- What Do the Experts Say?
- Not Necessarily Signs of Readiness
- Baby’s Ready to Munch!
Sorry, Fuzzy Pregnancy Brain Continues with Breastfeeding
You know how your brain literally shrinks while you’ve got a baby in the womb, causing what’s commonly and oh-so-affectionately known as ‘pregnancy brain’?
Though you might feel like the dullest knife in the drawer for about nine months, the fuzziness does work for a good cause.
The evolutionary view is that the resultant mental fog allows women to literally forget about everything else and focus only on their babies. ‘Pregnancy brain’ also erases traumatic memories of labor and birth so women will be, you know, tricked by mother nature into doing that all over again.
Moving into winter now, the general atmosphere of life is all about reminiscing and catching up.
I’m so thankful for this little blog, the outlet it’s provided to write about what’s relevant to me at this time, and especially happy to have connected with many of those who follow this page and take time out of their days to read my posts. ❤
So, in anticipation of slowing down with post frequency during the holiday season, I compiled this list of the top ten most-read pieces published on Mama’s Milk, No Chaser in 2015. (The year’s not over yet, but I’m confident enough these will remain in similar enough positions in a month’s time).
Hope you enjoy reading!
Last weekend I hosted a Peaceful Parenting table for Intact Houston/Intact Texas, local chapters for Saving Our Sons (the not-for-profit organization Peaceful Parenting/Dr. Momma‘s focus on circumcision).
My challenge was to include genital autonomy as one crucial component of the peaceful parenting lifestyle … without calling it by name.
I had spoken with a marketing director at my local Babies ‘R’ Us about setting up inside the store to hand out information. After browsing the Dr. Momma web site, she said she’d love to have us there. In fact, as a company they’re very welcoming toward many of the topics mentioned, she explained. Ones like co-sleeping, breastfeeding (they hold regular classes there for newbies) and child-led weaning, babywearing (regular classes at Babies ‘R’ Us for this too), encouragement of gentle discipline and alternatives to punitive parenting (i.e. spanking and crying-it-out) and so on.
But…(there’s always a but, isn’t there?)
I spent most of this weekend with The Designated Dad talking to people about circumcision — mainly the two most common types in our country, which are neonatal male “medical” circumcisions in hospitals and religious circumcisions with mohels.
Our location: B.I.R.T.H. Fair (the acronym stands for “Bringing Information and Resources to Houston”), which is a hugely popular event that features more than sixty vendors, speaker sessions, giveaways, and education about pregnancy, birth, and parenting.
Our mission: Make it easier for people in our area to know better so they can do better… the result of which would see them bringing their whole babies home ❤
Read on for a collection of memorable stories and interactions from our day at the event.
They’re not delivered… They’re born.
Babies aren’t punches on a time card.
They don’t come “too early” or “too late.” They meet us when they’re meant to.
Babies aren’t dolls.
Their noises have meaning. They can’t be “put away.” Their bodies are worth respecting.
I really never imagined I’d be nursing during a pregnancy. It amazes me the endurance of this tradition we’ve made and how it’s seen us through so much.
I don’t know if almost three-year-old MaiTai will tire of it soon, or if aversion will strike the crazy into me and call a halt by my discretion. Or if we’ll just keep nursing like we always have, because it’s as normal a thing to do as would be not choosing to continue.
I do know that nursing isn’t so comfortable anymore. Aversion is milder so far than with bleeding cycles, but it just feels… different. Not all oxytocin-rush-of-pleasantness, squeeze-him-tight and never let go, butterflies of love swooping through my body kind of stuff like I wrote about here.
It feels how I imagine some people who’ve never breastfed might think breastfeeding feels like — a little person sucking on your skin, perhaps a most unwanted hickey? Still it’s not “gross” (he’s my baby, he’ll never be icky to me!) but it’s not a street paved in my favor as far as physical contentment. Emotionally though? Another story.
Many women holding that positive Home Pregnancy Test meet intense pressure to tell others who’d feel left out otherwise. Others feel great pressure to zip their lips until the calendar hits 12 weeks.
**Spoiler alert** (since that’s what this post is about, right?): Based on some hyper-scientific and extensive research, I’ve concluded that the best time to announce your pregnancy is…whenever YOU feel like it! No explanations, defenses, or peer-reviewed supporting hypotheses necessary.
I see nothing wrong with waiting to spill the news of pregnancy… even up to the moment of birth! If a woman doesn’t want to tell anyone about her pregnancy, I wish her influences (society, family, what-have-you) wouldn’t oblige her to believe she must do so. No woman should feel the need to inform others of her pregnancy before she’s ready.
Likewise, she also needn’t wait the standard 12 weeks to share her news if she feels like she’s unwillingly fighting an invisible muzzle.
The first time around, we waited until nearly the close of the first trimester to inform the general public that we were expecting. This time we tried something a bit different.
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’re anything like me, you’ve got a million To Do Lists.
On my 2.5-year-old’s one To Do List:
- Get Mama to buy all the things wherever we go.
- Open and close doors. All of them.
- Count all fingers (“One…two…three…six…ten… yep, all there!”)
- Exercise all possible levels of auditory volume.
- Make a mess, pretend to clean it up, and wait for praise.
I don’t mean to minimize the daily accomplishments and radical personal changes experienced by a turning-three child. He’s been even busier than his Mama, actually. The three-year-old himself has gotten a lot done by now.
He’s a nimble walker, leading the pack whenever opportune, usually in the opposite direction of his caregiver’s liking. He has probably experienced a language burst by now — once he starts talking, he won’t stop (hardly an exaggeration). He knows the difference between a sheep and a goat (you’d be shocked how many adults don’t know this). He has made definite conclusions about the physics of ceramic plates shattering upon contact with the kitchen floor, specifically from a toddler”s height and pitching speed.
You see, he’s learned and managed to do quite a few things for themselves in a short three years. But don’t forget, Mom (and Dad) helped a bit…
By the time a child turns three, his primary caregiver has attempted plenty of fun play dates (and ran half an hour late to all of them), cooked many a favorite breakfast (and lunch, and dinner, and second dinner), and celebrated more than a few milestones with raucous, unapologetic pride (and too many pictures… way too many). By this time she’s a master at juggling the overlapping To Do Lists dedicated to her child’s security, well-being, and constant stream of happy-inducing entertainment.
So I want to remind you, primary caregiver, of a few things you may have forgotten about. Here are 10 things that deserve a spot on any one of your To Do Lists before your baby turns into a big kid and then perhaps… perchance… probably… the best of opportunities may pass you by.
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.