Sunday, January 25, 2009

3 year old's watchful eye

Friday we went to our Parent/Toddler class we go to every week and when we walked in, there was a new family there. The new little girl said hi and "I'm 3". My little girl said, "I'm 3 too!" They seemed to play nicely the rest of the morning and then at some point the little girl visited her mama's lap to nurse under a cover-up just after her little brother had. My daughter was all eyes and watched very closely as if she had never seen a child nurse before. (what??!!) She was actually hovering a bit, but that's what they do I guess. Once that was done, the play didn't seem to continue together between our two girls, but I didn't really think much of it.

Later that day, we were home and I was nursing little sis and big sis came over and said, "Mom, remember that little girl that had mama's milk under the blue scarf? She's not 3. It's too bad." She said it so very matter-of-fact that I just let it go and thought to myself about how she had come to that conclusion. I wanted to tell her that some little girls that are 3 have mama's milk, but I didn't want to take away whatever status that she has built in her mind of being 3 and letting her little sister have this special thing with mom instead. I know her, she wouldn't dare ever ask for it because she's a "big girl" in her mind now. Then she leaned in and started kissing her sister while she was drinking and said, "I love to kiss her when she's having numa. " (this is what my girls call "nurse".)

This whole little thing was very sweet and I like to see that she is so aware of others and is comparing situations she witnesses to what she knows as her own reality. I'm not worried about her playing with the other little girl because everything like this is so short lived.

I feel it's tender that she likes to be close to her sister and I during a nurse because it makes it something that I share with both my girls.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I like what Mama Knows Breast has to say today...

Sleepless Nights

Nursing has been going fine, without much new to write about. I have been noticing the lack of sleep from night nursing lately-not that this is a new topic. I just have been noticing as she nurses less during the day, she seems to make up for it at night. I am going to trying and get her to drink more of my milk during the day these next few days and see if it makes much of a difference in the night time pattern that we seem to have gotten into again. To be continued...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

2 BF Articles

Baby Food: If breast is best, why are women bottling their milk?

An excerpt:

In 1997, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement on “Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk,” declaring human milk to be “species-specific” and recommending it as the exclusive food for the first six months of a baby’s life, to be followed by a mixed diet of solid foods and human milk until at least the end of the first year. In that statement, and in a subsequent revision, the A.A.P. cited research linking breast-feeding to the reduced incidence and severity of, among other things, bacterial meningitis, diarrhea, respiratory-tract infection, ear infection, urinary-tract infection, sudden-infant-death syndrome, diabetes mellitus, lymphoma, leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, obesity, and asthma. The benefits of breast-feeding are unrivalled; breast-feeding rates in the United States are low; the combination makes for a public-health dilemma. In 2000, the Department of Health and Human Services announced its goal of increasing the proportion of mothers who breast-feed their babies “at initiation” (i.e., before they leave the hospital) from a 1998 baseline of sixty-four per cent to a 2010 target of seventy-five per cent; until the age of six months, from twenty-nine per cent to fifty per cent; at one year, from sixteen per cent to twenty-five per cent. (The same targets were announced in 1990; they were not reached.) Attempts to improve initiation rates have met with much, if spotty, success. The Rush University Medical Center, in Chicago, which runs a peer-counselling program called the Mother’s Milk Club, has achieved an astonishing initiation rate of ninety-five per cent; nationally, the rate is not quite seventy-five per cent. More difficult has been raising the rates at six and twelve months. The C.D.C., which issues an annual Breastfeeding Report Card, has announced that for babies born in 2005 the rate of exclusive breast-feeding at six months was only twelve per cent (although the rate of some breast-feeding at six months had risen to forty-three per cent).

One big reason so many women stop breast-feeding is that more than half of mothers of infants under six months old go to work. The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act guarantees only twelve weeks of (unpaid) maternity leave and, in marked contrast to established practice in other industrial nations, neither the government nor the typical employer offers much more. To follow a doctor’s orders, a woman who returns to work twelve weeks after childbirth has to find a way to feed her baby her own milk for another nine months. The nation suffers, in short, from a Human Milk Gap.

There are three ways to bridge that gap: longer maternity leaves, on-site infant child care, and pumps. Much effort has been spent implementing option No. 3, the cheap way out. Medela distributes pumps in more than ninety countries, but its biggest market, by far, is the United States, where maternity leaves are so stinting that many women—blue-, pink-, and white-collar alike—return to work just weeks after giving birth. (Breasts supply milk in response to demand; if a woman is unable to put her baby to her breast regularly, she will stop producing milk regularly. Expressing not only provides milk to be stored for times when she is away; it also makes it possible for a working woman to keep nursing her baby at night and on weekends.)

and maybe this is why I'm not a Facebooker ;)

Milk Alone

Today is one of those days when I'm just so grateful to have my daughter still nursing. We were out running around most of the day and her intake of "food" was minimal (basically tortilla and raisins) so being able to lean on my milk as at least her protein and warm fluids for the day makes me feel so much better. Sometimes it's hard enough to remind myself to stop and eat, and so hard to find healthy food out and about for the little ones. Luckily, I have lots of snacks on hand all day and (now) plenty of milk on hand anytime of day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Good Morning Suck

This morning I'm thinking of the morning nurse. Now my little girl is feeling better and is back to her usual self-seems my milk is as well. She at a stage now of being so active and wild with adventure all day long that getting her to stop and nurse means that I have a very wiggly, still on the move, sucker that is there for a quick milk, on and off, and nothing extra. So the first nurse of the morning when she's awake and not ready to jump out of bed yet because she wants to say "hi, good morning, mom" with her eyes and hands-this is the sweet time that I get to flirt with her at the breast again (even when totally tired and hung over from her night wakings). Thinking of this today...this morning, after her big sis woke her up, she crawled over to me, nuzzled a "hi" and when nursing never broke the sweet gazing look with my eyes until she was filled with warm milk. A moment to remember. Then on to playing and poking, wanting to get off the bed.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Yesterday's thoughts on "Earliest Moments"

So this what comes to mind when thinking about the earliest, newest moment of breastfeeding my first girl. It's all a bit blurry, but this is why I have to write it somewhere. this (I have to write really fast tonight because SOMEONE WILL NOT stay asleep upstairs.)

first 5 minutes of putting her to my breast...
Hello, little girl.
Hello little head.
oh, little head.
So perfect, this little body naked against me.
Fits in just right.
oh, I'm a mother
oh, yes. This is the way I feed her.
She's sucking!
Am I doing this right?
Is she breathing.
She fits.
This is just where she fits.
Little rosie face, little pink mouth, hot small breathes.
Quickly sucking.
My little love pulling at my heart.

Hours of this, on and off and on again for those first 24 hours or so.

Then the not quite so magical time. When I couldn't sit up to hold her, so latch on was difficult. My milk came in so I was hot, sore, and blistery. I knew this was common and would just cringe at the thought of another session and hold my breath when she'd latch on. Turning in the sheets killed and the shower water felt like needles. All the time this little perfect face on my chest was trying her hardest to fill up and doze off in baby milk bliss.

This part felt like forever, but only lasted so long (about 2-3 weeks really) and then baby and I got our rhythm down and it felt like the most natural way to get to know my little baby. To feel her, look at her, and feed her.

Now that was the first time.
Number 2 was different, not so dramatic of a realization for me that I was actually FEEDING a little baby and that baby knew more of how to do it then I did! With the first pregnancy I was thinking about and anticipating breastfeeding a lot. I even was with mother's in those first feeding because I was being a doula during my preg, so it was a real fulfillment to get to practice it myself. With my 2nd baby, it just seemed life a natural flow that was just another part of the birth. I really don't think that I even thought about the breastfeeding part of baby until she was hear and breastfeeding. It all just moved together in a very easy and natural way.

I do have a that same memory of just this little warm head on my breast and looking at that little face and feeling that breath on me. Such a moment.

My milk coming in wasn't as big of a trauma for me this time. It came ASAP and boob maintenance wasn't so hard this time either. As it got painfully full after the first 24 hours, I got to pumping the top off my milk for 5 mins. before nursing and it made it much easier to handle let down and baby and the whole thing. As a friend said to me recently, you just have to take care of your boobs as another job that comes with the baby. It all works out after a bit when you get through the first week or so.

The rest is to be written about in this log...=)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Still more rest needed...

But as I get stronger, my milk has been coming back and baby girl seems happy with it. I didn't have the upset crying girl last night at bed time because of no milk, only because she's fighting a new problem. I'm happy my milk isn't the issue.

I have some fun ideas for this personal log-even if I'm the only one that might be reading it ;) it will be good for me. Will try to find time soon to write. To start though, I was reflecting on the first moments of ever breastfeeding and how tender, new, but natural to me they were. They also were a challenge, but one worth all the milk in the world. In quiet times in the house today I want to remember to write these down.

Too be continued...

Always feel free to share your first memory of nursing your little one. And always feel free to use this as a place to put your breastfeeding thoughts...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

More Milk

Last night she did get a bit more out of me and therefore slept better. Still very sore though. I don't feel the let down that I have all these months when she drinks. I was trying to not "nurse her to sleep" for these last few months, but now I am just wanting her to get as much as possible so I'm not going to worry about that again until later. The truth is, either way she's been waking up quickly and wanting to nurse again. Drinking and drinking over here hoping to lactate like my baby needs. I do have a little more faith in my body today...

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Deticated to Nursing

For my first post, I think I'd like to explain why I've created this blog now after nursing one child for 23 months and another for almost 10 months. I would have thought that all the good stuff to talk about would have past already...the learning how to manage baby on boob for the first time, your milk coming in, the pain and then the rhythm you two create, the beautiful bonding that goes on, the nurturing and the knowing that you are creating something so amazing for your little one, and on and on. This all all great to talk about and here can be a place (I hope). But I'm starting this also because I'm realizing now how I didn't "log" anywhere anything about my first daughter's nursing time and I'm now faced with issues with my second and I can't remember enough to compare (why is my memory so fuzzy-nursing though the night maybe??).

So here I'll try to keep a log-blog a bit and I really hope actually to get more of a dialog going with all the other nursing mother's that have stories and input on the subject as well. I find that on my other blog I can't go into it all honestly the way that I'd like to. My experience has been that mainly mother's whom are nursing or have nursed are wanting the ones wanting to hear about it. I know, it shouldn't be this way, everyone should feel breastfeeding is as natural as talking about food-and boy does everyone always talk about food! I need a place to write about this. I'd love to hear back about some things. And maybe we can educate some in the process.

I titled this post "Dedicated to Nursing" not because of the obvious. Though, yes, this blog will be about that because nursing and breastfeeding for so so many many reasons is beautiful and important. But the title is because in the last week my own experience has been changing and I have to rededicate myself. In my experience, something you do when nursing isn't easy and natural.

Last weekend I had a clogged duct in my breast which was very sore and we worked through it and caught things before a major infection developed requiring meds. That was just two days of soreness (followed by a cold). Now my issue is my milk is getting less and less. I'm pretty sure that she didn't get anything for two days because I was sick and dehydrated, but now seems to be getting a bit again. It's still not a lot because she'll nurse and nurse and get mad and bite or just cry because milk doesn't come. This is how she was tonight going to sleep. =( My breasts are feeling sore and bruised-quite different from the days of first latch on where you feel sore. Not having to pump since the early days when she was first born has made it so that when I turned on the pump, nothing came. Just hoping that she's getting more drops then I did in the pump. She's eating lots of food, water and soymilk-she just really wants her mama's milk. (I do too).

Anyway, more hydration, mama's milk tea, and trying to get rest are the remedies that I'm doing presently. This is clearly happening because I was run down. I going to give it more time, of course, but I wanted to hear if anyone out there has any advice...If not, then I'll at least have this entry on hand to look back on when this is all cleared up and milk is flowing again. =) Thanks for listening...