Tag Archives: Breastfeeding

Extended Breastfeeding

You know you’re an attachment parent when your toddler takes her baby doll to town not in a stroller, but a baby carrier.

You also know you’re an attachment parent when you spend way more time than necessary thinking about the portrayal of extended nursing on last night’s television show.

Chris was excited to discover that HBO is making a television series based on his favorite book series, A Song of Ice & Fire, so we’ve been watching every week as the first book, A Game of Thrones, is brought to life.  Having read the book, I was aware of the fact that one of the characters, Lysa Arryn, is still breastfeeding her six year old son and that this is used to paint an image for the reader of Lysa as an obsessive and crazed mother.  As I watched the scene unfold in this week’s episode, I couldn’t help but wonder what such a negative and public portrayal of breastfeeding will mean for those of us nursing children who are clearly not “babies”. Continue reading

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Are Hospital Births Less Gentle Than Home Births?

First, a note: I received a great comment from my friend Megan on the last post and I started to write back to her, but as I typed, and typed, and typed, I realized my response would be better served as a blog post. As it turns out, this is going to be a two-parter, because I have so much to say.  I’d love to know what your thoughts on this are as well, so please leave me a comment!

I think, in general, there is a vast contrast between hospital and home birth as far as the first minutes and hours of the baby’s life.  There is also a contrast between in-hospital midwife deliveries and OB deliveries, but regardless of practitioner, in most, but certainly not all cases, babies born in hospitals spend more time away from their mothers at birth than do babies born at home.

Despite the importance of early contact for attachment and breastfeeding, most babies were not in their mothers’ arms during the first hour after birth, with a troubling proportion with staff for routine, nonurgent care (39%).  Listening to Mothers II: Report of the Second National U.S. Survey of Women’s Childbearing Experiences

A good example of this can be seen in almost every birth shown on the Lifetime TV show I referenced last week.  Several minutes pass and several procedures are done before baby is put skin to skin with mom, if baby even goes skin-to-skin at all — in many cases the babies are completely swaddled before being handed to mom for the first time.

This may look cute and cozy, but it does nothing for baby and mama.

That sort of birth practice is all too common in US hospitals.  According to the 2007 CDC National Survey of Maternity Practices in Infant Nutrition and Care, only 40.4% of the facilities surveyed reported that “most” patients experience mother-infant skin-to-skin contact for at least 30 minutes within 1 hour of uncomplicated vaginal birth and only 29.3% reported skin-to-skin for at least 30 minutes within 2 hours of uncomplicated cesarean birth. Continue reading

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Saturday Surfing

Looking though my hundreds of unread posts in Google Reader last week, I couldn’t help but marvel at how interests evolve, so I thought I would do something a little different this Saturday and build links into an actual post.

I follow a few “mom blogs,” like Kelle Hampton’s Enjoying the Small Things whose second daughter’s birth story I’ve linked to before, I Am Momma Hear Me Roar which has super cute and easy crafts, two adorable boys, and an author who just seems nice, and A Peine For Your Thoughts, which is a hilarious and sarcastic almost-mom blog (she’s going to have twins any moment).  I follow craft blogs like Grosgrain which has amazing sewing and lots of upcycling directions, Prudent Baby which is almost all kid-related, and One Charming Party which is about, you guessed it, throwing parties.  There’s a few random blogs of my friends, a blog or two about home decorating, and a handful of cooking and food-related blogs, my favorites of which are Spoonfed and Smitten Kitchen.  I tend to prefer blogs with lots of original photography.  But most of the blogs I follow?  Most of them are because of her:

Blogs about parenting (Alternative Mama, Authentic Parenting, Peaceful Parenting, Simple Mom, Sustainable Mothering), blogs about breastfeeding (Breastfeeding Medicine, Mama is…), and blogs about birth (Stand and Deliver, The Man-Nurse Diaries, The Unnecesarean).  I am so incredibly absorbed in and excited by these subjects, something I never would have expected even two years ago. Continue reading

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More on Breastfeeding

It’s been a big week for breastfeeding.  To start, it’s official:

I’m a Certified Lactation Counselor!I couldn’t have been more excited to get that envelope in the mail.

This week was also La Leche League meeting week on Nantucket, which is so much fun.  There’s such a great group of mamas here, and our leader, Sunny, is phenomenal.  I love going to meetings and being able to talk things through with other mamas; yes, we talk about breastfeeding (yesterday’s topic was the advantages of breastfeeding), but it’s also a forum for talking about nighttime parenting (sleeping or not), food introduction, baby’s health, gentle discipline, parenting strategies, and relationships with partners and extended families.  We have a lot of toddler (over a year) nursers here who keep coming to meetings despite having gone through the topic series already, which says a lot about what else the meetings offer.

Yesterday was also the day Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin released The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding at George Washington University.   Continue reading

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