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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Breastfeeding Across More States

Posted on August 28, 2012 at 10:08 AM Comments comments (0)
Connecticut
Connecticut
A view from the Cross Sound Ferry - here is a Coast Guard ship
New Jersey
New Jersey
A re-purposed carriage house in Hopewell, NJ
New Jersey
New Jersey
Monument to John Hart, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, in a Hopewell, NJ graveyard
New Jersey
New Jersey
Johnson's Ferry House, important because it is probably where General Washington and his officers spent time before crossing the Delaware River.
New Jersey
New Jersey
View from the approximate site of Washington's Crossing at the Delware River, before the Battle of Trenton. It is considered the turning point of the Revolutionary War in favor of the Continental Army.
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Seen on the road: a truck from the D.M. Bowman carrier fleet
Maryland
Maryland
One dozen large crabs from the Bethesda Crab House
Maryland
Maryland
Crab claw wars
District of Columbia
District of Columbia
Photo taken for an alumni Coach from our Winter 2011-12 series. Coach is an Air Traffic Controller at Phoenix Sky Harbor airport - thanks for keeping an eye out for us!
District of Columbia
District of Columbia
Neat building we saw on the way out of town - I love the terraces.

Our road trip started back in mid-August.  We are getting ready to fly home on Wednesday and I am thrilled to report that I was not approached, not even once, about nursing in public this whole time.  We traveled to several different states; Baby and I went about our breastfeeding without harassment.  Well done, fellow mama lactivists!!  Breastfeeding seems to be more accepted as “normal”.
 
Since my last post about nursing along our road trip, we have visited friends and family in three more states and the District of Columbia.  We have had to nurse at every hour of the day and in whichever public area we have been.  The good fortune of visiting states where our right to breastfeed is already protected may have a lot to do with our positive experience.
 
A couple of the states we just visited have some standout laws in support of breastfeeding.  In New Jersey, failure to comply with the law that protects a mother’s right to breastfeed may result in a fine.  They are not just passing a law that allows women to nurse in public; they are enforcing it with a penalty for non-compliance.  Go, New Jersey!
 
Another law that stands out is from Maryland, where they have made it more affordable for nursing moms to support their choice to nurse.  In the state of Maryland, any tangible personal property that is manufactured with the purpose of initiating, supporting or sustaining breastfeeding is exempt from sales and use taxes.  While it may mean that bottles are exempt, it also means that nipple creams, therapy items, breast pumps, breastmilk storage bags and all the other items that are available to nursing moms are also exempt.  A mom who wants to pump at work saves a little money in her effort to provide breastmilk for her baby!  Yes!
 
Bruss noted that we did not see any other babies nursing on this trip, save for the family we visited that still has a nursling.  By the same token, he agrees that we did not notice any disapproving looks when we had to nurse.  We both saw babies with bottles in New York City, but that is really the only place we can recall seeing other babies.
 
Looking back on the trip, we just experienced several of the benefits of breastfeeding. 
  • Breastfeeding is exceedingly convenient…food for baby is available in the right quantity, temperature and instantly.  Bruss made the comment that he cannot even imagine what it would it have been like to haul bottles, formula, sanitizing equipment and water across our 2,150 mile road trip.
  • The transitions: Angelika, a ten-month old child, just traveled 2,150 miles and she was in the “amazing baby” category.  She has met dozens of people; been in a countless number of new situations, and she handled all of them with panache and a smile.
  • Eating solids: I did not have to worry about whether I had the right kind of solid food for her – if she did not like what was available at meal time, I knew that she would get the nutrients she needed when she nursed.
  • The “plumbing”: Despite trying three new foods on our trip (cherries, grapes and corn), Angelika’s elimination system did not experience any road bumps.
  • The immunities: Coach Bruss, our son Bruss, and I have all had some variety of congestion since we were in Connecticut (11 days ago).  Angelika and Bryan have done so well – not even one hint of a cold. 
 
Lastly, there are still five states where breastfeeding is not protected.  Idaho, Michigan, South Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia have no laws on the book to protect our choice to nurse our children in public.  Looks like we have some letter writing campaigns in our future!
 
Connecticut ~ Cross Sound Ferry & The Navy Lodge (Groton):
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-40w (2001) requires employers to provide a reasonable amount of time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her infant child and to provide accommodations where an employee can express her milk in private. (HF 5656)
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-64 (1997) prohibits places of public accommodation, resort or amusement from restricting or limiting the right of a mother to breastfeed her child. (1997 Conn. Acts, P.A. 210)
Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 53-34b provides that no person may restrict or limit the right of a mother to breastfeed her child.
 
New Jersey ~ Jack & Charlie’s 23 Ice Cream Shop (Hopewell), Washington’s Crossing State Park
N.J. Rev. Stat. § 26:4B-4/5 (1997) entitles a mother to breastfeed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation, resort or amusement wherein the mother is otherwise permitted. Failure to comply with the law may result in a fine.
 
Maryland ~ Bethesda Crab House, The Cheesecake Factory (Rockville), Boston Market (Hagerstown)
Md. Health-General Code Ann. § 20-801 (2003) permits a woman to breastfeed her infant in any public or private place and prohibits anyone from restricting or limiting this right. (SB 223)
Md. Tax-General Code Ann. § 11-211 exempts the sale of tangible personal property that is manufactured for the purpose of initiating, supporting or sustaining breastfeeding from the sales and use tax.
 
District of Columbia ~ Residences at Thomas Circle:
D.C. Code Ann. § 2-1402.81 et seq. amend the Human Rights Act of 1977 to include breastfeeding as part of the definition of discrimination on the basis of sex, to ensure a woman's right to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where she has the right to be with her child.  The law provides that breastfeeding is not a violation of indecent exposure laws.  The law also specifies that an employer shall provide reasonable daily unpaid break periods, as required by the employee, so that the employee may express breast milk for her child.  These break periods shall run concurrently with any break periods that may already be provided to the employee.  Requires that an employer make reasonable efforts to provide a sanitary room or other location, other than a bathroom or toilet stall, where an employee can express her breast milk in privacy and security.  The location may include a childcare facility in close proximity to the employee's work location.  (2007 D.C. Stat., Chap. 17-58; B 133)
 
 
Disclaimer: 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson     The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. 
     This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Breastfeeding Across Some States

Posted on August 21, 2012 at 10:58 AM Comments comments (1)
Chicago
Chicago
View towards Chicago from our ferris wheel car at Navy Pier
Ohio
Ohio
Hanging out on my aunt's porch - getting a nice long "stretch out" and played outside most of the day :)
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania
Road sign - taken because I went to the SUNY University at Binghamton...so close to my alma mater, but not on the route this time.
New York
New York
We spent a fun afternoon in Midtown Manhattan. Here is a view of the Chrysler Building
Connecticut
Connecticut
The Solar Express at the Stepping Stones Children's Museum - another great afternoon "stretch out" of the car.
Connecticut back to New York
Connecticut back to New York
We took the Bridgeport-Port Jefferson Ferry to cut down on car time. It was the first time on a ferry for all the kiddos!
New York
New York
Back into NY state - this time at "The End" - we went to Montauk for a fun afternoon at the beach with family
New York
New York
Our treasures from the beach - some went back to the ocean after this photo. This was the first time at the beach for the younger three Bowmans.
The Bowman Family has been on the road since mid-August.  Before we started our trip, I wondered what kind of reception for nursing in public we would encounter outside our home state.  In Arizona, two different statutes protect our right to breastfeed in public:
 
A.R.S. 41-1443 (2006)
A mother is entitled to breastfeed in any area of a public place or a place of public accommodation where the mother is otherwise lawfully present.
 
A.R.S. 13-1402
Indecent exposure does not include an act of breastfeeding by a mother.
 
Click here for a printable version of these statues (formatted for printing on business cards).

I am so proud of the women that worked hard to get legislation passed in the state of Arizona, one who has become a beloved colleague.  Little did I know that I would not have to be concerned about the states we would be traveling through on the first leg of our journey.  
 
Ohio proved interesting.  I wore my “I make milk.  What’s your superpower?” nursing tee to breakfast one morning.  The omelette chef looked at me sideways and said that he could not even begin to tell me the thoughts that were running through his head as he read my shirt.  I told him that I wore it proudly because I had provided breastmilk for our four children.  I should have asked him what his superpower was and taken the focus off of me, and put it back on him.  Next time it happens, I will remember to do that!
 
Despite that little encounter, it has been a great relief to feel that nursing mamas and supportive coaches are making headway with normalizing breastfeeding.  As a society, we are comfortable seeing mamas feed their babies with bottles.  Why should nature’s way be more or less acceptable?  I feel that it should just *be*.
 
So we continue our trek across the eastern states.  Next stops: more Connecticut and on to New Jersey.  I will continue to pray that our path is easy and the roads are clear, both for Daddy who is doing the driving and for Angelika as she continues to want to nurse without regard to time or place.
 
I did not make it a point to take "nursing pictures"; trust me when I tell you that I nurse discreetly by using blouses that are designed for a mom to breastfeed with modesty.  (Thank yous to Talisha at Modern Mommy Boutique in Chandler, and to Momzelle, an online retailer with a brick-and-mortar store in Montreal, two of my favorite places to shop for stylish and functional nursing blouses).

I thought it would be interesting to note the difference in breastfeeding laws in the different states we have visited so far.  A complete list has been compiled by the National Conference of State Legislatures - I copied and pasted from their list.  

I am happy to report that despite nursing in public across the following places (State ~ where we NIP), we have not gotten dirty looks (that I have seen anyway) or been asked to cover up with a nursing cover. 
 
Note the difference in the amount and scope of breastfeeding laws…which state laws would you like to see in your area?
 
Illinois ~ Navy Pier (Chicago), American Girl Store (Chicago) and New Life Church (New Lenox): 
Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 20 § 2310/442 (1997) allows the Department of Public Health to conduct an information campaign for the general public to promote breastfeeding of infants by their mothers. The law allows the department to include the information in a brochure for free distribution to the general public. (Ill. Laws, P.A. 90-244)
Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 705 § 305/10.3 amends the Jury Act; provides that any mother nursing her child shall, upon her request, be excused from jury duty. (Ill. Laws, P.A. 094-0391, 2005 SB 517)
Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 720 § 5/11-9 (1995) clarifies that breastfeeding of infants is not an act of public indecency. (SB 190)
Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 740 § 137 (2004) creates the Right to Breastfeed Act.  The law provides that a mother may breastfeed her baby in any location, public or private, where the mother is otherwise authorized to be; a mother who breastfeeds in a place of worship shall follow the appropriate norms within that place of worship. (SB 3211)
Ill. Rev. Stat. ch. 820 § 260 (2001) creates the Nursing Mothers in the Workplace Act.  Requires that employers provide reasonable unpaid break time each day to employees who need to express breast milk. The law also requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a room or other location, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express her milk in privacy. (SB 542)
2011 Ill. Senate Resolution 170 recognizes the unique health, economic, and societal benefits that breastfeeding provides to babies, mothers, families and the community and resolves the state of Illinois to work to ensure that barriers to initiation and continuation of breastfeeding are removed and that a women's right to breastfeed is upheld.
 
Ohio ~ Rest Stop: 
Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3781.55 (2005) provides that a mother is entitled to breastfeed her baby in any location of a place of public accommodation wherein the mother is otherwise permitted. (SB 41)
 
Pennsylvania ~ Chick-Fil-A (Clarion) & Rest stop (Scranton): 
Pa. Cons. Stat. tit. 35 § 636.1 et seq. (2007) allows mothers to breastfeed in public without penalty. Breastfeeding may not be considered a nuisance, obscenity or indecent exposure under this law. (SB 34)
 
New York ~ Rockefeller Center (New York City), The East Deck (Montauk): 
N.Y. Civil Rights Law § 79-e (1994) permits a mother to breastfeed her child in any public or private location. (SB 3999)
N.Y. Correction Law § 611 allows a mother of a nursing child to be accompanied by her child if she is committed to a correctional facility at the time she is breastfeeding. This law also permits a child born to a committed mother to return with the mother to the correctional facility.The child may remain with the mother until one year of age if the woman is physically capable fo caring for the child. (2009 N.Y. Laws, Chap. 411; SB 1290) 
N.Y. Labor Law § 206-c (2007) states that employers must allow breastfeeding mothers reasonable, unpaid break times to express milk and make a reasonable attempt to provide a private location for her to do so.  Prohibits discrimination against breastfeeding mothers.
N.Y. Penal Law § 245.01 et seq. excludes breastfeeding of infants from exposure offenses.
N.Y. Public Health Law § 2505 provides that the Maternal and Child Health commissioner has the power to adopt regulations and guidelines including, but not limited to donor standards, methods of collection, and standards for storage and distribution of human breast milk.
N.Y. Public Health Law § 2505-a creates the Breastfeeding Mothers Bill of Rights and requires it to be posted in a public place in each maternal health care facility. The commissioner must also make the Breastfeeding Mothers Bill of Rights available on the health department's website so that health care facilities and providers may include such rights in a maternity information leaflet. (2009 N.Y. Laws, Chap. 292AB 789)
 
Connecticut ~ Stepping Stones Children’s Museum: 
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 31-40w (2001) requires employers to provide a reasonable amount of time each day to an employee who needs to express breast milk for her infant child and to provide accommodations where an employee can express her milk in private. (HF 5656)
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 46a-64 (1997) prohibits places of public accommodation, resort or amusement from restricting or limiting the right of a mother to breastfeed her child. (1997 Conn. Acts, P.A. 210)
Conn. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 53-34b provides that no person may restrict or limit the right of a mother to breastfeed her child.
 
For a complete list of breastfeeding laws in the United States, click here
 
Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  
This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

 

A Father's Perspective on Breastfeeding

Posted on July 24, 2012 at 12:02 PM Comments comments (1)
"This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Blog Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Timbra Wiist landslidephotography {at} hotmail {dot} com. Today's post is about breastfeeding from the male perspective. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed in the comments section at www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com The Carnival runs July 16th through the 31st!" 
 
Bruss shared this as part of the SPB blog for Breastfeeding Awareness Month in August 2011.  I am so proud of the way he encourages new Coaches to step up and support the MotherBaby even if they feel like they are “outside the circle”.  He has been an integral part of our breastfeeding success story, and now he is helping our family write the chapter on Tandem Nursing with a toddler and a baby.  I am sharing his words again today as it fits today’s Blog Carnival topic – enjoy!

A Father’s perspective on breastfeeding:

There are countless choices that you and your partner are faced with when deciding to start a family.  Like a lot of fathers I was excited to start a family and like most fathers I had a minimal understanding of what was required in the process of pregnancy, labor, delivery and caring for baby in the first years of life.

Throughout the process of all our children’s pregnancies, labor/delivery and first years I have been open to most ideas with the overarching goal of doing what is best for the health and well being of Krystyna and our children.

During our first pregnancy Krystyna and I attended Bradley Method® birth classes.  In addition to a comprehensive pregnancy/birth education, Bradley™ also has teaching curriculum for breastfeeding.  Furthermore, Bradley™ encourages its students to get involved in their local chapter of the La Leche League breastfeeding groups.

Bradley™ was my first real exposure to an in-depth knowledge of the countless benefits of breast-feeding for Mom and baby.  I strongly encourage the Dads reading this to spend some time on the Internet researching the many benefits.  You don’t have to spend much time reading to become an advocate for breastfeeding.

The benefits that stood out for me were:

1. Health of Mom:
  • Less breast cancer
  • Less ovarian cancer
  • Helps in repair of uterus
  • Helps Mom bond with baby

2. Health of baby
  • Better digestive health
  • Less allergies
  • Babies tend to reach their IQ potential
  • Feedback loop between Mom and baby creates food tailored for baby’s needs at that moment.
  • Helps baby bond with Mom

I made a conscious decision to do everything I could to support her in her strong desire to breastfeed our children while attending the Bradley™ classes for our first child and learning about the benefits.

What does support of the Dad mean?  Come to find out this support came in many ways, some obvious and some not so obvious.  

The obvious support is taking care of all the little details around the house and making sure Mom has everything she needs so that she can give her full attention to baby.  Especially in those first days and weeks Mom will be recovering from labor and delivery and the new baby will consume most of her waking time.  Dads you need to make sure that the home environment is running as smooth as possible and that you are making sure that Mom is hydrated and well fed, 24 X 7.  Some joke that breast-feeding is great for Dads, especially in the middle of the night, that Dads get to sleep.

Well, supporting Mom means making sure that if there’s something that Mom needs done whether food/drink, something that Mom needs for comfort or taking care of anything in the household then you need to get up and do those things with *enthusiasm*.  

The not so obvious support of Dad means understanding (or learning) that breastfeeding for first time Moms is new, it might be scary, it might hurt (a lot), it might be very difficult or not work at all.  So your spouse may need your support if any or all of those things happen.  You need to be there for her as she progresses through the learning curve.  Support her if she wants to attend La Leche League meetings or talk to lactation consultants or other Mom’s groups.  The more you actively support Mom during these initial days and weeks the more likely that Mom will stick with breastfeeding to her great benefit and the baby’s.   

The last area of Dad’s providing support that I found was breastfeeding in public.  This process is something else that has its own learning curve and Mom may also have varying degrees of modesty issues.  Helping Mom through the learning curve, staying close to her as she feeds your child will help give her the support she needs to overcome any issues she may have with public breastfeeding.

In short my Dad’s perspective based on our experience and learning is that breastfeeding is VERY beneficial to Mom and baby.  As such it’s my role as father to do everything I can to support Mom as she breastfeeds our children.  This is *especially* important for the first baby as Mom is learning this new skill.

 
Disclaimer: 

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.

The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. 
This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

 

My First Time...Nursing In Public

Posted on July 17, 2012 at 4:43 AM Comments comments (1)
 "This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe's Blog Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Timbra Wiist landslidephotography {at} hotmail {dot} com. Today's post is about nursing in public. Please read the other blogs in today's carnival listed in the comments section at www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com The Carnival runs July 16th through the 31st!" 

If you are following our "Starting Solids" journal, check the blog tomorrow for another installment.  My apologies for any inconvenience!       

I remember feeling terrified as I faced my first experience nursing in public (NIP).  I avoided it as long as possible.  


  • I was still experiencing pain when I nursed on my left side.  At the time, I did not know that this kind of pain is not normal.  I am naturally stubborn and independent and I figured this was a test of my mothering abilities.  I was just going to “tough it out”.    
  • On top of the pain I believed to be inevitable, these thoughts were running through my mind:  What if I exposed myself?  How was I going to cover up?  Would I really be able to nurse in public?    


When our daughter was a newborn, I would nurse her before we left the house.  Since she was a clockwork sleeper (two hours at a stretch), none of our trips were longer than an hour and a half.  This strategy will only work long-term if you are good at taking short trips, and if your baby’s sleep schedule stays exactly the same (rare!).   

I think our daughter was around four weeks old the first time we went out for an extended trip.  We went to a museum forty-five minutes away from home and walked around a bit.  She started to get fussy.  I started to panic.  We tried the pacifier – and it worked for about ten minutes.  Then she started to fuss again.  I was alone with a friend of mine, Nancy, since our husbands had gone to the food court to buy us lunch.    

Nancy kept calm and pointed out another mother who was nursing her baby on the lawn.  She observed that the mother had a receiving blanket wrapped around her bra strap and was feeding her baby under the cover.  (Obviously the dark ages before nursing covers gained popularity).    

My friend helped baby and I get organized – after a couple of false starts, baby latched and we had successfully navigated our first nursing session outside of the comfort and security of our home.  I can still remember sweating profusely and the rapid beats of my heart.  I remember feeling betrayed by my husband since he left me when I thought he should have been by my side, navigating this new experience.   

With the benefit of time, I am forever grateful to Nancy for making my first experience NIP a lot better than I had imagined it was going to be.  I have also learned that my husband thinks that I am extremely capable: while I am wondering where he is when I need him, he is happily going along with what he is doing because he thinks I am Super Woman.  He had no clue that I had just gone over one of my mothering hurdles - in his version of that morning, he was the hero that brought me lunch.  I forgave him and we enjoyed the rest of the day.  

Since my perception of our first experience NIP ended up being a positive one, I became bolder about leaving the house.  I did not try to time everything perfectly anymore.  We did find that nursing right before we left the house was the best insurance plan against having a screaming baby when we arrived at our destination.   

I learned to nurse while I was wearing our daughter in a sling.  I would nurse her in church.  I would nurse her when we went out to eat.  I learned to nurse her on a plane.  My fears were slowly replaced with a feeling of freedom and confidence that we could go anywhere and do anything – breastfeeding was not going to hold us back from a social event.  Eventually, the pain went away and I joyfully nursed our daughter until she was 22-months old.   

As a member of the NIP “club”, I started to notice other mothers who nursed in public.  Most of them covered up, occasionally I would see one nursing by simply lifting up her shirt and discreetly nursing her child.  I never forgot the calm mother at the museum.  I tried to pay my gratitude forward by making it a point to smile at these women in shared camaraderie.  Just in case any of them was a first-timer, I hoped that one smile would encourage them to keep meeting their baby’s needs, wherever they happened to be at the time.

P.S.  I did eventually inadvertently "flash" someone.  Oops.  I got over it and it has never happened again.  Good thing I did not quit over it since we are now on our fourth nursling.    

What was your first nursing in public experience like?  

Disclaimer:  
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson   The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®. 

Breastfeeding for Newbies

Posted on December 13, 2011 at 8:30 PM Comments comments (2)
"What You Need to Know About Breastfeeding That No One Tells You"
 
We had our first introduction to the benefits of breastfeeding in last night's class.  We have the benefit of having two moms who have already breastfed in our class and it was great to have their input as we introduced the new parents to the concept of breastfeeding.
 
Most people know about engorgement or nipple soreness, or that it can take a few days for your milk to come in.  There were comments about the new things our students heard about breastfeeding when we closed class, so I thought I would share the insights people learned in class.  Although it seems that the general awareness about breastfeeding has increased, there are still a lot of ideas that haven’t hit the mainstream that are important to share – hence the subtitle in today’s post.
 
Breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt.  One of the common reasons mothers give for giving up is that it was literally too painful to nurse.  To quote our chiropractor, “It may be common, but it’s not normal.”  He shows our classes the way the head and neck are compressed in the birth canal.  That alone is a tight squeeze that might cause a misalignment.  Add in the “help” from a well-meaning care provider when they tug on the head during delivery and you have a baby that is misaligned to the point that they cannot latch on properly.
 
Baby’s that are misaligned might also appear to prefer to breastfeed on only one side.  Guess what?  Mom’s breasts are a matched set!  The feel of the breast is the same, the texture of the nipple is the same, and the liquid coming out is made the same – there isn’t vanilla on one side and chocolate on the other.
 
If you are having one or both of these issues, you have a couple of options.  You can look into taking your infant to a chiropractor that does pediatric work.  With a simple adjustment, he or she can make a huge difference in your breastfeeding relationship. You can also consult with a breastfeeding specialist, ranging in expertise from a peer counselor to an IBCLC certified lactation consultant.  These ladies can also take a look at the way you are breastfeeding and make suggestions to improve your latch.
 
Whether you go to a chiropractor or a breastfeeding specialist, the goal is to make breastfeeding enjoyable for everyone.  We always encourage our students to do their research and whatever they decide to do, take the time to find a chiropractor or breastfeeding specialist that is certified in their field and comes highly recommended. 
 
Get help within the first three weeks to establish your milk supply.  If you feel like you are not making enough milk, or your baby is acting like (s)he is always hungry, ask for help.  It is critical to establish your supply in the early days.  Your baby and your body working together will work to establish what baby needs, creating a “ceiling” of production.  Your production can ebb and flow from there, however you will always be able to go back and meet your peak.
 
You also make new milk glands for each baby.  If you had a hard time feeding one baby that does not necessarily mean you can’t feed the next baby.  The best description I have heard of these glands is to imagine a cluster of grapes.  You make new clusters with each pregnancy, and once you stop using them, they wither up and the body absorbs them.  If it was hard the last time, get help now to identify which factors contributed to low production, and find out how you can increase your supply with the next baby.
 
You can search for lactation consultants on the web, or click here  to find an IBCLC, considered the gold standard in lactation services.  However, if along with low production you are experiencing a fever or anything else that indicates you need to see a doctor, see your care provider as soon as possible.  Only a lactation professional that is an M.D. will be able to correctly diagnose a medical problem and prescribe you the needed medication.  If they don’t fit this description, see your M.D. as soon as possible so that you don’t go down the route to an infection that leads to hospitalization.  A hospital stay will surely interfere with the breastfeeding relationship you are trying to establish.
 
 
There are lots of options in support groups.  A support group is a place to get answers to your breastfeeding questions.  You can also take heart that you are not the only one struggling, and find encouragement in the stories of women who have gone through what you are going through and come out on the other side as happy breastfeeding moms.  You can also gain confidence to nurse in public by being in a safe and accepting place when you start nursing away from home.  Support groups are a great way to meet other new moms and make friends for you and baby.  We have a couple of students who have made lasting friendships through the groups they attended.
 
There are a variety of places to get breastfeeding support.  La Leche League is the most recognized name in breastfeeding support.  I know…it also has a few negative stereotypes associated with it.  To quote someone I know, “Birkenstock wearing, tree hugging, breastfeeding zealots.  Nice, right?  Well, guess what – it is a Stereotype.  Will you meet some moms on the fringe there?  Maybe – then again, you can meet someone on one extreme or the other wherever you go.  You will definitely meet regular, everyday moms who are looking to learn more about breastfeeding and moms who are there to share their knowledge of breastfeeding.  The best thing you can do is to try a couple of different groups and see if you find a leader that fits with your personality.
 
If La Leche League is not for you, there are other free-of-charge options in the Chandler, AZ area.  Monday mornings you can go to a breastfeeding support group run by Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, that meets at 10:00 am at Modern Mommy Boutique.  Wednesday mornings you can head to Chandler Regional Hospital for an IBCLC-led group that meets from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.  On Fridays, you can head to Mercy Gilbert Medical Center for their IBCLC-led support group that meets from 10:00 am to 11:30 am.  All groups meet weekly with the exception of major holidays.  (See below for phone numbers.)
 
If you are not in the Chandler area, call your local hospital to see if they have any classes or groups to attend.  You can also check and see if there are any Meet-up groups or do a search for breastfeeding support in your area.
 
Your baby’s poop color can change according to your diet.  Most of us have heard or learned that breastfed babies make a mustard-yellow poop.  Guess what?  That’s not always the case!  Just because what goes in is whitish, doesn’t mean that what comes out is going to be mustard all the time.  Bruss is always tripped out when he sees green poop, or purple poop…he can usually tell when I have eaten spinach or beets.
 
A word of caution: if anything in the poop raises a red flag do not ignore it.  One of the reasons you hired your naturopath or pediatrician is so you could ask a child health expert questions about your child.  (Another reason to hire someone you absolutely trust!)  If you feel something is wrong, call them.  They can reassure you that it’s normal, or help you find answers if it’s not normal and you need to follow up with an office visit plus.
 
Your baby’s palate will reflect your diet.  There are many reasons why breastfed babies tend to be healthier adults.  One of them is that they are more likely to eat a variety of foods to meet their nutritional needs.  The milk you make is imbued with the tastes from your previous meal.  When you introduce solids, they are more likely to accept a variety of foods and become less picky eaters.
 
The main ingredients in formula are whey, casein, vegetable oils and lactose.  In other words – a common allergen, a manufactured fat and a sugar…read: the ingredients in processed food.  On top of that, the baby is receiving the same flavor every single time they eat…every feeding for as long as they take formula.  They are less likely to eat a variety and may tend to gravitate towards the processed foods that taste like the food to which they have become accustomed.
 
You can supplement with your own milk.  When a pediatrician says that you need to supplement your feedings for any number of reasons, most of us make the leap to assume that you use formula.  Not necessarily…if you pump during or after a feeding, you will have your own milk to supplement with, instead of substituting your unique food with chemically manufactured formula.  If you are having a supply problem and pumping is not a choice for you, there are several organizations that are gaining popularity that connect moms needing breast milk with moms that have breast milk to donate. 
 
You can do an internet search for “milk sharing”.  Do your due diligence and ask lots of questions before you make a decision to ask for milk donations.  Each family needs to make that call based on their particular situation.
 
You can still breastfeed if you have a low supply.  Dr. Jack Newman drove home a very important point at his lecture this summer: breastfeeding is much more than breast milk. You probably did not expect that you would only be able to nurse your child one or two times a day.  From another perspective, youcannurse your baby once or twice a day.  No matter how many times you are able to nurse, the laxative qualities in your breast milk will help your baby process the formula in their system.  You will help them be less constipated.  Those one or two feedings will still provide your baby with immunities and antibodies.  And most importantly, the you and baby will get to bond the way nature intended – skin-to-skin.
 
There is a growth chart designed specifically for breastfed babies.  Did you know that the growth chart in most physicians’ offices was designed in the 1950’s?  Not only have our standards for what “healthy” is changed since then, those charts were designed based on the growth patterns of formula-fed babies (remember..fat and sugar babies?).  We make big babies and I have nuclear milk, so our children have never had a problem being measured against those charts.  However, that is not the case for every family.  If your baby is measuring small against the traditional chart and your pediatrician is concerned, then click here and print out the chart that pertains to your baby (boy or girl specific) and measure your baby.  These were designed by the World Health Organization specifically to address the different rates of growth for breastfed babies.  The WHO standards establish growth of the breastfed infant as the norm for growth – yeah! 
 
I hope this will help you have the confidence in your body, your baby and your milk.  Just as you were designed to birth your baby, you were also designed to feed him or her.
 
There are lots of options and many avenues to get the help you need.  You can breastfeed the best way you are able to and reap the benefits for you and baby.
 
Did you discover anything about breastfeeding that nobody told you about?
 
Note:  For some great “how-to” breastfeeding posts, you can check under the Breastfeeding 101 blog topic and access information written by Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC.

To read some of our student's experiences with breastfeeding, look under the "In Their Own Words" topic link. 
 
Breastfeeding support groups:
 
Mommy Help Center
Inside Modern Mommy Boutique
3355 West Chandler Boulevard
Chandler, AZ 85226
phone: 480.786.0431

 
Chandler Regional (Frye Rd & Dobson)
Mercy Gilbert (202 Frwy & Val Vista)
~ For more information, please call the ResourceLink toll-free 1.877.728.5414, Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. You may also leave a message during after hours and someone will return your call during the next business day.
 
Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
We are now enrolling
for our Spring Series
March 5, 2012 to
May 21, 2012
 
For more information
or to register,
please call us at
602-684-6567
or email us at [email protected]
 

In Their Own Words: Dad's Perspective on BF

Posted on September 2, 2011 at 7:05 AM Comments comments (2)
A Father’s perspective on breastfeeding:

There are countless choices that you and your partner are faced with when deciding to start a family.  Like a lot of fathers I was excited to start a family and like most fathers I had a minimal understanding of what was required in the process of pregnancy, labor, delivery and caring for baby in the first years of life.

Throughout the process of all our children’s pregnancies, labor/delivery and first years I have been open to most ideas with the overarching goal of doing what is best for the health and well being of Krystyna and our children.

During our first preganancy Krystyna and I attended Bradley Method® birth classes.  In addition to a comprehensive pregnancy/birth education Bradley® also has teaching curriculum for breastfeeding.  Furthermore, Bradley® instructors encourage their students to get involved in the local chapters of the La Leche League breastfeeding groups.

Bradley® was my first real exposure to an in-depth knowledge of the countless benefits of breast-feeding for Mom and baby.  I strongly encourage the Dads reading this to spend some time on the Internet researching the many benefits.  You don’t have to spend much time reading to become an advocate for breastfeeding.

The benefits that stood out for me were:
1. Health of Mom:
Less breast cancer
Less ovarian cancer
Helps in repair of uterus
Helps Mom bond with baby

2. Health of baby
Better digestive health
Less allergies
Higher IQ
Feedback loop between Mom and baby creates food tailored for baby’s needs at that moment.
Helps baby bond with Mom

So while attending the Bradley® classes for our first child and learning of the benefits I made a conscious decision to do everything I could to support her in her strong desire to breastfeed our children.  What does support of the Dad mean?  Come to find out this support came in many ways, some obvious and some not so obvious.  

The obvious support is taking care of all the little details around the house and making sure Mom has everything she needs so that she can give her full attention to baby.  Especially in those first days and weeks Mom will be recovering from labor and delivery and the new baby will consume most of her waking time. 

Dads you need to make sure that the home environment is running as smooth as possible and that you are making sure that Mom is hydrated and well fed, 24 X 7.  Some joke that breast-feeding is great for Dads, especially in the middle of the night, that Dads get to sleep....well supporting Mom means making sure that if there’s something that Mom needs done whether food/drink, something that Mom needs for comfort or taking care of anything in the household then you need to get up and do those things with *enthusiasm*.  

The not so obvious support of Dad means understanding ( or learning ) that breastfeeding for first time Moms is new, it might be scary, it might hurt ( a lot ), it might be very difficult or not work at all.  So your spouse may need your support if any or all of those things happen.  You need to be there for her as she progresses through the learning curve.  Support her if she wants to attend La Leche League meetings or talk to lactation consultants or other Mom’s groups.  The more you actively support Mom during these initial days and weeks the more likely that Mom will stick with breastfeeding to her great benefit and the baby’s.  

The last area of Dad’s support that I found was breastfeeding in public.  This process is something else that has its own learning curve and Mom may also have varying degress of modesty issues.  Helping Mom through the learning curve, staying close to her as she feeds your child will help give her the support she needs to overcome any issues she may have with public breastfeeding.

In short, my Dad’s perspective based on our experience and learning is that breastfeeding is VERY beneficial to Mom and baby.  As such it’s my role as father to do everything I can to support Mom as she breastfeeds our children.  This is *especially* important for the first baby as Mom is learning this new skill.

Krystyna's note~
Why I chose today's picture:  One of the other ways Bruss supported our breastfeeding relationship was by allowing our children to co-sleep with us.  It is not something we had planned on doing.  When we found it worked well and everyone got more sleep (though not always uninterrupted), Bruss selflessly gave up "our" bed and we have had a "family" bed since then.

Disclaimer:
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Nursing In Public

Posted on August 23, 2011 at 1:23 PM Comments comments (30)
Bradley Method® Affiliated Instructor Krystyna Bowman with son Bryan at 3-months old - getting ready to nurse during lunchtime at a restaurantMy personal evolution
 
Nursing in public (“NIP”) with confidence is something that takes time and practice.  It also helps to have a supportive partner with you.  Bruss was always so helpful and encouraging.  In our days as first-time parents, he would sit next to me and hold the cover while I figured out how to access the breast and latch our baby.  He would sit right there throughout the nursing, chatting with me as if there was nothing abnormal about what I was doing.

Then the day arrived when we were out, just our baby and me, and our baby was hungry.  When that day came for the first time, I just dug deep within my reserves and told myself I could do it – and we did.
 
The apologist breastfeeding mom in me has disappeared.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I did everything possible to hide when I was breastfeeding Ysabella in public in an effort not to offend anyone around us.
 
Nursing Brussito was a little different because we hardly went out after his RSV scare.  I got very comfortable nursing uncovered since we hardly ever left the house and had very few visitors.  When we did have people over, I had to feed him uncovered since he was not used to hiding behind a cover; and he would fidget instead of nurse.  That led to finding secluded corners in public places so that I could nurse him uncovered without offending people.  I mostly used the cover to shield him from other people than I did to hide my nursing “parts”.  The cover still went with us everywhere, mostly used for a blanket or a towel instead of a nursing cover.
 
Which led to a total transformation as I nursed Bryan.  We still used covers in his early months to keep people away from him before he was six months old.  As he got older and more interested in his surroundings, all the beautiful nursing covers my aunt had made me fell into disuse as I got more comfortable with nursing in public. 
 
I started getting brave and proudly breastfed our baby without a nursing cover when a bottle-feeding mom at our children’s swim school got my ire up.  I figured if I could nurse at the swim school uncovered, I could nurse in other settings uncovered.  As I like to say now, I can nurse in public and show less skin than a lingerie model, or most models for that matter, who bare their skin in advertisements and storefront displays.
 
A friend of mine related one of my favorite anecdotes about breastfeeding.  It was the first time I realized that seeing and learning about breastfeeding normalizes the experience for children.  She never nursed her children, so they were fascinated by the fact that I nursed ours.  They got to see me nurse Brussito when we had play dates.  Much to the mom’s embarrassment, they would peek under the nursing cover to see what was going on.  I would tell them that that I made milk for him, and they were seeing a baby drink the special food that I made just for him.  After a couple of months of seeing him nurse, they started nursing their baby dolls!  It really drove home the idea that if children (and people in general) see breastfeeding in action, then they begin to understand that it is normal and acceptable; and it is a behavior that children will repeat and hopefully carry over to their own children.
 
There is only one circumstance when I will still use a nursing cover: in church.  Even then I am resistant and want to push the boundary sometimes.  For goodness sakes, I think, the baby Jesus breastfed, and I know that Mary did not have a nursing cover.  I am guessing he got hungry when the shepherds and the wise men were visiting.  I don’t know enough about Jewish culture to know if she would have excused herself and gone to another part of the stable…but I do know that he probably got to eat when he was hungry – there was no formula available back then!!  Out of respect for the fact that people in church may expect “modesty” I do try to be mindful that this might not be a good time to freak them out.
 
I have also realized through the course of writing posts and finding relevant links for Breastfeeding Awareness Month that when I nurse our next child, it is well and good to unashamedly and proudly feed her in front of our other children no matter what the setting.  Beyond that, I need to tell them and show them how breastfeeding works. 

Both of our older children loved to watch as I nursed Bryan, and I am sure that their interest will be piqued again as we welcome our newest Sweet Pea this fall.  As the opportunities present themselves, this time around I will show our older children how we latch, what good feeding looks like, and show them the difference between colostrum and established milk.
 
Not only will Ysabella have the opportunity to learn and hopefully remember some of the mechanics involved if and when she has her own children, but maybe our sons will be of some help when their partners want to feed their children.  If our sons have children, I can only imagine the look on our daughter-in-laws faces when our sons instruct them on how to breastfeed!
 
 
Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
 
 
 

Are you a lactivist?

Posted on August 16, 2011 at 6:37 AM Comments comments (29)
Lactivist tee shirt available at cafepress.comWhat do you think - are you a lactivist?
 
Fromthe Wikipedia topic, “Lactivism”
“Lactivism (portmanteau of "lactation" and "activism") is a term used to describe the advocacy of breastfeeding. Supporters, referred to as "lactivists", seek to promote the health benefits of breastfeeding over formula-feeding and to ensure that nursing mothers are not discriminated against.
 
Another form of lactivism is simply acting as support for mothers that wish to breastfeed. Some mothers may not have the information necessary to succeed, and some have been provided incomplete or misleading information by healthcare professionals, friends, family members, and others that have no experience with breastfeeding. This support often also includes help for mothers who initially had a hospital lactation consultant that opted for formula at the first sign of difficulties with feeding.”
 
From the Urban Dictionary On-line
1. A lactivist is a lactation activist: someone who considers him/herself an advocate for breastfeeding, whether or not s/he's nursed. Lactivism comes in many forms: choosing to breastfeed, choosing to breastfeed for an extended period of time, choosing to breastfeed in public, choosing to smile at a breastfeeding woman, encouraging other women to breastfeed, educating the public on the benefits of breastfeeding, lobbying for pro-breastfeeding legislation, etc.
 
2. a woman who nurses her child in public as a protest against people uncomfortable with seeing breastfeeding.
 
How is this for an interesting point: as I was looking up the definition of “lactivist” on the Internet to see how my personal beliefs fit into the definition, I did not see Merriam-Webster pop up as a link.  I deliberately went to their site to look up the word, and got the message, “The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary.”  As the next step in raising awareness, our goal as breastfeeding families may be to see this word entered into an “official” dictionary.
 
Anyway – back to the topic at hand…do you think you are a lactivist?  The more we teach the Bradley Method® and see how these babies thrive on breastmilk, the more convinced I am that I am going to have to start wearing breastfeeding tee-shirts to raise public awareness on the overwhelming benefits of breastfeeding.
 
I have evolved from a nervous mom who, as Debbie Gillespie likes to say, covered up from the neck to the ankles in order not to offend anyone.  I would pump like crazy before a plane trip so that I could bottle-feed Ysabella in case breastfeeding was “inconvenient” during our ride.  I would politely agree with people that chose not to breastfeed (non-medical reasons) that their babies would be fine on formula in the long run.  I would even wear a nursing cover in our own home when people were visiting!
 
In looking at my transformation from an apologist to a lactivist, the setting that motivated me to take a stand for breastfeeding was our children’s swim school.  Before Bryan was old enough to swim, we would take the two older kiddos to their classes and I would sit with Bryan in the observation area.  There was another mom with an infant who always bottlefed her baby.  I know enough to recognize the thick white color of formula – not that the powder in the bottle wasn’t a giveaway.  On top of that, she didn’t always hold her baby when she gave him the bottle. 
 
It’s one thing to stop nursing for medical reasons, which as I learned from Dr. Newman, are few and far between when a mom has had a good birth, good help and good support.  Not knowing this mom’s story, I was appalled that maybe even with a good reason, this mom was not only compromising her baby’s gut, immune system, and intelligence, but that she did it so carelessly!!  If you are going to supplement or replace your milk, I feel that you could at least look your baby in the eye and give them your love if you are not able or willing to nurse them.
 
The way I approach it, being a lactivist is not about baring skin or daring people to challenge me.  It’s about the fact that our breasts are physiologically designed to feed our children.  We have allowed prudishness on one end of the spectrum, and sexualization on the other end, to dictate how and when we use our breasts to feed our children.
 
I, for one, am finished with nursing covers.  I want to reiterate that I can nurse in public and show less skin than a lingerie model, or most models for that matter, who bare their skin in advertisements and storefront displays.  I love my nursing tops with built in flaps that I use as I lose my pregnancy weight, and my Modest Middles nursing tanks that let me nurse wearing any stretchy or front opening blouse in my wardrobe to nurse.  I am comfortable in my own skin if I accidentally flash a nipple or flesh in public while my baby latches.  I am joining my fellow lactivists in making “breasts = feeding” the norm in our society.
 
Over the year of teaching Bradley Method® classes and sharing the benefits of nursing with other families, and expanding on my own knowledge of breastfeeding with La Lache League Meetings, additional reading and training, I also feel motivated to inform people that formula is not, and never will be an adequate substitute for breastmilk.  In my book, the formula companies are criminally responsible for compromising the health of generations of children by promulgating the notion that their science is equal to our incredible design.  Equally complicit in this great lie are the hospitals that do not support the choice to breastfeed, or that do not teach new mothers how to keep their milk supply up when their babies are born prematurely or they have had traumatic birth experiences.
 
In answer to my own question: Yes, I am a lactivist, and proud of it.

Related Links:
How Your Breasts Make and Deliver Milk from Dr. Sears.com

In case you are interested, here is the ordering info for the tee-shirt pictured above:
 
 
Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 

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