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Ep. 143- Breastfeeding in Appalachia in 1930-1950: Interview with Alpha Ellison Cook

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*We apologize for any typos, misspellings or incorrect grammar. Our transcript is auto-generated by software that’s trying its best, just like all of us.*

Heather: Welcome to the Milk Minute podcast everybody. We have a very special, special, special to my family guest today.

Maureen: Yeah, I’m really excited because you went and recorded this interview by yourself. You went on like a little solo field trip and I haven’t heard it.

So I’m really ex, I’m like, I’m like the audience today, .

Heather: I know. Well, let me give you a little taste. So my husband Jonathan ONeal is from Southern West Virginia. And for those of you that just realize that West Virginia is a state separate and apart from regular Virginia, this is very common. So don’t feel bad.

It’s a whole state. It’s actually very

Maureen: large state, but don’t tell anybody that lives here that you thought.

Heather: Right, right. Top secret. And also for those of you that just realized that Maureen and I live in West Virginia, welcome to the party. You’re welcome. . We are not in la we are in West Virginia, by God, West Virginia.

If you wanna be exact. Yes. The mountain state. So all those stories about hillbillies and like wrong turn and no shoes like that is where my husband is from. Like he actually grew up in a holler. Yeah. Called Turkey Creek in Wyoming County, which is right next to McDowell County, which gets a lot of bad, it’s pretty much limitation.

The poorest county in the state. I think right close McDowell is the poorest county in the state. Maybe the whole. .

Maureen: Yeah. This is the place where like a lot of the like anti-poverty campaigns of your, were based in, in like Southern West Virginia and eastern Kentucky and all of that.

Heather: So yeah, and it’s huge coal mining country, so we have a lot of ghost town kind of situations going on as the mines closed and people are now three generations into.

Welfare and living on government stipends, and it’s become very difficult to get out. And also any attempts that bringing industry in has been very difficult because the roads are so impossible to navigate.

Maureen: So, yeah, un unfortunately, like a lot of the infrastructure was built solely for the profit of coal companies.

And so when they moved out, infrastructure was not.

Heather: Right. It was not maintained. And also the extreme expense it cost to literally blow up a mountain to put a road on it. You can’t just go up and over these mountains. It’s like these things were only built for mountain goats and, you know, human beings that can walk up them to actually build a road up there is really difficult.

And there’s been a lot of strip mining back in the day where they literally just take the top off the mountain, which has caused a lot of flooding, and then

Maureen: just dump it in the next. .

Heather: Yeah. Right. So it’s caused a lot of flooding, a lot of pollution, mm-hmm. , it’s just, it’s rough. It’s rough to build anything on top of unstable ground.

Maureen: Right. And this is the kind of place where like every other hauler has some very longstanding lawsuit over like a cancer cluster because of coal acid, mind drainage runoff, like pollution in their waters, pollution in the air. It’s a really rough place to live and. , I, I’m really excited to hear from Grandma and to give you guys like a little glimpse into that culture and into some of the history around there.

Heather: Yeah, so the thing is that yes, it’s difficult to live there, but the people are tough, absolutely tough as nails, and they’re very private.

Maureen: So, and you can thank them for a lot of the labor unions that we have and a lot of

Heather: your workers’. . Mm-hmm. . Absolutely. And you know, they are private so we don’t have a lot of coverage about like their personal experiences straight from the horse’s mouth kind of stuff.

So I am very honored that Grandma Alfie is what we call her, that Grandma Alfie, let me sit down with my giant microphone and interview her about what it was like to feed her seven children in Appalachia. And also what it was. for her to be fed. So I asked her questions about how her and her brothers and sisters were fed.

So this is like a nice account of what it was like from 1930 to 1960 in Appalachia, West Virginia.

Maureen: So before we get into the interview, we’ve got two patrons to thank and then we will thank a sponsor

Heather: quick. Okay, today we would like to thank Nicole Santoro from Blackwood, New Jersey. Thank you so much, Nicole.

She is an activist in our Patreon and also big thank you to Brian Mitchell, who is a new milk mate of ours. And we are very, very excited to have you in our Patreon and give you all of the behind the scenes stuff that we. .

Maureen: Yeah. Thank you guys. If you are interested in joining our community on Patreon, you can go to minute podcast.

All right, well, we’re gonna cut to a quick break and then head right into this amazing interview.

Heather: You guys breastfeeding for busy moms. My little breastfeeding clinic isn’t so little anymore. I’m so excited that

Maureen: not only can people book with you in person here or virtually, but they can book with the other IBCLCs in

Heather: your clinic. We also do accept some insurance directly. A lot of insurance will actually pre-approve you for a certain amount of visits, even prenatally.

So please head on over to breastfeeding for busy and check out the services tab to see if your insurance is approved. Book with me or one of my IV CLCs and we would love to work with you.

Maureen: You can do prenatal consults. What else

Heather: can they do, Heather? Well, I often work with people who have supply issues.

We’ve got pumping, troubleshooting. We’ve got preparing to go back to work. Weening starting solids. We really cover the entire journey. So if you’re struggling, stop struggling and just schedule with me or somebody on my team at breastfeeding for busy

Maureen: dot com.

Heather: Okay, grandma, first question we have for you is tell us your name and I’d love to hear the story behind your name and the year you were born and where you were born.

Grandma: Alpha Cook. The reason I got this name, I was the first child of my mother and daddy, of course, first grandchild and the first great-grandchild.

Heather: So that’s why they named you Alpha? Well, what happened at the hospital with your birth certificate? There was some kind of drama with your birth certificate and their spelling.

Grandma: Oh, they misspelled my name and had to get that fixed. . How did they spell it? A L f I e. Oh, it’s the way they spelled it. Alfie, but and yeah, I had to go through all of that getting, it all changed and I was born at Saban in 19 and 30, 28th of February.

Heather: Oh, so you’re almost a leap year baby. Yeah. How many brothers and sisters did you have?

Grandma: I had . Four brothers and four sisters.

Heather: And what did your mom and dad do?

Grandma: Well, my dad was a coal miner and my mother was a housekeeper.

Heather: Well, I bet when you’ve got all those kids, there’s quite a house to keep.

Yeah. So did you, you had mentioned that your, your grandma was a midwife, is that right?

Grandma: Well, she delivered babies, I guess that’s what you called her midwife. back then, I don’t know what their name was. ? Yeah. How did

Heather: that usually work in Southern West Virginia? When people were ready to have a baby, what was protocol for Labor and delivery.

And did anyone see them for visits while they were pregnant,

Grandma: or No? Not that I recall. They didn’t have doctors were so scattered, you know, and mostly the women had to do what they could, you know, and back then most of ’em worked until they were ready to have their child in the home. Of course.

And then when they went into labor, they called the ladies to. Come and deliver their babies and , some of ’em had to travel a long ways, you know, to deliver the babies. Did you

Heather: ever go to any of the births?

Grandma: Me, no, I never, I did never wanted to see . I should have because I had seven children, you know,

Heather: So when you say they called the ladies, was it the same group of ladies over and over again? Well

Grandma: yeah, they midwife always had helpers, you know. Hmm. And she would get in touch with them. But back then, I tell you, it was really hard for ’em to travel. Cause they didn’t have very good transportation, you know, back then in the thirties.

And they had cars, but most people didn’t, you know,

Heather: I imagine the roads in Appalachia were pretty rough too. Oh

Grandma: yeah. They were on horseback and buggies and, you know,

Heather: so what would happen if anything went wrong at any of the. .

Grandma: Well they did you know, back then there was a lot of they lost a lot of women and babies, you know, cause they didn’t have what they have today to do the deliveries.

And like I had in mine in first one in 1950, now we had. A lot more than what the older people had, you know, and had clinics for the women to go to, to have their babies. And we had a maternity clinic in Pineville, not too far from where I lived, you know, so we was taken good care of .

Heather: So whenever you were younger, you had mentioned that you took care of your little brothers and sisters all the time.

Oh, yes. Yes.

Grandma: I helped my mother I guess you just, everybody back then helped their mothers because they had such a hard time, you know, and had to work all the time. And keeping the family up. And so we had to learn to cook, we had to learn sew, we had to learn, change diapers real early and feed children early and , oh.

Pretty rough life back then. Did

Heather: your mom breastfeed all of you? My

Grandma: mother breastfed all but one. And he was a premature baby and she had him on

Heather: bottle. Well, so what did that look like? Because what year was that, that your little brother was born prematurely?

Grandma: In 47 1947 I believe is what year he was.

Heather: do you remember how early he was?

Grandma: He was almost eight months baby, but and it’s the first child she ever had in a hospital. All rest were born at home. But she always had a doctor and he was a, my dad was a coal mine and he’s. The doctor, the, that took care of the company doctor was our doctor.


Heather: the coal company doctor? Yeah. Okay. ,

Grandma: but he lived in down Pineville, you know, where he, he’s the one that built the clinic for the women, you know, maternity Women. Maternity clinic. It’s what he had is,

Heather: is he the source of most of the education that people received about how to feed? , like, did that particular doctor teach everybody how to do it?

Grandma: Oh yeah. The doctors, he was real good. He was a young doctor and he was coming from Virginia and went to, but he was a good medical doctor and he, he taught you everything about a child, you know. told you how to take care of him and how to feed him and everything, and what to do for him when they had his stomach ached

Heather: So when your little brother had to take a bottle, what did that look like? What did you put in the bottle for a premature baby in 1947?

Grandma: Well you used Carnation Milk or Pet Milk? .

Heather: Carnation, or what was the second one? Pep something. Pet Milk.

Grandma: What’s that? It’s a evaporating milk. Oh. You had to mix it with water and you had to boil all your nipples and your bottles and Oh, and all that, you know, just like you did when I had.

Heather: So let’s jump forward to when you had your babies. Did you expect that you would be bottle feeding all of yours, or did

Grandma: you plant the breastfeed? No, no, I didn’t, but I fed them on the breast about two months and then it just, the milkton just got, so it wasn’t doing ’em any good. . So the doctor put ’em on the bottle, part-time on the bottle and part-time on the breast until they got off the breast, you know, until I could take ’em off, you know.

But now my mother, she raised all of hers except that one on the breast. And as far back as I can remember, my grandmothers and did too, you know. . And then after they were so old, you started feeding up the regular milk.

Heather: Do you remember how old they were when they switched to cow’s milk?

Grandma: No, I don’t.


Heather: about solid foods? When did we introduce solids? When you were little versus when you had your kids?

Grandma: Well, I think they were before they started on solid foods back then. as far, far as I can remember. It was between four and six months old. But when I had mine, you started them on the sea and stuff at three months old, you know, lots of changes there.

Heather: was that all information coming from the doctor that told you at three months we should be doing cereal and stuff

Grandma: like that? Yeah. Oh yes. The doctors, yeah, from the doctor.

Heather: Was your mom around whenever you had your babies?

Grandma: Well she was, yeah, she was around. She, not when they were delivered, but she was alive at that time.

And she and she helped me a lot taking care of them too, you know, and told me what to do and, and what I didn’t know already. ,

Heather: did she ever argue with the doctor’s recommendations?

Grandma: No. No. My mother’s a very quiet woman. She took orders, but she didn’t give orders. .

Heather: Gotcha. So what was going on with your babies that the doctor recommended that you switched to a bottle?

Were they just not gaining weight or,

Grandma: well, they wasn’t gaining as much weight as they should have when had to put ’em on bottle, you know, and I tell you truth about it. I just don’t know what happened. . .

Heather: I think a lot of people feel that way. . Yeah. Still to this day, it’s such a

Grandma: stressful time, but I went by the doctor’s orders, you know, about my children always.

Heather: And what milk did you give in a bottle? Was it still the Carnation Instant

Grandma: Milk? Yeah, and you. , which are boiling water. You had to boil everything, you know, and then you used Cairo syrup in it to sweeten it a little bit. Not much, but you don’t have to sweeten it some. and sterilized everything.

Boiled everything. I mean, just boiled it real good, you know, and filled the bottles up, capped ’em and put ’em in your refrigerator. Get ’em out and warm ’em up in a bottle, warmer. And it’s a lot of work to it. . Oh

Heather: yeah. It’s a lot of work for sure. Did you ever have to give vitamin drops in the.

Grandma: Yeah, I gave them vitamin drops, but it didn’t put it in their bottle.

I give it to ’em in water, you know, not in the bottle, not in their milk.

Maureen: This interview is amazing so far and I hate to interrupt it, but I have to do so, so we can take a quick break to thank one of our sponsors and then we’re gonna get right back into it. I can’t wait to listen to the rest.

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Heather: Did other people that were having babies at the same time as you breastfeed and bottle feeded or were mostly people bottle feeding at that?

Grandma: Well no. Most of ’em was breastfeeding when I had mine, and I don’t know when people went to bottles, I mean, what year it was or anything, but I know people started giving them bottles and when they first were first born, you know,

Heather: you had mentioned one of your kids had an allergy of some.

Grandma: Oh, Sheila had allergies real bad when she was little. She still has them, of course, she’s grown now. But yeah, she had earaches and from the allergies and nose running and eyes watering and he was calls from dust and pollen. Wasn’t, didn’t come from foods.

Heather: Oh, I thought you had said that one of your kids was allergic to one of the formulas.


Grandma: no. They never was allergic to the formula.

Heather: Did, do you remember your kids having upset tummies or any

Grandma: Oh yes. I had them had upset stomachs, . Yeah. A lot of times. A colic and you know, Gas had to burping a lot whenever they, after they ate. I know that ,

Heather: do you remember ever thinking that their tummy aches were caused by what they were eating or anything like that?

No. . Just part of being a

Grandma: baby. Just part of being a baby. .

Heather: How did you feed them? Was it more like on a schedule or did they just eat whenever? Oh, yeah.

Grandma: Actually kept ’em on a well, just like they do now. It’s four hour schedule is what it kept. And so many ounces would when they were small and then you increased ounces as they got older, you know, and.

Oh yeah. You kept ’em on schedule. If you didn’t, they wanted to eat all time. I’ve heard people say , .

Heather: So every four hours, do you remember how much about they would get as far as ounces go?

Grandma: No, I, I can’t remember that. I take, you started them out with four ounces and you, as you got older, you increased it.

but I can’t remember how much, you know.

Heather: Did you have pacifiers back then? Little bins?

Grandma: No, we didn’t use pacifiers.

Heather: How did you hold ’em off for four hours if they were all crabby?

Grandma: Well, mine didn’t seem to be get crabby before they ate. They, they, they didn’t wake me up that many times at night, you know?

And. . I don’t most people had to get up real often. Now, now my mother got up more often than I ever did to feed hers. You know? Of course she’d sit in a rocker and breastfeed her babies and rock ’em .

Heather: Did you sleep with your babies? Huh? Did you sleep with your babies

Grandma: in bed? No. I never slept with. . But now my mother slept with hers some up until they came out with baby beds and where everybody could buy ’em, you know, they could afford to buy ’em, but play pens and, and yeah, my mother’s slept with her, with hers, but she had a cradle and we all had cradles when they were little, you know, and kept them in them until they got older.

enough to sleep by themselves.

Heather: Did anybody wear their babies like in a baby wrap strapped to their body?

Grandma: No, not any that I can remember. How’d you get anything

Heather: done before you had Playpens and you had stuff to do? I think this is the question that everybody has nowadays, is how in the world did you have eight plus children back in the day and get anything done if you didn’t wear ’em?

All the. , well,

Grandma: I can’t remember how my mother did before we got old enough to watch the small ones, but I just kept mine in the playroom or whatever they had, you know, to keep ’em in one place. if you had to do any housework or anything. But most of the time they just followed you around . I think they still do that.

Learning. Learning everything. I guess I . Oh, Quis kids. They were all like that. Oh,

Heather: that’s funny. So with your, with your mom’s kids growing, , you said there were how many? Nine of you? Mm-hmm. . Wow. Did everybody have that many kids back

Grandma: then? Oh, yeah. It had good sized families that’d have six most people had six.

And then my grandmother’s on my dad’s side, she had 12. And then, . My grandmother on my mother’s side had 10 babies. That’s a lot of babies. Babies. They were all big families. Yeah. .

Heather: Wow. And did the husbands have anything to do with the kids at all?

Grandma: No. No. That was the mother’s work. taking care of the kids, keeping the house, and doing the cooking. Doing the wash and doing the earnings, and that was a woman’s

Heather: work. So how old do you think the kids were before the husbands started participating with the children?

Grandma: Well, I know my dad didn’t, and My husband didn’t, so I don’t know when they started helping with the kids. never . Oh, I guess it was when children started getting into so many activities in the schools and things that fathers started taking an interest in that.

But I don’t know about in the house, you know? What about hunting?

Heather: When did they start taking the kids out hunting?

Grandma: Well, my dad when my brothers grew up, he didn’t take ’em until they were about 16 in the woods, you know, and training them to hunt. But I don’t know now what, how old they are now before they take ’em out and train.

Heather: did you ever carry a gun with the, with you or did the boys

Grandma: just get the guns? No, I, I never handled a gun. I don’t, this day I don’t know how to shoot a gun. , and I’m 92 years old and I still don’t bother guns. We had ’em my husband haunted and all the time, but I never bothered his guns cause I never liked them.

and my dad always kept his head, so nobody knew where they were. And .

Heather: So let me ask you this, did you ever have a kid that was a picky eater? And how did you manage picky eaters growing up?

Grandma: No, none. Were all good eaters. But now, when one got about six years old, she got, if you filled her plate up, she did not want her food touching each other.

And she had to have a , a fork eat. Part of it isn’t a spoon. Eat the other part. . Which one was this? Sherry? My youngest daughter, . That’s funny. Oh, and there was She was the only one .

Heather: Now I’ve heard stories that my husband used to get fed food from a blender that they just blended up when he was like two weeks old and start giving it to him.

Is this true? Was this over at the O’Neil house?

Grandma: No, I never when I fed my children, I always just mashed the food up with a fork or something. But now later on people got my sisters and all of ’em had the blenders and the blend, the children’s food, but not me. I never did. Seems like a lot of work, but I don’t know why didn’t, but I could have had one.

Did you

Heather: feed the kids with a spoon or did you let them feed themselves.

Grandma: Well, until they learned to use a spoon I fed ’em myself. But that, you know, you, you teach ’em how to, to look, use the spoon, but most of ’em like to eat with their hands. . Mm-hmm. .

Heather: So how did you discipline seven children? Were they all pretty good, or?


Grandma: they were good children and well, I. Like to do now. I’d kind of been time out and, and they’d watch other children play and then they’d finally get up and be okay. You know, . And that’s the way I did mine. Even when they got out playing with the neighbors children too, I’d , they’d get Connie rowdy and disagreeing and I’d make ’em I had steps out back and I’d make ’em sit on the steps.

They’d watch other kids and then they realized, you know, then that it wasn’t fun to sit on the steps and they’d go back and play and nothing else was ever said. . They got along good, . , but now I don’t know how the other people treat. Did you know, it sounds

Heather: like a pretty idyllic childhood. You know, kids that weren’t picky eaters and they were all pretty good and yeah, they

Grandma: were all good and they minded good because you tell them to go.

If they would not go any farther and you told them to, you know. , like they’d want to go play with one of the neighbor’s children and, and that’s where they would go. And that was it. Well,

Heather: if you had some advice for anybody who is pregnant right now who is all worried about feeding their baby and becoming a mother, what advice would you give them?


Grandma: I don’t know This day and time, what advice I would give them. , everything’s changed, so, , you just don’t know. I get corrected a lot on when, when mine had children telling them you know, things and then they’d correct me, so I just quit doing it. .

Heather: Well, I think, you know what’s kind of funny is

Grandma: I took care of my grandchildren the way I wanted to when I had them, but they took care of ’em, you know, too.

The way they wanted to when they had. . Mm-hmm. . So I took care of a lot of grandchildren, . Oh

Heather: goodness. It seems to me though, that this day and age, we are going back to basics more and we’re trying to uncomplicate a lot of these extremely complicated parenting styles that we’ve invented over the years. And yeah, we’re starting to realize maybe we.

sleep with our babies. Maybe we should breastfeed them cuz it’s less to wash. Well

Grandma: I, I’ve heard women say that if you breastfeed babies are more affectionate, you know, where you breastfeed them and they’re easier to take care of and all of that. But I now, I don’t know. . Well,

Heather: I haven’t seen any research about the affectionate part.

Yeah. I think mostly it’s, here’s what I truly think. I think that if you as a mother feel good about what you’re doing, then that passes through to your kid. Yeah. And that positivity is what makes all the

Grandma: difference. That’s right. Too. But well now I know I know some women that had. Fed their babies.

And well my mother did too. And they were all, they never got caused you know, their infection when they were little and everything and didn’t cause any problems or anything. So how

Heather: old were they when they stopped breastfeeding?

Grandma: I think it’s 12 to 15 months. You know, you start about 12 months, you start training them, you know, from the breast and well, when they get old enough to maybe drink out of a cup.

You can. And then by the time they’re 15 months old, I guess you have ’em already trained, you know? Mm-hmm. From the . That’s all

Heather: really cool. It’s really cool to hear, hear this. So thank you so much for sharing it,

Grandma: Well, I have forgotten so much though, over the years, you

Heather: know. I, it doesn’t sound like you’ve forgotten very much At 92 years old; you’re remembering how you ate .

Grandma: Well, I’ll tell you, when they started the school was the problem there. You know, you have gotta get ’em up and you gotta get ’em ready and you gotta feed them and you got to make sure they get to school.

And but I had seven in school at one time. . And you

Heather: made all their clothes, right? Yeah. And

Grandma: I made their clothes and well, I would get two up at a time and they’d get partially dressed and then get two more up. And then the oldest one my son, he was the only boy, you know. . He, he just stayed in his bedroom until everybody had come.

all the girls had a gun almost ready. And he’d come out and I’d say, well, why are you staying there, there? So he said, well, what’s the use? He said, I, I came there. Couldn’t get in the bathroom. Get in the bathroom. And then he would, Put on his clothes and come through the house and he always had his shoes.

Their shoes were sitting at the door and he’d sleep on his shoes and coat and go to school. . Oh my goodness. I mean, he was so funny.

Heather: Were you homeschooled or did you go to school?

Grandma: I go, went to school. I started school when I was. I believe I was seven. Cause back then they didn’t start till seven years old, you know?

Hmm. And cold winters who froze to death, almost . We had to walk long ways, you know, to go to school because they didn’t have buses running. Like they do now. How far did you have to walk? Well it was three and a half miles to school and three and a half miles back. It was seven miles a day. Woo. And then the place where I lived there was more family members.

All the families walked together. You know, we had, there was about eight families that lived in the same place I did. And all the children. start school about the same time and walk together to school. Wow. And but we moved when I was in the, I was 11 years old. I think I was in the fourth grade when we moved from that place and went to Pineville.

That Why did you close to the schools? And we rode the bus then, you know, So why did you move to Pineville? Well, my dad got a job. Let’s see, where did he, I forgot where he worked, but anyhow, we had to move to get closer to the jobs.

Heather: Yeah, that makes sense. And then you could take the bus. Yeah.

Grandma: Did you eat school lunch?

Had the bus. The bus then that we rode, you know, school? Mm-hmm. .

Heather: Did you pack a lunch or did you get to eat lunch there?

Grandma: Well when I went to pa uh, now when I went to the Yetter school, we had the Packer lunch, but when I moved we had hot lunches. Nice. There. Yeah. Was it

Heather: pretty good food?

Grandma: Oh yeah. They had good cooks.

Old country food. . That’s

Heather: amazing. Well, grandma, thank you for telling us your story. Being a baby in Southern West Virginia between 1930 and 1950. . Yeah. , any final words of encouragement?

Grandma: No, I don’t think so. ,

Heather: just do your best

Grandma: right this day in time. People don’t take encouragement. ,

Heather: thank you so much, grandma.

I appreciate

Grandma: it, . Well, thank you.

Oh my gosh.

Maureen: Heather, thank you so much for interviewing Grandma Alfie. I, I feel like I learned a lot. You know, I think these kind of stories give us a lot of insight into why our mothers and grandmothers might speak to us in a certain way about our children and the choices we make, and it kind of explains a lot of that tension.

Heather: Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And also, you know, we’re gonna link in our show notes the History of Formula episode because. The time that Grandma Alfie is feeding her babies is that same exact time that Formula companies were gaining a lot of ground with marketing and kind of taking away the power of people to feed their babies while simultaneously telling them that this is the best thing for them?


Maureen: absolutely. Yeah. And, and, I mean, I frankly think if you have had tension with your mother, your mother-in-law your grandmother, you know anybody about your choices to breastfeed, this is a really important interview to keep in mind.

Heather: Yeah, forgive them. You know, don’t take it personally. You can hear grandma in the, in the end, say, you know, when I ask her if she’s got any advice for anyone, she says, Nope, I don’t give advice.

You know, good on you, Grandma Alfie . She goes, cuz it’s, it’s all different now and nobody wants my advice and so she almost is like, acknowledging like what I did for my kids is fine and what you’re doing for your kids is fine. And she’s got a solid grip after 93 years. I think she’s 93, maybe 92, . I think she’s got a solid grip on.

You know what it means to just try to be a mother. Yeah. And how hard it is and how those decisions that you make are constantly called into question and you’re all just doing the best you can.

Maureen: And having that many children is humbling to

Heather: say the least. And she was a single mom. Yeah. By the way.

Maureen: Yeah.

Pretty incredible life that woman has

Heather: led. Yeah. She’s the sweetest thing and we love her so much.

If you’re pumping milk away from your baby at all at work or wherever you go, you deserve a bougie product. To make that easier for you, you deserve

Maureen: a series chiller, and frankly, I could not live

Heather: without one right now. The series Chiller is an. Excellent way to store your breast milk safely, and it keeps your breast milk cold for 24 hours.

It is

Maureen: the only thing I use to transport my breast milk to and from work while I’m working. It’s got a sleek and beautiful design. Lots of great colors, high quality materials

Heather: and manufacturing. Sir Chill also has other products that you might wanna check out too. My personal favorite is the Milk St. They have

Maureen: a great nipple shield that actually changes colors and it’s not clear like all the other ones.

And you know how we feel about that . If you want to have your very own series chiller, please go to the Lincoln R show notes and use code milkman at 15 at

Heather: checkout. That’s milkman at 15 for 15% off your series. Chill Products. Enjoy.

All right, so let’s give an award today. This award goes to Emma, Melbourne, and Emma says, deciding to wean my toddler was a hard decision. There were moments I loved, but the shirt pulling, hitting and biting was getting out of control. We were down to one morning breastfeeding session, but I was ready to be done.

It was hard diverting her away from my breast most days, but now it’s been almost two months of no nursing. Occasionally when she’s sad or needs the extra comfort, she asked to snuggle my breast. I think the cheek on boob warmth helps to soothe her. Sometimes she even gives them little kisses or tells me they’re cute, which sometimes makes me wanna start nursing all over again.

breastfeeding has lots of ups and downs but having these sweet little reminders of our breastfeeding journey and an extra boob snuggle makes it all worth it. This picture was after she ate her breakfast yogurt and needed some warming up as she sent the sweetest picture of her daughter with a yogurt faced snuggling.

Her boob, not nursing, just snuggle. Well, we

Maureen: love a good successful weaning story because they give all of our listeners out there some hope.

Heather: Totally agree, and I love that. It’s not like a no boob access at all kind of deal. She somehow managed to wean while still letting her daughter be near her breasts and have a good, positive relationship with that.

Maureen: Well, I’m kind of thinking her award should be the consistency queen, because I know that it takes a lot of consistency to wean

Heather: a toddler. For sure. So Emma, you are our new consistency queen, and we love it. You keep those breast snuggles up and kiss your sweet yogurt face, toddler for us.

Maureen: Well, thank you guys so much for tuning into this special episode of the Milk Minute Podcast.

Heather: The way we change this big system, especially in Appalachia, that is not set up for lactating families, is educating ourselves, our loved ones, sometimes our providers, our communities, and our family.

Maureen: If you guys loved this episode or any other we would love it if you could share something about us on social media.

Leave us a review on Apple Podcasts, or consider joining our Patreon, where we give you lots of extras that nobody else gets. .

Heather: We love you guys so much and we’re here for you if you need anything. We really, really appreciate all the support that you give us for our amazing Passion Project going on three years of podcasting now.

It was so crazy. All right, well thanks guys, and we’ll see you next week. Bye-bye.


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