57 posts categorized "Nursing & Weaning"

The Pressure of Production: how far does it go?

January 29, 2014

A text was followed by an email, with basically the same message.  Short, sweet, urgent: "What are tips for increasing production?"  Sent by my sister-in-law, first-time mom to a four-month old, now back at work as an elemtary teacher, she wanted to know every trick in the book to keep supply ample, abundant.

We have an archive chock full of advice for pumping, so look there for discussion on the classic working mamas nursing conundrum or for the mama who pumps a lot.

Does production wane as the babies age?  But, even more importantly, how we navigate and negotiate this constant pressure to produce, the constant burden to make more milk to nourish our young, the everyday need to make sure our babies continue to mark progress tracked by ounces and pounds.  It is a worry and a stressor, and it can certainly mess with supply.

At what point do we introduce supplements?  At what point to we throw up hands and say: "I just cannot make enough for you, baby girl, as much as I love you and as much as I want to make more."  It's not for want that many of us cannot supply.  Have you experienced this pressure to produce?  Have you accepted other non-nursing avenues to nourishment for our littlest ones?

Mangled Breasts: is there any way around it?

July 16, 2012

I clearly remember my mom nursing my brother.  It was painful, based on the crumpled look on her face.  More painful than the actual nursing was the actual latching-off, removing baby mouth from mama breast.  In early books, I read about a couple of key components of nursing: (1) good latch, mouth open wide! and (2) break the seal before unlatching, removing from breast.  My mom's breasts, by the end of her few months of nursing my brother, were mangled.  Her nipples were so stretched out, hardened from the poor latch-on and poor latch-off.

When I nursed my first child, I soon realized the effect of the lazy latch off.  If I let her slip off the breast, lips still firmly wrapped around my breast and nipple, she would elongate my breast and nipple with every latch off.  The result - after days, weeks, years - was not pretty.  My breasts - well, at least my nipples - were starting to look like my mom's, a very skewed breast-to-nipple ratio (approaching 1 to 1!).  Mamas, you know what I mean.

As I approach the three-year mark nursing my third child, I look at my bare breasts in the mirror, and I sigh.  My nam-nams are looking as tired as my face.  They are weathered, flappy.  The worst of it, I think, are my nipples.  The mechanism of getting the nourishment from my milk stores to my child's stomach, my nipples have seen better (and shorter) days.  After almost a decade of combined nursing, is there any way to revive my nam-nams?  Is there a way to perk my ladies up?  Is there a way to unform what has become an extra-large avent nipple?  Or, do I look at my breasts and feel accomplished for all the comfort and nourishment I have provided (and continue to provide) my children for all those years?

Time's new cover: extended breastfeeding

May 11, 2012

Everyone's talking about it, so why don't we?  What do you think of Time's new cover?  Are you an extended breastfeeder?  What does this image say to you?  

Tales from a weaning breast: numb nam-nams

February 23, 2012

My 2.5yo nurses in the morning and evening.  On the weekends, sometimes he will nurse mid-day. We're not ready to give up breastfeeding.  My two previous children nursed until right about this age.

Last week, I had to take an overnight trip without the boy, despite my success over the past 2 years in bringing babe along with me for work travel.  I left for my work trip this time, with no child to nurse and no pump to extract milk.  It was somewhat intentional.  The trip was less than 48 hours.

By night, a good day after I had nursed, my breasts were tender, started to feel engorged.  By the time I went to bed, they were bumpy, full of big bubbles of milk.  By 3am, I tossed and turned, unable to find a comfortable spot or position.  Every thing made my breasts hurt; they were becoming more and more rock-like with every hour. 

Continue reading "Tales from a weaning breast: numb nam-nams" »

That’s what it’s all about

January 04, 2012

Note: As a fair warning, this post has been written after a night of very little sleep. I’m not making excuses, just stating the facts as they are. If it’s incomprehensible or confusing, consider yourself warned. If you are scared of reading something incomprehensible or confusing, perhaps you’d best skip this one. And every other one I write ;-)

 Cameron_1yrBaby boy is now 13 months old. He’s getting good at taking more than three steps at a time before flopping down on his diaper-padded tush. He’s starting to say more words, probably more than even I understand yet. And we’ve started that long, long process of weaning by eliminating night nursing. He actually took to sleeping through the night like a champ. However, after all the excitement of the holidays were done, and we started back to our weekly routine I think his world was a little rocked. Why do I think this? Well, it started at around 2:45 AM, the screaming. Before I looked at the clock I thought “wow, is it 6:45 already?” Nope. Maybe he’ll fall back asleep…

… 5 minutes later, still screaming. My darling dearest and I were wide awake. “what’s wrong with him?” he asks. “I don’t know…” I respond. In my head I think… he ate lots of dinner, so not likely hunger. He doesn’t seem to be sick or teething. He took care of all his bowel needs just before bed… so what could it be? Can 1 year olds have nightmares? (he sounded terrified!) Can he be getting another molar? Does he have a fever? Is his night light freaking him out? “I’ll go check on him…” says my darling dearest. *Whew* I think to myself. I’m trying to avoid going back to the nursing all night thing, and I’m afraid if I go to him, he’ll scream even LOUDER if I don’t nurse him.

I listen in… the screaming gets worse. My darling dearest is not having any luck calming him down. After 20 minutes he gives up . Just then, baby boy settles. The quiet is nearly deafening. My ears are ringing. “There was a smell in the room, and I didn’t check his diaper, maybe he had pooped?” my darling dearest says. “No, couldn’t be, he just did that before bed. It’s probably the diaper you smelled” I respond. But he must know, so he goes back in to check…  and in so doing, he wakes baby boy, who begins to wail again. My heart was breaking, but what could I do? Twenty minutes more passed, and my darling dearest gave up again. Five minutes more, and he still hadn’t settled…

I couldn’t take it anymore. It was my turn to go in. I had a plan, and it didn’t involve boobs. It involved the Hokey Pokey. So I picked him up, and he pushed away at me, trying to escape, it seemed. He wailed even louder but I hugged him close and started singing quietly in his ear “you put your right foot in, you put your right foot out…” doing a little dance to go along with it. By the time I got to the hands, he’d stopped screaming and was just sniffling a bit. By the time I got to the hips, he had settled his little head on my chest and relaxed completely. When I got to the head, his arms started to droop and his breathing settled a bit. Finally I just hummed the tune as I ran out of body parts. I gently placed him in his bed, which woke him a bit and set him screaming again, but he quickly settled in and I rubbed his back until he finally fell asleep. I snuck out very VERY slowly, careful not to set him off again. With all the silence I was able to enjoy a little thought to myself: “Maybe the Hokey Pokey *is* what it’s all about”…

I crept back into bed, wide awake.  Thirty minutes later: “WAHHHHHHHHHH” *sigh*

My nam-nams need support: seeking best nursing bras

September 01, 2011

I think it has been over a month since I wore a bra.  The tank tops with the shelf lining/bra is just too easy and comfortable.  Recently, however, a glance at my profile in the mirror made me feel like everything was slumping, sliding.  I felt like I could use a little pick-me-up.  

With this round of nursing, almost two years in, I think I have rotated through maybe only three nursing bras, but I have maxed out the use of the shelf tank tops.  One nursing bra was perfect for earlier months, when I had more volume.  It was a Motherhood, full-coverage, lightly padded, seamless number: supportive and effective.  My second nursing bra was more of the weekender, a total soft cup, unpadded, Bella Materna bra with a little rouching.  This one I loved because the whole cup folded down when unlatched, unlike the Motherhood one that had this fabric with a big hole where my breast would jut out of.  That was just weird.  My third nursing bra was a little treat,  a little something I picked up at Posh Baby in the Pearl.  It's a microfiber smooth cup with a little lacey trim, very functional but the slightest bit feminine (the Bella BumBum nursing bra).

All of these bras have run their course (tattered from all the laundering, clipping, and unclipping), and I think I deserve another one.  I don't want to break the bank, but I do know that we have several more months of nursing ahead, though on a tapered schedule (as the boy turns 2 in a few weeks).  Today's NYT article on nursing bras become more fashionable as well as functional makes me think that I'm not the only one on the search for the best nursing bra.  Your recommendations on styles & where to buy?

Breastfeeding: it is not easy.

August 01, 2011

With today the start of World Breastfeeding Week, I reflect on my first moments breastfeeding almost 11 years ago (hard to believe that I am again breastfeeding at this moment!).

Breastfeeding was not easy.  Finding the right latch, unlatching properly, wating for the milk, then the pain of the milk finally coming in....  it was all. so. hard.  There was one singular factor that really carried me through those challenges of the first few weeks of breastfeeding: my own mother.

My mother probably views herself to be a failed breastfeeder.  A pediatrician who had her children at the height of the infant formula marketing campaings,  and as a full-time working mother who resumed work within weeks of delivery, my mother lacked the time and support to fully realize her breastfeeding potential.  And, she is sad about that.  Now, in her professional life, she touts "breast is best" to her hundreds (maybe thousands) of patients.  She will often recount with them stories of her by my side, massaging my breasts to manually express milk when it first came in, helping to relieve the engorgement.  She will tell them: breastfeeding is not easy.

Days 1, 2, 3: waiting for the milk, learning to latch.  My mom kept saying, "just keep trying, just keep nursing."  Whenever Philly would wake up, we would practice the latching.  My mom would fluff my pillows, put out a boppy or other lap pillow, and do the C-cup thing to cup the breast.  She'd help me teach the baby to open the mouth nice and big for the best latch.  She'd help me shove the entire breast in the mouth.  Get the best latch!  I think that was the one and only goal in those first few days: focus on the best latch.

Day 4: the milk comes in.  OUCH.  The first time the milk came in, I was in absolute tears, the pain was so bad.  My mom, whose hands are always ice frigid, warmed her hands in water and started to massage as I cried and held a cup out.  We massaged and massaged.  My mama milked me!  We collected quite a bit of extra milk - nice, rich, high fat milk.   

Day 5 and beyond: mastering the basics, nursing in public.  In ensuing days, my mom was by my side, quick to fetch me a pillow, rag, or glass of water, helping me to get the babe top open WIDE, always watching to provide support and suggestions.  When out in public, at a restaurant or what not, my mom helped to provide non-suffocating coverage, just a little barrier so the little one and I could concentrate on the task at hand, nursing.

There are so many aspects to nursing that are hard: production, latching on, waiting for milk to come in, nursing in the middle of the night.  For me, it was my mother that really provided that support I desperately needed to get me through the toughest time.  There are resources out there to help us get through that tougest time.  What/who was it for you?

Next step: no more pump but still nurse?

May 09, 2011

With my two previous champion nursing babes, I pumped until about 12-13 months.  After that, even though I was working and away from them full-time, they drank cow's milk in my absence.  Still, we nursed when we were reunited in the evenings, and we nursed all through the weekends on our days together.  Each of my first two children nursed until 2.5+ years old.

Now, with our more slender newest member of the family, I have continued to pump as additional nutrition.  Not only has he been so slight, he has also had food sensitivities to dairy & gluten that have prevented him from eating the high-fat, high-protein toddler foods that I relied on with my first two children.

And, as I was traveling for work today, hauling my pump and all its parts, pipes, nozzles, bottles and valves with me, I thought: my "baby" is almost 20 months old.  And still I pump.

Has it gone too far?  I mean, he is now eating cheese and yogurt (and apples and cereal), and a lot of them!  He is getting plenty of nutrition outside of the measily 5-6 ounce I produce for him daily.  He seems to be continuing to grow (I think.  Next weigh-in is next week).   Perhaps I fear that my supply will go away completely, not even able to supply on demand in the evenings or weekends?

Have you phased out of pumping but continued to nurse?

And, more on pumping:
Mama Pump-A-Lot 1
Mama Pump-A-Lot 2
Nursing Working Mama's Conundrum 
Breastfeeding At Work: do you know your rights?
Stress & Pump Do Not Mix

Work, Travel, Toddler: Does it mix well?

March 08, 2011

I have been open with my recent challenges, juggling  a full-time working from home routine with our recent child.  One of the more stressful juggles has been the travel.  With my organization's 60 staff spread nationwide, we get together for a big staff meeting at one location every 6 months.  

One year ago, it was New York.  Lucky for me, we have family there.  It was the perfect opportunity for my in-laws to meet our newest baby, who was about 4.5 months old then.

Last fall, it was in Seattle.  I felt lucky to have it so close, as I worked with another mama to make a trip of a lifetime: two mamas, two toddlers, full-day schedules, one nanny, one two-bedroom apartment (that is an epic story for another time). 

There have been a few other overnights mixed in: Oakland, Tucson, San Francisco.  These are places where I have had some extended family or friends who could watch the babe for a bit while I focus on work.

Next week, it's Memphis.  Not only do I think about the challenge of two-legged flight cross country, with a center seat assignment on all legs (will he be entertained and generally still in that center seat?), I also think about how much less portable this babe is, as small as he is.  As baby grows into toddler, I am wondering when I should draw the line?  My previous children nursed until 2.5 years old.  Am I destined to be traveling for work with this child for another year if we intend to nurse until then?  Part of me is not ready to be away from him, not for a whole night.  I wasn't ready to be apart from him when he was 9 months old, and I'm not sure I am ready now.  Another part of me worries that I just cannot juggle it like I used to, now that he likes to bounce balls, clank spoons on tables, and draw on everything.  I can't just tote him into the meetings, nurse him, bounce  him to sleep in a carrier, and continue to focus on the meeting at hand.

Part of me worries still about trying to nourish him at all times, nursing on demand every moment possible and feeding him high-calorie foods to bulk him up.  I could not do that if we were apart for 4 days.

I know my situation is very unique.  I bring my baby to meetings all around the country.  I like to see just how "family-friendly" the organization really is.  And, managers are tolerant and accepting of my choice.  Dare I make the long haul next week?  Would you?

Also, have you heard of employers that offer traveling employees an allowance of up to a certain amount (I've heard up to $1500) to cover costs of a sitter out-of-town or the cost to travel with a sitter?

Breastfeeding at Work: Do you know your rights?

February 02, 2011

Upon returning to work, many of us have become fast friends with our breast pumps.  We have worked hard to find a pumping routine that works for our workplaces and our schedules, but this commitment has not been easy.  

Today, MomsRising.org posted a great piece about pumping at work,  highlighting the Surgeon General's Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding.  And, it makes sense.  Breastfeeding is linked to many positive health outcomes, including protecting mama & babe from illnesses, from post-partum depression, from the risk of obesity.  And, with lots of us mamas now in the workplace, playing important roles as "wage-earners" in our households, we can't just stop breastfeeding just because we go to work.

Once at work, we need support to help us continue with our breastfeeding.  We need a private place to pump, not a cold sometimes- or usually-vacant storage room where I tried pumping a few times.  Not an unlocked conference room with blinds (are you sure no one can see in?) where I positioned a chair against the door while leaning forward because the electrical outlet was a good three-feet from the door that I was trying to protect.  Not in the "quiet room" on the eleventh floor where employees sometimes went to nap, where there was no guarantee that it would be available, where it took about 10 minutes round-trip to get due to the inefficient elevators (that cuts into my productivity!).  No, not there.

Continue reading "Breastfeeding at Work: Do you know your rights?" »

Weaning baby before First Birthday

November 29, 2010

The American Academy of Pediatrics is not the absolute authority in all things baby, but we do give weight to their recommendations.  The FAQ "How long should I breastfeed my baby?" offers: 

The AAP recommends that babies be exclusively breastfed for about the first 6 months of life. This means your baby needs no additional foods (except Vitamin D) or fluids unless medically indicated. Babies should continue to breastfeed for a year and for as long as is mutually desired by the mother and baby. Breastfeeding should be supported by your physician for as long as it is the right choice for you and your baby.

An urbanMama and our current Weekend Warrior Ali writes about stopping breastfeeding before the end of the baby's first year: 

After two straight weeks of biting at every feeding, calls to the breastfeeding support group, solicitations of opinions from two parent/baby groups I'm in, and trying everything from saying no, to saying nothing but looking away, to putting my baby on his mat and turning my back on him - I finally threw in the towel today on breastfeeding.  He basically seems to prefer the bottle, where he can get more faster.  My son is 7 and a half months.  I feel like this is a time of mourning for me.  I am sad to see my baby moving past this stage, and I also feel a bit like a failure.  There is a lot of pressure, for better or for worse, to breastfeed in Portland, and the message I have been getting these past two weeks is basically to just keep doing it.  It finally dawned on me at 4 this morning as my son was lying on his mat crying hysterically that this was not working for anyone.  I am planning to continue to pump at least 2 times a day so that he will at least be getting some milk, but he will no longer be getting milk from the breast and he will no longer be getting the majority of his food from breast milk.  I'd be interested in hearing how other moms who stopped breastfeeding before the year was up dealt with the sadness, guilt, or other emotions that came up for them.
 
Your stories to share, mamas?

Stress & Pump do not mix

November 05, 2010

Right now, I am under a lot of stress.  A lot.  I am normally under a good deal of stress, but I am currently under so much more.  Work, kids, partner's work, house, diapers, etc.  You know how it is.

I finally found some time to pump the other day at the office.  I hooked up, and .... nothing.  Dribble here, dribble there.  Minutes felt like hours.  The time passed.  I thought I felt let down, but there was no surge in volume.  I kept imagining let down, but I just could not get flowing.  In a panic, I called my husband.  "Why don't you just take a break?"  WHAT?  A break?  I don't have time for a break!  sigh.

Pumping breastmilk as a working mama is not easy.  Pumping is even harder when the stress kicks in and depletes your milk production stamina.  Please: can you share your tips and tricks for calming down, finding a nice calm mental place so you can make some milk for babe?  Do you gaze at a photo of babe?  Do you close your eyes and think of her?  Or, just close your eyes and visualize a tranquil beach and hear the sound of a whooshing ocean?

 

I breastfeed because....

August 03, 2010

One of the many emails that came through today caught my eye.  "I breastfeed because..." appears to be a campaign related to a new electric pump that is on the market.  New product aside, the campaign is catchy, and is directly related to my upcoming dilemma on whether or not to part from my purely-nursed 10-month old this weekend.  It's a great conversation in honor of World Breastfeeding Week.  SO: why do you breastfeed?  

OUCH: I think I have a biter!

May 26, 2010

Not to toot my own hooters, but I have been a successful nurser to date.  I've nursed my first two for a cumulative total of five years.  Now, I'm nursing my third, and we're eight months in.  However.  This little one -- a boy, unlike the first two, so perhaps that may make it different -- has begun to bite!  OUCH!  For any of you mamas who have been chomped on, whether or not your babe has teeth, you know the feeling.  It is painful.  It is not fun.

I know when he wants to chomp.  He clamps down when he's distracted, when it happens to be noisy, when he's overtired, oversleepy.  After a three-day weekend away, with many occasions when I've tried to nurse him for comfort, he's bitten me one. too. many. times.  Now, I am sore.  Even when he has a good latch, it hurts when he nurses.  Every time his sucking slows, dangerously slow, I am ready to flinch.  I am nervous now, and my heart has been beating a bit harder every time we set down to nurse.

I'm thinking: maybe we pump a bit more and nurse a bit less?  Maybe we use nursing less as a comfort mechanism?  The thought makes me sad, as I have had such a warm, cuddly experience with the years of nursing.  Do I "discipline" him, for ever bite?  Scold him?  Firmly say "NO", and refuse to continue?  I know I'm not the only one whose nips have been nipped!

Do you hide your hooters?

November 08, 2009

Ah, the joys of nursing.  There are so many!  Between my first two children, I nursed over five years.  We would nurse everywhere -- on subways, on street corners, in parks, in restaurants, in churches during wedding ceremonies at which I was in the bridal party, on - one of the more nostalgic spots -- the floor of the World Trade Center (pre-September 11, 2001) waiting for the TKTS line to open.  Never in that half-decade did I have more than a shawl or napkin or burpie cloth to cover the excess flesh exposed when I had to whip out a nam-nam to nurse.  Nowadays, there are nursing covers galore.  There are hats, shawls, and specially-engineered cloths with a wire to allow for an opening so you can maintain eye contact with the nursing babe.

Or, there is nothing.

I am the sort of mama who doesn't so much care about the exposure.  My breasts are made for nursing, and that's just what they'll do.  Cover or not.  But just recently, as a welcome baby gift for our newest addition, a friend sent a hand-made hooter-hider, the sort with the wire that will allow for the eye-to-eye contact with nursing babe.  I love it.  It makes it so easy to find just a little bit of privacy.  It's funny because I never so much cared before.

Which makes me wonder: do you/did you use a nursing wrap or shawl?  Do you/did you carefully cover up when nursing?  or, do you/did you just do what you had to do and nurse whenever, wherever, without concern for covering up?

Do Not Disturb: Nursing Mama Pumping

September 22, 2009

Pump

One of my least favorite things about returning to work post maternity leave is pumping.  With regularity, every three hours despite being in my office or out and about I have to hook myself up and pump.  I close the door, draw the blinds, and turn off the lights hoping that it would prevent disruptions from coworkers. Short of putting a sign on the door stating that I am pumping, I hope every time that disruptions are minimal.  Inevitably someone knocks.  Uh, "I'll be right out in a few minutes," I would say.  I'm the kind that's a bit private about pumping at work and feel like I shouldn't draw attention to what is happening behind closed doors but I am wondering if I need to.  Should I put a sign on my door?  What should it say?  What have you done and is it effective?

Nuk, Num Nums, Thumb: How Do You Soothe Your Little One?

April 22, 2009

Fussy As I type, I am feeling the let down as the newborn finally sleeps for more than an hour on his own.  It's been a rough six weeks of around the clock nursing, bouncing, rocking and diaper changes.  You know the routine, feed, burb, bounce bounce rock rock, diaper change, repeat.  I thought certainly third time's a charm, but not in this case.  It seems harder this time around.  Baby H spits up A LOT. His burps are like his older brothers belches which surely has to hurt his tummy.  He is in constant need of being soothed.  As much as I love holding and cuddling the baby, I feel relief when I finally get a break from being a human pacifier. The sling is great, but he's not always happy in it.  The soothie also sometimes appeases him.  We are also working through lullabies and music to see what song will have that magical effect of calming him down.  I've been desparate enough to try to train him to suck his thumb, but that hasn't worked either.  O.k. mamas, what magical combination worked for you to soothe your little one?  I know things will get better soon, but at what point did you feel things turned a corner? 

Susan Nielsen on Facebook & Breastfeeding

January 08, 2009

3116872087_469d576b17  
Did you see this yet?  Lisa over at Activistas and a few of the state's impressive breastfeeding activists (Diane Garrett and Amelia Psmythe) spoke to Susan Nielsen this week for today's opinion piece, Facebook and Breastfeeding.   Did you join the Facebook group, Hey, Facebook!  Breastfeeding is not obscene?  Or not?  I didn't, but am not totally clear as to why. Maybe, like Susan suggests, it isn't on my top 50 list of wildly important issues that affect families in the U.S.  But that's just my top 50.  Everyone's, clearly, is different.

As I wrote earlier this week, I join plenty of other Facebook groups, and imagery is powerful & important on a number of levels.  So is online activism.  Susan delves into the issue of on v. offline activism, which is super interesting to me.  Is one better than the other?  All good?  Here's a bit of what she has to say on that (an issue near and dear to my heart since my title at work is "online organizer"):

(A)fter contacting several Oregon women who've joined the group or are passionate about breastfeeding, I see the value of this online protest. As they explained, online activism can be powerful -- as long it spurs real-world action rather than replaces it.

For starters, private virtual communities have replaced the public town square. The hard-earned legal rights you enjoy in the real world don't always apply online, where you are a "user" or a "member" rather than a citizen. That's why Facebook's policy matters more than you'd think.

Read it for yourself, mamas.  Susan is a mom herself, and was a terrific moderator for our Mayoral Forum on Families last Spring.  Thanks, Susan, for bringing this issue to the fore.

[photo, per usual, courtesy of cafemama]

Nipple ouch: Breastfeeding pain strikes late in the game

December 08, 2008

Monroe_breastfeeding Ouch! A few days ago, out of the blue, my right nipple started hurting like crazy every time Monroe would nurse. My right breast has always been my "main" one; if you look at me in a t-shirt when I haven't fed him for a few hours, you'll notice a decidedly enormous off-centeredness about me. (During Hood-to-Coast this year I had to express the breast by hand in the ditch after not feeding him for 20-some hours just to get some relief!)

I can't figure it out -- the nipple doesn't look like it's been bitten, though he does pull off hard sometimes, leaving me hurting for a little while afterward. I don't remember any unusually strong latches. It's getting to the point that I'm mostly feeding him from the left breast. Has anyone else experienced late-onset nipple pain? Should I be worried or is this just one more (ahem) "interesting" phase of my development as a mama?

Weaning woes: Picking the right time

October 27, 2008

Breastfeeding_toledo
On mornings like today, I am so ready to wean my 15-month-old, Monroe. I got barely a wink of sleep last night; he nursed unusually often, waking every 15 minutes (or at least that's how it felt) to wail until he got some milk love. He's developed a new habit (charming!) where his hand roams while he's eating, grabbing my free nipple, pinching my stomach, sometimes even hitting me. I'm firm, I say "no" and remove his hand, but it's not a perfect solution.

I haven't even considered weaning him yet, as I'm trying a parenting practice of (within reason) being attentive to the child's needs and attributing biological need to most of his one-year-old desires. The WHO recommends breastfeeding for two years, so I'm still in the zone. And I have no real need to wean, as I had with my other two boys (who both weaned between 18 and 22 months): I'm not away from him for more than several hours at a time (and have no plan to be); I definitely am not hoping to get pregnant again soon; I don't need to take any drugs that might mess with him; and, despite the occasional lack of sleep, breastfeeding is so convenient.

In fact, breastfeeding is fine half the time, I typed this whole post while he nursed happily away. For those of you who have achieved your breastfeeding goals (you know, exclusive for first six months and keep going 'til 12 months), and had no definitive reason to stop: how did you decide when? How many of you have "done" child-led weaning? How did it go? [We've told stories about weaning and talked about weaning a two-year-old previously.]

The Ideal Place to Pump @ Work

September 29, 2008

Pumppump Working Mother Media is running a contest where we get to interactively design our ideal pumping room.  Cool idea if it weren't so commercial and didn't involve interior design.   But it did get me thinking...what does the ideal pumping room look like?  What's essential, nice, luxurious?  I have happily passed my pump along to the next mama, but from what I recall, some essential features are:

  • Locking door for privacy.
  • Comfortable seat.
  • Refrigerator to store the milk.
  • Sink to wash the 5 million parts.
  • Knowledge that it would be available when needed.

What else, mamas?  Let's create a list that employers could use to create the best possible space for pumping.  Like we did for family-freindly restaurants and best places to work from 'home.'  Anyone have the ideal pumping space at work?  Tell us about it, and, better yet, post a picture of it!

PS - For some info on breastfeeding at work policies in Oregon (and ways to improve it), head over to Activistas.

Baby Weaning Blues

June 05, 2008

Many of us find that breastfeeding is an extra special way for a mama to connect with her children like no one else can.  When the time comes to wean, we can be filled with all kinds of emotions including grief, guilt or even relief.  We can choose to wean due to work demands, personal preferences, or purely because we feel our baby is ready.  The experience, as with most parenting milestones, is different for everyone. But for all mamas, it is the end of a chapter in the lives of our children and for that reason likely affects us each in a rather profound way.  Cyn writes recently about this experience for her:

I JUST weaned my daughter--my initiative--who just turned one.  I have a very physically demanding job and my body wouldn't let me be in top shape and breastfeed, so I chose the latter since I returned to work (8 months ago), but now I have to recommit to my job and personal safety there.  That being said, it has been so hard (day 4 with no cheating!)  and has run me over like a bulldozer. 
 
I am having severe lows that come and wipe me out when I least expect it.  I was not prepared for this, nor did I know about it.  One of the hardest things is that my daughter never asked for the boob, but since being weaned grabs at her chest and says "nini" which could be anything, but my heart says it's the absence of boob. 
   
Yes, I have a counselor, but that only goes so far, and I'm the first in my mom's group to wean.  I have tried adding more quiet, close time with my daughter but my emotions are running wild.  I even made my husband promise me that a 2nd kid was at least an option...lol!  How have other moms coped? 

Choice Beverages for the Nursing Mama

May 27, 2008

NursingDid /do you agonize over what you consume while nursing?  An urbanMama is curious as to how much is too much, and what you feel o.k. ingesting versus what you abstain from.  She writes:

I've been thinking about the recent post for Happy Hour recommendations and feeling a bit thirsty. I am currently nursing a four month old who suffers from bottle angst so is completely dependent on me for sustenance (I do realize if push came to shove he could probably drink from a bottle). So what do nursing mamas drink? How much and how often? Do you pump and dump? Think about timing? I will confess to my large cup of coffee every morning and sometimes one drink in the evening without too much worry. Or do breastfeeding mamas abstain and live by a stricter pregnancy-esk diet? Obviously, getting drunk is not responsible, but what about one drink? Caffeine? Ibuprofen for that aching back? Water from a Nalgene bottle?

(Photo courtesy: cafemama.com)

Your BF Place in PDX?

March 27, 2008

IconhomepageNo, I don't still swear with a 5-year old in my midst (OK, so occasionally the pre-parent me shines through).  By BF I mean Breastfeeding Friendliest.  And I'm curious: in your humble opinion, what restaurant, store, ladies lounge, wherever spot is the single best publicly accessible place you have found to breastfeed in Portland?  While I'm one week post-weaning (yes, very bittersweet), I recall the joy at locating a supportive place to rest and nurse when I was out and about.  I imagine there are loads of unexpected and mostly undiscovered BF places to be shared.  So head over to Activistas and share your fave spot.  Milky mamas all over Portland will rejoice in the new knowledge. 

And be sure to check out our home-grown project to distribute breastfeeding friendly stickers (that sweet picture in blue...) to retail establishments around town (starting with SE Hawthorne on Sat 4.26).  Just a little consciousness raising and a friendly beacon to hungry babes & milky mamas alike.  Of course we'd love your help.

PS - Check back for a similar question on BBF places in PDX.  Yup.  Best Bottle Feeding places.  Whether you're using formula and need.water.bad, or lugging around pumped breast milk and need.heat.bad, we'll want to know the ideal places for that, too.  Straight from my husband: Starbucks, venti cup with hot water.  Great spot to float a frozen bottle of milk.

Nursing Working Mama's Conundrum: Part III

February 21, 2008

Check out our previous discussions on this topic: Mama Pump-A-Lot 1, Mama Pump-A-Lot 2, Nursing Working Mama's Conundrum 1, and Nursing Working Mama's Conundrum 2.

Here writes Arabee, who is having challenges stockpiling milk for the one full day per week that she is away from babe:

HELP! I am a working mother of a 4 month old little girl. I have the luxury of working a part time/flex time job and I get to breastfeed her exclusively everyday except for Saturday when I am gone all day at work. I need to pump a milk supply to give to her Daddy when I am gone, but I am having an awful time with this whole pumping thing. I try to do it daily, an hour or two after her morning nursing, and an hour before her next nursing before we head off to work. I am getting no milk lately, like really a teaspoon in a half hour. She is healthy and about 16 lbs, so it appears my milk supply is more than adequate. Are there any tips y'all may have about pumping to create a stockpile for the one day a week I cannot breastfeed? Thank you!!!

Bottles & Formula: Just What is Safe?

December 05, 2007

Uns_214One of our fave organizations, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), just released a report on the safety of baby bottles and formula.  Back to that exhausting topic of living the Plan B life in a Plan A world.  Not surprisingly, they found that both bottles and formula leach a potentially dangerous chemical, Bisphenol-A. Yeah, right on into your baby.  How nice.

And this one touches us all, mamas, except those who nursed 100% of the time.  And these days, whatever your gig (working, staying at home, dating, traveling), it's pretty hard to never use a bottle.  And even then, there's all those toxins in our milk.  Arrgghhh, you just can't win!  Find out what the research shows and what you can do about it over on Activistas.

Breastfeeding Friendly: Say It Out Loud!

December 02, 2007

IconhomepageThis excellent picture is the official breastfeeding friendly symbol.  Makes me smile just looking at it.  I'm thinking that we ought to get Portland businesses using this thing.  Seen any around town?  Mothering magazine has made it very easy to download the image and spread it 'round, and the fabulous artist signed it over to the Public Domain.  Stickers and t-shirts are available, too.  They developed it through a contest, and you can check out the 12 semi-finalists.  You won't regret it. 

Enjoy and hey, let's get this symbol up in Pdx.  I can think of about 10 retail places that would be a great start - you?  If we can't show it off in Portland, mamas, who can???  I mean really.

To see my fave that didn't win - read on over at Activistas...

Can you think of any fave public breastfeeding-friendly places?

Activistas Coffee Hour with NMC ~ 10.06.07

October 03, 2007

0060050227015242Lookin' for a playdate with coffee, bagels, multiple kid play areas, the opportunity to meet other urbanMamas and learn about the Nursing Mothers Counsel of Oregon?  What a coincidence, mamas, because that's exactly what's cookin' this Saturday at Urban Grind NE!  Learn about NMC's Peer Counselor program to support other nursing mamas and their successful work lobbying for breastfeeding legislation in Salem.  Head on over to Activistas to get the full scoop.  See you there.

Bill Maher: I think I hate you

September 17, 2007

On September 8, 2007, nursing mamas in 105 locations in 38 states participated in a nurse-in, "after a breastfeeding mother was treated poorly by Applebee's on both local and corporate levels."  On September 14, 2007 Bill Maher, on "Real Time with Bill Maher", spent a good part of his opening comments elborating how he thought breastfeeding in public was narcisistic and inappropriate.  See the whole thing here (and forward to the 7:00min point).

He said, "Breastfeeding a baby is an intimate act, and I don’t want to watch strangers performing intimate acts…” He equates breastfeeding, a “natural” act, with masturbating, also an “intimate”, “natural” act.  Making it sound like breastfeeding is some fad, he speculates, “Next thing, mothers will want to give birth in the waterfall at the mall.”

If we mamas nurse in public and are not decent about it, we are “lazy to either plan ahead or cover up.”  To the mothers who nurse publicly, he says you are “fighting for the spotlight that you surely will get when you go 'Janet Jackson' on everyone."  And, finally, he winds down with “Only in America do women think they deserve a medal for having a kid," and he suggests that even dogs can have kids (so are we all dogs?)  He closes with “it’s about how petty and parochial our causes have become, how activism has become narcissism..... There is a place where breasts and food go together, it’s called ‘Hooters’”.

Cyberspace is teeming with anger with his comments, just google "bill maher breastfeeding" to find mamas and others around the country who are writing about it.  I try not to be hypersensitive when it comes to comedians trying to make a buck and tell a joke, but Bill Maher goes too far and is offensive, obscene, misogynistic, completely outta line.  Local mama Bridget is preparing a statement to send to HBO, and you can email her at billmahermustapologize@comcast.net to add your name to petition.  Are there other ways we can express our views? 

Continue reading "Bill Maher: I think I hate you" »

Do you have breastmilk to spare?

September 16, 2007

A mother in our community is looking for help from other mothers who are breastfeeding. Janet's little son August was born 6 months ago with missing genetic material, has had several surgeries and faces a host of developmental challenges. Please read Janet's email below, and help if you can:

I have run out of my frozen supply of breast milk for little August.  still pumping, but not producing enough for his overnight continuous feed of milk through his G-tube.   I am able to get enough for his feedings during the day though.  Anyone have a freezer full of milk, or know anyone producing copious amounts that would be willing to send some our way?  Please pass on my contact info to them. Thanks a bunch, Janet Funk 503-234-2693

Nursing Working Mama’s Conundrum: Part II

August 01, 2007

Betsy's a working nursing mama, and her supply is dwindling.  Did you read that?  Her supply is dwindling! Ack. She writes:

Dear Mamas,

I need a friendly chorus. My nursling is 9 months old, and I'm working full time out of the house - I've been pumping as regularly as I can, but my supply is just dwindling and she's barely growing.  Here's what I'm doing, which covers just about every wives tale remedy I've ever heard:

  • - daily oatmeal
  • - fenugreek, 3 caps, 3x/day
  • - nursing tea, 1x/day
  • - pumping 3-4 times/day at work
  • - drinking liquids like they're going out of style (only one caffeinated beverage per day)
  • - eating like mad - this week, I started a dark beer per day.

My supply has dropped from 16 + ounces in an 8 hour period when I started, to far less than 12 now.

Meanwhile, the baby has gained only 4 ounces since her six month checkup, and my husband who is caring for her at home this summer (with our 3-year-old) reports herculean efforts to get her to eat. She is a social, alert, active baby who is meeting all her developmental milestones. She's just not growing much, and I want to fix that before three more months have gone by with such low weight gain; she's still on the growth charts, but just barely -and she was above the 50th percentile for size at birth. Gauging from what a let-down consists of throughout the day, and comparing that with what she *should* be eating (over 700 calories per day at 16 pounds) is rather alarming; I just don't think she's getting that much, but she doesn't seem to want more.

I want to nurse her as long as I can, but it is brutal to pump so much for so little return. Every session is an exercise in fighting off feeling like a failure (irrational, I know, but it's there). We've begun supplementing with formula, and I'm fine with that, but I don't want my husband to spend all his time trying to jam food into her gob (not that we can force her to eat, anyway).

Mostly I'm writing to whine, but if anyone can look at my tale and say "Aha - that happened to me, and I just did X and fixed it!" or "I understand. My body just quit making milk, too. It's hard."

Feeding a 6mo when he 'hates' solids

July 07, 2007

Oh, wise urbanMamas, can you share some of your experiences with introducing solids to your childrens' diets?  Vivian emails:
We're trying to transition into solid foods with my 6 mo son -- cereals, pureed fruits, etc. -- as it is definitely time and i notice that i sometimes have trouble keeping up with him in terms of supply and demand... one problem: he has decided that he categorically HATES all solid food.  This is not just 'eeewww, this is a weird texture' or something, he really flips, and this from one of the most mild-mannered little guys around.  It has gotten so that he clams up whenever he sees something approaching his mouth, even though we've tried to keep our attempts low-pressure and light-hearted. Normally, I'd be very into just letting him do it in his own time, but his doctor says he needs the extra iron, and I certainly need the help in feeding this little bottomless pit!  Has anyone encountered such things? do you recommend any really 'big winners' in the baby food department?  Or should I just work on really increasing my milk supply right now and waiting until he decides to make the step himself?  Thank you so much for any ideas at all!

Seeking Lactation or Newborn Care Classes

June 26, 2007

Erin is new to Portland and new to motherhood.  Does anyone have an experience with lactation classes or newborn care classes:

Could you point me in the direction of lactation classes and newborn care classes? I've been searching but can't find any. I'm looking for recommendations and opinions on how the hospital-offered classes compare with private organization offerings.

Best Bottles for Breastfed Babies?

June 25, 2007

Have you mamas had great experiences with bottles for baby? Jenny is wondering:

I'm going back to work in August and am planning ahead for feeding my baby pumped breastmilk while I'm at work. He'll be 4 months old. I had to pump a lot for his first month in order to supplement the nursing, but we finger fed him instead of using a bottle. I'm nervous about introducing a bottle because of the potential of nipple confusion. I'd appreciate suggestions for specific bottles and nipples that imitate the nursing experience and work well. I've done a bit of research but the options are overwhelming and it's always helpful to see what has actually worked for mamas and their babies.

Juggling a Preschooler and a Nursing Babe

June 21, 2007

I remember when our second daughter was born, our older one was just over 3 years old. Just when I'd settle in to nurse baby Tati, I'd hear: "Mammmmaaa!" from the other room. "CAN YOU DRAW WITH ME?!?!?" I came to look forward to evening nurse sessions, after I had tucked in older Philly to bed. But, even then, it'd be: "Maammmmmaaaa!" she'd holler, waking baby Tati from her nam-nam slumber. "I GOTTA GO POTTY/NEED WATER/WANT A KISS!!!!" It's tough, juggling the two. How did you do? Sarah is feeling challenged:

I'm due to have my second child any day now, and I already have a 3 1/2 year old daughter. Does anyone have recommendations for a special activity or ways to occupy a preschooler while nursing a baby? When my daughter was nursing, it regularly lasted 30-45 minutes, and I want to be prepared in case this baby is a slow eater too. Any tips?

Finding the Right Nursing Bra

March 05, 2007

For me, personally, finding the right nursing bra still hasn't happened.  I have two that I wear regularly, several that I will wear only in dire situations (ack the laundry drain is plugged!) and a bunch that I should probably throw away from my last nursing era.  I did find a few decent Japanese Weekend bras at Generations on Hawthorne, but they aren't my favorite.  I actually haven't loved ANY of my nursing bras, but that's probably because I don't like the traditional designs.  I also don't need (ahem) a whole lot of support.  One of our readers asks this question, in an effort to find her perfect nursing bra:

I am looking for shops in the Portland area that sell good quality nursing bras in smaller sizes. Any suggestions for places and brands? Thanks!

Have any of you found a great bra?  If so, do share your success!

On the Road: Breastfeeding-Friendly

March 01, 2007

I'm in Philadelphia for the week. I went to dinner yesterday, and a sticker on the door stopped me in my tracks. Bfwh_logojpg "Breastfeeding Welcome Here!" it read. I smiled and felt proud to be supporter of this business. I felt like breastfeeding mamas were being welcomed with open arms, hugs, and kisses, ushered right into this little restaurant. It's amazing what a feeling a sticker can impart.

In Portland, the image is a little different, but the sentiment is the same.
Lnkbflogosm The State Department of Health has a department committed to promoting breastfeeding in the workplace. Other great resources incldue the Nursing Mothers Council of Oregon and Washington and La Leche League of Oregon.

Props to those businesses out there who support breastfeeding mamas. Feel free to give a shout-out if you're a Portland business that actively welcomes nursing mamas like us!

About Boob: Weaning from Real-Life Mamas

February 28, 2007

Sometimes being a mama ain't all that easy.  Tonia's preparing for the inevitable and is interested on how other mamas have gone about weaning.  She writes:

I'm planning to wean my 17 month old daughter in the next few months (for medical reasons) and am very interested in hearing about how others went about doing it.  All the mamas I know are either still breastfeeding or had little ones who just magically quit nursing on their own.  My daughter, however, is a fiend for the boob and doesn't seem to have any intention of giving up without a fight.  How about a call for weaning stories from some real-life mamas - any tips of the trade I should know?  Happy endings, horror stories, words of encouragement, or common-sense advice are all welcome.

Mama Pump-A-Lot, Part 2

December 12, 2006

Previously in this series ... Mama Pump-A-Lot, Part 1 and Nursing Working Mama's Conundrum.

Thanks for the email, Christina. We'd love to hear other urbanMamas thoughts:

I've had this complicated love/hate relationship with my breast pump for four months now. We go back further than that, the pump and I, but it was four months ago that I went back to work, my boy enrolled in daycare and I started to lug my PumpnStyle through the streets of downtown Portland, to work and back home again. Started hauling it upstairs to this dusty, cold supply room where I slap on those chilly horns and get to work. Despite the unpleasantness, it's a way to provide for my son that as a working mama makes me feel just a bit better about everything. Every so often I become convinced that the pump is giving up the ghost, that it's just not doing its job the way it should. Then I'll have a good pumping day and come home with full bottles of milk that I show to my husband who says "good day behind the horns, eh?" But I still fantasize about the day I will leave the pump at home, that I won't have to do my time among the forgotten detrius of my company's files.

But I have questions that keep me pumping: If I stop, will I still have the breastmilk to feed my son at lunch, in the evening, in the morning, on the weekends? And what will I do with the pump when I'm done? I bought it used and heard from an LC that they're only designed to last for about a year. My e-mail to Medela about whether they take them back for refurbishment went unanswered. I hate to think about just throwing the thing away - not after our long and sordid relationship. How about it, Mamas? Anyone with advice on breaking up with your breast pump? Any recycling ideas? Anyone else just want to rant about their pumping escapades?

Nurse-in at Portland airpot

November 20, 2006

Nurse-in at the Delta ticket counter? Tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, 10 a.m.? Sounds like fun! I've been writing about Emily Gillette, the woman escorted off a Freedom Airlines flight (they run Delta Connection) for daring to breastfeed in the second-to-last row, discretely, next to her husband, after a two-hour delay (according to the law in Vermont, where Emily's plane was sitting on the tarmac, public breastfeeding is protected). GRRRrrr. I offered to take her out for coffee when I was in New York last week just to thank her for being a lightning rod. As our own Chris (the reluctant lactivist) knows, it's not an easy thing. But alas, her Good Morning America appearance was rescheduled for this week.

Anyhow. Tomorrow. 10 a.m. The Delta ticket counter at PDX. Moms, with and without breastfeeding babes, are asked to attend. I'm sure no one would turn away an uPapa, either. If you're available, go, support a mother's right to give her baby food anywhere.

Portable Boppy?

November 01, 2006

Many of us urbanMamas are constantly out and about with our little folk. We will often have to change, feed, diaper, nurse our young whenever they need. Asks Cynthia:

I was wondering if any urbanMamas had recommendations on a nursing pillow that is portable. I'd like to find something that works when nursing on the road instead of lugging the boppy pillow around.

Help! Milk Production Advice Needed

October 20, 2006

One of our dear readers is seeking your suggestions on increasing her milk supply.  Any chance a mama's been in her situation?

My son turned five months this week and at the very same time, with no other big changes I can think of, my breast milk production has gone off a cliff! When I'm with him, I have to feed him way more often to keep him satisfied. When I'm at work, I'm getting half what I used to when I pump -- and not near enough to keep up with what he needs at daycare. He used to sleep through the night and now he's waking up two or three times. My breasts constantly feel empty. I called the lactation consultant and she suggested taking more herbs (I've been taking a lactation support blend I found at New Seasons for two months), so I doubled that. But at this point, I'm going to deplete my freezer stash of breast milk tomorrow and I'm faced with having to supplement with formula. Now, I realize that formula isn't poison, but I was really hoping to make it to at least six months on breast milk alone. It's such an emotional issue, and the LC didn't have any advice for me on supplementing. Have any other Mamas out there found themselves in this position? Any advice on starting with some formula? Anything I'm not thinking of that could be to blame for this sudden drop in breast milk production?

World Breastfeeding Week Events

August 02, 2006

Chris Musser, the Reluctant Lactivist, has co-founded a support group for Mamas nursing in public called Mom's Milk Anywhere or MomMa for short. This week, in celebration of World Breastfeeding Week,  MomMa is hosting gatherings to show support for nursing Moms:

August 2nd, 10AM: Nursing moms' coffee at Starbucks at the Civic Center in Hillsboro
August 3rd, 11AM: Nursing moms' coffee at Milagros Boutique, 5429 NE 30th Avenue
August 4th, 2PM: Nursing moms' coffee at Washington Square II Barnes & Noble Cafe
August 5th,11AM: Nurse-out and family picnic at Pioneer Courthouse Square

Victoria's Secret Nurse In

June 28, 2006

We're always for spreading the word.  Chrissy has given us the heads up on the a national nurse in on July 1.  She writes:

I don't know if you've heard about this yet, but Victoria's Secret lately seems to have been on a campaign of harassment against nursing moms in their stores.  To protest, there is going to be a nationwide nurse-in at their stores on July 1 at 1 pm.  My family will be going to the Clackamas Town Center store, and there will also be nursing mamas at Lloyd Center, Washington Square and Tanasbourne VS stores. Come nurse with us, and make Victoria's Secret reconsider their mama-and-baby-unfriendly policies!

Contact Chrissy for more info.

Nipper's Unite

May 08, 2006

Perhaps something positive resulting from a rather unfortunate inicident.  Chrissy et. al. have started a support group for nursing in public:

We are tired of the dirty looks and harrassment. We are doing what's best for our babies. We refuse to be stuck in the house or feed our little ones in the bathroom. Come help us change the world!

If you are a current, future or former nursing mom in the Portland, OR, area, come help us support other NIP-ers. We are planning to have monthly meetings where we'll discuss NIPing and give support to anyone who has had a bad experience. We will also provide peer support for anyone who is just starting to NIP and is shy about it, or for someone who has been burned while NIPing and needs to get back on the horse. It's so much easier to NIP when you're surrounded by a group of supportive women! We have a blog - http://nippersunite.blogspot.com - and a Yahoo Group - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/nippersunite/. Please come join us in making the world a safer place for nursing moms and their babies!

Nursing in Public - It's NOT Against the Law

April 12, 2006

Chrissy shares a story about her friend's experience with nursing in public - breastfeeding mamas really shouldn't have to think twice about it.  Chrissy thinks we should "support breastfeeding mommies by boycotting Fred Meyer."  Or, does this call for a mass public breastfeeding event a la Critical Mass to raise awareness?

Last week, a friend of mine was shopping at the Fred Meyer near her house when her two-month-old decided he wanted to be tanked up.  She settled on a bench outside the play area, where her daughter was, and started to breastfeed him.  He was crabby and popping on and off, but she finally got him settled.  As he was eating, the store manager came up to her and told her she needed to be more discreet.  Needless to say, she was embarassed and completely horrified.  She had a short exchange with him, in which she asked him if he'd tell someone with a midriff-baring top that SHE needed to be more discreet, and he explained that breastfeeding was "different" and she should at least cover up with a blanket.

Now, how many of you have tried to breastfeed a crabby, flailing infant while successfully covering up with a blanket?

My friend later called the regional office to complain and was basically told the same thing by the regional manager - you're allowed to breastfeed in our stores, yes, but you need to be "discreet".

Women are never going to breastfeed in large numbers in this country if the culture continutes to see it as embarassing, sexual, or something that should only be done in private.  While I don't argue with the need to try to be as discreet as possible, due to the current unsupportive climate, but it's NOT always possible.  Women should not be harrassed for trying to feed their babies!  I'm sure a bottle-feeding mother has never been approached and told to cover up that bottle...

Anyway, I wanted to let breastfeeding moms and supporters that Fred Meyer is not breastfeeding-friendly and that I won't be shopping there any more. I've also written about this on my blog today -http://knittinmom.blogspot.com.  I want to spread the word as much as possible - Fred Meyer should at least be shamed into apologizing for harrassing my friend!

Just say NO

April 03, 2006

The first time around, I took the easy way out.  I cheated, in a way.  I waited until I was pregnant again; I waited until she was 2-years 7-months old; and I waited until I had a work-related trip to separate me from her for 4 days.  That was our weaning tactic.

Our second girl is now approaching that 2-1/2 year old age, the time when she is fully-potty trained and on her way to becoming an independent woman.  And, yet, she says to me with such clarity and conviction: "Mama, I want to nurse."

And so I let her.  What am I going to do?   Say "NO?"  She'll say, "Why?" and I'm afraid I don't really have a good enough reason.  "You're too old," isn't really that true; "I don't feel like it," shouldn't be an excuse.  I know.  I'm a weakling!  I can't do it.

So, I think I'm just going to leave.  I need to find a place to go and hide for a couple of days.  It'll be good for me, too.  All of us mamas need a break from the "No, MINE!" and the "Mama, she's bothering me!" and the "Mama, I need some ..."

There is one thing, though.  I've started to count while I nurse.  I tell her, "I'm going to count to '5', and then we'll be done."  I start counting: "One, two, three..." and by the time I get to "Five", she latches off.  We've been doing this for several days.  I think I'm going to start counting to '3', then maybe work my way down to '1'.  Maybe we can do this after all, without having to take the easy way out ("outta sight, outta mind").

For all of yous who've been through this before, what has been your weaning tactic?

The Big Let Down

March 13, 2006

What's a nursing mama to do when she has issues with let down?  Rebecca writes:

I started work on a part time basis when my daughter was about 5 months old. As a result, I never really needed to pump very often. As time has gone by, and now my daughter is almost 9 months, I seem to have lost my ability to get a let down with the pump..I struggle to get even 1 oz....and leave my breast full. My daughter always gets satisfied and she is a happy babym so I know that she is getting plenty.

Along those lines, for those 2 days she is in daycare...she gets no milk and is not so happy about formula. I simply feed her before I leave and as soon as I get there.

Anyone with similar lack of let down?

Baby Whispering

February 20, 2006

I stumbled upon Tracy Hogg's The Baby Whisperer and have decided to give her sleep-through-the-night method a go.  My daughter, Genevieve is nearly 6 months and still wakes at 11, 1ish, 3ish, 5ish and sometimes extra to nurse, nurse, nurse. 

Today is day one of the E.A.S.Y. plan--four-hour time slots of eating, activity, sleep, and you-time (during the sleeping).  It felt strange and panicky to back off on the frequency of nursing during the day, but I truly look forward to easier nights. 

I'll post here a couple times in the duration of this baby-whispering experiment to let everyone know how it's progressing.  Today was mostly about observing the baby's current routines, but I did implement the pick up/put down procedure.  The procedure is a real struggle but, for me, ultimately better than letting Genevieve cry it out.  You basically put baby in the crib for nap or night sleep and, if she cries, pick her up and speak in a monotone. The second she stops crying, back to the crib she goes.  No rocking, singing, or coaxing to sleep.  If she cries again, up again, then back down.  The book says that the record for repeated pick up and put back downs is 150 over the course of a couple hours...dios mio.

PROGRESSIVE PORTLAND OR COMMONPLACE?

February 16, 2006

Since I've been in Portland, I've been called to jury duty twice.  I was surprised to see though that this time I was exempt.  There are only two "mandatory" circumstances in which the court allows you to be excused from service:

  • If you are 70 years or older; or
  • If you are a woman breastfeeding a child.