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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Breastfeeding Carnival: Day 1

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!


Mothers Before Me: How were you influenced by the mothers before you when it comes to breastfeeding? Did you witness breastfeeding as a child? Was breastfeeding considered taboo in your family? How did this influence your choice to breastfeed?

I never saw a woman breastfeed, that I was aware of, before I breastfed my first child. My mother certainly didn’t breastfeed. My paternal grandmother didn’t breastfeed. My maternal grandmother, who died before I was born, probably didn’t. None of my friends breastfed. The idea of breastfeeding was even gross to me!

My older sister had a child when Iwas 16 years old, and while she formula fed, I heard that she initially tried breastfeeding. “Eww! Gross!” I thought. When I was 20, and a friend of mine had a baby, a co-worker joked that he took our pooled money and bought her a breastpump. Gross! I thought, and “What does that do?” was my next thought. My friend didn’t breastfeed. She formula fed. A decision that seemed perfectly normal in the early 1990’s. Other than those two times, I rarely ever thought about breastfeeding one way or the other. Then I got pregnant.

I chose breastfeeding because it was the right thing to do, not because I thought it was going to be this wonderful bonding experience. My parents adopted a baby, and he was bottle fed, and we bonded just fine thank-you-very-much. I read about the ways it helps the baby’s immune system, and thought I’d do it for just a few months, and I took a breastfeeding class (a one hour class with 30 other people and very little practical advice).

When the baby was born and I tried breastfeeding, it was HARD, but I was determined to make it work. Once we got it working (took a couple of weeks), I was way past any feelings of breastfeeding being gross. Nothing made the baby happier! When she turned a year old, I thought, why stop now?

My family’s initial response was unhappiness. My mother said I was “denying other people the joy of feeding the baby.” My father wouldn’t look at me making me feel very uncomfortable nursing in front of him. Eventually, my mother came around, and now thinks people who don’t try to breastfeed are weird!

I’m proud to be a good example to my children and others (when I nurse in public).
 


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

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Baby’s first meeting

Maddie was sad that her sisters wouldn’t join her club, so I joined with Lucas & Daddy. She called forward our first meeting & told Daddy to put down his iPhone. Then she talked about our new handshake & we had to pick club names and such. Daddy picked his iPhone up again.

Then Lucas said “I want to say something” & he got up & pointed his finger at Daddy “put it down!” & daddy sheepishly put the phone down. Then Lucas mumbled something we couldn’t understand & took his seat. Then we all did the secret handshake.

Tomorrow it’s us vs her sisters in games outside. Team Magic ftw!

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California State Fair

20110703-020706.jpgI love the California State Fair. I love county fairs, too, but the State Fair is the best. When I lived in Sacramento, I’d go many times. One day would be spent just looking at the big exhibition halls and the County exhibits. Another day would be spent in the smaller exhibition halls with the chickens, rabbits, and art exhibits from youths. One day would be spent taking my brother where we’d go through all the exhibits, play some midway games and look at all the animals in the livestock barns. I rarely rode rides in the midway, though one year I did and my best friend got super sick. Yuck.

Every year I would swear I was going to try something exotic in the food vendor alley. Alligator-on-a-stick? Jerk Chicken? Deep fried onion blossom? I’d walk the entire length of Food Alley looking at the huge smokers at the barbecue joints, salivating over the idea of cheesecake-on-a-stick, wondering if alligator was really worth the price. What did I choose? Every single time I went to the fair I would get the same thing: corn dog and lemonade from Hog Dog on A Stick.
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The girls working at Hot Dog on a Stick had those awful sleeveless striped tunics, and those tall silly striped hats. One girl would be in the back with a bucket of lemons and what looked like a plunger making fresh lemonade (pretty sure they don’t do that anymore). One girl would work the counter and make the corn dogs. They were cooked to order, so it wasn’t fast. I’d get my super hot still-glistening-from-hot-oil corn dog in it’s little paper chip tray, and go around the corner for ketchup and mustard. I’d put ketchup and mustard next to each other in the tray to be swirled together by the corn dog. I hated waiting for it to cool down because after walking the entire food alley, I was hungry!

The lemonade was perfect on a hot Sacramento afternoon–not to sweet, not too cold—and it paired perfectly with the hot corn dog.

On days where I took my young nephew, we’d sometimes get fresh dipped ice cream bars or cinnamon rolls in the Exhibition hall. I loved watching them take out the vanilla bar and dip it into the chocolate, than roll it in nuts. If I was by myself, I’d get a frozen banana fresh dipped.

Late in the afternoon when we were hot and thirsty, I’d get soft frozen lemonade from one of the many carts scattered throughout the fair–too cold to drink fast without a headache, but oh, so good. Sometimes, we’d get snow cones with a rainbow of flavors. I remember getting Tiger’s Blood because the name was cool (and when Charlie Sheen said he had Tiger’s Blood, I laughed because it made me think of snow cones).

I still haven’t tried alligator-on-a-stick, or fried butter, or fried artichokes or fried twinkies, and if I went to the fair now, I’d probably talk a big game about how I’m going to try everything, and then still end up with my trusty corn dog and lemonade.

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What the heck happened last night, little boy?

You were so, so tired at 9pm that I thought you’d sleep through the night, but then at midnight, just after I fell asleep, you started tossing and turning and tried to nurse yourself back to sleep (which is really sweet).  And after an hour of that, I tried to get you to watch quiet cartoons, and you wouldn’t unless I sat up and you sat between my legs and leaned against me like an easy chair watching Iron Giant, while I tried to dose with a blanket on my head to shield my eyes from the brightness.  Then you were acting so cranky tired, but just couldn’t go back to sleep even with the television off until three hours had passed and at that point my eyes hurt to open!  Now I’m at work and you may be still asleep in our cozy bed with your dad, which just isn’t fair, especially when I have no caffeine at work!

 

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“Lucas bit me”

Maddie was making a movie with her stuffed horse.  It had been going on for a long time, and Lucas wanted in on the action.

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Swimming

Took kids to community pool. Water was cold! Very stressful trying to keep all four kids safe. Lucas had a life vest, but still needed constant watching & the others think because they can “swim” in a wading pool they can swim for real, which they can’t yet. (pictured below is the wading pool)

My 9 yr old was game; she tried to swim with me. If I take her more, I think she’ll learn.

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On the way home, my 7 yr old got a massive scrape when she fell while racing with wet sandals on. 😦

I feel like a neglectful parent for my kids not knowing how to swim, but this is the first place we’ve had access to a pool. I hope at least one learns by summer’s end.

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