Then and Now, How My Goals Have Changed: Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival Day 7

First Published: Aug 2, 2015 10:00 AM 

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Today’s topic is Then and Now, How My Goals Have Changed. If you’re interested in reading my previous Breastfeeding Carnival posts please check out my homeschooling blog here.

When I was pregnant with Monkey (who is now 7), I came up with the goal to breastfeed him for 6 months and see how things went. My mom told me I bit her when I was about 6 months and she weaned me because I wouldn’t stop biting. When my baby arrived and couldn’t breastfeed my goals changed. I had hope that I’d be able to make it 6 months but I had to take it weeks at a time. Once he was able to latch with a nipple shield my goal quickly became a month. We passed the month and then I hoped by the time he was 8 weeks we could wean from the nipple shield. He wasn’t able to wean from it. He still was nursing really well though and I had plenty of milk (an overabundant supply). My goal then became 6 months again. We got to that point, by then I was used to biting because for a few weeks he bit to squeeze milk out of me until he learned out to suck. When he bit a couple of times it wasn’t as big of a deal. At 6 months things were going well so I decided a year but I couldn’t see us nursing past that. At 12 months, Monkey was very much a baby still so I decided 18 months. He had different plans and had finished weaning himself by 14.5 months, a week after we got back from our first visit to Corvallis. He had been dropping a feeding at a time for a little over a month at that point and completely lost interest and didn’t look back. I was pretty upset because my goals had changed and we hadn’t got there but he knew what he needed.

For K man, I decided that we would go 18 months and see how things were at that point. At that time I said 2 years and we’d see. His second birthday came and went. He was much more of a baby than Monkey was at that age. When I got pregnant with Roxy when K man was 2 plus 4 months I started bleeding right away. Because I have had 3 miscarriages we knew I needed to wean the last feeding right away. The bleeding stopped. I nursed him one last time the next night. At that point he could go a day without nursing and he was mostly only nursing to go to sleep at night.

Roxy has had some tummy issues her whole life. We finally have a diagnosis for it as of July (she is 19 months now). She still has a lot of reflux from the issues though. I can see her nursing longer than my boys did. I don’t have any limit on her as of right now because she has so many food allergies besides that we have to avoid. I know her milk helps her get what she needs. She still nurses during the night too and I know she needs it. I couldn’t imagine it any other way with her. In a way, I’m glad she is my last because my views have changed very much on the age to which a baby could/should/needs/wants to breastfeed.

You can find information about the Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival here. Here’s a link back to today’s post on the Breastfeeding Cafe’s blog.

How have your goals changed over your course of breastfeeding? Or, if you’re expecting, what are your breastfeeding goals?

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How Breastfeeding Has Changed My Life: Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival Day 6

First Published: Aug 1, 2015 10:00 AM

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Today’s topic is How Breastfeeding Has Changed My Life. If you’re interested in reading my previous Breastfeeding Carnival posts please check out my homeschooling blog here.

I always knew I wanted to breastfeed. I had a very strong desire to make it work. When I had to fight SO hard to be able to do it that fire made me want to help other mothers. I received so much help and support from support groups that I decided to become an accredited breastfeeding helper in one particular group. Because this is my business blog I don’t name names because it’s against the rules to mix causes but it’s really hard for me to separate the help and support I have received and given because it’s my passion so I mention but don’t name names.

I was inspired so much by the little help I got in the hospital as well as from a couple of REALLY awesome IBCLCs to go down that road. I hope to sit for the exam in April 2017. I hope to help mothers more hands on than I’m allowed to now and help with more tricky situations and work closely with doctors. It’s a huge bonus to get paid to do this work but that’s not what drives me. Breastfeeding opened so many doors of who I want to be and opened my heart to helping so many mothers. I have always been kind of shy but passions help me break that shyness and speak out.

I had the opportunity in the Winco parking lot of all places to help a mother who really needed help a few months ago. She noticed I was wearing an “Ask me about cloth diapers” t-shirt as I was loading my groceries and my daughter and we talked about cloth diapers for a minute but what she really needed was some help and support with breastfeeding. It was such a beautiful moment to be able to listen to this mother and offer her the support she needed. She especially needed to hear she was an awesome mom-she totally is! I could tell through her emotional pain from her struggles that she was a very devoted and dedicated mom to her baby. I saw myself in her. I saw myself crying as I was pumping and not able to hold and feed my newborn. I saw the pain that was in my eyes watching someone else feed my baby milk that was not mine, but formula (which has a place but it was not what I had planned), while I sat pumping and getting nothing out. I saw my pain being released from the hospital with no pump, no idea if or when my baby would latch, and no idea how to even get him to that point other than a phone number of a doctor to call the next morning to clip my son’s frenulum because it was so tight he couldn’t even try to latch. She had a very different situation than mine but it was the same emotions. I felt her struggles as she told me what was going on. I’m so grateful that I was there that day and was able to listen. In my situation, very few people would listen. Nobody had quality advice to give. It felt like everyone was telling me to pump for a week or two maybe and give up. I hope the mom walked away feeling hope. I know it was healing for me though. I am so glad that I have had opportunities to share knowledge and empathy. This one especially stands out to me because I saw my pain in her eyes.

Breastfeeding has been a roller coaster. Everything in my mothering life has been a roller coaster. Breastfeeding has made me who I am. Breastfeeding has healed me.

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!

You can find information about the Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival here. Here’s a link back to today’s post on the Breastfeeding Cafe’s blog.

How has breastfeeding impacted you or your family?

Tools That Have Helped Me Reach My Goals: Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival Day 5

First Published: Jul 31, 2015 10:00 AM

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Today’s topic is Tools That Have Helped Me Reach My Goals. If you’re interested in reading my previous Breastfeeding Carnival posts please check out my homeschooling blog here.

In previous posts on similar topics I have talked about how without the forbidden nipple shield (I say this because so many are VERY against nipple shields) I would not have been able to breastfeed my first son at all. I think the most powerful tool though that has helped me was having a support network as well as making sure to keep lots of snacks and water handy to keep me going.

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At a breastfeeding support meeting that I planned one month I brought a big bag of things that help with breastfeeding (or pictures of the ones too big to put in the bag). The poor mom that pulled one in particular out was SO confused. It was a glass leftovers container with a lid. In reality, this is my most used breastfeeding tool. I love to cut up fruits, cheese, ingredients to throw on a salad, and put leftovers in individual portion sizes, as well as other snacks in these containers so I can just pull one out and have something to eat really fast. With three children now it’s still hard to get a meal on the table at a specified time so preparing things when everyone is quiet and tummies are full is much easier than when everyone is snacky, angry, or hungry.

My other very important tool that has helped me through every struggle is a strong breastfeeding support network. This not only includes breastfeeding support groups and trained breastfeeding supporters but also breastfeeding friendly family members, doctors (this one is especially important when you have a medical concern rather than getting bad or outdated advice), and friends. It’s nice to know who you can call when you’re struggling because even trained breastfeeding supporters need support during difficult times. It’s also helpful to have friends and family that tell you to keep up the good work and remind you that you CAN get through it. It’s also wonderful to be a friend back to other breastfeeding mothers, we all need support even on good days.

I know these are both non-traditional tools that have helped me breastfeed my babies but they have been very important over my many years of breastfeeding my three babies. I hope some of you find these ideas helpful as well.

You can find information about the Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival here. Here’s a link back to today’s post on the Breastfeeding Cafe’s blog.

What tools have helped you reach your breastfeeding goals?

My Favorite Breastfeeding Advantage: Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival Day 4

First Published: Jul 30, 2015 10:00 AM

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Today’s topic is My Favorite Breastfeeding Advantage. If you’re interested in reading my previous Breastfeeding Carnival posts please check out my homeschooling blog here.

There are so many advantages of breastfeeding. I don’t refer to them as benefits because I like to frame breastfeeding as the norm because our bodies were made to breastfeed our babies and human milk was designed specifically for human babies. I highly recommend reading this article if you’re a breastfeeding supporter especially.

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Thanks to my awesome photographer Alicia for capturing this moment. You can find her on Facebook here.

My favorite advantage of breastfeeding is the bond built through the interactions and the close contact and having a tiny person be so reliant on me to keep them alive. It really is quite an experience and game changer to have someone be so dependent on you and mainly you for their nourishment. It also caused me a lot of anxiety, especially in the early days, but when I stopped trying to analyze everything so much (when my babies were getting plenty) and fell in love with my baby fully things really changed.

The biggest thing I have learned through mothering through breastfeeding is that I notice and am aware of challenges and struggles within my children early because I have become so in tune with them. I have noticed things and have been able to be an advocate for my children. Babywearing has further fine tuned this. Breastfeeding and babywearing have been huge comforts to my shy children and when they have been scared of procedures or situations. I know these relationships that I have build with them have helped build a trust between us. This is a big reason why I want to help other families babywear and breastfeed. These relationships are so important to foster when children are very young and I think are good predictors of the relationships and trust they will have of others in the future.

You can find information about the Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival here. Here’s a link back to today’s post on the Breastfeeding Cafe’s blog.

What is your favorite advantage of breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding in Public: Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival Day 3

First Published: Jul 29, 2015 10:00 AM

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Today’s topic is Breastfeeding in Public. If you’re interested in reading my previous Breastfeeding Carnival posts please check out my homeschooling blog here.

Breastfeeding in public has been a controversial topic in the culture in the USA for a long time. In my local area most people are very open to breastfeeding in public.

IMG_0275My favorite way to nurse in public is to use a baby carrier. This is using my Boba 4G carrier. I personally have the most success nursing in a Boba or in a woven wrap. There are many options to breastfeed and babywear though and I will talk about those in a later post.

Over the years I have had many many opportunities to nurse in public including in a train, in a plane, at church, at restaurants, at the library, at other people’s homes, at the zoo, at the County Fair, at rest stops and gas stations, in my car (while stopped), while traveling many miles across a few states (in the West that’s big!), at doctor’s offices, and wherever else my breastfeeding baby has gone with me.

Something that I have always done was wear a nursing undershirt. I love the two shirt method because you can use your regular shirts (maternity ones are better though because they pull up really easily) and pull your bra flap down under the undershirt. You can keep your body covered and your baby’s face covers up any exposed skin. With practice in front of the mirror you can see how discreet you are and most of the time people think you’re just holding a sleeping baby (which means less looks and negative comments). You don’t HAVE to do it this way, this is the way that makes me comfortable and I really like being discreet and modest and this is a way I have found to meet my baby’s needs while keeping covered without having to wear a big cover. Some moms prefer using a cover and that’s perfectly fine! None of my babies have liked them much so after they learned to latch well we ditched the cover and found out that less people notice you’re nursing without a cover anyways.

You can find information about the Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival here. Here’s a link back to today’s post on the Breastfeeding Cafe’s blog.

What are your tips for nursing in public?

My Breastfeeding Stories: Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival Day 2

First Published: Jul 28, 2015 7:22 PM

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Today’s topic is Breastfeeding Stories. If you’re interested in reading my previous Breastfeeding Carnival posts please check out my homeschooling blog here.

Those who know me well know that all three of my children have had various breastfeeding struggles. All of mine have had tongue and/or lip ties that have prevented or severely inhibited breastfeeding and all have sensory issues but all have had other special issues as well. I was the first of my friends to have babies and I didn’t have friends to turn to for help and support and my family all had different experiences but many lead to help and support along the way regardless.

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With my oldest son (lovingly referred to as Monkey online, for which I have named my knitting business Monkey Bunns as well as Monkey Baby Wrap) I received very little help and support in the hospital in hindsight. They claimed to be very supportive and knowledgeable about breastfeeding but most of the nurses were not up to date on information. When Monkey was young I started attending breastfeeding support meetings. I eventually decided that I wanted to become a trained and accredited supporter to help other mothers but my journey took several twists and turns and I was not able to become fully accredited until my second son was a young baby. I turned to a lot of online forums with him as well as some books. You can learn more details from my previous breastfeeding carnival posts in the link above.

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When my second son was born we really struggled financially to put it nicely. My husband soon started working a second full time job and I was still continuing to prepare for paying my dues to become an accredited breastfeeding supporter. I was able to help other mothers with their issues but my second son was my first baby to nurse without a nipple shield so there was a learning curve there. When he was 7 months old we packed up and moved from Utah to Oregon where my husband started attending graduate school. I became an official breastfeeding helper and had the opportunity to help a lot of moms in person and through email and a few online on Facebook as well. I became a Certified Babywearing Educator and started helping parents babywear and also breastfeed while babywearing.

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Thanks to my awesome photographer Alicia for capturing this moment. You can find her on Facebook here.

By the time Roxy came along the Facebook group was very active and I was very integrated in to my local community through networking. I found it very healing through our very intense first 7 months of struggles until it finally worked out and we found a groove to help other mothers. She is now 18 months and still has some struggles with some issues with her little body but breast milk helps her get enough nutrients and vitamins to help bridge the gap. She nurses a lot in a carrier and I also study to become a lactation consultant while I nurse her. I have read many many more breastfeeding books while nursing her and love to share the information I learn with others.

You can find information about the Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival here. Here’s a link back to today’s post on the Breastfeeding Cafe’s blog.

Tell me your breastfeeding story or stories!

Non-traditional Breastfeeding Support: Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival Day 1

First Published: Jul 28, 2015 12:54 AM

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I decided to participate in the Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival on my babywearing blog this year. Why you might ask? Because I believe babywearing supports breastfeeding. I also believe sharing my stories will benefit other mothers and families. You don’t have to be a breastfeeding mother to babywear, however they often go together. I love to support all families babywearing, breastfeeding or not. If you’re interested in seeing my past posts from previous years in this carnival leading up to World Breastfeeding Week please visit my homeschooling blog here.

Today’s topic is non-traditional breastfeeding support. I see traditional breastfeeding support as the support given mother to mother usually by family but often within a community. This can be given from a mother or aunt to daughter/niece, sister to sister, friend to friend, or within a breastfeeding support group such as LLL or Breastfeeding USA. Non-traditional would be anything else-books, websites, blogs, email, trained professionals, etc.

I have received much of my support online and through books over the years. I will list some of my favorites:

Books:

  • Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
  • Breastfeeding Made Simple
  • I have read many many others but these are on my list of books every mom should check out!

Websites and Blogs

  • LLLI-Be sure to find your local group for in person support
  • Breastfeeding USA
  • Kelly Mom
  • The Leaky Boob Blog
  • The Milk Meg Blog
  • Infant Risk Center (they have a hotline that you can call to check if a medication is safe or not)
  • The Lactmed Website (be sure to check out their app-I refer to it a lot when I want to check on a medication that I need to take)
  • LDS Breastfeeding Families Facebook group (This is a group I created specifically for LDS families but like-minded mothers are also welcome as long as they respect beliefs of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints while in the group. The group is not hosted by the Church but was instead created by members)
  • I have other specialized ones that I really like but chose to list the ones that pertain to all breastfeeding moms.

I also highly recommend if you are having any questions about breastfeeding problems to seek a skilled breastfeeding helper right away. One website to help you to find an IBCLC local to you can be found here. There are other skilled breastfeeding supporters as well, this is not an exhaustive list however IBCLC is the only International recognized credential for lactation specialists.

You can find information about the Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival here. Here’s a link back to today’s post on the Breastfeeding Cafe’s blog.

Where do you find breastfeeding support?