Friday, January 30, 2009
Share your tips at our next carnival! Send me your submission by February 9, 2009, for consideration. The carnival will be on February 16th, 2009. We'll be looking for posts that are:
– Well-written and grammatically correct
If your post is selected for inclusion, you will be asked on the day of the carnival to edit your post to link back to each of the other participants in the carnival. Examples of past carnivals are here.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
A new video produced by babyREADY encourages moms to nurse in public because breastfeeding is not lewd, it's food. Can you spot me and my son in the video?
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
"She is a very strong woman, so she probably will be able to handle all eight babies," said Dr Mandhir Gupta.
This couple is going to need a lot of help over the coming months and I salute their commitment to breastfeeding. For now they are being extremely private about the birth of their babies and haven't released any personal information. Maybe we'll get an update on how the nursing is going. Until then let's wish these new parents a lot of luck and send milk vibes their way.
I am going to be adding video to my blog so that I will no longer be just a blogger, but a vlogger as well! I know many of you don't know me in real life, so now you'll get a more personal glimpse of the writer behind this blog. You'll get to see what I look and sound like, and you'll get to see my baby boy in action.
I don't want my vlogs to just be brags about how adorable and smart my son is (although that is true!) I'd like them be informative and add some depth to the news stories that are already posted here. My goal for this blog has always been to provide support, information, encouragement and education to breastfeeding moms, especially moms of color. We are often discouraged from breastfeeding by friends and family and nursing can be more difficult for us because of a lack of access to good information.
I know that vlogging is the wave of the future and since I jumped into blogging a bit late in the game, I want to be one of the innovators when it comes to vlogs! So look out for video soon and I look forward to sharing more of me with you!
Monday, January 26, 2009
The first time I ever heard of an adoptive mother being able to breastfeed her baby, I was about 12 years old. I was watching one of those, "Baby Story" type shows and a woman was using a supplemental nursing system (SNS) in order to stimulate her nipples so she could provide breast milk for her newly adopted son. I remember thinking, "How cool!" and being in awe of the human body and all that we are capable of.
Photo by Denise Punger
Interested in finding out more information on adoptive breastfeeding?
Dr. Jack Newman's section on adoptive breastfeeding
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Have you noticed more women nursing in public lately? If you live in Northern California, you may need to check your eyes. That woman who's been nursing her baby on the park bench for hours just may be a cardboard cut out.
A new campaign to normalize breastfeeding in public has begun in Marin County. Life-size photographs of women breastfeeding their babies have been mounted on cardboard and strategically placed around the county. The Marin Breastfeeding Coalition created the campaign and each cut-out is affixed with a sign that reads, "When breastfeeding is accepted, it won't be noticed." You can view a gallery of the photographs here. Awesome.
Annie at PhD in Parenting posted this TV ad from Australia on nursing in public.
And thanks to Andi at Mama Knows Breast for finding this PSA.
When you nurse your baby in public, you are helping to normalize breastfeeding. No one wants to eat in a bathroom.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Forget Wheaties! Want your babies to grow up to be super star athletes? Feed them breast milk!
Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player of all time, was breastfed until the age of 3. His mom credits the nursing, saying, "I feel this is why he is the athlete he is."
British football phenom Theo Walcott's mom claims his talent and speed on the pitch is due to his being breastfed. His mother, a midwife, says, "I always like to claim that Theo’s speed, coordination and eyesight and all those things are down to being breastfed. I like to think it has set him up for life."
Olympic Gold Medalist Dara Torres quickly got back in the pool after giving birth to her daughter Tessa in 2006. During the Olympic trials, she was literally breastfeeding in between events.
USC's Brynn Cameron was still breastfeeding son Cole at 13 months. During a break in a game, WNBA star Lisa Leslie came over, locked arms with Brynn, asked, "Are you still breastfeeding?’"and initiated a chat about it. Laughs Brynn,"We’re probably the only two basketball players in America in the middle of that right now."
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Welcome to this month's Carnival of Breastfeeding! This month's theme is breastfeeding goals. Be sure to check out what other bloggers have to say on this topic at the bottom of this post.
When I began my journey into motherhood, I was nervous and a little bit scared of the huge responsibility I was about to undertake, but I was absolutely sure of two things: No. 1, that I would have an unmedicated birth and No. 2, that I would breastfeed.
I have always known that I was a breastfed baby and it has always been a source of pride for me, because I know I got the good stuff and because I was in awe of my mother for making the commitment to nurse me into toddlerhood. I was weaned at 18 months because my mother had simply had enough and our nursing relationship was no longer enjoyable to her. In the 70s, most moms didn't breastfeed. In fact, when I was born, only about a third of children were breastfed. So I know that it took an even greater effort on my mother's part to nurse me than it takes moms today.
Although I was seriously committed to nursing, there were some bumps along the way. A poor latch in the first few weeks left me with sore nipples and a baby who was gaining too slowly. When I returned to work, I had a difficult time letting down for the pump and my inability to empty my breasts effectively left me with plugged ducts and two bouts of mastitis. My supply dwindled, I had to supplement with formula more than I care to even think about and I was in tears almost every day. I was a sleep-deprived wreck, waking up in the middle of the night to pump, pumping before bed, choking down nasty supplements and eating bowl after bowl of oatmeal trying to hold onto my milk. Through it all it never felt like a sacrifice because I knew I was doing what was best for my son.
As long as there is milk in my breasts and my baby wants it, I'll be here for him. I can't set a goal for us in days or weeks or months or years. I still enjoy nursing my baby. When I get home from work, it is the first thing we do. When he wakes up in the morning, we snuggle together in bed and nurse. When will we stop? I can't really say. I know when he is done with this part of his life, he will let me know that he has moved on and no longer needs to be breastfed. When that day comes, I'm sure I'll be sad, but hopefully I'll be lucky enough to get to begin this wonderful journey again with more children. And my goal for them will be the same: to be there for them, to nourish them with my breasts, for as long as they need me to.
Other Carnival of Breastfeeding Entries
Breastfeeding 1-2-3: The goal of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months
The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Tanya's breastfeeding goals for 2009
Zen Mommy: 2009 breastfeeding resolutions
Beautiful Letdown: Extended & tandem nursing
Hobo Mama's breastfeeding resolutions
Secrets of Orual: overcoming a tough start to breastfeeding
Milk Act: plugged ducts, mastitis and blebs, oh my!
Mama Knows Breast: Andi's breastfeeding goals
Breastfeeding Mums: Goals for after the breastfeeding relationship is over
Saturday, January 17, 2009
This week, two black celebrity couples announced that they're expecting babies in 2009.
Kelis and Nas have created Hip-Hop royalty.
They've been married since 2005 and this will be the first child for Kelis. Nas has a daughter from a previous relationship.
And Kimora Lee Simmons and her boyfriend, actor Djimon Honsou, will welcome a little one this year.
They've been together since 2006, when Kimora divorced Russell Simmons. Kimora has two daughters with Russell, Ming Lee and Aioki Lee.
Will either of them breastfeed? My money is on Kelis, for sure. I hope if they do choose to nurse their babies, they'll be vocal about breastfeeding to the media. It seems lots of celebrity moms are talking about breastfeeding, but we haven't heard much from the moms of color.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Getting excited about the inauguration of Barack Obama? Why not create an Obamicon to celebrate! Here's mine.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Remember my post the other day highlighting a journal article on the history of breastfeeding? Well, the New Yorker has a new article up entitled "Baby Food," which details the politics of pumping. Writer Jill Lepore argues that the history of breastfeeding is inextricably connected to the social and political climes of any given era. Back in the day, if you were poor, you breastfed and if you weren't, you either had someone else do it (wet nurse) or you could afford to pay for formula after the turn of the century.
But in the new millennium we've added an extra conundrum. Lepore says ours is the age of the breast pump and that the stark difference between being able to nurse your baby and being able to provide breast milk after you've returned to work by pumping cannot be overstated. She raises an excellent point that I think we as lactivists need to argue for: more and better maternity leave, less encouragement of breast pumps, pump breaks and lactation rooms.
I mean, really, which would you rather do? Is this just another area where feminism has let us down? As Lepore argues,
Pumps put milk into bottles, even though many of breast-feeding’s benefits to the baby, and all of its social and emotional benefits, come not from the liquid itself but from the smiling and cuddling (stuff that people who aren’t breast-feeding can give babies, too). Breast-feeding involves cradling your baby; pumping involves cupping plastic shields on your breasts and watching your nipples squirt milk down a tube. But this truth isn’t just rarely overstated; it’s rarely stated at all...No one seems especially worried about women whose risk assessment looks like this: “Should I take three twenty-minute pumping ‘breaks’ during my workday, or use formula and get home to my baby an hour earlier?”
It seems like once again breastfeeding is linked to a class structure. You have to be educated and well-read to truly understand and believe in the benefits of breastfeeding, but you can't continue to breastfeed once you return to work unless you can afford an expensive pump and have the "luxury" of a place in which to use it. Who is benefiting from this in the end? It doesn't seem to be moms and babies.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I've just discovered that Consumer Reports has a blog online. They have a post up now on Tips for Successful Breast Pumping at work. I thought they did a good job of listing the basics you'll need to make it work, but found it bizarre that they advise new moms to skip the company outing. I don't think anyone should skip an all-day event she wants to attend either for the fun and camaraderie or the networking opportunities just because she's pumping! If your company is planning a picnic or all-day retreat, find out ahead of time where you can pump. You'll be surprised at how easy it is to find a private space to pump, even in the most public of places. Don't let pumping keep you from doing the things you need to or want to do at work.
Honestly, I can't even be that mad because they used a picture of a black mom and baby on the blog post. Yay!
Monday, January 12, 2009
It's official: Governor Patrick of Massachusetts signed into law "An Act to Promote Breastfeeding." The law, which states that a woman may breastfeed her child in public without violating any indecency laws, goes into effect in early April 2009.
Angela at Breastfeeding 1-2-3 has a great post with the exact text of the law, explaining the new rights of Massachusetts breastfeeding mothers. The law is not perfect, but it's a much needed step in the right direction and will hopefully eliminate the harrassment that breastfeeding moms in the state reported being victim to.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Remember those French artists who created breast milk jewelry? Think they were the inspiration behind this mom's etsy store, where she sells breast milk pendants? I think this is such a clever idea and a sweet way to remember the time you had breastfeeding your baby. If you're interested in ordering the pendant, you ship hollyday designs your breast milk in a milk storage bag and she does the rest. I personally love the teardrop pendant.
Win it! My SentimentExactLee is giving away a free breast milk pendant. The winner will be responsible for shipping the breast milk to hollyday designs. You can enter the giveaway here. Good luck!
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
Are you guys on Twitter? It's my latest obsession. If you're on Twitter, follow me. I'll add you and follow your account as well. Or if not, you can always see what I'm Twittering on the right-hand side of my blog. Tweet tweet.
20/20 will feature a segment on "extreme breastfeeding" tonight, Friday January 2. I'm assuming that they think anything past 6 months is "extreme." And isn't the term "extended nursing?" Sigh. Anyway, this was the show that was to originally air on Halloween but got bumped for more pressing news. According to Angela at Breastfeeding 1-2-3, the show will also feature crunchy things like homebirth, including unassisted homebirth. Should be interesting.
There's also a great article on BlogHer today entitled "Breastfeeding until age 3, 4 or 5--more common than you think." Check it out here.