Sunday, February 27, 2011

Early Breastfeeding Obstacles Part #6-Cluster Feeding and Growth Spurts

It's late in the evening. You breastfeed your baby and put her down. 30 minutes later, she's screaming again. You check her diaper. Dry. You rock her. No such luck. She is rooting around and sucking on her fists. She's hungry? How could she be hungry? You JUST fed her. So you bring her to breast again. Half hour later, she's hungry again. In an effort to support you, a well meaning friend/spouse/pediatrician nurse line suggests giving baby a bottle of formula because baby is obviously not getting enough.

Try again. What baby is doing is cluster feeding. What your baby's doing is increasing your supply by creating a higher demand because they are going to need more food. If you introduce formula, or even a bottle of pumped breastmilk, you are interrupting that natural rhythm and not increasing your supply as baby is telling your body to do. As we've said before, babies go through several growth spurts especially in the first three months. Kelly Mom says, "Common times for growth spurts are during the first few days at home and around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months (more or less)." That's FIVE growth spurts in just the first three months alone. It's important that you nurse as often as baby demands during these times. Yes, during these times, it's exhausting. I personally went through a growth spurt where my baby was nursing every 15-20 minutes for about 4 hours every evening for almost a week.

SOLUTION: KNOW about growth spurts and don't forget! Make those around you aware of cluster feeding and tell them NOT to suggest formula. Get a huge glass of water, a few snacks (because you WILL feel like that baby is sucking the food you ate that day right out of your boob) and turn on instant queue on netflix. Use this as an opportunity to catch up on your favorite TV show and enjoy this special bonding with your beautiful baby.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Repost: The Princess And The Chick Pea (And The Grape And The Walnut)

(The following story is fictional. Should you see yourself in the Queen then kudos to you!)


Once upon a time (as recent as a moment ago), there was a Queen who gave birth to a Princess. What made her a Queen was that her partner called her one, and what made their daughter a Princess was because they thought her so. Aside from the nicknames, the Queen and the Princess were not unlike any other woman or baby girl.

Shortly after the Princess was born the Queen tried to breastfeed her but the Princess wouldn’t latch. The Queen was disappointed but knew she would try again later. The baby slept for a couple hours and then she tried to nurse her again. Again the Princess wouldn’t latch.

“Isn’t she nursing yet?” inquired a nurse coming into the room. “She looks hungry. I can get her a bottle of formula.”

“Oh, no!” replied the Queen. “She’s fine.”

The nurse looked at the Queen with concern. I’m going to come back in one hour and if that baby hasn’t nursed she’s getting a bottle. You don’t want her to starve do you?” And with that the nurse left.

Rattled, but not to be disuaded the Queen tried to nurse the Princess again. Still no luck. Now the Princess was screaming and all the rocking and cuddling and shushing didn’t work. The Queen asked her partner to take the baby for a short walk so she could collect her thoughts and figure out what to do. The Queen had had two other children. All of them had been breastfed. The Queen had attended numerous La Leche League meetings and was passionate about breastfeeding. She knew there must be a way to nourish her daughter without resorting to formula. Then she remembered. She decided to hand express some colostrum into a spoon. Satisfied with the teaspoon she made, she fed it to the Princess when she returned. The Princess took the spoon, swallowed the colostrum and went back to sleep.

A new mom in the bed over, who hadn’t seen what had happened but who had overheard the commotion with the nurse and crying baby, leaned over and whispered to the Queen, “My baby didn’t latch either so I let the nurses give him some formula. One bottle can’t hurt, is my opinion. Then the baby sleeps and you get some well deserved rest too.”

The woman next to her piped in “My baby latched but my milk hasn’t come in yet. I told the nurses I was concerned by how much he sleeps so they recommended I give him a bottle too. Aren’t you worried your baby might be getting hungry?” The two women looked at each other with a kind of solidarity sympathy.

Ah, the comraderie in ignorance, thought the Queen, who had been hoping to avoid this kind of confrontation. She took a deep breath and said to the first woman, “My baby is only a few hours old. Her stomach is the size of a chick pea. How did your son fare when you gave him the bottle?”

The woman looked confused by this reply. “Uh,” she stammered. “He threw most of it up, but he did get a little down. Why?”


“He threw it up because a day old baby can’t fit that amount of formula in his stomach,” said the Queen pointing to the empty bottle on the side table. “and tomorrow, she continued, his stomach will only gave grown to the size of a grape. So that’s how much milk he will need tomorrow. There’s the perfect amount of colostrum in your breasts to satisfy his hunger.” She smiled weakly at the woman. “I didn’t mean to put you off. I just hate how uninformed so many maternity nurses are. And I’m sorry to tell you this but one bottle of formula does make a difference. It introduces a strain of bacteria to his intestines that would otherwise not be there and it can affect his immune system.”

The woman looked horrified. “What should I do?” she asked.

“Tell them to help you with your latch,” offered the Queen, “or ask to speak to the hospital’s lactation consultant. Or just relax and let the baby latch when he’s ready. That’s what I’m trying to do. This one is my third. They do catch on eventually. They have to eat right? And before formula came along babies breastfed. I can’t imagine many babies died from from failure to latch correctly in the first few days.” She turned to the second woman. “How old is your son?” she inquired.

“He’s just over three days old.”

“You don’t need to be worried that your milk hasn’t come in yet. It will. It always does. Some women’s milk just takes a little longer to come in than others, but it’s still normal to wait up to five days. And he’s getting all he needs from your colostrum too. His tummy is only the size of a walnut so he still doesn’t need too much. I guarantee it! Oh look, here comes my little Princess!”

The Princess was awake and peaceful now. The Queen had disapated most of her stress from the earlier incident with the nurse by talking with her neighbours and felt quite relaxed. “Put her on my belly,” she instructed her partner.

The baby lay on her chest with her little head turned to one side. Her lips turned into a little birdie beak and she began to root. Back and forth her head turned searching for food until at last she sensed what she wanted. She moved towards it her mouth open wide, and finally, with a smack of her lips she latched and began to suck. Her partner looked down on the Queen and the Princess with amazement and joy. A nurse who had been watching quietly from behind the curtain sucked in her breath. “Well, I never!” she stated. They all watched in wonder as the Princess nursed for a few minutes on each side and then fell asleep in milked-out bliss.

“Well, I guess I can cancel the formula,” said the nurse, turning to go. “For now.”


“My Princess won’t be needing any formula,” said the Queen. “This baby was born healthy, with a healthy weight to a healthy mom. She is breastfeeding now and I will continue to do so. She doesn’t need formula to fill her up because her stomach is the size of a chick pea. Tomorrow it will be the size of a grape and the next day the size of a walnut!” She took a breath and went on.”Furthermore, although I do hope you already know this, my breasts make colostrum to provide antibodies to my baby, not to serve the nutritive equivalent of a five course meal! My baby needs to sleep and adjust to the world, she does not need to be force fed formula. By giving these babies formula you’re interfering in their breastfeeding relationships with their mothers. You’re “f-ing” with these mom’s perfectly fine milk supply levels and setting them up to fail. As well you’re taking away from these precious babies their chance to receive nature’s finest immunity building substance known to people-kind! Tell me you already know all this and you’re just being forced by your manager or formula companies to give these babies bottles and I’ll stop yelling at you and go yell at someone else instead!”

The nurse was pale. “Uh,” she stammered. “Uhhhh…” and then without another word she turned and flew out of the room.

“Okay, settle down sweetie,” whispered the partner, “You’re going to wake the baby.”

There was clapping from behind the curtain. The Queen started to cry.

“What’s wrong?” asked her partner in alarm. “Are you okay?”

“I’m just so glad she latched,” said the Queen, as her shoulders heaved and she wiped away her tears.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

If finally happened.... I was offered... formula

In my 29 months of being a nursing mother I have considered myself to be one of the fortunate ones. Never had anyone nay-saying my breastfeeding relationship (family, friends, or otherwise) and never had any serious breastfeeding issues.

Early February I needed to have a pre-surgery physical. It was at this physical that I mentioned my baby would not take any bottles and I was worried about her being hungry while I was away from her during surgery. The nurse practitioner admitted straight up that she had no idea what I could do, so she grabbed the pediatric nurse figuring that she would have an answer for me. Then it happened.... the nurse offered me free samples of formula. After picking my jaw up off of the floor I said I had gallons of pumped milk, having something to give her wasn't the problem... it's that she doesn't like a bottle.

Baby Formula from Similac

Now, in her defense, she did seem extremely wary about offering it. And who knows, maybe am exclusively straight breastfed baby would take formula from a bottle. BUT... would it do more harm than good? I'd have to say yes. It is a slippery slope.

Let's say we gave Chicklett a bottle of formula and she took it. Now we have a door open for any opportunity where in the past we would have relied on timing of naps and speed of my errands that we could now do formula instead. Chicklett nurses a little less, but it's not all that noticeable. Then mama gets a cold or illness of some kind and out of sheer exhaustion, I have Rooster give extra formula bottles I can stay in bed longer. Then without warning teething or mastitis happens... the list of foibles goes on and on. See how easily it can all fall apart?

But, lucky for myself and Chicklett, I scoffed at the formula suggestion and stuck with my original plan of using a supplemental nursing system (SNS). Really the point in me asking the nurse advice about breastfeeding was the hopes that she would offer me a SNS to take home and try. At the time I was not sure if the one I had ordered would make it in time, or if it had extra tubing for more than one use so we'd be able to test it out.

Now, I've said it before and I'll say it again... if you truly needed formula I am glad it is available to us. But, we could probably all agree that it is something that is overly offered and used in situations that do more harm than good. If I had been anyone other than myself, this could have introduced a huge kink in my nursing relationship and prematurely ended everything.

I tell these stories because I hope it will get the next mom to think twice if she is offered formula too. Brainstorm with your breastfeeding supportive friends and I guarantee you that formula will almost always be one of the last solutions offered up. When brainstorming possible ways to get Chicklett to drink breastmilk for the three hours I'm away from her... just look at this long list I came up with when talking to girlfriends... yet the two nurses I spoke with that day offered none of this information:

Different bottles
Different nipples
Spoon feed
Supplemental Nursing System
Medicine Dropper
Sippy Cups
Cup feed
Have a friend breastfeed her
Keep our fingers crossed for 3 hours

See what I mean? LOTS of completely plausible solutions. Just gotta think outside the box sometimes.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Off Topic Tuesday - Childhood Obsession

It seems to me that in typical American family situations when a child shows an interest in a certain cartoon iconic figure some switch goes off in their brain that ignites consumerism at its best (or worst as the case may really be in my opinion).

Around 18-20 months I let Chicken Little watch TV for the first time. I was pregnant, had mega morning sickness, and was recovering from a broken knee cap... it was bound to happen. Just so happened that he woke up at 8am, and on PBS at that time was Curious George. I would let him watch a 15 minute segment. He really enjoyed it and would light up every time it came on. We happened to have a hand-me-down shirt with Curious George on it, and he would always get excited to wear it.

I started peeking online shopping for Curious George books, videos, clothing, toys, etc. Then I took a moment to stand back and think about what I was starting to do. I was going to develop and encourage an unhealthy obsession of Curious George with my child. Did I really want to do that?

No, I did not want to do that. There is a fine line between encouraging the love of a child with a television character and being a collector of every POS with a smiling monkey on it.

I recalled babysitting as a teenager and dealing with children fighting over certain plates at meal time, "I want the strawberry shortcake bowl!" ... "No, I want it!" ... Hysterical fit of screaming sisters follow by time outs and a stressed out babysitter. Ugh.... really? It's something you EAT on.

I know picky children is something you can't truly avoid, but I'm going to do myself a favor and not feed into the frenzy. I'm not going to go out of my way to buy a particular character. Sure, we have a few items around... but I feel that by not buying into the madhouse of one particular character it's going to cut down on the possessive nature that happens when a child idolizes something. It doesn't always have to be a character either. I've found myself hiding certain toys during playdates that I have noted to be a hot button toy. Things like trucks or trains will get put away before other children come over because it seems like every time there are children battling over it senselessly; pushing, crying, screaming, stealing, and ultimately raising blood pressures of the parents who are here to get a little socialization of their own. Oddly enough, it has never been my child doing the scream/pushing/crying. Not sure if it is because that's just his nature, or if it is because he hasn't had opportunity to raise a particular item/character to iconic level. We'll see how well this goes over with child number two before I go patting myself on the back about it.

Am I mean? Probably. But the other thing to think about is the carbon foot print. Sure, I could make my son the ultimate Curious George bedroom... but what happens a few years from now when he no longer likes it? Sell it? Throw it all away and buy the next fad? Or... how about if I just have a relaxing neutral toned bedroom instead... because that is what a bedroom is for... relaxing and sleeping. I'd rather buy some nice USA made bedding that will last until it falls apart before we need to buy something else, not something that is disposable simply because he has grown out of love with it.

I want my child to actually like something because it is good quality for the price and has the smallest carbon footprint to boot - not because it has a smiling monkey on it. We're too practical in this house for that kind of business.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Guest Blog: Birth Story of Mikaela

One of our blog followers and friend had an unplanned homebirth last week! Here's her story (the PG13 version - Ha ha!):

I took a nap while DD was taking a nap, which I normally NEVER feel the need to nap. I have always had tons of energy through out this pregnancy. I woke up at 3:00 pm and felt my stomach muscles tightening. I thought that maybe they were contractions. I told the hubs that we HAD to go to my favorite restaurant one last time to eat before the baby came. We headed there, ate and left. We brought our girlfriends home (they drove with us) and on the way back home (about 7:30 pm) is when I actually started feeling the contractions with the tightening of my muscles. We got home and I drank a glass of my Red Raspberry Leaf Tea, which I drank religiously through out my third trimester. I sat and surfed the web looking for a name for our daughter that I knew would soon be born while sipping my tea and rocking in my recliner. At this point the contractions were about 12 minutes apart.

At about 11:45 pm I thought I should probably go try to lay down and sleep as much as I can before I won’t be able to anymore. I laid on my left side while listening to my labor play list and fell asleep for about 45 minutes. I woke up and timed some contractions and at this point they were about 8 minutes apart. The hubs and I laid in bed while he did counter pressure on my lower back to help with the back labor and gave me a great foot rub.

At about 1:30 am I called my mother and told her I wasn’t sure if this was it, but to come anyway. The contractions were about 6 minutes apart. She said she was packing her things and would be on her way. I just wasn’t sure if this was it, so I called the on call midwife at 2:00 am. She said that I was talking through my contractions just fine, so it would probably be a while and they may even stop all together. I assured her that I thought it would be tonight and she said she would let the nurses know that I would be in before 6 am.

I told the hubs to listen for our daughter while I took a shower. I drained the hot water (about thirty minutes) and then got out and proceeded to get dressed. At this point, things were really moving right along. I started getting the shakes and nauseated. I thought it was just the temperature change and disregarded the classic signs of being in transition. I tried to get dressed, but the contractions were coming so close together at this point. I yelled at the hubs to start the truck, because it HAD to be warm. He insisted I had to get a shirt on to go anywhere. I said I will ‘effin’ go topless - just get the gosh damn truck warm. He ran around getting all the last things ready. I crawled down the hallway (standing up was just not an option at this point). I went into the bathroom and sat on the toilet. As soon as I stood up, I started to bear down. I thought there was no freaking way I could possibly be pushing at this point. My mom just walked in and said, “Oh my gosh Jessilyn! You need to go now.” I agreed.

All of a sudden I could feel her head coming through my cervix. I thought, “Shit, this cannot be happening this fast!” I stuck my finger in to check and see and her head was RIGHT there. My water still hadn’t broken at this point, unless it did in the shower and I didn’t realize it. I told the hubs there was no way we could make it to the hospital and to call 911. He didn’t believe me and said to just stop pushing and he will drive very fast (15-20 minutes away). I assured him there was no way we would make it and her head was coming out now. He got a flashlight while on the phone with dispatch and looked and yelled, “Holy shit! Her head is coming out. You need to hurry!”

I continued to spontaneously bear down while in the hallway outside of the bathroom (carpet seemed more appealing than cold tile) while squatting. I was catching her head in my left hand and I remember feeling my perineum stretching across her head. All I could think was “I am going to tear.” The hubs helped with perineal massage (the best he could) from when he saw the midwife do it when I had ODD. The head was out and the police officers arrived. They didn’t really do anything at all. Then two minutes later, the paramedics arrived. Curt (paramedic) delivered her shoulders and the rest of her body. Curt and Chris (paramedics) were going to cut the umbilical cord right away, but I wouldn’t let them and educated them about delayed cord clamping. I nursed her immediately and I unfortunately was unable to wait until the cord stopped pulsating. Apparently, their goal is to get mom to the hospital before the placenta is delivered because of possible hemorrhaging, etc. I still was able to wait ten minutes before the hubs cut the cord. I was then put on a stretcher with little bean in a thermal blanket (it was negative digits in MN).

We got to the hospital and I was the talk the WHOLE time I was there. Every one kept apologizing and saying "sorry" like it was a traumatizing experience. I LOVED it. It was the BEST experience I have ever had. We were given a good bill of health and we were never really even bothered by staff (not sure if that was because I delivered at home or not - with DD I was bugged every hour). We were let go the next day and she has been nursing like a champ since she came out. Sorry this is so long - I love to blab ;)

Mikaela Ann


7 lb 9.4 oz

20 inches long

Apgar: 8/10

Friday, February 18, 2011

Don't Even Tell Me You Tried...

This post was inspired by a friend who wasn't sure how to handle someone close to her claiming they wanted to breastfeed, yet making every possibly faux pas you could to ultimately end up failing. Bottles of formula immediately, pacifiers, not letting baby latch/comfort nurse since there is "no milk" or "because they only nurse for a few minutes so they must not be hungry," etc. And this was all while they were still in the hospital - we're talking IMMEDIATELY turning to all these artificial means of supplementing the baby... all of this happening from a woman who claimed she really wanted to breastfeed. She had support from successful breastfeeders every step of the way, but their advice fell on deaf ears. I haven't personally been in that situation, but I think I might be pretty angry about it.

You tell me you want to breastfeed - super, I'll support and give you all kinds of advice. You tell me you want to formula feed - that's your prerogative and I might not agree, but whatever. If you attempt to breastfeed, but are not supported and given false information at critical times, my heart breaks for you. If you tell me that you want to breastfeed, then do everything you possibly could to sabotage that relationship even though you know better... don't expect my sympathy.

There are certain things about breastfeeding that should probably be considered "the basics" in my opinion. Stuff like, your milk won't come in for a few days after birth and that the baby can happily live off of colostrum during that time - after all, their stomach is the size of a chickpea and colostrum is very filling! If you decide to give your baby a bottle of formula thinking that you are doing them a favor because they aren't getting anything from your boobs... you're just straight up wrong. There is no dancing around it. If colostrum is there... they are getting more than enough to eat. Not to mention, unless that baby is nursing or you are pumping consistently... your milk ain't coming in. There is no point in bottle/formula feeding in the interim while waiting for your milk to come in... because without your baby nursing... that day is not going to come. It is a supply/demand situation. Unless your baby is sucking or you are pumping and creating a demand... there will be no supply.

The hardest part about the scenario for my friend is just knowing that eventually the new mom is going to make a comment about "not being able to breastfeed" or that "my milk never came in". What would you say? You know she did everything classically incorrect and led to the failure, and you knew she had the right information and support. So what went wrong? Was she so afraid of ACTUALLY NOT being able to breastfeed that she chose failure? Why would someone do this? It almost blinds me with upset that someone who most likely could successfully breastfeed would choose to sabotage themselves and end up having to turn artificial means of feeding their baby. They KNEW the right things to do... and choose to become a statistic. It is upsetting beyond words. The ripple effect is endless when a mother "fails" at breastfeeding. So, don't lie and say you tried to breastfeed. Your fib is going to effect the thoughts of other future mothers around you and lead them to believe that breastfeeding is just too hard. Breastfeeding has enough obstacles of myths floating around without that kind of thing. Do the rest of us a favor, and just fess up - you chose to formula feed. Whatever your reasons, it was your choice.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Living My Life A Hour and Fifteen Minutes At A Time

Testing out the bottle from around weeks 7-10 was an epic failure. At one point she did latch on and take a few sucks while I was holding the bottle. But having ME feed her kinda defeats the purpose of using a bottle now doesn't it? We tried off and on for a few weeks, trying many different bottles, positions, times of day. I would always leave or hide in the hopes that she wouldn't smell me. Rooster was never able to get her to feed.

In 2008 with Chicken Little I returned to work after 10 weeks maternity leave. I returned only part-time, working two 3-hour shifts per week. Because of this, we had consistent reason for working on bottle training him. With Chicklett... we don't have a real reason. I'm perfectly happy nursing her all the time, and waiting until she's older and ready to be without me (and boob) before I start having a life outside of the home. Depending on the timing, I'm not even really tied to her all the time. She is extremely consistent with napping, which has allowed me plenty of opportunity for weekend fun... in 1 hour and 15 minute segments at a time. Megz thinks its ridiculous and hilarious... but it is working quite well for us!

Basically, there are two times everyday where I can nurse Chicklett and then dash out the door for fun. Drive time included I have about 2 hours of free time, which allows me 1 hour and 15 minutes of fun. I can go out shopping, get my hair done, grocery store, brunch with friends, anything I want to do. Then go home, nurse Chicklett again, and go out for more fun. It's a bit like a relay race, but we're all happy so who cares.

Typical Schedule:
Wake Chicklett up at 8:30am
Nurse at 9am & 10am
Nap 10:15am-12:15pm
Nurse 1pm & 2pm
Nap 2-5pm
Nurse 5:30 & 6:30
Nap 7pm-7:30pm
Nighttime 8:30pm

For an emergency situation I know that Megz or Mama Christa would happily nurse my baby in a heartbeat. I have learned to accept that Chicklett is probably never going to get a bottle. We're about 2 months away from starting some solids, and by then she may even be able to handle a sippy cup. We're over the hump, and being away from my children really isn't a priority in my life. When I need a break, 1 hour and 15 minutes is more than enough.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Off Topic Tuesday - Elimination Communication

So, I'm the slacker of our trio and haven't done much in the world of cloth diapering. I had full intentions when pregnant with Chicken Little back in 2008... but hard laughter and "yeah rights" from my mom and uncertainty/lack of support from Rooster just made me turn to chlorine free disposable diapers. Sure, they're better than your average disposable... but still... creating waste.

Around 9 months of age with Chicken Little I got ahold of a handful of Bum Genius cloth diapers and began to use them part time. He was consistent with having a "morning constitutional" (i.e. taking a dump), so I would just wait for that to happen in a disposable and switch to cloth diapers after that. It actually worked pretty well! I was able to do the whole thing without Rooster even knowing about it! Tee hee!

I would rinse and wring them out at diaper time and leave them hanging in my shower. Usually I would wring them so dry that they wouldn't even drip. Come laundry time (usually every other day in this house) I would toss them in with the rest of the clothing. I have no idea if I was doing any of this "right" but they appeared to be clean and nothing ever got ruined... so good enough I suppose.

At some point I fell behind in my routine, birthdays happened, holidays happened, and then I broke my kneecap and was unable to go down the stairs for about three months to do laundry. Once I could go up and down the stairs, I was sometime in the second trimester of pregnancy with Chicklett, and because of risk/fear of falling down the stairs I limited it to "only when Rooster was around" so someone could help me if the worst were to happen. So... the cloth diapering officially ended.

Come now to end of 2010 with few week old baby Chicklett. I, once again, was surrounded by friends with children in adorable cloth diapers, but stuck with chlorine free disposables. I felt guilty, but obviously not guilty enough to just make our household be a cloth diapering one (which had I done Rooster would have supported me).

I observed pretty early on that Chicklett would have almost dry diapers after her 2-3 hour naps (I know, don't hate me... I make sleepy children). I made several joking comments about her being potty trained before her big brother. Sometime around the 2-month mark she started to have dry diapers overnight from about 8pm-5am. I was thinking it was just a boy/girl difference, but when asking around my baby seemed to be the only one doing this!

I had heard of Elimination Communication (EC) at a playdate about a year ago. As we were loading up to leave I noticed a mom hissing at her baby. Being confused and curious I asked her what on earth she was doing. She explained that they do elimination communication and that her baby had signaled that it was time to go, and since they were out in public without a potty she was just having her go in the diaper... but that she used the trigger noise of hissing to tell her daughter that it was okay to go.

Huh?? Are you crazy lady??

Well folks... now I'm the crazy lady. In January I sat my little rolly polly squishy 3-month old baby girl on the potty chair... and ... tada... she went potty. Not only did she just naturally go within seconds of sitting there... she laughed, smiled, and kicked her chunky little legs with glee the entire time. I was shocked. The girl loved it!!

Potty snap shot my daughter will hate me for later... sorry honey... it's too cute...
Online I was connected up with Emma Kwasnica who I was told is a EC guru. Her 15 month old daughter has been diaper free since BIRTH. She recommended I obtain a copy of Ingrid Bauer's Diaper Free book at the library and visit

I'm not sure how involved we are going to be in this whole journey, but for now we catch her after every nap time and have cut way down on our diaper usage. So long as she is happy and having fun, we'll continue. We ran into a snag a few days into it of her crying, and after asking around for advice we realized she wasn't liking the cold toilet touching her. Now we're careful about making sure she's covered and it's back to happy potty land!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Twice Bitten, Once Shy...

Torturing Chicken Little by trying to get a photo of his chompers

This week I've been feeling nibbles and clamps from my 4 month old baby Chicklett. They don't necessarily hurt, but they surprise me every time and it was a sudden reminder that I'm about to go through all of this teething business all over again. Sigh.

Being bitten is a huge fear for many mothers, and is sometimes the deciding factor of not breastfeeding at all - or that is the automatic end point for the relationship. I will admit that in my 28 months of breastfeeding there was a period around 9 months old with Chicken Little that I uttered the words, "I don't know if I can do this." But, you all obviously know that I can and did do this... and you can too!

It is a good test of your commitment to breastfeeding. But with support from those who have gone through it before you will be just super!

  • IF you are being bitten your baby is not actually hungry. It is physically impossible for them to bite/clamp and eat at the same time. During teething you will be acutely aware of when they slow down on sucking and probably start to make the decision to end their nursing session a little earlier than normal.
  • Nurse with your thumb near the corner of their mouth, so when/if they start to bite you can quickly unlatch and remove baby before injury occurs.
  • If you end up being injured, a trick I used was to pump and give the breastmilk to baby in a cup. He thought it was awesome, and it gave me time to heal... and build up the confidence to trust in nursing again.
  • If you are bitten, try your best not to laugh (baby will then think it is funny too). Tell baby "NO, that hurts mama" in a firm serious voice and end your nursing session (since they obviously aren't hungry anyway)
  • Remember that this is a relatively short period of time in your nursing relationship. Once those teeth poke through baby is usually done looking for something to chomp on.
Who could resist that face??

While nursing him now I do occasionally have that, "Eekgads, if he really wanted to he could take a nipple off" thought in my head while looking down at his mouth full of teeth... but I trust in our nursing relationship and it's been over a year since I was last bit. Your baby isn't trying to hurt you, just looking for a way to relieve the pressure of that tooth popping through. Give them something they CAN chew on and stay strong. This can be a big speed bump, but it's not the end of the road.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Shoulda, Woulda, Coulda

I was out at Panera with a good friend a few days ago, I nursed my baby, UNCOVERED, right there at Panera. I was proud of myself, and TOTALLY self conscious that someone might SEEEEEE SOMETHING! Not to mention, Chase Racer was being a total the boob...on and off, on and off. Whatever. That's not the point. Later, as we were packing up to leave I saw a woman nursing her baby and I ALMOST stopped.

Why didn't I? I don't know! Frankly, what do I say? "I love that you're nursing your baby here, I'm a nursing mother too, and I appreciate that you are doing it in public as well!" I don't know...if someone said something to me, I'm weird, i would be so shocked I wouldn't know how to respond. This happened to me with cloth diapering not all that long ago, in fact. I was changing the Chase Racer in a Border's bathroom, and a woman stopped and said "Oh! You use cloth diapers! THANK YOU!" She was very enthusiastic about it...but I was so shocked that someone 1: was talking to me in the bathroom (big no-no in my neurotic BS book) and 2: was so enthusiastic about the diapers my son used that I had NO response other than to smile and nod...I then felt like a TOTAL jerk for not saying something!

So, if someone approached you while nursing your nursling in public and thanked you for nursing in public...what would you say? What would you do? How would you feel?

If you are not nursing, would YOU commend a woman in public for nursing in public, or even for just nursing in general? What would you say? What response would you expect, if any? Additionally, this woman was using a cover...would you take that to mean she's trying to be discrete and leave her alone or would you still say something if that's what you would have done otherwise?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Off Topic Tuesday - Bed and Breakfast Review - Inn Serendipity (Wisconsin)

So before children, Rooster & I were started to really get into staying at fun eco-friendly bed and breakfasts. Our favorite of all time still remains, Inn Serendipity on the Wisconsin/Illinois border. Lisa, John, and their son Liam (approx. 4 years old at the time) were outstanding hosts. Upon arrival they had appetizers of spinach balls that were to die for! (for those alone we bought their cookbook Edible Earth - and to this day we still use it atleast once a week!)

All of the food was insanely good. And they were much more than just a Bed & Breakfast. It was more like Bed, Breakfast, Snack, Dessert, and Nightcap. We loved the little nightcap of homemade alcohol of a different flavor and brownie every night waiting for us on the bedside table. They were definitely over the top generous with the amount of food they provided to us. For the drive home they gave us a basket of probably 10-15 HUGE pumpkin chocolate chip muffins. To. Die. For.

During the day we wandered about their lush garden (even helped weed a little bit in the vegetable garden one day, just for fun!), went hiking, watched chickens, explored the greenhouse, and even went into town for a cheese run (cuz when you're in Wisconsin you have to!). We found the best cheese on the entire planet - Homestead cheese from Roth Kase. We became obsessed with it for the better part of 5 years and are completely mortified that they don't make it anymore. It seriously changed our lives. It was THAT good. Ha ha ha!

At night we enjoyed a bonfire including s'mores with the whole family. We enjoyed hearing about their "off grid" lifestyle. Having a farm/B&B like theirs is certainly high on our "some day" list. I believe they both worked in advertising/corporate world and just decided one day that it was not the life they wanted to have. They grow their own food, use solar and wind energy, wood heated, have a strawbale greenhouse, and are pretty much self sustaining. In the event of world disaster I will be heading there for refuge. ;)

While there we also purchased a solar water heating system from one of their neighbors. It was a bargain and a totally random thing for us to purchase considering we drove there in a tiny 2-seater hybrid Honda Insight vehicle and we didn't own a home yet where we could even install them! A third party neighbor (who's name is escaping me right now) offered to drive it to our house simply because he is the nicest guy ever... and because he could make a stop over for pie. This may not seem like that big of a favor... but it's seriously about a 9 hour drive. He said the pie was worth it.

On a side note, while at the B&B my husband and their son Liam bonded over Legos. It was extremely cute and gave me a little peak at what a great dad he was going to be some day. My husband is a little bit of a lego freak, he builds real scale models of actual war ships and stuff. He sent home a box of legos that did not meet any of his specifications to add to Liam's growing collection at home. Even cuter yet, Liam then sent a huge red frosted brownie that looked like a lego back to us in the mail. YUM!

In summary, if you are looking for a fantastically friendly and most delicious place to go - I highly recommend Inn Serendipity! We hope to go back someday!

P.S. I did not take any of the photos - they are from their facebook page and website. :) I wish I was that talented. And I wish we had taken our camera on vacation! D'oh!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

February Earring Giveaway Winners Are....

Congratulations to Brandi Monson and Jen Fluharty!

Winners: Please reply here with which earrings you'd like. First come first serve! Second responder gets the other pair. :)

Then please email us at and with your address within 72 hours or a new winner will be selected.

Congratulations again! Please post of picture of you wearing your earrings when you get them! :)

Thanks to everyone who entered to win.... we plan on having more fun giveaways and contests in the future!

Winner was selected by and I had the same problem as Mama Christa last time. I entered the right number, but when copy/pasting the integer graphic over here the number changed to 100. Weird, but I promise it 22 when I did the draw!

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