Saturday, April 30, 2011

Just because it didn't happen to you, doesn't mean it can't happen



"My baby was formula fed and she has NEVER had a cold."
 "My sister breastfed her baby and she got sick."

:::facepalm:::

Am I the ONLY person who gets SUPER annoyed when people say this? Like, just because it didn't happen to YOUR kid doesn't mean it's automatically debunked. I know SO many people who automatically assume that because their kid never had any negative affects from something, then it simply must not be true. I can't even tell you how much this annoys me. Great, i'm glad that your kid was on formula and never had a cold but research from MULTIPLE CREDIBLE SOURCES shows that breastfed babies are overall healthier and have stronger immune systems. I'm not making this stuff up. That doesn't mean breastfed babies never get sick (I can attest to this, both my kids have colds right now) but it means that they tend to get less colds, ear infection, etc then formula fed babies. I'm glad that there are formula fed babies out there who are just as healthy as breastfed babies or babies who start on solids super early who are just as healthy as babies whose parents delayed. However, what we need to remember is that our baby is not the only baby in the world and that not all babies are like our babies. I know...that statement sounded stupid but sometimes I swear, it's like people don't realize this. I once had someone say to me, "God! I'm SO SICK and TIRED of hearing how all your breastfed babies are healthier then my formula fed baby. It's such bullsh*t. [Insert childs name] is healthy enough and breastfed babies are NOT healthier. Um, really? So because your baby is healthy, then all these credible organizations, WHO, APA, multiple doctors and scientists around the world, UNICEF and many many other sources are just WRONG?

And may I remind people that when someone says something like, "Breastfed baby's are healthier and have less risks to certain diseases and illnesses" that it is NOT an attack against people who formula feed. I promise, we're not attacking you. I get so tired when some people who formula feed (not ALL obviously) act as though the very act of breastfeeding is a direct attack on them. I'm not attacking you. Honestly I'm not, but I tend to trust the World Health Organization (WHO) more then I trust the judgement of a single person. So when I say something like that, I'm simply quoting absolute facts that cannot truly, logically be argued with...not telling you that your baby is going to die of diabetes, cancer and ear infections by the time they are 5 just because you formula fed.

Just sayin'.

http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/
http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/fh/wic/bf/bfbest.html
http://www.doh.state.fl.us/Family/wic/Documents/breastfeeding_basics/WhyBFBest_10-07_Eng.pdf
http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/T020600.asp
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2011/breastfeeding_20110115/en/index.html

^^^In case you thought I was making it up! ::wink::

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cherishing - This Moment in Thought

It's been raining for the better part of the last 2.5 weeks here in south-central Indiana. Work in the yard has been limited, time to play outside has been limited, I've been trapped with my monsters indoors for the better part of this time. So I've had time to think...I've thought about what a stubborn mule Aiden is, and how his personality now is just as it was when he was a baby, strong, playful, active, and stubborn. I've thought about what a pain his tantrums are, and how tired I've gotten of dealing with tantrum after tantrum. I've thought and thought about ways to support his personality while limiting his tantrums. I've thought about what a charmer Chase is, how his personality is so completely opposite of what Aiden was and is. I've thought about sending him to live with distant relatives when he stays awake for two hours in the middle of the night, I've thought about how his "yelling" is making me nuts inside this house with almost nothing on the walls, I've thought about how to bring him up in a way that preserves his gentle nature.

But today, as the sun is FINALLY shining and the skies are clear, I'm thinking about how much I cherish both these wonderful boys for being a part of my life, with their challenges come so many blessings, so many laughs, smiles, and hugs. In a way, I can cherish Chase's middle of the night play time...it's the only time he and I are TRULY alone. I cherish Aiden's strong will because I know it will serve him well when he is a grown man. I cherish my husband who, like me, is not always his best person in the middle of the night, because without saying a word, in the morning, he wakes up with Aiden, feeds him breakfast, and let's me sleep a little extra to make up for the hours he knows I spent "playing" with Chase in the middle of the night. Then he marches off to work so that we can have this home for our family, and so our wonderful boys never go without.

I cherish sweet moments nursing Chase. At his age, he's so interested in the world that a quiet nursing moment with him is rare during the day. Today this position caught his attention, he was very interested in this new set up...He wiggled and looked around, talked to me with his mouth full, made funny faces, and then...then he took advantage of these big, saggy bags, laid his head on my arm, and rolled his eyes back in his head and took a brief, peaceful, milky nap.

Aiden was quietly playing in the playroom just long enough to make this moment a reality. Chase is 6 months old, and I don't know where the time as gone. 

This afternoon I was overcome with the sweetness of my monsters both wiggling in my lap as I read them "Go Dog Go!" before nap time for Aiden. Aiden trying to snuggle up as small as he could while I read, reading with me, telling me the story...he's such a big boy. Chase trying to grab at Aiden, talking to him, and trying to get his big brother's attention. I thought...these are my boys...and these moments are rare. So I took a moment to cherish the snuggles and the interaction. 

Most of the day, I've been looking down on our flooded beach to observe our turtles...all the rain has brought the lake up pretty high, and they can all now get on top of the retaining wall to sun themselves. I want to tell them to scoot over and make room for me...I'll bring my Kindle (and I cherish my mom for sending this to me for mother's day..."for those few moments you get to relax") and we can sun together with our toes in the water! 

My house is kind of a mess today. I'm not really cherishing that, but I do cherish that my husband tolerates the insanity cuz his sweet boys clamor for him when he walks in the door. I think being a stay at home mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, it's more work than any job I've ever had. Some days it's thankless until I go to bed and imagine how heartbroken I would be if I didn't have this option. So I cherish those hard days that teach me to be grateful I can be there for my boys when they are having hard days. I let the house slide for their benefit, so we can play instead of distract, snuggle instead of scold, laugh instead of pout. It's worth it to me. Because frankly, the days I let the house slide are the best days with my boys...the view from the top is the best! 
1 happy nursling, my feet up, and the sun shining
on my green yard just beyond my toes.
Life. Is. Good.

Today I challenge all our readers to find the light in the shadows, the good things to be cherished under the hard times. Cherish your little monsters. Cherish the lessons you have learned through the struggles you face. Cherish those challenging nursing relationships that you had to fight to keep. Cherish the days that are so crazy you never shower or dress. Cherish your body...it has given you those gorgeous children and fills out their plump cheeks, gives them a place to snuggle. Cherish the choices you made, because you did what you thought was right, and that was what mattered. Now, sit down and share with us what you are cherishing today!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

PSA: Facebook Walls Are Not People - Off Topic Tuesday

A few incidents have happened in my life where real life friends have shown some mean true colors against me based on Facebook. I know that the internet has a certain anonymity that allows for this kind of stuff to happen with faceless nameless strangers... but when it is real friends it cuts pretty deep. One would think they knew you better than that, but apparently not.

In just looking at my Facebook wall I bet a lot of people have a very different picture about who I am. They probably think if they get an epidural or use formula they can't be friends with me. Yeah... right... because I'm THAT petty. All I want based on information I share is for folks to know their options because the epidural and formula world has become so normal that anything different almost needs to fight for attention.

People might think I'm a stubborn opinionated bitch, but it's my wall and I'll put my thoughts up there regardless of what anyone thinks. Sometimes I treat it almost like a journal. Most of the links I post are simply to spread knowledge for those that want it. All I'm doing is clicking 'share' from other peoples walls. I'm not spending hours blogging and scouring the internet for every little detail. It's not my life. Feel free to gloss over it and ignore it much like I do when people talk about sporting events, working on cars, or finding a new job.

Now, if we actually hang out in person... guess what... I don't talk about any of that stuff unless you bring it up! I do actually have other things to talk about in this world. I'm probably the most non-confrontational wuss debate avoider in the world. Do not fear hanging out with me... I promise I don't bite.

Now, I'm not going to change my ways - so I beg you... if you are on my friend list just festering with hate against me based on links I post or statuses I write... do us both a favor and either talk to me about it or click that unfriend button rather than let your anger build until you lash out against me. I'm not the one lurking in the dark, I don't know how you feel about the issues if you never tell me, and I don't mean to hurt/offend anyone.

If Facebook had existed 10 years ago my statuses would have been filled with information about drink specials, who slept with who, how much work sucked, rights of other beings on this earth, late nights, needing caffeine to function, and other such non-sense. Guess what? Nothing has changed. Just now the beverage special I'm talking about is breastfeeding, who slept with who is co-sleeping, etc. That's just it - those are all things I do no matter what decade or place I am in life... but they are not WHO I am.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Dairy free for ME!

As I mentioned in The Crankiest Baby on the Block and The Crankiest Baby on Block-Not Mine Ella is a cranky pants and we seemed to have found the magic combination of things to help with her crankiness. She has silent reflux and is on reflux meds and I cut all dairy out of my diet. When I first considered the dairy free thing, I was horrified at the very idea. I. Love. Dairy. Let me say that again.

I. LOVE. DAIRY!

LOVE.

I love sour cream. I love cheese. I love milk. I love ice cream. I love yogurt. I love butter. I. LOVE. BUTTER.

The doctor recommended a lactose free formula. Uh huh. I don't love dairy THAT much.

But it was still a huge sacrifice. A sacrifice that I was more then willing to make though. I figured that not only was this what you just DO for your baby but it was also an opportunity to eat a bit healthier. No more tacos that are essentially some meat with gobs of sour cream and cheese. No more "couple bites" of a pint of Ben and Jerry's that turns out to be half the pint. No more sleeve of oreos with a huge glass of milk.

I went cold turkey. Just stopped eating it one day. It was okay. Not bad. I missed the cheese on my eggs though. I had a few friends who had done dairy free for various reasons and one went shopping with me and made some recommendations. She introduced me to almond milk, rice milk, recipes etc. I also discovered coconut milk and coconut ice cream. Can I just say that coconut milk is probably the best thing ever? I absolutely love coconut milk. It's like a party in my mouth. Oh, and french toast made with vanilla almond milk? Yes please.

Our diet, which always included most healthy things, often included a lot of cheese. Cheese on everything. Lasagna. Tacos (with cheese and sour cream). Casseroles--with cheese. Eggs...with cheese. You get my point. I've lost most of the meals in my rotation and had to come up with new meal ideas. And we've started eating healthier!! My two year old has discovered hummus with carrots and we eat that at least 4x a week. Lots of veggies are now used and I don't eat nearly as much pasta (we've always eaten whole wheat pasta at least!). I'm still learning and definitely need to find more recipes and meal ideas but it's gotten easier. And honestly? Dairy is not good I discovered. I took a swig of milk about a week ago because I had a craving all of a sudden and I had a sour tummy for the rest of the night and it tasted like icky poo-poo. NOT good. Had a slice of cheese? Ummm...how do I put this delicately? Well, my husband used our second bathroom.

It's a lot of work but it's so worth it, and it's healthier too! The worst thing I've discovered is that Trader Joes has some pretty UH-MAZING dark chocolate peanut butter cups that are dairy free...which I no longer buy because I'll eat like 8 in one day and they are 100 calories each. Bad news bears!

Girly, For Once


I don't wear makeup, tweeze my eyebrows, wear dresses, wear high heels, carry a purse, get my hair styled, wear jewelry, or paint my nails. My own mother was much the same. For Chicklett? Why would I dress her in frilly tutus and headbands with giant gerber daisy flowers? I pretty much dress my children in normal clothing that I would also wear. I wear jeans and a t-shirt just about every day. To me, dressing her in some things I've seen would be as silly as me wearing a prom dress to the grocery store. If you want to dress your child that way, more power to you... but I get crabby about being judged for not doing it. When people insinuate that I don't dress her "girly" it rubs me the wrong way... because clothing does not make you one gender or the other. Just because she's not in pink with ruffles and lace doesn't make her any less of a girl.

My daughter also has the "unfortunate" circumstance of being born to parents who had a boy first that do not believe in strict gender roles. Therefore... much of her hand-me-downs are big brothers former clothing. I guess maybe my son should be extra thankful he wasn't born second! Ha! We did "team green" for both pregnancies, so much of our initial 3 month and under clothing is pretty neutral anyway.

Now, I do weed through and find things that are more neutral and I have also obtained many articles of clothing from friends with older girls. So, it's not all cammo, trucks, and dinosaurs for this little girl. Not that there's anything wrong with that. But, I fail to see why we need to have the brown pants with a little ruffle on the bottom VS just regular brown pants. Know what I mean?

At Christmas time I dressed my daughter in the same little suit we had my son in for some photos of her sitting in an antique toddler rocking chair next to the tree. I thought it was cute to have them do the same sort of pose. There were already some raised eyebrows on that one.

Could my children BE any cheekier??

With the "girl" hand-me-downs I often weed through them and regift the more elaborate things on to other friends who have girls. First off, I think that my daughter looks washed out in pastels - so that means all things light pink get put in the "to go" box. She has fair skin and black hair - deeper/brighter colors just look much better on her. Just like her mama. :)


And secondly, we are also a "onesie" kind of a family. I never knew this phenomenon existed until I had children... but there are folks who love onesies and ones that could live without them. Our baby's wear onesies every day of the week. Shirts and dresses just seem insane in our cold Minnesota climate. Shirts always bunch up exposing skin, and dresses... well.. come on! Brrrr! We're just very practical folks. Maybe now that summer is around the corner we will branch out... maybe...

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Nurse-In

We're coming up on the 1-year anniversary of me officially considering myself a lactavist. Last Easter a woman in one of my mommy groups was harassed while enjoying a family dinner when her baby wanted to nurse and restaurant employees took issue with it. I had never even heard of someone being harassed for breastfeeding before, and quite frankly it made my brain explode. I found myself stepping forward to support this woman and others like her.

Being involved in a nurse-in was a wild experience. Actually being the planner of the nurse-in is not something I ever thought I would be doing. I'm not generally one to take a "stand" and publicly show it, but then again... don't mess with mama bear's right to feed her baby!

A nurse-in generally happens at an establishment where a breastfeeding mother was mistreated. Yes, you are giving them money by purchasing something in order to avoid being in trouble for loitering... but it is to prove a point and then never go back there again.

I guess the event I organized was technically a "nurse-out" as we did it in front of the building rather than actually going inside. Old Country Buffet was too spendy of a stand to make having all of us go inside. Not like we could just order a $1.89 soda pop and chill out for an hour. We had lots of media coverage, and a good turn out. Overall a totally positive experience and I highly recommend being involved if ever one happens in your community.
Every time something like this happens to a nursing mother we have an opportunity to educate and change the view of the general public. Some people are beyond educating... but there are a large number that just have never seen breastfeeding before and they believe the crazies who think we all strut around topless shaking our milk makers.

After the initial hype of the Old Country Buffet incident I wanted to have a Facebook page with a more positive spin on things, and thus The Normalize Nursing in Public League (The NNIPL) was born. And yes... the acronym is like the word 'nipple' and yes... the logo is a giant boob. I'm still surprised at how many people don't catch that the first time around.

Monday, April 18, 2011

The Crankiest Baby on the Block-Not mine!


So, you know those babies who cry when they're hungry? Or tired? Or need lovin'? Or they're uncomfortable?....and that's the only reason they cry? You know, normal freakin' newborns. Uh yeah, Ella is one of those babies. Oh yes, my friends it is true. My baby is fixed. Do you hear the choir of angels?

I started out by bringing her to the chiropractor and while that helped with some issues, it didn't help with the constant screaming (which is a distant memory...). I had noticed at night that Ella would gag in her sleep but she wasn't a spitter so I called the doctor and requested reflux meds. They prescribed them over the phone because we'd discussed the issue already. I got them and started her on it. A few days later, the screaming was still going on. So I finally did it. I gave in. I said goodbye to my milk. Goodbye ice cream. Goodbye {gasp, choke, sob} sour cream. And within 2 days she was cured. She only cried (and screamed) when she needed something...well for the most part. About a week or so into it, I decided to try and see how she'd do off the reflux meds because I don't want her on meds if she doesn't need them obviously. Day 1, excellent. Day 2, great...I'm actually excited. Day 3? PURE HELL.  She screamed the entire day. Alrighty so it takes approximately 2 full days for the reflux meds to get out of baby's system. Noted. Put her back on them and next day she was a-okay. It was a freakin' miracle.

I've actually been handeling the dairy free thing much better then I thought I would. She can tolerate some butter thank GOD and I now drink almond or coconut milk. I've gotten creative with my cooking and coconut ice cream is my BFF. Mmm have you ever had coconut ice cream? YOU MUST TRY IT. I swear to God, I like it better then regular ice cream!! It's amazing! Then the other night I took a swig of cows milk and I almost puked. I had an upset tummy all night long and the grossest taste in my mouth. I don't know that I'll ever drink cows milk again. EW!

Ella still has some issues. The car is NOT her friend. She HATES her car seat. She screams almost the entire time. It's horrible going places. When she DOES need something or is tired and fighting it, she gets extremely worked up. I have a long scratch on my breast from a nap battle the other day. But now she's just a regular high needs preemie as opposed to a hell demon high needs preemie. It's so much better...I can't even tell you guys. And we're still going strong on breastfeeding. :)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Perfect Snackchel

A common occurrence with nursing mothers, especially those first few weeks, is finding yourself sitting on a couch for hours on end with a baby that seems to want to be on the boob 24/7... and you find yourself going for hours without food, drink, or potty break. Mama's need to take care of themselves in addition to that precious baby. By not getting enough calories and staying hydrating you could be hurting your milk supply... and in turn your baby will nurse more often... leaving you more tired and more stuck sitting around. Vicious cycle!

Here are some tips to help make this all better:
Pack yourself - or instruct someone else - a wonderful snackchel (S-NACK-CH-ULL). It's a word we use around here combining satchel and snack. Clever, eh? When Chicken Little was first born my husband would pack me a snackchel every day.

Easy Snackchel Items:
Granola Bars
Muffins
Nuts/Trail Mix
Dried/Fresh Fruit
Crackers
Juice Boxes
Water

You could even get fancy and use a mini-cooler or insulated lunch bag and get into stuff like:
Veggies & Dip
Hummus (for the crackers or veggies)
String Cheese
Yogurt or Pudding Cups (don't forget a spoon!)

You could get a bag for every day of the week and just take a moment to load them all up with the same things in one swoop. Then you are set for the whole week! Just have to make sure that bag makes it to the couch with you and you're golden. :)

Also, visit your local library for free movies or get your netflix queue ready to go. I watched so many movies those first few weeks and the laziness was WORTH IT. Forget about housework, forget about cleaning, just relax and enjoy some lazy times. Because... you won't ever get an opportunity like this again!

As for making it to the bathroom... you're on your own there. :)




Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Mother Hen's Dirty Little Secret - Off Topic Tuesday

So.... I specifically request plastic bags when grocery shopping. I am always embarrassed and try to say it quietly for fear of reprisal from the next checkout lane. "Gasp, did you hear that woman request PLASTIC for her groceries???" says snooty person with their mass collection of cloth grocery sacks.

But, I have a good reason. We have not purchased garbage bags for over seven years. If you are using reusable grocery bags yet buying plastic garbage bags... you might want to rethink yer inks. Why buy plastic bags when they give them away to you for free?!?!?! Seems silly now, doesn't it? We use plastic bags for our main garbage and then paper grocery bags for recyclable items. Used to try and use paper for everything, but one leaky messy situation and lesson was learned. The small bags are great as we just bring them out to the main garbage in the garage every night. Half full bags get combined to make one full one and the second bag gets saved again for another day.

We fancy ourselves to be decently smart. Thought I'd pass along the tip. Do you have any common sense tips to rock my world with? Share them!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Good Mourning....

Today is somber in the house for tomorrow marks the six month anniversary of bringing my baby girl into the world. What does this mean? Well, the ban on solid food will be lifted! She has been reaching for our plates and watching eating with intense interest for nearly two months now. It is her turn. I am excited for this new venture for her... but at the same time I am having some sadness about it. She is most likely my last baby, and today is the last full day I will be the sole source of food for her. With all luck she will not be done nursing anytime soon, but she will now have nutrients coming from other sources.
Multipack Whole Grain Oatmeal
Tomorrow Rooster will get to feed her a tiny bit of oatmeal with breastmilk... and so it begins. We're still on the fence about how we are doing this whole solid food bit. For Chicken Little we did the standard puree gambit. He was stuck on purees until he was 15 months old. And even then we had to force the change to real food. Not sure if this was because of his tongue-tiedness or if he was just being picky, but either way it was embarrassing and hard for me. We'd be at playdates and I'd be spoon feeding him mush when baby's 6 months younger than him were eating sandwiches. Ugh! And then forcing him to eat real food was heartbreaking. We did it over X-mas break 2009 so my husband was home all day to help. Chicken Little ate very little (other than boob) for about 3 days. Then he figured it out. Whew!

I was curious about Baby Led Weaning for Chicklett, but I'm having a hard time getting Rooster on board... and quite frankly don't know enough about it myself to present a good case for it. I've brought it up a few times, and he just thinks there was nothing wrong with how our son did things. I'm okay with that too, for now anyway! If we're still eating purees 9 months from now you can point and make fun of me.

I'm sure we'll end up doing purees again, only this time no tongue tied baby and maybe we'll work our way through the stages faster to get into that chunky stuff. We'll see. Not like she's going to be eating a ton right away no matter what. I am secretly hoping that my girlfriend ends up disliking the Baby Beaba that was given to her and then she gives it to me. Ha!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Why All the Breastfeeding Posts? Part 2


So it's come to my attention that some folks in my circle of never ending Facebook 'friends' feel like I post too much pro-breastfeeding information and that I should occasionally open my mind to the other side of the spectrum to learn about formula feeding benefits.

Am I glad there is formula? Uh, yes! I say it in just about every post on here. Possible benefits? Baby not dying. Yay! I get it - sometimes formula is needed. That's a given.

What isn't a given is how difficult it is for a new mom that wants to breastfeed when she isn't in a supportive environment. If you are in a situation where no one is questioning your breastfeeding and they all think you are awesome - YAY for you. But that is not the case for so many mothers, so where are those moms going to get support? What if they don't even realize they need support until its too late?

Many folks are so naive to all the obstacles a new mom faces, and sometimes one backhanded comment can fester into giant pile of "I can't do this" and destroy all hopes of that mom nursing her child. Is it the end of the world? Of course not, there are breastmilk banks and formula for that mom to turn to in order to nourish her child. Of course, it is unarguably easier, cheaper, and better if baby can get it straight from mama's tap.

Now, if you are on a friend list of someone and the constant posting of articles, blogs, and other information about breastfeeding upsets you or makes you feel guilty... hate to say it... but that's not their fault. And it's most likely not your fault either. But just because you ended up using formula (by choice or by force) and have come to accept the greatness of formula, that doesn't mean that the next mom will find happiness in the situation. Many a mother who fell victim to a failed breastfeeding attempt will dote on it for years. I don't like that, and if there is something I can say or post to avoid that for a mother I will do it.

I don't want to make anyone feel guilty. I am not a breastfeeding psycho on a high horse who thinks I know better than anyone else. I am not against formula. I am not angry at anyone who chooses to use formula. I understand that there are times when it is actually the only option for a baby. I have helped more mothers through breastfeeding obstacles than I can count, and those are just the ones I know about. THEY are the ones I am posting for... Wouldn't you have wanted someone to help you? Might be too late for you... but it's not too late for them. I'm not going to stop just because your feelings get bent out of joint. And do you really think I wake up in the morning and think to myself, "Gee, what breastfeeding information can I post on my wall to make her feel like crap because she used formula?" Really? Really?

So, to reiterate... it's not about you... it's not about me... it's about THEM.

Friday, April 8, 2011

And the winner of the Bellarina Boutique clips is....

.... Megan Rockenbach!

Congratulations Megan! Please email your address to thegoodletdown (at) email (dot) com within the next 72 hours to claim your prize!

Be sure to send us a photo of your babe in the adorable clips! :)

Thanks everyone else... better luck next time! :)

Be sure to check out the April monthly collage for more group fun!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Babble - Top 50 Bloggers









When you have a minute... please vote for our blog! If you sort alphabetically you'll find us on page 14 (subject to change as more blogs get nominated. But you are smart... I know you'll figure it out.)

Check around for your other favorite blogs too while you're there. :)


THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR SUPPORT! :)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why All the Breastfeeding Posts?

Somedays I feel like my Facebook wall is a never ending stream of information about breastfeeding and other parenting topics I strongly believe in. I'm sure there are more than one of the "friends" on my list of 547 (yuck... should do some weeding) that think I'm completely insane and off the deep end. Every once in a while someone pipes in asking me questions about why I post so much. The long answer... if you aren't in the breastfeeding/parenting world yet you probably have no idea what we are up against as far as tricky evil corporations that want to make money.

Here are a few recent examples;

A new mom was sent a "things you need to know for after the baby is here" packet from a formula company that told her "your milk might not come in for a few days, consider using formula". HUH??? The baby is getting full on colostrum until your milk comes in, their tummy is the size of a chickpea and colostrum is perfectly designed to get the baby off to a good start. Not to mention that by having the baby suckle they are stimulating milk production to start. If the baby is getting a bottle instead, the whole process is interrupted. This type of advertising is harmful and should be illegal. In other countries it actually IS illegal to advertise formula for babies under 6 months old.

Whether from your Midwife/OB office or hospital... just about every new mom gets sent home with a "free travel bag" that is from various formula companies. It is stocked full of coupons, free samples, and other "helpful" information. I received a "strong moms" planner for my most recent pregnancy. It is sponsored by Similac formula and made mention I should "make sure to get your free Similac travel bag." What's so wrong about offering a new mom a bag? Nothing if its filled with things to encourage that breastfeeding relationship. But instead they are filled with doubt and fear.

Pregnant/new mom's name and address are sometimes sold by maternity clothing stores and even the hospital newborn photographer to formula companies. Your home will be bombarded with free samples and coupons. I've even heard of their being a door-to-door in person sales representative who dropped off a case of free formula to a mother with a newborn and the note said "You deserve a break." How wicked and evil is that? Any new parent knows that first week is rough. Baby is awake often, feeding often, and you are adjusting to the whole new lifestyle. In a tired, exhausted, baby blues kind of a moment... it would be easy to just ask your significant other to give the baby a bottle "just this once" so you can have a break. It's a slippery slope folks.

Reportedly, if you fill out the Motherhood Maternity information card and say you are formula feeding you will get almost nothing... but if you say you are breastfeeding you will receive a ton of free formula samples/coupons. They are TARGETING breastfeeding mamas.

Last week I received a coupon book from Babies R Us. In it outlined how they are having a breastfeeding 101 class on May 10th sponsored by Medela pumps. In that same book BRU is offering a shiny $10 free giftcard... if you purchase formula. Now, wouldn't it have been much more breastfeeding friendly to offer a giftcard from the purchase of a breastpump or breastfeeding pillow? Reportedly from a former BRU employee they do give away formula coupons in a giftbag for the actual breastfeeding 101 class. Deplorable.

I have folded the coupon book for the purpose of the photo - they were on opposite sides of the booklet.

Pediatricians sometimes are quick to push formula at the sign of any little trouble. Not enough weight gain (a strictly breastfeeding mother should be aware that the chart most pediatricians use has a mix of formula fed and breastfeeding baby's weight/height growth on it and typically BF baby's are slower to gain - therefore should not be compared on the FF/BF chart), gassy/fussy baby, colic, reflux, etc. I was even offered formula when I complained that my baby would not take a bottle.

All of this is a little disturbing, right? Is it true? Am I just a crazy conspiracy theorist dirty breastfeeding hippie freak? I have no idea... but... the stories come up often enough in mothering forums so I have to believe there is a ring of truth to it.

If you have to or chose to use formula, I'm certainly glad it is available for your baby... but there are far too many moms out there that want to breastfed, but end up failing when they fall for a booby trap. I'm fed up with these moms being set up for failure by tricky advertising and corrupt medical providers. The breastfeeding rates in our country are embarrassing, and they don't need to be. In reality there are only about 1% of moms who truly cannot breastfeed. That'd be the WHOLE WORLD. Bet you thought the number was much higher...

So, why do I post so much stuff? It's not because I enjoy sounding like a broken record. It's because I never want to hear anyone in my little circle say "I wish someone would have told me." It's easy to trust the world out there and be a sheeple... but when someone opens your eyes that not everyone is on your side, you might just notice a few unjust things and make better choices because you are aware. That's why I post so much.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

THAT Generation...

So, when I'm in my own home I don't have a problem nursing my two year old son and my almost six month old baby. But then there are the times when grandma is around. Any of them... and it makes me hide in a back room or redirect Chicken Little to play with something else.

Our grandmas gave birth at a time when "Twilight Births" were all the rave... they would wake up with ace bandages binding their breasts and would get to meet their baby's when they were a few days old. Hardly a choice about it... it was just the way things were done.

One of my grandmothers breastfed and the other did not. For the in-law side, I know one attempted breastfeeding and "just didn't have enough milk" and I'm not sure about the other one. My mother breastfed me to 11 months, and then when I was unable to latch during a cold and went on a nursing strike she considered me weaned. Roosters mom breastfed him to around two and a half, and even tandem nursed for awhile, but kicked him off of the boob because she felt like there wasn't enough for the baby. So, my husband and I come from a mix of breastfeeding and formula feeding backgrounds for extended family - but we were both breastfed.

I remember when Chicken Little was about 6 months old my grandma who did not breastfeed started making comments about not understanding what I would do if I wasn't a stay at home mom and that she thought I should be done by now. I tried to explain pumping, and she just thought it all seemed like a lot of work over something that just could be bought at the store. I wasn't about to argue with a woman who had nine children about how formula from the store is not equal to breastmilk.

My nursing of Chicken Little had pretty much been under the radar for family after probably 15 months old. No major holidays to showcase my behavior... he only asked for it before naps/morning time... not too many folks probably knew I was nursing him still. Then along came baby Chicklett and a flurry of visitors. The biggest visitors being my grandparents staying with us for 10 days. Living in my house. Being around us 24 hours a day. This was the grandma that did breastfeed... but I think it was under a year for any of her children. I wasn't sure how to broach the subject... and pretty much made a deal with myself to hide in bedrooms and keep it out of sight. Worked pretty well, until my son started to get more vocal about asking for "Boobies" and my husband didn't understand my subtle ways and would inform me that "Your son needs some boobs in the bedroom" right in front of everyone. ::face palm:: I don't know that they understood what was going on... and I never clarified. I just didn't want to explain myself. And I shouldn't have to. This is just what we are doing in our family. It would have been much easier to come clean to this BF grandma than to my FF grandma.

FF Grandma has been gone out of town since November and is returning next week. They live about an hour away and it's always a goal to go and visit once a month minimum. I often worry about the reaction from someone who frowned upon me nursing at 6 months if she saw me nursing at 31-35 months as the summer timing goes. Do I continue to hide it? Do I come clean before the issue comes up with some informative literature? It is such a tender subject because that generation was told formula was better than breastmilk, and worse yet they were barely given an option to even try to breastfeed. I don't want anyone in that situation to feel like they did anything wrong. Yet I don't want anyone to think I am doing something wrong. Mrgh!

BF Grandma will be returning for another visit in June and this will start all over again. What should I do? Come clean? Keep my subtle ways as much as I can? Advise please!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April Showers... Monthly Collage

Okay February Flanges... we promise we didn't forget about you. Last month was just a little crazy for our trio... folks moving cross country, buying a house (2x), funeral, selling a house, 10 day NICU stays, etc. And the one person (me) who did have time on her hands doesn't know how to make a collage from multiple pictures. Ha ha ha. D'oh!

So, we're ignoring March obviously... and jumping right into APRIL SHOWERS. Send in your leaky boob shirt photos. We all have them... that unexpected leak right through the pads, bra, and onto the shirt for all to see. Oops! Celebrate the leaks! Send us your photos! :)

Check out previous collage January Jugs.


To submit a photo for 'April Showers' please upload to our Facebook
fan page or email it to thegoodletdown (at) gmail (dot) com

Friday, April 1, 2011

April Giveaway - Bellarina Boutique

Bellarina Boutique has generously donated Easter Hair Clips for this months giveaway! All clippies have been partially lined in high quality grosgrain ribbon. The ribbon ends have been heat sealed to prevent fraying and a no-slip grip has been added to help hold the finest of hair. The winner will get to pick from any of the following adorable clips:



The giveaway starts Friday April 1st, 2011 and will end at 11:59 PM on Thursday April 7th, 2011. We will announce the winner on Friday April 8th, 2011.


Rules:
  • You must be have a United States address.
  • You must be a follower of the blog.
  • Selected winners must provide a valid mailing address. Please do not post your address in the comments section. If you win, we'll ask for your address.
  • We will announce the winners on the blog on Friday April 8th, 2011 and the winner must email us at thegoodletdown@gmail.com and claim their prize within 72 hours or a new winner will be selected.
  • Winners will be selected from all eligible entries by the use of the random.org random integer generator.
Entries: You may have up to 5 entries (and remember, you have to be a follower of the blog!). Each entry must have it's own comment.
  • Entry number 1: Comment on this blog post and tell us the greatest breastfeeding advice you ever received. All entrants must do this and then may do the subsequent entries for the giveaway.
  • Entry number 2: "Like" The Good Letdown on facebook.http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Good-Lgivetdown/176102379072353 We'll need to know your name on FB so we can double check! Make a separate comment on this blog post letting us know that you "liked" us on FB.
  • Entry number 3: Share this giveaway on facebook. We'll need to know your name on FB so we can double check! Make a separate comment on this blog post letting us know that you shared it on FB.
  • Entry number 4: Blog about our giveaway on your blog. Make a separate comment on this blog post sharing the link to your blog!
  • Entry number 5: "Like"s Bellarina Boutique on FB. http://www.facebook.com/BellarinaBoutique We'll need to know your name on FB so we can double check! Make a separate comment on this blog post letting us know that you "liked" us on FB.
Be sure to do separate posts for each of your entries as we are using random.org randomizer to pick the winner.