Tag Archives: nursing

World Breastfeeding Week

It’s World Breastfeeding Week! When a friend asked me if I was going to be blogging about it, I said probably not. I’m kind of all blogged out when it comes to breastfeeding, having written for a year now at the Breastfeeding Diaries.  My monthly check-in column “Yes, We’re Still Nursing!” is just about the perfect amount of writing.  Breastfeeding is part of our normal life now, as normal as me snacking on berries, eating fresh-caught fish, or having a big glass of water by my side at all times.  It’s how we live, it just IS.

That’s not to say that I don’t think about it or talk about it.  I’ve been happy to help out some of my loved ones who are new mommies with questions about nursing and expressing.  I laugh about it, like when the UPS man encountered my nursing bra-turned-swimsuit drying on the front porch.  I’m also really proud of the fact that I have nursed Joshua every single day for the last 16 1/2 months.  That’s just amazing to me.  I wish I had that kind of endurance in other areas of my life (dieting, exercise, laundry…).  I’m very happy with how our nursing relationship is right now. I nurse Josh when we’re together and don’t worry about it when we’re apart. There’s no pumping, bottles, measuring, washing dishes, or any of the stuff that stressed me out about being a nursing, working mom.  He nurses way less now than when he was a newborn, but I’d say he probably nurses about 10 times a day, just usually for shorter periods of time.  But to me it’s no big deal. It’s just what we do. 

I’ve thought about night weaning, but I don’t think Joshua’s ready for that yet.  I do believe that he’ll wean when he’s ready, but I see no reason to push it at this point.  I joke that I have no idea how I’d ever get him to sleep without nursing, as he nurses to sleep every time he’s with me, with the exception of falling asleep in the car a few times.  Though he falls asleep fine when we’re apart. 

Over the past 16 1/2 months, I’ve lived and breathed breastfeeding.  While eating, in my sleep, in public, in private, without a cover (but sometimes with), in the bath, in the pool, at the beach, at a parade, at a tractor pull, at picnics, in a parked car, in the shade, in the sun, on the couch, lying down, walking around, sitting on the floor. Whenever, wherever.

So what’s the plan? There is no plan. I have no plans to wean him at X age, just as I have no plans to keep going until X age.  If I had to make a prediction, I’d guess that his nusing duration would be measured in years, but we’ll see.  We just go with the flow.

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Filed under Food, Living from Scratch, parenting

Breastfeeding – Approaching a transition

Today’s guest post comes from my friend Michelle, who blogs at The Ahouse Adventures.

It was always my goal to breastfeed Sophia through her 1-year birthday. From what I’ve read, and with the routine we’ve got down, it’s the best option for us. I particularly enjoy our morning time together – it’s a nice way to ease into the day for both of us. With 10 months down already, I’ve started to think a lot about the transition.

Right now, I feed her directly 3 times a day and she gets a bottle of pumped milk before bed. We started the bottle before bed because my supply was at its lowest at the end of the day (as is most women’s) and we wanted to make sure she had a nice, full tummy for sleeping.  It’s also a great opportunity for Dave to participate in the putting to bed process. The other two feedings occur when she wakes up after first and second nap. She is eating lots of solids, so the stress from the beginning of her life of not being quite sure how much milk she was getting has eased up entirely.

What is funny is that the more active she is become (crawling, pulling up), the less interested she is in eating. Yesterday, we made it about 8 minutes before she was completely distracted and disinterested. (Note that we were sitting quietly in her room with nothing really to distract her – no music, people or anything. She manages to distract herself! with trying to move all around) I ended up pumping and giving her about 3ozs because I knew she was still hungry. We’re working on beefing up the solids even more, but much like breastfeeding, it’s hard to know exactly how much they’re eating (vs throwing on the floor!)

One thing I won’t miss is the pumping. I’ve been fairly dedicated to pumping 3 times a day. Once in the morning after her first feeding and twice at night – when she gets her bottle at bedtime and once before I go to bed. That has covered the nightly bottle with some extra to increase our freezer supply. My hope it to be able to stop pumping the end of this month, with enough “banked” in the fridge to cover her nightly bottles through the 1-year mark.

Come November, the plan is to move her onto cow’s milk for 2-3 feedings and to continue to nurse her for the morning feeding for awhile longer until she’s ready to give it up. We’ll see how it all plays out. We’ll probably start with a nice half mommy milk, half cow milk transition and go from there. I do love the fact that I can soothe her at a moment’s notice (especially in the middle of the night with teething) so I’m not willing to give up breastfeeding entirely. Breastfeeding truly has formed this bond that we’ll never lose; it will just evolve.

Michele is a full-time stay at home mom. She lives in Somerville, MA with her husband & daughter, Sophia, who was born in November of ‘09.  You can follow their adventures at: http://theahouseadventures.blogspot.com/

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Thoughts on Nursing my Baby

I’ve noticed that most of the blogs I follow use the term “breastfeeding,” but I was raised with the term “nursing” so that’s what I use.

I grew up in a home where nursing was the norm.  My mom was what you’d call a lactivist, but I think the term didn’t exist back in the 80′s (though I’m not sure).  She didn’t go to nurse-ins or anything, but she nursed each of us for an extended time period, sometimes enduring glares or criticism from family or friends.  I’m the oldest of three, with two little brothers who are 3 and 8 years younger than I am.  My mom nursing my brothers was a normal part of my childhood, and she made a note in my baby book that I play nursed my doll when she nursed my middle brother.  Both of my parents came from dairy farms, and so “milking” was a normal part of their lives, and the choice to nurse their children made sense to them.  I can remember watching lots of different types of animals nursing over years on the farm.  Nursing was the natural, normal thing to do.  I’ve carried that belief with me throughout childhood and into my adult life.  I always thought I’d nurse my future babies, no problem.

Until, that is, I started reading blogs.  I learned all kinds of things that were obstacles to nursing that I never knew about.  I never knew that there were such a thing as lactation consultants to help a mother learn to feed her child.  What could she need help for? Isn’t that why both mom and baby have instincts?  I never knew that the doctors or nurses in the hospital would want to supplement with formula if babies weren’t gaining enough weight fast enough.  Maybe that’s because we were all big eaters and gained weight normally, so it was outside of my experience.  I never knew that, on rare occasions, some moms don’t produce milk.  That never happened with animals I saw.  I never knew that there were so many medical and societal barriers to nursing babies. 

So now, with my baby due in about a week, I’m wondering if this whole nursing thing will be as easy as I always thought.  Now that I know all these problems are out there, I worry that my baby won’t latch on right, or that I’ll need some kind of medical intervention that won’t let nursing get off to a good start.  I worry that my baby won’t gain weight quickly enough and I’ll be pressured to supplement with formula.  I worry that I’ll have to put up with criticism from friends or glares from strangers.  So I read, and I learn.  And I’ve regained my confidence that I’ll nurse my baby and it will go just fine.

There are many reasons why I’m determined to nurse my baby.  The most important is that nursing has always seemed like the most natural way to feed my baby.  My mom nursed us, animals nurse their babies, and throughout most of human history, babies have been nursed.  I know from a nutritional and biological standpoint, nursing my baby will give him the best start in life.  I also put a lot of weight on the fact that I won’t have to wash bottles or buy formula (dishes and grocery store trips are high on the list of things I hate to do).  Nursing is also eco-friendly because there are no formula cans to dispose of or worry of chemicals leaching out of the plastic bottle.  Nursing is reliable, and not a problem when the power goes out or there’s no running water. 

I’m happy that my husband, my mom, and my mom-in-law are supportive of my choice to nurse my baby, since I know they’ll all be a source of encouragement if we do run into any problems.  And I can’t wait for this little guy to arrive!

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Filed under Food, Home, Sustainable Living

New Calf

Last night, my dad and brothers picked up a Brown Swiss calf from our dairy farmer friends the Page family.  Mom and I spent this morning trying to teach him how to drink from a pail.  He’s not quite gotten it yet, but he was certainly hungry.  He’ll spend the next few months of his life as the star attracation while kids eat their ice cream at Rose Orchards.  He doesn’t have a name yet, but I like Bruno, Ferdinand, or Peanutbutter.  Any ideas?

My brother Jonathan bringing the calf home.  Jon says since he paid for him, he gets to name him.

Duke and Eddie checking out their new friend.

Mom feeding the calf.

Me feeding the calf.

The calf has almost figured it out…

But then he forgot.

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