It’s no secret: I nursed both of my kids.
According to the Internet Moms of today, this is the Correct Way Of Doing Things. I don’t really care about the Correct Way Of Doing Things much (perhaps it’s the Catholic schoolgirl in me still being a bit rebellious), but I did find myself, over the past three years, having to defend my decision to nurse my kids. While I never got kicked off a plane or humiliated in public, I did have to deal with a family for whom breastfeeding was not “normal,” and the few disgusted looks occasionally thrown my way in public. Still, I nursed my eldest until she self-weaned at 19 months of age, and I intended to nurse my youngest until he weaned as well.
I was pretty certain he’d wean early. Already at 9 months he was an amazing eater of solid foods, cutting back on his milk feedings, and eating as much as his 2 year old sister at mealtimes (sometimes even more, if she were going through a spontaneous picky stage. Actually, he often finished her meals, too). What I wasn’t prepared for was for myself to be diagnosed with a condition for which medication was not nursing-safe when he was only 11 months old.
Breastfeeding can take a turn for the worse once your little one starts getting those little chompers. Don’t lose your cool when they start exploring what these new oral additions do while you are trying to feed them. Instead, try some of the following suggestions.
Should your child bite your firmly tell them no. Don’t use your scary mommy voice, but do use a deeper tone that will get your child’s attention. Even if you feel they don’t know what you are saying this will put you in the habit of responding calmly and firmly. Eventually they will know what you are communicating.
Remove Your Child From The Breast
The best way to show your infant that biting is not an accepted behavior is to remove your child from your breast for a minute or two. The negative consequence will eventually help your child to avoid the action that causes it. They want to eat more than they want to bite you.
We just addressed “prepping” diapers. But what about being a “prepper?”
I promise you I am not one of those crazy people that is building an underground bunker in her back yard. Still, I admit to being a preparedness junkie. I like to know that if we ever get snowed in, or if the power goes out for a while, we have what we need to still live comfortably. Cloth diapers and breastfeeding fit right into my prepping plans.
For one thing, if we are home bound for a while there is a good chance that the garbage pick up trucks may not be running during that time. One thing that you don’t want building up in your home are stinky diapers. In a home where disposable diapers are being used that’s just what could happen. Using cloth diapers aren’t just about being eco friendly, in an emergency situation they can be a sanitary problem. As long as you have an electricity free washer and soap, they can be soaked, washed, and reused. There won’t be old soiled diapers laying about the place you are living.
The only thing that may be more difficult than breastfeeding your baby can be weaning. They may not want to stop breastfeeding and you may have come to enjoy the special time that you share with your child. Here are a few things to consider when you are planning to wean your baby.
Make Sure The Baby Is Ready To Wean
Some little ones were born ready to wean. It’s been more of a struggle getting them to nurse than it will be taking them off the breast. Other children are the exact opposite. Healthcare workers recommend that you continue breastfeeding for at least six months. Some mothers feel they need to breastfeed their child until they are well into their second year of life. As your child’s mother it’s important that you are in tune with your child’s needs when it comes to moving on in the feeding department.
Breastfeeding has perils all its own, but a sick baby adds a new dynamic of breastfeeding difficulties. Your little one may have trouble wanting to latch on because they can’t breathe through their nose. Or they may spit up more than usual. Here are a few ways to help breastfeeding along while yoru little one isn’t feeling well.
Keeping a baby’s airways clear during breastfeeding is always important. We all check to make sure our body isn’t covering the nose of our little one while they are on the breast. With a congested baby, however, we have to help keep their little nose clean, or we are in for a frustrating feeding time. Before the feeding and after each burping use a nasal aspirator to clear your little one’s nasal passages. You may choose to pump and give your little one your milk in a bottle during this time. It makes positioning more flexible and may help your little one pick a better position for their breathing. Check with your pediatrician before using any medications including nose clearing rubs. Some types of medication should not be used before certain ages.
Breastfeeding doesn’t always go the way we plan. There are gas pains, lack of cooperation, and lots of crying. Sometimes your child has colic. Sometimes you don’t know why they aren’t cooperating and your pediatrician says it’s normal. Before throwing in the towel try these tips.
Yes, your little one is crying. Yes, you feel the need to help him or her be happy and quietly go to sleep. Right now, however, you are frazzled and your nerves are raw from trying to get them to calm down for the past hour. So take a step back. After you have made sure they are burped, fed, and changed, take a five to ten minute break to regroup. It may be that your child will calm down because frazzled you has stepped away. Or it may be they will continue crying while you get a drink of water, go to the bathroom, or get a snack. Put your little one down for tummy time or in the baby swing. With a moment to breath you may think of a new way of approaching your unhappy baby that will bring a stop to the sadness.
We know what is good for our little ones even when our culture or society is ill prepared to work with us. Here are a few ways to help our communities embrace a better understanding of how important breastfeeding is to the moms living in them.
The Nursing Room
Most churches I have attended have a nursing room. So do some, but not all, day care centers. That’s about it on the list of places that provide a room for women to breastfeed in public, which is disturbing for two reasons. First, gone are the days when it wasn’t common knowledge that breastfeeding a child was the best option for a child’s health. Second, if so many people are truly offended by the sight of breastfeeding, you would think they would provide an out of sight place. This would be good for customers and clients and employees of establishments and be a great compromise for those who find breastfeeding unsightly.
Bring these ideas to local business, assuring them that you would frequent them more often if they would reach this compromise with you. It doesn’t even need to be a new room. It could be an old utility closet with a sign on the door and a rocking chair.
Breastfeeding mothers everywhere should be excited for the month of August. First the there is the week between the first and the seventh. It’s World Breastfeeding Week. The fun doesn’t stop there either. The whole rest of the month is Breastfeeding Awareness Month.
World Breastfeeding Week
All you need to do to celebrate World Breastfeeding Week is log on to WorldBreastfeedingWeek.org. There are downloads and contests. There is even a pledge that you can take as a breastfeeding mother. They list their objectives quite clearly, and they really aren’t anything anyone could object to. My particular favorite is getting young people of both genders interested in breastfeeding and how it is still relevant in our changing world today. With the easy access to formula and our fast pace society here in the United States it’s easy for us to want to sweep breastfeeding under the rug. This week is to help keep that from happening. Downloads consist of action folders, calendars, desktops, and even promotion flyers. Plus the materials come in a variety of languages.
“I use an Ameda Purely Yours with 25 millimeter flanges, but the white valves need to be replaced and it wouldn’t hurt to get a spare set of diaphragms as well.” If you haven’t clicked away from that mess of words already, and you are new to the world of breastpumps, you probably are wondering what on earth everything is! Since most people have had absolutely no reason to research breastpumps at any point in their lives before they had children, the lingo can be mysterious and confusing! Why are there tubes? What is a flange? Will I feel like a cow being milked? We will explore the basic parts of a breastpump below.
Maybe you’re currently breastfeeding, but need to go back to work. Maybe you’ve decided to be an exclusive pumper. Maybe you just want a backup stash of milk for a babysitter. Whatever the reason, you are in the market for a breastpump! Like many other baby-related items, you probably opened up Amazon.com in your browser and immediately felt overwhelmed by the number of brands and types of pumps available. What should you choose?
Manual pumps: Not for the weak-handed. Alternatively, a good substitute for those strength grip things that are always in the exercise section of the store, but no one ever buys.
These are the cheapest pumps on the market, and it can be tempting for the budget-minded family to just grab one of these. After all, electric pumps can run $300 or more and a manual pump tends to be in the $30-$40 range! Manual pumps are also simple pumps—you have the pump itself which screws onto the top of a baby bottle, and that’s it! They are small enough to toss in your bag and you needn’t worry about keeping track of a dozen small pieces. This also makes them simple to clean.
However, manual pumps are powered by you. Most modern manual pumps require you to squeeze a handle, which draws out the milk. You may need to do this for ten or fifteen minutes, which can grow tiring very quickly. You may have health issues that do not allow you to physically do this. You can also only pump one breast at a time, which can be good if you just need to empty one side because baby has just nursed on the other, or it can be bad if you’re in a hurry and need to empty both sides quickly. Many mothers, however, like having a manual pump stored away as a backup. If their electric pump fails, it’s better to have a manual pump than no pump at all!