Unshackled from my food craving demons, finally!

I just realized that today I am not feeling like a slave to carb and sugar cravings! It has taken me 4-5 months to kick the cravings and get a handle on my emotional eating and my urges for crap foods. Lots of people have been asking me about my healing journey which is why I am sharing this post with you today.

In March 2012 I dove in to an elimination diet to help out my nursling and her tummy troubles. Turns out I also needed the elimination of many overly abundant food items. I started with eliminating processed sugars (still ate fruits, honey, etc), I also eliminated gluten (aka wheat). At the onset of removing gluten and sugars I was super emotional and generally just feeling wrecked. Not only did my body hurt from the detoxification/ food withdrawal it was naturally undergoing but emotions & aggravations were high and totally incurable since I was eating the sugars and craps to “feel better” in the first place.

I clearly remember anticipating the kids nap times so I could binge on terrible foods. You can’t eat a snickers bar in front of your toddler without having to share it with her right? And the last thing I wanted was for my kid to eat these crap foods… So I’d wait till she was asleep to eat one and it would kind of be my stress relief and moment of calm… much like those stupid Dove chocolate commercials try to make eating a chocolate out to be… except I never really felt better. It just sort of artificially masked things.

At first, the sugars gave me a high that helped me through and the idea of splurging on myself kind of made me feel good for a moment but eventually even eating sugar all day long while the kids were awake didn’t provide any satisfaction or fix things. So what did I do? I just ate more and more like a junky, hoping that with enough consumption I’d start to feel better…

The problem is this type of emotional eating does nothing to help support your body’s health and it actually does quite a bit of damage when it is as excessive as mine was. I was basically hooked on sugar & processed carbs. My body confirmed this with my withdrawal headaches, muscle aches, mood swings and overall frame of mind when these foods were removed.

What myself and Adalyn battle is a combination of emotional eating, candida overgrowth thanks to the abundance sugar and carbs (which likely lead to my leaky gut issues) and then a slew of leaky gut symptoms (aka food sensitivities and digestion issues). My adrenal stress, candida overgrowth and gut imbalances likely inhibited my oxytocin production postpartum and thus impacted my bonding with Adalyn. Furthermore, she’s been exposed via birth to my own imbalanced gut flora & candida. Plus, she’s also having to suffer through my leaky gut and food sensitivities via my breast milk.

Gut health is so important but you just don’t realize it until you don’t have it …

PLUS it is a long and painful journey back to health if you haven’t done permanent damage already.

I feel like the worst of it is over now. My incurable, funky, dry-skin finger rash is mostly gone. My insane food cravings are gone. My overly emotional need for certain foods is gone. My insatiable hunger is gone. My fussy, constipated baby is eliminating WAY more often and more easily. Sleeping has been easier with a happier, better fed baby.

I am still on the healing path though. Anyone that thinks they can just heal overnight is grossly mistaken. It takes time to remove all the built up crap from you system before real results can be observed. I’m handling the very infrequent gluten exposures well, without tummy upset but now I’ve begun to notice a sensitivity to certain dairy products… so the gut is still leaking and will continue to do so (especially with foods I eat daily) until fully healed. Food rotation and variation is really working for me. Even the good for you stuff can’t be eaten daily I am finding. If they are, sensitivities will inevitably pop up.

Furthermore, once the cravings are kicked and you begin to feel better you can’t just go back to how it used to be. Binging on junk food or sugar or gluten again will only bring you right back to where you started, much like a drug junkie. I know, I’ve had many slip ups that I had to learn from and you likely will too.

For the sake of helping us all along the healing path… Since gut healing is on my mind and the minds of many of my readers, friends & family let’s do a little sharing of information and routines:

The things we are doing here to keep the gut healthy and on the path to healing are:

  1. Make fermented foods at home. The idea is to recolonize the gut with good bacteria so that healing may occur. Note: store-bought yogurt, probiotics and such typically aren’t enough to help. If you do the fermented foods right you’ll be recolonizing the gut and also aiding in the body’s detox. Our favorites to make are sauerkraut, kombucha & kefir. We are always trying out new stuff though. The book Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods is one I’d highly recommend for learning how to make your own fermented foods, it has tons of idea in there!
  2. Remove the troublesome foods from your diet and replace them with other food variations. For most it is sugar, gluten & dairy but that doesn’t mean you only get to chew on grass and twigs all day. Learn about ancient grains like Quinoa, Millet and so on (they are gluten-free!). Try out and make your own kefir dairy stuff. Kefir can be made almost completely lactose free and you can make ice cream, yogurts, dressings and such with it. Getting the chemical sugars out of my diet was sufficient and I didn’t have to go as far as removing all sugar containing foods (like apples and other fruits) to kick the cravings and issues.
  3. Replace the lacking nutrients and minerals. I don’t mean with supplements either. Raw sea salts are full of minerals as are various healing clays (pascalite clay) that you take internally. The healing clays can also be a great thing for removing those toxins from your body or to use while undergoing food withdrawal/ detoxing. Learn about Chia Seeds for health. Also, homemade bone broth (also vegetable broth) is important to make and consume for general health and mineral replenishment. Eat your greens and try to consume a ton of raw foods (smoothies!), as much as you can.
  4. Support the body’s natural healing processes. Besides eating a more whole foods diet and striving to really buy organic when appropriate I bought Slippery Elm Bark Powder, ginger root, pascalite clay and raw bee pollen to help support healing. Other things I’ve been thinking about are Natural Calm and I really wish I had bought Bach Flower Remedies while I was having food withdrawals.
What are you doing for gut health right now? Why/ how does it work for you? What advice would you give to those preparing to take on gut healing?

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/.

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:

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:

A letter to an amazing girl: To Everly at 2 1/2 years old.

I look at you and see this amazing little person. You are not a baby anymore, not physically and not mentally. Your intuition is something else and I hope you never lose your drive to press ahead and to forge your own path.

You’ve always seemed to have your own pace and time table for stuff, your own little internal compass and time table.

At about 7 months old, even though we weren’t rushing to start solids, you began stealing my food from me. I remember the first time clearly. It was on a trip, for Mama’s birthday. We were eating takeout as a special treat. PF Changs, and you just reached out and stole some food off a fork for yourself. A noodle. From there your relationship with food began.

Once solid food became a regular thing, you gradually decreased your daytime breastfeeding sessions. Just before your first birthday you settled at only nursing before naps and before bed.

Then at 16 months you weaned yourself from breastfeeding completely! Mommy’s pregnancy probably had something to do with it but we were in no hurry to end that relationship prematurely… But when you felt ready you just tapered off and eventually stopped wanting to nurse. And you haven’t looked back, even now, with your baby sister nursing in front of you.

Shortly after self weaning you also took the plunge, literally, and began rejecting your crib. This set the stage for transitions to your toddler bed which you now rock like a grownup. We hardly ever have issues with you trying to come out of your room when it is sleeping time. It is crazy!

We are also still in utter amazement over your self-led potty training. You started out loving your nakedness and that in turn taught you about your bodily functions.

Before we knew it you were succeeding at using your potty chair during your awake-naked times. Then one day you just asked to sleep diaper free and that was that. You are even having public-outing-potty-success which seems crazy to me. There have been a few accidents along the way but your maturity and your understanding of things has made you this amazing little person, way earlier than we expected.

I feel like I got pregnant with your sister, I blinked and you just transformed from a baby to a little person. I missed the exact moment of transition and am still in awe when I look at you or when I see photos/ video of you as a baby. You are such a big, little girl now. So much growth, learning and maturing has taken place in such a short time.


I am so proud of and amazed by you but I also miss my cuddly little baby girl. It is bittersweet but proud amazement prevails. I am so excited to see what is next for you, my little preschooler.

It happen, we didn’t have to force it either.

Parenting is a funny thing. When we learn a baby is on the way we begin to plan the details, we read about what is ahead and we build up our expectations. When bundle of joy arrives people tell us about getting baby to sleep through the night, how to control crying, how to structure feeding schedules, when start solids, how or when to wean, when to potty train and so on…

Everyone has advice to share and sooo many things “they know best”, including ourselves. Parents become filled with doubt, uncertainty and sometimes even question their own methods along the way.

I know, I’ve experienced all of the above.

The thing that truly amazes me is how smoothly various stages have gone when we just followed Everly’s cues. I mean, I read and fretted about sleep training. We were desperate to get some sleep at night in the newborn stage. We couldn’t stomach cry-it-out and even had a hard time with the Little Miss sleeping out of our room in the beginning.

Following Everly’s cues lead us to very careful co-sleeping so she could nurse on demand all night, be satisfied, feel safe and guess what. We got sleep too! Also, it made her MORE adjusted to sleep dependence later. The transition from family bed sleeping to swing sleeping, to bassinet sleeping to independent sleeping in her own crib & room wasn’t all that trying. She was crib sleeping in her room at about 7 months.

Now breastfeeding has been another thing that people assume will just go on and on if parents don’t step in and force weaning. I am amazed and happy to report that is also false.

Everly is 19 months old and some time in the last 10 weeks or so I think my milk has dried up as a response to the increased demands my new pregnancy has placed on my body. At about the 1 year mark Everly was down to only comfort nursing on occasion and then nursing before sleep time, about 1-4 times a day and usually sleeping through the night.

Before the pregnancy we were down to nursing only before sleep time, yes… I was still nursing her to sleep. Here is the kicker, she’ll go down for a nap or for the night with her daddy sans nursing if I’m out of the house doing something. This is a very positive sign. And now that my milk is pretty much dried up (I think) she still feels the need to dry nurse when she has the option but the actual act of breastfeeding is no-more… and the world didn’t end.

My point is baby lead stuff works for many things within reason and it paves the way for smoother sailing as we transition away from those once enjoyed baby comforts like co-sleeping and breastfeeding, what is even crazier, it all happens on it’s own.

So trust your baby’s cues and your instincts as parents. Don’t let the propaganda, books and experts sway your choices or cloud your mind. Do what seems to work for your baby, each one is different and has different needs.

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.

Corporate tweeting fail: How to screw your business in 1 tweet

I couldn’t believe my eyes! While looking at my twitter streams today I see that someone has tweeted about how “#NOTOKAYATALL” it is to have your breast out feeding a baby while in their store.

PaulFrank_LA said: Having ur whole boob out & breastfeeding in r store #NOTOKATALL

Seriously? A business twitter stream is bagging on breastfeeding despite that fact that public breastfeeding is protected by law. People are responding and outraged. They are screwed and people are talking, see:



-Hey Paul Frank – breastfeeding IS OK!

It all reminds me of the Nestle boycott mess that is flying around Facebook and twitter. When are companies going to realize that the bad stuff spreads like widlfire on social networks?

I am curious to see how corporate responds to all the backlash and if it continues. Will they issue a more heartfelt apology? Would you boycott a company over something like this or something similar? What are your thoughts?

Snot bubbles are sad but kind of cute, when they aren’t yours. Don’t you agree?

I’ve used and ENTIRE roll of toilet paper on just my nose blowing today and it hasn’t even been a full day yet! I used up all the Puffs tissue and grabbed a roll of TP this morning.

Basically I am just crazy congested today. The throat soreness has passed and no new symptoms have surfaced so now I am trying to “clear my head”, literally.

Been trying to used the Neti Pot but I am so plugged up the solution wont go into my sinus passages at all. I feel more plugged up now than I did before the Neti pot and what is worse is I have water in my ear now and can’t seems to relieve the pressure or get things to drain.

Last night I tried some spicy tomato tea it sure is hot. So hot it made me violently cough and almost throw up. Did get things draining but didn’t help my ear issue or totally clean out my sinuses.

I broke down and took some Phenylephrine to see if that helps. Normally I’d take Pseudoephedrine but I’ve read about how it can decrease milk supply. I really don’t want to get an ear infection on top of this cold/ sinus thing so I am trying the medicine just this one time to see how things go.

Everly is congested and miserable too. She’s just been cuddling with us, reading stories, crocheting stuff and blowing snot bubbles.

Did I tell you she’s got the hang of the “yes” and “no” head nods and she understands them? She’s showing her displeasure at nap time and snot wiping time by shaking her head “no” and even slapping hands away from her nose. She’s already a feisty one, lol.

She’s still getting my attention and giving some warning before she has to poop, this means I’ve been successful at poop aiming still. Three of her four poops this week have been in the potty which is awesome.

We are dragging our butts out of the house today to take care of some business despite how crappy we feel and it looks like we’ll get our mail delivered & picked up today.

After leaving a note for the neighbor and getting no response we broke down and called the Sheriff. The Sheriff also left a notice about the “abandoned vehicle” on said neighbors door. Amazingly it’s now been moved from in front of our house/ mailbox which means we’ll actually get our darn mail after almost a week of refused delivery.

Yeah, I know it’s all going to bills and junk mail but we are adults and we do need to be taking care of those bills and junk. Can’t go weeks without getting or answering our mail just because someone needed to abandon their car in front of our mailbox.

Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank Looks For Donors

I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding because:

I’ve been fortunate enough to successfully continue breastfeeding Everly by following lactation advice and committing to on-demand, round-the-clock feeding.

She’s almost 7 months old and hasn’t been sick once… and I work with middle school/ high school kids (they are full of germs ;-P). Oh, we skipped the H1N1 vaccines too. If that is not some proof of the immune boosting powers of breastmilk I don’t know what is.

Anyway, this post is not to sell you on breastfeeding. It’s more of a pat of the back for those of you who are breastfeeding. further more, if you are still successfully lactating you might want to consider sharing the “liquid gold”.

If you live in Evansville, Indiana, like I do and are breastfeeding you should know a “Milk Depot” is opening up at the Women’s Hospital in Newburgh to make donating more accessible and they are seeking donors.

Here is the info they have on their site about donations. Just wanted to spread the word:

The Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank, Inc. helps premature and sick infants by connecting those in need of human milk with screened donor mothers. The milk bank receives human milk from these donors, then pasteurizes, freezes and distributes it.

The milk bank is a community-based, community-supported entity that benefits Indiana’s babies and decreases health care expenditures. The not-for-profit milk bank is the first of its kind in Indiana and one of only 10 in the United States.

HELP A PREMATURE OR ILL INFANT!

Due to the overwhelming demand for pasteurized donor human milk from hospitals in Indiana and throughout the Midwest, the Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank is always looking for new donors! Please contact a member of the milk bank staff if you are interested in becoming a donor or go to the How to Donate page.

Consider becoming a breast milk donor. I am! Breast milk is best for babies, especially sick or premature ones and it’s something our bodies make on demand. Why not donate your excess?

For those of you outside Indiana or even outside the USA you can donate too! Milk banks are all over. If you know of one that isn’t listed here please list it in a comment if you’d like.

USA Milk Banks I’ve found are:

Bronson Mothers’ Milk Bank
601 John Street
Suite N1300
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Phone: (269) 341-8849

Mother’s Milk Bank of Iowa
Department of Food and Nutrition Services
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
University of Iowa at Liberty Square
119 2nd Street, Suite 400
Coralville, IA 52241
Phone: (319)356-2652

Mothers’ Milk Bank of Ohio
Grant Medical Center @ Victorian Village Health Center
1087 Dennison Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201
Phone: (614) 544-0810

Mothers’ Milk Bank
Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center
1719 E 19th Ave
Denver, CO 80218
Phone: (303) 839-7692

WakeMed Mothers’ Milk Bank and Lactation Center
3000 New Bern Ave
Raleigh, NC 27610
Phone: (919) 350-8599

Mothers’ Milk Bank of New England
225 Nevada Street Room 201
Newtonville, MA 02460
Phone: (781) 535-7594

Northwest Women’s Milk Bank
3439 NE Sandy Blvd #130
Portland, OR 97232

Indiana Mothers’ Milk Bank, Inc.
Methodist Medical Plaza II
6820 Parkdale Place, Suite 109
Indianapolis, IN 46254
Phone (317) 329-7146

Mother’s Milk Bank
C & W Lactation Services

Vancouver, B.C., Canada
(604) 875-2282

Mothers’ Milk Bank
751 South Bascom Ave
San Jose, CA 95128
Phone (408) 998-4550

Lactation Center & Mothers’ Milk Bank WakeMed
Raleigh, NC
(919) 350-8599

The Mother’s Milk Bank – Special Care Nursery Christiana Hospital
Newark, DE
(302) 733-2340

Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin
900 E. 30th Street, Suite 101
Austin, TX
(512) 494-0800

Mothers’ Milk Bank of North Texas
1300 W. Lancaster Suite 108
Ft. Worth, TX 76102
Phone (817) 810-0071

National Milk Bank
866-522-6455 (MILK)

Outside the USA:

Alay Gatas Headquarters – Human Milk Bank
Philippine Childrens Medical Center

Quezon Avenue, Quezon City 1100 Philippines
Telephone: (63-2) 9240838 and 9246601 local 354

Philipine General Hospital Lactation Unit and Milk Bank
Telephone: (63-2) 5362867
Mobile: 63-921-4535310

United Kingdom Association for Milk Banking
Queen Charlotte’s Hospital in London
020 8383 355

On twitter mothers share pro-breastfeeding tweets:

  • “If the jar of formula says “closest to bm” then why not skip the cost and feed the real thing?? :) if I saw a candy bar that said “closest to chocolate” I’d say “no thanks” and grab a hershey’s”
  • Breastfeeding for over 6 months could aid mental health http://bit.ly/8ihR3O
  • A teachable reality TV moment! Kardashians show importance of partner’s #breastfeeding support http://bit.ly/3FKLyx
  • The Advantages of #Breastfeeding for Mom, Baby, and Society w/references (from breastfeeding.com): http://seriousshops.com/0uc
  • @KomenAdvocacy Did you know that women w/ an immediate family history of #breastcancer can reduce their risk by 59% by #breastfeeding?
  • Why does #breastfeeding your baby girl lower her risk for #breastcancer later in life? Human milk cools birth estrogen levels much quicker!