Naturally Mama.

From one natural mama to another…

I am Woman. Watch me Lactate. January 26, 2011

Filed under: Breastfeeding — Naturally Mama @ 8:43 pm
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I make milk. My body brews a concoction that can prevent and cure sickness, heal wounds, and nourish a tiny body until it grows 2 feet tall with nothing more needed for a good year or more sometimes. I can look at my child one day and say “I did that. He grew because of me.” What is so “gross” and taboo about seeing such a miraculous act performed?

I don’t want to get into how breastfeeding is best, Facebook disrespects women’s rights by banning breastfeeding support pages/pictures or make formula feeders feel shamed (because I formula-fed my first child before coming to know what I know now and choosing differently for our family). These have been discussed many times over recently (and with good reason!) so there’s not much to add. What I do want to get into is this:

What is so wrong about feeding my child when my child is hungry?

It’s a simple question, but one that is often answered with invalid, unthoughtful and immature responses. I don’t scoff at formula feeders. I don’t stare at something I’m offended at (for no good reason) and make someone feel uncomfortable for it. I applaud Mothers who do the best for their children. I stand behind and support Mothers who take the time and energy to do something selfless and wonderful for their babies. Why would anybody want to do the opposite?

What have you done lately to support a breastfeeding Mother?


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Tickles and One of Those Days. December 9, 2010

Filed under: Baby Milestones,Breastfeeding,Everyday Baby Stuff,Family,Parenting — Naturally Mama @ 8:24 pm

 

I start this post on a very happy note: Cohen laughs when you tickle him. Sooooo stinking adorable! He’s ticklish on his upper arms, especially on the right side. I could have spent hours tickling that baby, but I don’t think he would have enjoyed it for that long. My little Turtle Man will be 3 months in a week!

Now onto the real reason for my post: it’s been one of those days. I’ve had a lot of self doubt lately, anxiety about the health of my baby (when he looks to be completely healthy) and regrets about parts of my life (which keep resurfacing). The self doubt I usually just push away without really thinking too much about it and then it just creeps right back up- only for me to push it away again. I guess I’m doubting that I’ll follow through with everything that I want to follow through with- because I get caught up in the moment of things and small things consume my whole being- making me irritated at the world for what the world would probably see as no good reason.

My Husband told me yesterday that sometimes he’s apprehensive to talk to me about certain things because I’ve been so irritated in general lately… and when he said that, I thought “What the hell are you talking about?” but then today, something small went wrong, which made something else go wrong with pissed me off and overwhelmed me so I stomp off to the bathroom and as I’m peeing I yell to my Husband “You’re right! I need a chill pill!” …if only I took pills just to chill.

And this is what’s been bothering me the most: I am constantly worried about Cohen’s health and development. Is he growing fast enough, gaining enough weight, meeting the right milestones, is he developmentally delayed (although I have no reason to believe so), does he have some kind of tongue tie (although I’ve been told he doesn’t… the tip of his tongue is always on the roof of his mouth however, and nobody will validate my concerns)…Why am I constantly worrying about if he’s ‘normal’? I will love him no matter WHAT. And he is what he is, there’s no changing it. I did the same thing while I was pregnant with him… excessive Mama worry. I knew it was terrible for me and for him, yet I couldn’t push it away and still can’t.

If you’ve read any of my past posts or you know me personally, you probably know the breastfeeding issues that we have. I have Insufficient Glandular Tissue, or so I’ve been told it’s more than likely what is going on since there’s no true scientific way to diagnose the condition. I cannot, for the life of me, after trying with every OUNCE of my being for 2 months straight… *Deep breath in* …make enough milk. *Deep breath out* I’m trying to come to terms with this, and the fact that I have to use donor milk to feed my son. He stopped wanting to latch to my breast when the SNS isn’t attached because apparently he now realizes what it does and how much faster the flow is with it. I’m literally (gently) forcing him to drink from my breast. He’s drinking less and less and it tears me up.

BUT… to wrap it up and keep this post from being an hour long… I have no choice but to come to terms with it. So, I’m trying. I love my son and I absolutely love breastfeeding, but our breastfeeding relationship is strained, always has been, and I hate that. Things could be worse, however. I could make no milk at all, right? Right. Also, with the insane amount of worry has come so much joy and happiness… new experiences, amounts of patience and more love than we thought we had left in us.

Goodnight.

 

Baby Giggles Make Everything Better… December 1, 2010

Filed under: Breastfeeding,Finances,Goals,Home,Parenting,Postpartum — Naturally Mama @ 8:59 am


Some days I don’t get to shower. Some days I feel like a milk machine. Some days I cry because our breastfeeding relationship is still something to be worked on. Some days I forget deodorant or throw my hair up in a bun without brushing it. And leave it that way the whole day. But you know what? You know what makes driving down the road while shaking a rattle so your baby will stop crying for 20 minutes all worth it? Smiles. Giggles. Beautiful (blue, by the way! like Daddy!) eyes gazing with wonderment into mine. The response I get when I massage him with lotion. The conversations that we have. He has so much to tell me. I just can’t wait to hear more.

Cohen laughed at his Sister today in the car on our way to drop her off at school. She was just talking to him and loving him as usual and apparently today, it was funny. It was the longest giggle yet. Music to Mama’s ears!

Aside from lovin’ both of my honey bunches and spending time with my Husband, I’ve been working on figuring out some needed changes in my life. I know I’ve talked about goals before, but I have no idea what they were! …so typical of me 🙂 But for real. Things need to change. I feel this person inside of me that needs to emerge. I’ve changed so much over the last year… it’s pretty incredible looking back. I’m almost a different person, it seems. So a friend of mine said on Facebook that her church was talking about goals and that everyone there should set 100 goals to accomplish in the next year. Now, these don’t have to be extreme goals, just goals and things to strive for. There are many small steps leading up to big goals and those small steps can be goals too. So, I’m going to write my list. Probably tomorrow. I told myself I would be asleep an hour ago.

What else have I been up to? Stressing about money and our house. Trying to remember that no matter how much money we have or where we live, our family will always be together. We will work something out. Just not sure how things are going to go. We are waiting to hear back from the mortgage company again… The approved a forbearance for the last 4 months and we were paying half of our mortgage. Now, they want us to pay everything that we owe from not making full payments for the last 4 months in full. Um… huh? You cut our payment in half because we can’t afford it, and now you think we can magically pull money out of our asses to pay you $3,000 all at once? You’re idiots.

On a lighter note, we got rid of cable and I don’t miss it. At all. Also, I got a sewing machine for $20 off Craigslist, and it’s been sitting in my living room for a week. I have big plans- sewing my own cloth diapers, cloth wipes, blankets, curtains… Did I mention I have never used a sewing machine?

I suppose that’s all for now. Sleep calls my name ever so enticingly…

 

To Milk Share or not to Milk Share? That is the Question.

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I have made my voice clear about my feelings toward milk sharing. Not only by voicing my opinion through Facebook and commenting on blogs/articles, but by being a donor milk recipient. Every human baby deserves human milk. Say it with me. EVERY HUMAN BABY DESERVES HUMAN MILK.

I look at it like this:

  • A Mama who chooses to donate her time and her precious milk to a baby is not likely to give you contaminated milk. It takes  special woman to donate milk. Most of these women were also recently pregnant, and are usually breastfeeding their own little ones. A lot of them have undergone testing and are willing to show recipients a clean bill of health. You can also pay to have a donor tested for disease, if no recent testing has been done.
  • Donors have always been, in my experience, very open and honest. Women do not just go around donating contaminated milk to make babies sick. If I ever came across a Mama who wasn’t open or I felt like I couldn’t trust her or even if she just gave me a weird vibe, her milk would not be consumed by my baby.
  • It’s less risky, in my opinion, to feed a baby donor milk than to feed a baby highly processed formula. Non-soy formula is made up of cow’s milk (which we are all told a child is not supposed to have until the age of 1) which is full of hormones and antibiotics, chemicals and sweeteners and the cheapest synthetic vitamins available. The formula has been made in an only slightly regulated factory, and exposed to multiple machines and workers. The following is an excerpt from the Baby Center website, reviewed by their medical board regarding babies and milk consumption:

“There are several reasons to delay the introduction of cow’s milk until your baby reaches his first birthday. Most important, a baby’s digestive system can’t digest cow’s milk proteins. Cow’s milk also has too much sodium, potassium, and chloride, which can tax your baby’s kidneys.

Even if his system could handle it, cow’s milk doesn’t have all the vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin E, zinc, and iron) that he needs for growth and development in his first year. Giving a baby cow’s milk could even cause iron deficiency and internal bleeding. And it can increase his risk of an allergic reaction.” 1

  • Soy formula has most of the same risks and negatives except instead of cow’s milk, the base for the formula is one of the most genetically modified foods available. Soy crops are somewhere around 91% GMO in the US and growing. 2 To read about the dangers associated with GMO foods, and how the only true testing being done is on the people who are consuming these foods, click here and here.
  • You know who is making your baby’s breast milk. You have the option to meet your donor face to face, look her in the eyes and ask her as many questions as you would like. Then, you get to decide if you want her milk for your baby.

Breast milk is treated by society like it’s contaminated. We pasteurize cows milk to shield humans from ‘dirty cows’ so we should pasteurize human milk to shield our human babies from ‘dirty mamas’, right? Well, lets think about that- what happens when you heat liquid to a high temp? You kill bacteria, viruses… but most importantly, you kill nutrients. 3

I’ve come across the question “So what about milk banks? Aren’t those safer?” My answer is this: I hardly see a point in feeding your baby milk that has been stripped of its nutritional value. There aren’t many milk banks available and if you can find a milk bank, their milk is usually reserved for the sickest/premature babies. Even if your baby did qualify for milk, get ready to pay out the wazoo- the cost is around $3 an ounce. So for a 10 lb. baby, that’s somewhere near $100 a day, which is more than a good amount of people make at a full time job.

I believe the benefits of milk sharing outweigh the risks and I feel like a lot of the risks can be handled in such a way that really make them no risk at all. I also believe that every Parent has a right to choose what they feel is best for their baby and that may include formula. How do you feel?

 

 


1. Baby Center Medical Advisory Board. “Cow’s Milk: When and how to Introduce it.” BabyCenter. November 2005. Web. 1 Dec. 2010. <http://www.babycenter.com/0_cows-milk-when-and-how-to-introduce-it_1334703.bc>

2. Dr. Gregory Damato, Ph.D. “GM-Soy: Destroy the Earth and Humans for Profit.” NaturalNews. 27 May 2009. Web. 1 Dec. 2010. <http://www.naturalnews.com/026334_soy_Roundup_GMO.html>

3. Robert Irons, PhD. “Pasteurization Does Harm Real Milk.” RealMilk. Web. 1 Dec. 2010. <http://www.realmilk.com/pasteurization-harms-milk.html>

 

So THAT’S What Boobies Are For! November 26, 2010

Filed under: Breastfeeding — Naturally Mama @ 6:55 am
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I was at my sister’s house the other day and I breastfed my son in front of my 2 year old and 7 year old nieces. When my son latched on, my 2 year old niece curiously came over to see what I was doing. I explained to her that’s how babies eat and that there’s Mama milk in there. She was definitely intrigued. She kept coming back over  to us to assess the situation. Then My 7 year old niece chimed in by saying “So THAT’S what boobies are for! I’m gonna go tell my Daddy!” and she ran to tell him the news 😀

The only way for the world to see that breastfeeding is normal and natural, is for the world to SEE that breastfeeding is normal and natural. Breastfeeding has been turned into something shameful and taboo and the only way to change that is to show people it’s not. It’s no shameful, taboo, gross or sexual. Although magazines and television depict breasts as a highly sexualized body part and most of society has come to agreement with that view, the number one function of breasts before all else is nourishing a baby and sustaining life.

Every time a Mama breastfeeds in front of someone she knows who isn’t usually exposed to it, every time she breastfeeds in public and every time she educates others and stands up for her right to nurse her baby when her baby is hungry, she shows the current generation normalcy and helps to shape the next generation into something wonderful.

Here’s to you, Mamas who nurse in whenever, wherever. You’re changing the world.

 

 

Lack of posts and things looking up! November 21, 2010

It’s been too long since I last posted. Cohen is about 2 months and a week old. Here’s a rundown of recent milestones:

  • Giggled @ 2 months, 1 day… Such a beautiful noise. Has done it once since then, very briefly.
  • Cooing and making many different noises. Having ‘conversations’ with Mama daily now.
  • Trying to roll over. Doesn’t always enjoy floor time, but when I can get him to stay there for a while without crying, he’s bringing one leg over his body, which is no doubt going to lead to rolling over!

Here’s a could pics of my perfect little baby monster these days.

All smiles for Dad this morning!

So, I started making more milk within the past week. I stopped pumping, stopped taking supplements and herbs, stopped crying and feeling bad about it, became a pro at using the SNS after much practice and whala! What do ya know. Stress had something to do with it. He went from taking 10-14 oz. to taking 6-8 oz of donor breast milk. I feel a ton better about it all. I think switching from formula to donated breast milk had a lot to do with the stress alleviation. Thank goodness for Milkshare and Eats on Feets! I feel blessed to have found such generous women to donate their milk to my baby boy.

 

Which nipple is which? October 29, 2010

This might be what’s going through the mind of my 6 week old. We have a case of nipple confusion/nipple preference going on. I’ll give you a hint as to which nipple he prefers- he doesn’t prefer mine.

We have had some very trying times lately! To update about my milk supply, it’s still on the low side, but it has increased. I was really convinced it would probably never be more abundant than it was the past 6 weeks, but it seems to have gone up a bit, so that’s promising! I have been taking fenugreek and marshmallow root for about a month, but I don’t feel it really did anything for my supply. I feel the pumping did what little progress we have gotten.

On the down side, half of the time Cohen eats from my breast, he gets angry and confused. He sucks, realizes the flow isn’t as fast as the bottle, and starts kicking, scratching, and refusing my breasts. We stopped using the bottle about 48 hours ago- a few days after this started to become a noticed problem. I feed him his supplement through a SNS (supplemental nursing system) now. I will eventually have to wean him off of the SNS as well, but at least he’s only latching to my breast now, and I’m getting stimulation to make more milk while he’s eating from it, unlike the bottle. We need to continue working on our latch, however.

I’m still pumping when I can… 2 to 3 times a day. Sometimes nothing comes out, sometimes a little comes out. The stimulation is good for bringing up supply though, and every little bit I empty from my breast, I am telling my body to make that much more.

We still have the rented baby scale, and should be able to keep it for another 2 and a half months. This is good for my piece of mind. Obviously he will let me know when he’s hungry- I don’t think he could hide it if he wanted to… But I would like to know how his weight gain is going. Last week the Dr. said he was in the 10th percentile. I don’t think I will be going back to the doctor anytime soon unless there is an issue, so I will need to keep track of that myself.

When we first started weaning Cohen from formula, we took 1 tsp out of every other bottle which amounted to about an ounce a day. He’s almost down 2 ounces  day now. I hope that taking away more will not amount to him being so hungry that I can’t satisfy him. I just want this to be over and have my baby to my breast full time!

 

 
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