Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Eliana's Story part 3

We're happy to share a guest post by our friend Eliana and her breastfeeding experience. The story of the breastfeeding journey she and her son went on will be shared here in parts. We have already brought you part 1 and part 2, today we conclude this portion of her story with part three. It is our hope that some time in the future, Eliana will be back to tell us more as her journey continues.

After reflux, and reactions we didn't understand or know about at the time, my son was put on Alimentum at 2 months old. And this is when my medical issues became the big problem.

Bleeding after birth, whether vaginal or c-section, is common, and often lasts up to 6 weeks after birth. Mine never went away that early. Apparently this little piece of placenta kept open a spot in my uterine wall. So I didn't stop bleeding at 6 weeks.

The dr gave me some medication (hormones), where if I had been nursing, I would have to pump and dump anyway. So it was a blessing that my son was on formula by this point. These hormones were supposed help stop the bleeding. I was on them for a couple weeks, but it didn't change anything.

I still hadn't passed the placental piece by 3 months after birth, so my OB started to explore what was going on. A biopsy revealed that I had 2 uterine infections in the 3 months after birth. It didn't show why I was bleeding, but the infections could have been from the birth or the placental piece they were missing. My dr gave me antibiotics, just in case that was causing the bleeding, but that didn't stop it either.

My doctor decided to perform a D&C to remove whatever was causing the problem. If the D&C didn't fix it, I would have been at risk for a hysterectomy. Apparently, however, this scared the placenta out of me because 4 days before my surgery, I finally passed it. We still went ahead with the D&C, just to make sure but the bleeding had already basically stopped by that time.

The most difficult part for me by this point was that my milk seemed like it had dried up, also. By the time that I had my D&C, I couldn't squeeze a drop out. They say that you shouldn't do this, but I had to try. It was actually VERY painful to even try, and I just felt like my body had failed me. I had no recovery time from the birth, because of all the issues we had following it.

After the D&C, I began to leak like never before. Suddenly, my sheets and nightclothes were soaked. I even felt like I went through a second round of “baby blues.” Still no engorgement, but more milk then I ever made before. No one had prepared me for all this. I knew the placenta controlled a lot of things, but I had no idea that every post-partum issue would come back.

If I had been in contact with a lactation consultant, they might have suggested that I nurse again. If my OB had known what was going to happen, they might have supported me in my nursing efforts more than they did in reality. If I had known that I was going to start producing milk again, I might have pumped and dumped for those middle 2 months.

But without the support and the knowledge that I needed, my husband and I decided the best course was just to continue to feed our son formula. It is a good thing, but we only know this is hindsight. With his reactions, reflux, and my placental issues, I did the best I could without much support regarding nursing.

I honestly have no idea whether the 2 months that I was able to nurse him helped him or did nothing for his reactions. But I do know that I gave him the best that I could at the time, and since. There is nothing wrong with nursing for only 2 months; there is nothing wrong with baby-wearing to stop baby from screaming; there is nothing wrong with not figuring out cloth-diapering before baby came along; there is nothing wrong with co-sleeping or having baby sleep in a crib. When my husband and I decide to have another one, which may be awhile considering everything we have gone through this time around, I might try all this again from the get-go.

But I will not be afraid to co-sleep, or baby-wear, or maybe even cloth-diaper. I will not be afraid to ask for a consult with a lactation expert. And I will not be afraid of formula.

After all, “successful breastfeeding does NOT mean EXCLUSIVE breastfeeding.”

Photo courtesy of Idils' on Flickr.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Little Let-down.

Alright Boobies, we've got to have a talk.

First of all, let me start off by saying you are awesome. Totally amazing. I'm impressed and really consider myself super blessed that, though you are of modest proportions, you can totally provide all the food Smunchie needs right now. Not to mention the 4 babies before her. And it's not just any food. It's super food! The acai berry thing advertised all over the place doesn't hold a candle to the goodness you provide. Plus there will be no "it's not as great as we thought" scandal happening about your goods. Nope, you are the real thing. You rock! No really, sometimes you are a pair of rocks. But figuratively, you rock too.

However, there are few aspects of your awesomeness that we need to work on.

  • Not all babies are your babies. It is sweet really, that you want to be sure every baby you come into contact with isn't going to go hungry, really it is. But other babies have mommies and I'm sure they are feeding them. So it's not your job. No need to be "all systems go!" upon spotting a little person under the age of one year old. You need to calm down.

  • Crying does not need to be an automatic on switch! I get it. It is a design thing. Baby cries and you start leaking, an instant response to the call for food. I wish chocolate would dispense like that for me but alas, that would probably be a bad thing. Coffee probably should do that for me. You don't have to do this. Not all crying means "feed me!" And not all cries come from your baby. For real. This can stop. Our baby has gotten quite good at getting the milk out of you now, you don't have to go soaking through my shirt in an attempt to silence all cries.

  • You are highly suggestible. Words like "leak," "leaky," "breastmilk," "nursing," etc. do not mean "faucet. on. now." Aaaaaaaaaaaand, somebody looking at you is not another signal for you to get to work. I know, I know, sometimes people look even when you're covered and put away and while I find it a little confusing myself, it is most likely just curiosity. Though I have to admit your size is significantly more noticeable in your current lactating state than we normally have. But not everyone who checks you out is looking for a free instant meal! In fact, most would be rather grossed out if I offered. So please stop that.

  • This last one is a little, well, intimate. I'm thrilled that you still enjoy the whole "other side" of your potential. That you can understand being both a feeding machine and sex goddess is really awesome. Thank you for still being willing to have fun. There's just one request I have regarding that. If I'm going to get to have sex without a bra on you have got to stop spraying all over the place just when it gets really good! Oh my gosh! Girlfriends, that is... so... freaking... annoying. I understand your excitement, good grief I'm excited too but in that time and place, in that exact moment, your contribution is really to just be there, feel good and look pretty. Showering your contents all over actually puts a damper on the moment. I don't let it slow me down but I notice and it does distract me. Fortunately, for you and me, The Piano Man and I don't let you rain on our parade and we still have, er, fun. Though I guess you do... rain on our parade. Maybe it would be better to say we let the parade go on anyway.

Overall, I think you're great. In fact, you have taught me a lot and far exceeded my expectations. I'm proud of you. You can do amazing things like feed babies, have fun, shoot milk across the room, and more. There are just a few things that if you could work on, I'd really appreciate. Thanks for listening and being so awesome. We're all good. So, yeah, thanks for everything. Love ya babes.

Eliana's Story part 2

We're happy to share a guest post by our friend Eliana and her breastfeeding experience. The story of the breastfeeding journey she and her son went on will be shared her in parts. Yesterday we brought you part 1, today we continue her story with part two.

My son latched like a pro, like he had nursed for years already. And I was so proud that I was the only one able to give this gift to my son. I glowed in a way that I hadn't while pregnant. I tried to be discreet about my nursing, leaving a room at feeding time, or trying to cover up as much as possible, although my son had different plans about that. But the thrill of helping my son survive and being the only one was amazing. I had never felt a bond like that before.

I started to notice problems almost as soon as I got home from the hospital. I had heard that engorgement was REALLY painful, for some women, even worse than labor. Although my boobs grew several sizes, I never felt like I was going to pop. I read all the symptoms for it and all the solutions to help, but after a couple weeks, I still hadn't had the feeling and so thought maybe I was one of the lucky ones that didn't have to deal with it.

Then my son's reflux started. He is a silent reflux-er, and it can be disturbing to hear the reflux moving up but nothing coming out. He really never spit up (doctors had trouble believing this). But from his gas and the sounds from his belly, you could tell that he was in pain. Honestly, even now at 2 years old, his normal cry typically has a slight pain side to it. He just seems like he has always been in pain in some way.

I tried changing my diet to a certain degree. I tried to remove dairy for a few days, although that did nothing. I tried to avoid gassy foods, like broccoli and sauerkraut, but bread seemed to give him gas. We used Mylicon drops and Gripe Water, but each of those only lasted so long. It didn't stop the way he screamed, and it didn't stop the gurgling in his belly.

Then I entered my nursing nightmare and the end of my breastfeeding dream.

I honestly was so sleep deprived by this time that I can't tell you how exactly it began. I know that it was somewhere between 6 and 8 weeks. But one Wednesday, my son decided that he wanted to nurse every half hour around the clock. For two. Days. Straight. He would sip (maybe get an ounce), fall asleep while eating, sleep for only 30 minutes, wake up SCREAMING, sip again, and the cycle continued. FOR 2 DAYS STRAIGHT.

I finally took him to the pediatrician Friday. I was basically told that it was simple colic and would go away on it own about 3 months. Again so much for fantasy. But my “mommy gut” told me that wasn't all there was. I KNEW there was more than just colic. Colic comes and goes, gets worse at night, isn't helped by feedings, etc. Reflux is pain, pain you can hear from the outside, screaming for days on end. With colic, you have moments of time where you can enjoy your new little baby, the coos, the smiles, the little fingers wrapped around your finger. Reflux steals all that from you.

Everything that I had read and heard told me my poor baby had reflux, and so I BEGGED for some Zantac for my son. We started it that Friday, although with some formula (I needed to sleep), and he was a new baby by Sunday.

My husband and I decided to stick with the formula for a few weeks, and that I could try to pump as much as possible. Well, my pumping was a miserable failure; even though I tried for several weeks, I never got more than an ounce out. So I just figured it was either formula or nursing for us. That was okay since “successful breastfeeding isn't EXCLUSIVE breastfeeding.”

Then my son had a constipation problem and we had to take him to the ER. We didn't realize that his constipation would turn into a bigger issue as he got older. It turned out that his constipation was due to an allergy or reaction* he had, that was even present in his formula: cow's milk. I had no idea, however, that he reacting* to so many other things as well. At this point in time, his formula was then switched to the highly expensive Similac Alimentum. We didn't discover all of his reactions* until he was 18 months old, after a full year of random hives and ongoing bowel issues.

And this is when my medical issues became the big problem.

To be continued...

*I use the terms “allergy” or “reaction” to describe IgG-mediated immune reactions. The typical itchy eyes, runny nose, cough, throat closing reactions are caused by IgE-mediated reactions. The reactions my son has are mostly gastrointestinal reactions, like abdominal pain, reflux, constipation, and diarrhea. The testing for these reactions are not FDA-approved or even accepted by all allergy communities.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Do we need a gang sign?

How do you respond to a woman breastfeeding her baby in public? If you scowl or offer to show the woman the bathroom, you should probably go find another blog to read, you're likely to get squirted around here. Smile? Nod? Ignore? Secretly keep glancing over in amazement? Grab your baby and nurse to keep her company? Go over and say something? Wave?

Do we need a universal sign of approval for breastfeeding in public? Rebecca on Public Health Doula shares an idea for a breastfeeding support gang sign here. Would you do or use this? Milks Up?

Eliana's Story

We're happy to share a guest post by our friend Eliana and her breastfeeding experience. The story of the breastfeeding journey she and her son went on will be shared her in parts. Today we bring you part one.

I am not your typical home-birthing, baby-wearing, cloth-diapering, co-sleeping, all organic, nursing-until-baby-weans momma. I applaud and admire the mommies out there that are. But it honestly isn't me. I wore my son in a Snugli under duress: he actually stopped crying if I did, and started crying if I put him down. Same thing with co-sleeping: after 4 months of killing my back on our couch, I told my dear, sweet husband that I didn't care if he didn't want to co-sleep; I NEEDED SLEEP! I didn't cloth-diaper because, by the time I finally figured out how much money it would save me, it wouldn't save me any money any longer and my sanity would also have suffered (I just can't do that much laundry). Eating or feeding my son organic would probably have cost me my sanity, my finances, and finally my marriage, the third due to the loss of the first two. And I honestly don't think I could have delivered a breech baby at home, although I have heard of several women that have.

Don't get me wrong. I really do applaud and admire the women who choose to do all these things. But in keeping with the “it just isn't me,” I was totally fine with breastfeeding and supplementing with formula. In fact, my boobs to me were more fun and show than functional. I totally loved the mantra “successful breastfeeding isn't EXCLUSIVE breastfeeding.” Especially since Dad could do a few of those middle-of-the-night feedings and I could sleep.

Before my son was born, I had no idea HOW I would supplement with formula. I just had grandiose ideas that at about 4 months, my son would happily go from boob to bottle without any issue. Well, maybe by 2 months; my imagination had him sleeping through the night at 4 months (which he didn't do until 18 months, btw).

All that being said, before my son was born, I had determined I would give breastfeeding a shot, a chance. Women in my family just hadn't nursed much, if at all, and so I had very little family support (my great-grandmother apparently said that “women in our family don't make good cows”). Formula was the way that many kids survived. My husband and I were part of that; neither of our mothers were able to nurse (my mother had a little experience with it being able to nurse my older brother, but that, too, was short-lived). So I wanted to give nursing a try. Just a try.

When I heard my son's first cry, or held him for the first time, however, I determined that we would succeed at breastfeeding. The health benefits for him and me just couldn't be beat, and I was hoping that all those warm, fuzzy nursing feelings would help me bond with my little one. Also, I was scared into not supplementing with formula from the nurses, until at least 4 months. So much for the sleeping through the night fantasy!

What I didn't know, when I held my son and made this pact, was what was going on in my body. Even though I had a C-section and they (forcibly) removed the placenta, somehow they missed a piece. I had no idea that I had retained about a 2 inch piece of placenta in my uterus. So even though my body understood that I had delivered my son, it didn't stop sending blood and nutrients to my uterus, totally bypassing my boobs.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sweet Sunday Slurp- Dear Auntie

newborn foot
Today's Sunday Slurp is a beautiful submission by Smantha and is a touching story of cross nursing three infants between relatives.

Well I ended up having the absolute pleasure of breast feeding twin girls. Long nights of football holds and tiredness. Mind you it was a very fun experience especially when I got to share breast feeding. My little nephew was born two weeks before my girls were so for an idea, my sister-in-law and I both were breast feeding at the time and decided to help each other out. When ever she needed a nap I would take over his feeding times and feed my girls at the same time! When I needed to do something or go for a nap or just relax she would take over my girls feedings as well. It was some experience that I will never forget and always appreciate, as I'm sure my sis in law would to. Hope to hear back from others who have co-breast fed before!!

If you are interested in making a submission to be considered for Sunday Slurp, please leave a comment here or on our Facebook fan page. We're looking for short, sweet nursing stories every week.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Milk Darts

We've decided to extend this contest. If you're a lactating woman, give it a squirt!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day Special- Kids Eat Free!

Happy Earth Day! The Leaky B@@b is all about taking care of the earth, breastfeeding is good for the environment. Somehow, I'm sure it is. Anyone have info on that? I'm sure it is out there but I don't have time to go hunting for it right now.

Anyway, it's not Tuesday but it is Earth Day. We moved Kids Eat Free! this week to today for a special Earth Day give-away. If we were a real pub we might serve green beer, that's not just a St. Patty's Day thing, right? It seems appropriate. Not that nasty food coloring chemicals are earth friendly, so maybe not. Instead we'll enjoy this wonderful give-away from Tami of Bug 'n Ed is offering up an online gift code worth $15! Beautiful handmade, earth-friendly items that you will love to care for your home and family come from this WAHMs dedication. Kitchen towels (instead of paper towels), cloth wipes, designer burp cloths, and precious lovies are my favorite of her offerings. In fact, I personally have her burp cloths, wipes, a lovey and a large blanket lovey. They are beautiful, soft and my favorite cloth wipes on the planet that also make luxurious wash cloths. The winner of this gift code for $15 can apply it towards anything in Tami's shop or even a custom order. What a treat and a great to celebrate Earth Day!

earth day clothBug 'n Ed Kitchen towels

earth day clothBug 'n Ed burp cloths

earth day clothBug 'n Ed baby lovey

earth day clothBug 'n Ed cloth wipes

For one single, initial entry:
  • Comment below telling us your favorite item listed in Tami's shop and what you do to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. (i.e. cloth diaper, recycle all can and use cloth towels in the kitchen instead of paper towels, etc.)
  • Share The Leaky B@@b with other moms, vote for The Leaky B@@b at Top Mommy Blogs and Top Baby Blogs by clicking the banners on the right.
Good luck to everyone and have fun.

Kids Eat Free! runs from Tuesday night to Monday night. If you are interested in offering a product for one of our Tuesday Night Special- Kids Eat Free!, please e-mail us, comment or post on our fan-page wall on Facebook. Thanks!
For additional entries:
  • Follow us (or let us know you already do) , link to us from your blog and share the link here in the comments, 1 additional entry.
  • Join our Facebook Fan Page (or let us know you already are) and share us with your Facebook friends, 1 additional entry.
  • Tell someone else about the give-away and when they mention they heard about it from you in their comment you'll get 2 additional entries.
  • Join the Bug n' Ed fan page for one additional entry.
  • Link to a photo of you breastfeeding outside for an additional 2 entries.
Good luck to everyone and have fun.

Kids Eat Free! runs from Tuesday night to Monday night. If you are interested in offering a product for one of our Tuesday Night Special- Kids Eat Free!, please e-mail us, comment or post on our fan-page wall on Facebook. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Alright, you currently lactating moms. We've got a contest. This contest is based entirely on ridiculousness and honesty. You have to honestly be ridiculous.

Inspired by a post on The Leaky Boob Facebook wall by a... liker? Not loving the new Facebook set up, seriously, what are we supposed to call the people that used to be fans? Anyway, the contest.

Inspired by a post on The Leaky Boob Facebook wall, this contest is to see how far your lactating boobies can spray milk and in how many streams. Think of it as The Leaky Boob's version of darts. Wait until you see what we come up with for pool. ;)

Here's what you'll need for the contest:
3 piece of paper (colored paper is probably best)
measuring tape
digital camera

Be honest please, we have to take your word and it just won't be fun if somebody lies. A brawl is kind of hard over the internet, so play nice.
You have to take a picture of your paper.
Measure from the wall to the arch of your foot where you were/are standing.

Tape a piece of paper to the wall.
Measure and stand 5 feet from the wall.
Aim boobie at the paper and "give ol' Bessie a squeeze", trying to hit the paper.
Adjust as needed, moving closer or farther away.
You can try with both boobies.
Whatever your farthest shot comes from, measure that, take a picture of your paper.
Count your streams too, you get bonus points for individual spots from the different streams showing on the paper.
Post picture online and share the link with us in the comments as well as the details.

You get a point for each inch away from the wall you were standing.
Each stream is half a point.

I have NO idea yet. I'll get working on that.

This contest is open until Friday evening at 7pm Central.

Now, Ready... Aim... Fire!

I just adore...

Breast milk has a few incarnations. There are the very early days of colostrum when it is makes all other superfoods hang their heads in shame for being woefully inadequate to it's golden glory. The magical properties in creating bosoms that plastic surgeons attempt to replicate. Of course there is the oft sniffed perfume of a breastfed baby's mouth, the sweet fragrance brings a strange calm and serenity to the sometimes frazzled adults graced by that baby's presence. Before long, there may be the squishy cheeks and doughy thigh rolls where the rich creme of breastmilk has settled announcing to the world the health of this child. Occasionally for some, regularly for others, breastmilk takes the form of opalescent white droplets, shiny comet streaks or a partially digested milk bath on the shoulder of the honored and trusted adult privileged to be carrying a breastfed baby. Admittedly hopefully more rare is the special cocktail or shot of creamy breastmilk that the darling infant has so carefully run through a highly advanced distillory process in their very own stomach and deposited directly into the open and usually laughing or cooing mouth of a very special big person. Not nearly as pleasant though is the spewing wet missiles of mythological proportions soaking all nearby materials. But perhaps the most revered incarnation of breastmilk is the mustard splatterings sprinkled with seed-pearl and nougat like flecks gathered in paper or cloth materials fastened to the child's lower half. Parents count how many of these a baby creates in the early days, examine it for clues to their baby's health and behavior, and spend astronomical amounts of their financial resources to have the correct gathering receptacles for this by-product of breastmilk. It is possible, though purely observational musings here, that parents, in fact, worship this incarnation of breast milk.
Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, how we love it. We have even been known to cheer it's creation, solidifying our devotion. Breastmilk poop. How we admire it. And babies give us plenty of it to admire.

There are untold numbers of exploding breastmilk pooh stories in our family. Some day I am sure Earth Baby will thank me for the photos of the exploding breastmilk pooh initiation she gave The Piano Man and I. There could probably be a blog dedicated just to the amazing feats of my children's EBF bowel movements. Just FYI, dressing yourself or your darling poop monster in all white for Easter or really, EVER, is asking for it. Trust me on that, ok? I just didn't know how much I adore the stuff until after my 5th daughter was born. A couple of weeks before her birth, I was having a pretty serious case of nesting. The walls had to be painted and the drabbiest cream colored walls to be banished by color. Seriously, they had to be, if they weren't then that baby was never going to get out of me. I wasn't sure what color but The Piano Man and I picked up some paint color cards and begin imagining. Eventually we settled on some sort of shade of yellow and worked on narrowing down. Couldn't be too light or bright or it would feel like a childcare center. We didn't want anything too green either because it made me think of bile. No version of yellow that was too close to mustard though we were ok with the direction just didn't want it to look like we rolled a hot dog all over our living room. Eventually we settled on a orangy-golden-yellow color. I said it seemed European. And we painted. I was quite happy, laboring in my golden yellow living room a couple of weeks later. It didn't bother me at all that the painters tape was still up because we hadn't finished the trim or the second layer of texturing we were planning. The color of the walls just made me happy, like standing in the sunshine on a hill of freshly mowed grass in perfect 76 degree weather. You can see where this is going.

A week later I was changing Smunchie's diaper on the couch, the transition from meconium to breastmilk poop complete. So proud. I was examining the contents of her diaper when it hit me. My walls? My beautiful, perfect, happy golden yellow walls? Looked like we had painted with EBM poop. I think the company called it golden squash or something like that. They have the name all wrong. It is breastmilk poop yellow. Believe me, I compared it. Exactly the same.

So now, every day, I stand in my living room and think "I love my walls. They look just like poop. I just adore EBF poop."

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

And the winners are...

Took me long enough to get around to entering this into a random generator and share the results. Thanks everyone for participating! The winners are Kathryn for the knit top and sparkynfiesty for the kid tei! Congratulations! I'll be needing your mailing addresses to send you your prize. I learned a lot about using a random generator from this experience, should be easier next time. Thanks for your patience!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sadly Slothful Sweet Sunday Slurp

Ah yes, there is a reason I avoid alliterations.

There are some great posts coming up this week including a guest blogger.

I have a sick toddler that is in needs of loads of cuddles today with a raging fever so my blogging has been greatly hampered. Yesterday, Smunchie and I got to have a date with The Piano Man and ate at a local Spanish restaurant where we were all serenaded by a gentleman with a guitar. He sang a song just for Smunchie and she loved it. The food was great and Smunchie enjoyed her lunch as well. Nobody batted an eyelash at our NIP. The sickies set in just after we got home. It turned into one of "those" nights.

Pics from our date yesterday, courtesy of my iPhone and the new Hipstamatic App.

Spanish guitarSmunchie and the guitarist.

smiley baby guitarObviously, she's got a thing for men that play and sing to her.

Hipstamatic app iPhoneWhat The Piano Man and I ate.

nursing babyWhat Smunchie ate.

After that excitment we came home and Squiggle Bug started acting like she didn't feel well. I completely forgot about Sweet Sunday Slurp. I have a submission I intended to share but instead I think I'll save it for next week and today put up a link to a mother's breastfeeding journal. Susan works two jobs and her hubby stays home with their children. She is nursing and pumping for their 3 month old son, the youngest of 7 children. My absolute favorite post is Keeping Up With Annika where she looks back at the breastfeeding relationship she shared with her 4th child born at 28 weeks. You may want a tissue handy. I'm sure Susan would love for you to leave her a comment saying hi when you stop by if you get the chance.

Welcome to our new followers and fans, we're thrilled you've join us. Pull up a chair, grab a pint, and enjoy. The crowd here will never ask you to "do that somewhere else," cover, or give you nasty looks. We're new and still developing, your ideas and suggestions are welcomed. Please take some time to look around and if you like what you see give us a vote to share with more moms by clicking the little banners on the side (you can vote once a day if you really love us). Oh yeah, and comments are absolutely loved, supportive, authentic words are the best. Thanks and welcome!

I leave you with this, The Piano Man and Smunchie at the chocolate shop we went to for dessert.

Hipstamatic iPhone appYummy.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Got Leaky Boobs? DIY Breast Pads

homemade breastpads tutorial
Submitted by The Leaky Boob reader Krista Canfield

Got Leaky Boobs? Need some help so you don't soa
k through your shirts and end up with two awkward wet spots on the front of your shirt? Have no fear, DIY Leaky Boob pads are here!

Each pad is made out of 3 pieces of 4x4 flanne
l. If you find you need more absorbency you can add one or two more layers. I have always found that 3 layers keeps the pad thin enough that it can't be seen through your shirt. You can also use one layer of broad cloth as the outside layer and this helps prevent leak through. The best thing is that you can use leftover scraps of material. I usually use leftovers from blankets or diapers I have made. Make sure you pre-wash the material so it doesn't bunch up in the wash later.

How to sew breastpads
Draw a circle 3 1/2 inches in diameter either on your cloth or on a piece of paper you can cut out and use as a pattern. I use a protractor, but you could trace around a cup or glass easily enough.

cloth breastpad pattern
Stack your material and pin together . Cut around the circle and straight line stitch them together as close to the edge as you can. If you have serer you could go over the outside edge as well. I only have an old 2 stitch machine so I do a zigzag stitch around the outside edge. This will fray a bit when you wash it, but I find it just makes the pad softer.

breast pad sewing pattern tutorial
This is so easy and quick you may wonder why you ever bought nursing pads.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday Night Special- KIDS EAT FREE!

It's that time again, Tuesday Night Special- KIDS EAT FREE give away!

Tonight's special is brought to us by Heather of Slings With Me. There is a $10 Gift Certificate for the shop and a natural wood rattle.

give away wood rattle
To enter the lottery:
  • Post a comment below telling us what your favorite product is on the Sling With Me website with your e-mail address or link to your blog so we can notify you if you win.
  • Vote for us on Top Mommy Blogs and Top Baby Blogs (click the banners on the right).
For additional entries:
  • Follow us (or let us know you already do) , link to us from your blog and share the link here in the comments, 1 additional entry.
  • Join our Facebook Fan Page (or let us know you already are) and share us with your Facebook friends, 1 additional entry.
  • Tell someone else about the give-away and when they mention they heard about it from you in their comment you'll get 2 additional entries.
  • Join the Sling With Me Facebook fan page for another 2 additional entries.
Don't forget there is one more day to enter last week's Kids Eat Free! celebrating my birthday. If you haven't already, go enter for an adorable semi-custom Mai tei kid carrier and/or a knit top.

Good luck to everyone and have fun.

Kids Eat Free! runs from Tuesday night to Monday night. If you are interested in offering a product for one of our Tuesday Night Special- Kids Eat Free!, please e-mail us, comment or post on our fan-page wall on Facebook. Thanks!

Why yes, sitting on the toilet is exactly where I'd like my meal, thanks!

"Is Nursing Bad?"

children familyI have 5 children. Five girls. Yes, five. Yes, they are all girls. Yes we have certainly figured out what causes “that” and I have to say we’re pretty dang good at it. Obviously.

I want many things for my 5 girls when they grow up. In fact, I hope they have leaky boobs themselves one day. I know they may not, for whatever reason but it will not be because they think it is weird or gross or anything else other than normal. As their mother I’m doing everything in my power to hold breast-feeding up as normal and so far, it is working. Last summer I learned that my children didn’t even know what formula was.

"Mommy, why is she giving her baby a bottle? Are her boobies broken?" 6 years old Lolie asked loudly, much to my embarrassment.

I didn't know the woman in question, she was a stranger feeding her baby at the park.

"Maybe it isn't her baby and she doesn't have milk in her boobs yet." Earth Baby, at 10 years old, was trying to explain before I could jump in to quiet the conversation.

Breast-feeding is important enough that I didn't want the conversation to halt but I could tell the woman and others at the playground could hear us and I didn't want to make anyone uncomfortable. Talking softly I encouraged them to lower their voices but immediately regretted it when Lolie asked if talking about nursing was bad. After a short pause I returned my voice to a normal speaking volume, telling the girls there was nothing wrong with talking about breast-feeding. I did explain that I didn't want to say anything that would make the woman feeding the baby a bottle to feel bad. The conversation that followed continued at a respectful volume level, thankfully.

nursing breastfeeding baby
We discussed the possible reasons why a woman would be giving a baby a bottle instead of her breast. They were immediately sympathetic that perhaps her breasts were, in fact, broken and not able to produce enough milk. It was reasonable to them that maybe this woman was a babysitter, perhaps an aunt or friend and the mom was at work and had left a bottle of pumped milk. Or that the baby was adopted and could be drinking formula because there was nobody to give him breast-milk. This idea was very sad and after I explained what formula was they wondered for a bit as to what could have happened to the biological mother and why there was nobody to donate breast-milk. That conversation gave them a great idea, since I was no longer donating my breast-milk to one of the 3 babies I had been helping to supply they insisted I go up to the woman and offer to nurse the baby or at least give her some pumped milk. Pointing out that I was actually ok not donating any more and that I didn't know this family or that they would be interested I begged my way out of that potentially awkward situation. But it was my suggestion that maybe that mom never wanted to nurse and was choosing to give formula that got the strongest reaction. I reminded them a few times to lower their voices but by then a distraught Storyteller couldn't help herself and loudly argued that "every baby should get to have their mommy's warm sweet milk if they can!" At 8 years old she was already a breast-feeding advocate. I admitted she had a point.

The conversation ended shortly after that outburst and the girls moved on to playing. I noticed a short while later that The Storyteller was assisting Squiggle Bug off the slide and walking her towards me saying, a bit too loudly, “You want to nurse? You want sweet mommy milk? Ok, I’ll take you to mommy so you can have your special boobies. You’re a lucky baby to get to nurse instead of having yucky formula.” No, not passive aggressive at all.

rainbow child
I started out to write a piece about sharing breast-feeding with older children and ended up with this. Breast-feeding, in any amount, is worth encouraging and showing children as normal. In the recent Old Country Buffet incident a breast-feeding mother was told “this is a family friendly restaurant” as though breast-feeding isn’t family friendly. I beg to differ and so would my children. It is about as family friendly as one can get and the more families see it happening the healthier we, our children and our future grandchildren will be.

A year later, I realized just this morning how normal feeding a baby from my breast is for my daughters. I was pumping and Earth Baby asked: “Are you going to nurse her a bottle?” Anything other than nursing just seems strange. I love that.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Sweet Sunday Slurp- Giggly Girl

Today's Sunday Slurp is a beautiful submission by Cynthia Redding Smith and is a touching story that highlights the joy of a child in the nursing relationship, a delight that opens another heart to the benefits of nursing.

The comments from my Mother-in-law were worse then anything a stranger might say. When my daughter was three weeks old it was "Doesn't it bother you that you are excluding her dad from any relationship with her at all?" and "Her dad was eating carrots when he was ten days old." At three months "It would be so much more convenient if you just give her a bottle so that we can leave when we are ready instead of waiting for you to nurse her." I guess propping a bottle for a baby alone in the backseat would be better then making her grandmother wait for her to eat...

My Mother-in-law has since moved to a different state. When she came for a recent visit she was staying over night. It was inevitable that she would be in the room while I nursed my youngest at some point during her visit. The evening came and I sat across from her in my recliner nursing as we visited. My newest nursling frequently pops off to grin and giggle up at me before continuing on her sweet, slurpy way. After several minutes of this wet giggling, gurgling, silliness my Mother-in-law looked at me with a smile and said, "Wow! She really, really likes that!" It may be the first time she ever understood at a heart level the 'why' of nursing beyond all the facts. We haven't changed the whole world yet but I love it that my giggly girl helped get this very important person in our world there.

If you are interested in making a submission to be considered for Sunday Slurp, please leave a comment here or on our Facebook fan page. We're looking for short, sweet nursing stories every week.

Friday, April 9, 2010

When in Rome...

It's me again, Jessi!  I thought I'd share some of my experience as an extended breastfeeding mama in China.  It's a great study in how different reality can be from the expectations you have inside your head.

In retrospect, it's amusing to me how nervous I was about nursing in public in China prior to arriving here last year.  As a westerner, we all here about the sexual repression and how women are often treated as second class citizens and I was very afraid that that meant I would have to go to great lengths to cover up and conceal the fact that I was nursing my almost 11 month old.

The flights themselves weren't an issue since there was a mix of both foreigners and Chinese on both the main flight from New York to Beijing and our little puddle hopper connection from Beijing to Taiyuan.  The stewardesses and even the passengers were super accommodating and even gave us an entire row to ourselves on our flight to Taiyuan so I had room to maneuver the cranky kiddo around until he nursed himself to sleep.

Upon arrival in Taiyuan, Donnie was very quick to remind me that I needed to be really discreet because he didn't want to start off on the wrong foot by offending his employers.  And while the "empowered mother" part of me raised an eyebrow at this, the logical part of me knew that in this strange new culture, I'd best tip toe at first rather than make the wrong kind of splash.  It went against everything I stood for to hold that pillow in front of me while Quinlon nursed in the car ride from the airport to our new home.  I just sighed and reminded myself how it was for the best.

Once we were settled and had our first outing to go buy essentials we needed for our new apartment, it became immediately clear that other than the lack of variety in hair color, socially, this China was not so different from America. 

To my shock, I even saw mothers casually breastfeeding their children on park benches.  No blankets, no covers, NO BIG DEAL!  Matter of fact, no one blinked an eye outside of the already interested stares that come with being a foreigner in a NON tourist city when I sat down on the bench inside Wal-mart and did my nursing in public thing.  And imagine MY surprise when an white haired old lady sits down next to me, says something in Chinese that I had no way of understanding and fondly reaches down and rubs Quinlon's cheek.  I later learned what she said was that he was beautiful and that it was good he was drinking "mama milk" to be strong.

 You can always tell a boobie baby, eh?

I continued to nurse Quinlon until he was 22 months old when due to my current pregnancy, my milk supply disappeared.  He lost interest and our weaning experience was actually quite peaceful because he just didn't care for boobie without the good stuff coming out of it.  In the 11 months I spent nursing in China, never was I asked to leave a restaurant, or cover up or go somewhere "private".  I was either ignored or given smiles of approval from women of all ages when they saw what I was doing.  And now, I read about restaurants calling the cops on mothers simply trying to feed their hungry children in the US and it makes me sad.  How is the self proclaimed "greatest country in the world" so damned backwards when it comes to caring for our young? 

Knowing how little resistance I face here with breastfeeding is a nice feeling when I contemplate breastfeeding my twins.  As if there are not enough challenges mothers face on this front without society berating and ridiculing something that is natural and beautiful because they are too ingrained with unnatural ideas of sexuality and privacy.  China might have a LOT of things they aren't great at, but in this respect, the put my home country to shame.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

It's My Birthday- KIDS EAT FREE!

Woohoo! It's my birthday today! So, instead of our Tuesday Night Special- Kids Eat Free, we're doing Birthday Party- Kids Eat Free instead. I'm so excited about today's give-aways too, seriously, stoked. I'm also stoked about the Charlotte au chocolat (atdf chocolate French layer cake) that The Piano Man is making me (and I'm not supposed to know about) but since I can't exactly share that with you we'll just stick with these. Because there are 2. Sweet, huh?

First is a little knitted cotton summer vest or shrug custom made by me. Since I don't want to take more than a week to get it out to the winner, it will have to be a size 2 or smaller. You will have some color and design choices. I don't have a good picture of the vest but here's one to give you an idea. By the way, this is a big deal, I don't knit for other people too often. Sorry for the crummy pic, I haven't gotten a good shot of this little sweater but I promise it is cute.

(Smunchie wearing a SlingBaby tshirt while sleeping in a bouncy seat. Kind of funny, right?)

Second give-away, and the one I wish I could enter myself, is for a Kid Tei by Shanna of Sweet Slings! The winner will get to chose the fabric for the main body of the carrier from a selection of adorable kid prints including puppy dogs, monkeys, owls, and birds. They are super cute too. The Piano Man and I got Lolie one of Shanna's Kid Teis for her birthday last month and we all just love it. By the way, visit my personal blog for more on babywearing.

Some Kid Teis in action:
(Lolie wearing her baby Pepa)

(Shrek, Christmas bears and dogs like to be worn too.)

To enter the lottery:
  • Post a comment below saying what you are entering for (you can enter both lotteries, just make two comments for each one) with your e-mail address or link to your blog so we can notify you if you win.
  • Vote for us on Top Mommy Blogs and Top Baby Blogs (click the banners on the right).
  • Follow us or let us know that you already do.
For additional entries:
  • Link to us from your blog and share the link here in the comments, 1 additional entry.
  • Join our Facebook Fan Page (or let us know you already are) and share us with your Facebook friends, 2 additional entries.
  • Tell someone else about the give-away and when they mention they heard about it from you in their comment you'll get 2 additional entries.

Good luck to everyone and have fun. Thanks for helping me celebrate my birthday!

Kids Eat Free! Birthday edition will run from Thursday to Wednesday. If you are interested in offering a product for one of our Tuesday Night Special- Kids Eat Free!, please e-mail us, comment or post on our fan-page wall on Facebook. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Have Boob, Feed Baby?

Nursing is such a beautiful, natural thing. Moms and babies have perfected it through out the history of, well, moms and babies. It really is a simple concept. The breast are actually glands, glands that are "activated" during pregnancy and then turn on after birth. Hormones signal to the glands to start producing milk and the body uses calories and water to create the perfect little liquid meal for baby. There is an amazing, unique relationship between baby and breast, a supply and demand bond, a miraculous chemistry of calories, fat, antibodies, sugar, protein and more in this production. While scientists have tried and formula companies claim, nothing has been made quite like it. You should go research all this, it is really cool. Goggle, it is a wonderful thing.

Not all mothers want to breastfeed but some plan to do so, believing (as do I) that it is the best for their baby. After all, what could be more natural? Side note: Anyone else find it odd that we applaud women that breastfeed and yet we call it natural? If it is natural, why do we act like it is this herculean feat? There are other natural things that we don't praise people for, like going to the bathroom. Oh wait, I have cheered for someone going potty before. Hmmmm, maybe there is something to that. Moving on!

So what happens to the new mom that decides she's going to breastfeed, figures it can't be that hard since women have been doing it for ages, reads that if you have a correct latch it shouldn't hurt, gets the Lanisnoh, breast pads, nursing stool, and a cute nursing cover so she can be "discreet" and is already to breastfeed and then little Johnny comes along and holy crap, it isn't as easy as "have-boob-feed-baby?" Johnny clicks when he nurses and it feels like someone has placed vice-grips on her nipples. She follows the directions she's read to break baby's latch and try again, this time pulling his jaw down or adjusting his position so his jaw is under the nipple and he'll have to open wider, put his tongue forward to get a correct latch. Tentative but confident that this natural way to feed her baby is totally something she can figure out she goes for it. Once again it hurts but lessens a bit as he sucks and since she doesn't feel like screaming this time she lets him stay only to have such a forceful let down of milk that Johnny pulls off sputtering with milk running out of his mouth and spraying him in the face before mom gets pressure on the boob to stop the flow. Trying again, she moves him towards the breast again, trying to encourage a good latch but now he's so hungry and so angry that he won't stop screaming even when the nipple is completely in his mouth. The meltdown reaches to mom and soon both are in tears. Now what?

I think this is why some moms give up, even the most basic problems can be discouraging. Pain is a bitch. And, I'm going out on a limb here, but I don't really believe that good latch equals no pain for every woman, every time. Without good support, quality information, lots of encouragement, and a little bit of reason, even the perfectly latched, well supplied baby/mom team can want to quit. Particularly if she is convinced that this natural nourishment for her baby should come easily and she is embarrassed that she is experiencing trouble. If there are real problems such as latch issues, thrush, mastitis, low/over supply etc. it can even be more difficult. At such a delicate time as the postpartum period, an overwhelmed mom faced with the manic nature of her body, painful breasts, sleep deprivation and a squalling infant could easily become defeated. In those most desperate moments the bottle and formula look like a savior even if she knows "breast is best."

Does it have to be so hard? No, and a lot of women don't find it to be a challenge. Who knows why. Maybe they were more prepared. Maybe they had better support. Maybe they were just freakin' lucky. (Now, now, don't go hating them for it.) But in those very early days, many women have an experience that isn't quite the rainbow farting unicorns they had imagined. They pictured sweet greeting card images of looking down into the deep eyes of their new baby, wrapped sweetly in a soft blanket suckling delicately at her breast. Instead they got a clenched jaw, a baby with a toothless mouth of torture, the vocabulary of a sailor and tears- 2 sets. She may even be blessed with cracked and bleeding nipples and if she's really on the shit-list, thrush. Somebody may have really had it out for her mommy confidence if her baby doesn't gain well, she's told she doesn't have any or enough milk or the ultimate blow: baby is failure to thrive.

I can't help but wonder if there was a time when society didn't throw around terms like "natural" or "easy" when it came to breastfeeding. Not because it wasn't those things but because it didn't really matter. Breastfeeding just was. That, and instead of women getting their support from books, the internet, Lactation Consultants, OBs and pediatricians, they got their support from their families, from other moms, from the community. Don't get me wrong, all those resources are great and I'm so glad we have them. The thing is maybe what we need even more is real support, swapping stories, acknowledging the struggles and sharing the beauty that would help a mom press on. There are real challenges, real reasons why for some moms and babies breast is not best. Not as often as we seem to hear but they do happen. For those other difficulties I wonder if it is really just a lack of support, one on one, hands on support. Either way, all of them would be easier with help and support. The mom that feels guilty that she started formula because she couldn't take the pain or the screaming. The mom that isn't sure she can make it through the initial few weeks. The mom that was abused and can't breastfeed emotionally even though she can physically. The mom whose baby needs her to stay on her meds more than she needs to breastfeed. Or the mom that was told she couldn't do it. If, after a new baby is born, the women in the new mom's community descended on her with meals, cleaning, glasses of water and company, helping her get settled while she establishes this new nursing relationship there would be more women saying "We had a rough start but we made it and it was totally worth it." In my land of rainbow farting unicorns, that is what happens, women, both familial and friends, offer hands on support providing practical and emotional encouragement. Can you do it? Can you find a way to play in my little world of make-believe and actively support a breastfeeding mom or two?

It only seems natural.

Lactation Cookies Recipe

Recipe contributed by Krista, photograph by Kari.

1cup butter (softened)
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
4 tablespoons of water
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons brewer's yeast
3 cup rolled oats
1 cup chocolate chips

Soak the flaxseed in the water for a few minutes to soften.
Mix dry ingrediants.
Cream together butter and sugar, add eggs, flaxseed and vanilla.
Add to dry ingredients.

Drop on cookie sheet .
Bake 8 - 12 minutes on 375ยบ.

Tuesday Special- Kids Eat Free! The winner is...

The winner is Reno! Congratulations and we hope you enjoy! Please comment here to let us know your choice and so we can exchange e-mails for your prize to be shipped. Thanks to everyone for playing!

Winners choice: a discontinued Creative Memories 12x12 album in either burgandy or cotton candy pink.

A discontinued Creative Memories 12x12 family tree page.

Two discontinued Creative Memories Title Pages

baby scrapbooking
refill pagesWinners choice: discontinued 12x12 It's A Girl refill pack or discontinued Creative Memories 12x12 black refill pages.

Kids Eat Free runs from Tuesday to Monday! If you are interested in offering a product for one of our Kids Eat Free Tuesday Night Specials, please e-mail us, comment or post on our fan-page wall on Facebook. Thanks!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Old Country Buffet, you call this "Family Friendly?"

Did you see this?

Ugh. Grrrrrrr. Boooo. Hissssssssss.

Bring your family! Come eat our over-size portions of country style food! All-you-can-eat! Special prices for kids! Family friendly! Something for everyone!

Unless your baby needs to eat and you don't want to give him something from a can. Your breast being sucked on by a baby for nourishment? EWWWWWWWW! That's gross! You'll offend someone, one of our customers could get upset. And we're family friendly! We can't have that here! It is indecent! You should give your baby milk from the piece of meat sitting under the heat lamps on our buffet. That's appropriate and decent. A mother feeding a baby with her breast is obviously sexual. You can't do something like that at a family friendly place! No matter what the law says, we don't like it so you have to leave. Now.

They're trying to make this about the guy being loud? That he used profanity? I don't know if he did or not, I don't really care. But seriously, trying telling any parent that their kid can't eat there or has to eat with a blanket over their head and see if that parent doesn't get angry and a little loud. They think there was something wrong with him protect his child's right TO EAT?! Honestly, if a child was eating anything other than at the breast nobody in their right mind would say they needed to be covered. Nobody. What makes it ok to ask for an infant to be covered while they eat? She was breastfeeding her baby. WTH is inappropriate about that? Starving her baby would be inappropriate, not feeding him. Try this on, you moronic Old Country Buffet manager: the father wouldn't have raised his voice, there would have been no commotion if you had respected the law in the first place! How the heck can you be family friendly and NOT permit a baby to breastfeed without a cover? Your actions are the very opposite of family friendly. And then calling the police? Here's a thought: shut-up, sit down and keep your nose out of other people's business. Run your restaurant, don't try to run someone else's family. That's just rude and it is NOT family friendly. I bet this PR is coming back to bite you in the butt royally. It should too. This is a basic human rights violation.

I don't eat at Old Country Buffet myself but I might be soon, just so I can nurse there and dare someone to tell me to cover up. To cover or not to cover is between the mom and the baby. Restaurant managers don't have a say. At. All. Ever.

If you find this outrageous and want to stand and speak for the right of all babies, even breastfed ones, to have the right to eat in public please check this link out.

Had to vent and get that off my chest. Go write a letter and if you currently have leaky boobs consider participating in the national nurse-in to help educate Old Country Buffet.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Sundy Slurp- finding comfort.

Today's Sunday Slurp is a beautiful submission by Krista Canfield and is a touching story that highlights the wisdom of a child in understanding that the nursing relationship benefits the mother as well as the nursling and has more than just the nutritional significance. Check out Krista's Etsy!

On Kate's second birthday we had the whole family over to celebrate. It was a typically crowded noisy affair . It is easy to see that being the center of all this attention could become a bit overwhelming for a little girl.
As bedtime drew near I put her in her jammies but let her stay up to play a little longer. When she didn't come back downstairs to join the party I went up to her room to find her sitting on her bed, still in her party hat with her new baby doll tucked up under her shirt " nursing". It was the first time she had ever done this and it was priceless. It seems that she found it all too noisy and went to do the thing she found most relaxing and comforting. Proof positive that breastfeeding is about far more than nutrition.

If you are interested in making a submission to be considered for Sunday Slurp, please leave a comment here or on our Facebook fan page. We're looking for short, sweet nursing stories every week.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Miracle Grow for Boobs

They came out of nowhere. I was in no way expecting them. Just woke up one morning and boom baby! There they were. I had porn star boobs. Like someone sprinkled Miracle Grow on my chest.

I always just assumed I’d breastfeed my babies. The truth is, I never thought about it, never questioned or considered that there could be another option. I knew formula was available and as a frequent babysitter had mixed and given quite a few bottles myself. But it just seemed, well, natural that I would breastfeed. I knew very little about breastfeeding other than “breast is best” and my mom enjoyed nursing my sibs and I and I knew that I would do it myself. I kind of figured that you have a baby and that triggers the faucet and voila! Milk!

So when I got pregnant I had zero idea of the changes that were coming. I understood certain changes related to pregnancy, thought I looked forward to morning sickness (HA!), the glowing skin, knew to expect swollen ankles, odd cravings and a host of other almost cute changes indicative of the growing life within me. What I was unprepared for though, among other things, were the boobs. Upon getting the two lines on the stick I peed on I started imagining myself with a round belly and cute maternity tops, anticipating the attention I’d receive as a woman heavy with child. I thought I couldn’t wait to go shopping for new clothes to accommodate my earth mother figure.

Within a few weeks, however, I had a tummy flatter than a pancake sporting an almost 6 pack thanks to the vomiting sessions and the 10+ pound weight loss. True, I did need new clothes but not because of my growing belly but rather because of the giant melons that now occupied the space on my chest where my little A cup, Hershey Kiss breasts had been. I'm telling you, Miracle Grow. Thinking it would be a while before I couldn’t see my feet, I was shocked to discover that the sore growths on my chest already obstructed the view. The Piano Man only once casually mentioned my increased chest size and then only when I complained about my bras not fitting and he suggested I go shopping, acknowledging that maybe they were a little bigger. Together we marveled at the candy stripped appearance of my boobs as bright red stretch marks streaked the once smooth, even skin. I worried he’d think me less attractive, what with my constant puke breath and neon sign striped boobs but he assured me I was still beautiful, greasy hair, puke breath and red magic marker streaked breasts and all. Smart man. Thinking he and I were the only ones that noticed my newly acquired body parts I tried not to let them bother me and go about my business, puking and pretending I didn’t have breasts nearly hitting my chin and keeping my arms from resting flat against my sides. But we weren’t the only ones aware, oh no, not at all. The 6 year old boy I babysat noticed and he finally couldn’t help himself, he asked me where those things on my chest came from. He totally did say “those things.” Scarlet, head to toe. I could feel my cheeks burning. They were still burning minutes later when, not getting anything but a blushing response from me, he took off to go play. But I caught him, more than once, staring at them. Seriously though, I was weighing in at 93 pounds with D cups, how could he not? I couldn't help but stare at them myself sometimes and I legitimately did worry they were going to cause me to topple over.

When we finally started telling people we were expecting most of them told us they already figured it out, between the puking and all. The “and all” meant my newly found rack. Ok, fine, pretend you don't notice them, we can just ignore the elephant tits in the room. Only one other person said anything: our gay best friend. I knew it was bad then. I really was just a pair of pasties away from looking like a stripper. My cup over-floweth had a totally new meaning to me, an uncomfortable, awkward, knockers meaning. I couldn’t wait for my belly to at least catch up with my bosom. My very ample bosom. The belly did catch up, finally, very near then end and I was relieved. There was a nice little shelf between my breasts and my belly and I was finally earth mother. I loved my curves, they were beautiful.

Then Earth Baby was born. Watermelons. Watermelons that shot milk when I sneezed, Earth Baby cried, I made chocolate milk (from cows), slept, had sex, thought about having sex, thought about Earth Baby or went out in public. Porn star cow boobs in nursing bras. And I still couldn’t see my feet. Miracle Grow for boobs, it must have been a whole bottle of the stuff.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

How I Became an Extended Breastfeeder By Mamapoekie

Today, as part of a post swap, The Leaky Boob is graced with the presence of Mamapoekie. We hope you enjoy her story. Please share any thoughts, stories of your own or questions you may have in the comments below. It is our hope that our guest posters would give us food for thought and stimulate active conversations. Visit Authentic Parenting to read more of Mamapoekie's thoughts and to read my guest post over there today. Enjoy!

How I Became an Extended Breastfeeder

By Mamapoekie

I am still breastfeeding my 21 month old daughter. Shocking, right? I know I would have been if somebody would have told me the like two years ago.

I always knew I would breastfeed my children. Yet never ever did I think about for how long. I think I always kind of assumed that breastfeeding went up to six months and then just naturally stopped. That’s what media and society has led us to believe anyway.

I had occasionally heard stories of women breastfeeding teething babies and six-year olds… I found that quite quirky, to say the least, even a bit scary maybe.

So there I was in the hospital. I had just given birth to this perfect little creature. Very much in love, a little light headed maybe, in awe of that little person in my arms, when my OB walked in and said I had to breastfeed for at least a year. I had gestational diabetes and breastfeeding that long would seriously diminish my daughter’s chances of developing diabetes herself.

A year seemed like a huge lapse of time, but would I risk that beautiful little girl’s health because I felt queasy? Certainly not.

So I set off with that in mind. One year. I talked to my family and friends about it and everybody found it – as I had – quite long. But if my doctor said so… I had the time anyway, because I was a stay at home mom, so it was worth the shot.

I breastfed through teething, through travelling and moving to another country. I breastfed on planes, in cars, while cueing, with the baby in the sling... I breastfed at night and during the day. I breastfed when she got her teeth (she now has a full set of them), I nursed along snarky comments and ignorance. But I would make it to a year.

Somewhere along that first year I got connected to fellow breastfeeders and learned a great deal about parenting and breastfeeding. The most spectacular thing being that it is in fact recommended to breastfeed up to two years!

Through the nursing relationship, I also learned a lot. I found out that setting an age limit to breastfeeding is quite arbitrary. I also learned quite quickly that breastfeeding isn’t just about feeding your child. It’s about comforting, mothering, loving them to the depths of your core. And that weaning is a developmentally milestone that has to be reached, from both sides. It is about growing up for the child and about letting go for the mother. Now I hope it may last for quite some time, for I know it will break a little piece of my heart when she will be over and done with.

This is my story, please tell me yours. For how long were you planning to breastfeed, how long did you end up doing and what influenced you?

Mamapoekie is a mother and a wife. She was born in Belgiuim and travels the world with her expat family. They are currently living in Ivory Coast. Mamapoekie blogs about attachment parenting, unschooling, natural childbirth, natural living and many other topics at Authentic Parenting. She also has a fanpage on Facebook.

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