Friday, August 27, 2010

Going Against the Norm: Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding in Laughlin, NV.
Breastfeeding at the beach.

Breastfeeding on the Amtrak.

Breastfeeding with a breastfeeding friend.

Breastfeeding in line at Disneyland.

Breastfeeding at the hospital.

Do these pictures make you uncomfortable? I am not exposed, but I am breastfeeding in public. It is very easy to breastfeed in public without exposing yourself, even without a blanket.

A fellow breastfeeding friend brought a recent news story to my attention about a Mom that was asked to leave a Cost Plus World Market in Orange County because she was breastfeeding her child in public. I knew I didn't like that stupid store.

When I was pregnant with my first daughter I was pretty scared about breastfeeding, but I made up my mind that no matter what I was going to deal with the pain and discomfort of breastfeeding to feed my child. If I made the mature decision to have a baby, then I better be ready to deal with the discomfort of breastfeeding my child. I committed before I had my baby that I was going to exclusively breastfeed for at least 6 months. If only the pain and discomfort was my only obstacle in breastfeeding my daughter. It all started at the hospital. I literally had a nurse tell me, "You had a c-section, so your milk won't come in for awhile and you need to bottle-feed." My mother-in law (a nurse and lactation specialist) put them in their place, but I couldn't believe the power of the formula companies in hospitals. You know what I am talking about. The doctor's office gives you free diaper bags and formula samples. The hospital gave me free bottles filled with formula, a free diaper bag, and car seat filled with coupons and advertisements for formula. When I was breastfeeding at the hospital with my daughter the lactation nurse didn't come to help me for two days. That is plenty of time for a new mom to give up.

I was reading a breastfeeding medical journal and I read an abstract about how formula companies provide the growth charts for pediatrician's offices. The journal stated that formula fed babies gain weight faster then breastfed babies at first, then it tapers off. They also have bigger heads then breastfed babies. The breastfed baby catches up after 2-4 months. So doctors tell their Mom's you aren't producing enough milk and then make them supplement formula when it is all a BIG HUGE SCAM! Sound like big tobacco to you?
My mother in law also told me that breastfeeding organizations tried to put out public service announcements about the dangers of formula feeding. The formula companies wouldn't let them ever be aired on television. That is how much power formula companies have.

One more conspiracy theory! Why does WIC give money to Mom's for formula, but not to Mom's that have chosen to breastfeed. I don't want our tax dollars supporting formula companies. I don't want a single penny to go to them. If a Mom is unable to breastfeed (which is very rare), or if a Mom adopts a baby, they need to give money to breast milk banks to feed their babies. Keep your free diaper bag formula companies.

I am not even breastfeeding anymore, but I will be again very shortly. I breastfeed in public. I am not the hippy mom that pulls her boob out for the whole world to see, but it is impossible to not breastfeed in public and it is my right to do so. There are California Civil Codes in relation to breastfeeding, so check them out. California Civil Code 43.3 protects a mother's right to feed her child in public. I am outraged by the weirdness with breastfeeding in America. I don't care if you choose to formula-feed your baby, that is your prerogative, but don't mess with mother's who make the braver, the harder, the less comfortable choice to breastfeed their children. I am not going to lie to you, breastfeeding is a lot of hard work. In the end I wouldn't trade the 17 months I breastfed my daughter for anything. See my other blogs about breastfeeding for those thoughts. Power to you breastfeeding Mama's. Don't give up!


Today's Mom

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Homeless with a Toddler

For the last 6 and half months my husband, toddler daughter, and I lived in hotels waiting for our house to close escrow. We gave notice at our tiny two bedroom apartment too early and then we fell out of escrow. Oh, and did I mention I found out I was pregnant the week we had to move all our stuff in to a storage unit? (three storage units actually). A lot of people thought we were crazy, but in the end it paid off because we got our house!!! It is amazing. It even has a fruit orchard. It is amazing how God works things out. Believe me, I thought it wasn't gonna work out more than once. Audrey was 14 months old when we moved into various hotel rooms. She is now 21 months old when we finally moved into our house. We made it in time to get ready for Luke (our son, due in September). Needless to say, my husband and I are experts at traveling with a toddler. It is really cool that hotel rooms are pretty child proof. Bring in a bag of toys and you have yourself a portable bedroom. Blackout curtains work great for tired, cranky, toddlers. In fact, now that we are in a house without blackout curtains, Audrey wakes up at the crack of dawn. It is really cool that someone cleans up after your toddler's mess. Poopy diapers, crumbs on the floor, messy towels on the floor are all cleaned up after a visit to the grocery store. My husband had a whole nap time system for when the maid came to clean. He would take Audrey in the car for her daily nap while the maid cleaned the room. Looking back on this experience after it's all said and done I realize that it was worth all the moving around because I am sitting here in my huge living room in my huge house. If we were not patient or willing to be flexible we would not have been able to be here. I think my daughter is very flexible with different situations because of this out-of-the-ordinary experience. She knows how to have a different schedule without having a meltdown. We can travel anywhere and she is fine with it. I love seeing her in her new pink princess bedroom because it reminds me of how as a family we worked together and made this house happen together. We were all patient and it paid off. In the end, my point is that every child needs a little bump in their schedule. I think Audrey will now always be ready for new experiences and traveling to new places. I am glad we don't have to do this anymore, but looking back it was a great experience.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Hippie Parents

A friend of mine referred to my laid back parenting style as, "hippy." I guess in some ways I am pretty laid back about parenting. Let me give you the context. We were eating at a restaurant on the patio. No one else was eating on the patio, but our group. My 21 month old daughter refuses to sit in a high chair very long anymore, so we don't even bother. She sits in a chair now. My husband and I let her get down and climb and run around as long as she is not bothering anyone. I have been out with friends who spend their whole meal fighting with their kid to sit down and be quiet. What is the point of even going out if you are going to make it miserable for your child the entire meal? My daughter let us sit and talk for over an hour in the beautiful sunshine and she was completely happy. So here are my tips for a successful sit down meal with a toddler.

1. Go to a loud restaurant. My daughter is a loud talker, so if the restaurant is louder then her no one will mind her lack of volume control. Also if your toddler does decide to have a melt-down in the middle of dinner no one will be able to hear.
2. Get one of those large corner booths if possible. I let my daughter run around on them and it keeps her entertained for awhile.
3. Always bring back-up. My daughter loves to look at books and she loves to color. Make sure if it is gonna be a long dinner that you have entertainment for your child. I also keep one of those mini-Magna Doodles in her diaper bag. Those things are amazing.

I look at my "hippiness" as a positive thing. I am not a hippy about everything, but there are some things a mom should just not have to stress about. Going out to eat every once in awhile should be fun for all (including your child).


Today's Mom