Category Archives: Breastfeeding

Goofy Monday: butt pockets and udders

Well, it’s been a long time since I’ve had a Goofy Monday edition, and it’s not for lack of materials. I hope you enjoy this selection as much as I did when I heard it the first time.

What color is your underwear?
If you want to know what color my panties are, just follow me when I take my kids to a public restroom. You may hear this in the stall next to yours.
Son #2: “Hey, you’re wearing pink underwear!”
My kids ask me for privacy all the time, but they sure know how to invade mine. :-)

Old Navy sweetheart jeans

Old Navy sweetheart jeans

Butt pockets
Son #2: “Look, you have pockets on your butt cheeks!” (putting his hands on my jeans back pockets).
I bet some people would like to have pockets right there, so they can easily insert those butt implants.

What do mammals have in common?
Me: “Good morning. What do you want to eat for breakfast?”
Son #2: “Mama, I can see your udders!” (lifting my PJ shirt)
Wow, that will teach me to talk about mammals and breastfeeding with my kids.

It’s Pride Parade at our house!
Son #2: “Woohoo, I just came out of the closet!”
That’s what my kid said as he burst out of the closet all naked and started running around the living room. I swear I didn’t take him to see the San Diego Pride parade a few weeks ago! And believe it or not, he really, really likes girls. But that’s for another Goofy Monday.

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Blue

Living in San Diego, CA, I get to enjoy beautiful blue skies the majority of the year. I’m not sure what makes the sky so blue here, but I’m guessing it has to do with our latitude and the ways the sun rays light up the sky. It really does help when taking photos of various subjects, and using the blue sky as a nice, contrasted background.

I took this photo in our backyard a few weeks ago, after what will probably be our last rain for the next six months.

Wordpress weekly photo challenge: Blue

WordPress weekly photo challenge: Blue

I also can’t help thinking about my boys when I hear the word blue. My whole world is blue because of them. They avoid the aisles of girl toys, calling them “the pink aisles”. They both have beautiful blue eyes and look great with blue tops, so I buy a lot of those. We also have a blue couch at our house, courtesy of IKEA. With a removable cover you can throw in the washer, this is one of the best furniture investments I’ve made with two kids. Here’s my four-year old when he was just a baby, sitting on the blue couch in his blue footsy pajamas, with his beautiful blue eyes (which you really can’t see well on this picture). 

My baby boy sitting on the blue couch

And here’s a photo of his brother when he wasn’t even two years old, sitting on our blue couch in my blue T-shirt, using my Boppy pillow and a burpcloth to breastfeed his lovey. How cute is that? I also have a photo of him using my breastpump but you’ll have to wait for the color “yellow” to be the theme of the photo challenge!

My son breastfeeding his lovey with the Boppy pillow

Why do mothers stop breastfeeding?

I make milk - superpowerLast week I joined a group of moms and their little ones for a morning of social gathering and playing. I didn’t know any of the moms and it happens that most were first-time moms with babies under the age of one.

For a couple of hours I got to hear stories I once told others regarding my little babies, who now are little men. The feeding on demand, the short and sleepless nights, the first rollover, the first solid food, the first crawl… Some of my babies’ past is becoming blurry. Sometimes I confuse which baby did what. But I also remember some moments in great detail, including the little suckling noises they made as I nursed them in the stillness of the night, their super cute smiles and giggles, their unique ways to crawl, their reactions to first foods, their first steps… It seems it all happened so long ago and yet, it’s just been a few years. Time really flies when you’re having fun. And even when it’s not all fun sometimes.

One of the inevitable new-mom subjects is breastfeeding. Here in California, where people are more obsessed concerned with their health, it seems most moms give it a try. California laws support breastfeeding, allowing it in all public places and requiring employers to provide a private place to pump (restroom stalls not included). Many moms I’ve talked to (working and not-working) have managed to nurse their babies for a year or more, just as I did.

I'm still breastfeeding T-shirtSo I was surprised to hear the mom of a seven-month-old baby tell another mom she had breastfed her baby since birth, but she stopped at six months, even though she was still producing milk. The most interesting thing is when the other mom asked her why she’d stopped, she didn’t have an answer. She said she just stopped. This left me perplexed.

Everyone who’s ever tried to breastfeed will tell you the first few months are the hardest. Baby and mom need to become acquainted and often taught how to nurse. Mom is exhausted, nursing on demand, and doesn’t get much of a break. After a few months though, the feedings space out and baby becomes a suckling pro. If a mom nurses for the first six months, she’s gone through the hardest part of it all.

So why would a mom who embraces breastfeeding for the first six months of her baby’s life suddenly decide to stop? This mom stays at home and doesn’t experience any pressures from outside work, has no older siblings taking her attention and breasts away from the baby, and still produces plenty of milk. Why make the switch to expensive and non-natural formula, deal with making bottles, and not want to maintain this special bond for a few more months?

I just don’t get it. If all is going well, why stop it? I can’t think of any good reason why. And clearly, this mom couldn’t either but still did it. Would someone please enlighten me?

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Breastmilk vs. infant formula: the never-ending discussion

Breastmilk vs infant formula

Breastmilk vs infant formula - click on the image to view the full document on the California Department of Public Health website

Just a few days ago I ran across an online discussion in which a mom blurted out that infant formula was “just as good as breastmilk”, since it contains the same nutrients. She wasn’t able to breastfeed her baby because of the medication she was taking, and thought formula worked just fine. In a way, she’s absolutely correct. Infant formula does what it’s supposed to do: it feeds babies with the basic proper nutrients and helps them grow. And for mothers who have physical limitations to nursing, formula can be a life saver.

The truth is, 90% of mothers don’t have these limitations, yet only 75% of them choose to breastfeed after birth. The numbers trickle down quickly and only about 25% of moms still breastfeed after six months. This is sad news because even though breastmilk and infant formula share many similar nutrients, breastmilk offers many more valuable ingredients that will never make it into industrially-processed formula (see chart on the right).

I think all moms who have breastfed their babies for a year or more will tell you the same. Yes, nursing is a tough habit to pick up. It does take a lot of practice, for both mom and baby. It does require commitment and huge amounts of support, especially from your partner, your family, nurses and pediatricians. Breastfeeding is a challenge, but one that women around the world have taken on for tens of thousands of years. And breastfeeding is usually cheaper than formula. A mother will spend a few hundred dollars in extra food for herself and possibly a breastpump, but it doesn’t compare to the average $1500 spent on infant formula for the first year.

With infant formula manufacturing companies heavily marketing their products (after all, they do make billions of dollars from it yearly!), 80% of hospitals releasing new moms with formula samples in their diaper bags, and an overall lack of education and support, making the choice to breastfeed is an uphill battle. And honestly, it shouldn’t be this difficult to do what our bodies were meant to do. But in 2011 it seems to be harder than ever.

If you’ve nursed your own babies and believe in the value of breastmilk, look around you and see who could use your help. Sometimes, one highly supportive person is all it takes to put a new mom on the right track.

As Mother Theresa once said, “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time, and always start with the person nearest you.”

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