Browsing the archives for the breastfeeding category.

On Breastfeeding: Snorts, Hickeys and Nipple Hats

As a new mom, I’m becoming familiar with an endless list of tasks, habits, developmental milestones and adorable facial expressions. I’m also getting to know my breasts in a completely new way.

I always planned to breastfeed. I was breastfed, and the health, financial and environmental benefits so greatly outweighed the formula route that I never considered not breastfeeding. Despite the surprisingly high number of women I knew who “couldn’t” breastfeed, I never second guessed my decision to try. And once I make a decision, I’m pretty determined to see it through.

Of course, I also like to get the full range of information before embarking on a new adventure, especially if it involves my body. So my husband and I signed up for the breastfeeding class. I took as many notes as I could on technique, troubleshooting and potential problems. My husband asked more questions than anyone else there, and we left with all the confidence of parenting experts who have never actually been parents.

When our daughter was born several weeks later, I made a point of putting her on my breast as quickly as possible. That little girl knew exactly what she wanted and how to get it, and I was thrilled that we seemed to already have feeding nailed.

Then, when the adrenaline wore off and I began focusing on the details of feeding my baby, I realized that my nipples were red, black and blue, one of them sporting a rather large hickey. And they hurt! This was not ideal.

In the meantime, my daughter became more aggressive. Between her little snorts and powerful suckling, it was declared that she had a “shallow latch,” meaning that she wasn’t taking enough of my breast into her mouth. The result was a nipple that had been repeatedly pressed between a strong tongue and a hard palate, thus the inflammation, bruising and hickey.

I worked with two lactation consultants and came away with improved technique, and more importantly, nipple shields. I like to call them nipple hats, because that’s what they look like. They’re soft, BPA-free plastic shields that suction to the breast over the nipple. They allowed me to keep feeding my baby without letting her cause further damage. They also taught her to open her mouth further, thereby taking more into her mouth. After a few weeks, we stopped using them altogether. Three months in, breastfeeding is pretty much second nature.

A shallow latch is a common problem, and certainly not the only one. According to Womenshealth.gov, other typical challenges include too much or too little milk, engorgement, plugged ducts, infections, and flat or inverted nipples. In most cases, working with a professional, natural methods and continued feeding are the best ways to resolve these issues.

I realize now why so many women seem to think they can’t breastfeed. In all honesty, I had the same fear early on, and was only saved by the wealth of resources available to me. Had we not taken the class, I might not have known so much help was ready and waiting.

For now, the nipple hats are still around should we ever need them (teething time?) and I’m blissfully hickey free. The snorts, of course, we’ll be keeping for a while.

 

Author Bio:
Katherine E. Reilly Mitchell is a freelance writer for the site Assistanceforsinglemothers.com, a website that provides resources, tips, and strategies to help women in business grow their companies. She also maintains a personal blog at http://www.humantextuality.com/.

Friday Phone Dump #8

Well, we’ve been up to all sorts of stuff this week. Tandem nursing toddlers, berry picking, peeing in cups and generally just playing hard. Here is the week in photos:


Being a crazy toddler is HARD work!


Getting some of the good stuff before berry picking time.


“Do these glasses make me look weird?”


She insisted on tandem nursing her baby teddys before getting in the tub. Don’t you just love the sparkly shoes with the animal PJ’s?


“I peed in a cup and now I am in this crazy gown, what is next?”

It is like I am an addict: Thoughts on body detox with diet changes.

Whether you consider it mommy mania, anxiety, depression, detox or simply hormones, it has been a hard few days weeks round these parts. Of course our close calls with tornadoes at the beginning of the month had something to do with the stress and drama levels around here. Weather aside, mommyhood stuff has sure been trying for me.

Adalyn is still miss fussy-pants with the pooping issues. She’s also still working on her first teeth. Everly is pushing boundaries and being a pistol too, add those with an exhausted (and now detoxing) mama and you’ve got a barrel full of “omg-how-will-I-get-through-this-day” monkeys. The detoxing is the result of my swift diet changes that I shared in my previous post about leaky gut.

Taking over-processed carbs and sugars out of my diet as well as limiting gluten intake has basically owned me. My patience is short, emotions are high and low (all at once) and man am I grouchy!

I know the diet changes are not only necessary for me but they are also priority if they are impacting Adalyn… but man it is hard! The kicker is that removing gluten, if I do manage to avoid ALL the foods it is hidden in, will take months to leave our bodies before we’ll see results (maybe as many as 4-6 months). So Adalyn will likely be weaned and eating mostly solids at the point when potential positive results are seen, if ever…

It is a tall mountain to climb and looking ahead makes me tired and hopeless right now. I’d love to talk myself out of having to remove gluten from my diet or to turn to easier solutions such as supplementing formula or weaning Adalyn but the truth is those are only temporary fixes.

The underlying issues will likely return and rear their ugly heads in other forms if we continue to deny and avoid what needs to be done. That said, I am also continuing to explore other potential fixes for Adalyn. Her breastfeeding is still not where it needs to be so an official tongue tie evaluation is scheduled. We had on-going chiropractic neck adjustments for  her birth trauma that are no longer necessary but she’s still having issues.

I am working to make the house more and more gluten free as I go. First breads have been replaced, next are baking mixes and pastas. I am also looking for more gluten and processed food replacement items to fuel me and the family.

If you’ve never tried limiting your gluten intake than you seriously have no idea how rampant it is in our diets and how tremendously addictive it is. Honestly, cutting gluten has been worse than removing sugar or caffeine, for me. It is BAD!

So if you see this mama on the street and I’ve got a sour look on my face (or if I bite your head off), know it is just my food addictions and detox speaking, not my heart. This process has been (and still is) a doozie.

 

More experiences & reading:

Digestion issues in baby could be leaky gut in the breastfeeding mother.

Back when Addie was about a month, at my own chiropractic visit I was describing her digestive issues to my chiropractor Dr. Lamb and he mentioned in passing that it might be the results of a little bit of leaky gut action in me. For whatever reason, likely because I didn’t fully understand what leaky gut meant to a nursing relationship, I never thought much about it again.

Now, Adalyn is 6 months old and I’m really doing my research (on leaky gut in a breast-feeding mother), I can’t believe that it’s taken me this long to fully learn about how healing a leaky gut could possibly make our lives a whole lot easier.

Leaky gut in a breast-feeding mom means that your food isn’t properly being digested and furthermore that the blood barrier in the colon is compromised. This is significant because anything that enters your blood also ends up in your milk, so if you’re not properly digesting foods then you aren’t filtering toxins in your digestive tract either.

The toxins and undigested stuff can end up in your blood supply and thus in your breast milk (when it normally wouldn’t) which can appear similar to food sensitivities and other ailments in you and baby.

This makes perfect sense to what’s going on with myself and Adalyn and that would mean our issues weren’t necessarily related to food sensitivities, but rather she’s just being exposed to things through my breast milk that her body either isn’t ready to handle or shouldn’t have to handle yet.

This is particularly alarming because a child’s toxin barriers aren’t fully formed yet, so toxins that enter the body can harm the brain and body. Plus, if mom has a leaky gut then her digestive bacterias (that are the root of the leaky gut problem in the first place) have already been passed to baby, so baby needs leaky gut healing too.

Many moms automatically assume when their baby has gas or acid reflex or colic symptoms that it’s because of baby’s food allergy and that it’s something the mothers eating. It’s partially true in the case of leaky gut syndrome the difference is that the leaky gut can be healed and prevented.

There are various options when it comes to healing a leaky gut, they’re all very similar to an elimination diet however the end result is not to simply do away with certain foods from the diet altogether rather the goal is to remove them temporarily so they got has time to heal and later function more properly.

I’m thinking once get digestion on track again a lot of these no-no foods for leaky gut healing could be added back in. I was warned that we that healing the leaky gut is long and tedious process and I’m not particularly excited about having to undertake it but I’ll do anything to make Addie feel better.

So, I started my healing process with removing sugars from the diet. I just took an online course that said whatever foods you perceive that you cannot live without or that you crave intensely are likely the foods that cause you the most problems with regards to digestion and the leaky gut. Sugar is number one on my list of cravings so that’s the 1st thing I’ve taken out.

After sugar the other major food to eliminate (for me) would have to be processed foods I guess you’d say. Mainly snack foods that are high in carbs. I tend to go back and forth between sugars and carbs not only for quick energy during the busy day but also to fill me up.

Without the sugars and carbs I tend to always feel hungry and hunger immediately sends me reaching for something sweet or something processed and filling.

So that’s where we have been for the last three weeks. I’m working to improve my diet and to heal my gut/digestive tract so that my breastfeeding child is healed and is not suffering. We are also, finally, getting an evaluation for tongue tie.

If you’d like more resources on leaky gut and nursing you can also check these articles out:

 

More experiences & reading:

Too much of a good thing: Oversupply & Breastfeeding

Adalyn spitting up often right after feedings, choking on milk when we’d first start nursing, gulping and losing suction during nursing and also drooling out milk while nursing. I’d have painful letdown when she was or wasn’t nursing, major engorgement and some serious leaking issues at all hours of the day.

When a mom has too much milk it is called oversupply. The kicker is that oversupply is often accompanied by a “milk imbalance”, which baby can have serious issues with.

If you have too much milk you typically aren’t fully draining the breast on a feed. It is essential to fully drain the breast since there are two consistencies of milk delivered by a breast in a feeding. The first portion of a feeding your baby gets what is called foremilk, typically a less fatty and thinner. Hindmilk is more fatty and thicker, it comes at the end of feeding before the breast is totally drained.

I knew about hindmilk/ foremilk but on lack of sleep and while trying to learn how to be a family of four I had a few weeks of idiocy. Adalyn has always been a nursing machine, since her first suckle minutes after birth. While she was adjusting to life outside the uterus in the first two weeks of her life she fussed and nursed for comfort. I was the idiot that kept switching back and fourth between breasts without thoughts of how long she was nursing and how often we were switching sides.

Once my supply increased and her fussing got worse it all just snowballed. She’d fuss more and we would nurse more without thought. I am talking like 5min per side with maybe 10-30 min between feeds if we were lucky and mu supply just kept increasing as did her fussing… and what do you know, her poop became more and more nonexistent.

What Adalyn and I we are going through is called oversupply and my hindmilk/ foremilk is not balanced. We were basically experiencing exactly what this author wrote about (if you are looking for more info on hindmilk/ foremilk & oversupply).

I am happy to say that after just a week of block feeding Adalyn’s poops are coming more often again and her fussiness is decreasing! Right now we are going 3-4 hours on a breast before switching sides, that triples-quadruples the amount of time Addie spends on a breast. The idea is that she gets more of the fatty hindmilk the longer we are on the same breast.

This week we have gone from a poop every 5-7 days to THREE poops in a week! I am elated.

I’ve seriously always hated the general blanket ailments like colic or food sensitivities being thrown around and I can’t tell you how many times I was told Addie would just need to outgrow this or that she’d adjust later. If you are a parent experiencing similar symptoms with your baby keep seeking answers and keep doing your research. Here are some articles to help those going through similar symptoms.

Sources & Other Reading:

More experiences & reading:

Poop, Gas and Fussing in the Breastfed Baby: It might not be colic.

For the last few weeks we have had some poop and gas problems with Adalyn that I promised I wouldn’t bore you with, until I realized this is a very real issue other breastfeeding mothers are also struggling with.

At just 3 weeks old Adalyn has had terrible gas that is quite stinky, she’s going poop only about once a week and she is extremely fussy, apparently uncomfortable and not sleeping well. Read more about it in: ”From the trenches at 6 weeks postpartum“.

I entertained thoughts about Addie having a reaction to something in my diet but nothing seemed to be connected. We tried gas drops, gripe water, burping, tummy sleep, swing sleep, bicycle exercises, baby wearing, warm baths, constant holding and non-stop nursing to help and calm her.

When we called the doctor and midwife about the lack of poop we were told as long as she’s gaining weight and wetting diapers it’s not a concern (the lack of poop). They suggested we to try glycerin suppositories, Karo syrup in water or a lubed up rectal thermometer in the anus to stimulate poop (and I also found this advice in many places on the internet)… nothing seemed to work for us (well we didn’t try the suppositories) and I was still quite concerned about the lack of poop.

On occasion a mother will describe notably infrequent newborn stooling when asked. Sometimes it has been overlooked or, using the criteria for older babies, labeled normal. Sometimes, under the advice of family, friends or health workers, this has already been treated as constipation.

During the 1990s mothers have related such treatments as: changes made in the mother’s diet; various supplements for baby including glucose or corn syrup water, fruit juices, or pureed fruits; various types of anal stimulation, anal dilation and enemas of vegetable oil. In cases of infrequent newborn stooling, babies are often known to have or are later found to have poor weight gain. Source LLL Site

Adalyn first went a week between pooping, then 6 days between poops. Her gas pain and the malodorous odor seemed to worsen as the days went on without a poop but on the day she finally did poop each week the gas and fart smells were basically gone for about 24 hours. And she slept, like a peaceful, happy girl. And she also slept for good stretches of time and would go right back to sleep so easily.

These glimpses of her content and pain free time made it impossible to accept that this was just something we would have to wait for her to outgrow. There was no way this was incurable, something was causing it and that cause could somehow be remedied… if we could nail it down.

Breastfeeding is hard and can sometimes be puzzling. This fact alone is why so many are quick to supplement baby with formula.

We are blamed and told something in our diet is upsetting baby, but what? We are told a formula can help with tummy trouble and possible allergic reactions, and sometimes they do… The sticking point is that the number of babies that actually can’t tolerate mom’s milk is actually very, very small.

Additionally, breastfeeding supply issues (not enough milk, too much milk, etc) can almost always be remedied instead of just giving up and switching to formula.

In our haste and desperation we just search for any possible solution for our pained and unhappy babies…
Sadly this results in the end of nursing relationships.

My own breastfeeding struggles and frustrations give me a very real understanding of why some moms give up completely. The huge breastfeeding benefits to mom and baby make the struggles and frustrations something worth enduring, for me (and hopefully to you too). We entertained the idea of a breast milk imbalance, read more about it in “Too much of a good thing: Oversupply & Breastfeeding“.

The Solution? Gut Health & Genetic Factors!

If you are a nursing mom that arrived here looking for the solution to this problem I feel your pain! Nothing I was advised to explore solved the issue for Adalyn at 5 month of age (tongue tie, lip tie block feeding, reflux, enzymes, gas drops, karo syrup, water supplements and more doctors visits). However, I still suspect she probably has a posterior tongue tie (these are impossible to diagnose visually and only skilled/ specially trained practitioners can diagnose by feeling under the tongue) as well as a stretched out lip tie.

Don’t let Dr. Google swamp your brain and overwhelm your instincts like I did. It is oh, so easy to search the web, or ask for advice on social media when your baby is hurting but in doing this you might be setting yourself up for further frustration.

Everyone can speculate and there are seriously an infinite number of reasons for any ailment… the kicker is that each child and situation is different. Take Addie’s pooping for example… She’s gong more often now. Not sure why or what the issue was. Maybe my supply increased to fit her needs and all I needed to do was stop fiddling with remedies and just cuddle up to nurse her on demand.

A plane trip to Arizona forced me to nurse her non-stop and amazingly her pooper started working more. Was it the Kombucha or the altitude change or the stress? Was it my diet or the dry air or the drama? No clue. Will I stop trying to learn more about my own gut health and how that impacts my nursling? Nope. Will I refrain from googling when she has an issue? Probably not and neither will you.

My point is TRUST your instincts and the age old wisdom our bodies already have. We were made to carry, birth and nourish our growing babies. Sometimes all we need to do is slow down and get back to the basics to resolve the issues, rather than over thinking them.

In hindsight- What we learned: Gut Health, Detox Pathways, MTHFR Mutations & Tongue/ Lip Ties

Many have come to me in the last two years seeking advice and information regarding my experiences with my own daughter so here is the update and my thoughts on it: Updated as of Oct 15th, 2013

Gut health & gut function go hand in hand with lip ties and tongue ties. Additionally, lip and tongue ties are often related to the MTHFR genetic mutation that runs in families and impacts a slew of other health related things ranging from midline defects, to digestion, to susceptibility, to other health issues.

Don’t rely on the Dr. (or the internet) to guide or advise you, dive in and read up on it because each case is different and regular Dr’s (& the masses) don’t know much about it right now.

For us, we are gluten free with the celiac genes in the family tree… My youngest has slight autistic characteristics when her digestion and diet isn’t clean of her triggers (gluten, HFCS, high oxalate foods). She also has some potty issues relating to her detoxification pathways when her diet gets wonky. She’s always been small and unable to gain weight per the generic standards for pediatricians and I am super careful with her diet because I know malabsorption is likely for her since her digestion isn’t every really up to par. We also all seem to have gut bacteria imbalances that require constant probiotic foods/ drinks to balance.

She’s got what I think is a lip tie (that stretched enough to allow her to nurse beyond 2 yrs old) and possibly a posterior tongue tie but we’ve not had it revised or even really diagnosed, for failure to find a Dr. when she was a babe and in the throes of her major suffering. I also suspect that I have the celiac genes and that we both have MTHFR mutations. My husband’s sister had a tongue tie that was revised so the mutations may actually  be on both sides of the family for us.

When our new baby comes we’ll likely all head to Bloomington, Indiana to see Dr. Matt Rasche for a lip/ tongue tie diagnosis and revision since ties are a “midline defect” common for those with the MTHFR genetic defect that I suspect several of us have.

Updates on Adalyn @ 2 yrs 2 months of age:

She was honestly inconsolable the first 6 mos of life, never slept well, always cried, had to be held 24/7, when she did sleep we noted some major back arching at times and despite swaddling and co-sleeping she’d still wake in fits (more than a normal baby) for unknown reasons. She always spit up and seemed to have gas, seemed to always be hungry, never pooped a normal BF baby poop. Went days between poops… like 6-10 days! Very clingy too. 

Her first 3 mos of life I halfheartedly tried removing gluten, nuts & dairy with no clear signs of improvement. From 6-12 mos of life I was fully committed to removing & detoxing (read more about my detox experience here in “It is like I am an addict: Thoughts on body detox with diet changes” from gluten, while working to heal the gut following Jennifer Tow’s gut healing webinar. I asked Jennifer Tow about future gut healing webinars like the one I took with her and she says there is a recording that she can share with those interested. Tell her I sent you and maybe shoot her an email about buying the recorded webinar, you wont be sorry. It’s a LOAD of great info!

As Addie grew and became more independent her tendency to have explosive fits surfaced. She remained very clingy after becoming mobile. Didn’t have interest in crawling or exploring like other babies do, just wanted to be held by me (and usually nursed) at the slightest upset or new situation. Even refused her dad’s holding sometimes. She would get upset over the smallest things and would be impossible to console… crying on the floor, writhing around. Very easily frustrated & upset. She would even get external signs of her internal/ dietary issues… things like dark circles under the eyes, funny dry skin patches, weird foot and hand pimples, cradle cap that would come out of nowhere, etc.

Once the gluten finally cleared from her system at about 12 mos of age we could clearly pinpoint it as being the trigger for her.

 

Now, she doesn’t wake well from impromptu naps without a good 20-45 min, inconsolable crying jag afterward. Doesn’t tolerate most people (other than her immediate family) and hates space invasions from everyone. If she’s having a fit, talking to her, touching her or even looking at her just makes her go longer and harder with the fit. 

The crazy thing is her fits and moods eerily coincide with dietary slip ups, almost within 30 min of the slip up and can last about 24-48 hrs afterward depending on her detox pathway speed at the time. Once we figured out what was setting her off diet wise and took steps to remove and detox her from it things got SOOO much better. We also do Bach some individual flower remedies to help in in the throes of fits or during a dietary oops period and she’s doing SO much better. 

Gradually she’s getting more outgoing and less clingy, her ability to handle frustration is way improved and once the diet thing got resolved her nutrition seemed to improve. She’s weaned from nursing now and is even toilet trained during the day but helping her to adjust and figuring out what was setting her off was a looooong journey of tons of research and trial/ error. I have no doubt she’d be way worse off if we’d allowed vaccinations since her gut was so of kilter and not functioning as a young baby.

It really is all based in her gut health & the lack therof as a newborn. It’s a balancing game but it can be done, I feel like we’ve done it with Adalyn. She’s not “healed” and neither am I… We’ll both have constant gut microbe imbalances to manage and we’ll both have to avoid gluten forever I think. I know there will be more to learn about our MTHFR & celiac status and how it is impacting our vitamin/ nutrient absorption but for now I’m happy that we’ve arrived at where we are, clearly better off than we were when Adalyn was an infant.

For anyone noticing similar things with their nursling…

  1. Know that your diet and gut health can impact them while nursing.
  2. Start multi-strain probiotics for you and baby NOW – if you suspect autisim research D-Lactate free probiotics FIRST!
  3. Dive in and research tongue ties, lip ties & MTHFR genetic mutations, get testing if you can.
  4. If you haven’t removed gluten from your/ baby’s diet… do it. 
  5. Support your detox pathways! I take Pascalite in drinking water + nightly epsom salt baths + Natural Calm as needed.
  6. Take a good multivitamin, research B vitamins & folate as they relate to your possible MTHFR mutation status.
  7. Trust your gut and don’t be pacified, if you really feel something isn’t right then it is NOT.

 

More experiences & reading:

From the trenches at 6 weeks postpartum: Tongue or Lip Tie?

We’ve hardly begun to settle in to a routine again since the birth of Adalyn and now it is about time to start transitioning the homestead in preparation for the colder months. It is not surprising but the last six weeks have basically flown by, fall totally crept up and surprised us.

It was the last weekend for the county’s farmers market here and we snagged a huge pumpkin to keep with our newborn baby in a pumpkin tradition. I am sure Miss Adalyn simply cannot wait, he, he.

Some of our fall vegetables are planted, hopefully we will have a better growing season in fall. Our summer garden really didn’t do great, sadily. We are starting to plan for the outdoor animals shelter this winter too.

Adalyn is six weeks old now and there are brief glimpses of routine starting to fall in to place. She’s an angel when she is content and not in pain from gas/ poop. We are still toughing out some pooping issues that make for unpleasant times but everyone is hanging in there.

Babywearing is simply saving my life & sanity. Right now I have her tied to my chest and I can even eat lunch as I comfort her and write this.

We still haven’t resolved her poop/ gas issues and I am banging my head against the wall over it. There are seriously a number of different things that we’ve explored and a dozen more are unexplored at this point.

Right now we are exploring tongue-tie/ lip tie possibilities, chiropractic issues and latch issues. Nothing is helping my poor girl, nobody has answers and the fussing is really wearing on us.

We have a call in to a local ENT to have Addie’s possible lip-tie evaluated now. As soon as we have some damn answers I’ll be screaming them from the rooftops.

For more info on lip/ tongue-tie (with pictures) and how it could be the root of your baby’s difficulty feeding/ gaining weight read: http://www.plus2point4.co.uk/2011/07/19/breast-mates-guest-post-breastfeeding-with-a-lip-and-tongue-tie/

 

More experiences & reading:

 

If you don’t have anything nice to say, shut your damn mouth!

Ignorance and judgment abound in the world of a breastfeeding mom, I know first hand. These days with the popularity of social media more and more people are sharing their opinions and points of view, in this case a number of people in my network were in an uproar about comments a radio show host, Lisa Rollins of South Carolina, made regarding breastfeeding in public.



If you are curious you can read the transcripts from the show here (I don’t want to link directly to the show because it only drives their traffic and makes them money of this bullshit).

Anyway, about 5 minutes in she starts going off about this poor breastfeeding mom she saw over the weekend. Super offensive stuff. Made my blood just boil and that was last night. Today I am still fuming but calm enough to draft a non-fu-stupid-bitch letter to send her way. Here is what I wrote:

I was listening to your morning show online and was deeply shocked and offended. It wasn’t because you had a differing opinion than me, because that is your right. I was appalled that in trying to express your opinion you were blatantly shaming and embarrassing that breastfeeding mom (and other breastfeeding mom’s) on public radio.

How judgmental and ignorant of you to publicly rant about a woman nursing her baby in public. Don’t you think it is classless and in poor taste to rant about your disgust on the radio where that poor mom probably heard it all? I sure do!

Our perspectives on things are often related to the choices we’ve made. Your point of view on public breastfeeding is definitely because you choose to not breastfeed but how dare you judge others and publicly criticize them on your radio show. In doing this you’ve just shown your ignorance on the topic and your nasty, judgmental, elitist personality.

I was also thinking, if it was such a huge deal to you why didn’t you speak with the woman right then and there or why didn’t you go to restaurant management? Is it because you knew it wouldn’t be acceptable to single her out or is it because you are a coward hiding behind your microphone?

I wonder how you would feel if people publicly criticized you, whispered, stared and made you feel ashamed for bottle feeding your daughter. If you had to hear “what a selfish mom to deny her developing baby the best nourishment available” or “coward” or “how disgusting” each time you were in public tending to the needs of your baby. You might start to understand how it feels if you had.

It is super snobby of you to look down your nose at women who choose to breastfeed in public. It is not realistic to expect a woman to always be nursing in private. Babies eat and are entitled to be able to eat in the same comfort as bottle fed babies, to expect anything different is discrimination and if the tables were turned I am sure you would be just as upset as the pro-breastfeeding moms are right now.

I wonder how many times you bottle fed your daughter in public… Why didn’t you feed her in the hot car or on the toilet like you expect breastfeeding mom’s to do? Don’t you know the use of a bottle or pacifier evokes the same disgusted reaction in pro-breastfeeding folks as does the sight of an nursing baby to those squeamish anti-breastfeeding folks?

How dare you impose your view of “poor taste” on us. I am sure you’ve noticed that many, many other people feel It is in poor taste that you uttered your anti-breastfeeding comments.

The sad thing is you probably never even stopped to think about how your words would impact that nursing mother and other nursing mothers all over the world. Furthermore, how your ignorant comments have impacted the well-being and health of future babies whose mothers won’t even consider breastfeeding because of the public scrutiny and judgments of people like you.

Way to go! Hope you succeeded in achieving your desired reaction with the radio show topic. You’ve made yourself and your company look bad, you’ve made women feel ashamed for doing what their bodies were made for, you’ve pissed off a whole lot of breastfeeding advocates and you’ve taken the best nutrition available from many babies with your ignorant and hurtful comments.

I sent my email off and don’t expect a response of any kind, especially since the radio station isn’t concerned about the overwhelmingly negative response they’ve already received on their facebook page. Wait, I stand corrected. They are removing comments and photos posted by those pro-breastfeeding users… Nice.

Anyway, it just makes me sick how rude, judgmental and self centered some people are. Especially when it comes to the needs of babies and children. I know so much has to do with society’s ignorance about breastfeeding but still, it pisses me off.

I’ll admit it I was worried about breastfeeding…

In light of the recent anti-breastfeeding tweet drama I’ve been talking with others about and also doing quite a bit of thinking about breastfeeding.

I get it, we are an overly sexual culture that has made boobs more of an sexual prop than a life sustaining mechanism. I know the reality is that many people are uncomfortable at the sight of a uncovered boob in public.

Heck, I’ll even admin I was reluctant to go out in public as a new mother for fear of having to deal with the “offended folks” and their reactions to my feeding my child.

Yep, you read that right. I actually did not leave my house for weeks after Everly was born. I just didn’t want to mess with trying to nurse in public especially when I was just getting the hang of parenthood to begin with.

When I finally did get the courage and resolve to go out and have a life while nursing a child I knew I had to cover up since I was teaching young, hormonally driven teens. I knew society’s views on breastfeeding already and was worried that the school district (that I was working for) would share the same views. Rather than chance it I just got a nifty nursing cover and became very good at teaching and nursing a child.

I was surprised that nobody shared concerns over my breastfeeding while in my teaching role. If anything I got lots of positive conversation and even a few young girls asking me about it. I did have a coworker tell me I was useless to him with my kid along at my job. Not because I wasn’t doing my share of work but because he felt like he couldn’t ask me to do things… He didn’t want to ask me to spread my focus beyond caring for my child. That is another issue for another very long post though.

Actually, come to think of it, nobody has ever given me a hard time over nursing my kid in public. We are going on 10 months of breastfeeding now too. I am not sure if it’s because people are cowardish and just choose to air their issues after the nursing mother is gone like so many situations we hear about.

I know that whether or not you’ve dealt with rude remarks, as a breastfeeding mother, you still know the way some tend to view breastfeeding. This alone is enough to discourage a new mother from breastfeeding and it is exactly what kept me from leaving the house in beginning.

Then there are the views on breastfeeding as the child grows older… Everly is still nursing like a champ and her first birthday is approaching. I’ve already begun to brace myself for those potentially negative encounters. I am aware that some people get weirded out when and older child is still breastfeeding. This is even an issue N and I don’t totally agree on.

I am not the kind of person who will give my child formula or put a stop to breastfeeding once she’s past a certain age. While I respect the views and feelings of others I am not willing to break my back doing stuff to make someone else more comfortable.

What about the comfort, needs and feeling of the child I am bringing up? As far as I am concerned her needs are the priority here but I still know I am gonna have to deal with everyone else’s reactions and opinions about it.

It is a sad, sad reality that mothers are judged and harassed over the choices they make regarding breastfeeding. It probably stems from our societal tendency to meddle. Everyone else thinks they know what is best and everyone is a critic. For the shy, scared or unsure mothers this makes or breaks breastfeeding success. For the rest of us it makes us “Radical Lactivtists”.

I am a breastfeeding mother. Hear me roar and don’t dare cross me about my choices, unless you want some drama. Of course if you are up for some civil conversation about why it is best, I am game. Shoot, I’ll even return the favor and discuss the other side of the coin with you. Just don’t forget that your choices, views and opinions are NOT the only ones that are acceptable.

Road trip adventures Everly enjoyed.

Whew! After a week on the road we needed a day to decompress after getting back to Evansville. Yesterday we sat around in our PJ’s, did many loads of laundry, scrubbed cat vomit from the carpets, cleaned cat boxes… You know all the chores and stuff that go undone while you are away.

Everly was a doll during the trip. The plane ride wasn’t an issue, she nursed and played and sat in our laps for the 10 hour travel day. She did well on the road also. We drove 6-10 hours a day for three days and and she just slept or played with her toys in her seat. As long as we made frequent stops for diaper changes and feedings she was happy.

We did crazy things to entertain her and ourselves when it was time to stretch the legs. Here is an example:

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Speaking of changings… We made it the whole trip on just the twenty or so cloth diapers I have. We only had to wash them once right before we hit the road to head home. 7 days, 20+ diapers = 1 wash. When we got home E had to sleep in a disposable overnight while every single diaper we had was being laundered. I am proud to have cloth diapered the whole trip though. It was a breeze!

As for feedings, I just breastfed her as usual and supplemented with baby foods and snack puffs as usual. Now, she’s really getting in to being involved in meal time though!

When we stopped for a snack at the mall with my mom Everly grabbed my straw right from my mouth and even sucked juice from it (which she’s never been given the opportunity to do). She is hardly doing the sipply cup thing so we were pretty surprised at her instinctual straw drinking.

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I was just glad I was pinching the straw and holding on to it tightly or she would have successfully gotten a mouthful of sugary strawberry lemonade up it and in to her mouth. No sugary lemonade for baby! Luckily we have a straw type sipply cup thanks to Maiden53, time to bust it out.

Now she’s getting more adventurous with her foods too. She’s just starting to get the hang of her sippy cup and is having “juice water”. She’s also enjoying sampling new flavors on the go. Like the skinless tomato chunk I stole from my mom’s plate and gave to her…

She would gladly try more things like our coffee and over processed junk food we are enjoying if we let her. We are being super selective about what we let her have, we are overprotective parents :-P

We have moved through all the organic stage one flavors of food and are progressing to more exciting flavors (not more sugary though). I am a sugar natzi, sugar has had a major impact on my brothers as they were growing up. One has a sugar addiction still. So we are trying to get her in to the bland flavors before the sugary ones are introduced, so she’s not always expecting her foods to be sweet and sugary.

Thanks to her meal time interest we were even able to brave a Denny’s one morning for breakfast. She sat in a yucky high chair like a big girl and we ate a meal together.

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She of course didn’t order off the restaurant menu, she opted for boobie and a nap while we finished our meal. It was progress though.

As scary and anxiety ridden the idea of taking a trip with baby seems I am glad we did it. Once you are in the thick of it you realize it’s really not all that insane and it provides baby with much needed stimulation and the opportunity to adjust to changing situations.

We’ll probably be taking many more trips as a family now that we know how adaptable and well behaved E can be (if money permits).