Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Is this an obscene photo, I ask you?
Most people would say it is beautiful....a lovely example of mother and child. Words like pureness and serenity come to mind.
The question comes to mind though...so what? So what if facebook doesn't allow breastfeeding photos? Does it really matter?
The answer, is YES it does. It matters a lot. The health and well-being of our nations mothers and babies depend on it. Every time breastfeeding is thought of as something that should only happen behind closed doors, or something private, or something that needs to be covered up, or hidden then mothers and babies are harmed.
Fact: Babies are born to be breastfed.
Fact: Babies NEED to breastfeed VERY frequently.
Fact: Humans (and especially women) are social creatures and NEED friendship and compani0nship with others.
Fact: Mothers learn how to breastfeed by watching other mothers breastfeed.
If breastfeeding is kept private or hidden then it will never be normalized. Mothers won't learn by watching other mothers, women won't feel comfortable breastfeeding in front of others, and a mother who isn't comfortable breastfeeding around others is much more likely to wean prematurely.
The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six-months and a continuation of breastfeeding for at least a year. The WHO recommends breastfeeding continue until 2 years of age.
In order for most mother/baby dyads to reasonably meet those goals, the mothers needs to feel comfortable breastfeeding as she goes about her daily life. Breastfeeding needs to be seen as the normal way one feeds and comforts a baby. Breastfeeding needs to become the norm. Hence, breastfeeding pics needs to be seen as normal...right up there with the obligatory first Christmas, or first Halloween pics. A way that proud mothers can share pictures of their babies.
Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is NOT obscene.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
The fact is, that of all the women I know who have birthed a baby that was conceived during "less than ideal times for having a baby"..NONE of them view that child as punishment....most would say a blessing. The same holds true for those whose babies are born, less than perfect. The only regrets are for the babies that aren't there.
A friend of mine just published this blog post. I think we should all read it, it is so very true.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
In a few weeks our homes school group will have a lovely "Not Back to School Beach Day" While all the other kids are in school, our kids will be frolicking on the beach. While all the other kids are in school, my kids have time to play and read and draw and paint and ice skate and swim and go to the library and the zoo and the playground and the farm and the museum and well... wherever we darn well please.
That is the beauty of not going to school...we aren't bound by schedules and clocks and other restrictions. We can just LIVE life. Sure, we have our "school work"...but guess what..somehow me manage to do in 1 hour what it takes the school system, 4 or 5 to do. AMAZING how that works, efficiency is a wonderful thing!
Yet another beautiful year of NOT going back to school!.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Imagine if today, scientists discovered a drug that could save 13 per cent of all the babies who currently die. Now imagine that drug also made your baby cleverer – and dramatically slashed her chances of developing heart disease, diabetes, leukaemia, asthma or obesity as an adult. Oh: and imagine it was free.
The "drug" exists. It is called breast milk. Yet in the developed world, we often stigmatise women who give it to their babies as "creepy". In the developing world, we allow corporations to tug babies from their mother's nipple, and put them on to powders that bring more profit – and more death.
I come at this from a strange perspective. My mother breastfed me until I was nearly three; she only stopped the day I wrote her a note saying I expected to be breastfed that afternoon.
Monday, June 16, 2008
So may I suggest a Prayer of the Faithful like this: “For a rebirth of chastity, for a stop to contraception, for a stop to abortion, and for a culture of life, let us pray to the Lord.” Implicit in that is a prayer that engaged couples will be chaste and that married couples will be generous in having children and use only systematic natural family planning if and when they need more spacing than they derive from ecological breastfeeding. And that of course implies a prayer that they will do eco-breastfeeding for all sorts of good reasons.
I thought this was very interesting. Thankfully we have gotten to the point where "most" faithful Catholics recognize the importance of breastfeeding and at least do so for the first several months. Actually, *most* Americans in general breastfeed, at least initially. Studies tell us that the initiation rate of breastfeeding is around 70%, however the duration is still low and at 6 months only 30% are still breastfeeding and only 14% at 12 months.
As Catholics, I think we are called to "do more" than the general population.
The Catechism of The Catholic Church states that
2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, "every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible" is intrinsically evil:
I firmly believe that the teaching of NFP MUST be taught in conjunction with ecological breastfeeding. Ecological breastfeeding teaches us that "natural child spacing" (that is a child spacing of 2.5-4 years) IS possible. Since the catechism teaches us that NFP is permissible for the use of "just" reasons (and there is MUCH debate about what THAT entails). With the use of ecological breastfeeding, the need for NFP is greatly reduced.
So, I join the Kippley's in their prayer....that married couples will be generous in having children and use only systematic natural family planning if and when they need more spacing than they derive from ecological breastfeeding. And that of course implies a prayer that they will do eco-breastfeeding for all sorts of good reasons.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I believe healthy sleep habits to be those to of our ancestors, before the invention of artificial lights, and TV's and computers. In days past, one went to bed shortly after dark and awoke shortly after day-break feeling well-rested without the need of caffeine or other stimulants.
Healthy sleep means one doesn't need an alarm clock to awaken, and they go to bed and awaken at approximately the same time each night. It is well documented that shift work is unhealthy, but even sleeping later/staying up later on weekends can take its' toll. I firmly believe in the importance of regular sleep routines.
New research is also coming out on the ill affects of nighttime lights. The best sleeping environment is a totally dark room which is on the cooler side. Sleeping in a totally darkened room has been shown to both prevent cancer and help regulate the female cycle.
So, shut off the computer, turn off the lights and go to sleep!
Sunday, June 1, 2008
I was reading another blog about ecological breastfeeding and came across the comment that ecological breastfeeding is REALLY difficult. I had to stop and think about that. Do most people (who even bother to think about ecological breastfeeding at all that is) really think it is REALLY difficult?
I am on my third round of ecological breastfeeding. The little one is barely 3 months old and nursing as I type right now. Honestly, it doesn't seem difficult to me. In fact, it seems the most natural thing in the world, and actually almost lazy. I mean, you really don't have to DO anything. Babe cries and I get to sit down and pop him on. I mean what other mothering practice gives one so much leeway to spend so much time just sitting or lying down, and while doing that I can read, type, check email, surf the internet, pay bills online, eat lunch, read stories to other children, home school my oldest, pray, do leg lifts (while lying down), talk on the phone, have conversations with other family members or do Internet research.
Granted, one generally can't do all those things in the early days of breastfeeding, but with practice one becomes quite adept at MTN (multi-tasking nursing). It is the same with nursing in public. While it is awkard in the beginning, with a bit of practice one can become quite proficient at latching a baby on while carrying them in a sling and grocery shopping, or during a meeting or party or at the park or a whole host of other places.
Over the course of the last 6 years in my breastfeeding career, I have nursed children everywhere from real estate offices to the confessional, from the classroom (where I briefly took my oldest to work with me each day as a young infant) to the crisis pregnancy center where I used to volunteer as a counselor. I have taken my babies to conferences and bible studies and basically everywhere else I go.
If pacifiers and leaving a baby isn't even an option, one learns to adjust in marvelous ways. Babies are remarkably portable and home is where ever mom is.
Likewise, if one is accustomed to nursing whereever and whenever during the day, it is natural to continue that at night. After all, what could be easier than waking up at a babies slighted stir, sticking a nipple in his mouth and then blissfully falling back asleep. Having a baby sleep separately seems like so much more WORK...I mean you would actually have to get out of bed!!
Nursing just seems like the EASIEST way to calm a baby, and soothe him. Certainly easier than a pacifier which can get lost and dirty and falls out of his mouth and stolen by older sibling to use in their play.
Nursing is certainly easier than preparing baby foods and cleaning up afterwards. When one ecologically breastfeeds, there isn't such an emphasis on "starting solids" and really going through the bother of pureeing foods and spoon-feeding and clean-up....well nursing is just easier (and cleaner too!).
Babies are born to be breastfed...and even more so, I think they are born to be ecologically breastfed. It is God's intended way of mothering and nature's way of child spacing. Of course it doesn't
"work" for everyone, but I really believe that it can work for "most" people "most" of the time .
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Nonetheless, I hate mice and I hate rats. I'm also not too fond of bats. But..I LOOOOVVE Cats
Cats are still wonderful. There is just something about those intelligent eyes, the twitching tail, the purr that makes them so endearing. Having a cat sit in your lap, purring while you stroke his fur is the best therapy and stress-release. Somehow, while petting a cat, all is well, the world seems all right and problems are managable.
Plus, they perform the most important job in the world....they rid the house of MICE (see prior post to learn more of my love of mice).
Sunday, May 11, 2008
A woman who has just two children and breastfeeds each of them for a year decreases her risk of rheumatoid arthritis by 50 percent," he says. "That is just striking."http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/04/health/webmd/main653734.shtml
Wow..that is striking!!! This just further confirms that nor only is breastfeeding good for the mother, NOT breastfeeding is bad. Just another confirmation that when you start fooling with nature and God's Plan, things get messed up.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
They should be kept on Ice
Or Rolled like Dice
And Put in a Vice
and Boiled like Rice
Mice are Not Nice
But they are better than Lice
Which No One Wants Twice
We must Entice the Mice
They're worth killing at any Price.
Mice are Not Nice.
Monday, April 21, 2008
My friend has a friend with a 9-yo son who is legally blind. Son wants to be a priest when he grows up. Friend's friend was entered in the lottery to see the Pope in DC, but did not get tickets. A friend of my friend's friend (got that?) was also entered in the lottery and did get tickets, however, she felt that God was impressing on her to give the tickets to her friend. So friend's friend and her 9-yo son went off the see the Pope in DC.
Somehow friend was talking to a priest who talked to a bishop who talked to an archbishop who spoke with a vatican official (or something like that) and it was arranged that the 9-yo boy would get a chance to meet The Pope. So, when the Pope came out, the 9 yo boy was lifted over the ropes and actually met and spoke with The Pope for around 5 minutes. The Pope blessed a purse full of rosaries and other religious articles that the boy's mother had given him. . Boy also asked the Pope to "please bless my eyes because it might be hard to be a priest if I am blind" So, the boy also got a special papal blessing on his eyes.
The boy was then lifted back over the ropes and returned to his mother. Later on, when the Pope came out he made a special point of coming over to the boys' mother and friends and greeintg them. As the Vatican offiicial was leaving he told the boy's mother "your son must be very special because he (the Pope) doesn't do that).
A few days later, the boy had his regular eye exam and it was discovered that for the first time since he was born, there was no further degeneration of his eyes.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
I found his birth to be very unsettling, disturbing in some way. Although everything went well, nothing went as planned. My other 2 births were textbook, smooth, without problem. This one wasn't and looking back, it is quite scary realizing "what COULD have happened"
I have come to realize that life and birth are uncertain. Nothing is guaranteed. Things happened that were beyond my control, it was out of our hands. Thank God the outcome was good.
I have come to a greater respect for birth, for the entire process, the mystery of it all, the way things unravel. It truely is an awesome experience, one I am blessed to take part in, along with the legions of women who have gone before me.
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
This is NOT an isolated story. My girlfriends are fully of similarr stories of their husband's dumb escapades, which might not be so dumb after all...maybe they are all diabolically clever ideas to get out of work, well thought, planned and executed.
A women will do almost anything to NOT be thought of as incompetent, hmmm...maybe we should take a lesson from men and rejoice in our incompetence. Life would sure be a lot easier that way.