Posts Tagged With: breastfeeding

365 Grateful

Day 118:
I am grateful for Sprout’s introduction to pears. He LOVED IT!

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Day 119:
We went for a run at the lake today and Bean was intrigued by a man jumping on a rope and he wanted to try. So he did. I’m grateful to live in such a kid friendly environment.

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Day 120:
Sprout is REALLY crawling now, on his knees that is. He still squirms a bit too but he’s actually started to crawl as well!! It’s so exciting to share my enthusiasm with Bean as we both watch Sprout grow!!

Day 121:
I am grateful that I get to start each day talking to my mom and each evening talking to my dad!

Day122:
I had a great 3 month review at work today today!

Day 123:
I am grateful for creativity and costume birthday parties. Take a look at Super Reader and I love that I was able to make his costume AND that he loved it!

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Day 124:
YAY for last minute quick trips to the zoo, funny faces and nursing on the zoo train๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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Breastfeeding and the Black Woman!

I’ve been reading a lot about breastfeeding lately and all of the powers of human milk for a human baby. A question that keeps coming up is why is a breastfeeding strategy that is geared specifically for black women necessary? Here’s something I came across that made sense to me but I hadn’t thought about it until now. In “Lactation Management: Strategies for working with African American Women”, Katherine Barber mentioned the importance of understanding the history of breastfeeding for the African woman forced to come to America. A history that includes not being allowed to breastfeed their own children BUT being forced to breastfeed their master’s children. This psychological damage has been passed down BUT I believe it can be changed!

The history has to be acknowledged and once it is, we can begin to address our current state. There is very little support for breastfeeding in the black community but that is beginning to change. Deciding to breastfeed is a BIG deal when you have not been exposed to breastfeeding or especially if you’ve been discouraged from doing so.

It can be very challenging to make the decision TO breastfeed in a community where it is not the norm PLUS you have to worry about HOW to communicate with your peers, boss, neighbors, strangers…about why you’ve made that decision. The thought of having to defend yet another decision in your life can be a bit stressful and discouraging. So here are a few of my suggest. If you see a woman who is pregnant and you just happen to start talking to her about her pregnancy, why not just ask, are you planning to breastfeed? Or maybe just give a thumbs up or word of encouragement to a woman you see breastfeeding. I’m always amazed at how powerful simple gestures can be. And if you’re pregnant and see a woman breastfeeding and she seems to be chatty or willing to share some info ask her about her experience. The more we talk about breastfeeding the more normal it will become๐Ÿ˜Š.

Are you a pregnant mama who is thinking about breastfeeding? What are your thoughts or fears about breastfeeding?

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And So We Weaned

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When I was pregnant with Bean I knew I wanted to breastfeed for at least a year. The more I learned the more I wanted to feed so I said I’ll go for 2 years. When he finally hit 2 years old I decided to just go with the flow and see how things played out. Well I didn’t think that stopping the would be so emotional, especially when he’s a toddler!!

About a month ago I started to experience a lot of pain when Bean nursed. For some reason we were not able to get positioned right or something and his teeth seemed to be digging into my nipple no matter what we tried. Our breastfeeding relationship was no longer working. For a while I just felt bad because I actually enjoyed breastfeeding my toddler, especially when my boys got to bond at the breast on many occasions. But when the pain became unbearable I knew we had to make a change. He was nursing mostly at night ad that was the most challenging especially since I was also nursing Sprout as well. So we tried to wean, I would talk to him about stopping and try to redirect his attention or offer a message or explain that the milk was for the baby or that it was painful. At times some of this worked but for the most part it didn’t. So I hit up a few of my friends and a couple of mommy groups of Facebook and I was lead to Dr. Jay Gordon’s night weaning method.

Ok here’s a link to what I followed for the most part. http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html
But I added a couple of dinner conversations with Bean (27m) about being a big brother and not wanting to hurt mom. So I would put Sprout (3mo) to sleep first and make sure I could give Bean my undivided attention. Thank God Sprout sleeps through anything. I did the first 3 nights exactly as suggested. And his cries were not as bad as I was expecting (I probably would have just given in had they been). Following that I have not been nursing Bean to sleep (only because it hurts) instead we pray, read, count toes in bed and just cuddle. There have been fewer tantrums than I expected and I usually just rub his legs or arms and tell him I love him and remind him that the milk is for baby brother. When he wakes up instead of picking him up I just cuddle him and talk gently and he rolls over most of the time. I’ve also allowed him to cuddle with his brother which I was scared to do at first but it works for us.

To my surprise I felt a little guilty for not being able to bear feeding him when he was ready for a nap or bed. I would just get through the times he needed to nurse because he was hurt or not feeling well. I had to appreciate that nursing is indeed a relationship between mother and child and sometimes these relationships have to change ๐Ÿ˜’. Now Bean is ok with helping me get Sprout latched on and tells me when baby brother needs “best (his version of breast) milk”. It’s been almost 2 months now and Bean’s only asked to nurse twice after falling and of course I gave in and he was good after about 2minutes.

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Bean’s First Race ๐Ÿ˜€

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On Sunday Bean and I, along with AunT participated in The Randy Foye Foundation‘s 3rd Annual Regina’s Run in Branchbrook Park in Newark, NJ. This was my 2nd year participating and we had a BLAST! I pushed Bean through the 5K race and he cheered people on as we passed them. I even had enough energy to run across the finish line, belly…stroller..and all. I must say it felt great to be with runners again (our last race was in April).

After the 5K, Bean ran his first race! LOL, at least most of it. In the kids fun run, he was ready at the starting line, stretched with all the other kids and as the smallest one there, he took off with the group. I picked him up and cut across the grass so he could run across the finish line and boy were his little legs going!! He received his first medal for completing a race from NBA player Randy Foye (great guy btw, very personable snapping pics/chatting with a bit of everyone and showing so much love to his 2 beautiful little girls throughout the event). I wrapped him on my back so we could do a little line dancing before we left. Needless to say Bean had a full morning and he was knocked out before we could drive to the end of the block. ๐Ÿ˜‰

If you’re ever in the area around the end of June, check out the race and contribute to a good cause. Here’s a brief description of the race:

Regina’s Run – Helping Families in Need – is a partnership of two organizations that seek to improve the quality of life in Newark, NJ on a daily basis. The race is named in honor of Randy Foye’s late mother, Regina. Foye is a Newark native and 7th year NBA guard for the Utah Jazz. Proceeds from Regina’s Run benefit the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center fundraising goals as well as the continued outreach of the Randy Foye Foundation.

20130604-021405.jpgBean receiving his medal with pride!

20130604-021420.jpg Refueling with the best! A nice ride with mama and then he was out.

Hope to see you next year!!

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Cancer Fact Friday

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Today’s fact is about breastfeeding and breast cancer.

Here’s an interpretation on a 2002 report from PubMed:

The longer women breast feed the more they are protected against breast cancer. The lack of or short lifetime duration of breastfeeding typical of women in developed countries makes a major contribution to the high incidence of breast cancer in these countries.

You may say things have changed since then but here’s more info from National Cancer Institute as of 2011:

Longer duration of breastfeeding: Breastfeeding for an extended period (at least a year) is associated with a decreased risk of both hormone receptor-positive and hormone receptor-negative breast cancer.

I found both of these to be very interesting. I understand breastfeeding is a challenge BUT maybe if there is more support and encouragement for moms to breastfeed we would have fewer incidences of breast cancer. Breastfeeding is definitely a public health issue.

Let’s continue to fight for a cure for breast cancer and take steps to prevent it as well.

Know the facts and pass it on๐Ÿ˜Š!

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Moving Mommy Monday

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I’ve been meaning to post this for quite some time now but never got a chance to really finish it. Over the past few years I’ve been paying a lot more attention to health and fitness. So when I got pregnant breastfeeding was the only thing I could think about to get my little one on a healthy path from day 1.

As I searched for daycare centers for my almost 1 year old, I realized there are even fewer moms breastfeeding than I thought. Now I knew the number was low but of the 6 places I visited in the last couple of months only about 5 moms were providing breastmilk for their babies. AAWWW MAN! This just makes me wonder why. Are moms no longer breastfeeding at all? Do moms feel like there isn’t enough time to breastfeed/pump? Is there not enough support out there? Are moms embarrassed? Is the media too influential? Are hospitals not promoting breastfeeding? What is it?

Now these questions are not coming from a judgmental place as I am aware of the challenges they come with breast feeding, I just really want to understand why it’s no longer the norm.

My breastfeeding journey started before giving birth. I looked online for resources, read about La Leche League and purchased The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding in addition to talking to friends and family including my husband about their thoughts and experiences. My family was very supportive and full of stories. BUT my coworkers (mostly women) were not as supportive AT ALL. Making comments like “you won’t do that for long” or “that’s a lot of work”. And then there were my peers. Now I wouldn’t say they were discouraging or encouraging, rather there were so many questions. A couple of my friends said the wished they would have breastfed a little longer.

I was under the impression that breastfeeding was the norm and these responses and reactions showed me something else. WHHHYYYY!!! is all I kept thinking. I asked for help from a lactation consultant while I was in the hospital but when I left it was very difficult to find support in my neighborhood (Newark, NJ). I had to go to a different area for help. Thank goodness I was supported by my family because it would have been a very different experience I wasn’t didn’t.

I am now very comfortable with breastfeeding AND I’ve made it a mission to talk about my experience whenever I can. It’s kind of a big responsibility to take on the task since there are so many questions. I’m not a researcher or anything but as a life learner I read what I can and share what I learn.

So my questions to you all are. Do/did you breastfeed? Why either way? Would you have done anything different? Thanks for visiting Learning Life…

Making moves as a mommy…it’s a work in progress๐Ÿ˜‰

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