Tags: Breastfeeding

How to Address Breastfeeding Challenges

By Julie Stockman

This is a companion article to this, on the benefits of nursing.

There are loads of real, daily benefits of breastfeeding your baby. You don’t need a degree in nutritional science to see them and they won’t be the first ones your male pediatrician talks about. Your experience will show you how nursing builds a healthy mama-child relationship in both tangible and intangible ways.

But what about when nursing is hard?

Yes, the drive to nurse a baby after it is born is instinctual for most moms. And yes, our bodies – like all mammals – are designed to feed human babies human milk. But just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s easy. Truth be told, most moms that I know personally struggled a little (or a lot) during the first few months as they learned this new skill of breastfeeding a baby, but most problems have a solution.

Breast Pain

Breastfeeding is a new skill. It is common for it to hurt at first. Most women describe the hurt as a discomfort, but for some, it is more painful. Inverted or flat nipples can cause pain in the beginning, as can an incorrect latching technique. If the baby doesn’t latch well, it can lead to plugged ducts or mastitis. How can you solve it?

Inverted or flat nipples will resolve themselves in time. If this is the issue, you will notice that it doesn’t hurt after the first minute or less of each nursing session. Try counting slowly to 10 each time you start to nurse and by the time you get to 10, the pain should have subsided.

A correct latch is incredibly important and isn’t as intuitive as you might think. It can be hard to learn this by yourself, so unless you have a friend or family member to show you, or a lactation consultant to guide you, videos can be invaluable. Try KellyMom for some links to videos and detailed written descriptions of a good latch.

Plugged ducts or mastitis can resolve themselves, but if you have a fever, you might need antibiotics. The fever from mastitis coupled with the breast engorgement and pain is hard to work through and your baby needs you so much at this time. Just remember to alternate every couple hours with quality probiotics to protect your own health and to help prevent thrush.

Poor Weight Gain

This is also known as “not having enough milk.” A few issues could be at play, including infrequent nursing, pumping, stress, a poor latch, or dehydration. Also, the days right after birth can be particularly difficult because your milk hasn’t come in yet. You’ll know when it does! In the meantime, rest assured that your baby is getting what he or she needs – your nutrient-rich colostrum.

The act of nursing itself is what causes your supply to increase. During the first several months (or more), your baby should have no limits placed on the length and frequency of feeding times unless it’s absolutely necessary. When baby cries, mama nurses. This helps build your supply of milk and helps the baby gain weight at a good pace. Also, if at all possible, try to minimize or avoid pumping in the first few months. Your milk supply is best built by your baby himself, and if pumping is stressful for you, it can swiftly decrease your milk.

Whenever you can, try to nurse in a quiet, stress-free space. Give yourself plenty of opportunity to learn how to latch properly without having to worry about being modest or discrete. Learning how to latch under a blanket is hard! And if nursing itself is stressing you out, ask yourself why and try to solve that emotionally. Relaxed moms let down more milk.

Dehydration can be a silent supply killer. You’ll be amazed at how thirsty you always are when you are first nursing – don’t ignore it! Drink as much as you want and then some. Your body needs to be hydrated to make more milk.

Medications

In today’s world, it’s not at all uncommon for women of childbearing age to regularly take some sort of prescription medication. If you ask an obstetrician or your baby’s pediatrician, don’t be surprised if they tell you that you shouldn’t breastfeed while taking the medication. But, if they don’t offer you any alternatives, then definitely seek out a second opinion.

You could consult with another doctor right away, or you could consult La Leche League to find a local group leader for ideas on medications in your category that are safer when breastfeeding. You could then visit your doctor or another doctor armed with the list.

While there are a few rare cases of women being unable to nurse while treating a condition with prescription medication, most women can find a different medicine that is safer. Or, the pharmaceutical they had been taking might transfer to their milk at such a low level that they are comfortable with that small exposure.

If you can hang onto only one thing during those first few months, it’s this: nursing your baby is a long business. It might take two or three months to get it right, but once you do, you could have years to enjoy that special relationship with your baby. It is absolutely worth every bit of struggle you put into it and then some, as it will pay dividends for life.

Other posts by Julie:

The Importance of High-Quality Prenatal Vitamins

Caffeine During Pregnancy: Is it really a no-no?

The 5 Baby Items You’ll Never Regret

Julie Stockman lives in Farmland, Indiana where she homeschools her children with her husband, Jeff. She spends her days baking, gardening, keeping chickens, listening to the nature around them, practicing gratitude and faithfulness, and stealing minutes to write about it all.

The Real Benefits of Nursing Your Baby

By Julie Stockman

Forget the whole “breast is best” campaign for a minute. Let’s talk about the real benefits of nursing.

Yes, human breast milk is the perfect food for a human baby from a nutritional standpoint. And yes, babies love it! But there are some clear benefits to mom that many doctors and other professionals don’t mention. In the wee hours of the night, when no one has had much sleep for days, and no one gives a hoot about the nutritional profile of anything, it’s these things that will keep a mom nursing and be glad that she is.

Nursing Moms Sleep More

I’ve done it both ways. I fed my first daughter formula from day one, and nursed my second two children. I can report that I definitely slept more when nursing than when bottle-feeding.

When you are bottle-feeding, you have to drag yourself out of bed every time your baby cries, travel to the kitchen, make a bottle, hold it for her until she’s finished, then try to get back to sleep. All that traveling in the middle of the night and forcing your mind out of the sleep fog to prepare bottles can make you very, very sleep deprived. This sleep deprivation can cause many problems postpartum and can even masquerade as postpartum depression.

Severe, ongoing sleep deprivation can make you confused and angry in the middle of the night, which can be a scary feeling for new mothers. Chronic interrupted sleep and chronic lack of sleep can also affect a working mother’s ability to perform her job and reduce her reflexes to the point where she can’t safely drive a vehicle.

While many mothers worry that breastfeeding will reduce their quality and quantity of sleep, it is usually just the opposite. Personally, I was terrified of the sleep deprivation I had felt when bottle-feeding, but found myself totally surprised when it never happened.

Most moms have to spend a couple months learning how to nurse for the first time, which can be difficult, is sometimes sleepless, and can be painful while figuring out what a good latch is (and what it is not). But this learning period is short-lived. One day, you figure out how to nurse lying down and that changes everything. You can doze on and off as you nurse the baby back to sleep. It’s such an important and helpful position to learn, that it is actually the first position my midwife teaches her mamas as they learn to breastfeed. She says it can make the difference between loving nursing and wanting to throw in the towel, because so much of your enjoyment of the new baby depends on how rested you are.

Nursing Moms Have Magic Calming Tricks

You know all those tips people pass along to calm babies? Tips like: walking around might help, or swaddling him tightly, or rocking, or swinging, or driving around in the car, or even strapping him into his car seat and setting it on top of a running dryer. How about pacifiers? If she won’t take one type and spits it out, try a different brand. Maybe she likes to bounce?

As a nursing mom, you can forget most of those methods – you are more of a one-trick pony. Baby cries, you nurse, baby usually falls right asleep. Sometimes, illness plays a role and your infant might not be soothed by nursing alone, but you can rest assured that he’s getting lots of immunity from your antibodies to help him recover faster. It makes the baby’s sickness a lot less scary for you when you know that you’re doing something to help every time you feed your baby.

Nursing Moms Make Their Own Relaxant

Let’s face it, when you first have a baby, you are in one of the most work-intensive, exhausting, sleep-deprived, and all around difficult times of your life. This is where the beauty of being a nursing mom really shines. Breastfeeding an infant releases relaxing chemicals (oxytocin to be precise) that make the whole thing feel happy and worth it. It’s a reliable way to bring calm to a busy day. Countless days have I come home feeling frazzled and headed straight to a quiet room to nurse the baby. It revives both of us.

Oxytocin is a bonding chemical too, and the object of your love is conveniently just 12 inches away. All that happy, relaxing bonding time sees you through the clingy, sick times and later the opinionated toddler two’s.

The doctors tell us now that the nutritional makeup of breastmilk is best for our babies. And as nature would have it, many moms find it’s best for themselves, too.

Other posts by Julie:

The Importance of High-Quality Prenatal Vitamins

Caffeine During Pregnancy: Is it really a no-no?

The 5 Baby Items You’ll Never Regret


Julie Stockman lives in Farmland, Indiana where she homeschools her children with her husband, Jeff. She spends her days baking, gardening, keeping chickens, listening to the nature around them, practicing gratitude and faithfulness, and stealing minutes to write about it all.

Is Six Months of Exclusive Breastfeeding Best for Your Baby?

By @YourGreenBaby

On January 13, 2011 The British Medical Journal released a review questioning current recommendations advising mothers in the UK to exclusively breastfeed their baby for the first six months.  As I watched the news report on TV my first response was: “Pardon me???” I was a little stunned, a little shocked and a lot surprised. As I watched the news and listened intently to what they were saying, I knew the rest of my night would be spent reading and rereading this study. And so with my little man tucked into bed for the evening that is exactly what I did. Here I will share my thoughts on this review:

1) First and foremost this review does not contain any new research, it is an observational review, and one I might add that is being made by authors (three out of four), while not funded for this particular review by infant formula companies and baby food companies, have been on the payroll of one or both within the last three years – conflict of interest???? I definitely think so.

2) This review is suggesting food introduction begin as early as four months. With a pretty solid understanding of infant digestion I do have some serious concerns about this suggestion. An infant’s digestive system at four months is not yet developed enough to properly digest solid food. It is permeable, meaning substances are easily absorbed into the blood stream – great if you are feeding your baby breast milk, not so great if you are introducing food.  For a greater understanding of infant digestion read a post I wrote about infant digestion here.  I also have to question food introduction at this time as most babies are not physically ready for food at this age – a main sign of physical readiness is the ability of your baby to both sit up on his own and hold his head up. While some babies may be doing this on their own at four months, there are not many.

3)  From the emails I received from a few clients in regards to this review, there was some confusion over what the word “weaning” means. Weaning for most means weaning their baby from the breast, and ending the breastfeeding relationship; in actual fact weaning refers to the introduction of solids while continuing to breastfeed.  A few concerned moms emailed me wondering if they should switch to formula after hearing this report, afraid they might be harming their babies by breastfeeding for too long. This is exactly the response I was hoping not to get and it tells me there are probably a lot of moms out there who are very confused after reading this review. This review is not suggesting the end of breastfeeding at four to five months, it is suggesting at this age breast milk may not provide the nourishment your baby needs for optimum growth and development and food introduction at this time while continuing to breastfeed would be beneficial for babies. So please do not stop breastfeeding; if you have questions, ask, if you have concerns, do some research; there is far more research out there which shows the benefit of not only exclusive breastfeeding for six months but also the continuation of breastfeeding as long as both mom and baby are willing participants.

4) I think it is really important to stress what we know from research — exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months significantly reduces the incidence and severity of diabetes, childhood cancer, obesity, and asthma, as well as diminishing a baby’s risk of allergies, diarrhea infections, ear infections, lower-respiratory infections, bacterial meningitis and urinary tract infections.  I wonder why the authors of this review failed to look at this research.

5)  As a nutritionist specializing in mom, baby and toddler; I recommend exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and then a gradual and careful approach to food introduction. I have had moms begin food introduction as early as five and half months. Why? Their babies were ready. I have also had babies not ready for food introduction until closer to seven months. My little man Reece was not interested in food until seven months; I tried at six months but there was no interest, so I followed his lead. I would try each week, once or twice, until he was ready and interested, which happened around seven months. I once had a mom in my starting solids workshop ask if on her baby’s six month birthday something magically happened that meant she was ready for solids. And the answer is no, nothing magically happens; like you may have already discovered or will soon discover, each and every baby is different. Development happens within a window of time; not on a particular day and time. This is important to keep in mind, while one baby may be ready to solids at five and half months, others may not be ready until six or seven months. How do you know for sure? You follow your baby’s lead, you watch for signs he is ready to get started, you pay attention to your baby and you listen to your mommy instinct.

I am in favour of research on infant nutrition, what I am not in favour of is reviews which don’t take into account all the research available. I am also saddened at the way the media handles sensitive information such as this – it would have been very beneficial to have the research addressed by a professional on the news that evening. When we are discussing something as important as the nourishment of our babies, which plays such a large role in their long term health and wellness, news viewers, especially moms, would have benefited from a greater understanding of what the review meant.

I truly hope this review does not change the mind of soon to be moms in regards to breastfeeding, I hope it does not change the mind of a new mom who is already breastfeeding and I hope formula companies don’t take it upon themselves to use this review as a marketing tool.

If you have not read the review, it can be viewed here.

Kim Corrigan-Oliver is a first time mom. She is a certified holistic nutritionist specializing in nutrition for mom, baby and toddler. She loves good food and to cook. And, she loves to share her passion for all of the above with those interested in learning more about feeding their babies and raising healthy happy children. For more information please check out her website at Your Green Baby.

Other posts by Kim Corrigan-Oliver

Herbs and Fertility

Nutrition Guidelines in the Preconception Period

The Importance of Preparing For The Journey

When Mama Really Does Know Best: Why I Love Tandem Nursing

By Julie Stockman

When I realized I was pregnant with my most recent child, I made a decision that was most natural to us yet most peculiar to others. I decided to keep nursing my then 8-month-old daughter throughout the pregnancy. I hoped to make it to the other side of 9 months, so I could eventually nurse both of them.

For six years (and counting), I had regretted my decision to not breastfeed my first child, and I was determined to continue my first nursing relationship well beyond 8 months. When I got that big fat unexpected positive line on the test stick, I was still holding such a little baby in my arms. Weaning was the last thing I could imagine doing right then.

So I persisted. I had some big stuff in my favor from the start. I had always had lots of milk, so even when my supply dropped, there was still enough to keep her interested. I had a little nipple discomfort in the first trimester, but it wasn’t even close to the amount of nipple pain I experienced when we first started nursing. It seemed almost too slight to mention in comparison. She night-weaned pretty easily when I was about 5 months along, which helped me get the sleep I needed to patiently stay the course even when it was annoying. And luckily, I had only an occasional mild case of the “skin-crawlies” that some nursing pregnant mamas experience.

That pregnancy was the healthiest and most uneventful I’ve ever had. There was no bleeding, no miscarriage scares, no cramping, very little nausea, good energy levels, and – to top it off – I had a normal, problem-free, very fast homebirth on my actual due date.

Today I am nursing a chunky 6-month-old baby girl and a very chunky 23-month-old toddler. Finally, I can see the other side of that 9 months and know with certainty that following my own instincts on the matter was absolutely the right decision.

ENGORGEMENT

The first glimpse I had of the benefits of keeping my toddler nursing was when my milk came in. On Day 3 postpartum, I woke up with those horribly engorged, hard, painful breasts. The baby could barely latch and when she did, the flow of milk was so strong it choked her. I knew just who to call on. My toddler was quite happy to help. We rediscovered our morning nursing routine as I would seek her out first thing each morning throughout the first few months. My husband began jokingly calling her “the cleanup crew.”

EASY TRANSITION

I quickly realized that all this renewed nursing was helping her relationship with the baby. Occasionally I would feed them at the same time and they would steal happy glances at each other. The baby’s hand would inevitably end up being stroked and patted by the toddler. We called them “breast buddies.” I was thrilled when my toddler accepted the baby without complaint  and didn’t display anger or jealous behavior to her at all.

TODDLER DISTRACTION

If you’ve had toddlers in the house, then you know how exhausting it can be to keep up with them. The best (only?) tools that we have that work are redirection and distraction. And certainly, nothing redirects and distracts better than, “Hey! Wanna nurse?” We’ve avoided trampled gardens, unearthed perennials, running toward the road, climbing into dangerous positions, and public meltdowns by those three magic words.

We are at 23 and a half months now and that two-year nursing period I’d hoped to achieve is quickly approaching. I can’t say that I’m in a big hurry to give it up though. I’m still enjoying so many benefits, and I’m still enjoying those sweet eyes looking up at mine.

I asked her last night as we were nursing, “Do you like your very own Mommy time with nobody else?” She nodded, never letting go of her latch.

You know what? Me too.

This post was included in Authentic Parenting’s Sunday Surf of January 16, 2011.

Julie Stockman lives in Farmland, Indiana where she homeschools her children with her husband, Jeff. She spends her days baking, gardening, keeping chickens, exploring the nature around them, practicing gratitude and mindfulness, and writing about it all on her blog, Heirloom Homestead.

Other posts by Julie Stockman that might be of interest:

Organic Food Shopping Tips

Ideas for Finding a Good Naturopath or Nutritionist in Your Area

Infertility and Practical Steps For Treating The Whole Mama

Infertility and the Power of Rational Problem Solving

Poll Reveals Mothers’ Attitudes Towards Breastfeeding (US Poll)

A poll by a recently launched website aimed at helping women identify the best time to conceive or avoid pregnancy naturally, has revealed the opinions and attitudes that mothers across America have towards breastfeeding.

A recently launched website aimed at helping women identify the best time to conceive or avoid pregnancy naturally, has conducted research into the attitudes women have towards breastfeeding and why they did or didn’t use the age-old method to feed their child.

The poll, by www.FertilityFlower.com, asked 3,102 mothers across America if they breastfed their children and the reasons behind their decision.

According to the research, the majority of those asked, 71%, breastfed their children and a further 8% ‘attempted’ to breastfeed and ‘gave-up’ after finding it too difficult.

Of those who breastfed their baby, more than 1 in 5, 21% admitted to doing so to ‘help’ them lose the weight that they gained during pregnancy and a further 16% breastfed because it was ‘cheaper’ than buying formula milk.

More than two thirds, 68%, of those who breastfed their baby said it was so that they could ‘bond’ with their child.

4% of those that breastfed their baby admitted to doing so because they felt ‘pressured’ to do so by either a partner, family member or their midwife.

The research found that 16% of the respondents didn’t breastfeed their baby or even attempt to for the first feed. 31% of which cited it was because they were concerned about the affect it could have on their breasts and a further 7% said it was for fear of it being painful.

29%, of those that breastfed admitted to feeling ‘embarrassed’ at times and 15% of those that didn’t breastfeed said one of the elements for their decisions was the embarrassment they would feel breastfeeding in public places.

Kimberly Ann Racic, founder of FertilityFlower.com, commented on the research;

“Breastmilk is the perfect food for babies. Therefore the decision to breastfeed or not shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, I don’t think anyone should be shamed into breastfeeding when they don’t want to. The good news for the women who would like to continue breastfeeding but are anxious about doing so in public is that there are covers that can be bought or made that allow for complete discretion.”

She continued,

“If mothers are feeling unsure as to what is best for them and are struggling to reach a decision, I would suggest that they do some research online and talk to other moms candidly about their fears. They are likely to get a realistic picture of what breastfeeding is like and the pros and cons. After that, they’ll be able to make the decision to breastfeed or not based on real information rather than perception.”

LINK http://www.FertilityFlower.com

***ENDS ***

For more information, please contact Milan Racic @ Indium via e-mail: milan@pureindium.com

Editor’s notes

FertilityFlower.com launched in August 2010 with the aim of helping women accurately identifies their fertile phase by using the ‘sympto-thermal’ method. It uses cutting edge charting software to help women track their fertility, with the objective of helping women grow their families naturally or organically space births.

This Press Release Was Featured In:

SheKnows: Women Not Breastfeeding Because of Embarassment? Reasons for Breastfeeding

Growing Your Baby: New Moms Share Their Thoughts on Breastfeeding

Midwives Information Resources Service: Poll Reveals Mothers’ Attitudes Towards Breastfeeding

We also conducted a similar poll in the UK. You can see the results and coverage here.

Other Studies Conducted by Fertility Flower in the US:

A Fifth of Parents Aren’t Intimate With Each Other During the First Trimester of Pregnancy

Poll Reveals Most Common Fertility Confusions

Poll Reveals A Quarter of Women Drink Alcohol Whilst Pregnant

Study Reveals Average Time Taken To Conceive In The U.S.



Poll Reveals Mothers’ Attitudes Towards Breastfeeding (UK Poll)

A poll by a recently launched website aimed at helping women identify the best time to conceive or avoid pregnancy naturally, has revealed the opinions and attitudes that mothers across the UK have towards breastfeeding.

A recently launched website aimed at helping women identify the best time to conceive or avoid pregnancy naturally, has conducted research into the attitudes women have towards breastfeeding and why they did or didn’t use the age-old method to feed their child.

The poll, by www.FertilityFlower.com, asked 1,184 mothers across the UK if they breastfed their children and the reasons behind their decision.

According to the research, almost two thirds of those asked, 64%, breastfed their children and a further 12% ‘attempted’ to breastfeed and ‘gave-up’ after finding it too difficult.

Of those who breastfed their baby, 14% admitted to doing so to ‘help’ them lose the weight that they gained during pregnancy and a further 26% breastfed because it was ‘cheaper’ than buying formula milk.

The majority, 53%, of those who breastfed their baby said it was so that they could ‘bond’ with their child.

9% of those that breastfed their baby admitted to doing so because they felt ‘pressured’ to do so by either a partner, family member or their midwife.

The research found that 19% of the respondents didn’t breastfeed their baby or even attempt to for the first feed. The majority of these respondents, 52%, cited it was because they were concerned about the affect it could have on their breasts and a further 11% said it was for fear of it being painful.

More than 1 in 10, 11%, of those that breastfed admitted to feeling ‘embarrassed’ at times and 21% of those that didn’t breastfeed said one of the elements for their decisions was the embarrassment they would feel breastfeeding in public places.

Kimberly Ann Racic, founder of FertilityFlower.com, commented on the research;

“Breastmilk is the perfect food for babies. Therefore the decision to breastfeed or not shouldn’t be taken lightly. However, I don’t think anyone should be shamed into breastfeeding when they don’t want to. The good news for the women who would like to continue breastfeeding but are anxious about doing so in public is that there are covers that can be bought or made that allow for complete discretion. ”

She continued,

“If mothers are feeling unsure as to what is best for them and are struggling to reach a decision, I would suggest that they do some research online and talk to other moms candidly about their fears. They are likely to get a realistic picture of what breastfeeding is like and the pros and cons. After that, they’ll be able to make the decision to breastfeed or not based on real information rather than perception. ”

LINK http://www.FertilityFlower.com

***ENDS ***

For more information, please contact Milan Racic @ Indium via e-mail: milan@pureindium.com

Editor’s notes

FertilityFlower.com launched in August 2010 with the aim of helping women accurately identifies their fertile phase by using the ‘sympto-thermal’ method. It uses cutting edge charting software to help women track their fertility, with the objective of helping women grow their families naturally or organically space births.

This Press Release Was Featured In:

SheKnows: Women Not Breastfeeding Because of Embarassment? Reasons for Breastfeeding

Growing Your Baby: New Moms Share Their Thoughts on Breastfeeding

Midwives Information Resources Service: Poll Reveals Mothers’ Attitudes Towards Breastfeeding

We also conducted a similar poll in the US. You can see the results and coverage here.

Other Studies Conducted by Fertility Flower in the UK:

Quarter of Parents Aren’t Intimate With Each Other During the First Trimester

Poll Reveals Most Common Fertility Confusions

Poll Reveals Fifth of Women Drink Alcohol Whilst Pregnant

Study Reveals Average Time to Conceive in the UK


Transformative Power of Birth

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 birth experiences and breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


Getting our nursing 'issues' ironed out

The more I learn about the world of mothering, the more I recognize that a woman’s birth experience has effects that extend way past the actual event. I see that feelings of disappointment, fear or powerlessness within the context of the birth itself have great power over what happens next. Depending on the basic ‘stuff’ of the mother, those feelings could resurface as a lack of confidence within the breastfeeding relationship (‘I don’t know what I’m doing…’I must be doing it wrong’…’the baby doesn’t like my milk’) or it might spur someone to make up for it – just powering through whatever obstacles are put in her way IN SPITE of the birth experience.

My 8 1/2 pound chunk

I’m a bit of a pushover by nature. My husband calls me ‘Midwestern Nice.’ But this natural predisposition toward not-making-waves is intensified by the fact that we live in a foreign country where my command of the launguage is ’casual’ at best.  Unable to REALLY convey my thoughts exactly or to the depth that I would be able to in English, I lack confidence when I speak.  Even my speaking voice is smaller, as if to subconsciously suggest to the listener -  ‘what I’m actually saying to you is but a pale version of what it would’ve been otherwise…don’t bother listening.’ Add unto that the pain of childbirth and I couldn’t put a sentence together to save my life let alone advocate for myself at the birth.

After the birth, though, I was transformed. Whereas I’m inclined to be a wimp on matters pertaining to me, with regard to my daughter – I was fierce and completely shocked by it. And when Blanka didn’t seem interested in nursing or we had some trouble latching on in the first 24 hours (probably all normal but I worried about it anyway), I persevered like crazy because it was important for her and thus it became all-important to me. So much so that when a nursing session was interrupted by a nurse who came to our room to weigh the babies, I shewed her away – don’t call me, I’ll call you. I thought, ‘Who is this woman? This can’t be me…’ but sister, it was! I felt that since the birth had been out of my hands, I would be damned if the care of my daughter would be too.


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

Nursing Etiquette Revisited

This is a guest post from Cindy that was intended to be submitted for the Carnival on Nursing in Public.  However life intervened and she wasn’t able to submit it by the deadline.  Cindy is a mother of 2 and lives in Florida.

What mother can not relate to this video on Nursing Etiquette?  My closest girlfriends know that I consider the “hooter hider” neck-laced nursing cover to be one of the best go-betweens invented.

When I think back to my nursing days, I remember nursing in a bathroom stall during a wedding, standing on one leg, with my dress hiked up to my underarms (clearly rookie mistake), nursing in a sling and brilliant slit blouse (thanks Tracey) during Greg’s holiday work party while carrying on a conversation as if my newborn old were just in “there” taking a snooze (striking how many cop jokes there ridiculing breastfeeding), trying to make sure that my 3 month old was still breathing beneath his “throw” while nursing in Florida summer humidity levels of 100% so that my toddler could play outside…. on and on….. or just retreating from friendships, company, and companionship to a room by myself (which could also be devoid of time with my husband and toddler, especially with company in our home), when the pressure to not offend those who can not grasp what God has created so naturally, starts to feel overwhelming.  How warped the US societal view is when nursing a baby makes a dedicated and loving mother feel embarrassed by what she is doing.  Some of you reading this email will disagree with my perspective and I invite you to freely share why.  It might be refreshing to have some open dialogue about this, especially since when you are a breastfeeding mom that needs to find a corner seat to nurse your screaming infant, the typical response is disgusted body language and snickers.

With adoption on the horizon for us, my breastfeeding days are over, but I want to encourage some of you who are still journeying that road.  This is a bizarre society that we are living in, with the extreme sexualization of what God so wholesomely made maternal.  Everything about caring for your infant is right, the way you and I were created.  What criticizes it is its own problem.

By the way, if the opportunity ever allows, consider the greatest gift of encouragement I once received as a worn-out, tired breastfeeding mama- a dear woman who walked up and offered me a huge, cold, glass of water and a smile when I was nursing in a side hallway at a doctor’s office.