Tag Archives: breastfeeding

A fertility story

fertility like snowflakes
Birth is like snowflakes, no two are alike.
I have said this a million times but what I should of repeated along with it is:
Getting pregnant is like snowflakes, no two fertility stories are the same.
Telling stories has a purpose. It helps us understand the human side to life.
Here is my human side to fertility.

I have four children but getting pregnant wasn’t a fast thing for my body. I always had far apart periods; 30 to 45 days apart (the average was every 28 days just like the full moons). I did not use birth control but only got pregnant once a year. To be clear there were lots of opportunities for the squiggly sperm to make its journey to the robust egg. I am pretty sure the egg was feeling fine but just didn’t want to be bothered. SHE (the egg) seemed to love the month of July. She got very social that month because in July 1979 she danced with the squiggly guy. Unfortunately two months later the pregnancy ended. Another year goes by and every month SHE didn’t want to be bothered until July came. But again, two months later the pregnancy ended. Another year goes by and after months of keeping HERSELF closed off, July comes and she danced, and nine months later my first child was born. Breastfeeding kept HER from dancing three months later (July) but SHE couldn’t hold back any longer the following July, seeing as I had just stopped breastfeeding, and nine months later my second son was born.

What I am hoping to relay to other women is not the sensual dance of the egg but the fact our body’s are not always reading the science journals. They usually react a certain way but sometimes they just dance to their own set of musicians. If I was trying to plan my life out and get pregnant in say…August, I would of been pretty fearful or untrusting of my body by June. That would be 10 months of waiting. By 10 months I would of thought my body was malfunctioning. At this point, if I was a planner, I would of been reading the text books, doing my research and probably already been to my OB/GYN to see why my body was failing me. I might of already taken some new drug that might solve my “problem”.

What I wouldn’t of know was that I didn’t have a problem. That my body did know how to carry a baby just fine. That my body knew how to birth a baby just fine. It just had it’s own time schedule.

Even the miscarriages that I had were natures way of knowing what my body needed. I do not have a scientific reason as to why they happened. I think that the formation of their little bodies were possibly not happening like they needed to or my body was not ready to be a mama yet. I do not know. The experience did prepare my emotions to understand the process of being a mother. It allowed me a very slow transition into caring for a child on a daily basis. I view it as perfect for what my life journey is and was.

Fast forward six years and I am in a new relationship and we both really want a child together. After a year and a half go by with us trying to wake the egg up and get her dancing, NOTHING. So I decide to add some chemistry into the situation, my own natural drug Dong Quai in tincture form. I took that and did Kundalini Yoga for two weeks straight. BOOM. The egg was twerking. Now I know it may of had nothing to do with the tincture or the yoga but  I do think, if nothing else, the yoga relaxed me enough into being more chill overall. Chill enough to allow my body the space it needed. I was pregnant once again. I actually thought maybe my body could not do the whole pregnant thing again. That it had retired from that department. Even though I had two children I had yearned for another. So I can relate to others that yearn for a little one in their lives. But the egg had decided to dance after all and nine months later a little boy was born.
My body had shifted over the long break. Had I thought my body was malfunctioning I might of really thrown things off by interrupting it with artificial drugs. I will never be sure what would of happened with allopathic drugs and to be clear, I do think there are cases where they have helped others.  For my story, the only story I have,  I am grateful I was patient. This story is to remind us how different we all are, that we are not text books, we are women with multi prisms stories.

My lesson in surrender was not over. This story has two sides to the coin. The side where I have to let go to get pregnant and the side where I have to let go after getting pregnant. We thought we were done after three boys but unbeknown to me my egg decided to twerk again a year and a half later. This was with us being very careful not to bother HER. Great strides were taken not to send any rhythm HER way. In my mind I was done. My mind thought my body did not have it in her to be pregnant one more time, let alone raise another baby into a little person. But the planning mind once again does not always know what the actual life journey of my human experience needs. Nine months later a little girl arrived in my world. I needed this little girl to be part of my life. I surrendered to this life experience and my heart song got a lot stronger. I had the joy of four children to follow me around like little ducklings follow the mother duck. For years I got to waddle this way and that and they just waddled along with me. Now they are all making their own journeys in life.
I just wanted to share this with whomever finds its journey useful. Thank you and please share so OUR woman stories vibrate into the future.

Feeding your baby. Part 1

WARNING! This post is more than a quick fact. It is a bit lengthy in description but please trust me when I say it is worth it.  It is about connection.

Baby’s First food.

Breast milk

Brian Birth 2
Nursing for the first time. Home birth in Key West Fl with Sharon Hamilton. Brian was a breech birth

Books will give you a weight your baby should be for a certain age, This is a guideline and should not be used as a measurement meant to follow ounce by ounce .  People come in all different sizes. Let me say this a different way: Babies come in all different sizes. Babies = People.

If your baby is nursing only from a drug free mother who eats healthy food and they are looking really big compared to others babies or compared to what the book says your baby should be. Your baby is healthy. Period. Do not cut back on it’s feedings. Do not introduce foods to slim the baby down, Your baby is healthy, they are just being a normal human being. Relax.

Likewise if you baby is small compared to the other babies, please don’t jump to the conclusion that you body is not making enough milk for the little one. Don’t start investigating formulas and solid food yet. The same rule applies above.

Do recognize if your babies is dehydrated or not keeping foods down to the point they are not receiving proper hydration and nourishment. Use your motherly judgement on this. Lots of babies are spit up babies but keep plenty down, they are just little gobblers and don’t know when to stop so their body is getting rid of what they do not need.

There are times when a baby’s body is not doing well due to one reason or another and you need a little help from an outside educated source.  Is you baby feverish? Is your baby not latching on properly due to Ankyloglossia, otherwise known as tongue tie or lip tie? Is the soft spot sunken? Does the skin stick up when you gently pinch it? Not many wet diapers?  The last three being signs of dehydration. These are all signs outside help is needed. Seek it.

The human race wants to survive and since nature designed us to feed our babies via the breast, you would be surprised how well the whole system works. Barring all the unwarranted fear that our society has created, mothers love to nurse. And the great news is that your baby loves nursing too. We just need to get women back on board. The best tool I can recommend is this one word.

RELAX.

Relax the mind, relax the arm that holds your baby, relax all the people around you after your baby is born, relax your breath. Babies pick up on nervousness.

Some of you may be saying, easier said than done. I get this. I am afraid of dogs. When I first see them running toward me with hair raised on their neck, my nerves raise. I’m sure the dog see’s this erratic energy field of fear surrounding me. I’ve been told they do and for no other reason then fear, I really do believe they sense it. Now here’s the tricky part, how exactly do I get rid of this fear? Well there are ways to trick a dog that you are not afraid: body posture, loud voice, breathe, never can remember if I’m suppose to look them straight in the eye or not so the last rule is important…always carry a big stick .

There are ways to relax around your baby also (please don’t carry a big stick). Understand that your baby is not fine china, neither is your baby an unbreakable dish; more like your everyday dish set. Hold you baby in many positions, get use to holding her/him. Explore them, look over every nook and cranny. Move their tiny arms and legs up and down. Let them cry for a few seconds if they happen on it. Let them explore their voice. When they are newborn, the cry is really the only voice they have. If it is awkward to get them to latch on don’t freak out if they even cry themselves to sleep. Freaking out is the opposite of relaxing. So hold your baby and focus for a bit on your breath and the breath of your wee one. Feel the energy of your bodies when crying, when just chilling and when sleeping. Notice your breath during each of these cycles. Notice you body tension. Breathe into any area you feel might be holding tight. Tell it to relax. This body part may listen to you or it may not. If not, visualize the muscles letting go but don’t be attached to how they are actually reacting. The same lessons we learned to get us through labor actually help get us through mothering. Learn them and practice them often, they are most effective when you actually use them.  (I’m not being sarcastic, I’m being practical and real.)

Here are a few other helpful tools:

Drink lots of water, try to get a gallon a day down. Use a straw to get it down quicker, have it next to you all the time. Do not sit unless the water is there. Start your morning with water and lemon, or hot tea and lemon. The lemon is a very gentle cleanser keeping your immune system working.

Yoga every day. Yes that right, even if it is just a posture or two. Find ways to incorporate it into your everyday life. Do a forward bend while gently swinging your baby close to the ground,  do plank pose and spinal twist while playing peek-a-boo. Think differently about your practice. The days of an hour long continuous session are not so much an option anymore for most. Don’t abandon your exercise, just shift it to fit into your new life.  You are with the baby almost 24/7 so why not take advantage of this time and create a healthier mind and body that in turn creates a more peaceful relationship with all.

Visualize milk flowing, the power of the mind can work for you.

Have books you have read and trust available when questions arise.  My recommendations are “Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding”, “Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” by La Leche League, “The Nursing Mother’s Companion Guide” by Huggins.

Quickly, see a Hypnotherapist.  They help us undo conditioning that is harmful to us, really almost instantly.

Pay for a massage, have them come to the house if you can. It is preferred if someone could watch the baby for quiet time so you can totally let go. If not still better to get the massage then not. Prepare yourself for the massage before you go so you can take full advantage of this short hour. Do deep breathing while driving there. Tell yourself this is your hour and do not spend it talking non stop. The massage therapist should be let in on this so they can honor the silence. Allow your mind to go to a place of no activity. I know you don’t get much adult conversation, but do not use this time for socializing.  If you do deep breathing here and there and focus on the muscles releasing where ever the therapist are touching, you will get so much more out of this. Close your eyes while getting the massage, trust. Even better, when you release each muscle visualize a color with that area. What ever comes to you. See the color turn into an oil and use that oil color to mentally release.

Have you seen how you have been holding your body when the baby cries, when you sleep and try to nurse if you are co-sleeping, when you are carrying your baby? This is your hour to allow your body to reverse stress and release muscles allowing them to move back into normal positions.

Have happy thoughts while you and your baby are connecting, These days of nursing are so short, soon they will be over never to return again, The oxytocin that is released and the feeling of nurturing that comes from this rush of hormones only happens while you nurse. Try to be aware of this flow of sensation that comes, this is a special tonic that nature prepared so that nurturing, mothering, bonding can occur.

Nature prepared us with this perfect beautiful tonic. Breastfeeding. Now see if your milk does not flow better.

Bio for Jeanie Williamson ~~~ I do not have a PhD in infant nutrition, I am much more informed than this. I am a mother that has a passion to learn  with a purpose for why this is important. I have clocked in enough hours I could have 4 PhD’s but who’s counting. Oh yeah,  society seems to be counting. I may not study under the auspices of a state approved college. I went to the College of Real Life, my professors were my children and my midwife and the midwives with whom I studied, other mothers. Mothering Magazine was my most valued text-book along with Spiritual Midwifery, Special Delivery, Inner Light-Inner Beauty, Learning all the time, Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, Continuum Concept and other great resources. My clocked in hours were ever minute I was awake. My outside credit school hours were Childbirth Education Teacher Certification workshops I took and then retook due to sponsoring them, the Midwifery Assistant courses, the infant massage course and Hypnobirthing Childbirth Education certification courses I took, along with all the classes I taught over the last 30 years. My most prestigious professors have been the newborns I have been blessed to welcome into the world along side the mothers that honored me to be with them. 

Ruby’s Baby Brother-Book Review

Image

Ruby’s Baby Brother.

by Kathryn White

A little girl’s imagination takes flight to help her process all the scary things about a new brother being brought home for the first time. She gathers her resources together to prepare for his arrival: a magic wand for safety, a space rocket to send him far away.

Suddenly, the unexpected happens, she falls in love with his soft tiny hands.

Imagination changes purpose. Now it brings play and protection into both their lives.

What a fun book this is. The imagination can soar with adorably warm and funny illustrations that Miriam Latimer creates with every turn of the page.

A big added bonus for breastfeeding advocates is a picture of mom nursing her little boy. This image is hard to find in children books.

I love that the publisher of this book, Barefoot Books, started as a home business back in the early nineties. They have an ambassador program where parents can have their own independent business selling books. Check them out here.

Breastfeeding in the Infinity Loop of love.

This is dedicated to Mothering Magazines “Blog about Breastfeeding” event.

Brian Birth 2

Pregnancy is a time for strength. Birth is a time of surrender. Mothering becomes a time to ebb and flow between strength and surrender as if both energies are locked into an infinity symbol.

Strength is needed to care for your body and the baby. Surrender is needed to give yourself completely to a new life with a new being in it. Surrender to letting go of things that once seemed important and strength to adjust to whats is important now.

When you nurse your baby, surrender is necessary, but not the same type of surrender that was needed in labor. This surrender is letting go of all distractions and focusing in on you and your baby and the connection that is growing.

The first few weeks with your baby compares to meditating. When you meditate, you focus in on one sound, and when many thoughts come into your mind, you greet them and then send them on their way and go back to that one sound.

Be with your newborn the same as you sit with your meditation. You may think of a client you forgot to call or a dish that needs washed but to get the most out of this moment it would be best to focus in on the skin to skin contact, the breath being shared between mother and child, how that breath creates a movement between the two of you. Be present with this moment, be fully present. This moment passes so quickly and can never be recaptured. A dish can always be washed, a client can always be called but this moment when a being reaches the earth is a once in a life time moment. Literally. Everything is new for its little baby body, lots of adjusting for both mother and child.

For some mothers it may be overwhelming to care for such an important being. The exhaustion of labor and birth are overwhelming. The body has often maxed out all its reserves in the strength department. It may feel as if your baby is pulling more energy out of your body every time they nurse. More energy than you think you can spare.

When the baby latches on to your nipple to nurse it stimulates oxytocin. Oxytocin causes the uterus to contract. A contracted uterus is a good thing for a mother. It helps to stop the flow of blood coming from the uterus by squeezing the ends of blood vessels that once connected to the placenta. It also helps the uterus go back to it’s original size.

So you see the baby is helping you get your energy back. Think of it like this: The baby’s lips on your breast are like you plugging in your cell phone to recharge the phone. You may think you are the only one giving out the electricity juice but the baby is actually giving lots of juice back to you, contracting your uterus and giving you the ultimate energy, letting you receive all that baby love. No other love is purer than a baby new to this earth bringing all that fresh innocent love into your life.

Once again it all goes back to the infinity sign. The figure eight; one circle being the mother, the other the child. The baby is giving and receiving and the mother is giving and receiving. What a gift.

LUVS new breastfeeding commercial.

Breastfeeding in public can be a bit awkward for some women. Some women hide behind a blanket, some are discrete with their clothing covering the breast a bit and others pull it right out. I was in the middle.

Love it. Thank you LUV even though I would stay away from plastic diapers as best I could. I saw two women this week awkwardly hiding behind a blanket. I wanted to shout “Freedom for the breast” but am sure they would think me a lune. I had four kids and never hid but the one time I visited a friend in jail. It was a bit tricky and tense. I think baby’s pick up on the mothers tension. I pulled my shirt up most the time so it was a sort of natural mini blanket. Make sure the bra isn’t compressing the breast as it can restrict the flow of milk and create a possible breast infection.

So what about you, what do you thing about this new commercial from LUVS?

Baby Explains- Normal Newborn Behavior

Is something wrong with your new baby or is this normal newborn behavior? A letter from a new baby, whats normal.

via Baby Explains- Normal Newborn Behavior.

By Diana Cassar-Uhl, IBCLC 

Dear Mommy,

Thank you so much for breastfeeding me!  You probably already know that your milk is designed especially for me, and is better than anything else you could feed me.

I know that right now, you feel like your friends who aren’t breastfeeding their babies seem to have an easier time of things.  Those other babies sleep soundly and longer between feedings, they drink so much, and they don’t fuss to eat all the time like I do!  I can tell you’re getting a little bit frustrated, and I hear all the advice you’re getting … my grandma says you weren’t breastfed and you turned out just fine, my daddy says he feels like he can’t do anything to soothe me, and that lady with the cold hands that you call “doctor” gave you a can of something that she says will help me grow faster.  You’re tired and frustrated because taking care of me just seems too hard, but please mommy, before you give up this yummy breastfeeding thing, let me explain some of my behavior to you.  It might help you feel better.

Continue reading Baby Explains- Normal Newborn Behavior

Breastfeeding- all the facts!

Want some breastfeeding facts?

Green Med Info is a website that gathers info/facts, so when you are searching for a subject you can go to there site and find what you are looking for.

This is just one example of their many research items.

Pubmed Data : J Pediatr. 2001 Aug;139(2):261-6. PMID: 11487754
Article Published Date : Aug 01, 2001
Study Type : Human Study
Visit GreenMedInfo to find the fact behind the feeling or question. Tell them gypsychild sent you.

Greenmedinfo: Infant Formula

Greenmedinfo: place to go for complete picture on what is in your food and what that can do or possibly do to your body.

This web page has all the studies you would need to really decide for yourself if you want to consume something or have a family member consume it.

Check out this article on infant formula.

Mead Johnson is a major manufacturer of infant formula both domestically and globally with its flagship product being Enfamil.

Why is infant formula associated with increased morbidity and mortality? We believe that many of the ingredients in these products are not always biologically appropriate, and due to the fact that many are byproducts of the mining and chemical industries, may act as endocrine disruptors or metabolic poisons. For example, vitamin A acetate is produced through “total chemical synthesis” through a petrochemically dependent process. It has been linked to birth defects, and so may be very different from the type of vitamin A (e.g. retinol) found in natural carotenoids like beta-carotene (technically two linked retinol molecules).

 

 

Still thinking about the movie “Babies”

Ponijao lives in Namibia with her family, including her parents and eight older brothers and sisters. Ponijao’s family is part of the Himba tribe, and lives in a small village with other families.

Mari lives with her mother and father in Shibuya, a busy metropolitan area within Tokyo, at the center of all of the city’s noise and excitement. Mari is an only child and lives a contemporary urban lifestyle.

Born in Mongolia, Bayarjargal, usually called “Bayar” for short, lives with his mother, father, and older brother Delgerjargal (“Degi”) on their small family farm.

Hattie lives in San Francisco, born to very ecological, “green” parents.  Both of Hattie’s parents are equally involved in her day-to-day life, fixing her meals, taking her to play groups, and spending time with her around the house.

What am I talking about?

Why “Babies” of course.

Breastmilk squirted on the babies face to wash the eyes.
A mother licking the babies face then spiting sharply.
A jacuzzi with mother and baby. Baby is not happy.
A river to play in.
A metal bath tub to sit in while a goat drinks from it.

These are all scenes you get to be a part of for a breif hour and 20 minutes.

Some of you might say yuk or gross. I say you need to see the film to understand how it is not gross. In fact is is very amusing.

For me, I would love it to just keep going and going.  I’m looking foward to the DVD with all the extras.

Here’s my take on the above.

Breastmilk has antibiotic properties that helps get rid of infection and also help prevent infection in the first place.

All animals clean their babies by licking them. It is the most natural thing. It is not uncommon in most cultures for a parent to suck out the mucus from an infants nose and spit it out when they are sick. I have been told this from some people I know that lived in Jamaica and other Islands. I know, Yuk you say. But this is normal for them.

My babies bath tub in St John was a metal tub we bought from the hardware store. You see people wash their laundry in them. The tub would sit on the deck and they would bathe outside in the fresh warm air.

Continue reading Still thinking about the movie “Babies”

Breastfeeding vs Formula Feeding

I believe in Breastfeeding. I also believe in free will: free will to decide what you want to do. There is a lot of wrong information out there about breastfeeding. Grandmothers, neighbors, friends, and most importantly, your doctor are dishing it out. Yes, your doctor is giving out the wrong info. I am not saying everyone is wrong. I am saying some are and it is up to you to seek the right information from reliable sources. Doctors have very little training in breastfeeding.

La Leache League is the best source.

If you want to Formula Feed after you get correct information, then I respect your decision. But I must say, I have heard the most off-the-wall stories as to why they could not breastfeed.

The most common is, “I pumped and only got a small amount of milk so I started to give them formula and they finally slept thru the night.”

Here’s the truth to this. A pump is very inaccurate in telling you how much milk you make. It can never replicate the suckling of a baby on the breast. Babies nurse as often for comfort as much as for food. Formula is hard to digest making a baby sluggish and more likely to sleep.

So I challenge you to read up.

Look for my post coming out soon about the most common misinformation on breastfeeding out there.

I first posted this in Baby Spot