Thursday, November 24, 2011

X-Post: Need a doula? Buy 4 hours get 4 hours FREE ends Nov 27th, 2011

Cross Posted from Lucky Duck Saves a Buck... a great website for finding out deals and tips to save your family money! Check it out! Our very own Mama Christa has a new business venture and a great deal featured in this post.


Being pregnant is a lot of work. Like, We expecting mama's sometimes need help. We need a massage, the laundry done, someone to rub our feet when we can no longer see them. We need someone to reassure us about fears like, "Is my baby nursing enough" or "He's been sleeping for 3 hours, he never sleeps for 3 hours at a time, is that normal?" My warm, loving and compassionate friend Christa Johnson is an ante and post partum Doula located in the metro area of Minnesota. She is offering a deal on her services, Buy 4 hours, get 4 hours free, through Nov 27th, 2011.

This is such a wonderful gift to be given. I wish I would have had doula care after the birth of my son. Family and friends are nice and wonderful, but sometimes, you just need someone to care for you apart from family and friends who can be, well, a little overwhelming. Christa is a bubbly, tender, affectionate person who lights up the room when she enters. She is an amazing mother herself, she has two beautiful little girls, both born early, both spending time in the NICU. She is passionate about many things, but especially about breast feeding...don't worry, if you don't breast feed, no judgment! She runs a successful blog with two of her friends, The Good Letdown and has most recently been accepted to train as a breast feeding counselor through Breastfeeding USA.

Just some of the services that Christa offers as a ante or post partum Doula are:
  • Bed rest assistance
  • Sibling Care
  • Errands
  • Home care/Meal prep
  • Emotional Support and Education
I can't brag enough about Christa and this invaluable service of being a Doula. It is the best gift to get yourself or your loved one. Especially at these yours today! Contact Christa to schedule.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

NNIPL November - Secret Agents Week Three

Here's our enlisted Nursing in Public secret agents for the third week of November and also some reports back on NIP's for previous weeks!! Interested in being an agent for next week? Email in your info and a picture if you'd like to include that to by noon Sunday. NNIPL agents - please report back by Friday on how your experiences went this week and include photos of you nursing in public if you've got 'em! 
Uh…. Sorry I have been world’s worst (or would it be best?) slacker this week. Mama Christa and I got to meet Ina May Gaskins on Sunday… and then I don’t know what happened. Couple my usual procrastination with unusual children sleeping situations with my husband being home a lot because of some construction going on so then I couldn’t BS on the computer during the kids nap times because I felt like I should hang out with him…etc, etc, etc.

Better late than never….

Hello my name is Amber and I am a mommy to two sweet children Carmen 3 years old and Nico 8 weeks old. I am commiting to nurse at church.  Not in the Mother's Room or the Cry Room, I am going to breastfeeding while sitting with the rest of the congregation while listen to the sermon.  I hate to isolate myself to simply breastfeed my little guy so, I am not!  It is often deemed taboo to breastfeed during church.  Jesus was breastfed and it was the way God intended it. 

This week I have nursed in public 3 times so far.

The first was Tuesday night, again I was with my friend Rachelle. We went to eat at Poquitos on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Her baby is 5 months old (I said 4 months last time, but I was off a few weeks) and my baby is 10 months old. We still haven't learned that taking them out to eat isn't a good idea : ).  We attempted anyway. All was well until just before we got our food. Her baby started crying, and it was the boob to the rescue! My little guy was really interested in the guacamole, so I planned on nursing after. Our food came and Rachelle managed to eat and nurse at the same time (superstar nurser! See terribly blurry picture). Before we could finish eating the babies decided that they were done with the restaurant and started crying and egging each other on. The lovely waiters packed up the remaining tacos and our virgin margarita's and we said adios. I did not nurse here this night (though I have in the past), so Rachelle was the sole nursing secret agent. She did not use a cover and honestly, I don't think anyone even knew she was nursing.

Thursday night I went out with my friend Briana who has a 7 week old. We went to a meet the author event/book reading for Go The F**k to Sleep at Elliot Bay Books. This is not a book to actually read to your child, but since our babies are so young, we thought they wouldn't remember or pick up any bad words from it. Both babies were hungry when we got there, so after arriving late and sneaking to seats that involved other people having to get up to let us through, we both whipped out our boobs. Her baby was in the Moby and she nursed him in there easily. My baby is easily distracted, so after a few gulps, he needed to move on to other things which involved him wiggling to the floor and crawling into the aisle while I struggled to reclasp my bra and catch him. Again, I don't think anyone even noticed we were nursing despite the chaos of the escape baby mid NIP. I nursed him on the walk home though in the Ergo with the help of my nursing tunick which has zippers in the front for access so I don't have to take my coat off while nursing outside (my favorite nursing thing ever!). I walked several blocks home with him happily latched on and walked by tons of people, and not one person seemed to notice.

Friday I went out with my wife, and friends Joseph and Juan. We went to a nearby restaurant and were seated next to a nursing mom! How cool is that? She was there with her partner and another couple and was nursing without a cover. After ordering, I nursed my little guy to make sure he was going to be a happy camper while we ate. They had TV's there and he was very interested at looking at them, so it was sip sip sip, unlatch, turn around to look at the screen, and then back to me to pop back on. This involved a lot of nipple cover from me since he was unlatched so much. I have big boobs (Size J) so this little game was challenging to keep the boob hoisted into position and to keep from flashing everyone repeatedly with his latching on and off.  The other nursing mom noticed as did our waitress and a couple at another table. There were smiles all around at his silly antics with the TV, but no one seemed bothered in the least with my nursing.

- Audrey
Seattle, WA

So, I had planned on nursing Elizabeth at the doctor's office, but the hubs took her on some errands during my appointment. We ended up going to Subway for lunch and I nursed her while we ate. :).
We also had the babe's first birthday pictures taken at Portrait Innovations in Northville, MI.  She did an amazing job and the photos are SO cute.  Towards the end she got a little cranky and starting signing for milk, so as we picked out our favorite poses and prints, Elizabeth had some boob.  The photographer was sitting right next to us showing us the photos.  She didn't even bat an eye!  We were also in a very crowded room, with lots of other families-not one side eye, not one person stared. In fact, a sweet mamma (with her small toddlers) smiled and said, "oh its time for a snack, huh?"
We had a wonderful week, and I hope everyone else had great experiences!

So I nursed all over the pediatrician's office today.  And I didn't get much of a reaction from anyone. No reaction is better than a negative one! 
- she's giving me the ol' stink eye for disturbing her nums.
-look what the room had up! Yay!
Jessica and baby (one year old!) Elizabeth.

Here are some shots of NIP at the Jerusalem (yes, the real Jerusalem, Israel) zoo. No issues whatsoever, despite people of all religions and conservative backgrounds... it is a very baby-oriented society here...(normal to take kids to weddings etc..)..
BTW, the baby is a 7 month old boy -Nadav.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Don't tell me bed sharing isn't safe

I am fed up. I'm fed up with all the people out there who say that if you sleep with your baby, your baby will die. I'm tired of the doctors and the nurses who are uneducated and lazy. I want to punch the city of Milwaukee in their heads. I'm just sick of it. Sometimes I get so freaking tired of arguing with people who are SO sure that they're right I could just cry. It's like they won't even STOP and consider for ONE MINUTE that perhaps we might be onto something. I had a debate with a nurse today (on another FB group I run) about bed sharing and if it was safe. She requested that I give her proof that bedsharing was I did. And what does she say to me? "The AAP recommends you don't do it." I gave her scientific, researched, reputable sources...multiple sources...and she didn't even read them. She was so stuck in her own head and so convinced that she was right that she didn't even bother. Seriously? People like that just make my brain explode. I am not saying that ALL parents everywhere should bed share. I am FULLY aware that bed sharing is not the safest thing for everyone. HOWEVER. When bed sharing is done CORRECTLY and is, without a doubt, the safest, healthiest and best way for a baby to sleep. Can we consider the place with the LOWEST SIDS rates? Japan. Do you know how they sleep? On futon mattresses on the floor...WITH their babies. Hmmm...what does that tell us? 

What else points to bed sharing being safe? The fact that almost *all* SIDS deaths occur IN cribs. Yes, almost all of them. 

Oh, and don't forget the fact that virtually all studies that have been done regarding the supposed "dangers" of bed sharing, the parents were not bed sharing safely and correctly. Anything is dangerous if you don't do it safely. Can we talk about being in the car? Yes, let's. 

So, how many babies die a year in car accidents? Google to the rescue.Well. Would you LOOK AT THAT. According to Sutter Health, it is the LEADING cause of death and brain injuries in babies. 


Hmmm...was that extreme? Perhaps. Let's take a closer look at these deaths. Safe Mororists says that *at least* half of carseats are installed INCORRECTLY. Hmmmm...that might have something to do with deaths, do you think? I live in a cold climate. Brr...seriously it's like 20 degrees right now. If I went somewhere, I'd need a coat. So would my kids. SO, should I bundle them up in nice big, warm, down coats and toss them in their carseats like I see so many other people do? That might be another reason for these deaths. How many deaths by car accident could be prevented if every. single. carseat were installed correctly? If every single carseat was used properly?! Not all of them, for sure. I'm not sitting here saying that all car accident deaths are preventable. There are those deaths that occur when baby is installed completely correctly, so please understand that's not what I'm saying here. (And PS. regardless of the reason, every death is heart breaking and my heart aches for anyone seriously affected by a car accident.) 

Saying that bed sharing is unsafe is the exact same thing as saying that carseats and being in cars is unsafe for infants. If you do things correctly and safely, it's safe and healthy. If you don't, it's not. It's not like it's this HUGE amount of effort to put your mattress against the wall and on the floor. Nor is it a huge amount of effort to keep the comforter away from your baby. It's absolutely ridiculous to say that bed sharing isn't safe because you shouldn't have to go through all these extra efforts. Parenting is all about doing things differently for the sake of our baby's. Bed sharing, when done safely, is the best, safest and healthiest thing for a baby and study after study supports that. The ONLY times that babies have been harmed while bed sharing is, again, when it's done incorrectly.

So, there's my rant. It's a massive pet peeve of mine.

PS. Please go let the city of Milwaukee know what you think about these DISGUSTING ads:

1. Babies Sleep Better
2. Mamas sleep better
3. Breastfeeding is easier
4. It's contemporary parenting
5. Babies thrive better
6. Parents and infants become more connected
7. Reduces the risk of SIDS

Christa's reason why bed sharing is beneficial: 
It's how we're programmed. 
It feels right and normal. 
There is nothing sweeter and more lovely when snuggling your sweet baby. 
Getting up to go to the nursery sucks. 
We're aware of our babies.

...and on and on and on

PPSS (I don't even know what it is at this point):
An esteemed peer and friend from BabyLove MN also pointed this out:

In high income classes, most co sleeping deaths happened on a couch or in that fancy glider rocker...after they are told "no bed sharing".

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Normalizing nursing one person at a time

Tonight (Tuesday) I was sitting in the hallway of my college waiting for my Ecofeminism professor to get there and unlock the classroom. As I waited, several more students showed up and joined me in the lap of luxury seating arrangement. One girl said to me, "Hey. You're like a breastfeeding guru, right?" I laughed and said "Yeah, something like that I suppose." Then she said she wanted my opinion on what age a child should wean. I, of course, stated that I felt that weaning was appropriate whenever mom and baby were ready. Then she asked me, well what about like a 7 year old nursing?!? I said, well the average age in the world is 5 year old so there are definitely some 7 year olds nursing. Then I started giving her some facts about the natural age of weaning, I said that I was breastfeeding my 3 year old and intended on letting her self wean, etc etc.

There were a few other girls there, sitting and listening and two of them asked me a few questions. I told them that before I had kids, the idea of nursing a 3 year old was like "Whaaaaaa?" but that when you're with your kids, it's not like one day they're just *different* then they were before simply because they are 3. At least 3 (maybe more!) girls were listening, responding and asking questions. I was so excited to be able to share these things with them and break down the barriers that this country has about breastfeeding. All 3 girls have no children...and their idea's of breastfeeding were probably very different then what I was telling them my experience was.

I talk about breastfeeding a lot. It's not something I really go out of my way to do, it just happens because I'm passionate about it. ::shrug:: I just can't help myself! And I also think that talking about it like I talk about anything (and EVERYTHING) else, helps normalize breastfeeding. Who knows? Today I may have helped create a major paradigm shift for some people about breastfeeding, extended breastfeeding and child led weaning. Maybe not...maybe they thought I was a total weirdo, but I like to believe that at the very least, somewhere down the road, when they have their own babies, they'll remember the conversation and know that it's okay to breastfeed, it's okay to breastfeed past a YEAR and want to know more about breastfeeding!! <3

Monday, November 7, 2011

It's easy to judge

I know a mom who did everything she could within her limits to breastfeed. She was failed by everyone around her though. The doctors, nurses, peds, specialists, lactation consultants. She had a community of women who did everything to help her. She did everything she could to make it work...and yet, it didn't. Baby is on formula after months of trying. I personally watched her go through this struggle and I, with my knowledge and passion, can't think of ANYTHING this amazing mama could have done differently. She truly did it all.

Watching this all has made me take a really good look at myself. Externally, I always say I try not to judge but if I'm out in public, before I can catch myself, I judge. I see a bottle with what I know is formula and I think, UGH! Luckily, I KNOW that so many women are failed by the medical system and that's a large, overwhelming reason why they are not able to successfully breastfeed. I have been in that position...I know what it's like. But that doesn't mean that my first reaction is sadness and irritation at all the bottles I see propped in babies mouths.

It's easy to judge. It's easy to sit there, with my beautiful baby at my breast who went through so much to live and breastfeed and make a quick judgement. With Ella, it was TOUGH. I went through A LOT to get her to breastfeed. I'm not looking for a pat on the back, it was really, really hard and if I hadn't had the support I did, I don't know if I would have made it through it. Maybe I would have, I don't know. But I *did* make it. I did, and here I am, breastfeeding with no issues, happy as can be. It's easy for me to sit on my pedestal of breastmilk and look at the artificial nipples in babies mouths with slight disdain.

Now, I admit, I'm being very melodramatic here. I don't actually look at all these bottle feeding mamas with disgust or disdain, I just have a brief flash of diasppointment, some judgement and then I talk myself through it. I remind myself of my first daughter...of this friend who did everything she possibly could, but still wasn't able to breastfeed. While it's easy to judge, we have to remember that it's not helping to judge these mamas. Educate gently. Support. And be a shoulder to cry on for those mamas who just couldn't do it. Whether it was because they weren't educated about breastfeeding, they had no support or they literally did everything they *possibly* could to make it work but it just didn't. All we can do as breastfeeding advocates is educate and support.

NNIPL November - Secret Agents Week Two

Here's our enlisted Nursing in Public secret agents for the second week of November!! Interested in being an agent for next week? Email in your info and a picture if you'd like to include that to by noon Sunday. NNIPL agents - please report back by Friday on how your experiences went this week and include photos of you nursing in public if you've got 'em! 

I niped to day in Chili pepper. Which  here in yuma AZ. Is a locally owned and opperated mexican restaurant famous for there bean and cheese burritos.  And some major bomb salsa. Anyways it was me,my 2 kids. My sister and her son. And nursed my hungry lil man in the middle of the dinning room .  I realized that when iam nursing even at home i don't really look around at other people.  So i guess i could careless if someone saw or what they thought. But this place is always packed at lunch. So iam sure i was seen.   Next week park and library.  ~ Renae

I think this might be a little bit late, but I did NIP at the Knoxville Zoo, as well as Knoxville Center Mall in the last week! They weren't technically in November, since I hadn't realized that the goal was for November at the time! I nursed as I walked during Boo at the Zoo, and I don't even think anyone noticed, though walking and nursing is getting more difficult as he gets bigger! At Knoxville Center Mall, I nursed in several locations, and the picture included is from the food court. I got a couple of looks from a few teenage boys who were sitting a table away from us, but they didn't seem too bothered by it. I did use a cover this time, because I was wearing my Halloween costume and I did not feel comfortable exposing my entire breast. All in all, both experiences were positive for me! ~ Rachel

I have a 10 month old boy, and we nurse in public all the time. I have never had anyone say anything negative to me or give me funny looks. Servers in restaurants have always been very professional while waiting on my table if I was NIP'ing, never once even paying any attention to it. Most of the time I don't even think anyone notices. I don't use a cover, though I did for the first 3 months. I have NIP'ed in rural VT, Boston, around CT, several places in MT, all around WA and mostly in Seattle. I NIP'd today at Cal Anderson Park in Seattle with my friends Rachelle and Juan. Rachelle was nursing her 5 month old girl. Juan was just hanging out. We saw 2 other moms nursing in the park separately, both with groups of friends and both using covers. I plan on NIP'ing several days each week in November, mostly around Capitol Hill in Seattle. I'll be sure to get pics next time. Rachelle and I are hanging out again Tuesday, so I'll try to get a pic of the 2 of us. ~Audrey

Hi, I am Christi. I am the mom of 3 little girls ages 3 and under. I breastfed all of them in public whenever they needed. I am currently breastfeeding my youngest who is 5 months old. I am committed to breastfeeding her at the local library on Tuesday November 8.

Hi! I'd love to help! My name is Emily and my son, Zac, is 5 months old. My mother didn't nurse me because I'm adopted, but I knew nursing was for me the minute my tiny son latched!  I plan to nurse in public without a cover, but I will nurse discretely and with confidence! I will nurse at HEB on Palm Valley in Round Rock, Texas and at Lakeline mall in Cedar Park, Texas. I'm excited to let you know how it went! ~Emily & Zac

Here are my goals for the next two weeks, since I'm late! My name is Jessica and I have an 11 month old daughter-she'll be one on Nov 16!!!  We live in metro Detroit, MI.  I have my annual ob gyn appointment on Tuesday, Nov 8.  I plan on nursing in the waiting room, most likely without a cover. Maybe some mammas to be will see me and see that nursing (especially in public) is normal and wonderful.  Maybe I could help them make up their minds to try breastfeeding.  :)
Week of Nov 13-18. My husband's family goes on a trip to Frankenmuth, MI every year the weekend before Thanksgiving. I plan to nurse all over that town all weekend! I may use a cover if I'm outside and its chilly or especially crowded.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


This doesn't have a whole lot to do with breastfeeding but I wanted to blog about it anyways. Very recently, like in the last week or 2, I decided I was going to start teaching some sign language to Olivia and Ella. I really don't know too much sign language...I know the alphabet and a few words, but I figured we could learn together. Olivia (who just turned 3) picks it up immediately. The first time I show her a sign, she gets it down and remembers it. Ella (who just turned 1) can do "more", but has only done it once or twice.

The big thing that Ella has started doing is nodding her head "yes". It's so freaking cool. I talk to her all the time and ask her questions. So, for instance, I'll say "Ella, do you want more (sign "more") yogurt bites?" and I'll wait to see if she signs it back to me...then I'll nod my head and say "Yes?" and I'll do this several times. Well, she picked up that nodding her head is an affirmation...and now she does it!! It's this basic thing but we can communicate with each other through more then cries and it just...I don't even know. I don't have words for how totally COOL it is!! I'll ask her if she wants a drink (sign "drink") and she'll nod her head yes. I guess the thing that's just so cool for me is that she understands what I'm saying. And of course I know that she understands...but I can see her understanding it. I don't know if this is a silly thing to be excited about...but being home with Ella has just made such a difference in the things that I notice. With Olivia, I worked full time and didn't get home until 6 pm...and her bedtime was 7-7:30. I had very little time to notice the "small" things with her. Now, I'm not knocking on moms who work out of the home. Please don't take it that way. I'm just saying that being at home has made a huge difference in what I'm able to see and enjoy with Ella.

It's also different because of how sick Ella was. She was so tiny, so sick and so frail...and here she is, this big, fat, juicy one year old....and she's communicating with me!! She's like this tiny little person as opposed to this frail little preemie hooked up to machines. Just too cool. I'm super excited to do more signing with them and to be able to communicate more and more with Ella.

Do you sign with your kids? What resources have you used?