Monday, October 8, 2012

Mommy Feeds Baby Review and Giveaway

          Mommy Feeds Baby is an awesome new children's book about breastfeeding. Every page of the book shows a different picture of a mom nursing her baby, captioned with "Because _____, mommy feeds baby", listing many reasons why moms nurse. The very last page has a spot for you to add your very own picture and reason why you nurse your baby. The book was written by Christy Jo Hendricks, a lactation consultant, doula, and lactation education trainer. All of the photos in the book were taken by Christy Jo. The book is also available in Spanish. 

          Both Daniel and I absolutely LOVE this book. The minute we got our copy in the mail, he had me reading it over and over again every day. I must confess I even hid it for a bit because I was afraid he'd mess up the pages. He was going through a ripping paper phase and I really want this book to be a keepsake. It's back on our shelves now that he's over the ripping. I am trying to decide whether I'll add a tandem nursing picture to the last page or buy Joshua his own book and add pictures of each boy nursing to their respective books so they can keep them as mementos of our nursing relationships.

          I love the idea of a children's book to help normalize breastfeeding. Our children are the future and, the more they see breastfeeding, the more normal it will be to them as they grow up. I also love the fact that there are moms and babies of different ethnicities shown in the pictures and there are moms nursing babies of different ages and there is even a mom tandem nursing! I searched everywhere for a book that showed tandem nursing when trying to prepare Daniel for Joshua's birth and immediately after, when we had some nursing troubles, and did not find a single one. Most books don't even show nursing at all. This book was perfect for us and I would recommend it to anyone. It makes a great gift for nursing moms and children, lactation consultants, breastfeeding counselors, public libraries, etc. The book retails for $12.95 and you may purchase your copy here.

          For all of you who have read this review and now really wish you had such a wonderful book, I have some GREAT news... Christy Jo sent me an extra copy of the book and each one of you now has the chance to win. Follow the instructions on the Rafflecopter for below to enter. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter and announced Monday, October 15th, 2012 here and on the Diary of a Natural Mom Facbook page

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, September 28, 2012

Mummie's Nummies Breastfeeding Journey Book

Today we have a guest post by Jacky Souders of Mummie's Nummies, introducing her new book, Mummie's Nummies Breastfeding Journey:

What do snowflakes, fingerprints, Zebra stripes and breastfeeding journeys have in common?

Each one is different and unique. No two are the same.

No matter how many times you have embarked on a breastfeeding journey, you really never know what to expect. Just as with Zebra stripes... each child is different... therefore no breastfeeding journey will be like the last.

That is one reason why it is so exciting! There are an endless amount of breastfeeding journeys out there. Some are happy while some are sad. Others are filled with rainbows while others are plagued with tornadoes. Some are a combination of everything... all mixed into one sweet little package.

My personal breastfeeding journeys have been so different. My first daughter was born without the ability to suck, she was a "lazy" latcher, suffered from painful Silent Reflux for the first 12 months. Experienced poor weight gain at 5 months old and I battled with a breastmilk imbalance. But my second daughter was a completely different story! Her first latch lasted 45 minutes! She was a happy Nummie Lover and we are still experiencing our breastfeeding journey 33 months and counting.

I have come across so many breastfeeding journeys, which is why I created Mummie's Nummies Breastfeeding Journey Book. I wanted to show everyone that no two journeys are the same but EVERY journey deserves to be rocked!  

Mummie's Nummies Breastfeeding Journey is a 24 page book that is filled with personal photos from Mummies and their Nummie Lovers, ranging from newborns to toddlers. Capturing their own individual journeys and rocking it the best way they know how. This 8x10 paperback book has captivating photos that shows the silly, the heart warming, the struggles and the quiet moments each Nummie Lover shares with their Mummie. Combine the original poem that captions each photo and you have an amazing book that celebrates moments that will end all too quickly.

Here are some of the journeys within The Breastfeeding Journey book:
Sarah and her adoptive son Baby Z. Baby Z was born prematurely and has suffered from multiple health setbacks. She decided to induce lactation even before Baby Z was born. Sarah also uses donor breastmilk, along with her breastmilk, WHILE using an SNS (Supplemental Nursing System.) Their breastfeeding journey is truly as unique as they come.

Tara and her son Baby E. Their breastfeeding journey began with a 6 day stay in the NICU and being bottle feed for the time spent there. They were able to push through and are now going on 7 months strong!

Danielle and her daughter Baby C. Danielle was told her breasts were “too small” to exclusively breastfeed by a hospital Lactation Consultant. When her daughter reached her 2 week growth spurt, Danielle began exclusively pumping which dropped her supply. Two months later, after an almost non existent breastmilk supply, an awesome Lactation Consultant helped build her supply back up through a hospital grade breast pump and some Fenugreek. They are 16 months strong into their breastfeeding journey (breast pump free!)

Tami and her daughter Baby G. The most seasoned Mummie of our group, Tami, has been there and done that! With 6 children ranging from 19 months to 22 years old (all breastfed) she sure knows the ropes and truly embraced each of her breastfeeding journeys. Tami is currently rocking her 6th journey.

Mallory and her daughter Baby H. Mallory is the youngest Mummie in our book, which is a journey all by itself. She has smashed all the stereotypes about young mummies and is a role model for every young mummie out there! Baby H and Mallory are enjoying their journey together with GREAT support from her family!

And of course you have me and my previous Nummie Lover J and my current Nummie Lover K. Baby J battled silent reflux, poor weight gain, and a rough first 6 months into her first breastfeeding journey, while I suffered a breastmilk imbalance and an insulting breast pump (who called me names!) but we choose not to give up, despite suggestions and advice from others. We had to, unexpectedly, end our breastfeeding journey at 11 months due to a high risk pregnancy. My second breastfeeding journey (Baby K) is going on 34 months and we are choosing to let Baby K choose the path.

My hope is that every Mummie knows that breastfeeding is not always “textbook” and should never be judged by another’s journey. Your journey may be very different than the next Mummie... but that is NORMAL and FINE! Your Breastfeeding Journey is YOURS! And you should ROCK IT with all you got! And because each breastfeeding journey is unique... there is a little something special for each Mummie in the back of the book. A little somethin’ somethin’ to help you ROCK YOUR JOURNEY!


Jacky Souders is a stay at home Mummie of two sweet/zany/beautiful girls (Hi Pooker and Kit Kat!), three angels in heaven(Lima Bean, Baby Heart and Twin), and wife to an amazing and supportive husband (Hi Stephen!)

Jacky is also the creator of "Mummie's Nummies," a breastfeeding support blog.

Jacky's dream was to create a place where breastfeeding "Mummies" could go for support, where they could have a place to turn without judgment. To share their stories with others and to create a place where "NO MUMMIE FEELS ALONE!" And that is how "Mummie's Nummies" was born!

She would LOVE to say that she owns a house in Bartow County, Georgia with her husband -
but who is she kidding? Her daughters ALLOW Jacky and Stephen to live in their home with them!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Big Latch On 2012

          This year, the Big Latch On aimed to reach more participants by going on at two separate times instead of just one. If you are not familiar with the Big Latch On, an international synchronized breastfeeding celebration for World Breastfeeding Week, please see my post on last year's Big Latch On, where I explain it in detail here. On Friday August 3rd, 2012, and Saturday August 4th, 2012 at 10:30 am on both days, moms across the globe joined together to nurse their babies with the purpose of raising breastfeeding awareness and attempting to beat a world record for the most babies nursing at one time. After much anticipation, a few days later, the grand total was announced. 8,862 children breastfed in 626 different locations across 23 countries! Although we did not beat the world record, this was a HUGE increase since last year, when only 4,123 babies were breastfed. We are definitely making a difference when it comes to raising awareness of breastfeeding, especially breastfeeding in public, way to go ladies!

          I attended the Big Latch On in Tampa, FL this year, which was held in conjunction with the Hillsborough County Breastfeeding Task Force's World Breastfeeding week Celebration at All People's Life Center on Saturday. The event was organized by Magen Gilbreath, who organized the Big Latch On in Largo, FL last year. The final count for our location was 58 nursing babies, two of which were mine since we are now tandem nursing! There was at least one other tandem nursing mom there whom I had the pleasure to meet after the latch on minute. After the latch on minute, there were games and raffles. My husband's new water treatment company, United Environmental Solutions donated two Sport Berkey bottles for the raffles, I hope the winners really enjoyed them. Among the other sponsors were my friend Melanie of Birdie Bakes, who donated a basket of lactation cookies, my friend Hallie of Hallie D Photography, who donated a free photo shoot, Stroller Strides who donated some free sessions, and Jade Bitla of JB Art Creations, who donated a beautiful nursing Henna canvas, which I had the pleasure of winning! It's hanging near my dining room table right now. There  was also food and a cake provided by the Breastfeeding Task Force. The best part of this event, in my opinion, were the new relationships created among the nursing moms and families who met at the event. A Facebook group was even created so that we can all stay in touch.Thank you very much to Magen for planning and hosting this event, thank you Hillsborough County Breastfeding Task Force for letting us join in on your celebration, and thank you to all of the sponsors for your generous donations!

                            Here are some pictures from the event, some taken by Hallie D Photography, and some by my husband:

Me and my boys
Me and my boys
Beautiful Breastfeeding Artwork

Yummy Cake!

Friday, August 10, 2012

National Breastfeeding Month Guest Post: Leading Lady Bras

         As many of you know, a few months ago, I reviewed a few Leading Lady nursing bras and a nursing tank. You can find that review hereLeading Lady has a lactation consultant, Amy Berry, IBCLC, on staff and they were kind enough to share this post written by her with my readers in honor of World Breastfeeding Week. Since I was committed to posting breastfeeding stories for World Breastfeeding Week, I decided to post this one now, as it is still National Breastfeeding Month. I hope you will find this helpful.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! In celebration of this special week, Leading Lady would like to share some fun, interesting and useful facts about breastfeeding and nursing bras. Whether you are currently breastfeeding, plan to, or have nursed your babies, read on! We encourage you to put these tips to use, and share with those who have supported your breastfeeding journey. 

Did you know…

1)     As early as your second trimester, your breasts are capable of producing milk. This is why many women feel their breasts are heavier and larger during pregnancy.

2)     You can wear nursing bras during pregnancy. By the third trimester you should shop for nursing bras to be prepared for the baby. But don’t be shy about wearing your new bras during pregnancy since they should be comfortable and support your current size. Look for stretchy leisure styles with give-and-take. Nursing camis are also a great choice once the baby arrives because they allow easy nursing access while still covering your post-bump belly.

3)     Studies show that moms who breastfeed within the first hour of giving birth are more likely to have long-term success. So bring your nursing bras to the hospital because you will need them right away! If you experience any difficulty, ask to see the hospital’s lactation consultant. And hang in there – you are giving your baby a wonderful gift!

4)     Your milk levels will stabilize about 4 to 6 weeks after delivery. You should re-measure yourself for nursing bras around this time, and you may be able to transition into more structured styles
5)     Your bra size may continue to fluctuate somewhat throughout the course of breastfeeding. Bra styles with 4 hook-and-eye closures in back and adjustable straps allow for these common differentiations.

6)     You should not be afraid to try underwire nursing bras if that is the style you find most supportive. Just as you would with all other bras, you should ensure a proper fit. A proper fitting bra will allow your breasts to sit upright and centered on your chest, and the straps will remain in place while you are moving.

7)     Your breasts will need constant support while breastfeeding, and you will likely want to sleep in a bra while nursing. Sleep brasleisure brasnursing camis or a nursing chemise made of soft, stretchable fabrics will keep you supported day and night, and make night time feedings easier.

8)     Nursing bras can be cute and sexy too! You (and your partner) will be pleased to know that nursing bras are not all plain and matronly. From lace cup to lace trim, your nursing bras can be just as flirty as your regular bras!

9)     Accessibility is one of the most important factors in a nursing bra. There are a variety of closure styles including cup clasps and hook-and-eye front closures. Play around with which style best suits your needs.

10)You should replace your nursing bras about every six months or when they have lost their shape and support.

For more information about finding the right nursing bra fit, breastfeeding tips & advice from Leading Lady’s lactation consultant, a downloadable breastfeeding handbook and our nursing blog, and follow us on Twitter @LeadingLadyBras and

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

National Breastfeeding Month Guest Post: Leticia's Breastfeeding Story

           As you all know, August is National Breastfeeding Month. I was originally planning to post just seven breastfeeding stories in honor of World Breastfeeding Week. However, I received more than seven stories so I have decided to continue the celebration for the rest of the month. Yesterday, I posted Jo Ann's story here. Today, we get to hear from one of Jo Ann's daughters, Leticia. Here is her story:

It was just the three of us till fairly recently….Just the three of us….for the first three years of motherhood it was my breasts and my daughter AlmaLuna….then for another eight years my daughter and me. I say this in this way because truly for the first three years it was all about the breasts and Luna…in the most natural of ways, mind you. Other than the fact that I became a single mother during this early period, it was also because I breastfed on demand…so yes, it was about my breasts on and off all day long….naturally and subconsciously. But this was also perhaps because it was part of a whole style of early child rearing that had been more of a conscious decision to begin with. I had decided after much self-reflection during what proved to be a very trying pregnancy, that I not only had to find a method or combination of methods that I was comfortable with but also find one that would suit what could be potentially (and became) a lone parent experience away from direct family as I was to live across an ocean and sea from direct and extended family. I decided to do what I called the tribal method…that I had witnessed in my travels and in my studies…but that had a more academic name, The Continuum Method, championed by Jean Liedloff in her 1975 book The Continuum Concept.

           This concept is based around studies into evolutionary psychology, hunter-gatherer culture, sociobiological behaviour etc… It outlines that baby humans should, amongst other things, be given immediately to their mother (or in her absence a mother figure-could be male too!) and breastfed , held and carried around till they can climb down and crawl away of their own volition. Co-sleeping, responding to  the child´s body signals without judgement and instilling by example a sense of elder expectation in the child to form part of the social habitat they have been born into are all essential parts of this “method”. I agreed in most part and, though I believed it a hard one to follow in the modern dog eat dog world of individualistic society, I thought it would suit me and the kind of life I would lead, especially as a single parent…my social circle would be like a surrogate family and my adult life would not be able to simply stop, we would both have to adapt.

         So I just did what came naturally…I was child led possibly to the eyes of others who only saw me breastfeed on demand and not have a socially acceptable baby routine or set nap times etc…but, in actuality my life was very adult led…it was real…a combination of both. Luna breastfed when she asked for it as long as it was humanly possible…she got herself into a routine but would comfort feed between regular feeds. She ate mushy solid food earlier than other babies we knew on formula, but was still avidly breastfeeding. Needless to say she had a laughing Buddhist monk statue quality about her persona…physically and personally. And so many people thought she was bottle fed because she was so strong and healthy looking. They were often shocked to see or know that she was breastfed. I in turn was shocked to think someone would think breastfed babies would be emaciated! Even the “health visitor” (in the UK this is the lady who takes over after the midwife and gives wellness checkups and advice to new infants and mothers) said after 6 months that maybe I should consider giving up the breast as she was already eating solids and seemed so healthy and maybe to supplement with a bottle, that demand feeding was spoiling her!! I was horrified and quickly brought her a stack of Breastfeeding Coalition pamphlets and a copy of my continuum method book. I ended up not ever going back to her…she, I believe, was secretly glad.

          So here I was, co-sleeping, breastfeeding on demand, and carrying my child around in a sling or tribal band all day long wherever I went (only using umbrella buggy when shopping in order to use her as a counterweight to carry bags home!). Needless to say most people, even fellow mothers at the baby and parent groups I frequented, thought I was some sort of self-righteous massoquist anarquist though I never tried to indoctrinate anyone, in fact I was very supportive of everyone´s choices…but it seems that even just setting silent examples are often louder than one thinks or others want to see and hear! They were shocked I didn´t pump and that nobody had fed her a bottle EVER. They were shocked that I only had one cupboard with a child safety lock (the meds and poisons) and that other than a mesh gate at the top of the stairs and safety plugs in the sockets, the house was just a landmine of potential disasters….to them mainly breakables of course! I tried to explain that Luna only played with, chewed up and promptly spit out rubber nipples so bottle feeding was out whether expressed or formula. As to the house,  I just preferred Luna to learn that some things needed a careful touch, or that they needed to be respected as someone else´s  belongings or treasures, and only to be touched with permission than to just have everything put up on the top utmost shelf and for the child to think they were brought up in a museum. She also had to learn by making mistakes, letting curiousity lead her to breaking something, and I had to be ok with that too. As to safety, I felt she needed to learn what household danger was and to avoid it as this was her environment. Children who know how to use kitchen knives won´t run around with them pointed at their faces going “mommy what´s this!”. If I had lived on a farm then she would have been exposed to those dangers in a guided way and taught how to avoid them. A house was no different. Fencing a kid in, is not helping them survive.

          I took this same view on breastfeeding… I figured, if it is not bothering me to feed when she needs or wants it, then why not? It was funny to me that some people, very educated people even, would say to me that what I was teaching her was to be demanding. Implying that demand feeding would automatically raise Verruca Salt, an I want it and I want it now type child. This could not have been farther from the truth. She was independent and polite from the get go…and has continued to be so. As soon as she could climb down and crawl away she did….even if she crawled back as soon as she needed just a sip for reassurance and then back off again! She walked before she was one and then still slept on my back or helped out while I did errands or accompanied me to (decaf) coffee with friends or to the cinema screenings that they would do at noon for mothers with infants at our local picturehouse, or breastfed to sleep into the late night council meetings when I campaigned for recycling collection in my neighbourhood. She learned to be a human in the world because of her inclusion into it. Through those activities alone, she learned by osmosis how to hang out with girlfriends and be supportive, to love film and be an activist, for example. Things she enjoys to this day!

          She never had separation anxiety when she did her first days at the Montessori inspired preschool she attended in the mornings. I had taken her there BECAUSE of her independence and her strong social character that really sang out for other kids and grownups. All of her friends went there too and we were all, parents and kids, her tribe. She was 2 and a half then and still “on the breast” as I breastfed her till she was about three. The end happened like it started, naturally. She was co-sleeping , remember, so it had to be combined “sleep on your own and wean yourself”…no easy feat! In the end it was also, sleep dry through the night  (as she had potty trained herself by just after one but was wearing pull up terry cloths at night)…it happened all at once it seemed…or within weeks of each event. Being a single parent was hardest at this stage because in the middle of the night she was used to rolling over and helping herself…hence allowing me to sleep relatively undisturbed or at least not to have to fully wake up in the night. I could go to bed late and sleep in late, that was the beauty of co-sleeping and breastfeeding on demand. While taxing on my body to some degree, of course, I did not feel as sleep deprived as my fellow parent friends, that was for sure. She slept in her own bed on the floor in her own room much easier than anyone would have had me believe…she then promptly decided she would only have a sip of milk late at night before bed and if she hurt herself really badly…but that only lasted a few weeks. And then BAM! My boobs were mine again!! Though every time I walked into her room naked I still felt like a girl walking past a building site in a bikini. Her eyes would flicker with longing melancholy for a few seconds…and then she would just get on with what she was doing.

         And now as I write this I am forced to look back and think…would I do anything differently? Would I have been more professionally independent had someone else been able to feed her for me? Would I be richer? Would she be different? The answer to all of those is yes. I would not have sacrificed my career goals perhaps as much. Breastfeeding meant I did not tattoo for three years. But I did a lot of other things, important things. Community oriented things that really mattered. I mothered. I nurtured.  Richer? On an economic level, yes! On a human level, no! And yes, Luna would be different…she would be ok…she would be maybe even marvellous…many, many kids who are not breastfed on demand and have not co-slept, whose parents have not followed some bonkers evolutionary method of early childrearing have grown up to be just fine…more than just fine, great! But she would be different for sure…I believe that in my very gut. She is empathetic and mature like few kids of her age that I know, she knows how to use a knife and to take care of herself, she knows how to shop and to manage money, she is tactile and has great control of the senses, she is independent and is able to maneuver now as a teenager in an age appropriate manner in the world around her…which is largely an adult world. She was slowly and naturally inducted, initiated, into the human race…at a combination of paces, her own age needs and the environment´s demands… Back then she seemed clueless to the horrified stares and oblivious to the admonishments of other adults to my style of breastfeeding etc.. Now, she is properly mortified when anyone finds out she breastfed that long, slept with her mother, and was carried on her back till she was three…but secretly I think she is proud…and even at 13 she still cuddles and crawls into bed and holds hands when she walks down the road with me…so, it couldn´t have been THAT bad.

About the Author:

Leticia Molera Vasquez is mother to a teenager, anthropologist, tattooist, writer and teacher.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

World Breastfeeding Week Guest Post #7: Jo Ann's Breastfeeding Story

          Today is the final day of World Breastfeeding Week, I hope you have all been enjoying the stories shared in celebration of this wonderful week. The following story was submitted by a friend of my mother-in-law, Jo Ann, who also kindly sent me the book, Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers by Nancy Morbacher and Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, when Daniel was born. This book was amazing and helped me a lot in the beginning, especially since I had no nursing family members or friends to ask questions of at the time. Thank you very much for the book, Jo Ann, I now recommend it to all of my pregnant friends who are considering breastfeeding. Without further ado, here is her story:       

          Four out of five of my girls have had children and all four of the moms have breastfed their children.  Back when our youngest was in college and got the opportunity to study abroad for one semester, she emailed for a bunch of articles on breastfeeding, the cultural influences mothers, the anthropological angles, etc. She was writing a paper on breastfeeding, of all things.  During this particular email sojourn, I remembered thinking back to when I became pregnant with my first child and whether nursing was a conscious decision or just one that came about naturally.  

          I did not have any recollection of weighing the pros and cons of formula vs. breast milk.  I also did not have the advantage during the first seven months of my first pregnancy to hit my mother up with a million questions.  We lived overseas and my parents lived stateside---snail mail was the principle means of communication as there was no internet, cell phones, etc., and overseas calls cost a fortune.

         In hind sight, I think ignorance was bliss.  By the time we moved home two months prior to the birth of our daughter, I had already determined to nurse.  I think I thought that MOST moms did---that's why I say "ignorance is bliss."  It was only after I was well past the early days of being a new mother that I quizzed my mom on her breastfeeding experiences.  Our daughter was born with hip dysplasia, so my focus in those early days was eating, sleeping, nursing and regular trips to the pediatric orthopedist for fittings for a hip brace and check ups.  

          When my mother was having her babies, the trend was:  nurse about six weeks and then change over to the "pre-formula" concoctions they use to make at home which was some combination of Karo syrup and Pet Milk  (canned, condensed milk).  Holy mackerel, it's no wonder some of us grew up to be "chunky"!!!!!  Physicians were not particularly encouraging of breast feeding---moms were encouraged to do what was convenient for them.  I truly believe that if they had had access to the information we have today, more moms would have breastfed.

          Keep in mind, too, that having a wet nurse was a practice that came out of aristocratic European cultures, and I think that concept was what gave birth to generational ignorance in the breast feeding department.  So called "wealthy" women didn't "nurse".  That was a "primitive" practice used by the lower classes.  After World War II, with so many women having gone to work in factories or volunteering in hospitals during the war, nursing took an even bigger hit.  That's when all my siblings and I were born---I guess we are officially baby-boomers!!!

          But, like any trend, the pendulum always swings way to the other side when things begin to change.  The pendulum never stops in the middle ground, initially.  So, when I was nursing my children, there were some pretty rabid types out there making lots and lots of folks uncomfortable.  I never ran in to too many of the real radicals, but I knew of them.  And I think, in their enthusiasm to correct society's way of thinking, they made lots of moms feel guilty.  

          I am truly passionate about the "rightness" of breast feeding, but I have tried very hard to just lead by example...and occasionally giving new moms breastfeeding books!!!!   It is interesting, but my youngest daughter, Gillian, who has a whopping 2.5 month old BIG BOY, is changing the mentality of her mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law.  Oh, they are very supportive of Gillian, and recognize that she is a fabulous mother.   But they actually have commented to her on several occasions that they wish they had nursed their children, seeing how efficient it is, how content the baby is, and just how appreciative they are of the maternal bonding they are witnessing.  They also see how supportive dad can be doing lots of other things that can help mother and child.  (That dad has to give the child a bottle is one of those excuses that really burns me up!!!!)

          Another one of my daughters used to regularly inform people, usually when they were commenting on a bumper sticker I used to keep on my kitchen cabinet, that Jo Ann Molera's daughters WOULD all nurse their children.  I never put pressure on my girls to nurse....but they knew my thoughts on the subject very well.  I used to be part of a breast feeding task force here on the Eastern Shore of Virginia but that kind of went by the wayside when the physician who organized it moved to Charlottesville, VA.  I tried to keep the task force going but I had no real credentials to be the driving force behind it other than the fact that I had been a nursing mother.

          Our local hospital still gives the new moms a diaper bag with a can of formula in it----happily supplied by some formula company.  I don't think any real organized effort has been made to point out to them that supplying a new mom with formula is a great way to get her "hooked" on the practice, even when she has originally said that she wants to nurse her baby.  Also, the practice of sending moms who want to nurse their children home after 24 hours  (barring any complications), with no lactation support, is the death knell for a successful breast feeding experience for that mom.  It takes a lot of perseverance to hang in there, especially if the new moms do not have any support from their mothers, either because their mothers didn't nurse, or because they actually have cultural prejudices against nursing.

          We are having a disposable diaper drive at our church for our local health department and Rural Health clinics.  The cost of using disposables is astronomical, as you well know---as is the cost of formula.  It blows my mind that there is no public campaign putting two and two together:  Using formula and disposable diapers is THE most expensive route a young family can take----so why take it?  Children are NOT convenient---get over it and get on with the raising of them.  That's my story and I 'm sticking to it!!!

About the Author:

Jo Ann is a mom to 5 grown daughters and enjoys spending time with her many grandchildren.

Monday, August 6, 2012

World Breastfeeding Week Guest Post # 6: Veronica's Breastfeeding Story

          The following story was submitted to me by one of my readers, Veronica, who also blogs at Squigles & Wiggles. It is the story of her experience nursing her baby boy, I hope you all enjoy it.

Free Range Baby

I found out I was pregnant with my little bundle of joy in January of 2011. My husband & I were beyond excited! I knew long before we even thought about having kiddos that I would be a nursing mama & that there would be nothing to get in my way.

Growing up I had a stay at home mom & my parents emphasized a natural & healthy lifestyle. To me, nursing goes hand & hand with exactly that! My son is the most important thing in my life, so why wouldn't I want to give him the best? He sure deserves it!

I made it well known through out my doctor visits & once we were in the hospital that I would be solely nursing my son. I nursed my son within about 30 minutes of giving birth & he latched on fabulously & ate like a champ. I thank my amazing nurses for helping me out & I'm glad I did my own research on it as well. Sadly, shortly after being transferred to a postpartum room, I had difficulties. I honestly contribute a majority of that to the horrible horrible nursing consultant. She was rude, very pushy, rough & rushed me. After having her come into my room 3 times, I told my nurse that I didn't want her anywhere near my son, my boobs or room again! I decided that I would figure this out on my own because it was my body & my baby to start with, so I knew what worked best for us. I found a comfortable position for my son & I after a couple tries & it was a success! He was an eating machine from that point on!

After we returned home I continued to nursing my son & being a newbie mom, the experience was amazing, difficult & emotional. I would've never expected it to contribute so much to the strong bonding experience for us, nor did I expect the pain of it. The first few weeks were the most difficult but worth every ounce of nipple cream & shields. My husband doubted my milk supply because we went through many stages of cluster feedings. I knew that he had PLENTY of milk, mainly because he had normal wet diapers & I couldn't use nursing pads in my bra, but had to wash clothes because of how much I was making.

My bouncing baby boy is a boob baby all the way! Most of the time I feel like an open buffet but he's getting the best possible in the world & that is all that matters. He still goes through spurts of cluster feedings, short feedings, long feedings, & every other kind of feeding that you can think of. He is free to eat as much as he wants whenever he wants & that is perfectly okay with me. He never took to a bottle & is with me 24/7, so I know he is always getting exactly what he needs.
I know in my heart that I am giving my son the best I have to offer, after all he'a human so he needs human milk! I would've done everything in my power to give him his baby milk (that's what we call it).

I really encourage new moms to not give up on nursing. It is hard but it's so worth getting through those first rough weeks. There are so many amazing services that can help you out if you are having problems or even have questions. All I have to say is don't doubt yourself, your supply or your baby. Nursing babies don't eat on a normal schedule & never will, so don't listen to what others are telling you. If your little one is having plenty of wet diapers then they are getting enough. Most importantly find what works for you, positioning your little one is key & when you both are comfortable then it'll be a peaceful & amazing experience. There is nothing better than bonding with your little one!

NEVER give up on what is best for your little one! They are so important & worth it XOXO

        This story was also posted by Veronica at Squiggles & Wiggles, you can find it here. Thank you very much for sharing your story with us, Veronica.

About the Author: 

Veronica is a wife and stay-at-home mom of one precious baby boy. She enjoys making crafts and sells handmade items. Veronica also blogs at Squiggles & Wiggles. Please check out her blog.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

World Breastfeeding Week Guest Post # 5: Amanda and Noah's Breastfeeding Story

          The following is my friend Amanda's story about her experience breastfeeding her second child, her son Noah (you may read about Amanda's experience nursing her daughter here): 

                     The Story Of Noah.  

         Fast-forward 16 months after my first was born and we were welcoming our second blessing,my son! his birth experience was just as beautiful AND I was even able to have him at the birth center.   Let me tell you about patience, you really learn it so much when you have your second.  Since I was more experienced at nursing (unlike when I had my first) I had that part down, no more long frustrating nights.We started off wonderfully, just a little while after his birth, he was nursing effectively!

          Three Days into nursing,everytime I would nurse him it would be SOOOO painful on my one side.  It was so cracked and sore, oh my gosh, worst pain ever! Thank God it was only on one side. I'm so thankful this was my second and I had already attained so much information on nursing that I sucked it up for a few days and, when he was about 2 weeks old, it was such a pleasure to nurse again.It was so worth the pain because now he is still nursing strong and he will be 1 year old on August 14!  I really do hope that he will continue until at least two or three with nursing as I just love the attachment I have.  He always wants me and I personally LOVE that.  

          Thank you again for taking the time to read my story!  I hope it encourages you, if you are struggling with nursing or planning on nursing, to push through the hardest time, the first few weeks.  Have support from other Breastfeeding Mama's and a firm set answer of YES I WILL NURSE and be that woman of your word, you are/will do great!

About the author:

Amanda is wife to Pete and mother to Ava, 2, and Noah, 11 months.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

World Breastfeeding Week Guest Post #4: Amanda and Ava's Breastfeeding Story

          The following is my friend Amanda's story about her experience breastfeeding her first child, her daughter Ava:
          This is my story of breastfeeding.  It will be short, sweet and simple, because when you have 2 children under 2 that is all you can do.  

          My daughter, who is now 2 years old, was born in April.  What a beautiful birth experience I was able to have in the hospital (although I was supposed to have her in the birth center, but that's another story for another day. Overall, I am very thankful I had great care.  

          I remember when we were planning for her welcome into this world, I made sure I was going to nurse.  I heard so many stories of women who chose to stop, couldn't nurse, didn't even want to try…the list goes on. I would slowly get "discouraged" but made it a priority that I wasn't even going to have a bottle in my home.

         The day she came was so amazing.  I was able to nurse her pretty much within the first 30 minutes after birth, it was such a special thing.  In the hospital I remember the nurses would tell me all the time, "wake her up even if she doesn't want to eat, offer her the breast every 2-3 hours."  We didn't have too many issues in the hospital since we had the lactation consultants only a room away.

          When we brought our sweet little blessing home, the first few nights were pretty rough.  I remember just getting SO frustrated because she wouldn't latch on for what felt like 10 minutes and then she would just start screaming.  My husband and I would get so upset with each other.  Thankfully that only lasted a few weeks and then we pretty much had it down.  I didn't even know what it meant to have sore/cracked nipples.I never had to use lanolin, I DID have to use nursing pads,a lot of them!  Pretty much, my experience was wonderful with nursing and I was so upset when she self weaned at one year due to my pregnancy with our second child.  (I really wanted her to nurse until at least two -three).  

Thank you for taking the time to read my story!  

About the author:

Amanda is wife to Pete and mother to Ava, 2, and Noah, 11 months.

Friday, August 3, 2012

World Breastfeeding Week Guest Post #3: Jennifer's Breastfeeding Story

          This is my friend Jennifer's story about how breastfeeding her daughter, Kennedy, taught her that things don't always go as planned. Jennifer stuck to her beliefs and fought really hard to make sure Kennedy had only her milk. Here is her story:

         While I was pregnant with my first I was dead set that I would breastfeed my daughter, Kennedy.  In my mind, there were no other options.  Someone gave me a bunch of bottles and a pump, which I gratefully accepted and put in the closet, thinking that I may pull them out in a few months when I was ready to leave her with Grandma for a few hours.  

          The day she was born, my world was turned upside down.  My midwife told me she suspected that my daughter had Down syndrome.  She was transferred from the birth center to the NICU.  This was not part of the plan.  From the moment I got to the NICU I was told things like "babies with Down syndrome can't breastfeed" and "you'll have to supplement with formula." I was shocked and discouraged.  The nurses and even the lactation consultants were not very supportive of my determination to breastfeed.  Hours after being admitted Kennedy was diagnosed with a heart defect, which would require open heart surgery just months later.  I set to work pumping and breastfeeding around the clock from the day she was born.  The nurses in the NICU continued to push formula to *get us home sooner.*  I never gave in.  My daughter could breastfeed, and at the very least, she would get my milk.  I pumped and we fed her with bottles in the NICU, to get home faster.  Once home, it was a battle to get her to breastfeed, but one I did not give up on.  I continued to pump and breastfeed.  Fortunately my milk supply was amazing.  By the time Kennedy was two weeks old she wasn't gaining much weight.  Her heart was working harder and harder and she needed more calories.  The doctors wanted us to add formula to her breastmilk.  I fought and fought.  I did everything I could to increase the calories in my milk, through dietary changes.  And when that didn't work, I fought hard against the cardiologist to find some other way.  We agreed to using oil to increase the calories she was getting.  So I used coconut oil, and protein powder.  I still breastfed a few times a day and she got bottles with the "extras" the rest of the time.  

           By the time she was three months old she had been in heart failure for 2 months and her surgery date was quickly approaching.  It was critical that she gain as much weight as possible.  It was a difficult decision, but I knew I had to do what was best for Kennedy.  I stopped breastfeeding, and continued pumping, she moved to a level 2 nipple and received all her feelings by bottle.  She didn't have to work as hard to get the milk.  She took in more ounces per day this way, burned less calories, and she would be better prepared for surgery.  I never imaged that the hand me down pump I received, and pushed into the closet would have been such a life line for us from day one.  I continued to pump and pump, making triple what she was eating in a day.  When Kennedy was 4.5 months old she had open heart surgery to repair her heart defect.  She was a superstar and in less than two weeks she was eating twice what she used to and gaining weight in record amounts.  We no longer needed to supplement her milk.  I tried so hard to get her to breastfeed again, with out success.  

          I was determined that I would continue pumping, and that I did.  Until she was eight months old and I got pregnant again.  I planned to continue pumping, but after experiencing complications early on, I was advised by my midwife to stop.  I was heart broken.  Though I had no reason to be.  I had two deep freezers full of 5,000 ounces of breastmilk.  I knew i had enough of a supply to get her to at least a year, and as it turned out, she was able to have my milk until she was 16 months old.  

          Kennedy quickly taught me that life doesn't always go the way you plan for and things change.  I had to do things differently than I originally wanted to.  I never would have imagined myself exclusively pumping, and I was sad that we didn't get to have the strong breastfeeding relationship that I had dreamed of.  I'm still disappointed in all of the doctors and nurses who tried to push formula and said that she "couldn't breastfeed" or that I would never be able to pump enough to give her all the milk she needed.  Kennedy and I proved them wrong.  I'm thankful for the support of my midwives and doula, especially in those first few weeks.  They were a huge source of encouragement and support during the time we spent in the NICU, the first few weeks home, through providing her with additional calories alternatively and in trying to resume breastfeeding post-op.  

About the author:

Jennifer is a wife to her husband Marlon and stay at home mom to her sweet little girl named Kennedy. She is expecting a little boy named Caleb any minute now. Read more about Jennifer and her family on her blog at (you'll get to see adorable pictures of Kennedy).

Thursday, August 2, 2012

World Breastfeeding Week Guest Post #2: Gissele's Breastfeeding Story

        The theme for World Breastfeeding Week this year is "Understanding the Past, Planning the Future" and I feel my friend Gissele's story is a good illustration of this. The system failed her with her first child and that, along with her lack of knowledge, caused her to turn to formula to feed her child. She now understands what went wrong in the past and is seeking to arm herself with the tools needed to successfully breastfeed her second child. Here is her story:

          This is my experience with breastfeeding my daughter Lilyanna. Giving birth is one of the most beautiful experiences a woman can go through. When I saw my daughters beautiful face after I gave birth, I just fell in love. I didn't know then that it was important to breastfeed as soon as I gave birth. The hospital waited forever to let me hold my daughter because I was in recovery  for a while. When  they brought me upstairs to my postpartum room and they brought me my little girl, I decided to give it a try . 

          Well, this is how it went. Lily had a hard time latching on. When she did, it hurt and I was so tired and sore. The hospital staff wasn't really good help with breastfeeding, or anything else for that matter. When I asked for help with anything, it took forever for a nurse to come to my room. One time, I dropped the baby's hat on the floor and a nurse refused to get me a clean one. I had to speak to another nurse, who happened to be her supervisor, in order to get a new one. I remember one nurse telling me that I could sit my baby up and feed her from an open bottle. I felt so overwhelmed that I  kind of gave up and decided to give her formula. I remember they sent a lactation consultant  and I tried again but I just didnt know how to position her. It was too hard and the help I received was minimal. My whole hospital experience was a nightmare. I was in a lot of pain and requested that they check me at Lily's 2 week appointment and it turned out they had left 3 pieces of gauze inside of me!

          When I got home, I tried pumping a few times. My breasts felt engorged and sore. I kept  trying to latch Lily but it was just too painful. My family didn't know much about breastfeeding as they raised children in a time when breastfeeding wasn't common and they were not very supportive of my breastfeeding either. I sometimes feel like a failure for giving up. I should've gotten more help but I all I know is that I tried! I didn't have all the information, help, or support that I needed at the time. I also felt like I was in a kind of stressful environment and I know that babies can sense everything so maybe that affected our breastfeeding as well. 

         I am pregnant again with my second child now. I'm doing my best to get well informed because I am definitely sticking to my guns this time and not giving up because I know my child needs all the nutrition he or she can get! I have been asking my breastfeeding friend questions and doing my research on breastfeeding and what help is available in my area in case I need it when the baby is born. I understand how important breastfeeding is now and I won't fail my baby this time. Without a doubt, if I feel overwhelmed or like I want to quit this time,I will seek help and not give up.

About me:

My name is Gissele and I'm the mother of a soon to be 4 year old daughter name Lilyanna. I've been married for 8 years to my wonderful husband and I'm a stay at home mom. I recently lost 50lbs and then found out I am pregnant with my second miracle. I'm currently around 19-20 weeks pregnant and anxiously waiting on his/ her arrival. I'm willing and  totally ready to  take the challenge of raising a toddler and a newborn.  Im also willing to  try breastfeeding once again. I feel it is so important for babies to receive the best possible nutrition there is and all of that can be found in breast milk.I feel so blessed because God has given me the opportunity to become a mother once again. I didn't think I would be able to conceive again but, thanks to God and my weight loss, my prayers have been answered.