The Best Start Possible

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is things we’d like to share with our nurslings about what it means for us to breastfeed. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st! 


 
Breastfeeding you is just the beginning, but it’s the best start I can give you.

As you grow older, breastfeeding will become just one of the many parts of your life. More important things will happen in your life. Breastfeeding will fall into the background. Breastfeeding will not be something you think about every day as you do now. Breastfeeding will be part of what made you, but no longer immediately important.

You may not care whether or not you breastfed when you are 10 or 20 or 30, but one day you will. One day you will come to me when you are pregnant and want to know. You will want the full details of problems we faced, how long you nursed, why I we nursed to begin with.

I will tell you that even though it was such a short period of time in the grand scheme of things, it was a very important part of your life. It helped you to reach your full potential and be as happy and healthy as I wanted you to be. It was only the first few years of your life, but it was important to me. It made you happy. It made me happy. It made the world around as just work. I will tell you that you were a very happy baby and toddler and that even the times you weren’t very happy, breast milk made you happy again. I will tell you that there were difficult times too, but we worked hard and fixed our problems because I knew it would be worth it.

One day, I will help you to have this same special relationship we have with my future grandson or granddaughter. You will understand why I fought so hard to keep our relationship going and give other women the opportunity to have this relationship too. You’ll understand that while it’s only the first 1/20th of your life or less, it’s still incredibly important. It is giving you the best start possible.

 


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Facing It As It Comes

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about child-led weaning. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


I obviously haven’t had a child wean yet. Peanut is 16 months old and we have no plans of stopping. I’ve written before about how I used to think I’d stop when Peanut was one year old. Of course, that was before she was actually here. Stopping now would be way too much strain on both of us both emotionally and physically. I don’t even know how I would parent without breastfeeding!

Weirdly enough, I got more questions about when I was going to stop before Peanut was a year old than I do now. Maybe it’s because I’m more confident now? Maybe it’s because they figure that if I’m still going, I’m probably not stopping soon? Maybe it’s just that I’m lucky so far.

I am lucky actually. I’m lucky enough to have the people around me support our breastfeeding relationship. This extends to my friends too. The friends who I was afraid to breastfeed in front of when Peanut was tiny don’t even bat an eye now. These people just see it as part of who we are.

Peanut doesn’t nurse much in public anymore. Not because I’m against it, but because she’s too busy. When she does nurse in public, I try to view every time as a teaching moment. Not for me or her, but for the people around us. I feel that every time that I breastfeed in public that I’m helping to normalize breastfeeding for the people around me.

I’m sure it will get more difficult as she gets older—we’re not even past the World Health Organization’s minimum. I am already expecting some backlash from certain family members. I’m sure that I’ll get more complains as she gets older when she nurses in public. I’m sure that it will bother my friends more.

I’m also hoping that the people around me will see her breastfeed regularly enough that it won’t be a big deal to see her nursing as she gets older. I also know that if they can’t respect our breastfeeding relationship enough to not try to interfere that they’re probably not worth it. Of course questions are always welcome, but I hear of other moms being told they need to stop and that is simply wrong. People like that just won’t have a place in our lives.

Guess we’ll just have to face all of that when it comes.

 


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Breastfeeding In My Family

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about family and breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


My family dynamics in my immediate family have worked to my advantage for breastfeeding. It may seem weird from the outside,  but my husband gets me stuff a lot. Not going out and buying stuff, but if I’m sitting down he’ll get up and get me things I need. I’m not entirely sure how this started, but it’s just what we do. Of course, I’ll get up and get most things for myself, but when I’m otherwise occupied, he’ll get them for me. I do it for him too, but not nearly as much.

This became very important when I stared breastfeeding. Especially in those early days, it was very, very useful for me for him to bring me a glass of water or something to eat or my cell phone or my book. It meant I could focus on the task at hand and not really have to worry about my other needs so much. Even now, 16 months into the breastfeeding relationship, he still takes care of me a lot. A few nights ago I forgot to turn the light off when I was trying to nurse Peanut to sleep. Yes, I could have gotten up and walked across the room and turned off the light myself, but that would have ruined all of the progress I had with getting her to sleep. My husband came all the way upstairs and turned the light off for me without a single complaint.

Breastfeeding has also changed my extended family’s dynamics. As far as I know, I am the first person in my family who has breastfed for a long time and the only person in my husband’s besides one cousin who lives across the country. When I first started breastfeeding Peanut, you could easily see how uncomfortable everyone was—myself included! I would leave the room to feed her. Even after I felt comfortable enough to stay in the room, others would leave when I started breastfeeding. Now it’s just become normal. Everyone stays where they are an acts like Peanut isn’t even nursing. Some of them will even continue to play with Peanut while she nurses!

I think a big part of it is how you look at breastfeeding. Many of the complaints that your family may have about your breastfeeding and the awkwardness that it can create even if they don’t complain is due to thinking that breastfeeding is sexual. No, they don’t think “breasts are for sex so babies eating is sex!”, but there is a mentality there. Breastfeeding can not be gross to see in public if it is not sexual. Breastfeeding can not be inappropriate if it is not sexual. You do not need to leave the room if it is not sexual. There is nothing to hide.

If you can keep this mentality and display it to your family, hopefully they can be more accepting of your breastfeeding relationship. Even if you’re afraid, just try to pretend you’re confident. When you’re confident, people are less likely to try to make you feel awkward. This goes for family as much as it goes for people you don’t know.

 


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Wordless Wednesday: Every Babywearing Photo

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is Wordless Wednesday: Babywearing Photos! Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st! 


 

I would have thought that wearing her nearly every day of her life would produce more photos. We also don’t have any from our non-Sleepy Wrap carriers. Guess I have a new assignment for myself!

 


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Mothering in Second Place

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about mothering through breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


There are many benefits of being a stay-at-home parent. One of which is not favoritism. I go to school in the fall and spring, but in the summer I am a full-time SAHM. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love it. If I weren’t setting back my education by years and consequentially going into repayment of my student loans, I would stay at home 100% of the time all of the time. One of the downsides to staying at home is that I am no longer the preferred parent. When my husband leaves for the day, she’s following him out the door crying. When he gets home at night, she’s ecstatic. Most of the time lately when I ask her to say “mama” she says “dada” instead.

Daddy is the favorite—except when it’s time to nurse.

When it’s time to nurse, she is all over me. She wants me and only me—daddy simply will not do. Daddy can’t even distract her for a few minutes. She. Wants. Mama. NOW! When I’m sitting down preparing myself, she comes running across the room squealing. When she’s nursing, she wants to play with me. She loves me to kiss her on the forehead. She laughs the hardest when I tickler her while she’s nursing. Nursing is probably her favorite thing in the world right now and I am glad for it.

Sometimes on days when I feel like all she can do is whine at me, I nurse her and feel the rush of happiness hormones and suddenly forget my bad mood. Sometimes I nurse her just because I need to sit down for a minute instead chasing after her. Sometimes I nurse her just because I want to play while she’s doing it. Often, I just nurse her to reconnect.

There are many reasons why I started to nurse her. There are many reasons why I keep nursing her. There are many reasons why I plan on nursing her as long as she’ll let me. Within all of these reasons, there is one resounding theme—breastfeeding makes mothering easier.

 


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Our Babywearing Journey

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about babywearing. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


I had something of a high-needs baby. Actually, that high-needs baby has turned into a still relatively high-needs toddler. From the day she was born, she wouldn’t tolerate being set down. When she was two weeks old, I took her to The Lactation Station in Salt Lake City, Utah and bought our first Sleepy Wrap.

She pretty much lived in that thing for the first few months of her life. It was how I kept blogging, playing WoW, cleaning my house (sometimes), and especially leaving my house. I remember seeing moms carrying around babies in their car seats before I was even pregnant and thinking of how inconvenient it looked. Actually, it turns out that carrying your baby in their car seat lowers their oxygen levels. So every time I was going somewhere—which was very frequently as I tried to leave the house every day to keep myself from getting depressed—I would put on the Sleepy Wrap before I left the house and she would go in when we got to our destination.

For a long time, I didn’t use anything besides the Sleepy Wrap (and I actually still use it when she’s asleep and we’re out and about). I even got a second Sleepy Wrap (organic even!) to review for my blog and it’s seen quite a lot of use itself. I made a sling from the Maya Wrap website (which was really easy by the way), but didn’t use it while she was still little. Now that she’s older, I use it all the time for a hip carry and occasionally for a back carry. I also have a pouch sling I use for hip carries too.

I would like to do more back carrying, but I can’t really figure out my Mei Tai. There’s a babywearing class at the Cafe this year that I’m going to go to and get some help. I’m planning on getting a Boba carrier soon. I think that now that Peanut is getting older and bigger, back carrying will become our main carrying position. Hopefully I can figure it out soon.

It’s such a shame that babywearing has gotten such a bad rap lately. I like to take every opportunity to teach other moms about babywearing so that they can do it right and safely—which definitely includes avoiding carriers sold in big box stores.

All-in-all, babywearing just makes sense. If I didn’t babywear when Peanut was little, I would have never gotten anything done and would have had a screaming baby much more often because arms can only hold eight pounds for so long. Babywearing has kept me going on nights where Peanut just wouldn’t sleep. Babywearing has helped me to continue to have a life with a high-needs infant. Babywearing has even made taking mass transit more convenient! Babywearing rocks!

 


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Co-sleeping and Breastfeeding to Function

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about nighttime parenting and nursing. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


At Peanut’s 12 month check-up, the Pediatrician asked how often she wakes up at night. My honest answer? I don’t know.

That’s the beauty of co-sleeping while breastfeeding, isn’t it? She stirs, I “wake up” (which is totally not waking up at all), plop her on, and go back to sleep. I don’t even remember this “waking up” the next day.

I’ve always been big on sleep. Like, I’m one of those people who can sleep 12 hours and still feel tired. I am one of those people who can not live on 5 hours of sleep. There is no amount of coffee that can cure my tiredness when I don’t get enough sleep.

I’ve also dealt with insomnia my whole life—at times being bad enough that I’ve had to resort to a certain prescription that people basically black out if they take it and try to stay awake and it still didn’t make me go to sleep. I’m fine with staying asleep once I’m there, but if I’m awake, getting to sleep is nearly impossible.

I was convinced I wouldn’t co-sleep with Peanut. I bought a crib and tried on multiple occasions to put her to sleep in it, but me staying awake through the nursing and getting her deeply enough asleep that she wouldn’t wake up when I set her down just ended up with her sleeping in the crib next to me, me lying awake for an hour, then her waking up a half hour after I finally fall asleep to eat again.

Yes, she woke up every 90 minutes all night long—for the first six months or so of her life. She nursed every 90ish minutes 24 hours a day until she sat upright and started solid foods. Even after that, it was every 2-3 hours. She had really bad reflux and the few times she slept longer than that, she would wake up screaming in pain. There was an adjustment period where my body got used to waking up and going back to sleep so often, but when I look back at those days now, I have a sneaking suspicion that I was much more rested than other moms of newborns.

16 months later, we’re still co-sleeping. Even now, I do not think I could function without co-sleeping and breastfeeding.

 


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