Yes, I nursed two children at once!

This is a question that I get frequently from friends and from mothers when I’m leading La Leche League meetings. Many moms and expectant moms are curious about how (and why) I tandem nursed our two silly bears, Abbey (now 5) and Joe (now nearly 3).

Amywilla.com: Yes, I nursed two children at once!

Amywilla.com: Yes, I nursed two children at once!

Here is a post that I wrote a while back to discuss tandem nursing. It may not be a goof fit for everyone, but for us, with some reflection and adaptation, it worked to our advantage and to our children’s great benefit. Abbey weaned naturally at 4 years and 11 months – and Joe, now nearly 3 years old, comes to my breast an average of twice per day (surrounding sleeping times).

Navigating a Tandem Nursing Experience

When I became pregnant with our second child, Joseph, I was elated. Instantly, I thought forward to tandem nursing Abbey (who would be 2.5 years at Joseph’s due date) and our new baby, and I was really looking forward to enjoying the experience of nursing two children and the bond that it would form!

When the actual tandem nursing experience came to pass, elated wasn’t quite the right word for the feelings that surfaced. At times I found myself feeling like a mommy dog, nursing a litter of pups! But it still was wonderful, and it’s been an interesting and beautiful experience, and a stunning example of how our bodies are made to mother and how our mothering is meant to evolve.

 

Tandem Nursing During the Newborn Period

 

One of the first things that Abbey said about her baby brother was “Mommy, you need to give my brother Mamas. He wants mamas to drink!” and she started to undo my nursing tank and gently nudge Joseph’s head toward my breast. Sharing was not an issue for Abbey. She constantly wanted to “share mamas” with Joseph, and was happy to do so. But she wanted to share with Joseph every time that he ate. . . and as a newborn eats upwards of 12 times per day, I had to tell Abbey that sharing with him every time he nursed was just not feasible nor was it a comfortable thing for me.

 

When planning to tandem nurse, I urge you to do some meditating on the newborn stage, and prepare some appropriate limits and explanations for your older child about why a newborn baby nurses so frequently, and how that is different from the pattern of nursing that they use as an older child. For example: You’re not a baby; you’re my big girl: For Abbey, it was vital that I explain to her that she just could not nurse all day long. . . statements like “Babies drink mamas all the time because they’re growing really really fast. You’re a big girl, and big girls drink mamas sometimes AND eat food to grow tall and strong!”

 

Abbey still enjoys eating her snack and then running around the house showing off her strong muscles and long legs. Feeding Abbey a snack while Joseph nursed in mid-morning or mid-afternoon was also helpful. I’d preface her snack with “Wow, won’t Joseph be excited when he is old enough to have this yogurt like you! What a special snack!” and then when she was settled with her snack, I would settle down to nurse Joseph.

Tandem Nursing an Older Baby and a Preschooler

Simply saying “No thank you” and asking Abbey to respect my words when she would ask me for “mamas” started to happen more and more as Joseph grew into a crawling infant and would need to nurse for reasons other than just sustenance.

When he would [and still] “ask[s]” to nurse by rooting at by breast or signing for milk because his gums were sore from teething pains or if he fell and bumped his body while trying to learn a new gross motor skill, I would scoop him up and nurse him. . . and Abbey wanted me to do the same for her.

At this point, I just had to start saying “No thank you” to her requests to nurse. . . evolving my child-led-weaning ideals to save the happiness of the household, and do best by both of my children.

I was feeling touched-out and challenged by Abbey’s intensity and demanding nature regarding my “mamas”. And mommy off balance is not good for a family.

Teaching Bodily Integrity:

I needed to come back to a place of balance and peace, and setting limits with my nursing preschooler allowed me to reinstate balance and peace in our tandem nursing relationship and in our household.

I had planned on letting Abbey naturally wean and not imposing my feelings on her requests at all. But this type of all or nothing approach just didn’t work out for our family, and so I taught Abbey a respect for my bodily integrity right alongside teaching her about her own.

Committing to and explaining bodily integrity: I told Abbey, “This is my body, and these are my “mamas”. I choose to share them with you because I love you, and I know you need to nurse sometimes. But I can’t nurse you all the time, and I feel so unhappy when you throw a fit over nursing. Ask me calmly about nursing, and then mommy can enjoy nursing you!”

If you find yourself feeling touched-out by tandem nursing, I urge you to contemplate the WHO’s recommendation on breastfeeding past infancy, and meditate on what it means for you.

They recommend breastfeeding to 2 years of age and then after that, as long as is mutually beneficial and desired.

I asked myself, “I know that breastfeeding my older child is normal and healthy for both of us. But I am having a hard time. What would make this nursing relationship desirable once more for me? What can I change to make it beneficial for ME?” So that I could provide a peaceful and comforting nursing relationship for Abbey instead of one filled with strain and struggle.

Finding Peace:

What I needed was peace in our nursing sessions. With some work, establishing and enforcing nursing limits for Abbey, we have once more come to a place of peace in our tandem nursing story. Now, Every day when Abbey comes downstairs from her nap, she asks to nurse on the sofa – she offers her brother one breast or the other, and takes the other “mama” for herself. Switching after a couple minutes, holding hands, playfully tickling and tugging at each other, my little toddler and beautiful child tandem nurse at my breast . . . and I am finally, actually elated about tandem nursing, just like I dreamt I would be.

This post was originally published on www.amywilla.com.

Mamatography August 2013

Yep, it’s that time again: When Amy gets so busy that her Mamatography posts go from weekly to monthly.

That happen to any of you other mamas out there? I hope it’s not just me!

Since we finished our BIG PCS from Maine to Kodiak Island Alaska, I have been busy busy busy setting up our home, caring for our kids, meeting new friends, getting used to the island, training a new dog, starting my new semester of Public Health classes, and mapping out my classes left until graduation and cheering with joy that I’ll have a BS in Public Health in 2015! Yippee!

I have also been seeking out and enrolling Abbey in a preschool, enrolling myself in an online lactation conference (to continue my lactation-specific education for the IBCLC requirements), figuring out what toddler experiences there are available for Joe here on the island. . . and consequently remembering that Joe will be 3 this coming Spring. O – M – G. How is that happening.

What else. . .

I’ve also been planning Abbey’s birthday party, trying to wring out of the Silly Bears what they would like to be for Halloween (so that I can order in the required materials and get to planning and sewing) . . . oh, and I’m trying to set up a La Leche League meeting for the area AND re-establish my Silly Bear Handmade shop after the move.

And Hubs has been gone to school in VA for 3 weeks.

*Deep Breath*

But I have been taking pictures!

IMG_3460

I have now finished this knitting project – - – a cotton hoodie from Toddler Hoodie pattern on Etsy for a special family member who turns one in a few weeks!

IMG_3463

And this lovely project is now hanging in my kitchen window – - – used up some scraps on this one (that seems to be a theme with my sewing lately. . . you’ll see later)

IMG_3506

Aha! More scrap busting going on in this photo – - – see if you can spot what this eventually became in one of the other August photos as you scroll down!

IMG_3559

Abbey, who is turning 5 in September, has celebrated quite a few milestones recently: She weaned from the breast at the end of her full-term breastfeeding experience, she moved all the way across the country with us, and she started swimming lessons! I love this girl. So Much.

IMG_3564

Joseph wasn’t such a fan of Abbey getting to swim and him not being able to (gotta be four to take swim classes, buddy! His response: “I AM four!” LOL).

But his new love interest, one of my new Coastie Wife friends, pepped him up with a surprise visit during Abbey’s swim class one day. He was very pleased.

IMG_3568

Our handsome man modeling the fleece-crotched training pants I made him. Like Abbey, he is now having less interest in using the potty, but I’m hoping with gentle reminders, we’ll be out of diapers and potty learned around 3, like she was.
IMG_3579

They’re super cute though – the trainers. I’m loving them. His little knees and cinnamon roll belly button are to die for too, though.

IMG_3581

We’ve been doing lots of baking on rainy days. . . It’s easier to bake in our new kitchen. It’s about the same size as our kitchen in Maine, but not galley-shaped, and not a walk through area (unless you’re coming in the back door) . . . I like the space and Abbey likes being in it with me!

IMG_3588

Blueberry Biscuits. Yummy.

IMG_3590

Super easy (and sooooo delicious french bread)

IMG_3592

And on a sunny day, we have lots of park time and coloring with sidewalk chalk!

IMG_3598

Oh, and hiking.

IMG_3621

IMG_3619

And salmonberry picking.

IMG_3618

Thankfully for my husband’s psyche, Abbey hasn’t dressed up Joseph as a girl in quite a few weeks. Glad I snapped this jewel when I did then!

IMG_3631

 

We love dress up, but we love coloring more.

IMG_3667

And we love our new puppy, Mya.

IMG_3668

Raven stayed behind at Nana and Papas house because we weren’t positive that we wouldn’t harm her physically or emotionally by driving her (or shipping her) all the way to Kodiak. She is enjoying being spoiled rotten by her “grand-people” and though we miss her, we know she is happy and healthy and that is all that matters!

Abbey constantly tells Mya stories about “our other dog Raven”

IMG_3722

 

I couldn’t help but post this picture of Joseph in a classic toddler moment. The “I refused to take a nap, so then we went on a hike to pass the time, and I fell asleep on the sofa when we got back.” One of many classic toddler moments. IMG_3671

Another knitting project. I can’t ever just do one thing at a time – - – can I?

IMG_3673

Mya again.

IMG_3675

Abbey being a puppy with Mya under my desk in my sewing room/office. Love my work buddies.

Have you seen the completed project yet? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, scroll back up the top. . .

IMG_3677

My human work buddy brought me her rainbow bear to sit in my sofa pin cushion. So sweet.

IMG_3683

 

Ah, there she is! My work buddy and my little mermaid!

IMG_3692

Joe lined up all the ducks he could steal from the lifeguard’s basket and set them all up looking out the window.

I wonder what he was wishing about while Abbey was having her lesson? LOL

IMG_3693

IMG_3695

Oh yeah. . . park time!!!!!!!!!

IMG_3716

And my post wouldn’t be complete without a picture of wild-caught fresh alaskan salmon. One of the perks of being up here on this isolated Alaskan island! Yum!

IMG_3756

That was our August. How was YOURS?

mtbadge2This post is part of the Mamatography 2013 Project with Diary of a First Child and Momma Jorje.

We are taking (at least) a photo a day to keep a record of our year. Join us at any point during the year and start sharing your own daily photos!

Wordless Wednesday- Nursing, nursing. . . Everywhere!

Though I have definitely nursed both of my children in numerous places, including church, on a hike, on airplanes, and whenever needed. . . these are the only photographs that I can scrounge up today for our picture post to raise up all nursing mamas during Breastfeeding Week, 2013. All of them are of Joseph nursing. Abbey recently weaned (I think) naturally at the age of 4 1/2.

BreastfeedingYork, Maine after Joseph’s birth.

Asleep after nursing - dec 2011A milky slumber at a Christmas Party in Kittery, Maine

Nursing Joseph as a toddlerPortsmouth, New Hampshire

Wearing Joe, safe, snuggly, and dry, on a walk during which it started pouring down rain!Nursing in the Ergo, in the rain, on a walk from the library with Abbey and Joe. Kittery, ME

IMG_2892Newington, New Hampshire (at the Fox Run Mall)

IMG_1955Kittery, Maine. Recovering from a tummy bug.

IMG_3333Kodiak, Alaska! Nursing in our new home

IMG_2135Here’s Lookin’ at YOU, nursing mama!

You rock!

Where have YOU nursed your baby or child?

Nursing Openly and Honestly


World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center

Welcome to the World Breastfeeding 2013 Blog Carnival cohosted by NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center!

This post was written for inclusion in the WBW 2013 Blog Carnival. Our participants will be writing and sharing their stories about community support and normalizing breastfeeding all week long. Find more participating sites in the list at the bottom of this post or at the main carnival page.

***

I feel that the most socially responsible thing that I can do as a human being is to live life working hard and being kind.

And I feel strongly that the most socially responsible thing that I can do as a mother in our society is to normalize nursing by nursing and nurturing my child wherever and whenever it is needed.

I understand the feelings of those who are uncomfortable with seeing mothers nurse their children. I can put myself in the perspective of someone worried about seeing a breast, because our world is so very sexualized, and I, too, have been concerned with “covering up” in the past.

But putting myself in the shoes of those who would rather have me nurse my children under a blanket or in the restroom only serves to make it clearer to me that nursing my child openly and honestly – - – nurturing my children with respect for their needs – - -  is the most socially responsible thing that I can do as a mother in our society.

Because what I see through the eyes of those who want to hide nursing away is the stark reality that our world is misguided and confused. If we don’t know that nursing is normal, then we will always be uncomfortable with it, and we will always sabotage healthy children’s nursing relationships by demanding that moms “be discreet”. If we don’t learn about the normal course of human lactation and child nursing and weaning by seeing it, then we are stuck in a confused reality in which we poison our own future generations by withholding from them the knowledge and respect for normal, necessary, nurturing nursing.

And that my friends is why I feel that the most responsible thing I can do as a mother is to nurse and nurture my children openly, honestly, and with pride. So that I can be a living example of normalcy to this and the future generations of our society.

***

World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center Visit NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center for more breastfeeding resources and WBW Carnival details!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants. Below are a list of links for today’s participants; you can find a complete list of links (updated throughout the week) at our main carnival page:

(This list will be updated by afternoon August 3 with all the carnival links.)

  • Breastfeeding and NIP: A Primer — Rachel Rainbolt of Sage Parenting, featured today at NursingFreedom.org, uses her informative and candid voice to share with you everything you need to know to breastfeed successfully in public, from the practical how-to’s to handling the social stigma.
  • Lactivist Ryan Gosling — Breastfeeding mamas, the time is long overdue for a Lactivist Ryan Gosling. Fortunately, Dionna of Code Name: Mama has created some for your viewing pleasure.
  • In Defense of Formula — Amy of Mom2Mom KMC, guest blogging for Breastfeeding in Combat Boots, asserts that formula is a medical tool rather than a food. She examines how this perspective supports breastfeeding as normal and eliminates the negative tensions between breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding mothers.
  • World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival – Breastfeeding Tips & Tricks — Throughout her breastfeeding journey (since March 2009), Jenny at I’m a full-time mummy has shared countless tips and tricks on the topic of breastfeeding.
  • Nursing in the Wild — Meredith at Thank You Ma’am posts about how seeing other moms nurse can make all of us more comfortable with nursing in public.
  • Normalizing Breastfeeding — Sara Stepford of The Stepford Sisters confronts the social stigma vs. the reality of breastfeeding and opens up about the steps she takes to make herself and others more comfortable with the process.
  • Breastfeeding Alrik at two years old — This is where Lauren at Hobo Mama and her second-born are at in their nursing relationship, two years in.
  • Perfectly Normal — Stephanie from Urban Hippie writes about the way she and her family have done their part to try and normalize breastfeeding in a society that doesn’t get to see breastfeeding as often as they should.
  • Diagnosis: Excess Lipase — Learn about excess lipase and how to test if your expressed milk has it. That Mama Gretchen shares her own experience.
  • Redefining Normal — Diana at Munchkin’s Mommy reflects on how we can normalize breastfeeding in our society.
  • Nursing Openly and Honestly — Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work feels that the most socially responsible thing she can do as a mother is to nurse and nurture her children openly, honestly, and with pride.
  • Wet-nursing, Cross-nursing and Milk-sharing: Outdated? — Jamie Grumet of I Am Not the Babysitter shares a response to the Wendy Williams quote about milk sharing being akin to slavery, by giving a brief history of the wet nurse.
  • Tackling Mastitis with an Older Nursling — Much of the advice available for supporting recovery from mastitis seems to be aimed at mamas with younger nurslings. Juliet of Twisting Vines, posting at Natural Parents Network shares tips for dealing with mastitis while breastfeeding a toddler.
  • Milk in the eye — Gena from Nutrition Basics discusses how breastmilk cured her 3 year old’s case of pink eye.
  • Boobie Biter — Rachel Rainbolt at Sage Parenting offers guidance on how to survive and thrive a boobie biter with your breastfeeding relationship intact.
  • My take on breastfeeding advice — Diana at Munchkin’s Mommy shares her insights on nursing for both new moms and new dads.
  • My Top Five Breastfeeding Tips for Delivery Day: Think “A-B-C-D-E”Mothernova shares how her continued success at breastfeeding with her second child rests on a foundation of five key things she did to prepare for baby’s arrival, along with things she did when she and baby first met. Easily enough, these tips can be categorized as “A-B-C-D-E”: Access to lactation consultant, Baby-friendly hospital, Communicate your plan to breastfeed exclusively, Demand, and Expect to room in.
  • Breastfeeding Buddies: Twin Brothers Nurse while Living in the NICU — Twintrospectives at How Do You Do It? shares her 5 tips for learning to breastfeed multiples while in the NICU.
  • Breastfeeding on a Dairy-Free Diet: Our Journey and Our Tips — Finding herself nursing a baby with food allergies, Jenny at Spinning Jenny embarked upon a dairy-free journey with her son for eight months. Here she relates her reasons for making the decision to give up dairy in her diet, why it was worth it, and tips for moms on the same path.
  • Normalizing Breastfeeding in my Home — Shannah at The Touch of Life shares how she plans to help keep breastfeeding normal for her own children, even when her breastfeeding years are over.
  • A Year With My Nursling — The more you see and hear, the more normal it becomes, so That Mama Gretchen is sharing her heart on the last year of breastfeeding – the ups and downs, but mostly the joy of her priceless relationship with her son.
  • From Covered to Confident — Krystyna at Sweet Pea Births shares her personal NIP evolution: she started by covering up from neck to ankle while nursing in public. Eight years later, she has gained confidence and the ability to nurse without stressing about flashing a little skin. She shares her views on normalizing breastfeeding – what influenced her and how she hopes to help others.
  • Normalizing Breastfeeding for Older Kids — Sadia at How Do You Do It? hopes that openly discussing breastfeeding with her (now weaned) daughters will help her children feel comfortable with breastfeeding and their bodies in general as they grow.
  • Nursing in Public — Listen up, mammas. Those other people around . . . they don’t matter. It’s not about them. It’s about you and that beautiful baby. Nurse on, says The Swaddled Sprout!
  • How to Nurse a Teenager — Sarah at The Touch of Life declares: the purpose is to help normalize breastfeeding a toddler.

Breastfeeding and Community

World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center

Welcome to the World Breastfeeding 2013 Blog Carnival cohosted by NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center!

This post was written for inclusion in the WBW 2013 Blog Carnival. Our participants will be writing and sharing their stories about community support and normalizing breastfeeding all week long. Find more participating sites in the list at the bottom of this post or at the main carnival page.

***


Breastfeeding a child is an incredible journey.

Our son, Joseph (now 2) sleeping peacefully after cuddling up to nurse on the day of his birth

Our son, Joseph (now 2) sleeping peacefully after cuddling up to nurse on the day of his birth

From the first days after birth, spent cradling, studying, and maneuvering your tiny, wrinkly little newborn – - – through the ravenous growth spurts and amazing social contact at your breast- – - to seeing how your child starts to conceptualize mom and milk, and change and wean from the breast as he or she grows. . .

it’s an amazing, complex, fascinating, one-of-a-kind, incredible journey.

And while education, experience, commitment, and clear goals all positively impact the rate of continued breastfeeding in our society, I truly believe that the single most important factor in a healthy and enjoyable breastfeeding experience is community.

Community Approval and Acceptance

Acceptance, approval (and lack thereof) impact a breastfeeding mother and child considerably. A mother accepted by her community and celebrated for feeding her child at the breast is likely to have a positive breastfeeding relationship with her child – no matter how long or short that breastfeeding relationship is.

Just a quick look at a few of the instances of harassment and devaluation of breastfeeding mothers and children show us how society’s misconceptions can poison a perfectly healthy breastfeeding relationship.

It’s also important to encourage breastfeeding mothers without being pushy or judgmental. “Great job, mama!” or “your baby is eating so joyfully” are wonderful, simple accolades for a breastfeeding mom. There is no need to force the point – most mothers benefit from a simple “you’re awesome” or even just a smile in their direction- – - and can feel pressured by too much “breast is best” talk.

The best way that a community at large can support a breastfeeding mother is to treat her as if what she is doing when she nurses is the most normal thing in the world, and that you are happy for her and her child.

Community of Like-Minded Moms

Mother’s groups and breastfeeding support groups like La Leche League and hospital birth groups can be an incredible source of support and encouragement for nursing mothers. Just by being with women who are like-minded and on the same journey, mothers are re-charged and strengthened.

Groups of nursing mothers can bolster a mother and help her through feelings of confusion or doubt, and they can share in both joys and struggles to empower each other through the incredible journey that is mothering.

Supportive Family and Work Environments

The environment at home and at work regarding breastfeeding and nursing mothers contributes heavily to the vitality and success of a nursing dyad. Spouses and other family members can have a positive impact on the nursing dyad by giving loving support of their relationship and keeping routes of dialogue open. Workplaces can be supportive to nursing mothers by understanding that separation from a nursing child requires the pumping of breastmilk, and that this act is normal and necessary. Workplaces have also shown that flexibility and an open dialogue between working mothers and their places of work can lead to new and empowering ideas to support both mothers and our economy.

 

Advocacy

Advocating for nursing mothers, the rights of a nursing child, and the overall truth that nursing is normal and necessary impacts every nursing relationship. There are MANY ways that we can advocate for nursing dyads. 

We can advocate for breastfeeding dyads by expressing the truth that nursing is normal.

YOU can make a difference in the public health of our society by SUPPORTING breastfeeding dyads!

We can advocate for breastfeeding dyads by resisting the possible urge to ask a woman to cover up or move while breastfeeding.

We can advocate for breastfeeding dyads by learning more about lactation and the breastfeeding relationship and sharing this knowledge with others.

We can advocate for breastfeeding dyads by sharing our personal breastfeeding experiences in a constructive manner.

We can advocate for breastfeeding dyads by supporting Baby Friendly Hospitals and baby friendly birth.

We can advocate for breastfeeding dyads by being aware of the sexualization of breasts and the misogyny present in our society regarding the breast’s dual purpose.

We can advocate for breastfeeding dyads by acknowledging bottles as a secondary and not primary way to facilitate infant feeding.

We can advocate for breastfeeding dyads by supporting laws that protect the rights of nursing children and mothers.

. . . and I think most importantly,

We can advocate for breastfeeding dyads by supporting all mothers, all fathers, and all caregivers with respect and compassion (and thus not fueling the mommy-wars that come about when compassion is omitted from discussions).

Community support and societal acceptance of nursing as normal and necessary are powerful aspects of a positive nursing relationship.

What can YOU do as a member of your community to make the world a more supportive place for nursing mothers and children?

***

World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center Visit NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center for more breastfeeding resources and WBW Carnival details!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants. Below are a list of links for today’s participants; you can find a complete list of links (updated throughout the week) at our main carnival page:

(This list will be updated by afternoon August 1 with all the carnival links.)

  • If You’re Worried About Your Kid Seeing Me Breastfeeding, You’re Doing It Wrong — Dionna at Code Name: Mama is living the breastfeeding-as-a-cultural-norm dream. She has first-hand experience that kids, teens & adults who see breastfeeding accept breastfeeding.
  • Supporting Breastfeeding Online — Wendy at Breastfeeding Utah reaches out to birth and breastfeeding support professionals who are interested in knowing more about supporting their clients online.
  • Breast Friends — Mama Bree, guest posting at San Diego Breastfeeding Center, shares a baby’s journey to blissful breastfeeding with a little help.
  • World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival – Online Breastfeeding Support — Other than buying and reading up on books, Jenny at I’m a full-time mummy finds that it is useful to read up on other mums’ breastfeeding experiences and how they deal with their obstacles.
  • It Takes a Village… — Meredith at Thank You Ma’am talks about the support she got from her family, especially from her own mom, who is a lactation consultant.
  • Community Support — Ashley at ModerationMama tells about her supportive community surrounding her breastfeeding journey, and she talks about the importance of the breastfeeding class she took while still pregnant.
  • Finding a Nanny to Be Part of My Village — Before returning to work, Gretchen of That Mama Gretchen, posting at Natural Parents Network, needed to find a trusted caregiver for her daughter. Someone who supported her parenting goals and was ready to become part of a family.
  • A Nursey Love Letter — When asked about her nursing support group, KassK of Get Born Tribe surprised herself with the answer: her husband!
  • We are mammals. — To be a mammal . . . what does that mean? Practicing Mammal educates us.
  • Building a Solid Foundation for a Successful Breastfeeding Journey — Tia at Tia’s Sweeps Go ‘Round shares how she built a strong support network to help her successfully breastfeed her newborn daughter.

Here’s Looking at YOU, Mom!

Here'sLookingatYouMom WM

Joe turned 2 this past Saturday. I feel like this picture says “Here’s looking at YOU, mom! I’m two and I love my milkies!”

Breastfeeding Support Blog Party!

Feeding JoeLast Thursday, bloggers from around the world came together in a show of support for breastfeeding mothers. New mothers have enough challenges without having to feel guilty for how they feed their baby, especially when they are choosing the most natural of means – breastfeeding.

Over the last few days there has been a lot of heated debates, controversial posts, and social media outcry against the position that the Weston A. Price Foundation takes on breastfeeding. While they do present sound information on the ideal diet for a human adult, they do so in a manner that brings about guilt, fear, and confusion for mothers.

The bloggers who participated in the Breastfeeding Support Blog Party are not trying to create a divide between mothers. We simply want to offer support, in the form of blog posts, as to why breastfeeding should always be the first choice both for baby and mama.

We hope you take some time to read the posts that were written as part of the Blog Party. There are also over 140 posts linked up as part of this. Take some time to check them out here or link up your own breastfeeding support post!

Dionna at Code Name: Mama has come up with 40 ways that family, friends, coworkers and employers can support mothers who pump breastmilk, along with a ton of resources for you and the pumping mom in your life. There are also some fun graphics you can print and pass out, with 70% of all proceeds going to buy pumps for moms in domestic violence shelters!

Destany at They Are All of Me writes about ten common breastfeeding myths that scare women out of breastfeeding.

Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama discusses how her diet wasn’t WAPF perfect, but she still breastfed a perfectly healthy baby.

Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry is passionate about breastfeeding, here are her 101 reasons why!

Kelly at Becoming Crunchy discusses the question of whether you should still nurse – even if your diet isn’t ‘right’.

Jorje of Momma Jorje has enough pressure in her life, she is glad she doesn’t have to worry about what, when and how much food she feeds her son since he is also still nursing.

Angela at EarthMamas World discusses a few of the most common problems that a mama may encounter while breastfeeding. Angela also shares natural remedies for each of these breastfeeding problems!

That Mama Gretchen reflects on the beautiful bond breastfeeding has created as her two children have transitioned from their womb experience to their earth side one.

Julia at A Little Bit of All of It shares ways breastfeeding and breastmilk are unique and special in a way only they can be.

Amy W. at Natural Parents Network shares 5 scientific reasons that mother’s milk is an unequaled form of nutrition and nurture: so awesome, and so unique!

Laura at Authentic Parenting shares solid information on iron intake for the breastfed baby.

Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares the questions (and answers) about breastfeeding she wished she had a friend to answer for her before becoming a mama.

Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter choose to breastfeed her children in part because it’s easier than bottle feeding, not to mention that it is the best nutrition for babies, that it has health benefits for both mother and child, that it encourages bonding, and of course that it’s free! Basically breastmilk is the ultimate convenience food.

KerryAnn at Cooking Traditional Foods shares how the rush to recommend raw milk formula actually harms mothers.

Starlene at GAPS Diet Journey shares her experience with nursing and why she feels it is an important piece of the your baby’s health.

At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy draws a connection between how formula companies market and how women are treated by society.

Amy at Anktangle outlines a few of the many ways breastfeeding benefits both mom and child—aside from providing excellent nutrition.

Adrienne at Whole New Mom shares Part One and Part Two of 100 Reasons Why Breast Is Best.

Dawn at Cultured Mama shares her personal breastfeeding journey and how she overcame low supply issues and successfully tandemed nursed with only one breast.

The Extended Breastfeeding Project: Call for participants!

Jamie at I am not the Babysitter is looking for adults who were breastfed as children (over 1 year of age, etc) to write about their experiences for the Extended Breastfeeding Project – designed to showcase the normalcy of nursing into toddlerhood and childhood and to demystify the results of extended breastfeeding.

If you would like to participate, you can read more about the project by following the link above and submit your information to the wonderful advocates who are putting this project together.

I as breastfed slightly into toddlerhood, about 14 months, and I’ll be writing about my experience, growing up just knowing that breastfeeding was the way moms fed their babies. . . if you were breastfed as a child, please consider contributing your voice!

The “Snowballing” Hollister Nurse-In

Two weeks ago, Brittany Warfield was discriminated against, vilified, and berated by a store manager at the Hollister clothing store in the Houston Galleria. Shaken and demoralized, Brittany posted about the incident on facebook and called the Best for Babes NIP Hotline to report what happened. Now, the night before the huge, international Nurse-In to encourage Hollister to issue a well-deserved (and still declined) apology to Brittany for their ignorance. . . I’m reflecting on my participation in what has to be one of the most inspirational events I have ever been a part of.

How I Got Involved:

I was simply in the right place at the right time to offer my help in organizing a nurse-in at the Galleria Hollister. Visiting my mom and dad with the Silly Bears in Houston for the holidays, I became engaged in discussion with Michelle Hickman (another mom victimized by a retail store, last year) who now works with Best for Babes to help women safely and securely fulfill their right to nurse their children in public and private. She inspired me to share Brittany’s story with my friends and former co-workers at WIC in Brazoria County TX (South of Houston) . . . and then two days later, I was attending a organizational meeting for the nurse-in and volunteering my time and talent to spreading the word about Brittany’s story and the subsequent planned nurse-in.

I’ve been so blessed to be a part of the organization of this nurse in. It is AMAZING to see every day mothers standing up for the rights of women and children and rallying around and alongside one another to empower women to embrace their mothering journeys and be secure in their decisions and their rights. I’ve been helping to rally interested mothers, call media outlets, and I’m so excited to participate in the nurse-in to encourage Hollister to issue an apology to Brittany and her family for the unlawful discrimination and harassment that she suffered.

After being contacted by a local television station for an interview tonight 1 . . . I realized that this nurse-in that started as a local, Houston area rally to support a breastfeeding mom . . . has grown into a huge outpouring of support and cry for justice in the quest to empower mothers, normalize nursing, and encourage education and respectful discourse regarding breastfeeding.

“We will definitely be there at the Galleria tomorrow to talk with you and cover the event” said my contact with the television station. “This story has snowballed big time. It’s international now. . . there is lots of interest.”

Nursing Joe on photo shoot 19 Months (Nov. 2012)

Me with my youngest nursling, Joseph (20 months)

Wow. I thought. This is pretty amazing.

Our Hopes for the Nurse-In Tomorrow:

We are very excited to be present at the Galleria tomorrow to EDUCATE to the normalcy of nursing and to ENCOURAGE Hollister and Preston to see the error of their ways and present an apology to Brittany and her family.

We would love to INSPIRE the company to institute training on Breastfeeding law and the normalcy of nursing, and we are hoping to EMPOWER women to own their mothering experience and stand up for the rights of a mother and her child.

It’s exciting to be able to be a part of INCITING cultural and social change regarding Breastfeeding and Breastfeeding law, and to look forward to a future when there will be a “Law with teeth” to enforce the Breastfeeding laws that entitle a woman to nurse in public.

Nothing in our goals for tomorrow has anything to do what so ever with desiring the manager to lose his job or be punished in any way. We sincerely hope that this rumor is just that- a rumor. And we encourage everyone to redirect their energy to getting pumped up for a calm, inspiring, and empowering demonstration tomorrow at the nurse-in!!!!!

bf moms

If you are interested in learning more about breastfeeding or nursing in public, please visit Natural Parents Network and Nursing Freedom

If you are interested in more information on why breastfeeding is so important to our nation’s public health, please visit Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative USA or La Leche League International

If you are looking to research breastfeeding laws in your state, please visit the National Conference on State Legislatures site

. . . and if you EVER, like Brittany and the hundreds and thousands of mothers like her, become the victim of breastfeeding discrimination or harassment for nursing, please call the Best for babes NIP Hotline at 1-855-NIP-FREE

All the best to you and yours!

And if you feel so inclined, PLEASE do leave a comment below. I blog to CONNECT with you!

- Amy

 

  1. and then usurped by a “breaking news story”. . . I hope no one was hurt, but I heard a helicopter a minute after I received that call. . .

No Apology from Hollister Store after Manager Openly Berated Nursing Mom

“Brittany Warfield was nursing her beautiful 7 month old daughter on a bench right outside Hollister in the Houston Galleria. The store manager came out and bullied the nursing mother by yelling at her to leave. She was humilated and embarrassed. No mother should EVER feel that way. Breastfeeding needs to be supported and encouraged to ensure a nursing mother’s success. It is also our right as women to nurse in public. So come on out, bring your baby and lets show our support for not only this mother but ALL mothers and their right to nurse their children when ever and where ever that may be. Let’s make sure not one more mother ever has to feel this way again.”

From the Nurse in @ Hollister Galleria Store and Nationwide Facebook Event Page

When Brittany was bullied for breastfeeding her infant, and yelled at to leave the Houston Galleria Hollister store by one of the store managers, it demonstrated a deep-seeded cultural belief that breastfeeding is inappropriate in public – a pervasive opinion that threatens our nation’s public health by criminalizing a perfectly normal and necessary activity – nursing a child.

Nursing is Normal

Nursing is like breathing, walking, or sipping a cup of coffee. It’s normal, natural, and there’s nothing inappropriate about it. But still, there are many reported cases every year of women (and their children) being discriminated against, bullied, and harassed by individuals and employees of businesses like Target and Applebees – for breastfeeding. These incidences keep happening, even though breastfeeding openly, in public, as needed by the child, is legally protected in 45 U.S. states

squareAnother example of how uneducated our culture is on breastfeeding is the volume of reported cases that do not receive public attention: Best for Babes recently started a Hotline for moms who are harassed for nursing in public, and within the first week, 8 cases were reported to the Hotline. It’s incredible how uneducated the public is on the legal and human rights of a mother and her baby to nurse, and how pervasive the thought that nursing is somehow an inappropriate or inherently “private” act . . . nursing is normal, and I wish that everyone could understand that.

Bullying is Not OK

Even if an individual doesn’t understand that nursing is normal and not inappropriate at all, I am struck by how eager our culture can be to bully and harass. What happened to Brittany and her children at the Galleria Hollister was mean spirited, unprofessional, and rude. Simply put, bullying and harassment is NOT ok – no matter how you feel about something.

Still No Apology

What separates Brittany’s case from the others in the recent past is that Hollister has declined to even make an attempt at an apology or movement to rectify their obviously lacking training for employees regarding state breastfeeding laws. Because of this reaction, breastfeeding advocates (including myself) are planning a Nurse-In at the Houston Galleria Hollister and Nationwide, to support Brittany, educate to the state laws that protect breastfeeding in public, and try to show the public that nursling is normal.The Nurse-In will occur on Sat January 5th at 3:00 PM local time.

Nurse InThe Nurse-In will be a peaceful gathering of mothers, nursing babies and children, and our supporters. We hope that it will receive local and national attention and that we can make positive change toward helping our culture respect the human and legal rights of a mother and her child!

If you are interested in participating in the Nation-Wide Nurse in, you can join in the discussion and find Hollister Nurse Ins near you HERE.