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breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Carnival: Day 8

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about the importance of breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!
 


 

First Nursing in Public Experience: This could be anything from the first time you witnessed a mother breastfeeding in public to the first time you did it yourself. How did you feel about it then? How do you feel about it now?

I’ll never forget my first real nursing in public experience.  We were in an airport in Houston waiting for a delayed flight on Christmas Eve 2002, my daughter’s first birthday.  I had no choice but to nurse her in public, and I did!  It was an empty section of a terminal and I tried to cover up with a blanket, but she was not having that.  She kept pulling the blanket off of her head, so I gave up trying.  It was liberating!

I still try to pick quiet corners (less distractions make for quicker nursing sessions), and in restaurants, I tell the server ahead that I might breastfeed and ask for a corner table.  I’ve never once had a negative comment.  Maybe I’m lucky being in California, but I’ve never been treated poorly for breastfeeding in public—and I’ve done it with four babies over nine years!

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Breastfeeding Carnival: Day 7

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about how the mothers before you influenced your choice to breastfeed. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


Online Breastfeeding: This is the internet age. Many of us log on more than we’d care to admit, but in the case of a new mother that can possibly be a good thing. How did the internet influence your breastfeeding? Did you participate in online forums, Facebook, Twitter, or any other kind of online community? Did this influence your parenting choices? Did these influences help or hinder your efforts?

My online community was an amazing source of help. In 2001, I practically lived on the “Due in December” message boards originally at Epregnancy then moved to Geoparents as the children were born, (which was then was sold to someone else and started sucking).

We were a very close community and it got me through my first full pregnancy with a lot less worry. Any concern I had was a concern from someone else and we all learned what was normal from each other. As an AP mom, I felt a lot of support from other moms out there who also were into Attachment Parenting. I co-slept, and found vindication and support from other bedsharing mamas.

I faded out of the message boards after a while, and didn’t get back into the online community until the birth of my fourth baby and my discover of Twitter. In some ways, better than the message boards for immediate conversation (though I love the fact that you can go back and read specific responses to specific questions on a message board). I’m pretty sure if I had Twitter way-back-when, I would have tried homebirth! The support from other mothers is amazing.

 


 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

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Breastfeeding Carnival: Day 6

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about how the mothers before you influenced your choice to breastfeed. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


Birth Experience: How did your birth experience affect your decision to breastfeed? Did the people present at your child’s birth truly support breastfeeding? Did you get off to a good start or did you have to fight to figure things out? Did you receive good information on breastfeeding from your birth attendants?

My birth experience didn’t influence my decision to breastfeed, but my final birth did influence how difficult it was to breastfeed.

My fourth child was a C-Section after one induced, epidural birth, and two induced but painkiller free births. With my first three, I was induced two weeks after the due date. With my last, I was induced one week BEFORE my due date. I was dilated to 10 and pushed and pushed, but he didn’t budget. He was comletely stuck at the cervix, so after consulting with another doctor, my Obsetrician recommended a C-Section. She said she was concerned that this was my fourth child, and was concerned that he may have been tangled in the cord or unable to move through the birth canal for other reasons. I consented because I wanted to make sure he was safe.

I lost a lot of blood during the C-Section and was very anemic after the surgery. I was alone in the hospital for nearly an entire week with the baby. My husband had three small children to take care of at home, and tried to visit once a day with them, but they were so wild when he was there, that I got very little help. Getting out of bed alone was very, very difficult with the surgery and stitches. It was difficult to position the baby while sitting up in the hospital bed, and very difficult to adjust my positioning in a narrow hospital bed, while I couldn’t even sit up without pulling on the side rails. My wonderful nursing pillow was almost useless in the bed position, and side-lying was impossible. Add to that, a baby who couldn’t or wouldn’t open his mouth very wide to nurse comfortably, and it was a recipe for disaster. I was convinced that he had a hard time nursing because he was born three weeks too soon. All of my children were two weeks late, and him being induced one week early meant he was three weeks younger than his sisters were.

I nursed and cried and supplemented with formula, but was determined to work it out. I gave him very little formula after nursing. I would allow him to suck for a few seconds, then remove the bottle and wait for his reaction to make sure he didn’t overeat as I wanted him to be hungry in 2 hours like he would be with straight nursing. I got the slowest flow nipples I could, as well. Finally, after a MONTH of work, work, work, he was nursing full time, no supplementing, and he’s 26 months now and still nursing.
 


 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

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Breastfeeding Carnival: Day 4

<strong>Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!</strong>

<em>This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to <a href=”http://www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com” target=”_blank”>www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com</a>. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about language and breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!</em>
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Language and Breastfeeding: Most people don’t realize how their language can influence our ideas of breastfeeding. Do you feel this is an issue in our society? If so, how can we change our language to rid our community of the bias against breastfeeding? How do you feel breastfeeding is portrayed by the language in our media?

Breastfeeding in the media is a complicated issue. Until VERY Recently, most articles downplayed breastfeeding and included disclaimer language that formula can be just as good. Most articles today (2011) are very positive for breastfeeding, though “woman sprays deputies with breastmilk” is the number one hit for breastfeeding as a search term, at least no one in the articles were calling breastmilk a biohazard, as has been said in the past. However, the old habits still creep in.

In reports on formula, the benefits of breastfeeding are often glossed over or buried at the end of the article (See: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43611940 , http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43512372), which often goes unread by those with short attention spans.

Go to FOXNEWS.COM and do a search for breastfeeding. What’s the first article that pops up? “Breast feeding mom smothers baby after getting drunk.” One of the top results as of July 5, 2011 on Google News is an artist depicting herself breastfeeding an adult male—which seems to be the image on everyone’s mind whenever they see someone breastfeeding a toddler.

But while the mainstream media has jumped on board, the non-mainstream media has not. Do you remember Michelle Bachman calling Michelle Obama’s campaign to encourage breastfeeding “social engineering” while Sarah Palin joked that under Obama, the price of milk is so high, women better breastfeed?

And then we all know how Facebook bans any picture of a breastfeeding mom as “obscene” while allowing drunk college girls to post all-but-the-nipple pictures.

I’m confident however, that with mainstream media coming around, the fringes will become even more, um, fringy and will look like the fear mongers they are.

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<strong>Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.</strong>
<ul>
<li>Claire @ The Adventures of Lactating Girl-<a href=”http://wp.me/pDcm9-Ct“>Breast is Not Best, It’s Normal</a></li>
<li>Sylko @ Chaotic Mama-<a href=”https://chaoticmama.wordpress.com/2011/07/21/breastfeeding-carnival-day-4/“>Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival: Day 4</a></li>
<li>Renee @ Just the 5 of us!-<a href=”http://yeoman5.blogspot.com/2011/07/breast-is-not-best-its-par.html“>Breast is Not Best, It’s Par</a></li>
<li>Ashley @ Adventures with my Monkeys-<a href=”http://monkeybunnsmama.blogspot.com/2011/07/breastfeeding-carnival-day-4-language.html“>Breastfeeding Carnival Day 4: Language and Breastfeeding</a></li>
<li>Ana @ Motherhood: Deconstructed-<a href=”http://motherhooddeconstructed.com/2011/07/21/how-language-and-feminism-creates-an-aversion-to-breastfeeding/“>How Language (and Feminism) Creates an Aversion to Breastfeeding</a></li>
<li>Timbra @ Bosoms and Babes-<a href=”http://bosoms-and-babes.blogspot.com/2011/07/maybe-means.html“>Maybe Means</a></li>
<li>Laura @ Day by Day in Our World-<a href=”http://www.daybydayinourworld.com/2011/07/is-our-language-affecting-image-of.html“>Is Our Language Affecting the Image of Breastfeeding?</a></li>
<li>And of course the guest poster on the Breastfeeding Cafe’s blog today is Sarah Woodall Stoddard-<a href=”http://wp.me/pwUtv-ql“>Talking About Breastfeeding</a></li></ul>

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Friday Five Links

Here are links to some references and resources that have been either valuable or interesting to me as a parent.

Why Babies Should Never Sleep Alone: A review of the Co-Sleeping controversy in relation to SIDS, bedsharing and breastfeeding. By James J. McKenna and Thomas McDade.  I do not believe that a parent needs parenting guides for the most part.  I don’t need a bunch of male doctors telling me how to be a mom.  However, sometimes I like when the male doctors support what I always felt was the right thing to do, and that’s what this paper does for me.  It gave me something to show people who criticized my bedsharing and showed me why it was so normal and natural to me.

Ask Dr. Sears  If only for his Medicine Cabinet which has doses of most medications for children based on their weight.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up dosages for ibuprofen on this website.

Breastfeeding.com this site has pictures and questions and answers that I went to on occasion when I had a question or when I just wanted to read about breastfeeding.

Twitter  I wish Twitter existed back when I was first pregnant with my first child—or any of my children!  I discovered Twitter just after the birth of my fourth and final child. Invaluable support among moms.  Mostly civil and kind.  I would have at least considered homebirth had I “met” my Twitter friends before the birth of any of my children.  Need breastfeeding help?  Just tweet it and they will come.

Kids Discuss   I’m a little reluctant to suggest this website, as I haven’t fully explored it.  What I do like is that it has given me a lot of suggestions for fun family activities, songs and poems from childhood.  It also has a lot of parenting articles that I haven’t yet read, so take this suggestion with a grain of salt. 

 What sites were invaluable to you?

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Good Doula, Bad Doula, Part Two.

Good Doula, Bad Doula, Part One.

When I was pregnant with my fourth baby, I knew I was going to be alone again. We were living in a new area. We had no friends in Southern California. I had no doctor here. I wasn’t supposed to get pregnant! I printed the entire list of doctors my health insurance would cover and started researching each one The one I picked, I’ll call her Dr. Toni, went to Johns Hopkins and her partner taught at UCLA. Figured I was going to get the best educated doctor I could in case there were complications. I also wanted the best Doula. Dr. Toni tried to talk me out of a Doula, but I was insistent. I KNEW I needed one. Even with the Doula who drove me crazy, I needed her. So I started researching Doulas, and then Dr. Toni gave me the name of one she recommended. So I called her (not sure if I should say her name in the blog).

I met with Tracy. She was great. We talked about my birth feelings, and what I want, and that I have breastfed all of my children, and how long, and that I co-sleep. I told her I had two drug free births and really wanted a third. I told her about my gestational diabetes and that I had to use insulin to control it. She explained to me how to postpone an inducement without offending the doctor. She told me how she can sneak food to me like yogurt and bananas if the hospital bans it, and in the end, I think we were pleased with each other.

I couldn’t afford her full rate, so we knocked off a few services to get the rate down (no post-partum birth visits, no pre-birth meetings). I kept her posted via email. I ended up taking my doctors advice and being induced. I should have been stronger, but my insulin doses were getting higher each week, and I was genuinely concerned about the health of the little one. We are so easily swayed by doctors, aren’t we.

So I told Tracy and she asked if she could bring an apprentice and I told her sure. I found out later, that most of her clients said, No, but I’m sooo glad I said Yes!

I was induced and labor started fairly quickly unlike previous inductions. With Tracy and Ashley, I moved around the room (the nurses had such a high respect for Tracy, that they were letting me go off monitor and gave me a lot more freedom than any other hospital had allowed). I used the birth ball, slow dancing, rocking. They distracted me with stories and laughter, massages, focusing. When the labor was weird, they confirmed that the contraction pattern was different than the norm (due to being induced a week early!). When I broke down and asked for an epidural, they did their job to support me and remind me that I wanted drug free and that kept me going longer, then when I finally said I needed it, they supported that decision and told me it was a great decision. Tracy assured me the anesthesiologist was the best in the hospital and he was great.

When it came time to push, they helped me change positions, use the squat bar, everything. Then after almost 2 hours of pushing, when Dr. Toni said the baby was not budging, and decided to do a C-Section because she didn’t know why he was “stuck,” Tracy and Ashley went to surgery with me. Ashley held him when I couldn’t. She tried to encourage his suck reflex by letting him suck her finger. She took pictures as he came out to show me immediately my baby boy. They took care of him when I couldn’t, and I will always be grateful. He didn’t need to be sent to a nursery while I came out of it (I had a huge blood loss, so surgery took longer than usual). They didn’t leave until my Father in Law arrived to help me.

Throughout the labor, Ashley kept my husband posted on the entire process. She called him to let him know we were getting a C-Section. The “Bad Doula” was annoyed when he called for information and was rude to him. Ashley called him when the C-Section was over to let him know it was all okay.

Tracey and Ashley were EXACTLY what I wanted in a doula. Compassionate, Personable, Excellent.

If you hire a doula, I highly recommend you talk with her for at least a half an hour. More if you can. You need to make sure your personalities mesh. You’re going to spend a lot of time together, and that time is very stressful. If your Doula annoys you at all, she will make you miserable during labor.

What do you think makes a good Doula?

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November 4, 2010 · 10:03 pm

Good Baby vs. Bad Baby

Good Baby

Bad Baby

Sleeps through the night by 2 weeks old—8pm-8am Demands to eat every 2-3 hours throughout the night.  Maybe sleeps for 4-6 hours after a couple of months.
Plays happily in its crib alone Demands to be picked up and held
Never cries Cries when it’s needs are not being met
Self entertains from early age Demands face to face interaction
Naps in crib 2-3 hours twice a day allowing parents alone time Naps in baby carrier or in arms or in bed with a parent
Falls asleep on his or her own with no unnecessary interaction from parents Demands to be rocked, sang to, cuddled or nursed to sleep.  Prefers to bed-share with parent.
Begins eating solid food by 4 months old, and happily takes bottle over breast. Is fussy.  Prefers to breast to bottle.  Doesn’t eat solid food more than a taste until 12 months old.
Sleeps in carseat whether or not carseat is in car (used as carrier). Fusses in car seat.  Demands to be held when not in car.

 Look at the above list.  The markers of a good baby, is one that doesn’t require the parents to alter their lifestyles.  Like Emma on Friends, the Good Baby will sleep quietly in the carrier while the parents hang out with friends, go out to dinner, entertain visitors.  The Good Baby will be laid down in a crib promptly at 8am and not disturb the parents until 8 am, allowing not only “alone” time for the parents, but also a long, full night of uninterrupted sleep.  The Bad Baby cries for attention.  He wants interaction with his parents.  The Bad Baby expects to be fed multiple times throughout the night.  The Bad Baby wants nighttime cuddles and songs. The Bad Baby expects to be removed from the car seat carrier and held in the restaurant if he is awake.   

 Now obviously, few people call a baby who cries “bad.”  But by calling one who doesn’t “good” we are left with the implication that any baby who demands any sort of attention is a “bad” baby.  What the heck is wrong with us?

 A baby who cries for attention is just communicating.  We practiced baby wearing with our first three children.  And I can say that it cut down on crying quite a bit.  They wanted to be close to their parent (my husband was the primary baby wearer); they wanted to feel loved and protected.  When I stopped trying to have my newborn sleep in a crib, she stopped crying as she slept next to me, nursing.  In the middle of the night, I would wake up as she did and nurse her before she even cried.  Now if she did cry, did that make her bad?  No, of course not.  My little brother, whom was adopted when I was 17, cried a lot.  He had been severely neglected before my parents got him, and had learned to not cry.  When he discovered that his cries were responded to, when he cried, he CRIED.  I never had a problem with calming him down.  I’d pick him up, sing to him, rock him in the chair, and he would be happy.  I think he was happy to get attention.  How sad to me, that he had given up before we got him, and how happy I am that he learned it was okay to cry and his cries would be answered.

 I’m personally disturbed by the sleep training/independence training that goes on because I think it’s sad when a baby stops trying to get attention.  One mother wrote on a comment on another blog, that she doesn’t pick her children up when they cry because they need to learn independence, and they won’t learn mobility of they are picked up constantly.  My children all walked by 10 months of age, and two of them walked at 8 months!  These from children who were worn or carried constantly.  Babies will walk when they are ready, and leaving them to fend for themselves will not make them walk quicker.  

 Granted, some babies are happier than others when left alone.  The Olson twins are millionaires because they were quiet babies.  This does not make them better babies than ones who cry.

 All babies are Good Babies.

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