Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Guest Blog: Generations of Breastfeeding


One of my first memories is right after my brother was born. I was two years old in March of 1975 and he was born the following July. He was born early in the morning, at home. I remember walking down the hall, through a doorway and seeing my mother propped up in bed with him. The doorway is hazy in my memory – my mother looks like I’m seeing her through wavy glass. According to my mother (I don’t remember this), when I walked up to the bed and started talking to Matt, he unlatched himself from her breast and turned towards my voice. This was about 15 minutes after he was born. Then, in two-year-old fashion, I ran up and down the hall, saying over and over again, “It’s a baby! It’s a baby! It’s a baby!” I was just a little excited, apparently.

I also remember nursing. I nursed until just a few months before my third birthday. Matt was closer to three and a half when he weaned. My few memories of nursing are like the memory after Matt’s birth – hazy and dreamlike. I remember my mother asking me if I wanted ‘na’ after I had been upset about something and walking across the room towards her. I remember the feeling of being cradled in her arms. When I think about these memories, when I call them up in my mind, there is a warmth in my being that I had not experienced in my life until I had my own children.

My mother was a La Leche League leader and a homebirther when both of these things were much less common than they are now (although as a midwife, I must say that we help a dismally small percentage of women, even now!). I remember going to La Leche meetings with her and hiding under the plastic stacking seats in the back of the room while she was showing a childbirth videos. She tells me that I would go home, pretend like I was giving birth to my dolls on the couch and then nurse them.

I know that these early experiences shaped who I am today, just as my mother’s early experiences shaped her expectations and ideas of what is normal in parenting. My grandmother, in 1948, nursed my mother until she was one. I am still amazed by this. Can you imagine? My grandfather was in the Marines when my mother was born, so my grandmother had my mother in a military hospital. My grandmother told me that when she would breastfeed my mother, the nurses would pull curtains around her bed, because “nobody wants to see that.” My grandmother had no support, no direction from nurses or doctors. She is one of my breastfeeding heroes.

I feel fortunate to have grown up in a family where extended nursing was the norm. I never questioned that when I had children, I would nurse them for at least a couple of years. That’s just what you did, right?
  
Now I have two nurslings of my own - a beautiful girl who will be three in about a month and another daughter
who just turned six months. They are the light and greatest loves of my life. They are the sun that my husband and I dance around every day. They dictate my schedule, my sleeping and waking, my playing and cleaning. The three year old is just learning to use a butter knife and loves to help me get dinner ready. This evening, she pulled a package of mushrooms (one of the things I let her cut up) out of the refrigerator and said, “My cut mushrooms, Mom. My big girl.” The baby is often riding on my back while we cook together, either soft and curled up against me, asleep – or cooing and trying to look around me to see what is happening. It is a magical time. They are both changing and learning so much every day. I try desperately to be present with them as much as I am able – to really and truly give them my attention so that I can savor every moment. Some days I do a good job, some days, not as much.

One of the ways I do feel that I can give them both my attention is by breastfeeding. My job as a midwife allows me to be with them most of the time. The oldest went with me to prenatals until she was mobile, and my youngest is doing the same. I do not take them to births, but I average around one or two births a month, so while I may be gone for a long time when I am at a birth, I am able to pump, have someone bring me the baby, or a combination of both. I feel very fortunate that this is the case for me. I know many moms who have to work regular full-time schedules and it makes it very challenging to breastfeed. Don’t get me started about paid maternity leave!

So far, I haven’t felt the need to wean my oldest, although I do understand completely how someone would. Nursing two children can be overwhelming, and even though my oldest doesn’t nurse a lot these days, I still often tell her no if she asks to nurse during the day or she wants to nurse while the baby is nursing. I understand that our nursing relationship is a two-way street, and if I am not enjoying it, that my feelings will affect her experience as well. That being said, I don’t feel the need to completely wean her. I feel very strongly that meeting a child’s early needs for attachment leads to greater independence later in life. Forcing independence before they are ready rarely ever works. The ‘sacrifices’ I make to continue nursing my oldest do not seem like sacrifices to me at all. My children are young only once, and their need for me will only be this great for a relatively short amount of time. It is okay if my wants get pushed to the side for a while.

Breastfeeding was easy for us from the beginning. They both latched on within minutes of being born and went from there. In this, I also feel very fortunate. I know through my job as a midwife and through friends that this is not always the case. I also have no doubts that my early exposures to breastfeeding with my brother and other children in La Leche formed the ideas in my mind about what is normal. Seeing a baby bottle feeding is odd to me. Seeing my own babies eat out of a bottle is disturbing on a gut level, even though I know it is sometimes necessary and that it’s my own milk.
 

Recently, my oldest has taken to “wearing” her dolls and teddy bears. She either puts them down the front of her shirt or has me put them down the back. A few times she has asked me to make her a backpack out of a scarf so she can wear them on her back without them falling down. Sometimes when she does this, she will walk around the living room, making little bouncing motions with each step and saying, “sh sh sh sh” as she walks. She is calming her babies, just like she sees me doing with her little sister.

The first time I saw her do this, the feeling I had was something akin to de ja vue. I felt a moment of stillness and depth and awareness of connections. I could see and sense the connections between the parenting choices of my grandmother, my mother, myself, and some day, my daughters. I wished for someone else to see what I was seeing, just so I could grab their arm and ask, “Do you SEE this?”

My oldest also nurses her dolls when she says they are sad. When she hears a baby crying in public she will let me know that the baby needs to nurse. Just as my ideas about what is normal were formed at an early age, my daughters are learning the same things. They are learning that it is normal to respond to your children’s needs, not ignore them. They are learning that it is normal to breastfeed – even in public! They are learning that holding your baby close is the best way to calm them. That sometimes a cuddle and a little bit of nursing is all you need.

I am a Licensed Midwife in Arkansas and a Certified Professional Midwife, working at Birthroot Midwifery in Fayetteville, Arkansas. I am also a student and breastfeeding advocate. I am married to the best hubby I could ever want. In response to being asked to cover up in public while I was nursing my youngest (which I did not do, by the way), I have started an organization called Breastfeeding Friendly Arkansas. Our mission is to normalize breastfeeding through education, support and empowerment. I feel tremendously lucky to have the support I do in terms of breastfeeding. Many women do not. Our organization is working to change that! You can find us on Facebook and at BreastfeedingFriendlyArkansas.
org

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Seeking Admins for the Normalizing Nursing in Public League


After running The Normalizing Nursing in Public League Facebook page nearly solo for two years I'm looking for some extra help. I'd love to have some NNIPL members to help manage questions, promote appropriate links to share, field questions, and just be a super NNIPL helper in general. If you'd be up for the job, please send a little paragraph application to thegoodletdown{at}gmail{dot}com with a description of your breastfeeding experience/knowledge and ways you'd like to help out. I have many other passions than just breastfeeding, and I'd like to get as many like-minded folks as possible running the page so they answer questions similar to my way. Thank you!!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Shaking Things Up to Bring You The Best!


So, coming up on 3,000 fans, we are thinking of changing our question format a little over on the Facebook Page. From now on, instead of reposting each question we receive through the wall and private message directly to the wall, we will address each mother individually first. Helping her to find resources and solutions to common questions and referring her to her local in person resources as neccessary. After these personal conversations with mothers posting or messaging for help, we will share her question and some solutions in a post asking for further input from moms.

There are a few reasons for our change!


  1. We want to empower mothers to learn and problem solve, like the old adage says "teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime." Adult learners retain 80-90% of what they say AND do, so it is helpful to do your research and in the process above, others will be graced with the resources that can help them in the future. 
  2. We want moms to get the research based answers and solutions FIRST, saving personal, experiential, and anecdotal evidence for input after the issue has been assessed and resources have been given.
  3. We want each fan to see a bigger picture when scanning their newsfeed, so you'll see a brief synopsis of a mom's question/problem/concern, the symptoms, as well as resources and suggestions and a request for YOUR experience and input (and further questions?) if you should choose to respond! By doing this, you learn a little something even if you choose not to read through the comments, and better yet, you'll see what resources and evidence supports different solutions to different problems...and some day you'll perhaps have an issue and you'll remember "Oh yeah! I can check out Kellymom.com!" or something like that. 



This format is more personal, and we want to be able to help mothers more directly. We will be engaging some of the experienced friends we have in our village to help us handle the volume if we are unable to address a large number of questions. We also would like to take one or two volunteers to help in moderating the page. If you are interested, please write to us a short blurb about why you would like to help, what your qualifications are, training, certifications, accreditation, etc. Tell us about your personal breastfeeding story, things you overcame and how, how you think your experience may help other moms...anything that you feel makes you qualified to help mothers with breastfeeding problems. We'll select two applicants after a little back and forth and when they are all set, we'll introduce you to them.

Please feel free to share any posts you think are new or interesting from the facebook page with friends who may benefit from even just skimming those details. It's funny how the brain works. We may one day be talking with a mother about newborn feeding habits because she is afraid baby is not getting enough...another mother may read that and not need it, but later if or when she does, she will pull it from the dusty corners and she'll know what to do or at least how to get information and support.

Welcome to virtual breastfeeding education readers! We hope our experiment improves our service to you and sets us apart from other breastfeeding pages and blogs out there!

(and the other mamas too, obviously)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Bursting Bubbles

Last month we had our Third Annual Breastival of Nurslings photography event. It was a huge success and we had 41 mamas come to get their portraits taken while nursing their children. It was so wonderful to be surrounded by like-minded mamas and just chat the afternoon away.

During the photo shoot we realized just how many of us were tandem nursing mamas, so we took the opportunity to do a group shot of all of us nursing!


Allison Kuznia Photography - http://www.facebook.com/allisonkuzniaphotography
Age of Nurslings from left to right; 3, 1, 1, 3, 2, 0, 0, and 1

The four of us are regulars at playdates, and this sight is actually a pretty common one in my backyard. The only usual thing about it really is that we are in a line instead of in a circle. This is our norm. We often spend playdates nursing our babies (and by babies, we mean the children under the age of 2) frequently with the older ones occasionally coming in for a quick nurse, before they run off to play. We have been so immersed in a breastfeeding friendly culture like this that we kind of forgot that we aren't "normal." We posted the photo on our FB fan page... and quickly thereafter came some negative comments of how "gross" we are and how our children are "too old." I will say, 99% of the comments were gushing over how we are the most awesome women on the planet and how they wished they had friends like this in their community. The handful of negative ones were kind of a shock as we have been living in this little happy bubble of absolute acceptance and love for our full term breastfeeding.

The natural age of weaning is between ages 2 and 7, with the average being between 3 and 5 years of age. These children are all well within the normal breastfeeding age for humans. It is only our society and myths that are leaving people to feel like this is somehow wrong. News flash... breasts are not sexual organs! If you are someone that has a foot fetish... does that suddenly make feet sexual organs? Breasts can be used during a sexual act... but their main purpose in life is to supply breastmilk to children. Surprise!!! There is nothing sexual about breastfeeding children. Breastfeeding does not suddenly become inappropriate or no longer beneficial at 366 days of age (or whatever you think the cut off should be.) 


Here are some great resources about full term breastfeeding and the benefits of nursing older children.

http://www.kathydettwyler.org/detwean.html

http://www.llli.org/ba/aug94.html

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2720507/

http://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/ebf-benefits/

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday with Megz - An Internal Struggle or External Bullying?

I want to share with you what it is like to be a breastfeeding supporter and activist in a community that is so full of passionate, intelligent, and opinionated women, and how this has impacted my nursing relationship with both of my sons.

If you have followed our blog for any amount of time you know a few things about me...My first son, Aiden, was only nursed for 8 months, for a variety of reasons. You know that I am not a tandem nurser, that it just is not for me and you know why! You also probably know that I am a doula, and that my general perspective on all things parenting is moderation...that mothers need to meet their needs AND their child's needs and that when these things are in conflict, mother and child need to reach a compromise. You also probably know that while I am an avid breastfeeding advocate, educator, supporter, etc...I believe, in the end, we all love our babies and try to do what we feel is best.

When Aiden was a baby I was immersed in the birthing community and had many connections but no true friends who nursed beyond "infanthood." My one close stay at home mom friend was an avid bottle feeder, early solids feeder, sleep trainer, etc. I respected her parenting choices although I mostly disagreed with them. It's OK to disagree, and we can be friends with folks we disagree with.However, we do what we feel is "normal" as humans, we mostly want to fit in, and when we start to approach things that are far beyond what is normal in our community, we need points of reference...and my point of reference was my family history, and my friend J. It put me in a position where I felt compelled to both be an attached and breastfeeding mother, and to be a moderate and "normal" mother for the community I was in. I did not spend much time with my birth community women outside of a professional setting, so that was not my "normal" community. This put me in a weird spot where I felt like I "knew better" but became SO uncomfortable about nursing for "so long" that I weaned but felt IMMENSE shame about it.I existed in a no-mom's-land between the extended, exclusive, and tandem breastfeeding moms, and the bottle moms. I felt "weird" and ashamed when nursing around J, but felt "weird" and ashamed when bottle feeding around my birthing community.

I think that experience gives me a unique perspective on the bottle vs breast debate and the bottle vs breast culture that has developed in the mom world. Because I have been in both situations. No one ever said anything to me. No one put me down for either choice (J didn't put me down for breastfeeding directly, but I knew how she felt about it because she had talked about it before my son was born and her daughter was tiny, to her it was "gross," I'll come back to that), no one gave me dirty looks or attempted to make me feel uncomfortable. My shame, weirdness, and discomfort was an internal struggle based on a perceived "dialogue" between the two camps. I think this happens on both sides. Breastfeeding mothers often feel defensive. By the same token, bottle feeding mothers feel defensive because there are some vocal, aggressive breastfeeding advocates out there who are flat out abrasive, and borderline abusive. There is a silent dialogue happening in public when  breastfeeding mom and a bottle feeding mom are feeding their babies...the breastfeeding mom thinks many things:

  • "if she says something to me about this I'm going to go all lactivist on her and tell her what's what"
  • "I hope I'm not making her feel guilty or pressured, and that she doesn't think I'm judging her just by sitting here. I don't want to make her feel ashamed of her choice."
  • "I wonder if she wanted to breastfeed and didn't ask for or get the help and support she needed?"
  • "of course I'm the only one here breastfeeding, this is so awkward."
  • The list goes on and on...have you been in this situation? What crosses your mind? Really, think about it!
The bottle feeding mom may also think many things
  • "I just know this woman is judging me."
  • "this bottle is just as good as that breast." (yes, I know this is a false message, but this is what is taught)
  • "I bet she thinks she is better than me."
  • "I breastfed for ____ weeks/months, I wish people knew that."
  • "I was unable to breastfeed, I wish I could have, and this is making me feel regret/shame"
  • "This was my choice, I'm sure she wouldn't understand."
  • There are many more thoughts, many. I've thought them, because I bottle fed for a while. Have you been the bottle feeding mother in a similar situation? What did you think? 
I truly believe half of this debate, and MOST of the fall-outs about it in online forums, are about an internal struggle. Bottle feeding moms taking it personally when breastfeeding advocates quote FACTS about the differences between bottle and breast, and breastfeeding moms taking it personally when bottle feeding moms react negatively, and thus we have Boob Wars. 

Here on The Good Letdown, we  respect a mother's decision on how she feeds her baby. However, we want to put an end to the posturing, the lies, the mis-information, and the lack of support so that mothers who DO want to breastfeed can succeed. That is our goal here, our job, and our passion. When a mother tells another mother "i just couldn't make enough milk for my 10lb baby" (or any other observation about why she "couldn't" brestfeed) she is instilling doubt in that mother. This impacts her nursing relationship. The truth is, MOST WOMEN CAN MAKE ENOUGH MILK! There is only a VERY small percentage of women who cannot. I won't say that there are no resources available, that support does not exist. I won't do it. Because that is untrue

The problem is no longer a lack of resources, it's a fear of asking for help and a refusal to demand change. The resources are available but we are afraid to use them. Women seem to think that asking for help with ANYTHING (housework, kid care, getting a shower, parenting topics, BREASTFEEDING) is a sign of weakness, and that if we can't get it right on our own or with limited help, it's not worth the blow to our ego to continue seeking answers. I don't know how women got this way...it has something to do with the women's rights movements I'm sure...our growing independence in our ever shrinking world...who knows. It doesn't matter. I am a firm believer that in most communities, a woman who is having trouble breastfeeding and who needs help, can find it. If she does not get the help she needs to be successful from one source, she can move on to others. Sadly women wait a long time to ask for help when they are having trouble so that once they do finally seek help, the problem is so great that it becomes very difficult (please note I did not say impossible) to fix. The way I see it, there are three types of moms:

  •  Moms who will bottle feed, hands down, that's what they'll do and they aren't even going to consider breastfeeding. 
  • Moms who will breastfeed, tell others they will be "trying" to breastfeed but if a speed bump or roadblock appears, they will not be the moms giving it their all. 
  • Mom who will breastfeed if it kills them. These moms tell people they will breastfeed (they do not say "try"), they go to extremes to ensure the best possible start, they research the hell out of it, often lining up resources and help before baby is born, surround themselves with information, often attend support meetings before baby is born, the works. When bumps and blocks appear, they find help, if that help doesn't solve the issue, they find more help. They really give it their all. 
Personally I think the mothers in the above groups are all equals, they are all peers. They are all mothers (although I won't lie to my readers here...if a mom doesn't do ANY research on breastfeeding and makes a decision from there...I can't say that I think she is being a very responsible mother...because making a decision based on societal myths and zero research is just plain irresponsible...no matter what that decision is...breastfeeding, car seats, making babies, selecting your child's schools, circumcision, etc. It's not an informed and responsible decision unless you've done some research into the topic). They are all trying to take care of their families in the best way they know how. My problem arises when a mom who thinks breastfeeding is "gross" or "nasty" or "disgusting" and chooses not to breastfeed based on this opinion, goes around telling other moms, other women that she feels that way about breastfeeding. Spouting this opinion biases other mothers. It makes them feel shame and insecurity about breastfeeding around you and anyone else who has this opinion. If it's your personal reason, fine. Keep it to yourself, don't go poisoning other moms' minds with this kind of ignorance. I respect your opinion, and your right to have it, but you should respect the impact it has on OTHER mothers as much as I respect your right to choose how you feed your baby. 

I also have a HUGE issue with mothers who say they "tried" to breastfeed...but due to whatever circumstances be they perceived, created, or real "just couldn't" even though they didn't give it their all. I'm not going to say that it's easy to breastfeed in our society. There are so many reasons it isn't as easy as it should be in our society. We'll talk about it another day. But I will say that if you get the help you need...chances are it won't be hard, and you will be able to breastfeed. I'm not going to discount the situations where a mother repeatedly bumps into issues and does not get adequate support and recieves awful advice that eventually buries their nursing relationship despite their best efforts. I'm not talking about these moms. These are the 3rd group of moms who are dedicated but faulted by the system. I'm talking about the 2nd group of moms, the portion of them who hits a speed-bump and immediately throw in the towel. Sadly, many of these women use their speed-bump as justification for not breastfeeding. They blame milk supply, sore nipples, the baby, the doctor, telling others it was just too hard when in fact...they threw in the towel before they left the hospital even and really just didn't want to breastfeed. It's ok to not want to breastfeed. But if you didn't REALLY try when you had trouble, then you shouldn't tell people you "couldn't" just tell them you chose not to. There are so many women in this category, telling this story, that it's impossible to dispell the immense myths mounting about breastfeeding! There are more, noisy women telling people it's "SO HARD!" that we just can't debunk the myths fast enough! Own your decision, be proud of what you chose to do as a mother, just be OK with that! You don't have to justify yourself at all. This makes me batty! 

But Wait a minute. Why does the above mentioned group 2 mom feel the need to justify herself? To provide explanations in the first place? It comes down to that internal struggle again. Where we are in a society so conflicted that we assume everyone wants to know why we are or are not doing something. A society where breastfeeding moms are so ostracized that a noisy, abrasive, obnoxious minority has made themselves SO prominent in the breast vs bottle debate that they overshadow all the respectful, moderate breastfeeding supporters and advocates...their "noise" and nonsense, their online bullying and shaming of mothers and their choices makes the group 2 moms feel like the only reason they can give for not breastfeeding...is some kind of mechanical or systemic failure. She feels the need to say she tried so hard, even if she didn't. So in trying to get the bullies off her back, she tells everyone how hard it was...even if it wasn't...and something happens. People believe this...because moms are trying to preemptively defend themselves, we hear it ALL the time. So even though no one has necessarily called this mom out, made her feel shame...she is already afraid of it! 

What a complicated world we are in where this is even a debate at all, but also within that debate...bully moms exist.  So is there really a battle being fought here? Or do the bully moms just need to calm their S*** down and back off? Maybe then there could be some clarity and fewer moms telling stories, feeling ashamed and unsupported.

Listen up mom bully lactivists. Formula...it's not poison. it's MILK. And while it's not perfect and doesn't begin to touch breastmilk in terms of health benefits, it's just milk. For what it's worth, while generations of women successfully breastfed and are responsible for the perpetuation of the human race before the development of milk substitutes...at least a couple of generations have continued to thrive...even though the majority of us were formula fed. Just sayin!


Monday, July 23, 2012

Third Annual Breastival of Nurslings Photography Event - Minnesota


Tired of only having self-portrait nursing photos where everything is too dark, out of focus, and quite frankly you can barely tell what is going on? Well, the Breastival of Nurslings is here to fix that and have fun while doing it!
Enjoy a private photo shoot to capture moments between you and your nursing child at the Breastival of Nurslings on Saturday, August 25th from 3pm-7pm. This unique bond between you and your child will be documented forever!

The Third Annual Breastival of Nurslings will take place in Arden Hills, Minnesota, indoor and outdoor locations are available. The exact address will be provided to attendees. Everyone will get a 15 minute mini-session for $15/$20 to photograph a special moment with nursling(s). Understanding that we are working with children and appetites here, there will be some wiggle room if your nursling isn't cooperating. Don't worry, we get it.

Attire Advice: Look around the internet for breastfeeding photos you like... what do they all have in common? Time to throw modesty out the window! No covers, no hiding under baggy shirts - time to "whip 'em out" as they say. Button down shirts or a shirt you can comfortably go up over the top is probably your best bet. Go braless or with a bra that has nothing left on top once you unclip the cup. Less busy the pattern on the clothing the better, plain bold colors or bold patterns work best (like polka dots or solid colors). Also, keep jewelry to a minimum because it distracts from the nursing moment.

Photographers: Allison Kuznia Photography, Josie's Bellies and Babies Photography, and December Orpen Photography. Check out their FB fan pages:http://www.facebook.com/allisonkuzniaphotography
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Josies-Bellies-and-Babies-Photography/
http://www.facebook.com/decemberorpenPHOTOGRAPHY

Refreshments: Food will be from Wildtree representative Amanda Kowalski. We will have plenty of yummy snacks and treats for you to munch on and enjoy. We will also have water available.

Payment/Product: All tickets must be purchased in advance. You can get the "early boob special" of $15 by making your purchase by July 31st, after that the price goes up to $20. You will receive 8-10 photos via email within 3 weeks after this event. You will have full printing rights so that you may print your photos anywhere. Refunds can only be made prior to August 15th, and it would help if you could find a replacement nursing friend to take your spot. Space is limited at this very exclusive event! Money will be going to the photographers and to cover the cost of our supplies. Send an email to: thegoodletdown@gmail.com to RSVP and arrange for payment. 

Extra children: As space is limited at this engagement please leave non-nursing children at home if possible. We want there to be plenty of space for the mamas and nurslings, and we also want to cut down on things that could be distracting to those who are getting their photos done. We all know how exciting the world can be to a nursling child in a new environment!

This is not a virtual event - this is a real one. :) RSVP only if you are local and can actually make it to the open house.

Special thanks to Joni for our logo artwork! Check out her website at www.jonirae.com for unique art and wonderful goddess dolls! Find her on FB at;http://www.facebook.com/talesofakitchenwitch

Sunday, July 1, 2012

World Breastfeeding Week 2012 Photo Submissions

If you would like to submit a breastfeeding photo for our annual World Breastfeeding Week slideshow please email it to thegoodletdown@gmail.com by July 25th. We welcome nurslings of all ages, photos involving children and pumps or pumped milk, milky grins, tandem nursing, children mimicking breastfeeding with their toys, children playing with pump parts or breastfeeding pillows, photo of a picture your son/daughter drew relating to breastfeeding/pumping and anything in between! Get creative and take a photo specifically for the slide show if you don't already have a good one to submit.

Check out last years video! We had so much fun making the video and we can't wait to do it again!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thrush at almost 2?!



The dreaded thrush. In my group of girlfriends, it's said in hushed terms and I never quite understood why until one day, I realized my nipples had been KILLING me for a week. Megz suggested thrush and I realized that I had all the symptoms of thrush, Ella was on antibiotics and I had started taking the mini pill. BAM. I have thrush. I can't believe I didn't figure this out sooner...my nipples are in an unGodly amount of pain, they are bright red, peeling, have had what looks like broken pores on them. It just didn't occur to me that it might be thrush because Ella has been on ABX many times before and she's 20 months old. I've been nursing for over 3 years and I've never had thrush...so it just didn't occur to me!

First thing I did was mix up coconut oil, tea tree oil and vitamin e oil. The TTO and coconut oil mixture I found on a few different sites and I threw in the Vit E because of the peeling and the extreme dryness from the thrush. I figured it wouldn't hurt. I washed my bras and tanks in hot water and hung them out in the sun the next day. I also started putting an anti-fungal medication on them. I have a friend who has Dr. Newman's nipple cream for thrush and is giving it to me, so I have high hopes for that. I also sat out in my backyard with my nipples in the sun today. I was surprised that it actually made them feel better! And lastly, I'm taking a ton of probiotics daily.

Tomorrow, I'm going to start doing a vinegar rinse. I'm pulling out all the shots because I want this gone. So far, it doesn't appear that my children have oral thrush. I'm not sure how they managed that one other than the fact that they take probiotics everyday. I've increased their probiotics to twice a day and have them eating yogurt everyday and I'm keeping a close eye on their mouths. I know there are multiple natural ways to treat thrush...and as natural minded as I am, I am doing a combination. I just want it GONE and I also don't have insurance temporarily so if it gets worse and needed prescription meds...uhh!

But I now know why thrush is regarded as so awful. It feels like someone is trying to cut my nipples off with broken glass. In fact, I think that would feel better. I keep saying that I have a case of the major man-flu in my nipples because I complain about it...A LOT. But seriously, I've had mastitis, several clogged ducts, over supply, under supply, forceful letdown, cracked nipples, infected nipples...but nothing has been like this. Thrush sucks.

____________________________________________________________________

I started writing this post the day I figured out I had thrush and then promptly forgot about it. NOTHING I did was doing me any good. Thank God, a dear friend had Dr. Newman's nipple cream for thrush and gave it to me. I used it and within 3 hours, I already felt 70% better. My second application was at that 3 hour mark and it didn't feel like my nipples were being cut off with a plastic knife. BIG improvement! Within 2 days, my nipples barely even twinged. I kept it up for a little less than a week just to be sure. Thankfully, neither of my girls ever got thrush. I had them on a probiotic twice a day and I was also pumping probiotics into my system.

Thrush sucked. No doubt about it, worst breastfeeding ailment I've experienced thus far. Now I know what all the fuss is about. Thank God for Jack Newman's nipple cream...I'm all about natural treatments but this was so horrible I wanted to cut my nipples off and throw them into the Mississippi River. I honestly considered weaning both girls because of the pain.

Here are some thrush resources.

LLL Fact Sheet
Dr. Newman's Protocol

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Itsy Bitsy Crochet Boobie Beanie winner is....

Christine Callahan #1!!!! :)


Send us a message to thegoodletdown@gmail.com with your mailing information and what size/color you'd like. :)


Thank you for playing everyone!!!

Friday, June 8, 2012

June Giveaway! Itsy Bitsy Crochet Boobie Beanie!





Itsy Bitsy Crochet is helping us with the June giveaway! She has an adorable boobie beanie up for the taking. Winner can pick any size and color. 

The giveaway starts Friday June 8th, 2012 and will end at 11:59 PM on Thursday June 14th, 2012. We will announce the winner on Friday June 15th, 2012.



Rules:
  • You must be have a United States address.
  • You must be a follower of our 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 June 15th, 2012 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 7 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-Letdown/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 Itsy Bitsy Crochet on FB. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Itsy-Bitsy-Crochet/175886249152961 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 6: Follow The Good Letdown on twitter: http://twitter.com/TheGoodLetdown) tweeting about the giveaway. Make a separate comment on this blog post letting us know you've signed up to follow us on Twitter.
  • Entry number 7: Become a 'follower' of Itsy Bitsy Crochet on Etsy by adding the shop to your favorites; http://www.etsy.com/shop/Mom2LittleA Make a separate comment on this blog letting us know your Etsy user name. 
Be sure to do separate posts for each of your entries as we are using random.org randomizer to pick the winner.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Guest Blog: Is this Really The End? (One Little Mama)

Last week my son decided he didn't want to nurse to sleep for his nap. This was surprising and a little hurtful. I was completely confused at how my dedicated little nursling could suddenly do something so out of character. But the following day, he refused to unlatch for the entire length of his nap, so I shrugged it off.

However, in the days since, our nursing relationship has taken a sudden and dramatic shift. And this is none too pleasing to this little mama.

For the first couple of days, he still nursed overnight, but a couple nights ago, he refused to nurse to sleep and then when he woke up at 2 am, he refused to nurse again. He didn't seem to know what to do with himself, and frankly, I felt the same way. For the past 19 months, our go-to move has been breastfeeding. He cries, I nurse. He's teething, I nurse. He has a cold, I nurse. Whatever the ailment or trouble was, nursing was a surefire fix. But suddenly, he rejected it.

And the breastfeeding relationship is so intimate that it's really hard to not feel like he's rejecting me. In fact, it's impossible to feel any other way. Around midday yesterday, I started to feel engorged, so I pumped a measly half an ounce. I gave him that milk in a sippy cup with dinner. He guzzled it right down. So when my husband did the bath and PJs routine as he always does, I pumped again. This time I got two ounces. Again, he guzzled most of it and only left a little in the cup. So today, I pumped in the morning, at midday and in the evening with the intention of giving him a nighttime cup of milk. But he rejected it.

I've met every milestone of his with a smile. I couldn't have been happier to see him start crawling, then walking and talking. Every big boy move of his has seemed amazing to me. I love to watch him learn new things and explore the world, and he does it all with this look of pride and amazement on his face.

But this is a milestone I'm not happy to see.

Sure, there's a chance that this is just a nursing strike. He has been stuffy, and he's definitely cutting his molars. But there's something about his steadfast refusal to drink my milk, both from the breast and from a cup that feels very final to me. I'm going to continue to pump and hope that he changes his mind. But if this the end of this part of our life together, I wish I had known.

I'd have held him closer the last time we nursed. I'd have inhaled his sweet milk breath one last time. I'd have kissed his little hands and tickled his toes like we used to do. I'd have memorized every little sensation and look, and as cheesy as it sounds, I'd have cherished it more than I did. As it is, I can't quite remember when the last time was. Was it that nap? Or sometime overnight since then? I honestly don't know.

There's so much that's indescribable in our time together as a nursing pair, so much that I'm not ready to let go of. And I'm so surprised that he is ready to let go of it. I feel blindsided and sad and confused. How will I comfort him now? What will I do when he has a bad dream or falls and hurts himself? Holding him and rocking him was never enough. He always needed milk to help him feel better. Will it be enough now?

I feel like I have to learn the ropes all over again. I feel like I did in those newborn days when he cried endlessly and I didn't know how to help him.


http://one-little-mama.blogspot.com/2012/05/is-this-really-end.html

Friday, June 1, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

The winner for the cloth diaper cover giveaway issssss.......

::drumroll please::

Jessica!

True Random Number Generator 4 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

^^See? Comment number 4.

Congratulations Jessica! Please email us at thegoodletdown@gmail.com within 72 hours!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Giveaway and Review: Barrel and a Heap Diaper Cover



When I first saw the diaper covers from Barrel and a Heap on etsy, I knew I had to get my hands on one for Ella's delicious little cloth diapered tushie. I used to be a pocket lover and while I still like them, I've discovered the joy that are prefolds and fitteds as well as the many adorable diaper covers. I have many different types of covers from Thirsties to Wee Huggers and I think I can honestly say that this cover is my favorite. There were sooo many different prints to choose from. I didn't even know PUL came in all these different fabulous prints! I originally got an owl print to go with a shirt I had just bought Ella...or did I buy the shirt after I picked out the owl cover? I can't remember, but either way, it was so adorable. When it came, it was even more cute in person than it was online. I put it on her butt and used it with both a GMD (green mountain diaper) workhorse fitted and a prefold. It was so trim and fit so nicely! Even with the prefold it was trim and Ella seemed very comfortable in it. After using the cover once, there was a very minor flaw in it and when I spoke to Carissa, she immediately sent me a new cover. This one was just as cute, trim and lightweight. The customer service from Carissa (owner of Barrel and a Heap) was outstanding. She was prompt and kind and obviously cares a great deal about the product she gave out. Her covers are, in my humble, 2.5 years of cloth diapers on 2 babies opinion, superior to many of the big name covers out there. They are not plasticy but light weight and they hold it all in. They're trim, well fitting and adorable. It's hard for me to resist buying all the covers she has in her shop! They're also very true to size. Ella is 23 pounds and I got a medium. Fits her like a dream and I can tell with the snaps that it will fit her for a while.

So, all in all, I give this cover a 5 out of 5. I would highly recommed it to anyone. Oh and did I mention? Her prices are fantastic as well. ;-)

Now for the part you've been waiting for...the giveaway! This is a giveaway for a diaper cover, in any print and size that is listed in her etsy store, Barrel and a Heap.

The giveaway starts Sunday May 27, 2012 and will end at 11:59 PM on Thursday May 31st, 2012. We will announce the winner on Friday June 1, 2012. 



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 June 1, 2012 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 6 entries (and remember, you have to be a follower of the blog to enter!). Each entry must have it's own comment.
  • Entry number 1: Comment on this blog post and tell us why you want this cover. All entrants must do this and then may do the subsequent entries for the giveaway.
  • Entry number 2: Add Barrel and a Heap to your favorites on Etsy.
  • Entry number 3: "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 4: 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 5: Blog about our giveaway on your blog. Make a separate comment on this blog post sharing the link to your blog!
  • Entry number 6: Follow Carissa from Barrel and a Heap on Twitter @carissacarissa.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Late PPD You Horrible, Evil, A-hole


Around the time of Chicklett's first birthday I noticed myself being snippy with the kids, my husband, and just about anyone I came in contact with. It wasn't super bad... but every once in a while it was like "Whoa, why am I so crabby??"  I joked several times, "Is it possible to get postpartum depression a year after giving birth?" Ha ha ha. Well, turns out jokes on me... because yes, yes you can. My funk wasn't all that bad, just occasionally short with the kids or my husband. Then two months ago the unthinkable happened with the death of our friends 21 month old baby boy Rowan.  Obviously an event like that would cause anyone to have some sadness and depression, but when you put all of that on top of an already borderline PPD issue... well... now you have full blown PPD funk. In the weeks immediately following his death my husband had three 4-day weekends lined up because he had vacation to use up. I wasted all of that time hiding in my bedroom being only available for boob and the more my husband pressed me the more I just told him I needed to be alone, that I needed to grieve and be "with" my girlfriends online, and that I was busy doing things to help my friends.

Now that he's back at work five days a week my typical day looks something like this:
Wake up around 8am; breastfeeding Chicken Little, put him in front of the TV w/crackers and then go breastfeeding Chicklett. I usually change her diaper right away and then start my morning "me" time. I am NOT a morning person. I usually need a good 30 minutes without anyone talking to me to be functioning. I eat some cereal while sitting at my laptop while the kids watch TV or do independent play. Once my 30 (er...um... sometimes 45) minutes are up I finally get around to Chicken Little's diaper. The reason I wait so long on him is because he is like me.... total crab in the morning... so I dread that first diaper because it's always a complete meltdown. I avoid it as long as possible. After that gets over with, we all go in the kitchen and the kids eat breakfast. While they eat I usually go back online.
Just about every day we either have friends or grandma over, or go see friends somewhere. I like doing that, because it gets my kids interaction and I don't feel like a total louse for a mother. Sometimes it is overwhelming, but overall I like that part of life. Pre-school and college schedules have been a little opposite this last semester which made meeting people nearly impossible, so much of our playdates have been here at home... which means I can go for weeks without actually leaving the house.
12:30/1ish Chicklett starts to get tired. I put Chicken Little in front of the TV so that I can put baby sister down for a nap without disruption. 1:30/2ish I get Chicken Little into his room for quiet time or nap time. He's only napping about twice a week, but because I "need" a break I have been working on him doing quiet time. He's usually happy playing in there alone for even two hours, but there are some days when he knocks on the door every 10 minutes, rarely for any reason, so I get no down time.
When both kids do nap I typically end up having to wake them up for dinner time.
Rooster gets home from work about 5pm and at that point he pretty much takes over as a parent. He'll cook dinner if I haven't gotten around to it (gee, the kids have been asleep or 3 hours... what have I been doing all that time??) Then after dinner he takes the kids outside or down to our playroom, does pre-bedtime snack and/or bath time, and gets the kids ready for bed at 8/8:30.

Seems a little bit like an awesome dream of a day, eh? My kids are generally happy and super easy. On a perfect day they take a 3-4 hour nap at the same time. My husband is awesome, we have no financial troubles, no glaring marital unhappiness, solid job situation, and no issues in general. What on earth do I have to be depressed about??

My PPD has been manifesting itself in a few ways. Aside from being snippy and a general all around crab for days on end, I also have been horrible about hygiene and self preservation. During the week I'm lucky if a shower or even brush teeth. Used to be I'd shower every other day, and even on the non-shower days I'd still do a bit of a sponge bath.

Also, paranoia/jealousy issues when it came to my friends. Just about every sends texts except for me. I was feeling like everyone was communicating that way, essentially cutting me out of the loop, and that I was being left behind. As long as I can remember I've been dumped by groups of friends without reason or explanation, so I guess you could say I have some baggage there which was being amplified by the PPD.

When I am online I'm not even doing any of the things I *should* be doing online... managing my fan pages, reposting fan questions, writing blog posts, organizing playdates, finishing DVD slideshows of our family life (I made a DVD of my son's first life... and haven't finished one since... he's almost 3 and Chicklett is 1.5), sending my husband photos of the kids at work.... the list goes on and on.

I'm also constantly trying to find ways to get my kids to entertain themselves independently so that I can sit online and do nothing. Legos, coloring, playdoh, playroom, television - you name it. All so I can sit on here and do nothing of importance online.

Times when I see my PPD spiking into a rage would be when Chicken Little has had enough of my ignoring him and he tries to close my computer or he lays against me grabbing at my arms. I see myself pushing him away and arguing with him to leave the computer alone... but it's like I'm not even in my body at that point. I see this all happening and I think "He just wants some attention from his mommy.... get your ass offline and go play with your kids!" Instead I usually snap a picture with the webcam and whine that he is "up my butt" and "making me crazy".

I'm not quite ready to jump on the Z-train (Zoloft train), so I'm going to try some alternatives first.

  • First step, take a damn shower you smelly smelly woman. 
  • Second, take your placenta pills that have been in the fridge for 19 months
  • Third, get some vitamins going (haven't figured out just which ones yet)
  • Fourth, get some exercise in (obtaining a stationary bike so I have a minimum thing that I can do every day year round no excuses)
  • Fifth, change up daily routine - eat breakfast with my kids
  • Sixth, limit online time to something reasonable 

.... starting...... NOW!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Guest Blog: In Light of This Week's Events

A viewer contributed the following story and photo in light of this last weeks events:

 Back in 2007 I had a Flickr account and enjoyed posting the occasional breastfeeding picture of my daughter with the other photographs I was taking at the time. My daughter had turned 2 in September and was still nursing. It was something I was proud of. The pictures I posted were what I would consider very discrete. You almost never saw my actual breast in the photo.

So it came as a shock when I started receiving many perverted and sexual comments about these pictures. Rather than seeing it as a bond between a mother and a child, these men were sexualizing the act. It really pissed me off to the point where my mama bear came out and produced the following picture in response, aimed at those who would sexualize such a normal and loving act.

 Although I receive support for many women, many didn't like it. And I understand, it is a divisive image. However the mama bear in me enjoyed making it and letting them know exactly what I thought of their comments.

 After all the crazy/icky comments I have seen thrown around this week about the Time article, I was reminded of this picture I took and how I wish people would back off and leave nursing moms alone.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Attached at the Hip

Okay, I've pretty well avoided the whole Time magazine slant on Attachment Parenting as well as the explosion of attacks on this "extreme" parenting fad. After a very busy weekend putting on a fundraiser for our friends I was feeling tired, zombie mom, and bored this morning. My oldest was off at school and my youngest has some type of bug going on, so she just wants to sleep and cuddle on me. I was surfing the net and saw that Dr. Bill Sears was going to be on The View. Train wreck? Probably... might as well watch it.

The lead ins for the segment just made shudder.

"Plus, the pediatrician behind the bombshell 'Time' cover story is giving a crash course in attachment parenting that claims every mom needs to coddle their kids all day, sleep with them at night, and give mommy-daddy time a major time out." 
"The Pediatrician behind the controversial 'Time" cover story is telling you why all moms should cosleep, breastfeed, and never leave their child's side. And that he thinks working moms need to get back home"

I've seen comments like this from other news reports coming in too.... and I can't believe Dr. Sears or anyone else hasn't corrected this huge glaring misconception of what being an attachment parent means. What the media and those who do not practice attachment parenting seem to be getting caught on is the word "ATTACHMENT." Well, news flash for ya folks.... attachment parents do actually set their children down. GASP! The horror!!!

You can be an single working parent and still be an attachment parent. It's all about how you behave when you are WITH your child. Doesn't matter if its only three waking hours of the day. You also don't need to practice all of the ways of AP. Personally my oldest child didn't like co-sleeping. I tried to force the issue for about four months because I wanted to co-sleep with him... but once I finally caved and gave him his own space things were much smoother. We turned into room-sharing parents.

Ideally all parents of a child should be home raising the child in their own style. Not just mom. Generally it's not financially possible for both parents to stay home, so one or both of them work. But that doesn't make them any less of a parent, because when they are home with their children they use any and all the principles of attachment parenting that work with their family.

Attachment parenting isn't extreme.... it's not coddling your child... it's not spoiling your child. It's just doing what feels natural. Honestly... it's the lazy way for me. I'm too lazy to lug around a 50 pound carseat and child, so I just toss my little peanut into a sling and I'm on my way. I'm also too lazy to prepare formula bottles, so I breastfed. I'm too lazy to schlep across the house in the middle of the night to a hungry baby, so we room share. 

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Twice as Nice

So last month Chase, our youngest nursling, turned 16 months. This is not a milestone birthday like 1 year, or 18 months, so why am I telling you this? Because I have officially now nursed Chase twice as long as I nursed Aiden! So many things were different this time and as I have come across challenges, we have overcome. In some ways nursing my 16 month old IS twice as nice. I really love not having to worry about his health if he goes on food strike due to illness, teething, or just plain toddlerness. It is a great behavior modification tool (hahaha!) and a handy way to get him to sleep. I also can really appreciate how much it has taught me that children this age are really STILL BABIES. I'm so fortunate to have supportive and passionate friends around me. I was able to learn a lot of lessons about breastfeeding an older baby just by being around them. I was endlessly grateful when Chase went on his 2 day nursing strike 8 months ago because it was extremely stressful for me...particularly given the timing. I needed reminders from my experienced friends about handling nursing strikes...funny how being IN a situation can make you forget what you know about that situation.

I'm going out on a limb here, however, because I think what I'm about to tell you about is going to be relevant to a lot more moms than many breastfeeding advocates would like to admit. As much as I am proud of nursing Chase to 16 months, and as enjoyable as it has been, I find myself completely fed up now. It's hard to admit that here, I know a lot of our followers are staunch breastfeeders and firm believers in "child led weaning." But I am not. I do not object to older nurslings, and if not for several factors, I wouldn't have a problem with it for myself...but there's a lot going on here that I'm struggling with at 16 months.

Chase remains a hard teether. Except with this round of challenging teething (we are cutting 4 molars right now) instead of going on nursing strike...he's nursing as much as he did as a 4-month old. Day and night. We were attempting to sensitively night wean him after the first of the year since he was nursing SO MUCH at night and chasing me all over the bed. We had some success and he was down to 1 time a night most nights and was in his own bed most of the night. Several weeks ago we moved his bed up into Aiden's room where they will both sleep moving forward. The first couple of weeks were BLISSFUL! Then something happened, and I didn't figure it out until last week. Chase started waking up at night more and more, DEMANDING to nurse 3 to 5 times every night. We discovered he was pushing molars now...Aha! The demon revealed. Chase has been pulling and pulling and pulling at the breast, it is no longer a restful and pleasant thing to nurse him at night. Despite giving him advil before bed, he is still waking up multiple times a night. I could handle 1 time at this age, but not 4 times. Night weaning has to happen for us now, I'm just too tired. I am a firm believer in the "mutual" in "mutually beneficial" and if I'm not getting any sleep, then it's not "mutually beneficial" anymore. I'm mostly just resentful about night nursings at this point and I feel guilty about feeling that way...so I'm telling you, all our readers, because I think I feel guilty because I have this "idea" that I'm supposed to love every minute of it. It's not true. I'm not the only mom who feels this way!

I'm not sure if I've mentioned before but he is a serious groper. He gets very angry with me if I stop his busy hand from rubbing and running anywhere he can reach. This is a BIG issue for me. I've been working with him on it since he was 7 or 8 months old and am not having much luck. Any time I have worn a nursing necklace, he has beaten me with it, so this hasn't helped. I usually have to wear a tank top under a long sleeved shirt to limit his access. Why the trouble you ask? Because the sensation is SO uncomfortable for me on SO many levels. It gives me MAJOR heebie jeebies and always has. It's just too much touch on sensitive skin all at once for me and I find myself gritting my teeth just to get through it.

The frequency of Chase's nursing has become a nuisance for me. Our daytime nursings are easier for me than the night ones. I enjoy them more by a long shot. Chase is a happy and goofy kid most of the time. He is a championship gymnursetics baby if ever there was one and I get a real kick out of it. The drawback is that the second I sit on a couch, he wants to nurse. Even if he just nursed 5 minutes ago (how I *wish* I was exaggerating). In the mornings after breakfast I can expect him to nurse at least 3 times in the next hour. This, in and of itself, would not be a bother if it didn't remain at that pace for the next 4 hours until nap time! For a while I was trying to turn him away once in a while but I think it made the problem worse. So for the time being I'm allowing nearly unlimited access to nursing in the hopes that he will feel secure enough to NOT ask several times an hour.

While I still mostly enjoy breastfeeding him, it has become trying at times. I am resentful about night time nursing at this point, and I'm not all in love with nursing my 16 month old anymore. I've started reading Mothering Your Nursing Toddler and I think it has helped me A LOT in appreciating the role that nursing plays in Chase's physical, social, and emotional development at this age. This understanding brings me new patience and a better comfort level. I'm still annoyed though. Like I said before it's a sentiment I wanted to share here because I think moms need to know that if they are feeling that way, they aren't bad moms. I'm not a bad mom because I REALLY dislike nursing at 10pm, midnight, 1am, 3am, 5am, etc etc! I'm HUMAN! And if you are feeling this way too, don't worry. You're human too. Another thing that is helping me sort out how I'm feeling and what to do(or not do) is attending my local La Leche League meeting and having conversations with one of our leaders about it on the side. She reminds me that this is such a departure from how we did things with Aiden(early solids, pacifier, sleep training, etc) that it's understandable for me to have mixed feelings about this now.
I think about weaning. A LOT. I had a goal setting out to get to 18 months but that I wanted to wean by 2. What?! That's right, this is the TGL blogger who is NOT on the Child Led Weaning bus. I support Child Led Weaning, but it's really just not for me. I will probably talk more about weaning and what I'm learning in the coming months. I want to support those of our readers who are not on the Child Led Weaning bandwagon. Chase will probably nurse to 2. He's that guy for sure. But i'm  not that mom, unfortunately for him. At some point I will wean him, probably *around* age 2.

In closing, I thought I would share my first negative encounter about nursing. I was on the phone with a family member and happened to mention something about nursing Chase as I often do since it is just a part of my life. Her response was "You're still nursing him? I thought you were going to put and end to that." Yes...yes I will put an end to that. ::eyeroll:: I responded with "well, we're hoping to get on a National Geographic Special" and politely ended the conversation. I chose to be snarky, but it was appropriate for this particular family member. LOL! What experiences have you had with your family and your nursing toddler?



~~~
ETA: I actually wrote this blog a month ago and never got around to sharing it. I reached a breaking point in the ensuing weeks and we decided to begin night weaning last Wednesday night. Since then I have not nursed Chase at night and through that one night at a time. The wonderful thing is...I'm not as annoyed and touched out anymore with daytime nursing and I think this maneuver has bought Chase several more months nursing. I'll write more soon about our decision to night wean, how I'm feeling once it's done, and my personal preferences on weaning in general.