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Tag Archives: Breastfeeding

First Classes for 2012

Hypnobabies Childbirth Series:  1 space remaining in the February/March class.  3 spaces remaining in the March/April class.  Both classes will meet in Greenville on Thursday evenings for six weeks.  Email for details (j_byers@bellsouth.net).

Natural Baby Parenting Series:  I’m excited to teach this series again for Natural Baby.  Beginning January 25, six Wednesdays of classes for new or expectant parents.  Couples/Individuals may register for individual classes or the entire series.  20.00/couple/class or 80.00 for the entire series (must be paid in advance).  6pm-7:30pm.  Here is the schedule:

January 25: “Try to See It My Way: How Babies Communicate” (newborn behavior, birth bonding, attachment theory, soothing skills, and finding balance)

February 1: “Breastfeeding” (initiation, physiology, common issues, finding help, returning to work)

February 8: “Now What? The First Six Weeks” (care for mom and baby, baby basics, postpartum concerns, creating a lying-in, jaundice, circumcision, and vaccine choices)

February 15: “Sleeping Like a Baby” (the normal course of infant sleep, nighttime parenting, circadian rhythm, and naps)

February 22: “Having a Baby without Breaking the Bank” (creating a smart baby registry, DIY tips, cloth diapers, going green can be budget friendly, what is safe to buy second-hand, top toxic products you don’t need)

February 29: “Parenting the First Year” (solid-feeding, safety, teething, discipline, learning through play, development) 

Register by emailing j_byers@bellsouth.net or rsvp’ing on Natural Baby’s facebook page under the events tab.

BYOB

This is yesterday’s news but it has been a busy week.

On Monday, I participated in a Nurse-In.  Outside a radio station in Greenville.  By the side of a busy road.  With other women.  I breastfed my baby. 

Now I realize this action may not make a whole lot of sense to some of my readers.  Let me give the back story.

We have a local radio personality–Lisa Rollins–who went on a tirade on the air about seeing a mom nursing her baby at a local Chick-fil-a.  She said some of the more awful things I’ve heard about nursing in public.  Things like…oh, nevermind, just read for yourself:

Lisa: I know that sometimes I talk about things that are not always appealing to men, and so I’m trying to do better with that. But you know I just I’ve gotta tell you all about something. . . . I’ll just tell you. Saturday, yesterday, we went to Chic Fil A. . . . Sat down, I was waiting for my husband to pay and bring the food. My daughter and I were sitting there and looked over and it was a woman who was breastfeeding. She had just walked in, because I saw her walk in. She walked in, she passed us, she went and sat in a booth, actually not a booth they have tables there rather than enclosed booths. We were in the one at Cherrydale. She sat down and she started breastfeeding her baby. So my daughter looked over at me and she went, “mom, see that lady over there?” And I said, “you know, could she not have done this in the car? I mean, she was on the way here, couldn’t she have, you know, while they were driving there, just breastfeed the baby?” And my daughter went “I knew you’d hate that.”

Yeah I do, I hate it. I just don’t understand why in a public place you want to – and she was covered by the baby’s head, you know her shirt was partially – I just, to me it was sorta just in such bad taste. And I know it’s just me, I guess, but is anybody out there as turned off by public breastfeeding as am I? Listen I know God gave’em to you for that purpose and wonderful, and it’s healthy and it’s the best thing to do for your child, and I understand it’s healthy for the mother as well. I just think that there should be laws – and in South Carolina there are none, no laws about this, that women should not breastfeed in a public area, and especially in a restaurant. For goodness sakes. Listen let her go to the ladies room. Let her go, our church has a breastfeeding room.

Lonzo: Can I ask you a question? Would you have noticed her if your daughter hadn’t pointed her out?

Lisa: Yes. Oh yeah, I do notice things like that. But my daughter knew that I find that to be disgusting. I just don’t see a reason for it. If she had time to, and then I thought maybe the baby was sleeping in the car on the way here, and awoke right when they walked in, I don’t know. You know you could have sat there for five or ten or however many minutes it takes to do so in the privacy of your vehicle. And then I thought also, it is 100 dadgum degrees. There’s just something about it. . . . It just bothers me, and I know that I’m probably one of the very few, if maybe the only one, but this is something that I find to be in poor taste, and I guess maybe it was because of the way I was raised, there are just some things you don’t do in public. Why is this not indecent exposure? And I don’t mean that she had her breast out and that you could really see it, but it was just I don’t know, it sorta made me, well I was gonna say lose my appetite but I won’t go that far.

Lonzo: Was she like sitting out in the open going like “hey everybody look at me, look at what I’m doing!”

Lisa: Well of course not, Lonzo, of course not.

Lonzo: So you really had to be looking around.

Lisa: Lonzo if I were sitting here, and I had a baby, and I pulled my shirt up, and I stuck my baby’s head right here, I mean would that not be noticeable to you? Of course it would be.

Lonzo: If she did it that way, I don’t understand your complaint.

Lisa: But that’s what, that’s the way she was doing it, I just find it to be . . .

Lonzo: So nothing was exposed?

Lisa: No. Not really.

Lonzo: So what’s the big deal?

Lisa: The big deal is that it’s just not the place, and listen I’m all I know these people . . .

Lonzo: So you’d rather that baby been screaming its head off while you’re trying to eat?

Lisa: If you really wanna get me riled up, you know I think if you’ve got a nursing baby . . .

Lonzo: Then you shouldn’t go anywhere, you shouldn’t go to a restaurant, your life should be over until the kid is four?

Lisa: I think you should be discreet and stay at home . . .

Lonzo: It sounds like she was discreet if you couldn’t see anything

Lisa: Or pump and take the bottle with you or something. But I don’t want to see it. I just don’t want to see it, especially while I’m having lunch.

Lonzo: Maybe you should have went to a different restaurant.

Lisa: That has nothing to do with the restaurant I mean anyplace allows that, but I think when a mother chooses to do so in public, I just don’t think it’s always in the best of taste. And I think there should be indecency laws about that, because I don’t want to see it in a public place. You know go to the ladies room, go somewhere, go to your car, pump your breastmilk, but I don’t want to see it in public, sorry. And I know that most of, especially a lot of you nursing moms and women who are in the La Leche League or whatever are going to disagree with me, but so be it, it’s my opinion and you’re certainly entitled to yours.

Lisa: (in response to Judy) Well I mean, you say it’s not as easy as simple as I’m making it sound to be, but even when you’re not nursing, and I did not nurse my children, even when you’re not nursing and you have to prepare, you prepare your formula and your bottles and the juice, and whatever you need to take along with you. That’s just good preparation. I mean if there’s a time when you know you have to leave immediately because of an emergency, which I doubt would be the case because you had to get to a McDonald’s, I just think it’s preparation. So you just have to have some prepared, am I wrong? And I can understand and I know nursing moms, you know God bless ya, I think that’s a choice, probably the wisest choice you can make as a parent. I just don’t want to see it in public, and I don’t want to be you know rude about it, but for heaven’s sakes. I didn’t, I was thinking, it’s just bad manners as far as I’m concerned to hike your blouse up and have a baby’s head underneath, even if you’re not exposing yourself. You know you’re going to be attracting attention, whether it’s from other women or men for goodness sakes and I just don’t like to see it in public.

Lisa (in further response to Judy): Well actually I think that the individual should be more discreet, and that being, having good manners, that’s not up to the government to dictate. But it should be up to the individual, and if you don’t show restraint, listen, so be it – you think it’s a grand idea, I don’t see anything wrong with going into a restroom if you don’t see a specific nursing area and sitting on the toilet seat. If you gotta do it I guess you gotta do it. But to me there’s just no excuse for not being prepared enough to have nursed your baby before you left, in an emergency situation having some prepared bottles or something ready to go. I just find it objectionable.

And it went on and on.  The tape of the show was removed from the website.  And, in response, Bob McClain, another host on the station, interviewed Lin Cook from the SC Breastfeeding Coalition.  But there has been no response from Lisa.  Or the station regarding Lisa’s remarks.

You might say, “She has a right to her opinion.”  Yes, she does.  We weren’t asking for her to apologize.  We were simply calling her on her ignorance and mean-spiritedness.  Picking on mamas is not ok.  Whether they bottle-feed, breastfeed, nurse covered, or uncovered–mamas have a tough job and deserve our support.  Some of the comments from the WORD’s facebook page on the nurse-in are appalling.  One guy posted about how he called a woman “white trash” for breastfeeding at Red Lobster.  What is it about Red Lobster??  It takes a real man to bully a mom trying to feed a little baby.

My point is–Lisa isn’t alone in her opinion.  And whatever attention we can bring to breastfeeding is important.  So back to the Nurse-In.

It was fun!  We were asked to leave the property soon after we arrived.  So we went across the street where a business agreed to let us sit in their grassy space.  News 4 was there and Kelly from the Parent Examiner.  We sat in the grass and did the usual playdate stuff except there were cameras, signs, and we were on the highway!  Norah asked if we were teaching mean people how to nurse their babies.

You can view better pictures by viewing the slideshow at the Parent Examiner’s coverage.  Take a look.  Get a good look at a nursing mom.  We’re a terribly offensive bunch aren’t we?  Scary stuff.  One mom showed up who is no longer nursing.  She chose to show some cleavage and she held a sign that said, “I’m showing more than a breastfeeding mom.” 

Then the real fun began.  A guy from the “Rise Guys” on 93.3 showed up in a strange costume wearing a bra and holding a sign that said, “I like boobs.”  He marched about singing songs like “Amazing Grace.”  I do not think he helped our cause. 

   

In short, a group of women (and a rise guy) came together to stand up to bullies like Lisa.  And not just in Greenville.  In cities across the country, they gathered outside radio stations that air the Russ and Lisa show. 

My husband was so very proud. 

 

When Baby Goes on Strike

Many babies go on a nursing strike at some point.  It may last a day or two.  Causes are often related to teething or sickness.  Sometimes a baby goes on a serious nursing strike.  My friend, Kathleen, experienced one of these.  Here is her triumphant tale of surviving a 39 day nursing strike with her second child, Erik.  Erik was almost 9 months old when he abruptly stopped nursing:

We are fully back to nursing! It is so wonderful to have “our time” back. And he is so happy, too. He is just a happier baby overall, but I think that is also due to the fact that his poor little mouth isn’t killing him.

I was 99% sure it was NOT weaning because he stopped so abruptly. Alex [Kathleen's firstborn] truly weaned by tapering off nursing sessions over the course of many weeks and he was almost 16 months when we stopped for good. Having been through that weaning process helped me realize that what Erik went through was a strike and should be treated that way, even though it lasted so very long.

For the first couple of weeks, I really tried to encourage the breast again. In the last days, though, I did not push so hard. It seemed to make him more upset. I had lots of topless time with him, continued to take baths with him, wore him skin to skin in the carrier, and used the time we would usually nurse together (he likes before and after sleep) to have snuggle time – again, topless so he could latch on if he wanted. I would say, “That’s okay, we’ll nurse later,” and snuggle him even though my heart was breaking.

On the day that he went back, I noticed that the last of his top 4 teeth had poked through and I wondered if he’d go back. Getting him in a diaper and PJs before bed is usually a struggle but on this night, he was oddly subdued and very quiet and calm. He kept staring at my bare chest. I leaned him on the bed and said, “Do you want to try?” He was VERY hesitant, as though he thought it would hurt him and at first, he almost bit me. I said, “No, no, try again,” and helped him to latch as if he was a newborn. I gently but firmly coaxed him on and there he was, nursing again. His eyes opened wide as he remembered it. And we nursed that night for about 40 minutes.

On the next day, he fought me a bit (again, as though he thought it was going to hurt) but once he got going, he would nurse for 30+ minutes. By the 3rd day, we were right back to where we were over a month ago. In fact, he is a less distracted nurser now.

Not nursing made me feel as though I had been split in two and half of me was lost. But I did not accept that he had weaned himself. We went from nursing 8 or more times a day to NOTHING. I knew in my heart that we weren’t done. When I gave him a bottle, I would snuggle him and try to have close time with him then, and tried to have snuggle time that didn’t have anything to do with nursing so it took the pressure off of both of us.

I was honored to be at Erik’s birth and witnessed his very first nursing session.  He was a champion breastfeeder within minutes of his birth–one of the best I’ve ever seen.  I’ve watched from afar as Kathleen persevered through this obstacle.  She pumped faithfully to keep her milk supply and chose to feed Erik with an Adiri bottle which is shaped much like a breast.  With an active toddler to also parent, she could have easily given up.  Most of us would have.   

Personally, I think Kathleen was trying to break this mom’s 40-day record!

 

13 Billion

You probably know about the pediatric study in the news right now that shows if 90% of American moms would breastfeed for 6 months, we would save 911 lives and 13 billion dollars.

I read this response last week.  I hadn’t planned on blogging it but the article has been swirling in my head.  It is the tale of two births.  I’ve seen both kinds.  I’ve also seen better and worse. 

Take a look at the article and see what you think.

Red Lobster on Wade Hampton Rd in Greenville

What a friendly place!

Not only do they serve great food but they also provide a complimentary cloth napkin to put over your baby’s head!

Yes, it is true.  Free cloth napkins so that no one else in the restaurant has to see a baby eating his meal. 

This week, at our friendly Red Lobster, my dear friend nursed her fretful baby.  After she finished, the General Manager popped over and placed a cloth napkin on my friend’s table.  Ms. Helpful Manager patted it and said quietly, “In case you want to nurse again.”  And then fled to the kitchen. 

It seems Mr. and Mrs. Old Grumpypants a few tables away didn’t appreciate seeing a baby nurse and complained.  Rather than offering them a different table, Ms. Helpful Manager chose to embarrass a mother. 

I have some thoughts.  (Surprised?)

1)  Don’t mess with mothers of babies.  Period.  It is the most difficult role on the planet and should be treated with respect.

2)  It really doesn’t matter what you THINK about nursing in public.  Nursing in public is protected by SC LAW.  I don’t really like that my neighbor shoots guns in his backyard but he is protected by law.  Nothing I can do about it.  You don’t like it?  Don’t look.

3)  Again…many babies won’t nurse under cover.  And (see #2) they don’t have to. 

4)  The World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and others recommend that babies be fed “on demand.”  That means that the baby knows when he’s hungry better than we do.  So let the baby eat when he chooses–regardless of convenience or audience.

Please remember:  breastfeeding would not be such a big deal if it was a normal part of our daily interactions.  The more mamas who nurse in public, the less likely that my daughters will be made to feel ashamed one day when they nurse my grandchildren. 

If you work in a business:  leave the mamas alone. 

If you’re uncomfortable around a nursing mama:  see my post on nursing etiquette

Kudos to you, Red Lobster.  I give you the BPA-laden, plastic bottle of formula award.

Golden Oldie

I know these US Dept of Health commercials have been blogged to death.  But I love them.  Too bad they were never released.

The Continuing Milk Saga

IMG_c5251 copyWe are at the two month point.  And we’ve hit another blip on the BFAR journey.  First let me catch up.  We realized pretty quickly that I again did not have a full supply.  I wasn’t terribly surprised though I had been really hopeful this time.  By week four, I’d tweaked things enough to guess that I was making about a 2/3 supply.  Not bad.  Of course I still went through an angry grieving period.  My wonderful husband, mother, sister, friends, and strangers on the street listened to me process my feelings.   

Thankfully.  THANKFULLY!  We’ve been able to supplement entirely with donor breastmilk!  Amazing generosity.

I’m still taking a ridiculous number of herbs and the domperidone.

So what is the problem?  My smart girl is noticing that a bottle will follow a feeding.  Her nursing time is ever-so-slightly decreasing.  Her bottle intake is increasing.  And since she won’t comfort nurse except at night, I feel my supply is in danger. 

Two solutions.  1)  I’m going to begin pumping tomorrow.  2)  I’ve ordered an SNS to begin feeding her at the breast when we’re home.  The SNS will make her work harder than the bottle does and it will stimulate my breasts to (hopefully) maintain/increase supply. 

It isn’t easy.  Low supply stinks.  But it is worth it.  For both of us.

 

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