Knowledge is Power

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 how you influence others. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!
 


 
As I’m sure you all can tell, I try to do a lot of things in my life to influence other moms to breastfeed. There are various things that I do on a regular basis just to try to help other moms see the need to breastfeed. I have already thought of about 10 equal, but different directions I could take this post and they all have one theme in common–knowledge is power.

So many moms just aren’t given the knowledge they need to succeed at breastfeeding. They don’t know that it’s not supposed to be excruciating pain in the beginning because every other mom who ended their breastfeeding relationship too early tells them it was. They don’t know that there are so many sources out there for help because they feel alone and isolated with our society’s bias against talking about breastfeeding. Many moms don’t even know how much of a risk they are taking with their child by not breastfeeding.

So what I try to do is spread knowledge.

When I find out a friend of mine is expecting, I try to give her the knowledge so many other moms don’t have. I try to give her reliable places to get information online, I try to tell her about the La Leche League meetings near her, and I try to offer my help if she ever needs it. I may just end up being taken as noisy, but I feel that every expecting mom needs to know those things before they are in the situation where they need them.

When I read a new study that, yet again, shows more reason that breastfeeding is necessary, I do my best to spread the new information. I tell the people around me, I post blogs about it, and I’ll even post it on my Facebook status. I’m sure many of my Facebook friends think that I’m weird because of the things I post and I’m sure that the single men I know could certainly care less, but maybe they’ll remember even just the fact that I was posting about so many benefits of breastfeeding and when they have a baby, they’ll be supportive of their wife breastfeeding.

I have a friend who didn’t breastfeed for long with her first child. By the time we started hanging out, her daughter was already a toddler and I hadn’t had Peanut yet. She told me about her blood blisters and how painful it was and how sad she was that she didn’t succeed. When she had her second child after I had had Peanut, I just knew I needed to help her. I gave her all the information I could think of and I even took her to a Lactation Consultant at the Breastfeeding Cafe (there is one there that’s free every Sunday of the Cafe). She recently celebrated hitting the two year mark for breastfeeding.

I certainly don’t take credit for her story. I’m sure that they biggest thing that helped her was her pure determination to make breastfeeding work the second time around, but I would like to think that what I did helped her. Even in the smallest of ways. And that’s all I’m seeking to do, help. I give information to help. That’s the goal of all of my lactivism, just to help, and knowledge is the place to start.
 


 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

My Reliable Breastfeeding Resources

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 reliable breastfeeding resources. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


I could do a big post today about how to find reliable online breastfeed resources. I could do a post about how many absolutely awful “resources” I’ve found over the last few years. I could do a post about following your instincts when taking any parenting advice and trying multiple things to figure out what works for you. I could do all of these thing, but quite frankly, I’m short on time.

So here are my top three resources I recommend to every pregnant and new mom. These three sites are ones that I trust with my life and have never let me down. Not only do they hold a wealth of information, but, in my opinion, it’s all great advice.

KellyMom.com- I’m sure that you’ve noticed me mentioning this site over and over throughout my blogs. It’s just fantastic. They have many links to studies and lists of other reputable sites for any certain topic. There are topics on all aspects of breastfeeding and it’s a great place to start when you have a question.

La Leche League- La Leche League in person is an incredibly valuable resource, but when you need information immediately and don’t feel like calling a leader, their website is just full of it. They also have links to sites and on top of that they have stories from moms. Become a LLL member and you’ll get their online magazine which is literally a magazine entirely devoted to breastfeeding.

Mothering.com- I loved their magazines, but they’re out of print now. I’d definitely recommend snagging some up before all of the back issues are sold. Their website is great, but what I’m really talking about here is their Mothering Dot Community. I love that there are so many like minded moms out there waiting to give you advice at any hour of the day. This is the first place I go when I have specific questions and there’s almost always someone who has been in the same situation just waiting to help. It’s great for support too.
 


 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Pregnant Babywearing

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!


This is the only picture I have so far, sorry for the crappy quality.


Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

How Breastfeeding Through Pregnancy Helps ME

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 breastfeeding when you have more than one child. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!
 


 
Yeah, you read that right.

Of course I’m still nursing Peanut to benefit her. She still gets my antibodies (even though my milk is drying up). She still gets the comfort. Blah blah blah. One thing people don’t talk about often enough when it comes to breastfeeding benefits is how it benefits mom.

Nursing my toddler while pregnant has been different than just nursing my toddler in general, but the differences haven’t had anything to do with her, it’s all me being pregnant. Some days I don’t feel like getting off the couch. Some days when we’ve been running around all day I just want her to nap. Some days, like today, I’ve been sitting at the computer way too long and I still need to accomplish something when Peanut starts whining for my attention. Nursing helps all these situations.

And I’m sure it will continue after Twig is born. When I want to spend 2 weeks without leaving my basement, breastfeeding will keep her happy. When I forget to bring a snack, nursing to the rescue. When I just need to have her sit still for a few minutes because I’m tired, breastfeeding will be a life-saver.

It’s really been the theme of our nursing relationship. When Peanut was little, I used to say that without co-sleeping and breastfeeding I wouldn’t get enough sleep to function. When she grew into a toddler, I said that I couldn’t keep my energy without the little breaks that nursing provides. Now that I’m pregnant, I don’t know how I would parent through the ups and downs of pregnancy without the breast so readily available.

I don’t know why a mom would choose to wean and lose this wonderful and simple parenting tool. What other strategy can calm crying children, give you some rest, get them to sleep, and all at the same time, give them the most round nutrition and antibodies to boot? Nothing. I simply don’t know how I’ll parent when Peanut decides to stop nursing. Let’s hope that day doesn’t come too soon.
 


 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

My Nursing in Public 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 your first experience nursing in public. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!
 


 
I don’t remember my first time nursing in public and I don’t remember seeing any moms nursing in public before I had a baby. What I do remember is my first times nursing in public without a cover.

I started nursing in public when Peanut was less than a week old. At first I used a blanket my mother-in-law had given me as a baby shower gift, but with Peanut being born in March, the temperatures soon started rising, which made the cover much too hot. So next I got one of those specialty nursing covers. While it was much better than the blanket, it was still horribly inconvenient. Screaming infant while I’m searching through my bag for the cover that had a bent rim from being in my bag (you can’t fold those covers entirely in half).

Peanut soon solved this dilemma for me by refusing to nurse under the cover. It was probably around June and she was 3-ish months (though honestly, now that I think about it, it could have even been May) when she started kicking and hitting and scratching me whenever I tried to nurse her under the cover. I don’t know if it was the heat or just that she was annoyed, but she simply refused.

I remember the last time this happened was when we were out to eat with another couple who were childless. I managed to nurse her under the cover in the restaurant, but when we got back to their place and she was hungry again, I just didn’t feel like fighting her. They had accidentally left their keys in their apartment and were trying to get in, so we were outside in the dark waiting for one of them to climb through a window. When she started fussing, I just decided “fine, whatever” and started to nurse her. I believe my husband gave me one surprised glance and the male half of that couple also gave me a surprised glance when we got back inside, but there was no mention of it. It just simply was.
 


 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Nursing While Pregnant

15 weeks 1 day

My milk is all but gone.

I noticed it a couple weeks ago. One night she accidentally fell asleep before getting dinner. When she woke up hungry a couple hours later, I figured I’d just nurse her and she’s have a happy full tummy. Keeping her awake through the nursing was hard enough, but I realized that she only swallowed all of once or twice. I poked and prodded at the other breast to try to get some milk to come out, but there was nothing. I poked and prodded at the breast she had just been nursing on and could get just a tiny bit.

Really though, it hasn’t changed a thing. I’ve had to worry about getting Peanut more calories from food, but that’s alright. She’s still nursing at least a couple times in the morning, once before her nap, and once before bed. Sometimes she’ll ask to nurse if she sees other kids nursing, but that’s about it. It’s about where we were before I got pregnant and ever since I got pregnant. She’s obviously enjoying the cuddles at least since she’s not getting a ton of actual milk from it.

Luckily it hasn’t been to painful or anything. Occasionally I feel touched out or get the heebeegeebees, but we just stop nursing for a while and try again later. She {mostly} understands that she needs to stay still while she’s nursing and that she can’t jerk her head around. This is just as much for breastfeeding pain as it is for pregnancy pain. It doesn’t feel particularly good for 30 pounds to be jumping and wiggling on my stomach these days.

I’m 15 weeks and 1 day along now. The second trimester is treating me well thus far. Still incredibly thirsty. Still incredibly dizzy. Can’t spend a ton of time outside and moving with it being warm. Definitely can’t go long between eating.

Even though I feel like I’ve been eating like a cow, I’ve lost 5 pounds since becoming pregnant. My midwife says it’s fine so long as the baby is growing. I’m supposed to be getting 3000 calories a day with nursing and being pregnant, which she says is near dang impossible on a healthy diet. Honestly, while of course a healthy baby is the most important thing, I don’t mind losing a bit of weight. I never lost that last 10-15 pounds (which is apparently common when breastfeeding), so I’m still above my pre-Peanut-pregnancy weight. I’m sure I’ll start gaining like crazy soon and this will be a distant memory.

The reason that I’m not posting as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival today is because I’m guest posting on the Cafe’s blog. Read the post here.

Setting Myself Up For Success

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 how birth experiences influence breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


As I prepare for my upcoming birth, I am continually amazed at how different this preparation is from preparing for a hospital birth. With Peanut’s birth, I felt that I had to fight against everything. I had to force the nurses not to ask me about pain medication. Had to force the doctors to not give me unnecessary interventions. Had to force the nurses afterwards not to give my daughter bottles or binkies or take her from my room. I was so afraid of this that I was willing to travel 40 miles to a hospital that is Baby-friendly Certified to help prevent a rough start to breastfeeding. Everything was a fight and I don’t know why I thought that was normal or okay.

When we went in for our initial meeting with our home birth midwife, she basically told me that everything in my last birth plan was moot. I don’t need to tell her not to give me unnecessary pitocin, I don’t need to tell her that I don’t want an epidural, and I most certainly don’t need to stress my desire to breastfeed to her or any of her assistants. It’s just all a given in this territory.

So all the little things last time that could have harmed my breastfeeding relationship won’t be there this time. There won’t be all the bad (and different from each other) advice from the nurses. There won’t be a lactation consultant with very minimal hours that just walks in and pops the baby on without actually explaining anything. There won’t be a doctor worried about my daughter’s “thick blood” (after giving her a vitamin K shot that I didn’t want, which in my opinion caused this) and pushing me to give her Pedialyte.

This time there will be only people around me that support my natural childbirth and breastfeeding. There will be people that can help me rather than confused me. I am choosing to surround myself with only people there to fight for me rather than against me. I will certainly be interested to see how the early month’s of Twig’s breastfeeding relationship contrast the early months of Peanut’s.
 


 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

How It Should Be

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 nursing in public. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!
 


 
A few days ago, Peanut and I traveled into town on the train. We almost always take the train, but this time I decided to do something different. I thought bringing a stroller rather than just our Boba would be easier, so we tried it out. It turned out to be immensely more difficult, but that’s not the point of today’s post.

Since we had the stroller, we had to sit at the very front of the bus. It was just around Peanut’s nap time and I knew that if I nursed her she would pass right out. Of course, I happened to be wearing just a thin strapped dress with no sweater or anything (it’s July!) and the bus driver was already grouchy about the stroller. Needless to say, I was ready for some confrontation.

So there I sat, nursing my 28 month-old at the very front of the bus in the most showing way possible (I won’t say immodest because breastfeeding is not an issue of modesty). I knew the bus driver could see us because I could see myself in his mirror. On the other side of the bus sat a mom and her probably less than 2 month-old son who was currently having a bottle. I looked up the breastfeeding statues of my state so I could readily read them allowed. I got on my lactavist hat so I would be ready to respond with my handful of facts on breastfeeding. I tried to look as confident (though nonchalant) as possible, even though I was feeling terrified that this was going to be when someone reacted.

Then something amazing and unexpected happened, the mom on the other side of the bus looked at what I was doing and then smiled at me.

And that’s how the rest of the bus ride went. I nursed Peanut for probably 20 minutes before she finally passed out and almost every person who got on the bus just smiled at me. Maybe it’s just because I smiled at them. Maybe they didn’t even notice I was nursing. Either way, there was zero confrontation (even from the mean bus driver). Just a wonderful, happy experience nursing my child on the bus. It put me in a wonderful mood for the rest of the day (even when Peanut woke up the second we got off the bus because of that ridiculous stroller… which I already sold).

Of course, it doesn’t always happen perfectly. There are people out there who are willing to harass a mom just for feeding her child. Such a thing happened last month in a Whole Foods in the same city I was visiting. Needless to say, there will be a nation-wide nurse-in on August 20th at 3pm at all Whole Foods stores. Hope to see you there.
 


 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Breast is Not Best, It’s Normal

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 language and breastfeeding. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!


First off, if you haven’t read Watch Your Language by Diane Wiessinger, I thoroughly recommend it. It totally changed my view on how I need to present breastfeeding to others and we actually made it a required reading for volunteers at the Breastfeeding Cafe this year.

I never used to think about the language of how we present breastfeeding. Breastfeeding was always presented to me as a best or better option, so that’s how I presented it to others. We speak of the benefits of breastfeeding not even knowing that by using the word benefits we’re verifying in women’s minds that breastfeeding isn’t normal, it’s best.

So what’s wrong with best? The article linked above talks about how best is not part of normal life. It would be best if my toddler didn’t watch any TV at all, but that’s not a goal that’s reasonable for us. Instead, what I realize really gets to me is when the American Academy of Pediatrics tells me that once she gets beyond a certain amount of hours a week, she’ll be more likely to have problems.

Of course we always strive to do what’s best for our children, but when something that seems easier is still perfectly acceptable, we let go of our goals and do the acceptable thing. That’s why we need to stop referring to breastfeeding as best, but as normal. In other words, formula-feeding is deficient.

Yes, there’s the problem with mama guilt. There’s always that obstacle when we’re talking about anything breastfeeding. I often write a post that I go over 3 times to get the language right and then still get comments from formula-feeding moms saying they’re offended. Would I ever write the AAP telling them I’m offended at the amount of hours they say I should limit my child’s television time to? Would I tell them she watches much more than that and I am insulted that they are questioning my parenting? No.

It’s the same situation here. Every mother does what she deems best in her situation. The problem is that in a world that breastfeeding is treated as a better option rather than the option and on top of that we don’t have enough support and on top of that we have formula companies and hospitals working against you, many moms aren’t given the information and help to choose the normal option. So they end up going with the deficient option, all the while not even knowing that it’s deficient.

I feel bad for the moms with mama guilt. I have friends that I know wish they would have known then what they do now. I try my hardest not to make them feel bad about it. In this situation though, I think referring to breastfeeding as normal rather than best trumps avoiding mama guilt.

So here it is.

Breastfeeding is not best, it is normal. 

Formula-feeding is deficient, incomplete, and inferior. 

Breastfeeding does not reduce risks of SIDS, formula-feeding increases risks of SIDS. 

Breastfeeding does not reduce the risk of illness, formula-feeding increases the risk and duration of illness. 

Breastfeeding does not higher IQ, formula-feeding lowers IQ. 

Yeah, it stings. It even stings for me. I was formula-fed and I would never want my mother to believe she did anything other that the best for our situation. But those are the facts. We need to accept them and move on, because only when we start treating breastfeeding as the norm will we see the rise in numbers of moms breastfeeding that we need.
 


 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

Wordless Wednesday: Breastfeeding Video

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: Breastfeeding Photos! Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st!
 


 

 

 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.