Friday, August 27, 2010

Oh No She Di’n’t!

Oh yes I did! I’m going to talk about people who choose to not breastfeed “just because”. Remember that part of my introduction that says I have strong opinions and if you don’t like them you don’t have to read my blog? Well, this post might just put that to the test.

There are women who, for one reason or another, can’t breastfeed. Some have low supply, some have been given poor information and/or advice and a very (VERY) few are incapable of making milk.

To these women, I say “good job in trying!” You put that baby to your breast and it just didn’t work out right. Make a mental note and try to fix it for the next time. And remember to ask for help from those who know what they’re talking about (*waves*).

Now. I’m going to address those who CHOSE to not breastfeed. They chose this for varying reasons, some of which are: formula is just as good (or maybe even better) than breastmilk; human’s have evolved past the point of needing to nurse their young; breastfeeding is disgusting; breasts are sexual, not for feeding babies.

First of all, we are mammals. There’s no getting around that. We are warm blooded, have live births and NURSE OUR YOUNG. That’s what our breasts are made for.

Second, there is NO WAY a laboratory can recreate what the human body does to perfection. Yes, science has come a long, long way. We are doing and making amazing things. We can transplant organs from one human to another and live normal lives. We can even transplant organs from other animals. We can create nourishment for infants that will keep them alive and growing.

HOWEVER, there is no way we can create something identical to the real thing. Formula was a marvelous invention. Infants whose mothers had died or infants who were abandoned and there was no lactating woman around were now able to be fed something to keep them alive. And it was much easier on their tummies than straight goat’s milk or cow’s milk.

Breastmilk is THE PERFECT FOOD. It has the exact amount of everything a baby needs to not only survive, but thrive. It has antibodies, vitamins, minerals and a whole slew of nutrients that make babies grow. The colostrum (the first milk, before the real stuff comes in) lines the baby’s gut to get the body ready for the breastmilk.

Take a look at this:

Formula just doesn’t stack up, does it?

How can someone choose to deny their child all that breastmilk gives? How can someone choose to give their child the breastmilk of another mammal? Would you expect a mother to nurse a baby cow? No? Then why are people letting their children have cow’s breastmilk? Doesn’t make sense, does it?

In my world (the world according to me ;)) formula would be hard to get.  It might even be via prescription.  Or at least behind the counter of the drug store like some cold medicines are.  All hospitals would have Lactation Consultants, not nurses who may (or may not) have gotten a crash course on nursing.

Are you a bad parent if you chose to formula feed? No, but perhaps a neglectful one.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I miss nursing so much. My son weaned around 3 years old (and still asks at nearly 4, but there's nothing there). When I was nursing him after age two I was ready to be done. I had decided to let him wean himself and those last couple months were pretty long. I was just done. But now I'm not. Not that I want to get him to nurse again at age 4, but I miss our time together. I miss holding him (or more likely fly-by nursings).

Ironically, I have this double standard with myself. I loved that only *I* could give him that, however he wants only *me* to do everything else for him ("No! Mommy do it!"). But I want that time back.  It's one of the biggest factors in wanting another baby.  I can't imagine never having a baby to nurse again.

So, those of you nursing babies (or kids) savor the moments.  And those of you who are so done you're ready to quit, remember this is just a short time in your life, and such an important time in theirs.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Spitty Baby: how to deal with a baby who spits up – a lot

Does your baby spit up a lot? I mean A LOT? The kind of spitting up that gets all over your baby, you and whatever is within a 3 foot radius? Do you have to change your baby’s clothes several times a day? Do you have to change YOUR clothes several times a day? I did, and I’m here to tell you how to get through it.

Both of my babies were major spitters. My daughter spit up 30 times a day, easily. She was mostly breastfed, but I supplemented her with formula when I felt like she was spitting up more than I could produce. I used that thick formula that is supposed to help with spitting up. The spit up only came up thicker. We even started solids early, at 4 months, in hopes that would help. Nope, then it came up in Technicolor. I have a great picture of her in mid-spit. My husband just happened to click the camera at just the right time and there’s a freeze framed mini-waterfall of spit up running out of her mouth. And she’s oblivious. The very next shot is of me wiping her chest and face with an annoyed look on my face. That pretty much sums up our spitting experience.

First the disclaimer: gastric reflux is common in babies. Sometimes it is more of a nuisance then anything else, but sometimes it could be very painful for the baby. If your baby spits up a lot and cries when it happens, be sure to contact your pediatrician.

Spitting up is unavoidable. If your baby is a spitter, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Even gastric reflux medication won’t stop it, it will just ease the pain. So, here are some things that helped me, and hopefully they will help you.
  • 1) Breastmilk spit up stinks less. It’s true. So does breastmilk poop. And breastmilk spit up stains a lot less. Formula will not change how much your baby spits up. Your baby spits up because your baby spits up.
  • 2) Baby spit up has a unique smell. It’s sour milk, but different than what you might smell from that milk container that’s been in your fridge for too long. All moms know that smell and are accustomed to it. Don’t be embarrassed if you smell like spit up, or if your baby does.
  • 3) Burp rags. Make sure you get burp rags that are very absorbent. Some good ideas are cloth diapers and terry cloth rags. You can also use some of those soft cotton receiving blankets.
  • 4) Clean baby clothes. If your baby spits up as much as mine did, then it’s not very realistic to change their clothes every single time they get spitty. However, having a clean shirt available to put on the baby once or twice a day will help keep the “ick” factor down. This is especially important when you’re out and about.
  • 5) Clean clothes for you. You’re going to get spit up on you. Carry around an extra T shirt so you can change if you need to.
  • 6) Some people are just grossed out by spit up. Show them it’s normal and natural by handling it. When baby spits up, take it in stride. Shrug your shoulders and silently gripe about it. What bothered me the most when other people were looking at or holding my children is that they would freak out and act like my baby just spit up corrosive acid. It made me feel bad. When they saw that I wasn’t bothered by it, they didn’t react so harshly.
  • 7) This too shall pass. Both my kids were pretty spitty for the first six months, then they started to settle down. The spit up was gone by about nine months. Nine months seems like a long time when you’re living day to day, but soon you’ll look back and think “wow, it’s been nine months already?”
The bottom line is your baby spits up. Don’t let it keep you at home because you don’t want to deal with spit up out in public. Don’t get upset by it. There’s nothing you can do but gather what you learn, pick up some new hints and pass it on. Enjoy that baby, spit up and all.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Blogging is new to me, and this Blog Hop is even newer. :)  But I'm trying to get myself more into the blogging world, so I'm giving this a try.

I'm Julianna (as the blog title suggests) and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area.  I have some pretty strong opinions in certain areas so decided I could express them in a blog with out getting people upset at me.  If you don't like what I have to say then don't read my blog. :D

I love talking about breastfeeding, babywearing, religion (or, more importantly, the lack there of) and a medley of other topics, mostly related to parenting.

So thanks for stopping by the Blog Hop. :)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

What are the Breastfeeding Booby Traps?

Have you been booby trapped?  This is a great article on what booby traps are and how we can avoid them.  Although it's getting better (a tiny bit better), moms are bombarded with formula ads and coupons and free products.  They're also put into situations where breastfeeding is difficult, such as unneeded C-sections and lack of information and education. If you've been booby trapped, or know someone who has, share this article.

What are the Breastfeeding Booby Traps?