Category Archives: breastfeeding

If a baby is old enough to ask for it, he’s too old to be breastfeeding!!

“Mom, can I play Wii?”

“Nope, you’re old enough to ask for it, so you’re too old to play Wii.”

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“Mom, can I have an apple?”

“Nope, you’re old enough to ask for it, so you’re too old to have an apple.”

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Kind of illogical, don’t you think? I mean, if nothing else, the ability to ask for something doesn’t preclude someone’s need for it. So why do people bring out similar logic in this situation:

“Mama, nurse!”

“No, dear. You’ve gotten old enough to ask for it so you’re obviously too old to be breastfeeding.”

WUT. 

I mean, come on. The AAP recommends nursing for at least a year, and as long as mutually desired by mom and child. The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of two years of breastfeeding. All of my kids have started with words by 9-10 months old, and they all could sign “milk” by six months old.

Your logic simply does not apply. #sorrynotsorry

Increasing Breastfeeding rates will reduce government health costs

How does your state rate on the CDC’s Breastfeeding Report Card?

http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/pdf/2011BreastfeedingReportCard.pdf

Chances are, not well.  Most states aren’t doing a great job at this.

It’s a puzzle as to why, since so many states are having trouble financing Medicaid and WIC programs, and many also have state-sponsored child and/or family health insurance programs.

Breastfeeding is so important to reduce costs for families and for our state governments!  Of course formula provides adequate nutrition, and many babies do just fine on it.  But it’s certainly not ideal, and it definitely costs more money.

So why is breastfeeding important?  Well, here are a number of articles you may peruse for more information (all from very reputable sources):

Why Breastfeeding is Important (US Office of Health & Human Services)

The Economics of Breastfeeding: A Cost/Benefit Analysis (Ph.D. in Parenting blog)

Affordable Health Care beings with Breastfeeding (USLCA)

More Breastfeeding could save U.S. billions (Reuters, citing a study in Pediatrics)

How can we get there?  The answers begin in the articles linked above.  But the big answers, in my opinion, are:

  • Incentivize hospitals to become “Baby-Friendly
  • Get more certified Lactation Consultants into practice, both privately and employed by hospitals/pediatric medical practices/WIC organizations
  • Require medical pediatric training programs (for pediatricians, obstetricians, midwives, and OB/pediatric nurses) to include a minimum amount of course hours on infant nutrition and breastfeeding
  • Restrict marketing by formula companies and force them to be more WHO-compliant, and make WIC organizations only do business with companies in WHO compliance for the marketing of breast-milk substitutes
Unfortunately, breastfeeding is only a ‘money maker’ for those who it saves money: families, health insurance companies, and governments.  I’ve seen some positive changes in health insurance circles (with my last baby, I received a whole book on infant care and nutrition from my insurance company that had very thorough and good information on breastfeeding, that emphasized its benefits).  But as a people (and government, remember, is supposed to be of, by, and for the people) we need to drive the changes we need to see that are best for us as a society. 

I’m a mom again

We went, we delivered, and we are home. 🙂

It was quite an interesting saga, the lead-up to the birth. Because I have (albeit mild and easily diet-controlled) gestational diabetes, my midwives were itchy to get the baby out, and started talking an induction if I didn’t go on my own by my due date, as I have previously chronicled. I did my research and was OK with postponing any induction until Thursday, if needed. Well, Monday I had an appointment and midwife Sue was generally OK with the few days’ postponement, but we both agreed it would be reassuring to have a biophysical profile done (an ultrasound where they specifically check baby’s well-being, blood flow from placenta, amount of amniotic fluid, stuff like that). So I had that done on Monday as well, and while the baby was looking very healthy and everything else looked good, I was apparently low on amniotic fluid… which mostly means it makes it easier for the baby to accidentally wedge up against the cord in utero and cut off its own oxygen supply. Combined with the gestational diabetes, it was a good reason to not wait until Thursday, but given the baby’s otherwise very healthy status, Sue let me wait until Tuesday morning which also gave me an opportunity to drink lots of fluids and try to get the amniotic fluid up a little. I was told to report to the hospital at 6:30 a.m.

Well, long story short… some strong contractions woke me up at 4:30 a.m., and we left for the hospital at 6:15 a.m. I was, quite fortuitously, seemingly in labor, all on my own. Called the midwife from the car, told her we would be just a little late (there had been a little snowfall and the roads were a little slick) but that I was pretty sure I was in active labor.

Got to the hospital, got checked in and changed into hospital garb, my very awesome OB nurse checked, and I was already at 6 cm. That was about 7:30 a.m.

Continued to progress, got the all-clear to push around 8:40, which was good because I really really wanted to push. I think I was still only in transition because the contractions never let up. I JUST HAD TO GET THE BABY OUT. NOW. Her head emerged almost immediately, they got me to pause for just a second because she had the cord loosely wrapped around her neck, so they slipped it off, and I went about the very quick business of pushing out her shoulders. The midwife had me reach down and grab the baby and finish delivering, and lift the baby onto my own chest. So awesome!! She also asked me to do the identifying… “Lisa — what do you have?” she asked. My first delirious thought was “It’s a baby, duh!” but then I realized she was talking about looking for gender!! I took a very hard look, because even delirious I knew I didn’t want to make a misidentification, certainly my husband would never let me live that down. And once I was incredibly certain there was no penis to be found, declared “She’s a girl!”

She cuddled skin to skin with me on my chest until her cord stopped pulsing, then the midwife clamped it off and Frank did the honors of cutting it. I delivered the placenta and was just exhausted. I knew I’d torn a little (how could I not have, I delivered her way too fast…) and while my labor wasn’t very long, it was very intense. The OB nurse took the baby while I started to get stitched up and did all the weighing and measuring and other requisite birth things, and I took her back about 20 minutes later. She latched on at that point and nursed pretty well. I also decided, in an odd fit of whimsy, that we were going to keep the placenta and buy a new tree and plant it under the tree in the spring. Never even hearing of anyone doing this before, let alone with the complete absence of any discussion between us, my dear husband took these new plans in stride. 🙂

And our baby is, in a word, awesome. She’s a great nurser, she sleeps pretty well, she has amazing periods of quiet alertness where she just does her best to look around and see as much as she can (before her eyes cross from the strain, but then she just blinks a couple times and tries again). She is crazy strong, too… even the pediatrician at the hospital commented on it. If she’s laying on your chest, semi-upright, she can lift her head and chest up and do a little push-up. It took her about a day to pick up that little trick, mostly because it helps her look around better.

Since I avoid using real names for my kids on this blog I shall only give you her nickname, and that is Catie. She is perfect and I am in love. Her birth was a great experience and I am so happy and proud that I got to have another drug-free birth… but I am also quite pleased that I never have to do that again, since we have no intention of having any more kids.

Expectations

I’ve got one of the ultimate in expectations right now… a baby!  Right now my due date is January 23, but since only 5% of babies are actually born on their due dates, we’re basically on an “any day now” sort of expectation.  I spent most of a couple days ago having lots of contractions, but yesterday and today have had barely any at all.

Since I’ve already had a couple kids, I’m not in any sort of panic to be really ready.  The baby will be born regardless of how “ready” we are around the house.  The one big need is a car seat, and that’s all ready to go.  I’ve bought some diapers, we have some baby clothes.  The crib is still in pieces in the attic but we’ve never used the crib much until the baby was a few months old (we have found co-sleeping works well for us) so that part doesn’t concern me much. 

There is so much anticipation for a new baby, and hopes for what will or won’t happen, but it’s hard to really expect anything.  I hope to have a smooth, drug-free labor.  I hope breastfeeding will go smoothly.  I hope my gestational diabetes won’t lead to any hypoglycemia for the new baby.  But I can’t expect any of these thing to happen, because if they don’t I’ll be incredibly disappointed.

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This post is a part of Kate‘s “madhouse”, of whom all these other fine people try to participate when they can:

Allison – Allimonster Speaks
Barb – Spencer Hill Spinning & Dyeing
Batty – Batty’s Adventures in Spooky Knitting
Dave – Notes from the Field
Evil Twin’s Wife – The Glamorous Life of a Hausfrau
G – Not-A-Box
Heather – She Flies With Her Own Wings
Jennifer – Ask Poops, Please
JMLC – Daydreams and Ruminations
Kate – One More Thing
LC – LC in Sunny So Cal
LeeAnne – This is the life…
Louise – Child of Grace
Marcy – Mittentime
Melanie – usually, things happen
Nikki – Land of the Free, Home of the Depressed
Sara – yoyu mama

These balls, they are in the air

Lots going on, but what else is new?

Got consulting work to do, which will have me camped out in front of the computer for a good week.  I also have a wedding to shoot tomorrow, which is always fun, but I always get a case of the butterflies before that.

I’m also coaching my daughter’s tee ball team!  This is my first foray into head coaching — I did some assistant coaching for a boys’ youth basketball team in college.  So far it’s been fun.  The parents have all been great, and VERY complimentary (most express disbelief at my patience and energy).  Our team is the Sea Lions, so I’ve found whenever I feel a bit annoyed, I yell to the team “What’s our name?”  and they all yell “THE SEA LIONS!!”  Then I yell, “What sound does a sea lion make?”  and they all go “ARR ARR ARRR!” in that sea-liony sort of way.  It’s hilarious.  I’ve also taken on a mission to make after-practice treats a new experience for them.  Yesterday, I gave out candy buttons.  Remember those — the little dry dots of candy stuck to paper?  Most kids had never seen them, and were wide-eyed at the idea of it.  (Even a couple parents asked to have some!!)

And a big bit of news is that I was accepted to grad school to get my teaching certification, so that’s exciting!  Frank’s on board with the pursuit, so I have to send in my intent-to-enter paperwork.  I also have a couple undergrad courses I have to take to round out my general education requirements (part of the state’s certification requirements, not the school’s) – just a couple basic English courses – one literature, one composition.  I’d taken one lit class in college but I need 9 total English credits, at least 3 being comp.  Not a big deal, and they’ll be fun to take, I hope.  And I can do them at the local community college, for which I’ve maintained a continual state of acceptance in case I ever wanted to take a course or two.  No rush to get them done, as I have until my graduate program is complete (which going part time may take 2-3 years; I want to time it so that I’m not student teaching until Jake’s in kindergarten, so that gives me two school years to do the course work part.  Hopefully it will all work out exactly as I have it planned in my fat noggin).

I’m feeling good this week, though.  Mostly because the kids and I have established a new routine.  Lane and I had been sort of in a bad cycle of staying up too late, and waking up too late.  So we talked and agreed on an earlier bedtime, so that we could get up earlier, eat a leisurely breakfast first thing, and take our time getting dressed and to the bus stop.  This week it’s worked out great.  No yelling in the mornings, no rushing… it’s been setting a good template for the rest of our respective days, I think.  Must keep it up!

As for the whole pregnancy thing, still nothing happening there, but my body seems to behaving better (periods acting a bit more normal and all) so it could happen, maybe.  If it did, it would mess with the upcoming plans for school a bit, but oh well.  🙂

Ketchup

I’m getting really bad at this, aren’t I?

Anyway, here are my general goings-on:

My photography business is going well.  My last two jobs – a sweet sixteen party and a portrait session with five kids under five – both mentioned wanting me to work for them again in the future.  That makes me so happy, that these people are happy enough with my work (and with me) that they want to give me more of their money to have fun taking pictures.  I can dig it!  I have a wedding to photograph tomorrow, which should be fun and is in a lovely location.  It’s just a touch less pressure because the couple actually is already married – they tied the knot about a month ago for technical reasons.  So tomorrow’s just for fun and show for their friends and family.  The bride and groom are both older, and most of his family won’t be there (he’s from very very far away) so the posed formals of the whole thing (by far my least favorite part of weddings) will be very low-key and relaxed and focused mostly on the bride and groom.  The only thing I’m really not looking forward to is that I’m sick right now.  Not crazy feverish or anything, but feeling kinda stuffy and with a tickly throat and feeling very, very run down.  I foresee fueling myself with cold medicine and coffee tomorrow.

Lane’s doing really well in kindergarten.  We had our first parent-teacher conference and we heard how her skills are all really far along, and (more importantly to me) that she is a real pleasure to have in class.  I can officially say she’s reading.  We laid all the building blocks for her, and something about school just helped her put it all together and she can read straight through some of the simpler Dr. Seuss books now.  She’s started taking *very* informal piano lessons and likes them. 

Jake is just such a boy now.  He was watching Little Bear on Noggin today and just laughing in a very amused way at very appropriate parts and it just struck me that he’s a kid now.  Not my baby anymore!  Though I wish someone would tell that to him when he insists on nursing.  I still mostly don’t mind but where Lane was more laid-back about scaling back or shortening sessions, Jake will have none of it.  Oh well, he’s only little like this once.

Frank and I are talking about another baby.  Gluttons for punishment, no?  😀  It’s funny though… for a long time I’d bring up the subject and he was very noncommittal about talking about a baby.  Very recently though, something’s changed.  He’s more into it now.  I wish he’d be more forthcoming with his affirmation, rather than me having to infer it from his intense concern that I get the H1N1 vaccine in case I get pregnant.  Though it may be a while in coming, as I and my (new, feels like a great fit!) midwife are both pretty sure I’m not ovulating, and we’re trying to figure out why through myriad tests, including an ultrasound of my lady parts that I have to schedule.

Frank, in actuarial matters, took one of the FSA exams a couple weeks ago, and he’ll find out if he passed in January.  In the meantime, he got ahold of the syllabus for the other FSA exam and he’s started studying for that one.  Each of the FSA exams is only offered once a year, but not at the same time.  So the first one was offered in October, and the other one will be offered end of April.  So… you either focus on one and only take an exam once a year (and have to wait a whole year if you don’t pass the first time) or you split your focus on both of them so you’re always working toward an exam that isn’t more than a few months away.  Not to say Frank’s definitely chosen one approach over the other, he’s just in limbo right now, not knowing if he passed, with an exam coming up in April.  So I think he’s optimistically going to start studying for that one, hoping he passed the exam he just took.  If he finds out he failed the exam, I imagine he’ll switch back to studying for that one.  I know this seems a sort of weird subject to dedicate a big ol’ blog paragraph towards, but our lives sort of revolve around exams and the time Frank needs to study for them.  Plans are put on hold in favor of studying.  Our friends have largely forgotten what we look like.  However, we ARE taking two vactions in the next few months!  In addition to the week we’ll spend in Buffalo for the holidays, we are going to Disney world in mid-February, and Aruba in April.   I kind of hope I can make those trips pregnant.  🙂

Cover girls, June 2006

June 2006 was an interesting month for magazine covers. We saw this one:

Cosmo June 2006

Cosmo June 2006

Now as far as Cosmopolitan goes, this ain’t all that racy. But there’s definitely some boob, and those pants are very low riding. And not very long. And sorta see-through.
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Then, there was Harper’s Bazaar:
Harpers Bazaar June 2006

Harper's Bazaar June 2006

This wasn’t long before the trainwreck heard ’round the world. But she’s obviously pregnant. And obviously happy (or manic, as it were). And obviously, glaringly naked. I’m not quite sure how we’re managing not to see nipple on this, in all honesty.
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And this one:
People June 2006

People June 2006

There’s Angelina Jolie, gorgeous as always. And Brad Pitt, gorgeous as always. And a cute baby, who is destined to be either a gorgeous mega-superstar or a meth addict. Heck, maybe both. But back to the picture. It’s sweet, it’s innocent…. but what’s that?! You can sort of see Angelina’s bra straps… and that’s a NURSING BRA! Neat.
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Lastly, there was this one, which came out a couple months later:
babytalk June 2006

babytalk August 2006

Out of all these covers… this is the one I remember best. Not because the image is so incredibly striking, although there is definitely an intimacy to it that I like. I remember this cover the best because people went off the freakin’ deep end because of it. It was indecent, it was gross, it was offensive. This simple picture, of a baby doing what’s it’s supposed to do, sent people into hysterics. We can quibble over the square yardage, but really I don’t see much difference in the boobage exposed here vs. in the Britney cover. Now, I know there are lots of people around who’d gouge their own eyes out with a knitting needle if they happened to witness the abhorrence that is breastfeeding in public. I really don’t get it, but whatever. But man, did this cover make those people ooze out of the woodwork to vociferously vocalize their objection and disdain of this cover. It simply blew my mind.
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All this comes to mind because the new issue of “W” magazine is supposed to feature pictures of Angelina Jolie taken by Brad Pitt, and at least one of the pictures is of her nursing at least one of her twins. I was reading an AP article that recalled her nursing bra strap showing picture on the People cover and how it “caused a stir”. I know it fueled a few conversations, as I was privy to at least a couple of them, but a stir? Really? Over a bra strap? Isn’t “causing a stir” like causing a controversy? Was her bra strap, and her implicit endorsement of breastfeeding really controversial, given that every health agency from here to China advocates breastfeeding as the best way to feed a baby? Anyway, I digress. “W” is coming out with Angelina breastfeeding on the cover, and I’m very curious to see what the reaction will be. Will she be labeled a “lactivist” who wants to shove her breastfeeding in everyone’s face… or is that label only saved for us more normal, homely looking moms? Will she be lauded for being so open about breastfeeding, and praised for her open advocacy? Will my blog get more and more hits for people searching for husbands breastfeeding? I’m guessing all of the above. One thing certainly accomplished — I’d never heard of “W” magazine before reading the article on CNN.