Studio 5 and Breastfeeding

In case you missed my little stunt on Studio 5 yesterday, or would simply  like to spend a few minutes staring at the side of my head, click on this link to check out the writing segment. I look like Cousin It. Yes, we know.

We did another segment halfway through where we discussed current events. They brought up boobs. Okay, breastfeeding. Since I have a pair, and have put them to good, nutritional use multiple times over, I weighed in.

The question was whether or not it’s appropriate to ask a woman if she’s nursing. This came from a blog post where some woman said she’s offended when people ask her.

I’ll tell you right now, I’m not about to go asking every young mother I see on the street if she’s using her goods, but if I’m visiting with a girl who’s recently had a baby and the conversation goes there, I’m all over it. Why? Because nursing is darn hard. In fact, it’s one of the hardest skills I’ve had to learn in my entire life. I don’t ask to pry, I ask because I want young mothers who are struggling to know that yes, it’s hard, and yes, you can talk about it.

Half the time new nursers don’t even realize that it doesn’t have to be a miserable, painful experience, and they’re probably just in need a minor adjustment. Because really, it’s hard to ask for help. What do you say? “Hey, will you have a look at my boobs? I think the kid isn’t sucking right.” Yeah, how often is a new mom going to open up with that at a play date?

So yeah, I think it’s okay, in the right situation, to ask a new mom about breastfeeding. There’s nothing like the realization that you have more support available than just a wimpy nursing bra.

(P.S. If I’ve ever asked you this and you were offended, I can honestly say that I’m really, really sorry. It was never my intention, I only asked out of love and concern. Whew, glad to get that sin off my chest. I said chest, get it?)


  1. Awesome Annie! So great to hear your actual voice! Loved every second of it! My only complaint was the LAZY camera work, we needed to see more than just a profile of Annie! (Oh, and best hair on the show! What is this about cousin IT?)

  2. I can see both points, I had a friend who thought that she was being judged by those when asked that question. I also think you were spot on when you said, on the show, that a lot of women won’t ask for help if they are having problems Maybe older moms, who are more comfortable with their voice will speak up to other moms about breastfeeding issues, but I think younger moms are more quieter in that area, at least I was. If it’s tactfully done with the intention of help and not mere curiosity, I think there is nothing wrong.

  3. Okay, so Tausha has your link on her blog, and yes she did pique my interest. I must say I loved your thoughts! LOL, many times. Nursing is SO VERY hard, as I’ve struggled with 3 kiddies and i also have a very large set of “goods” that are hard to go unnoticed. I would have LOVED someone to fill me in and want to help me out. (Not to say that no one did, it is just reassuring) AND as a nursing mom, you need that reassurance all the time. love to you.

  4. I thought you did great. It’s true, new mommies don’t know a thing and those who have done it can help a ton.
    Your hair was awesome. Don’t apologize about it. I loved it. the camera angle I didn’t love.
    Heels = wonderful
    It was so fun to see you on TV!

    You forgot to mention latched.

  5. You made me snort into my cereal with your comment about a new mom opening a playdate about nursing… Thanks for that! 🙂 In all seriousness, I’m currently pregnant with about 6-7 weeks to go and while I’m planning on nursing… (besides all the benefits of breastmilk, have you SEEN the cost of formula these days? YIKES!) I’m finding out that it’s not all completely instinctual. Nobody TOLD me it was a skill to be learned and that really kind of freaks me out. I would love it if I knew the local moms would be comfortable in talking about it.

    • annie valentine says:

      Sara, best book ever you must read before you try, “So That’s What They’re For”. I can’t remember who wrote it, but it is my #1 go to manual for all nursing questions and it’s a fun read. Read it now, if you can.

      And good luck!

  6. Riddle Girl says:

    Yep…must agree with the bad camera work. But your heels got some great airtime! They were great. (Not that I could ever wear heels like that…I’m all flats.)
    It was fun to “hear” the voice of the writer I have come to enjoy reading so much. Now I can hear you saying everything you type.
    Good show…good show!

  7. OK, here’s my take on this, and I want to talk to you about it tomorrow. BTW, the responses on the etiquette message board almost all said if you were a close friend, OK, but you should probably stay away if you are an acquaintaince.

    Personally, I think it can be a loaded question. Obviously, I don’t have kids. But, I have always known that there’s a good chance I may not breastfeed. I am just not adamant about it. That may change when I do become pregnant. I might also make Adam do it. 🙂

    I have seen a lot of friends and family members who have gone though such crap, mastitis, etc., that I’m just not going to put myself through that. I think breastfeeding is ultimately the best thing for the baby, but I don’t think it’s detrimental or harmful to not.

    I have learned that many women are VERY passionate about this subject, and I have been in situations myself where nursing has come up, and I expressed my opinion, and was almost breated. I have seen that happen to a friend who desperately wanted to nurse, but couldn’t, and was made to feel like a failure by nurses and other women. I do agree with the lady who said that women who are not nursing probably will feel defensive and feel like they have to explain themselves.

    So, I think if she brings it up, or it’s a natural course of the conversation, totally fine. But if not, I would probably stay away from the topic. I suspect that she is probably getting a lot of advice anyway from close friends and family, and it could also feel like unsolicited advice, which we know moms get a lot of anyway.

    I will say, I am very proud of you for standing your ground yesterday. I can definitely see your point and you are doing it truly to be helpful.

  8. Holy long comment, Batman!

  9. Loved your heels, wanted to hear more from you…that Amanda chick wouldn’t shut up and she was a little over drama for me. Nursing is a personal matter whether it’s a stranger, friend or family member. I don’t think it’s anyone’s business whether you are or not. I did not breastfeed my 2 children for my own various reasons, wish I COULD have but didn’t. I understand it’s a very tricky and difficult task if it’s not going well and it must be very hard to ask if you need help…but if you need help…ASK those you trust around you.

  10. Kristina… the mastitis can come from not breast feeding properly (as my doctor told me on 2 occassions). I had 2 kids and had it twice (I know I’m not helping your cause) because I wasn’t taught properly the first time. Finally 2 months in on my second child someone asked me if I was nursing and I was going through mastitis with my second child and that is when I found out how to nurse properly. “Latched” on so to speak. hehehehe!

    (I can see though if I wasn’t nursing how I could be sensitive to the question. It’s a double edged sword. But, it was so helpful for me

  11. Yeah! You were great! And the hottest one on the show, btw. Also not annoying at all like some of the panelists… As for the breastfeeding, I say don’t ask strangers, but if you know them, sure, who cares?

  12. Thanks, April. My breasts hurt now. 🙂

  13. You did fab on Studio 5! Love the heels and you have great hair!!! Don’t forget the little people when you hit big;)

  14. Annie you were darling yesterday! I was nearly late picking up my kindergartner as I tried to watch you and not miss it! Yes…it was too much work to walk down stairs and set the DVR!!! Way to go! I’ve been trying to get on that show for a while now! I’ll live vicariously through you!

    And yes I nurse just in case you were wondering. My lopsided mommy zone totally give me away. No need to ask here!

  15. I’d have to say this topic brings up many emotions in women…..especially MOMS! It must be all those extra hormones. I personally have nursed both of my children, but not to say that it wasn’t dang hard. With my first I almost felt like everyone was pressuring me into the whole thing. Almost immediately they send a lactation specialist in and are copping a feel….then you finally get to take your little one home and then the Dr. is pressuring you to pack on the pounds. I ended up turning to a wonderful PA at my Peds. office that sat with me and gave great guidance that wasn’t pushy and scolding. New moms need someone to turn to! So many questions and worries those first few weeks….and more!

    BTW you looked AWESOME on Studio 5! I agree with others that you needed more camera time and a better angle.

  16. You’re just as gorgeous as the last time I saw you and your shoes: EXCELLENT!! Me covet muchly.
    As for the breastfeeding, I would have loved someone to talk to when I had my dudes. It was such a hard time for them and me.

  17. Anne, I think you did (and looked) great yesterday. You should be proud of yourself. Tiff

  18. annie valentine says:

    I think I need to post a button on the side that says, “Questions about breastfeeding? Ask me!” It pains me in more ways than one to think about all the women who struggle with this. Nothing wrong with a bottle people, do what you need to do to be a happy mommy.

  19. You did great! It was great to listen to you and all. You are so cute!! Thank you for posting the link so those of us that were unable to see it….could!!

  20. I agree on already said points of: *you looked gorgeous, from what limited side view we had, *you sounded very kind, confident, and unrushed (i would have being speaking in fastforward), *and I loved hearing your voice too! I always kind of read your columns in what I imagine to be your voice…..and i was off… i know! Good job!

  21. Breastfeeding sounds like it hurts. But what an interesting debate!

  22. First of all, you looked fabulous! No cousin it! You have amazing hair and I covet your high heels.

    Another thing is – you can get mastitis even if you are nursing correctly! That has to do with bacteria and infection, not correct latching.

    For me, breastfeeding was a nightmare because the hormones that release the milk actually caused depression for me. Every single time I went to nurse my baby, a deep sadness overtook me. I could only nurse for a few months with my babies before I had to quit. It was much healthier for everyone if I wasn’t depressed. I’ve since found other women who’ve also had the same experience. It doesn’t seem to be widespread, but it does occur. That hormone can cause some bad reactions in people. And I did have very judgemental people ask me about breastfeeding and I found it very hurtful. I didn’t want to explain to nosy people I barely knew about my depression.

  23. I thought you did great, even if the camera needed to move a couple feet to the right.

    And, as for breastfeeding, I’m on your side. I think that your relationship with the person matters, but I also think that your intentions matter as well. If you are asking for the sole purpose to judge someone on their choices/abilities, not okay. If however, you are concerned for the well being of the mother, then I think it’s fine to ask.

  24. Great job Annie! Duh, does that studio only have one camera that apparently only has one angle?

    Whew, didn’t know breastfeeding was such a topic. Do it if you can and want to, if you can’t don’t. See? Problem solved.

    • annie valentine says:

      Can you tell that we’re extremely related or what? Valentine girls don’t mince words.

  25. You is the beautiful. Even the side of your head…..beautiful.

    Finally, what a girl does with her boobs is her business. If I see a Mom with a little one held in the football position and a hooter hider thrown over her shoulder I assume she is nursing. But I’d never go up and ask.

    But if the topic came up and my advice was asked I’d happy share any knowledge I had.

  26. I like what Kelly said. I nursed both of my girls for 13 months, but most people I know bottle feed. Whatever works. I have to say, for all of you that haven’t nursed first was awesome! I never hurt once. So, it might depend on the kid as well. With the second? let’s just say I don’t want to give anyone nightmares. But I was just too cheap to pay for formula.

  27. Since I know you PERSONALLY (far too personally sometimes), my comments had better carry some serious weight around these parts. #1 – Yes, you’re hair was both fabulous and a tad on the large side, but still – it rocked more than any of the others on the show. #2 – The heels? “Hello lover” I can’t remember, do we wear the same size? Pass those babies this-a-way! #3 – Ditch the black blazer! I want to see your skinny-minny H.O.T. body you’re hiding. #4 – This is very important. Get. Rid. Of the other women on that show. How annoying and boring can people get?! For the love, I almost poked out my eyes and eardrums to stop the madness!
    #5 — YOU ROCK, and don’t let it go to your head.
    #6 – Breastfeeding? Just because mine are bigger than yours doesn’t mean I need to be reminded of that fact when you ask me if I’m breastfeeding. (well, because I’m not.)

  28. I think the whole breastfeeding topic has cooled a lot in the last few years, when I had my first it was like “BREASTFEED OR DIE!!!”. You were a horrible mom if you didn’t breastfeed, and there are tons of women that want to shove it down your throat (along with tons of other stupid advice about how to raise your baby). I think its become a lot more acceptable to bottle feed, so thats nice. But still it makes me wonder, why does anybody care? Especially with young mother’s we need to support each other, we need to love each other, not tear people apart and judge them. Its the same thing with becoming pregnant, I had a good friend who wanted children so badly, had 8 miscarriages and was constantly being asked why she didn’t have kids, didn’t she want them, etc. etc. etc. She even got a “maybe the Lord doesn’t think you’re ready…” Oh yeah? And the 13 year old girl down the street, the Lord thinks she’s ready?! Anyway, sorry for my rant. I agree that the way you meant it is just fine, you’re not going up to strangers and pulling their shirts up, and you’re not judging them if they don’t let you. 🙂 Its the other kind I mean.

    (Oh, and Kristina, I had a friend that had mastitis so badly, along with her sister, it was the size/shape of their breasts. Nice huh? Wasn’t worth it to them. My mom couldn’t nurse because she just didn’t produce milk. I wasn’t breastfed at all and look how awesome I am! By the time I had my third, I was so done breastfeeding, I had two other kids to chase around and a son that was insatiable, I did the best I could and he got bottles too. Its what worked for me, call me lazy if you want. Oh, and I think my comment is now longer than yours was! haha) 😀

    • annie valentine says:

      And you just rewrote today’s post for me (Its scheduled to pop in an hour) because we’re such good friends and so in tune like that. Go you.

  29. I have nipples. Can you milk me?

  30. I am sooooo glad you posted a clip of your part on Studio 5. I loved it. I wish they would have seated you in amanda Dicksons place as mostly I just saw your profile and you were the HOTTEST one of the bunch. The pumps worked for you, nice touch. looking good. How totally cool that you got that experience.
    as for breast feeding —women really need to feel like they can talk about that issue. I didn’t nurse my first 2 kids . My mom was totally AGAINST it. She thought it was gross. But a girlfriend talked me into nursing my 3rd. Loved it. Had good success. then nurse the other 2 after that for 10 months. was a wonderful experience. May not be for everyone, and that is ok, don’t need to do a guilt trip on that. Buy it’s worth a try.

    are you putting you “show outifit” up now for sale on e-bay.

  31. You were FABUUUUULOUS (<–must read in high pitched sing-songy voice.) Except the seating around the table was a little weird. They probably wanted to film your shoes a lot and didn't know how to get that to happen without putting you on the side? They were the best shoes there.

  32. That. Was. Awesome. I didn’t see it before–because I’m an idiot and in spite of the note I wrote to myself, spaced recording it. Duh.

    You did a great job! My one complaint? They had you sitting so far around the table, I couldn’t see your gorgeous face enough!

  33. nursing is so though T__T