Friday, August 20, 2010

For all my fellow lactivists!

I seriously could have written this. I meet every single bullet point! ;)

You might be a lactivist if...
  • You read every article on breastfeeding you come across. Even if you already know everything it says. Maybe even if you've read it before. You can't help it, you have to read them and your significant other is likely going to get an earful about what you read regardless if the tone of the article was positive or negative.
  • You don't flinch, blush or feel even a little awkward with words like "breast," "boobs," "nipple," "areola," "bra," etc. Around anyone, ever. You may not even care where you say them. It is common to say them often.
  • You have to resist the urge to applaud a woman breastfeeding in public. Or smile broadly at her while staring. Or hug her. Or point her out to, oh, everyone. Or stalk her, just a little.
  • Little gets you hotter than another story in the news about a woman and her baby being asked to leave an establishment while breastfeeding or invited to breastfeed in the bathroom. Seriously, the bathroom? It's been said before but you'll say it again; would YOU want to eat in the bathroom? Didn't think so. What is wrong with people having an issue with a baby eating? You will go on and on and on about this to anyone willing to listen and sometimes, even those that aren't.
  • Talking with someone that has just had a baby you don't hesitate to ask "how's breastfeeding going?" You don't actually know if they are breastfeeding but you assume they are. And if things aren't going well you're ready to spring into action to help. Your baby gift is a pair of the softest reusable breast pads, a tube of lanolin, a water bottle and a boppy.
  • The idea of someone touching your breast or you touching someone else's breast to assist with breastfeeding a newborn is like, so whatever. Since that's what b@@bs are for, it's no big deal any more. You might even forget that it still is a big deal for others and inadvertently make new moms uncomfortable. Got to work on that.
  • You have downloaded and printed or purchased "Thank you for breastfeeding in public" cards to hand out to breastfeeding moms you spot while out and about. And you use them too. There are some in your purse, your glove box, your diaper bag, the back pocket of your jeans, and your kids backpack. You consider it a good day if you got to hand out a few at the mall.
  • There are at least 2 Facebook groups you follow about breastfeeding and Twitter too. Maybe even a forum or two. You check often and share lots of links and stories. Reading the stories others post there is addicting and before you know it you've spent hours reading about breastfeeding. All for the cause, all for the cause.
  • You get home from a trip to the zoo and post on a FaceBook wall how many women you saw NIP while you were out. Probably on one of those pages but maybe even your own private Facebook. This doesn't seem strange to you at all, after all, how else are we going to normalize breastfeeding? Seeing mothers NIP should be celebrated, you're just doing your part. Nothing crazy about that!
  • You have taken pictures of yourself breastfeeding. Or had your partner or older child snap a few for you. It's real serious if you've had a breastfeeding sitting with a professional photographer. Is it framed and on your wall? Is there a piece of breastfeeding art, photograph or other, that isn't of you? Why not, right? It's beautiful and natural. In fact, you probably have more pictures of you breastfeeding, most likely of just your chest, arm and little one, than of you actually looking at the camera or doing any thing else.
  • You have shared pictures of yourself breastfeeding online. On those groups or forums. Or your own blog. Even better if it's your profile image on a social networking site or discussion board. You're a proud breastfeeder! Breastfeeding is not obscene Facebook! You probably even "liked" the Facebook page that says that.
  • You know what the World Breastfeeding Symbol is and you have used it either online or in real life. Do you have a bag or shirt with it? Does your baby? A car decal? Or is it part of your profile pic? Yeah? You've got it bad baby. If you ever happen to see the symbol in a business you'll probably hug the shop owner.
  • You know when World Breastfeeding Week is and you get a little giddy when it rolls around every year. Events are planned, give-aways are entered, and lactation cookies are baked. You know what organization is doing what, where and when and you plan on being there. That is, if you didn't organize it yourself. You probably even got a special shirt for the occasion. Maybe even learned a dance.
  • You don't like Nestle and avoid buying Nestle products. Even if your favorite candy is Butterfinger. The fact that the BlogHer conference was sponsored by Nestle really bothered you and you even asked your favorite blogger how they could participate. When Halloween rolls around you debate digging through the kid's loot to find the Nestle products and throw them away. Except for the Butterfingers, you eat those rationalizing that at least you didn't pay for them.
  • Covering for breastfeeding to you means making sure your belly, back and sides are covered but you don't worry about who may catch a brief glimpse of a little b@@b. In fact, you have mixed feelings about breastfeeding covers. Whatever helps a woman feed her baby is great but should we be hiding breastfeeding? It's complicated and you're just happy for breastfeeding in public at all. Personally, you just don't want your flab showing.
  • Breastfeeding past a year is normal, passed 2 common and over 3 no biggie. It's the people that have a problem with it that are weird. You know that the global average age for weaning is age 4 so people just need to get over themselves since breastmilk doesn't suddenly turn to water after a certain age. It's not like there is an expiration date on breastfeeding, sheesh.
  • The Kelly Mom, Best for Babes, Dr. Jack Newman, La Leche League, and other breastfeeding websites are bookmarked on your computer. You also have a considerable breastfeeding library which you loan out often. In fact, you bought several copies of your favorite breastfeeding book to have on hand to give to new moms. You do so with excitement and a list of those websites and don't even notice your partner throwing a breastfeeding-cover-apron-thingy over his head while you jabber on excitedly. When you do notice you give him a "Thank you for NIP" card.
  • You can name at least 3 celebrities that breastfed. You might even know how many kids and how long they breastfed. But you're not sure what movies or TV shows they are from and maybe have never even seen them in anything or know why they are even celebrities at all.
  • Science comes out with new information that breastfeeding has "new" health benefits for mom and/or baby and you say "duh." The information is good to know, you're glad they've done research but it just seems kind of obvious that feeding as nature intended would be a good thing, right?
  • You meet someone for the first time in a non-breastfeeding related environment and you somehow are talking about breastfeeding within 20 minutes. You know if they were breastfed, if they did or intend to breastfeed, how long, what they've read, if they are aware of your favorite breastfeeding resources, etc. Later you may not remember their name but you'll be able to confidently greet them with "You breastfed your youngest for 16 months, of course I remember you!" This applies to men too.
  • You think maybe Gisele was on to something. Even if you don't exactly agree with what she said or that it could even happen you can totally understand it and even secretly wish it was possible. You're cautious about saying that anywhere but can't help wonder "what if...?"
  • The phrases "if breastfeeding offends you put a blanket over your head" and "if breastfeeding is sexual then a bottle is a dildo" make you laugh and you really, really want to share them somewhere. You probably have too. And you know more and have come up with a few of your own. They are what go through your head when having conversations with anti-breastfeeding types. Sometimes they even come flying out of your mouth.
  • Your children think feeding babies with bottles is weird. In their minds the only reason to do so is because something is wrong or the mother is unavailable and then it would be expressed breastmilk. They may not even know what formula is.
  • It is strange that you haven't typed or said "breastfeeding" in one full day. Woah, how did that happen? You must have been sick.
  • Out on a date your partner asks if you could talk about something other than breastfeeding for a little bit. Whether you were talking about you breastfeeding, someone else breastfeeding, breastfeeding in the news, or something else, you didn't even realize you were until he asked to change the subject. It just seemed... normal.
  • You want to replace the slogan "breast is best" with "breast is normal." You've thought long and hard about this and you're ready to change the world. Breastfeeding is normal!
  • After reading an online article about breastfeeding in public harassment incidents, you read through the comments and respond to every uneducated reply posted. You only walk away after you realize your blood pressure is through the roof. And in search of some chocolate.

Monday, August 9, 2010

My next obsession...

Will be what I learn about natural birth! I am hoping to have a VBAC this time around and I am on a quest to learn all I can about having the most natural pregnancy/birth possible! I hope to transfer to a homebirth midwife or the Austin Area Birth Center once I have my first ultrasound done! I am really looking forward to this being so different than last time!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

How could you not?

I just loved this picture of Tyler nursing today.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


I can not stop crying.

Her faith is inspiring and my heart hurts for them

Monday, February 15, 2010

It's funny to look back...

While I was in the shower yesterday.... (which coincidentally is the only time I have to my self and most of the time that "self" time includes a little 25 pound angel banging on the shower door) I started to think about the time while I was pregnant and all of the thoughts and notions I had as to what this would mean for my life.

I recalled meeting with the person we interviewed as a babysitter and asking her tons of questions and even though she was perfect it still didn't feel right. We even gave her a $300 deposit. What is humorous to me from the particular time is that we talked with her about paying her extra if we wanted to go to Happy Hour after work. Really?? I thought at that time that even though I had been away from my baby ALL day long and having someone else practically raise him that I would want MORE time away? And it's not that I didn't want him or love him. We tried for a year to make him... it was just that I envisioned my life staying the same with this new little bundle of love in it. I knew I wanted to breastfeed and figured I would just be able to pump extra milk and party it up? I guess I can partly see why my mom is so shocked at the kind of mother I have become.

I envisioned this perfect little baby that I would watch through the video monitor all snug in his elaborately decorated nursery while Tim and I watched TV at night and then retreated to our bed to cuddle all night like normal.

I am not sure if I thought this way because I had not known many people that breastfed or followed attachment parenting. I didn't even know what the term was until I found out I had been doing it for 6 months!

But once this little person entered my world he was all I could think about or do. I could not fathom having to turn him over to someone at the teeny age of 12 weeks and trust that he would be secure all day. I even went by a daycare and looked in the newborn room and saw the "cages"... quite literally. It was rows of boxes where they pulled rails down to protect from rolling out etc. I almost vomited. This was the most expensive daycare around and it made me want to pass out at the thought of leaving my helpless small baby with them.

I started having panic attacks when the time came to go back to work. It was bad. I would just be here nursing him and would think about what was to come and would start bawling. It had always been "impossible" for me to stay home as we bought a $200,000  and had student loan and furntiture payments out the wazoo. I started crunching the numbers and figured out that with saving nothing for college, retirement etc, never going out to eat, not buying anything not 100% needed ( books, lotion, makeup for fun)... it was BARELY doable.

To this day:

  • I have only been seperated from Tyler 6 or 7 times and my mom or Tim has watched him
  • He has never spent a night or nap out of our room
  • He is still nursing
  • He has never been left to cry it out
  • He has never been spanked

I know most people that say " I can't stay home" just like I did but if you really want it you will find a way. This is nothing to say of moms that don't want to etc. More power to them. I am not one of those people that loves to work and if it is part of you and you enjoy it you should continue. This is not bashing working moms. Its about notions vs. reality.

Do I wish we had more money? Yes! Of course I wish I could take Tyler to the zoo and out to lunch all the time and buy him the best and save for his future but I can NEVER get this time back. I don't think I am going to look back and wish I had more stuff but I would look back and say I wish I had more time with my kid.

Second Lactation Class

I am so very excited that I get to attend my second lactation class next week! After this class I will be a "trained breastfeeding educator"

I will then be able to teach classes etc!

I am so excited that this is my step towards becoming a lactation consultant! My first thing I will be doing is volunteering at a local pregnancy resource center for underprivileged moms to teach them!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"I just don't make enough milk"

This is going to be me on my "soapbox"

I can not fathom any mother not trying to give their child the best. Personally I think that makes you a worse mother than one that will try. Yes, it may be hard and gross you out and be inconvient but for God's sake it is your child. You are going to have to do a lot of gross and hard things over the years. That is part of being a parent. Breastmilk is a MILLION times better than formula and can protect your baby from so many diseases and actually MAKE THEM SMARTER! Why on earth would you not even try to give your baby the best? How freaking selfish are you?

I know people will chime in and say "well I just couldn't do it" " I didn't make enough milk" and the various excuses that are completely false.

It is VERY rare that a woman CAN NOT breastfeed. Breast reduction is one of the leading reasons because the milk glands have been removed and a lot of times it is true that THESE women can't nurse but 99% of the rest of the world is equipped.

People that turn to me and say "well it just wasn't as easy for me as it was for you"...PISS ME OFF.  having a baby attached to me 24/7 when I was recovering from MAJOR surgery that I could feel with no pain medicine that would work IS NOT EASY. I wouldn't send him to the nursery to rest as was suggested. I wouldn't give him "just one bottle" so I could get a break. None of this was easy but I knew that this was what I had to do to make it work. So none of it was easy and do not tell me I am "lucky" that I worked my ass off.

Those first few days are CRITICAL. You can not supplement. You simply can't. Your body needs the stimulation to set up your prolactin receptors in your brain and to set you up for milk production for the duration of your nursing. One bottle can and will throw that off. Your body and your baby's body were designed in this way. Their stomach is the size of a marble and all they need is that coating colostrum. Its what they need. They don't need a two ounce bottle of processed cows milk. This will make them full and then they will not want to nurse and your body will not continue to do what it is supposed to.

So yes, when people say "I can't make enough milk" ... they really can't...because of thier actions, not because of their physiology . Had they not given a bottle of formula the very first day their body would not have told their breasts to produce less milk beacuse the baby didn't need it. So, I am sorry if it is hard to hear. But you did it to your self. Those first couple days are horrible. HORRIBLE and it is not easy so don't anyone tell me how "lucky" I was.

I may be saying how hard it is but it is SO worth it. Even if it doesn't help you bond or you don't enjoy it. You should enjoy what it is doing for your child! You would have to be a bad mother to not.

I can not tell you how many times I have heard people say after a couple weeks "well I just didn't make enough milk" and then you look over pictures of the baby in the hospital and they always have a bottle in their mouth... really? You are right, you don't make enough milk because you told your body that you didn't have a baby because your baby was drinking from a cow!

* I know a lot of women that need to supplement when they return to work because of supply problems and that is not what I am talking about here*

People seem to be so freaking upset when this gets talked about but why would you not want the best for your baby? Why would you not want to try again? Yes formula has a place in this world but if it were not so covienent for people to use just because "breastfeeding is too hard"... maybe we could all be healthier.

It's been proven that breastfed babies grow up to be leaner, healthier adults. Perhaps if we could get breastfeeding rates close to 100% we would not be such a sick nation.

Where would you rather be?