air we do not have in AK, this was all the making of a perfect memory for the two of us. (Brenda Preble)

I have so many places outdoors that it is hard to choose! I guess if I had to though, it would be at home -out back in the grass while my oldest babe plays. The regular days that are part of your routine are the most special to me. Its funny how your perspective changes too. With my first kiddo I was very consious of using a nursing cover and doing it in discrete locations. With her, I learned that not only does she hate covers (so I dont use them except rare circumstances) but i am comfortable feeding her almost anywhere. I have openly feed her at amusement parks, in the forest picking huckleberries, at the lake while playing in the sand and even in older brothers classroom. (Sandy)

My Outdoor Blogger Friends sent me some of their best articles about Nursing in Nature as well.

-From Cragmama, A celebration of nursing from an amazing, rock climbing mom.
-From Jen Aist of the wildly popular, Babes in the Woods book.  Tips for Nursing in Nature from a Pro.
-Some honest revelations and great nursing tips from KidProject
-Shawna of Nature for Kids and her advice for Packing Breastfed Babies (with a few tips for bottle babies too)

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