Tag Archives: Breastfeeding

Mini Cafés & Big Latch On – August 3rd 2012

 

Don’t forget  to attend  this  year’s  mini cafés/Big Latch On in the park  an event  to make  a statement  to the  community that breastfeeding is  nature’s way . The locations of the mini cafes are as follow: Liberty park 9:00 am to 12 Pm — Lone peak park 9:00 am to 1:00 pm — Murray Park 9:00 am – 12:00 pm. Come and join us there will be a time to meet other mothers that breastfeed socialize and learn from each other. Look for the banner and you will find us looking forward to seeing all of you at the park.

Highlight activity for the café: Tricia Lewandowski presenting Infant Massage from 1-2pm a unique personal way of calming your baby and finding time for bonding don’t miss it. 

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Great Leadership Behind the Scenes – August 2nd 2012

 

For an event  of this magnitude to be a  success there  is always great leadership behind  the  scenes  that coordinate and plan all the details  for the breastfeeding Café  every year . I want to thank with great appreciation to the Breastfeeding Café committee members that worked so hard on their own time to put together such a great program this year.

Highlight activities for the café:  La Leche league meeting from 10-12 Pm

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Thank You For Your Support – August 1st 2012

 

I would like to highlight the volunteers that make  the  operations  of the breastfeeding café possible without you there  would  not be  a café. Your dedication and  willingness to give some of your time to reinforce  that breastfeeding is the best  for babies  mothers  and a the whole family. Thank you for your support.

Highlight activities for the café:  Natasha Boss presenting the basics of kefir from 10-11 am WIC breastfeeding peer counselor Tasha Wood from 2-5pm.

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Became Wiser About Breastfeeding – July 30

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Blog Carnival for 2012. For more information on the Breastfeeding Cafe, check out this site. If you would like to participate in this year’s carnival, just post on your personal blog and put a link in the comment section below.  To receive email updates for next year, contact Timbra landslidephotography {at} hotmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about how you’ve become wiser about breastfeeding. Please read the other posts in today’s carnival listed in the comments section of this post. The Carnival runs July 16th through the 31st!

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Krystyna Bowman, AAHCC strives to be a blissful mother to four children (2 daughters, 2 sons) and she is the wife of a very patient man.  She and her husband, Bruss, are Bradley Method® of Natural Childbirth instructors.  The Bowman family lives in Chandler, Arizona.  They enjoy sharing the joy of childbirth with other families and they celebrate every Sweet Pea and their birth.  Krystyna’s blog “Sweet Peas, Pods and Papas” covers many topics around pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding.  You can find her other Carnival posts atwww.sweetpeabirths.com/blog

 

Today’s Prompt:If you have more than one child, how have you become wiser :)? How did your first nursing experience shape your thoughts, ideas, plans, views, etc for your future nursing experiences?

 

 

Krystyna Bowman

 first nursing relationship taught me a lot of lessons that have encouraged me and grown me as a human being.  When I nursed our first-born, I found that breastfeeding was painful, I felt like I was in a minority and I felt ashamed to nurse in public. Now I am a proud lactivist, confident in my choice to breastfeed.  I am ready to kindly and gently challenge people’s perceptions about why we nursing mamas do what we do to feed our children. 

 I have joyfully nursed three other children since our daughter was born in 2005.  We have a son born in 2007, we met another son in 2009, and we just welcomed another daughter in 2011.  All the lessons I learned with our first child have grown my confidence in our choice to breastfeed our other children:

  • –       Trust your instincts
  • –       MotherBaby are one unit living in two bodies
  • –       Be flexible
  • –       Do not apologize for your choices
  • –       Common does not mean it’s normal

 Our children have taught me that when I make choices out of love for them, and when we as parents make choices together, we can confidently stand by our choices for our family.

 Here is our story:

 I grew up watching my mother nurse my siblings.  When we got pregnant with our first child, it was a foregone conclusion that I would breastfeed.  We got a few pointers in our childbirth classes, and as part of that curriculum, my husband and I attended a La Leche League meeting together.  We expected that there was going to be a learning curve and that I would experience something called “engorgement”.

 Baby arrived.  Surprise!  Breastfeeding did not feel natural!  It hurt!  It made me cry!  I wanted to give up!  At the same time, I was motivated to persist in my efforts by our satisfied baby that was growing and thriving from my milk .  So I persevered through the discomfort and the pain until it went away. Eventually I got comfortable nursing in public covered by a receiving blanket so I would not offend anyone.

 Our pediatrician told me to introduce solids at six months.  Dutiful mother who wanted to be a good patient and follow “doctor’s orders” tried the commercial baby foods.  They made our baby sick.  So my husband and I talked and agreed to stop with the jars and “wait-and-see” if baby would continue to thrive on my milk.  She did well – no more throwing up and cranky disposition.  We had our sweet baby back, thriving on exclusive breastfeeding.

That instance of going against “doctor’s orders” gave me my first boost of confidence – it was okay to follow my mothering instinct instead of “professional advice”.  I knew my child: I had carried her for 39 weeks and 4 days when I was pregnant.  I spent most waking moments with her, and sleeping ones as well.  We were the MotherBaby and I knew what my other half did and did not like.  Lesson one:  Since we were a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby, it was okay to trust my instincts above anything else.

My second lesson was accepting that we, the MotherBaby, were indeed one unit.  Back then I did not know that it was called Attachment Parenting.  I knew that our daughter and I were happy together.  My husband was happy to see both of us happy together.  He was happy to hold a baby that liked to be held.  She was a baby that hardly ever cried and observed the world with her watchful eyes.  I politely acknowledged the people that told me I was holding her too much, that I was going to spoil her.  On the inside, it strengthened my resolve to trust that we were making the best decision for our family.  The MotherBaby unit worked for or family – everyone was happy, everyone slept, life moved on and our baby did not get spoiled.  Today she is a fiercely independent seven-year old (going on 25!).

 My third lesson was that flexibility is a great parenting tool.  We had learned to be flexible through our birth experience.  It did not stop there.  We decided our lifestyle was easier to change than it was to force our baby to fit into our needs and desires.  Our baby changed how much time it took to go places.  She influenced our choice of activities.  She changed how we travelled.  In such a blessed way, living through all her firsts enhanced our lives immeasurably and we embraced our new life as a family of three.

 This flexibility served me well in relation to our breastfeeding relationship.  I initially thought that I would nurse her until her first birthday.  Then I would be done and I would throw myself back into my career outside the home.  As her first birthday approached, I realized that neither she nor I was ready to stop nursing altogether.  Although she was comfortable eating table foods by then, she and I both enjoyed nursing when she woke up in the morning, for naps, and before bedtime.

 I realized that although there were some things I could still control about our daily life, our breastfeeding relationship was not one of the things that I wanted to control.  As we celebrated her first birthday I became aware of how quickly time passes with our children.  I had the epiphany that our children are actively in our lives until they are pre-teens.  Then they start to move into the sphere of their friends.  Before we know it, they are moving out of our homes to pursue careers or schooling.  I did not want to stick to our twelve-month plan.  Why force a separation, especially one at such a tender and sweet age?

 My stubborn nature came into play again.  When people questioned me, it made me even more determined to follow my instincts and do what was best for our child.  If you are an extended nurser, you know the questions people ask. “You are still nursing?”  or, “How long are you going to nurse?”  How about this one, “Why are you still nursing if (s)he can ask for it?”  My “favorite”, usually in the form of a statement: “You are just doing this for yourself.”  I gave the same answer that I gave when people asked why we chose natural childbirth, babywearing, or co-sleeping: “This choice works for us and our family.”

 In those five words, I accept the mantle of responsibility for our choices and our family.  I hope that it relieves the guilt or feelings of judgment that other people may feel because their story is different, whether by choice or circumstance.  There are those who cannot accept that answer, and that is okay.  I am not going to change their minds anyway, so I save my energy and do some deep breathing!  

 The last lesson I learned the hard way.  All three of our older children caused the same pain when feeding on my left breast.  I could kick myself: it took until our third child to learn that something about our birth experiences was causing our babies difficulty when positioned to nurse on my left.  Our third child got an adjustment when he was ten days old.  One visit to our chiropractor for a pediatric adjustment and I was in heaven!  It eased the discomfort that did not allow him to turn his head comfortably.  He stopped stripping my nipple and chomping on the nerve that made me cry every time.  I learned that nursing could be pain-free and tear-free when baby is a newborn if you seek help at the beginning. 

 Now I am a childbirth educator.  I tell our students that while breastfeeding is a learned behavior, and that although it is common for it to hurt, “Common does not mean it’s normal.”  The lesson I learned the hard way was that a mom should not ignore pain during breastfeeding.  Seek help as soon as possible so that your breastfeeding experience improves sooner than later.

 Not all situations warrant a visit to a chiropractor.  If you are experiencing pain or difficulties of any kind, get help now.  You can make an appointment with an IBCLC certified Lactation Consultant.  Another option is to talk with a La Leche League (LLL) leader or attend a LLL meeting in your area as soon as possible.  These options offer support, encouragement and a variety of information and tools to lead you in the direction of problem solving your situation.  Generally an IBCLC charges for their time.  LLL has a time-honored tradition of peer-to-peer counseling offered at no charge.

 Today I am nursing our child about to turn three as well as our nine-month old.  I remind myself of my “epiphany moment”.  I never imagined that our journey into tandem nursing would last this long.  I expected our third child to wean sometime between 15 months and 22 months like his siblings did.  He is re-writing my parenting experiences by simply refusing to give up his daily nursing session.  Sometimes he pushes for two, and when the timing works out, he is a happy person.

 I have lost my shyness about nursing in public anymore.  I thank all the women who have gone before me. They claimed breastfeeding as the “normal”, and they advocate for our society to accept breasts as food sources above all their other uses. I was covered from my neck to my ankles when I fed our first-born in public.  Now I am a big fan of the blouses designed to nurse discreetly in public without having to use a nursing cover.  I hope to lend confidence to other mothers so that they come out of the restrooms and the uncomfortable corners, and so that maybe one person’s mind is changed about the real function of our breasts: they have functions outside of being sexualized and their use as marketing tools.  Their primary function is to be the original source of “perfectly formulated” food for our children.

 My favorite anecdote is from a friend who could not breastfeed her children.  Heretofore, their feeding paradigm was bottle-feeding.  After hanging around with our family, her daughters started to nurse their baby dolls instead of bottle-feeding them. I did not expose my breasts to them, or lecture them on the benefits of breastfeeding.  The shift happened because I nursed when the baby showed signs of hunger.  It was an acceptance that came from simply doing what I was doing for the baby, without shame or apology.

 I am grateful that the choice to breastfeed has been a joyful one for our family.  I wish all you mamas peace in the choices you make for your family.  Aspire to make your choices with intention and remember that we are all growing and learning together.  Write your story with confidence that you are doing the best that you can for your child(ren) and that you are shaping the best path for your family.

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This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Blog Carnival for 2012. For more information on the Breastfeeding Cafe, check out this site. If you would like to participate in this year’s carnival, just post on your personal blog and put a link in the comment section below.  To receive email updates for next year, contact Timbra landslidephotography {at} hotmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about breastfeeding in special circumstances. Please read the other posts in today’s carnival listed in the comments section of this post. The Carnival runs July 16th through the 31st!

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Today’s Topic: Have you nursed in special circumstances? Did you feel supported or like you were paving your own path? If your circumstance included a lot of medical procedures and staff, did you get interesting, strange or just BAD advice from medical staff? Family members? Or did you have support? Where would you encourage moms to go if they were in a similar situation?

PLEASE NOTE: Today we have TWO guest bloggers with very different “special circumstances”. There are so many “special” circumstances that can surround breastfeeding experiences, so we thought two different stories would be a really great way to cover this topic. Our first blogger writes about breastfeeding in an adoptive situation, and our second writer talks about nursing through difficult medical circumstances (for baby).  

Breastfeeding an adopted baby by Kendy Anderson

Kendra is wife of 1, mother of 6, grandmother of 3. Based out of Northern California, you can find information on her pain management phone coaching business at http://www.beyondpaincoaching.com/ and she and her husband write personal posts over at http://ourplace-makeadifference.blogspot.com/ .

After two miscarriages and a ruptured tubal pregnancy my husband decided it was time to grow our family through adoption. I absolutely loved the nursing relationship I had with our oldest and started researching the how to’s of nursing an adopted baby. My doctor was not encouraging at all, even though I had heard other doctors were helpful. He told me it could not be done without being pregnant. Well, don’t tell me something can’t be done! I used a manual pump for several months before our daughter came home and joined my local LLL. Although I was never successful with the breast pump I just stayed at it. LLL was very encouraging and the leader was also in the process of adopting a baby girl! I purchased a supplementer and tried to get comfortable using it. One of my close friends was very very encouraging and helped transition baby to breast in the first few days my daughter was home. My daughter was 3 months old when we picked her up. I continued to use the supplementer for about 4 months and by that time my milk had come in and she was totally breastfed!! Other than LLL and my friend my only other support was my husband. My daughter and I enjoyed our nursing relationship till she was 18 months old. So even if support is not overwhelming it can be done! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Breastfeeding a child with physical and health challenges by Kathleen Moore:


I would like to tell you a little about myself.  I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama; most of my family is still there.  My husband, Josh, & I were married there and later moved to Tallahassee, FL. Josh attended graduate school (chemistry) there and I was accredited as an LLL Leader. We have three daughters: Hannah (12), Lacy (8), and Kelly (5). Josh works as a chemist, he works in Provo. Currently we live in Spanish Fork; though we have lived in Holladay & Orem since moving to Utah 8 years ago. Answering Help Forms (online) and helpline calls keeps me rather busy as an LLL Leader. I enjoy reading, volunteering at my daughters schools, Girl Scouts with my girls, learning new things, traveling, playing with my girls, and taking in the scenery (where ever that may be). 

My husband Josh and I have three girls, Hannah (12), Lacy (8) and Kelly (5). As the second child, Lacy was born in August of 2003 and was soon put to breast, unsuccessfully. After examining her mouth, the nurse told us that she had a cleft palate, probably would not be able to breastfeed and would need surgery. We also learned that Lacy had also been born with craniosynostosis and a heart murmur. Craniosynostosis means that several of the “soft spots” (all but one in Lacy’s case) had closed to early, requiring another serious surgery. I had so many questions: Why did these things happen? Did I do something wrong? How would she be able to nurse? Would she be OK? How would we tell the family? Josh was right there offering support at each turn, though at times he was a little unsure too. (Hey! Who wouldn’t, right?)
I began pumping breast milk once I got to my hospital room, initially, 8-10 times (and later (as Lacy grew and for longer increments) 5-6 times per day. Using either a double electric or a hand pump I could read to Hannah or even pump with an adaptor in the car! My pump was my “friend”, going with me everywhere I went. Saying that, though; pumping is hard! Getting those parts connected just right, especially when you’re sleepy. Positioning them right while trying Not to spill milk while also playing with an older child. It’s also emotional, “if only she could latch on” or “if only she were healthy”…..

While still in the hospital, the staff tried to be helpful, constantly offering cleft palate nursers, storage bottles and information pamphlets. Several doctors and surgeons visited, saying: “Don’t feel bad about giving her a bottle. Few mothers are able to successfully breastfeed a baby with a cleft palate.” I was also, several times, told Not to breastfeed, essentially I was told “It’s too difficult, don’t do it.” This seemed to be the general consensus, with the exception of the Lactation Consultants.

One Lactation Consultant suggested that we finger feed her using a syringe with feeding tubing taped to my finger. Lacy happily “latched on” and started to eat, until milk began leaking from her nose. The next Lactation Consultant suggested using a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) as a supplement to the breast. The gravity flow it provided was just too slow for Lacy. Next, I combined the two techniques myself and attached a large syringe of breast milk to feeding tubing taped to the breast. This arrangement, while a bit tricky, worked very well. Lacy began feeding at the breast with the help of a supplement! I applied pressure to the outside of the areola between my index finger and middle finger with a light squeeze to help Lacy remain latched on. My other hand was for the syringe. It took a few days before I was able to accomplish it alone, without the help of my husband; even longer before I felt comfortable doing it.

I found kangaroo care (also known as skin to skin) very helpful Lacy’s first few months, often snuggling with her as she’s grown. Skin to skin/snuggling has especially been helpful as she healed from various surgeries. I also found, research helpful; arming myself with information to have on hand when seeing her specialists.

Several weeks later we had her first appointment with her Craniofacial Team in Gainesville, FL. Her weight had dropped severely and members of the team told me to stop offering breast, concentrate on getting her weight up and maybe she could start breastfeeding after her surgery. We met with many experts and doctors, and were told again that “these” cleft-affected babies were not able to successfully breastfeed because of their inability to generate and maintain suction. They only knew of a few women who had even partial success. This was very upsetting to hear. We were told to take her in for weight checks twice a week. We were also told to begin supplementing with formula every 4hrs, to help her gain weight more quickly. Faced with the fact that she was not gaining well, we chose to continue doing what we had been doing (offer the breast & use a homemade SNS), but to supplement with an ounce or 2 each day of formula & increase pumped milk. It was at this visit that we learned that Lacy’s soft spots had completely fused, she now had no soft spots and required immediate surgery. We also took her to the pediatrician for more frequent weight checks (every other day) and as she gained little by little, we eliminated the formula but stuck with the increased amount of expressed milk.

We quickly scheduled Lacy for the first surgery on her head. A few days later she had the surgery and within several months she had made significant weight gain. Once this happened, Lacy’s craniofacial team was much more open to breastfeeding. Lacy has had two more successful surgeries on her head. On the morning of each surgery, she nursed “one last time” around 4 a.m. Interestingly, according to the guidelines given to us by the surgeon, Lacy could be fed human milk as little as four hours prior to surgery, but formula had to be 6 hours prior to surgery. During each recovery from surgery, I was so thankful I was nursing her. As were her doctors, even ones that told me not to nurse; they repeatedly told me “she’s healing so well” and “keep nursing her, it seems to be ease her pain”. They were surprised (following her first skull surgery and her initial palate repair) that she was able to keep her food down, took less pain medication and generally seemed “ok”. Now this could have been Lacy and her “happy go lucky” attitude she usually has, I think it was at least partially breastmilk.

Lacy had her palate repaired and tubes put in her ears when she was about 8 months old. In the recovery room she latched on briefly and then fell asleep. The first days after surgery were rather painful, but Lacy eventually learned to nurse on her own, began eating solid foods and making vocal strides. After palate surgery, we changed from a 2 ounce syringe to a 1 ounce syringe because it seemed she wasn’t “wanting” as much to eat. This a common side affect of oral surgery – not wanting the extra pain and, other surgeries, having an upset tummy due to medications.

A few weeks after her surgery, I stopped supplementing at the breast and later, stopped pumping altogether. Stopping the supplement (the timing of it) was completely Lacy’s idea. We were at one of Hannah’s friend’s birthday party and I was getting ready to feed Lacy. ( I helped her latch on, holding both Lacy and the breast a certain way to help her. Upon hearing her start to swallow, I began to look around and watch what the other kids were doing it was at this time that I noticed my leg was wet. Ok Ok, gotta fix the tube so it stops leaking, was my thought; then I heard Lacy was still swallowing (which just didn’t happen for her, the tube needed milk in it). I held the tube up, then pulled back the milk into the syringe (stopping more leakage) and saw something beautiful – Lacy was nursing. On her own. Not only that, milk was dribbling down her chin!

For those mothers wishing to breastfeed their babies though they have health problems, take heart it’s a long tough road ahead of you; but, it reaps many rewards. For those mothers who tried; but, were unable to breastfeed, take heart still…you’re doing the best you can however you can.

Lacy is now 8 years old. She’s had multiple surgeries on her head and multiple on her mouth. Each surgery brings with it yet another difficulty to over come. She’s been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (Basically, she seeks out various stimuli for her senses.), she has mild scoliosis and has a heart murmur. She’s a growing girl who loves the world around her, loves hugs, doesn’t like having her hair done (Too many surgeries and people touching her there, for her to find comfort in it.), enjoys being outside, Loves to swim – but, yes…she does have health problems and we deal with them day to day.

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Personal Importance of Breastfeeding – July 27

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Blog Carnival for 2012. For more information on the Breastfeeding Cafe, check out this site. If you would like to participate in this year’s carnival, just post on your personal blog and put a link in the comment section below.  To receive email updates for next year, contact Timbra landslidephotography {at} hotmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about the personal importance of breastfeeding. Please read the other posts in today’s carnival listed in the comments section of this post. The Carnival runs July 16th through the 31st!

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Marilee Poulson is mother to three girls, ages 7, 5, and 5, and a son, age 2. She is a member of La Leche League and is an enthusiastic supporter of breastfeeding. She lives with her children in Salt Lake City.

 

Today’s Topic: Why is breastfeeding Important to YOU and your family?

 

Almost a year ago I filed for divorce. My youngest child, a son, was just over a year old at the time. It was several months later, when he was eighteen months old, that he has started staying overnight with his dad. So for the last six months, he and I have had to spend some nights away from each other. Here is why breastfeeding is important to me and my family.

Breastfeeding is a perfect way for us to reconnect after a separation. I have learned through experience how I can maintain my milk supply when my baby and I are separated. I have learned some tips at La Leche League meetings from working moms, especially those that travel without their nurslings.

In a normal week, we spend two nights apart. At first, I pumped milk when we were separated. Later, I switched to hand-expression in the shower. If we are separated for more than two nights, I am able to meet up with my son to nurse during his “dad time”. I nurse him in my car for about twenty minutes, one or two times a day on the days that we are separated.

When my son comes home after time with his dad, without fail the first thing he says is, “Uh nurse?” Not only are my son and I able to reconnect, but at the same time I can reconnect with my three girls, ages 7, 5, and 5 (twins). They tell me about their day and I tell them about mine, or sometimes we read a book, all while their brother is nursing. I am sure that they are learning how beneficial this nursing time is for everyone, something I hope they remember when they are mothers themselves.

I offer to nurse frequently when my son and I are together. I have a willing nurser who is not deterred by slow flow due to low milk after long separations. My milk supply does go up and down, but it’s comforting to realize that toddlers’ nursing often varies from day to day, whether separated due to divorce or not.

With pumping, hand expression, nursing during dad time, and lots of nursing when we are together, I have been able to maintain a milk supply despite lengthy separations.

Breastfeeding helps with nighttime parenting. I have the convenience of being the only adult in a king-size bed! This makes lots of room for little ones who need some nighttime comfort. I used to put my baby in a crib in my room then bring him to bed when he woke up during the night. Later I realized that he spent very little time in his crib, and that it is so much more convenient to start the night in the big bed. We just get more and better sleep that way.

Because he sleeps in different homes throughout the week, my son is sometimes confused in a sleepy haze when he wakes up during the night. Nursing helps comfort him through that, and he can often peacefully go back to sleep.

There is also plenty of room in the bed for one or two other little people that might need some snuggle time with Mom. They love the chance to cuddle with their little brother, too. I expect that in the future the whole family will look back with fondness at these times of family closeness.

Breastfeeding provides antibodies and nutrition. Like any toddler, my son is exposed to all kinds of germs. Mothers have in their nature to help the sick, and breastfeeding is a wonderful tool that we possess to fill that role. My breastmilk can provide my son antibodies that protect from potential infections and that facilitate his healing when he is sick. Though he doesn’t drink my milk when we are separated, breastmilk is beneficial when we are together and continues to protect while we are apart.

Most toddlers are “hit or miss” eaters. I feel confident knowing that no matter what he does or doesn’t eat, he is getting lots of nutrition from breastmilk. Just this month my son came down with a terrible intestinal virus causing diarrhea and vomiting. He ate almost nothing for two days. However, he was keenly interested in nursing. Almost as much as it was comforting for him, it was a relief for me that he was getting perfectly balanced food in small quantities, just what his body craved.

Breastfeeding was important to me before I started down the divorce path, and it continues to be priceless since. Right now, breastfeeding is a key part of how we reconnect as a family, how we find peace at night, and how I am able to provide health and healing. It’s clear that over time, breastfeeding will undoubtedly be replaced by other routines and practices. Though breastfeeding will not always be part of our daily family life, I look forward to it being part of our family legacy for generations to come.

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Wisdom You’ve Passed On – July 27

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Blog Carnival for 2012. For more information on the Breastfeeding Cafe, check out this site. If you would like to participate in this year’s carnival, just post on your personal blog and put a link in the comment section below.  To receive email updates for next year, contact Timbra landslidephotography {at} hotmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about the wisdom you’ve passed on to others. Please read the other posts in today’s carnival listed in the comments section of this post. The Carnival runs July 16th through the 31st!

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Jasmine Jafferali, MPH, ACE-CPT is a Lifestyle and Wellness Consultant specializing in perinatal, maternal, infant and family health and fitness.  Her focus is on gluten free/allergy free cooking and baking and improving gut health. It is her personal mission to raise her children to be healthy and happy. She wants to help you do the same and to empower you to make realistic and healthy choices for you and your families. Jasmine lives in Chicago with her husband, Jeff, and their children, Lilly and Luke.   Jasmine enjoys working out, being outdoors and spending time with her family.  You can find her at www.healthyjasmine.com

Today’s Prompt:  We all know someone who feels like no one ever “warned” them what life would be like during pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, early weeks of sleeplessness, toddlerhood, etc. What parenting and breastfeeding wisdom have you shared?

My guess right now is you have either under or over estimated what pregnancy, birth.breastfeeding or motherhood will be like.  I know I did.  Even with all the education and knowledge I have, it doesn’t compare to what life experience has to give to us.  Take the tools you have learned and make it your own to share and pass along any insightful wisdom you can.  As when you share your wisdom, it gets passed down along for futures to come.  I share with you my story:

  

Five years ago today at 1:13am, I became a mother.  An intended homebirth, 36 hours of labor, I ended up in the hospital with a c-section.  My daughter humbled me as I laid in the hospital bed stuck at 7cm, resting comfortably with an epidural.  Looking at the monitor I closed my eyes and said, “God, apparently you have bigger plans than MY birth plan, whatever it is, I surrender.”  I also told my husband this baby was a feisty one, I could tell. 

I was one of those know it all, I would never do this when I get pregnant or when I become a mom type of girl.  You know, the 13-year old who knows it all and ready to move out.  Yes, that was me.  Because I had a Master’s in Public Health reading studies on maternal and infant health…because I personal trained expecting moms….then they began to ask me breastfeeding questions.  Oh curve ball.  I proactively took it a step further and signed up for a 3 day Lactation Education Course by Jan Barger, yes the guru of breastfeeding.  After all of those breastfeeding pictures, I was scared to breastfeed, but wow, I learned so much that I thought I would have breastfeed my kids way past one.  Oh yes, then I am going to eat healthy and exercise every day.  Hello morning and night sickness and 45 pounds later…after my unsuccessful homebirth, I thought breastfeeding should be a snap.  Oh hi mastitis in early August during 100 degree weather…I thought I was in hell and so did my husband when I asked him to turn on the heat with 5 blankets on me… Then I read all the sleeping books…walking in Target with toothpicks holding my eyes up, I walked out with the mother of all sleeping books…Weisbluth’s book.  I intended to cloth diaper…ha seriously, so I bought greener ones…I made my own baby food…sometimes.  When my milk supply started to go down (and Yes, I did everything I could that I knew how, I had fantastic lactation consultants), I succumbed to formula when my daughter was 9 months, but still hell bent on nursing her.  That is until my daughter nursed for the last time two weeks before her first birthday.  I remember she nursed for a few minutes that morning, got up and walked away.  I felt heartbroken like she broke up with me.  The next morning I went to the chair and she snubbed me.  I guess we are done I thought.

You see, no one can ever tell you what life will be like pregnant, what birth will feel like, what breastfeeding will do for you, you just have to experience it for yourself.  It humbles you, it makes you a better person.  After all I have endured with my two pregnancies, (I am a been there done that girl now) I am still a strong supporter of homebirths, even though my failed, big fan natural births, I am a big advocate of VBACs, even though mine resulted in a uterine rupture, and heck yes, I feel all should be breastfeeding and beyond, even though I gave my daughter formula, but nursed my son until he was 16 months old (small victories).  My daughter is an angel compared to my son during toddler years and can’t parent or discipline the same, they are two different kids.  But here is what I can tell you:

Pregnancy:  Get your Vitamin D levels checked, take your food-based prenatals along with fish oils and probiotics daily.  Yes aim to eat something healthy every day, stretch, exercise, get good quality sleep.  And for heaven’s sake, don’t take a hospital birthing class, even if you opt for the epidural, you will learn all of your options from all perspectives, not just one. 

Postpartum:  Except your postpartum body, it will be gone within weeks.  Don’t dwell so soon on getting your pre baby body back, you’ll set yourself up for heartache.  Embrace the new one you have created and focus on getting healthier each day.  Set up meal registry.  You need to be fed and nourished because you won’t want to cook, trust me.  This gives friends and family a way to help take care of you and see the baby.  Make sure you have a few loads of unfolded laundry beside you so they can fold it for you while you are nursing. 

Birth:  Don’t have a “birth plan”, make a wish list.  Nurses will roll their eyes at you behind your back.  A wish list is all the things you wish to have as part of your birthing experience as well as after the baby is born.  A wish list allows for Plan B and C. 

Early Sleepless Nights:  Don’t start complaining if your child is not sleeping through the night at 4-weeks old and if they do, enjoy it and don’t tell the others, because you need new mom friends.

Toddlerhood:  Yes, give your tot good, whole foods to continue eating healthy.  Goldfish crackers is crack for kids, please don’t buy the stuff.  I bought tons of frozen fruits and veggies my daughter ate right out of the bag, until she was almost two…but now she is a wonderful eater and will try everything at least once.  My son, he hit the picky eater stage…my daughter did too, but I was persistent and consistent with her and it paid off.   Fingers crossed for my son. 

Breastfeeding:  You milk is as good as your are feeding your body well.  What you eat gets passed down to your baby.  Don’t eat foods that our bodies was not designed to digest.  And Yes, give it a shot.  Yes you will feel like a cow, yes it will feel like it is the only thing you are doing the first few months and yes it will hurt…in the beginning.  Find a great lactation consultant to work with you.  Do not worry if your baby is getting enough.  Babies are so intuitive they’ll let you know if they are hungry and when they are full.  Breastfeeding is a small phase out of your entire life to give your baby something so important for their gut health, which they will pass down to their children someday.  Perhaps register for an iPad so you can keep up on social media and your reading while you are nursing.  It was a blessing for me the second time around. 

Parenting:  Here is what I will tell you.  Take a family/parenting class.  I will never understand why parents feel this is not necessary.  We take continuing education credits for our jobs, to advance positions, get a better job, to be better at our jobs…but don’t you want to be the best parent you can be?  So why not a parenting course?  My husband and I took a weekend family class at a local church during my second pregnancy and found it to be quite helpful.  I still go back now and read about trying different approaches to my kids, but also taking a deeper look at who they are as individuals, their needs as children, my phase of life, my relationship with my husband, it all has an impact in who we are as parents, but also how we parent. 

Whatever season of life you are in, embrace it, extend yourself some grace and give your children some grace too.  You are learning from them while they are learning from you.  That is the beauty of parenting.  Use nice words, lead by example, practice patience, listen, be thankful, show compassion and trust yourself.  Don’t get hung up on trying to be the perfect parent because you don’t know what perfect is anyways.

 

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Motherhood – July 26

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Blog Carnival for 2012. For more information on the Breastfeeding Cafe, check out this site. If you would like to participate in this year’s carnival, just post on your personal blog and put a link in the comment section below.  To receive email updates for next year, contact Timbra landslidephotography {at} hotmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about how you’ve changed as a mother, since becoming one. Please read the other posts in today’s carnival listed in the comments section of this post. The Carnival runs July 16th through the 31st!

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Today’s Prompt:  We all knew EXACTLY what type of mother we’d be before we became one, right? How has becoming a mother changed your views of motherhood? Have you made different decisions about your family values? About duration of your nursing relationship? Your sleeping situation? School? Work? Nutrition?

 

 

Today we have no guest blogger, please feel free to leave your links to this topic in the comment section below

 

 

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Journey of One Father – July 24

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Blog Carnival for 2012. For more information on the Breastfeeding Cafe, check out this site. If you would like to participate in this year’s carnival, just post on your personal blog and put a link in the comment section below.  To receive email updates for next year, contact Timbra landslidephotography {at} hotmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about the journey of one father as he came to accept and appreciate the benefits of breastfeeding. Please read the other posts in today’s carnival listed in the comments section of this post. The Carnival runs July 16th through the 31st!

 

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Jared Lewandowski is the father of five children. He has been married to his beautiful wife for over 12 years and has had the wonderful opportunity to watch each one grow up with the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding.

 

For me as a father, breastfeeding has not always been easy. I struggled with many aspects of it and it wasn’t until I began learning about what breastfeeding was that it became easier to not only understand, but also truly appreciate. In this post, I will touch on the most difficult issue for me, nursing in public. Once I understood how powerful the connection between mother and baby was when built upon that special bond that can only be made through the intimacy of breastfeeding, it became my responsibility as a father to ensure its place in our daily family life.

 

My wife always knew she would breastfeed her children. It was never officially discussed as husband and wife, but I could tell in her eyes that she was serious about this decision and I was not going to be one to argue a point otherwise. After our first child was born, I immediately noticed that she would always be holding him. He would never be more than a few feet from her at all times. She would hold him, nurse him, he would go play for a few minutes, then come back and nurse again. I watched in amazement at first, for it was truly a sight to behold. I could see that this baby knew who his mother was.

 

Over the next fifteen months, this baby grew… and grow he did! As he got bigger, nursing became more of a challenge for us. We would go out to social get-togethers and he would want to nurse – without a blanket. My wife would do her best to keep him concealed with one, but he would do his best to make sure he could see those around him and try his best to move it out of the way. This was extremely difficult for me. The thought of another person catching a glance at my wife’s breast was not something I was comfortable with… at all. I brought my concerns up to her immediately and we discussed my concerns at length. After some time, I realized that my wife and I felt the same way about this issue, and she has and always would do her best to nurse appropriately in any circumstance or situation. We both agreed it was better for the baby to not feel ashamed, than it was for me to be overprotective or jealous. And after twelve years of nursing, I can honestly say that not once did I feel she was waving a big sign around saying, “Look at me!” while she was nursing. It was always intimate and beautiful, and I felt deeply proud to be her husband and the father of each child.

 

In 2002, my wife became a certified breastfeeding peer counselor for WIC. From there, she taught me so much about the benefits of breastfeeding. But even more than that, I have watched my kids go from baby to toddler to teenager, and it has been such a wonderful thing to watch the amazing influence breastfeeding has had on them. They are healthy, happy (most of the time), and smart. But most of all, they have known from the day they were born that they are loved.  They have been hardwired with security and stability that cannot be matched. Confidence has become instinct in all that they do. And with that in mind, it is my hope that every father out there will support his wife in her decision to breastfeed.

 

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Wisdom & Influence Passed Down To You – July 23

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Blog Carnival for 2012. For more information on the Breastfeeding Cafe, check out this site. If you would like to participate in this year’s carnival, just post on your personal blog and put a link in the comment section below.  To receive email updates for next year, contact Timbra landslidephotography {at} hotmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about Wisdom & Influence passed down to you. Please read the other posts in today’s carnival listed in the comments section of this post. The Carnival runs July 16th through the 31st!

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Linda Jo Devlaeminck is the mother of four daughters, and the grandmother of two so far. “I grew up in the ’60’s and ’70’s and married a wonderful man in 1980, who has partnered with me in the joy of raising our girls, shared his bed with all of them while they were nursing (think hugging the side to give us room), and is a great grandfather.”

 

Today’s Prompt:  Wisdom may be passed down to us from prior generations or just from friends who have already been there. Did you receive any “sage” wisdom from a mother in your life, prior to becoming one yourself? Not all people are so bold as to share their wisdom, what INFLUENCES in your life lead to your decision to breastfeed your child/ren? Was breastfeeding something you saw in your family? What were your feelings about breastfeeding before nursing your own babies?

 

My mother was unsuccessful in breastfeeding my oldest sister. In her generation, mothers were encouraged to use bottles. Encouraged by her doctor, for a while she tried to both nurse and use a bottle and thought it was the worst of both worlds. We were all brought up on diluted, canned, evaporated milk. Although we all survived, I am very sad for her that she missed out on the joys and convenience of breastfeeding because she did not have the support that is more common when I was nursing and today!

I was much more fortunate. Before I was married, I lived with a woman who breastfed her children. Luckily for me, she had her youngest while I still was there!  I got to see first hand the simplicity and joy of breastfeeding and the benefits for the children.  I remember observing many mothers and children in our community and I could tell which were breastfeeding pairs by how peaceful and independent the children were! I was convinced! She was also my coach when I had children of my own.  One thing she taught me that I always try to pass on is that you can stop a let down reflex by pressure on the breast. It is so much easier than pads!

I wouldn’t have missed nursing my children for the world! With the coaching of my friend, I was able to meet the needs of my children and developed a strong relationship with them as well as giving them a healthy start in life.

I had a friend who was in the same stage in life. It is such a support to share our love for breastfeeding. We would regularly trade childcare.  I usually kept my nursing babies with me until they were well into the toddler stage, but she left hers after the first few months. Both of us nursed all of each other’s children. How much easier it was than expressing or using bottles! And, our children experienced the comfort and relationship on the nursing relationship even when we weren’t there.

I am so grateful for the support I received and have been able to pass on. Now my daughter knows more than I ever did about breastfeeding and she is the one who teaches me! Pass it on!

 

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