Tag Archives: breastfeeding

Breastfeeding Blog Hop Week 10: The 2 Products I WILL Buy Next Time

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop, hosted by Life With Levi. The topic for Week 10 is Breastfeeding Products. To share your thoughts on the topic, please follow the directions below.

Breastfeeding Products: Next Time, I’ll Spend the Money

I have mixed feelings about products sold to breastfeeding mothers.

One one hand, I think that breastfeeding is a simple, biological act that predates manufactured products, and that many of the products on the market only serve to muck things up and get in the way of the natural process, which can interfere with the mother/baby nursing relationship and cause big problems. It bothers me that greedy marketing often tries to convince new moms that they need to buy certain products in order to succeed.

On the other hand, I understand that many mothers have specific challenges that can only be overcome with help found on the store shelves. I, myself, only needed a few things: a healthy diet, a properly-latched baby, a bunch of support and sticktoitiveness, and a good pump for my return to work. But I understand that all mothers do not have the same experience, and there are probably lots of moms out there who feel that a specific product or two has made all the difference.

I also know that when I was pregnant, I got very nesty and wanted to buy, stock up, prepare as much as possible. For me, it was part of the process of getting ready for my baby, and having half an aisle in the local Target dedicated to breastfeeding supplies for me to weed through gave me yet another thing to learn about and prepare. Would I have known about some of the potential problems I could have had if I had not read the packages? Maybe not. So maybe those products did help more than I realized…

Like I said. I have mixed feelings.

So, I’ve decided to keep this post simple and tell you the two products I never invested money in, but wish I had. If I ever have another baby, I most definitely, without a doubt, will purchase:

1. A comfy glider (with a footstool.) Because my butt spends a LOT of time there, and my rickety rocker just isn’t cutting it anymore. Scrimping in this area was not worth the discomfort.

2. Properly fitted, supportive non-ugly nursing bras (I’m thinking Bravado.) Because my boobs spend a LOT of time there, and my rickety knock-offs just aren’t cutting it anymore. Again, the money saved was not worth the discomfort, or the funky shaped boobs. :?

Want to participate in this week’s blog hop?

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Find a post on your blog related to this week’s topic – Breastfeeding Products. You can write a new post, or use a past post. Current giveaways for Breastfeeding Products may be linked so long as they are current and you include “Giveaway” in your linky entry.
  2. Link up your post. (Be sure to use the URL for your post, not your blog homepage). Have more than one post you want to add? Go ahead and link them all!
  3. Add the linky code to the bottom of your post, then copy/paste these guidelines above the linky.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

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Breastfeeding Blog Hop: Overcoming Obstacles

Hi, friends! This post is my contribution to Week 6 of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop, hosted by Life With Levi(@LifeWithLevi.) This week’s topic is Obstacles. When you’re done reading, please visit the rest of the blogs on the link list and share the BF love! I can’t host the linky myself for technical reasons, but you can find it, along with the instructions for the hop, by clicking on the button here:

Overcoming Obstacles

Is breastfeeding easy, or is it hard?

I often feel like I contradict myself when discussing the topic of breastfeeding. On one hand, I feel like it’s the easiest, most natural thing in the world. Your body is made for it, it doesn’t require any mixing, heating, measuring or sterilizing. You don’t even have to get out of bed at night to nurse if you don’t want to. It’s the biological norm, custom formulated for your baby, always available, and free!

On the other hand, breastfeeding has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced.  No matter how dedicated you are, it can be hard.

But how is that possible if it’s so easy?

Because as a breastfeeding mom, everywhere you turn you will find an obstacle in your way.

My obstacles? I had headaches for months that made it so I couldn’t even hold my baby, and then I had to return to work 65 miles away, which made for long days of pumping on the job. At 15 months, my son still doesn’t sleep through the night, and I’m always exhausted. I don’t know any other breastfeeding moms, so I get questioned (challenged) a LOT and had few places to turn for help until I sought them out.

Common obstacles to breastfeeding are many, including:

  • Interventions during birth that delay the initial breastfeeding experience, making it harder to initiate…
  • A myriad of health issues and physical differences (mom or baby) that can cause difficulties without the specific knowledge of how to accommodate or fix them
  • Sneaky formula samples or propaganda featuring charts on transitioning your baby to formula as though it were just the normal, expected thing to do…
  • Well-meaning but misinformed peers telling you that you can try to breastfeed, but it most likely won’t work (because it “didn’t work” for them) so you should have a backup plan…
  • Workplaces that are not supportive of breastfeeding or do not allow working moms the time and space to pump as needed…
  • A cultural perception of breastfeeding as “weird” or “inappropriate,”  which can cause women to not want to breastfeed, or cause them to feel self-conscious, ashamed, or even fearful of confrontation when they have to feed their babies away from home…
  • That friend or family member who wants you to hide away – even at home – and constantly tells you that it’s time to stop nursing now for one reason or another…

I could go on all day. Obstacles and “booby traps” are around every corner, but I think that trying to take on each one individually would require more time than any of us busy moms have.

In thinking about the topic of “obstacles,” I am reminded of the obstacle courses I used to play on as a child. Even at that age, I knew that an obstacle was something to dodge, climb or hurdle so I could reach my goal of finishing the course. So, my advice after 15 months of nursing is to put your effort into tackling the biggest obstacle of all: self-doubt.

How?

Read books. Research online. Learn, learn, learn. Anticipate common problems, and find out what to do before they arise. Talk to other nursing moms. Find a support system that you can call on at 3am. Get to know your local LLL. Save a Lactation Consultant’s number in your phone. If you are told to supplement or stop nursing, seek another opinion. And then seek another one. When those things sound enticing to you because you are sore, tired and frustrated, ask for help. When you are told that nursing will be hard, know that you are up to the challenge. When you need to nurse in public, ignore those who gawk and know that there is an entire community of moms – generations of moms – standing beside you. Be firm with your employer that time to pump is necessary and non-negotiable, then negotiate how to make it work. Be proud of your milestones. When you are told that you can’t for any reason, know that you CAN, and don’t let anyone plant that seed of self-doubt.

Because once you empower yourself and overcome the obstacle of self-doubt, none of the other ones will have the power to trip you up quite as much.

Jump those hurdles, mamas! Yay boobies! :D

________________________________________

(note: I fully recognize that there are some rare issues that make breastfeeding impossible, and the intent of this post is not to discount those issues. I am a firm believer, however, that the vast majority of negative or unsuccessful breastfeeding experiences could be remedied with proper support and education.)

What obstacles have you faced in your breastfeeding journey?

Did you overcome them? How?

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Breastfeeding Blog Hop: NIP with a Toddler!

Hi, friends! This post is my contribution to Week 5 of the Breastfeeding Blog Hop, hosted by Life With Levi (@LifeWithLevi.) When you’re done reading, please visit the rest of the blogs on the link list and share the BF love! I can’t host the linky myself for technical reasons, but you can find it, along with the instructions for the hop, by clicking on the button here:

So there I was, in the mall on a snowy day in January, with a rambunctious 14-month-old who would not hold my hand or allow me to carry him. He wanted to run, and he let me know it. Rather than completely “abort mission,” I called my husband to come pick him up so I could finish my errands.

“I’ll be there in a half an hour.”

I figured I could kill that much time, but I was exhausted, and my son was getting hungry. Then, he pinched my nose – a sure sign he wanted to nurse. Now.

So, the answer was obviousJust sit down and nurse him, right? It would give me the chance to sit and relax, while reigning in the hungry monster and undoubtedly replacing his defiant mood with a much happier one.  (I’m always amazed at the magical effects a few minutes at the breast can have.)

Except that our mall doesn’t have a nursing room, and I haven’t nursed in public in a loooong time. It just doesn’t come up that often for us anymore, and this is no docile, cooing infant.

I’m now nursing a toddler, which is a whole different ballgame.

Why?

Because a toddler doesn’t just lay there in your lap and nurse like an infant does. Not in my experience, anyway. My son can start out being cradled in my arms, then turn in the complete opposite direction, get down off my lap, stand on the floor, grab a toy, and crawl back up on me, all without unlatching! And he does it often.

He also has a tendency to get my milk to let down, and then unlatch to yell “Dada!” or grab a cracker, leaving me spraying the room.

Or, he twiddles, or pats my breast, which he insists be bare. The very idea of a nursing cover is downright laughable at this point. When I nursed him as an infant, nobody even knew. But things are much different now….

None of this bodes well for a “discreet” nursing-in-public experience. But the question I asked myself that day myself was, why do I even feel like I need to be discreet?

It’s no secret that many people have a problem with women nursing in public. I see it on the social media sites I frequent, I hear it in the news, I feel it out in public. I experience it firsthand from people who know me personally and tell me that nursing my son is “disgusting.” (Notice I don’t refer to them as my friends.) When people aren’t telling you it’s downright weird to nurse your child, they’re usually telling you that they don’t mind what you do, as long as you’re discreet.

…as if giving you their conditional permission. :???:

First off,  “discreet” is a totally relative term, and frankly, I have to look at offensive indiscretions all the time (Hello butt-crack dude, I’m talking to you!) In my opinion, a statement like the one above does nothing but negate itself and cause nursing moms to know, without a doubt, that they are being judged.

Plus,  I’ve noticed a huge change in public perception since I’ve been nursing a toddler. Some many people get more than rude when they find out you’re nursing a child over a few months old.  I guess maybe it comes down to the inability to separate the sexual breast from the nourishing breast, but they think it’s just downright WRONG, and they are not afraid to speak their minds.

Now, I’m not a timid person, and I’m known to speak my mind when I don’t agree with the masses, which is often. But when it came time to nurse my son in public because he was acting out and obviously hungry, I couldn’t help but think about the anti-BFing hatred I’ve seen spewed on Twitter, and those moms I see in the news who are thrown out of public places for nursing. I will freely admit that there was a part of me that felt intimidated and scared without the safety of my home around me.  But then I thought of the many other groups who feel that way when they leave the house, those who are told, “I don’t care what you do in the privacy of your home, as long as nobody has to see it …” as if that remotely resembles acceptance.

….the same-sex couples who fear holding hands in public

…the interracial couples who have to stand up to disapproving glares in public

…those who do not fit traditional dichotomous gender roles who have to put on an armor of defenses just to step out into public

…It even reminded me of the young boy from my local area who recently walked 11 miles in the rain, and stepped out in front of a truck to end his life because he was sick of being scared and bullied every day.

Because that’s exactly what it is when you infringe upon someone’s legal rights, and belittle them or attack them or harass them because what they’re doing doesn’t fit your personal idea of what “should” be. It’s bullying. And it’s wrong.

Let me be clear before you think I’m the most dramatic woman on the planet: I wasn’t terrified of nursing my boy in public. It just really, really  bothered me that such a simple thing made me so uneasy, and stirred up so much emotion in me. It bothered me that our culture, as a whole, has made the climate such that I had to even think twice about meeting my son’s needs. So, when I was faced with the question  – To NIP or not to NIP – I thought about the kind of person I want my son to see when he looks at his mother. So I found a bench, and I put my walking, talking, mouth-full-of-teeth, “old enough to ask for it” toddler son to my breast, and I did it for everyone who ever felt singled out, discriminated against, judged, or harassed. I did it for the one young mama-to-be who might walk by and feel inspired. I did it for the children who need to see breastfeeding mothers in the mall more than they need to see 10-ft. Victoria’s Secret posters.

I did it for my son’s sons and daughters.

And I’ll do it again.

_______________________________

Thanks for sticking it out through my novel-length post. Have you ever nursed a toddler in public? I’d love to hear about it!

About me: I’m Wendy, the first-time breastfeeding mama of an almost 15-month-old little boy. I don’t know another BFing mom IRL, so I’m happy to meet you! I’ve been working full-time away from home for the past year, and we’re very proud to have made it this far – 18 months is our next goal! We are a cloth-diapering, bedsharing, AP-style parenting family, and we love to garden and learn about how to make our lives happier and healthier, day by day. Thanks for visiting ABCs and Garden Peas!

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Filed under Breastfeeding, Green Living, Parenting & Family

The greatest gift…

Not too long ago, I celebrated a milestone that, at one time, seemed daunting and out of reach – one full year of breastfeeding. There was never really any question in my mind that I would try to nurse my baby, and I say “try” because that was the word everyone used around me during my pregnancy, and it was the word I used before I knew better. The common question was “Are you going to breastfeed?” and, after the skeptical look I always received, my answer was, “Yes! Well, I’m going to try, at least…” Nearly everyone had a story about why it probably wouldn’t work.

Now, I realize how dangerous that skeptical attitude can be when beginning a breastfeeding relationship with your newborn. But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about the positive effects of those who do support a new mother on her breastfeeding journey.

My parents are avid flea marketers, and one day my mom called and said, “Your dad bought you a present today. I’m not sure you’ll like it, but will you please tell him you do?”

Oh no, I thought. What on Earth could it be…

When I showed up at their house the day of my son’s first birthday dinner, she called me into the kitchen. “Here’s the present your dad got you at the flea market…”

It was a ceramic plate. THIS ceramic plate…

As my mom tells it, they were walking through the flea market, browsing tables, and my dad noticed a few older “gentlemen” noticing the plate. Apparently, they thought it was very funny, and they were laughing at it and making rude comments about it. (She didn’t elaborate, but it’s not hard to picture the scene.)

Well, don’t you know my dad walked right up between them and proclaimed, “Excuse me. I’d like to buy that.”

Of course, he was met with awkward looks.

“My daughter is celebrating her one year anniversary of breastfeeding her son, and I’m very proud of her. I think it will make a nice gift.” (I’m paraphrasing, of course, but that was the jist of it.)

My mom said he handed the man two dollars, and walked away, quite proud of himself.

But not half as proud as I am of him.

My parents watch my son while I work, and I couldn’t be more appreciative of their support, or so I thought. This act of thoughfulness was on a whole new level. It was unnecessary, and I have no doubt that it pushed my dad a bit out of his comfort zone. But he did it. For me.

I don’t know if my dad has even known another breastfeeding mother before. It was a pretty foreign concept to all of us when I decided to do it, but he never skipped a beat in conveying his approval.

I’m not sure about the value of the plate, but it doesn’t matter because I’ll never part with it. To me, it’s the best two bucks anyone has ever spent on me

Not only did my dad give me a very precious keepsake, but along with it an example of the unconditional love and support that come with good parenting. If I end up being any good at this whole parenting thing, I know who I have to thank.

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Filed under Breastfeeding, Parenting & Family

ONE WHOLE YEAR Prize Package Giveaway!

The presents have been opened…

The cake has been smashed…

You know what that means! Now that the party is over at home, it’s time to start the blog celebration! :D

It’s been ONE WHOLE YEAR!

One whole year of getting to know myself as a mommy, one whole year of getting to know my funny little sidekick, one whole year of not sleeping through the night :( and one whole year of getting to know YOU – my encouraging, supportive, never-let-me-down online community. Without you, I may not have made it to our first Nursiversary! Yup, one whole year of successful breastfeeding…and still going strong!

To show you all how thankful I am for the year’s worth of camaraderie, I’ve assembled a prize package featuring many of my favorite items from our first year!

ONE WINNER TAKES ALL! 8O

…and, without further ado, the sponsors ARE...drumroll please

My sponsors have been WAY generous with their prizes, so please show them some love whenever you can!

My contribution? Well, a little bit of fluff, of course! We fell in love with ours, so the first prize I’d like to announce is a Kawaii Green Baby Minky Bamboo One-Size Pocket Diaper in the gorgeous new olive green color! I love this color for a boy or a girl, it’s super soft and trim, and I’m totally tempted to keep it (but I won’t.) Check out a photo here at Sweetbottoms Baby Boutique. Sweetbottoms is where we get all of our Kawaii diapers, and lots of other fun stuff, too! They have a great selection and offer Free Shipping on all US orders! Woot!

Check back tomorrow for the next prize announcement! Remember, one winner takes all!

Ready for the details?

This is the main entry post. Mandatory entry and ALL subsequent entry comments must be made here. Each day for the next week, I will post a Sponsor Spotlight featuring details about one of our sponsors, and the prize they are offering! Several sponsors are also offering discount codes and special offers for the event, so don’t miss it! Each Sponsor Spotlight will include one easy extra entry opportunity, so be sure to check in each day! (THIS post is sticky, so it will not move. Scroll down my page for each sponsor spotlight!)

MANDATORY ENTRY: “Like” each of my sponsors on Facebook (while you’re there, be sure to thank them for sponsoring!)  then leave me a comment here letting me know that you “liked” them all, and which one you are most excited about! Here are the links to all the Facebook pages:

Inspired by Finn

BabyBond

EcoMom (Don’t forget…I’m hosting an EcoMom giveaway NOW, too! Enter here to win a $25 gift card!)

Hazelnut Kids

Milkin Cookies

HappyBaby

There are 3 other optional ways to enter:

1. Blog about this giveaway, or post it on a public forum. Leave me a comment on this post with a link to your post.

2. Tweet about this giveaway. Tweet must include a link to this post. Leave me a comment on this post with a link to your tweet. (Only one per day, please.) Here’s a sample tweet:

“I entered the One Whole Year #baby prize package #giveaway at ABCGP! Easy entry, ends 11/18. http://wp.me/pTRQh-v1″

3. Grab my One Whole Year button! Put it on your blog, and leave me a link here so I can find it (To those readers who got a bonus entry for grabbing the button early, don’t worry…you’ll get one entry for grabbing and one for grabbing early ;) )

That’s it! Easy peasy, right? There will be more ways to enter in the coming days, so be sure to check back and see what all the prizes are, and get your entries in! Good luck, and thanks for celebrating with us!

Sorry, this contest open to US residents only (Please note: My EcoMom giveaway is open to residents of US and Canada!) Entries will be accepted through 11/18. I will choose a winner via Random.org on 11/19. Winner will be contacted via email (please leave your email address!)  and will have 48 hours to respond and claim prize package or a new winner will be chosen.

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Filed under Cloth Diapering, Green Living, Parenting & Family, Product & Service Reviews, The Everyday