Friday, January 30, 2009

Quote of the Day

"When I first had the baby, I was breastfeeding for two years straight, so we were together for two years of his life - every day, all hours of the day. So I was two people, and I eventually morphed back into one. Now he's part of me. He's very independent as a result of it. I thought it was going to be the opposite. I was very worried that he was going to be attached since we were together every day, but I guess it made him feel comfortable: 'I know she's around. She'll be there.' It made me feel like a very responsible person and tidy, and my health was better because I'm now responsible for someone's whole reason for being."
-Erykah Badu
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Join the February Carnival of Breastfeeding: Saving Money

Have some good tips on how to save money while breastfeeding? Apart, of course, from the money you'll save by breastfeeding in the first place!
Share your tips at our next carnival! Send me your submission by February 9, 2009, for consideration. The carnival will be on February 16th, 2009. We'll be looking for posts that are:
– Well-written and grammatically correct
– Thoughtful and directly on point for the carnival subject
– Submitted by blogs that pertain to subjects of interest to our readers (breastfeeding, parenting)
If your post is selected for inclusion, you will be asked on the day of the carnival to edit your post to link back to each of the other participants in the carnival. Examples of past carnivals are here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Octuplets begin bottle feeding

The AP is reporting that 5 of the octuplets born to the California mom have begun bottle feeding. This was also mentioned in the piece on the Today Show this morning. What wasn't mentioned on Today is that the babies are taking in donor breast milk! This is fantastic news. It looks like there will be a good outcome in this case, with doctors describing this mom as strong and determined and all 8 of the babies as feisty!

The spokeswoman from Kaiser Permanente Bellflower Medical Center says the mother has begun pumping in anticipation of nursing those 8 hungry babies. In the mean time, thank goodness for all of the breastfeeding moms out there who have donated breast milk that literally saves the lives of babies in the NICU every day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Breastfeeding: It's not lewd, it's food

A new video produced by babyREADY encourages moms to nurse in public because breastfeeding is not lewd, it's food. Can you spot me and my son in the video?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Mom of octuplets plans to breastfeed them all!

A woman in California delivered octuplets (6 boys and 2 girls) today via C-section. The babies were 9 weeks premature and each weighed between 1 lb 8oz and 3 lb 4 oz.

From the article:

The babies will be in incubators for at least six weeks and the mother is planning to breast feed them all, the hospital officials said.
"She is a very strong woman, so she probably will be able to handle all eight babies," said Dr Mandhir Gupta.

I have to say, I applaud this woman's desire and effort to breastfeed all 8 of her children! However, the cynic in me wants to know how realistic her goal is. I spoke to IBCLC Tanya Lieberman of The Motherwear Breastfeeding blog and she told me that nursing preemies is challenging and nursing multiples is challenging, so of course this scenario will be hugely challenging. The babies will be in the NICU for the next few months, so this mom will have to pump until the babies can coordinate sucking, swallowing and breathing. There is no guarantee that all of the babies will even learn how to latch. Also, you can never know what kind of milk supply a mom will have until you get things going.

Tanya also reminded me of the incredible story on Oprah last year about a mom of sextuplets who went on to breastfeed them all, pumping between 50 and 60 ounces per day! Breast milk is made on a supply and demand basis, so the more this mom pumps and nurses, the more milk her body will make.

This couple is going to need a lot of help over the coming months and I salute their commitment to breastfeeding. For now they are being extremely private about the birth of their babies and haven't released any personal information. Maybe we'll get an update on how the nursing is going. Until then let's wish these new parents a lot of luck and send milk vibes their way.

Ready to vlog?

I am going to be adding video to my blog so that I will no longer be just a blogger, but a vlogger as well! I know many of you don't know me in real life, so now you'll get a more personal glimpse of the writer behind this blog. You'll get to see what I look and sound like, and you'll get to see my baby boy in action.
I don't want my vlogs to just be brags about how adorable and smart my son is (although that is true!) I'd like them be informative and add some depth to the news stories that are already posted here. My goal for this blog has always been to provide support, information, encouragement and education to breastfeeding moms, especially moms of color. We are often discouraged from breastfeeding by friends and family and nursing can be more difficult for us because of a lack of access to good information.
I know that vlogging is the wave of the future and since I jumped into blogging a bit late in the game, I want to be one of the innovators when it comes to vlogs! So look out for video soon and I look forward to sharing more of me with you!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Adoptive Breastfeeding is Possible

The first time I ever heard of an adoptive mother being able to breastfeed her baby, I was about 12 years old. I was watching one of those, "Baby Story" type shows and a woman was using a supplemental nursing system (SNS) in order to stimulate her nipples so she could provide breast milk for her newly adopted son. I remember thinking, "How cool!" and being in awe of the human body and all that we are capable of.

Most people probably assume that if you are going to adopt a child, you will have to formula feed. Of course you can bottle feed with love and mother your child at the breast without actually breastfeeding, by cuddling your baby close to you, baby-wearing, co-sleeping and feeding your baby while both of you are topless to provide skin-to-skin contact.

However, if you are an adoptive mother and want to breastfeed, it is possible! You begin with what is known as an induced lactation protocol. The protocol involves preparing your breasts to make breast milk, and drugs are used to mimic the hormonal process that takes place after pregnancy. This typically involves beginning birth control pills 6 months before the baby arrives, along with Domperidone, a drug typically used to treat reflux that has been proven beneficial in increasing milk suupply. About 6 weeks before the baby is due to arrive, mom begins pumping every 3 hours, around the clock. Once the baby arrives, you should have a full milk supply. If you don't (or if you have no idea when your adoptive infant will be born), you can use an SNS. The SNS holds a reservoir of expressed breast milk or formula and a very thin tube that brings the milk to the baby's mouth while he is latched on to the breast.
Here is a picture of an adoptive mom breastfeeding with an SNS:

The device allows an adoptive mother to supplement her baby without fear of nipple confusion. If mom has no milk yet or a very low supply, the nipple stimulation provided during breastfeeding with an SNS aids in boosting mom's milk production.

Check out the happy family!

Photo by Denise Punger

Interested in finding out more information on adoptive breastfeeding?


Dr. Jack Newman's section on adoptive breastfeeding

Breast pump giveaway

The last giveaway from Breast Pumps Direct and Breastfeeding 1-2-3 was so popular, they are running the contest again! One more lucky prize winner will receive a Phillips Avent Isis On The Go Set (pictured above), BornFree BPA Free 5-oz. Glass Bottles Triple Pack, BornFree BPA Free 9-oz. Plastic Wide Neck Bottle Twin Pack, Philips Avent Nursing Reminder Bracelet, and Lily Padz Nursing
To enter, see this post on Breastfeeding 1-2-3. Good luck!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

New campaigns highlight nursing in public

Have you noticed more women nursing in public lately? If you live in Northern California, you may need to check your eyes. That woman who's been nursing her baby on the park bench for hours just may be a cardboard cut out.
A new campaign to normalize breastfeeding in public has begun in Marin County. Life-size photographs of women breastfeeding their babies have been mounted on cardboard and strategically placed around the county. The Marin Breastfeeding Coalition created the campaign and each cut-out is affixed with a sign that reads, "When breastfeeding is accepted, it won't be noticed." You can view a gallery of the photographs here. Awesome.
Annie at PhD in Parenting posted this TV ad from Australia on nursing in public.

And thanks to Andi at Mama Knows Breast for finding this PSA.

When you nurse your baby in public, you are helping to normalize breastfeeding. No one wants to eat in a bathroom.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Breast milk: Breakfast of Champions!

Forget Wheaties! Want your babies to grow up to be super star athletes? Feed them breast milk!

Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player of all time, was breastfed until the age of 3. His mom credits the nursing, saying, "I feel this is why he is the athlete he is."

Brazilian soccer star Pele was breastfed until he was 5!

British football phenom Theo Walcott's mom claims his talent and speed on the pitch is due to his being breastfed. His mother, a midwife, says, "I always like to claim that Theo’s speed, coordination and eyesight and all those things are down to being breastfed. I like to think it has set him up for life."

Lots of super star athletes also go on to breastfeed their children because it is part of a healthy lifestyle and helps mom get back in shape quickly.

Olympic Gold Medalist Dara Torres quickly got back in the pool after giving birth to her daughter Tessa in 2006. During the Olympic trials, she was literally breastfeeding in between events.

USC's Brynn Cameron was still breastfeeding son Cole at 13 months. During a break in a game, WNBA star Lisa Leslie came over, locked arms with Brynn, asked, "Are you still breastfeeding?’"and initiated a chat about it. Laughs Brynn,"We’re probably the only two basketball players in America in the middle of that right now."
In her autobiography, Don't Let the Lipstick Fool You, Lisa Leslie discussed how much she looked forward to nursing daughter Lauren.

Professional volleyball player and model Gabrielle Reece did an interview with the Celebrity Baby Blog where she discussed the physical, mental and emotional benefits of breastfeeding to both mom and baby.

WNBA player Sheryl Swoopes breastfed her son Jordan for 7 months, even with a rigorous schedule of training and traveling for games. "The first two weeks were very hard, but after that it was great," she recalls.

And professional boxer Laila Ali, who gave birth to son Curtis Jr. in September 2008 says, "There are so many health benefits for babies who are nursed and I can’t imagine not taking advantage of the custom made supply that God gave me for my child. This boy is going to be an athlete, definitely!"

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January's Carnival of Breastfeeding: Breastfeeding Goals

Welcome to this month's Carnival of Breastfeeding! This month's theme is breastfeeding goals. Be sure to check out what other bloggers have to say on this topic at the bottom of this post.

When I began my journey into motherhood, I was nervous and a little bit scared of the huge responsibility I was about to undertake, but I was absolutely sure of two things: No. 1, that I would have an unmedicated birth and No. 2, that I would breastfeed.

I have always known that I was a breastfed baby and it has always been a source of pride for me, because I know I got the good stuff and because I was in awe of my mother for making the commitment to nurse me into toddlerhood. I was weaned at 18 months because my mother had simply had enough and our nursing relationship was no longer enjoyable to her. In the 70s, most moms didn't breastfeed. In fact, when I was born, only about a third of children were breastfed. So I know that it took an even greater effort on my mother's part to nurse me than it takes moms today.

Although I was seriously committed to nursing, there were some bumps along the way. A poor latch in the first few weeks left me with sore nipples and a baby who was gaining too slowly. When I returned to work, I had a difficult time letting down for the pump and my inability to empty my breasts effectively left me with plugged ducts and two bouts of mastitis. My supply dwindled, I had to supplement with formula more than I care to even think about and I was in tears almost every day. I was a sleep-deprived wreck, waking up in the middle of the night to pump, pumping before bed, choking down nasty supplements and eating bowl after bowl of oatmeal trying to hold onto my milk. Through it all it never felt like a sacrifice because I knew I was doing what was best for my son.

As long as there is milk in my breasts and my baby wants it, I'll be here for him. I can't set a goal for us in days or weeks or months or years. I still enjoy nursing my baby. When I get home from work, it is the first thing we do. When he wakes up in the morning, we snuggle together in bed and nurse. When will we stop? I can't really say. I know when he is done with this part of his life, he will let me know that he has moved on and no longer needs to be breastfed. When that day comes, I'm sure I'll be sad, but hopefully I'll be lucky enough to get to begin this wonderful journey again with more children. And my goal for them will be the same: to be there for them, to nourish them with my breasts, for as long as they need me to.

Other Carnival of Breastfeeding Entries

Breastfeeding 1-2-3: The goal of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months
The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog: Tanya's breastfeeding goals for 2009
Zen Mommy: 2009 breastfeeding resolutions
Beautiful Letdown: Extended & tandem nursing
Hobo Mama's breastfeeding resolutions
Secrets of Orual: overcoming a tough start to breastfeeding
Milk Act: plugged ducts, mastitis and blebs, oh my!
Mama Knows Breast: Andi's breastfeeding goals
Breastfeeding Mums: Goals for after the breastfeeding relationship is over

Saturday, January 17, 2009

More celebrities breastfeeding?

This week, two black celebrity couples announced that they're expecting babies in 2009.
Kelis and Nas have created Hip-Hop royalty.
They've been married since 2005 and this will be the first child for Kelis. Nas has a daughter from a previous relationship.

And Kimora Lee Simmons and her boyfriend, actor Djimon Honsou, will welcome a little one this year.

They've been together since 2006, when Kimora divorced Russell Simmons. Kimora has two daughters with Russell, Ming Lee and Aioki Lee.

Will either of them breastfeed? My money is on Kelis, for sure. I hope if they do choose to nurse their babies, they'll be vocal about breastfeeding to the media. It seems lots of celebrity moms are talking about breastfeeding, but we haven't heard much from the moms of color.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Getting excited about the inauguration of Barack Obama? Why not create an Obamicon to celebrate! Here's mine.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

History of pumping in New Yorker

Remember my post the other day highlighting a journal article on the history of breastfeeding? Well, the New Yorker has a new article up entitled "Baby Food," which details the politics of pumping. Writer Jill Lepore argues that the history of breastfeeding is inextricably connected to the social and political climes of any given era. Back in the day, if you were poor, you breastfed and if you weren't, you either had someone else do it (wet nurse) or you could afford to pay for formula after the turn of the century.
But in the new millennium we've added an extra conundrum. Lepore says ours is the age of the breast pump and that the stark difference between being able to nurse your baby and being able to provide breast milk after you've returned to work by pumping cannot be overstated. She raises an excellent point that I think we as lactivists need to argue for: more and better maternity leave, less encouragement of breast pumps, pump breaks and lactation rooms.
Mid-nineteenth-century America was gripped by a cult of motherhood. Then, a few decades later, many women refused to nurse.

I mean, really, which would you rather do? Is this just another area where feminism has let us down? As Lepore argues,

Pumps put milk into bottles, even though many of breast-feeding’s benefits to the baby, and all of its social and emotional benefits, come not from the liquid itself but from the smiling and cuddling (stuff that people who aren’t breast-feeding can give babies, too). Breast-feeding involves cradling your baby; pumping involves cupping plastic shields on your breasts and watching your nipples squirt milk down a tube. But this truth isn’t just rarely overstated; it’s rarely stated at all...No one seems especially worried about women whose risk assessment looks like this: “Should I take three twenty-minute pumping ‘breaks’ during my workday, or use formula and get home to my baby an hour earlier?”

It seems like once again breastfeeding is linked to a class structure. You have to be educated and well-read to truly understand and believe in the benefits of breastfeeding, but you can't continue to breastfeed once you return to work unless you can afford an expensive pump and have the "luxury" of a place in which to use it. Who is benefiting from this in the end? It doesn't seem to be moms and babies.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Consumer Reports: Tips for Successful Pumping

I've just discovered that Consumer Reports has a blog online. They have a post up now on Tips for Successful Breast Pumping at work. I thought they did a good job of listing the basics you'll need to make it work, but found it bizarre that they advise new moms to skip the company outing. I don't think anyone should skip an all-day event she wants to attend either for the fun and camaraderie or the networking opportunities just because she's pumping! If yPumping_at_workour company is planning a picnic or all-day retreat, find out ahead of time where you can pump. You'll be surprised at how easy it is to find a private space to pump, even in the most public of places. Don't let pumping keep you from doing the things you need to or want to do at work.

Honestly, I can't even be that mad because they used a picture of a black mom and baby on the blog post. Yay!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Congratulations, Massachusetts Moms!

It's official: Governor Patrick of Massachusetts signed into law "An Act to Promote Breastfeeding." The law, which states that a woman may breastfeed her child in public without violating any indecency laws, goes into effect in early April 2009.

Angela at Breastfeeding 1-2-3 has a great post with the exact text of the law, explaining the new rights of Massachusetts breastfeeding mothers. The law is not perfect, but it's a much needed step in the right direction and will hopefully eliminate the harrassment that breastfeeding moms in the state reported being victim to.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Breast milk pendant giveaway

Remember those French artists who created breast milk jewelry? Think they were the inspiration behind this mom's etsy store, where she sells breast milk pendants? I think this is such a clever idea and a sweet way to remember the time you had breastfeeding your baby. If you're interested in ordering the pendant, you ship hollyday designs your breast milk in a milk storage bag and she does the rest. I personally love the teardrop pendant.

Breastmilk Pendant

Win it! My SentimentExactLee is giving away a free breast milk pendant. The winner will be responsible for shipping the breast milk to hollyday designs. You can enter the giveaway here. Good luck!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

National Delurking Week

It's national delurking week, so I'm calling on all of you to leave comments below. Tell me anything you want. Special appeal to first time commenters. I'd love to know who is reading this blog, even if only occasionally. Thanks!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Tweet tweet!

Are you guys on Twitter? It's my latest obsession. If you're on Twitter, follow me. I'll add you and follow your account as well. Or if not, you can always see what I'm Twittering on the right-hand side of my blog. Tweet tweet.

"Extreme Breastfeeding"

20/20 will feature a segment on "extreme breastfeeding" tonight, Friday January 2. I'm assuming that they think anything past 6 months is "extreme." And isn't the term "extended nursing?" Sigh. Anyway, this was the show that was to originally air on Halloween but got bumped for more pressing news. According to Angela at Breastfeeding 1-2-3, the show will also feature crunchy things like homebirth, including unassisted homebirth. Should be interesting.

There's also a great article on BlogHer today entitled "Breastfeeding until age 3, 4 or 5--more common than you think." Check it out here.

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