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Encouragement For Full-Term & Tandem Breastfeeders

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🌻 These two milk siblings, blood brothers, M and J. Just over 5 years and almost 2 years old, respectively — the former the same age as my nursing journey overall and the latter the same as my experience in tandem nursing. Such tiny numbers really. Hard to imagine we were nothing and growing and birthing and birthed and empty and nourished more than once over in that amount of time.

M and J don’t like to be separated. Though they annoy each other and feel overwhelmed with the art of sharing from time to time, as siblings do, they prefer each other’s close company. J learns a lot from his big brother (like how to get dressed and sing) and M never hesitates to include J in his activities.

Their bond began when J was in my womb, every day growing stronger until one day he’d feel ready for life Earthside. From age 2.5 to 3.5 years, M watched my belly swell bigger and bigger. He knew his little brother was inside ‘swimming in water.’ He knew J could hear him so he spoke to him often. He said “Good morning!,” and “Good night!” every day for months, with a morning kiss and night kiss (and lots of extras in between).

He saw J for the first time around midnight, about an hour after he was born. I was laying in our bed with J on my breast. M gave J a kiss — a real, live, salty, good morning and good night kiss — right on his freshly born little head.

M had the honor of separating his little brother’s cord. We chose a Sacred Severance ceremony involving quiet, meditation, and burning of the cord instead of cutting. M, his dad, and our doula held candles to the cord in gentle recognition of this significant alteration. M was not present for the birth so this was his special contribution to our welcoming of J into the land of lung breathers.

J has known M his whole life. Though M was Earthside 3.5 years longer, it seems he’s known J just as long. Continue reading

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Breastfeeding Moms, It’s Time To Ditch Dairy

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In the process of birthing her child, opening up to allow life to pass through her and howling or whimpering along with thousands of other human mothers and multitudes more female creatures, a woman feels a primal connection to her animal nature. Herein is sparked an unspoken understanding of The Mother Code: all mothers worldwide, of all ages and races and species, learn this unspoken language in their gut and communicate it with their hearts.

This Code is founded upon an equal, shared love for our babies, a desire for the best for our babies — and what’s best for our babies is, by protective feature of Mother Nature, likewise best for us. The Code recognizes another mother’s profundity of pain when her child is hurt or lost, and it celebrates her joy when motherhood is thriving. It sees the essential closeness of mother and baby as gold; the syncing of their bodies and spirits as fact.

As a breastfeeding mother, you know the depth of emotions that make breastfeeding possible. You know the struggle when it doesn’t work, and when it gets painful and exhausting and when we face external obstacles. You know the anxiety when questioning whether your body ‘works,’ whether biology has failed you or if you’re ‘woman enough’ to handle the pressure of this responsibility. You know the Breastfeeding Mother Code.

Lactation works the same in all mammals. Emotions and hormones are the fuel for the mechanics of lactogenesis, a natural triumph of a nurturing, healing system that has secured mammalian survival since, well, the evolution (or divine creation) of mammaries.

So keep this Code in mind, because now it’s time to talk about dairy cows.

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Conversations & More: Genital Integrity Awareness Week

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I just returned from a trip to Washington D.C. for Genital Integrity Awareness Week, which was March 28th-April 3rd. A week full of seed-planting, countless conversations with principled conclusions, minds changed, futures salvaged… This is my kind of activism!

The mission as stated on the web site is to raise public awareness of:

  1. the basic human right to genital autonomy for all individuals, regardless of sex
  2. the damage inflicted by forced genital cutting, of boys, girls and intersex persons
  3. foreskin restoration options for those impacted by forced genital cutting
  4. research based information on intact subjects to a large body of individuals in Washington D.C. – students, educators, tourists, lawmakers, politicians – who take this information home with them to their own circles of influence
  5. the need for congress and lawmakers to grant boys and intersex minors equal rights under law with protection from forced genital cutting

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Live on Whole Mother Show: The Circumcision Decision

 

Houston midwife Pat Jones interviewed myself and Amber Clark for the Whole Mother Radio Show on 90.1 FM KPFT to discuss circumcision. Check out the video above — audio file coming soon!

This was a great way to kick off Genital Integrity Awareness Week (March 28-April 3)!

Please support #GIAW, either by attending, sharing related posts, and/or donating toward the effort.

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For more info:

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Limited Time: Crunchy Wear Discount!

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So I’ve had this blog running since fall of 2014. My oldest child had just turned two, and I really wanted to share our experiences and what we’d learned about breastfeeding and this parenting thing (so far!).

If you’re a regular reader you may have noticed my blog posting frequency has slowed down in recent months. There are a few reasons for this.

First, life has gotten terrifically busy with the addition of another child and two rescued companion animals.

Second, I hope to work on other projects soon to get me closer to my goal of publishing a novel.

Third, I am still undecided about whether to continue blogging (and maintaining associated social media feeds) in the midst of the aforementioned First and Second. I’ve never been paid to blog. I’ve shared my writing entirely for free and, in fact, have been PAYING to do so because I’m so passionate about it. However, I’ve come to a point where I can no longer afford to keep renewing my domain and paying to maintain this site.

So, here’s the thing. If you have enjoyed my posts thus far and want to see more fresh content, OR even just to ensure the site remains accessible as is, please consider helping out.

It costs $208 per year to keep this site as you see it. As I mentioned, I’ve never made money from ads, affiliates, or fundraising to cover this annual expense.

Now I’m finally asking for a little help to meet that goal! And you get something rad in your mailbox, too.

Here’s what you do:

CrunchyWear is giving a discount for the launch of their awesome crunchy themed gear! Mama’s Milk, No Chaser followers can use the discount code for 10% off orders over $30, AND 10% of profit will be given toward MMNC to help cover costs to keep the site running.

It’s EASY and you get some cool new advocacy threads!

  1. Visit CrunchyWear.com!
  2. Shop your style! ~ Breastfeeding ~ Genital Autonomy ~ Positivi-Tees ~ Veganism ~ Vaccine Awareness ~ Woke Wear ~
  3. Use discount code MMNC10 at checkout!

BOOM done! Offer ends 3/31 so don’t dilly dally if you see something you like!

THANK YOU for your support. ❤ It has been quite an exciting and moving journey over the past 3.5 years and I hope we can keep it up!

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7 Tips For Nursing With Large Breasts

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Women with large breasts (and those who are also heavier all around) may face special challenges when it comes to breastfeeding.

Plus-sized women are less likely to breastfeed than normal-weight mothers, a study found. This may begin soon after birth as plus-sized mothers’ milk is often delayed to come in, causing these mothers to abandon it. Even if a mother is not curvy all around but simply has very large (DD-cup or bigger) breasts, she may struggle with unique problems that are typically not discussed in breastfeeding classes.

Unless you believe you might have gigantomastia (read about it in the links below), here are a few tips that can help.*

*Please note, I’m not plus-sized or large breasted. These tips were compiled from other sources that attest to their reliability, not from my own personal experience.

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If You’re Haunted By Recurrent Mastitis: Help & Tips

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It comes on suddenly and leaves without a trace. I always forget how bad mastitis is until I get it again, then I’m surprised I’ve lasted this long with breastfeeding because I’ve felt hounded by those ‘quitting feelings’ during many a run with this illness.

I just recovered from my 8th (in 5 years) and hopefully final battle with mastitis; my second bout of the “boob flu” in two weeks.

Thankfully I’ve learned something new with each run of the boob flu madness… Continue reading