Posted 10-29-2013 at 09:25 AM by yoliyoda
Even though you are always on my heart and mind–it’s even the more so in October. This is the month that a whole nation takes a moment to think about the disease that almost took you from my life too soon.
Breast Cancer almost denied you of seeing me graduate, get married, and have your grandson. It almost took you out of my son’s life before he got a chance to know you. This beast almost took my confidant, human reality check, biggest cheerleader, and best friend.
You may not always understand why I chose some of the parenting techniques that I do. Cloth diapers seem like more work. Attachment parenting doesn’t seem structured enough. And breastfeeding, well, that seems like an unnecessary challenge.
But, you’re one of my inspirations for so many of my parenting decisions–especially breast feeding. You remind me every chance you get that cancer, especially breast cancer, runs in our family. You tell me to get my mammograms, do my monthly check up, and always follow up with the doctor. However, those aren’t the only things that I can do.
Posted 10-22-2013 at 12:43 PM by angelaw
I find it interesting when I hear other people talk about the first time they saw someone breastfeeding. At La Leche League meetings, the question comes up quite a bit. Most of the mamas there share their stories about how they had seen their moms nursing their younger siblings, a handful will share that it was much later in life that they first witnessed a mother nursing her little one. I spoke on behalf of La Leche League several times at the local hospital during a section in their breastfeeding training about community breastfeeding support. I always asked this question of the nurses attending. Sadly, many of the labor and delivery nurses shared that they had never seen a mother breastfeeding until they worked with postpartum mothers at the hospital. But, even as I look around my town, I have yet to see a mom nursing in public, so I completely understand that if you don’t have someone in your family or close group of friends that breastfed, you more than likely have never seen it done.
The first time I ever saw someone breastfeeding was when I was eight years old. My aunt through marriage was nursing her firstborn son. I remember it being the ‘talk’ of the family. My grandmother never nursed any of her seven children and my mom never breastfed us so breastfeeding was never anything that I had even heard in conversation. My entire collection of baby dolls had all been bottle fed; I don’t even think I was aware of breasts at all at that time. Suddenly all of that changed.
“Why is she doing that?!” I remember asking my mom.
“Hush!” she warned me with stern eyes.
I couldn’t even ask about it?
Posted 10-18-2013 at 12:38 PM by angelaw
This is the first time I have ventured into the unknown world of nursing a two year old. My oldest son self-weaned right before his second birthday, so I never had the opportunity to nurse beyond the two year mark. I must say it has been a lot different than nursing a one year old. I understand that every child is different, but I was expecting a big decrease in the number of times (and the length of those nursing sessions) my little one nurses compared to what he had been before. “B” nurses probably 3-4 times during the day, once before bedtime, and then again upon waking up. This is a lot more than I had imagined as my older son was down to bedtime and nap time nursing only at 15 months. While I’m sure it has a lot to do with my low milk supply due to being 5 months pregnant, “B” hasn’t slowed down on eating solids either. So, he’s eating everything in sight and still wants to nurse.
We have pretty much stopped nursing in public at this point. Not that I’m embarrassed of breastfeeding, but just that he has gotten so big and I used to be able to carry him around while I was getting things done and nurse him. I look (and feel) quite awkward walking through the grocery store, nursing my toddler, and trying to push my cart and shop for groceries! So, unless we are sitting down having a leisurely meal out (which we usually aren’t), I don’t even try to nurse him in public.
He is much more verbal and demanding. He lets me know when he wants to nurse and when he doesn’t. A lot of times it is really inconvenient – again this has a lot to do with his size. I can’t multitask while nursing very well with a 35lb toddler. I use these times to try to teach him patience. However, that doesn’t
Posted 10-14-2013 at 01:09 PM by yoliyoda
It hit me today as I read an article about breastfeeding from the Philippines. I was given a whole lot of formula when I was pregnant. When I joined my OB-GYN I received a welcome bag sponsored by Similac. It had lots of general pregnancy information and a can of their product. A few weeks later I went to an informational night at the doctor that was designed to tell me what I could expect as I went through my pregnancy. Guess what? That was sponsored by Similac too. I took home a lot of information and a coupon to send away for a case of premixed Similac.
A few weeks later I received a “Welcome to Parenthood” package from Gerber. I don’t even know how they knew I was pregnant. In the package was two full size cans of dry formula. When I went into the area where I was storing all of my little ones things before he was born I found two dry cans of Similac that to this date I don’t know where they came from.
I went to a “meet and greet” for the pediatrician that we selected for my son. It was full of great books, first aid starters, and oh yes, more Similac.
Seriously, it’s like a crack dealer–the first hit is free. During issues with my supply I have used the formula to supplement for my son and am appreciative that when he needed the nutrition it was there. However, I’m left wondering why there isn’t as much sponsorship of things for pregnant women by lactation-friendly companies. Why don’t hospitals give away lactation cookies instead of formula coupons? Why didn’t my OB-GYN have a labor-and-delivery class sponsored by Medela?
Posted 10-1-2013 at 02:11 PM by yoliyoda
I recently read an article written by a urologist on the site Babble.com. In it the writer encourages parents to keep the diapers on longer than most parents are opting, suggesting that kids should not be potty trained before they are 3 years old.
I’ll tell you the truth about the argument: I’m torn.
The author of the piece makes a good argument that young children just aren’t able to regulate their own elimination needs. I could understand and believe that a 3 or 4 year old in “play mode” probably wouldn’t pee, or a young child at preschool might feel shy to ask the teacher to use the restroom. The result could be, according to the author, a child who would eventually fight a host of physical problems, like urinary tract infections and constipation. The author painted a vivid picture of bacteria entering a girl’s private area due to holding her stool. That alone almost made me decide to never potty train my little one.
Then again, I think that some things should be done the old school way because they worked. The teacher in me wonders how I’d deal with a room full of unpotty trained children. Does not sound like fun. If I were to follow this doctor’s suggestion, I’d be left wondering when my child be old enough to handle pottying on his own. Under this line of thinking I might have never been potty trained myself. UTIs seems like the far end of the worse possible results of early potty training.
Posted 09-30-2013 at 02:12 PM by yoliyoda
Beyond focusing on the recommended eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, some mothers are attempting to down mother’s milk tea or a malted drink to increase milk supply. This combination can leave a woman attempting to drink about 64 ounces, or half a gallon, give or take.
No wonder I’ve felt like a water balloon! Before becoming pregnant I had a hard time drinking this much fluid. To be honest I have yet to get all of it down since I started breastfeeding. The new pressures of motherhood haven’t made it easier. I didn’t remember to shower regularly for the first 6 weeks, much less to have a glass of water.
Realizing how important it is to keep hydrated, I did a little research by looking into how others with a vested interest, like patients with certain medical conditions, drink their needed fluids daily. Figuring this out would help beyond breastfeeding, but benefit my own personal health for years to come. Here are some of the information I found to help me towards meeting this goal.
The International Kidney Stone Institute suggests having a glass during transitional times in the day–basically in harmony with routine activities like getting up, for example. Breastfeeding moms could add drinking a glass to their routine of feeding or pumping.
Another great suggestion was to dilute fruit juice to a 50:50 solution. I especially liked this suggestion because I frankly get bored drinking plain water, but love a glass of grape juice! Adding water to a glass of 100% juice would have little effect on the taste.
Posted 09-27-2013 at 11:46 AM by yoliyoda
Recent figures released from the US Department of Human and Health Services indicates that only about 55% of African American women attempt to breastfeed their child. It’s actually a figure that is up for the 35% in the 1970s. The specific areas with the lowest numbers come from the South. Unfortunately the figures don’t surprise me.
I am an African American woman living in the Southeast. To be clear, my family background is actually Caribbean, but I was born in the states. The difference may seem slight, but often when it comes to ideology “Caribbean American” doesn’t always equal “African American”. By my own experience, this is often the case in the view of breastfeeding, usually more accepted and prevalent among my Caribbean female friends.
It’s been hard for me to find breastfeeding role models within my own ethnicity. That really isn’t a priority to me, but I do find it troublesome. With the proven benefits of breastfeeding including lower risk of childhood obesity and diabetes, and lowering risks of cancer for the mother–all things that plague the African American community–I’m left wondering why so few of us are taking advantage of the obvious.
Then again, maybe it’s not so obvious. I consider myself an educated woman, yet I didn’t know about all the benefits until I got pregnant. There was no bases of experience, or voices of encouragement, trumpeting the joys of breastfeeding to me. And I understand part of the reason: before the years of La Leche League many women, some of whom were not only in the healthcare profession, but specifically OB-GYN nurses, found the art of breastfeeding mystifying. When the change in mindset came, and help started to emerge for woman who wanted to breastfeed, it didn’t trickle down to the African American community so easily. Let’s be honest: when many had little or subpar health care for themselves, they’d be hard pressed to find someone, anyone, that could help them demystify breastfeeding. My mother was one of women lost in the shroud. She tried and failed, with no support, to breastfeed. She didn’t even know there was support available.
Posted 09-17-2013 at 11:50 AM by yoliyoda
I learned the hard way that feeding or pumping on a regular basis is important.
My husband is a hard working DJ and entertainer. At times when he is traveling out of town I will accompany him; and now that we have a son, sometimes his gigs become family road trips–especially when he will be staying overnight.
On the very first trip we did like this as a family I was able to feed and pump once every 1.5-3 hours, which is usually my maximum–except on the day we came home. We were in a rush, so I let son gobble down some nutrition from bottles for a few feedings and thought that letting the pumping or feeding sessions go “a bit longer” inbetween wouldn’t be a big deal.
By the time I got home my breast were getting hard and achey, and there was a small white spot on the tip of one of my nipples, and it was a bit sensitive. My little boy was a bit off his schedule from all the excitement of the day and didn’t eat from both breasts as heartily as I would have expected. I ended up pumping; and while I was able to get one breast back to normal, the one with the white spot didn’t quite drain all the way no matter how long I pumped.
The next day the spot had gotten bigger and more painful. I tried to allow my son to nurse from it, but it was too painful. I was feeling sluggish, though I had no fever. I was starting to think the worse–mastitis.
Posted 09-16-2013 at 03:45 PM by angelaw
A few days before heading back to work after my maternity leave, I decided I should start pumping to build up a stash for my son to eat while I was away from him. I pumped for about 10-15 minutes and got about 2-3 ounces. It wasn’t bad, but I wanted a little more before putting in a freezer bag. So, I put what I had expressed in a storage bottle in the fridge. After pumping a second time later that day, I went to place the new bottle in the fridge. I was shocked at what I saw. My milk had divided into two parts. A thicker, creamy ivory colored substance at the top, and a thinner clearer substance at the bottom. It looked nothing like cow’s milk. This was my first baby and I was still young and naïve. I didn’t have a clue about homogenization and didn’t know that if left alone, milk straight from the cow would do the same thing.
Later that month, after returning to work I had another surprise. I had missed my regular pumping break time, and had to wait about an hour and a half longer than usual to get away to pump. When I finally was able to get away, the bottle of milk looked so strange. The milk had a bluish tint to it, and I considered dumping it down the drain for fear that something was wrong. What I didn’t realize what that because I had waited longer to pump, my breasts had become slightly engorged. Since I pumped for the same amount of time as always, I wasn’t able to obtain much more than foremilk this time. On the same note, when I pumped more often than normal, I would notice thicker, creamier milk because it was then mostly hind milk.
A few years later, I was a surrogate and delivered two beautiful babies. I began pumping milk for
Posted 09-16-2013 at 10:30 AM by angelaw
After the birth of my first child, my husband patiently waited the recommended six weeks before even bringing up sex in conversation. I was glad. I had my hands full with a newborn and as a new mom my whole world revolved around my baby, I just wasn’t even thinking about sex. However, after I reached six weeks postpartum, I didn’t magically become interested in sex again.
This wasn’t like me. During my pregnancy, it seemed like I couldn’t get enough. Hubby had trouble keeping up with me. I had never felt sexier than I did while pregnant, why the sudden change just because I had given birth? I talked to my doctor at my check-up only to learn that my lack of sex drive could be blamed mostly on breastfeeding.
During pregnancy, estrogen levels are extremely high. This is why I felt so feminine and sensual. After the birth of the placenta, estrogen levels plummet and prolactin surges so that your milk can ‘come in.’ This change in hormones as well as the major body changes going on after the birth tends to leave the nursing mom feeling not quite so sexy.
Another tricky situation that comes with low estrogen levels is the vaginal dryness. Just because the psychological desire returns, doesn’t mean the hormone levels required for lubrication do as well. This can present a painful problem that can easily be remedied with some lubricant. If you suddenly find yourself