- What Do the Experts Say?
- Not Necessarily Signs of Readiness
- Baby’s Ready to Munch!
What do you do when you can’t scratch the itch?
I’d heard of itchy skin during pregnancy before. Caused by the stretching and growth of new skin to accommodate expansion of new life within and coupled with pregnancy hormones that can dry out the tissues, itchiness is as common as stretch marks.
What I hadn’t heard of until a few weeks ago is a condition called Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP or PUPPS) or polymorphic eruption of pregnancy (PEP) as it’s known in the UK.
I noticed an odd rash appear on my abdomen a few times during the start of my second trimester. Strange, I never had this during my first pregnancy, I thought… But it would disappear within a few hours each time and didn’t feel painful.
Until it really did.
**Advance Notice – This post contains several photos of my PUPPP rash (only abdomen is visible)**
So you breastfeed. And your child loves it… and you love it… but what else is there after, you know, weaning? How else can you share this overflowing passion in your heart? If your fondness for natural child nurturing goes beyond summer fling status, perhaps you’ve found your calling. Here are a few ideas that just might be the answer for you.
I’m sure you already own La Leche League’s “bible,” The Motherly Art of Breastfeeding. And I bet you’ve already studied everything written by Dr. Sears, Ina May Gaskin, Nancy Mohrbacher, Kathleen Kendall Tackett, Kathleen Huggins, and Dr. Jack Newman on the topic of breastfeeding.
But maybe now your nursling is old enough to read a breastfeeding book of his own before bedtime. Maybe you’re over all the “how-to’s” and crave to read a book created especially for impassioned breastfeeders. Or maybe you’re expecting a new nursling soon and want to familiarize yourself with previously uncharted territory.
Here are books about breastfeeding that deserve a spot on your holiday wish list and a home in your permanent collection!
First, a few stocking stuffers for your kids…
If you’ve kept up with this blog for even a short while, I’m sure you can tell how much I love taking and sharing photos — especially those that capture family love, such as when breastfeeding. I’m often complimented on my photos (I’m shy so it means a lot to me — thank you!), then asked for tips and advice on how to have a successful breastfeeding photoshoot.
To be honest, I think every breastfeeding photoshoot is the epitome of perfection and a success, even if the nursling got distracted or wanted to jam tiny fingers up his mother’s nose. That’s just breastfeeding! Try to remember: the idea isn’t to compare your photos to the outcome of others’. YOU get to decide what “successful” means in this instance — how refreshing!
I decided to let a professional handle some of the main concerns I hear a lot. I interviewed Whimsy Candids Photography‘s Anel Lestage, a Houston-area family photographer and editing expert who specializes in breastfeeding portraits.
**You can see pictures from my session with Anel in this post. Contact details for Anel can be found at the end of the interview.**
Read on for what Anel suggests to optimize your nursing shoot experience!
If you never see breastfeeding, you’re missing awareness of a few things, or a true understanding of the whole thing — just like I was before I eventually saw it.
This way of child nurturing is so natural it can easily blend in with everything else we attend to in our domestic, professional, and social lives. But blending in is not equal to disappearing.
If you never see it, you may not know it’s how many women learn to become mothers. You may not know it’s how they continue to learn about who they are as mothers. So we must make a point to not let the image and act of breastfeeding disappear.
This was my job as a mother to an infant: to nourish and love and protect my baby. Usually I could do all three with one tool… breastfeeding. During MaiTai’s infancy, it seemed breastfeeding was the best answer to almost anything.
Hungry? Nurse. Thirsty? Nurse. Overtired? Nurse. Bored? Nurse. Hurt or sick? Needing closeness? Feeling affectionate? Nurse, nurse, nurse. Of course, other types of attention and problem-solving were plenty helpful (looking at you, Sofie the Giraffe), but nothing quite like offering a breast in those early months.
In “My First Year of Breastfeeding”, you can read about how we managed from the first feed until the first birthday. I also posted a child-led weaning series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4) where I explained the whys and hows of nursing beyond infancy, sometimes known as full-term breastfeeding/natural-term breastfeeding (I avoid the label “extended-term” because it’s a sustained practice rather than an addendum).
Here I’ll share what’s changed (or not) in toddlerhood nursing from the earliest days.
A few of the comments on a recent reactionary post I wrote are getting… a little out-of-hand, I’d say.
I don’t censor any non-spamming comments on my posts because I find great value in upholding the right to free speech and sharing of ideas. I personally feel that disapproving certain comments that rub me the wrong way could be likened to demanding that a breastfeeding mother throw a cover over her torso and child when in public just because someone can’t handle it.
Now I must learn how to handle things I don’t agree with too, such as antagonistic comments. (A heavy bet that zero of the nay-saying commenters would dare peep a word directly to me if they actually saw me breastfeeding in public).
First, A Little Background…
I went to a destination wedding this weekend in Charleston with my husband a.k.a. The Designated Dad (TDD) and our nursling MaiTai. The Bride and Groom are close relatives and TDD was the Best Man.
The first night I was excited to attend the rehearsal dinner. Shortly after arriving, I left briefly to use the bathroom. On my way back I was cornered — literally cornered — by the dinner’s host (another close family member). Let’s call him… Dinner Host.
“I need you to do me a big favor,” Dinner Host said. Ooh, exciting! I must be in on some kind of special surprise, I figured. Jokingly, I said, “Maybe, depends on the favor!”
Dinner Host’s face turned solemn and funereal. Something serious was afoot. Something dramatic. The thought actually crossed my mind if he was about to ask me to take someone to the Emergency Room.
“Holly,” he said. “I’m asking that if [MaiTai] needs to nurse tonight, that you go somewhere else. I know you’re very passionate about this, but honestly it isn’t the time or place.” Read More
Have you shared a “brelfie” (breastfeeding selfie) lately? A brelfie is a good thing, and here’s why.
We absolutely need to see positive, educational breastfeeding images on social media and to encounter these maternal norms on a daily basis. Women learn how to breastfeed by example and observation, as is the natural design, rather than by instinctual expertise. For a new mother, breastfeeding is like using a muscle she’s never used before — NOT like picking up an exercise routine with the blessing of muscle memory (even with breastfeeding experience, she still must learn afresh how to breastfeed each new child).
We know the process of weaning — whether led by the child, the mother, a doctor, or society’s expectations — is an emotional, personal, and rather fascinating one.
Let’s continue with a discussion about the benefits, myths, tips, & stories about nursing older infant and toddlers.