How cool is it that, in the course of helping moms breastfeed, I sometimes get to meet awesome musicians? I've had the true pleasure of getting to know Nerissa Nields of The Nields (on the right in these pictures), and she graciously agreed to answer a few questions about her breastfeeding experience. They have a new album out
How cool is it that, in the course of helping moms breastfeed, I sometimes get to meet awesome musicians?
I've had the true pleasure of getting to know Nerissa Nields of The Nields (on the right in these pictures), and she graciously agreed to answer a few questions about her breastfeeding experience. They have a new album out, Sister Holler and their kids' album All Together Singing in the Kitchen is a favorite in our house. And here's an old NPR interview with Nerissa which I really liked.
What has your breastfeeding experience been like?
I loved breastfeeding. It was hard for me at first because my daughter was born a bit early and had a tiny little mouth, and my nipples are flat. I remember thinking, "She'll never get THAT in her mouth!" In the first week or so, I pumped a lot and we fed her through an eye dropper. For the first couple of months, I wore a nipple shield, and she slowly learned to fill her little belly with my milk. She was a voracious nurser, and fell asleep in our bed at my breast. We slept like this for the first three months; when she'd wake up hungry, I just gave her my breast and she fell back asleep. We all slept well.
The nipple shields were annoying, though; I had to make sure they were clean; I had to keep track of them. I remember one day despairing that I'd have to use them forever, and then the next day she was able to nurse without it! That felt like liberation. From then on, nursing was a breeze. I fed her while I ate dinner; I fed her while I typed on the computer. I even fed her walking down the street (she was hidden beneath a wrap.) I fed her in church. I fed her in restaurants. I never thought I'd be so public with breastfeeding, but as life presented itself, it kept feeling natural.
You tour a lot with The Nields. How has breastfeeding worked with your traveling and performing schedule?
I either brought her and nursed her before and after the sets, or I left her at home and brought my pump. I didn't travel far without her while she was nursing. It was handy when she was nursing for airplane trips! That kept her still for take offs and landings.
Do you think becoming a mother has changed your music?
Being a mother hasn't necessarily changed my music, but it does make me better appreciate the power of music. I love the way she responds to music--with her whole body. Her face lights up, she begins to move, she claps and sings. I have felt incredibly lucky to be a musicican since having my daughter. Also, I feel a much greater connection to the earth, and to other people, since becoming a mother, and for that reason, I feel more inspired to connect through music to people's joy. I love to see families at our shows, cuddling and swaying and singing along. I also know the power of That One CD that works in quieting a screaming child! I am grateful when people tell me that one of our CDs is the magic bullet.