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Sweet Pea Births

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La Leche League of Arizona Area Conference 2016

Posted on August 29, 2016 at 11:17 AM Comments comments (207)
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
La Leche League of Arizona hosted the "Taking Care of Mom, Making More Milk for Baby" conference for Parents and Professionals last weekend, August 26-28, 2016.  The highlight of the weekend was keynote presenter, Diana West, IBCLC, who is also a La Leche League leader currently living in New Jersey.  
Diana is an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) in private practice, Director of Media Relations for La Leche League International, and an accomplished author.  She is the co-author of Sweet Sleep: Nighttime Strategies for the Breastfeeding Family, the 8th edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, The Breastfeeding Mother's Guide to Making More Milk, Breastfeeding After Breast and Nipple Procedures, and ILCA's popular Clinician's Breastfeeding Triage Tool

Here is her entire bio from the conference pamphlet:

I was able to attend these presentations from the 8 that she offered over the course of the weekend conference: 

  • Breastfeeding and Cosmetic Surgery
  • Knipple Knowledge
  • Infant Sleep Training: History, Research, and Outcomes
  • Making Friends with the Girls
  • Making More Milk
  • Where Baby Sleeps: Ethics and Outcomes

I can't wait to apply what we heard this weekend to the information we share in classes.  

THANK YOU FOR ALL THE AMAZING SESSIONS!!

I also learned more about how to better support exclusively pumping mothers (Jennifer Widdows), and mothers who are going back to work after maternity leave (Desiree Allison, IBCLC). There was also a very interesting presentation on community milk sharing through private arrangement and milk banks (Dr. Angie Bond). And it was wonderful to attend an art session led by Rochelle Trotman-Norman - exactly what I needed to decompress after all the information I was acquiring over the weekend.

Here is a visual look at the weekend:

SPB at LLL
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonSPB Gift Basket:
Hair Bow
Baby Rattle
The Night Before Your Birthday Book by Joni Rubenstein
SPB Tote
SPB Water Bottle
SPB reusable nursing pads
SPB Pen
SPB notepad








Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

It's official - made it to the conference!!

















SPB Gift Basket was a raffle prize for the LLL Live, Latch, Love event on Friday evening

















Room is ready for my presentation early on Saturday morning!

*Birthing From Within
*The Bradley Method
*What to do when your birth plan twists and turns











The "mommy trading cards" we made in the session with Rochelle Trotman-Norman. We made one to take home and one to trade.



















After two days without Mommy, Otter insisted on coming to the conference on Sunday so that we could be together. She was well-behaved and an absolute pleasure, as many breastfed, AP children are.

She colored and read quietly, and had fun playing with her dolls! I am also curious to know what she picked up from the two presentations she heard...I am guessing I will find out as we have our car conversations over the next few days.


LOCAL IBCLC PRACTICES
Arizona Breastfeeding Center
www.azbreastfeeds.com
8400 S Kyrene Rd #126, Tempe, AZ 85284
480-442-8491

Central Arizona Lactation
http://centralarizonalactation.com/
15720 N. Greenway-Hayden Loop, Suite 8A
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
480.800.7707 | 480-208-1490

The Milk Spot
2922 N 18th Place
Phoenix, AZ 85016
602-529-5159



SPEAKERS
Some views from the audience and still shots around the conference
Diana West, IBCLC: Infant Sleep Training

Marian Tompson, one of the seven LLL founders
Holding the original copy of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding...
a school folder with 33 copy pages collated by children of the founders

Laraine Lockhart Borman, IBCLC and Director of Outreach at Mothers' Milk Bank, largest donor milk bank in N. America. Pictured here with Michelle Hottya, IBCLC, director of the MMB Outreach and Donation Center located at The Milk Spot in Phoenix.

Desiree Allison, IBCLC, speaking on supporting the breastfeeding mother who will be going back to work outside the home

FRIENDS+BRADLEY TEACHERS

My LLL Bestie and Bradley colleague, Frances Landreth with
LLL founder, Marian Tompson - oh my wow!! 
What a thrill to meet this living legend.

With Olga Kregci, Bradley Teacher and LLL leader. Another living legend - she has been teaching Bradley Method and leading LLL meetings for over 20 years, has homeschooled ten children, and never let being blind stop her from doing anything she sets her mind to.

Joan, who had two of her babies delivered by Dr. Bradley!!
Former Bradley instructor and currently a LLL leader in Tucson, AZ

Jacqueline Kincer, IBCLC and Grace Burnham, 
Director of Arizonans for Birth Options

Jesse Franks & Anne-Marie Chun, ICAN of Phoenix
(They were LLL speakers on Friday)

With Diana, creator of Amorini Pure Silver Nipple Soothers
 
Belinda Hodder, CNM and Diane Ortega, CNM
Owners of Willow Birth Center 
LLL Speakers on Sunday morning

Marissa Honey-Jones, IBCLC at Central Arizona Lactation
She hooked up all the conference attendees 
with these awesome water bottles!!
LLL Speaker on Saturday AM

Christy Jo Hendricks, IBCLC, CAPPA educator, doula
And all around awesome birth work supporter!! 
She owns Birthing, Bonding & Breastfeeding, where she sells products for the birth professional as well as her own invention, the Lactation Lanyard
LLL Speaker, too!!


Jacqueline Norris, Doula & Dancing For Birth Instructor
Michelle Hottya, IBCLC

VENDOR HALL

Fynn Baby
soothe with organic cotton comforting essentials
www.fynnbaby.com


















Dr. Hannah Hancock
Prenatal & Pediatric Chiropractic
1920 N Scottsdale Rd
Scottsdale, AZ 85257
480-994-0072
www.drhancock.com















Usborne Books




















Back to Essentials
Ruth Ann Solomon, IBCLC and Doterra Consultant
520-560-0859
mydoterra.com/backtoessentials















Birth to Five Helpline
877-705-KIDS(5437)
www.birthtofivehelpline.org

Southwest Human Development
2850 N 24th St
Phoenix, AZ 85008
602-266-5976
www.swhd.org













Amorini Silver Nipple Soothers
Pure Silver
Antibacterial
Hypoallergenic
Natural
Made in Italy

www.AmoriniUSA.com

























I hope you enjoyed your inside look at the LLL Conference. Thank you to the amazing team at LLL that put together this amazing conference, and congratulations on a very successful weekend!!


Disclaimer: 
The material included in this blog 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 and related videos contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of Birthing From Within or The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of Birthing From Within, The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 

Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

Q&A with SPB: How does finger-feeding work?

Posted on August 16, 2016 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (132)

Today's Q&A with SPB might be helpful to families who are anxious to avoid "nipple confusion", something that makes it harder for babies to breastfeed when they have had an early introduction to bottle feeding.

Instead of supplemental feeding of breastmilk or formula with a bottle, this technique is one of the feeding strategies that a family might want to try in order to feed baby and keep things happy at the breast.

Here is our Q&A with SPB question of the week, answered by our friend Michelle Hottya the IBCLC over at The Milk Spot.














Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa,
If you should have questions about today's information, be sure to reach out to your local IBCLC for help.  You can find one in your area by visiting www.ilca.org.

I hope you enjoyed and learned something from today's special Breastfeeding Edition of Q&A with SPB.  We'll be back next week with another installment with the IBCLCs from the Arizona Breastfeeding Center!


Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa,

Do you have a question for the IBCLCs this month? 
Be sure to leave a comment so we can have them answer it for you.

UPCOMING EVENT 
Phoenix La Leche League: Live, Latch, Love
As part of the LLL area conference
August 26th, 5-7 PM
Embassy Suites Biltmore
 
La Leche League Conference
August 26-28, 2016
Embassy Suites Biltmore


Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa,

Disclaimer: 
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer 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 and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

In Their Own Words: Amy

Posted on August 5, 2016 at 7:51 AM Comments comments (2)
"In Their Own Words" is one of my favorite series on the blog.  It lets families share their stories, and help others along the way.  Thank you, Amy, for taking the time to write out your breastfeeding story.  We are honored to be able to share it with other mothers who are facing challenges along their breastfeeding journey.
 ~Krystyna



I always wanted to be able to nurse, to provide for my babies in that way, and to experience the bond. For whatever reason, I always felt confident that I would be able to, as well. When I finally became pregnant, however, my confidence dwindled. Maybe it was the stories, the testimonies other women share, sometimes even when you don't want to hear.
 
When people would ask if I planned to breastfeed the baby, my "Yes" changed rather quickly to "I hope to." Until one day a dear friend, who I had confided in, overheard someone else asking me (yet again). After I responded my hopeful, "I hope so...if I'm able," she said very confidently, "No. It's time to start saying YES, absolutely." It was a turning point for me.

When my sweet baby boy came, and "lost more weight then they like to see" within the first week, the pediatrician called in the lactation consultant. We discussed options and goals. She used words/phrases and charts that made me second-guess myself, insisted we at least take the boxes of formula home over the weekend and requested that we come back Monday for another weight check.
 
I cried right there in the office. I am still shocked that a lactation consultant pushed formula to that degree, especially at an office that holds breastfeeding at such a high regard. We never opened those boxes. We posted "Milk Parlor" signs on the doors, got out the breast pump to help with my let down, and locked the doors to the outside world for the next 72 hours.
 
Baby boy FEASTED(!) and gained his weight back plus some. Of course it wasn't easy... I was up pumping while the entire house was sleeping, including baby. I was sleep deprived, emotionally exhausted and entirely dependent on my support system. But boy-o-boy was it worth it.
 
My advice to momma's getting ready to start the journey... Take advantage of the free breast pump through your insurance (if insured) and get it BEFORE baby comes, if possible. It could be your saving grace that helps bring your milk in. Your midwife or OB can write a prescription for a pump, which you'll need when you call your insurance.
 
It's okay to be confident and proud about your ability to breastfeed. You should be. You're AMAZING.
 
You're not alone. At any given moment there are likely hundreds (maybe thousands) of women around the world experiencing labor with you, sleep deprivation with you, etc. Channel their energy. Call on your village. We love you and care about you.
 
Disclaimer: 
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer 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 and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Birthing From Within and Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson


Q&A with SPB: Mother's Milk Bank of CO Donation and Outreach Center in Phoenix, AZ

Posted on August 2, 2016 at 8:59 AM Comments comments (0)
Bradley Method® natural childbirth and Birthing From Within classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

I am happy to kick-off our 2016 Breastfeeding Edition of Q&A with SPB with a very special announcement from The Milk Spot, a local lactation support resource, located in Phoenix, Arizona:

Central Arizona now has a milk donation and outreach center, where mothers who are interested in donating excess pumped milk can be connected to a resource that provide precious liquid love to sweet peas that are most at risk. Now mothers in central Arizona can help families with babies that are receiving hospital NICU care. 



Mothers will undergo a screening process, and once they are accepted, their milk can be received and transferred to regional NICUs.  Learn more about milk donation at the INFO NIGHT at The Milk Spot, this Wednesday, August 3, 2016:


We will be there live, broadcasting on Periscope. Be sure to follow our twitter handle, @sweetpeabirths, for exclusive access to this launch and info meeting.  Michelle Hottya, IBCLC will be sharing information, answering questions, and facilitating a forum with area IBCLCs who work in the NICU.  We will be able to hear the impact stories of babies fed with precious mother's milk.  See you there or see you online!

Disclaimer:
Disclaimer: 
The material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer 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 and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth and Birthing From Within classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Bradley Method® natural childbirth and Birthing From Within classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Bradley Method® natural childbirth and Birthing From Within classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson







Q&A with SPB: Laying down a sleeping baby

Posted on September 15, 2015 at 9:13 AM Comments comments (0)
One more breastfeeding question on this week’s Q&A with SPB:
My baby falls asleep nursing at the breast.  How do I get them to stay asleep so I can lay them down?

Our answer features Desiree Allison, IBCLC, RLC at the Arizona Breastfeeding Center.  Thank you to her for taking the time to answer our viewer question today!!  The contact information is listed at the end of the post if you need her help with other breastfeeding questions:




In other words, “How can I run away from my sleeping baby?”;)

NOTES FROM DESIREE:
Babies like the feel of breast in mouth when they are sleeping. It’s actually okay since good for jaw development.  Not so good for our sanity when we really have to go to the bathroom!

When it’s not the early days when we want to try to catch a nap ourselves, gently pull breast out and/or break suction.

Press up under the chin up so that they suck on their own tongue.  You might just be able to run away!!

Krystyna's note:
I learned this little tip from Desiree when she was "my" La Leche League leader...it totally worked for us!!

Do you have any tips for laying down a sleepy breastfed baby?

How about a question for next week's Q&A with SPB?


Do you like this series? Click on the Q&A with SPB link on the left side of the blog for past Q&A with SPB videos, or check out our YouTube channel HERE

Disclaimer: 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer 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 and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 


Q&A with SPB: Will breastfeeding hurt?

Posted on September 8, 2015 at 8:58 AM Comments comments (89)
Q&A with SPB: VLOG series brought to you by Sweet Pea Births, Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Q&A with SPB:  
Will breastfeeding hurt? What does a good latch look like?
 
Although biologically instinctive, sometimes we haven’t seen other women breastfeed. Learning how to breastfeed has a visual as well as physical learning curve.

Big thank you to Desiree Allison, IBCLC, RLC at the Arizona Breastfeeding Center for taking the time to sit down with us! Here is her answer to today's question:  

 
What to look for in your Sweet Pea:
Wide open gape – mouth is open greater than a 90 degree angle
Big angle in the corner of the mouth
Baby takes in as much of the areola as they can
Tongue presses up against the palate
Upper & lower lip flipped out
 
If it hurts, gently break suction and take baby off so that you don’t cause any nipple damage.
 
Video of a good latch
 
Catch your baby in early stages of hunger, and baby will be a lot more patient with you as you get a good latch.

Source: Image developed by Women's and Newborn Services Royal 
Brisbane and Woman's Hospital. Queensland Government.

Get to support groups and ask other moms what they see/if they have any tips
 
Support groups at AZ Breastfeeding Center
 
Listing of Phoenix, AZ area/National/International Support Groups






Disclaimer: 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe material included in this blog and video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer 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 and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 


Q&A with SPB: Will I ever sleep again?

Posted on September 1, 2015 at 9:37 AM Comments comments (446)
Today's question is from new parents who feel like they are feeding their Sweet Pea all the time, and are wondering if they are ever going to get some much-needed sleep...


Q&A with SPB is an online video series offered by Krystyna & Bruss Bowman - Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
Since we enjoyed having them join us during Breastfeeding Awareness Month, we invited our friends at the Arizona Breastfeeding Center to join us again this month.  Joining us today is lactation pro Desiree Allison, IBCLC, RLC:



Here is a summary of Desiree's answer:
It's all about stomach size.  As the itty bitty stomach stretches, so will the amount of time between feedings.  If at the end of 6-8 weeks, your baby is still nursing around the clock, then it is probably a warning sign to get some help from an IBCLC.

Infant stomach size visual


1-day old - through 1st week: capacity is 5-7 ml, about the size of a marble.  Researchers have found that the day-old newborn’s stomach does not stretch to grow more.  Since the walls are firm, any extra milk is most often spit up – colostrum is just the right amount for the baby’s first feedings.

By the end of 2nd week: Capacity has grown to .75-1 oz – size of a shooter marble.  Small, frequent feedings assure baby is consuming what (s)he needs.

By the end of first month: Capacity is now the size of a ping pong ball, around 2 - 4 ounces.  Continued frequent feedings will insure baby is eating what (s)he needs – milk production meets baby’s intake.


How do you stay sane until your baby starts sleeping in longer stretches?
1.) Involve the Dad/Partner - have them hold the baby while you get (at least!) a 45-minute nap.

2.) Try wearing your baby in a baby carrier - it lets you feel like you are not married to your couch!

3.)  Sleep when the baby sleeps - it's not the right time to get all the projects done that you couldn't do when you were uncomfortably pregnant.

4.) If you do need help, be sure to get professional help to be an extra set of eyes that can guide you.


Q&A with SPB is an online video series offered by Krystyna & Bruss Bowman - Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson



Disclaimer: 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe material included in this video and blog is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer 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 and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 


In Their Own Words: Katie (Update for Baby #4)

Posted on August 28, 2015 at 9:55 AM Comments comments (0)
When my story was first published three years ago (read it HERE), Angela was 19 weeks old and eating like a horse.  Up to that point, I'd struggled with oversupply and finding my block feeding balance for a couple of weeks and even battled postpartum depression for a spell as my hormones worked themselves out.  She has food sensitivities, too, so I'd had to do the restriction dance again.  I haven't been a vegetarian since the day Mikey was born, so the diet was more forgiving.  I'd learned to take tons of pictures of my nursling because I became so awed and grateful to have this relationship.  I was still sad that I hadn't had my tandem experience, but I held out hope for another baby.  I also told Angela that she'd better nurse until she's four or five, but I was just happy to know there was nothing standing in the way of her deciding when she's ready to wean.

As of fall 2014, Angela was 2.5 years old and still nursing all night long and usually a few times during the day. In 2.5 years, she never nursed without causing me pain, but the relationship was too important to me to end.

I found out on Veteran's Day that I was unexpectedly pregnant. I was thrilled. This time I didn't hope and pray that the baby would breastfeed fine. I pretended like I had no reason to question it. The delusion was effective against my anxiety about the matter. I also talked to Angela about sharing her "nehneh" with the baby, a concept she agreed with, though we didn't know if she really got it. She did assign sides, though. The right was hers and the left was the baby's.

Since her nursing didn't affect my prodromal labor, for better or worse, there was no medical reason to reconsider our breastfeeding relationship. Still, as the pregnancy went on, I started telling her no to nursing more and more because my hormones were crazy, and my nipples were sore. Plus, I knew she'd be on me all night long as she's been since birth. I worried that I'd accelerate her weaning, but I had to do what I had to do. Thankfully, she never showed signs of weaning.

I was signed up to do a breastfeeding photo shoot on a Friday morning. Thursday afternoon, I suddenly had the urge to cook dinner for my kids an hour early. Even though I thought that was weird, I started gathering my supplies. I was walking through the kitchen when I felt a telltale trickle. I gave everyone the heads up, and I was comically informed my baby would never live down making me cancel the photo shoot.

Angela was 3.25 years old at this point. We'd wanted her out of the house while I labored and birthed because we figured she'd be demanding nehneh the whole time for comfort. Alas, our plans were thwarted by a very tricky labor, and the kids stayed at our house with my mom keeping them entertained as they woke. Angela really didn't ask to nurse much, and we were glad she was here because we had to ask her to nurse a few times because my labor kept stalling. Her nursing is what finally kickstarted the laboring that took me straight through to the finish line.

Gabe arrived in an inflatable swimming pool in our bedroom. His cord was very short like his brother's, and I worried he'd have some of his brother's medical issues, even though the fetal scans had been clear. I tried not to worry, even as he struggled getting his first latch. I just sat up in the bed, as relaxed as I could be, and enjoyed/half ignored the kids and midwives buzzing around me as I patiently tried again and again until he latched. Finally. With no pain and no clicking. I did a happy dance in my head and took some pictures of our first breastfeeding session. (I might've checked Facebook, too. He ate for a LONG time.) The kids all took their turns gazing at him and taking our picture. Angela even seemed content to watch her brother eat her nehneh.

Later that day, my dream of tandem nursing came true when Angela climbed onto the couch to nurse while her brother was eating. I can't really describe how I felt. Joy? Relief? Euphoria? Good. I felt really good.

Gabe nursed like both of his sisters - fast and furious for the meal like Ellie but lingering forever afterward like Angela. He ate all the time. But Gabe wasn't gaining weight almost at all. Sure, we'd had some difficulties with the food sensitivities in the first days, but they were resolved, and he had a tongue tie and lip tie, but they didn't seem to be a problem. But still his weight was flatlined. Additionally, he started to damage my nipples. In fact, I experienced less pain when Angela nursed! Plus, he was getting harder and harder to latch. It took 5 to 10 minutes for him to feel the nipple in just the right place on his palate and stay latched. I knew he had it when I felt a certain immense pain. I was starting to panic.

I went to see Debbie Gillespie, my IBCLC. She had me adjust how I was holding him and assured me boys are generally just pickier about these things. (Knowing what I know now about Gabe, I wonder if I could've gotten Mikey to breastfeed. I shouldn't think about these things, but I can't help myself.) We verified he was getting enough to eat and not fatiguing prematurely (he was actually getting an impressive amount). She also gave me the go ahead to stop worrying about my oversupply and just give Gabe the other breast when I felt he needed more. Things got a little better, and he started putting on weight.

As my nipples healed, I actually felt no pain when Angela nursed, for the first time in almost 3.5 years. (Sadly, that was short-lived, but it was so nice to have that brief experience in our relationship.) The little pain I did feel with Gabe was very specific and not a result of continued breastfeeding problems. I was still waiving off Angela sometimes because of pain and hormones, but overall we were all settling in, and Gabe was back to his birthweight by one month old.

Gabe is now seven weeks old. There is still pain with his latch and a few minutes after, and he still takes a few tries latching most of the time, but we have turned a corner and are hitting our stride. Angela nurses less at night, partly due to our early restrictions, which is good because I haven't figured out how to comfortably nurse both in bed at the same time. Angela and I also have an understanding now that she has to unlatch when I tell her it hurts, and she's fine with it. She loves tandem nursing with her brother, and we will do it much more as he requires less help from me to nurse.

I still have to avoid wheat and dairy, but the Raynaud's is under control more than it has been in years. I will take what I can get. Finding the positive is what has gotten me through all these years of trials. The benefit to my child is the pinnacle of the breastfeeding relationship. I focus on that when the weight of it all is pulling me down. I surround myself with breastfeeding-positive people, mostly online through Facebook groups and friends. I have a couple friends with whom I can be truly candid when I need to be. I have the number and email of a trusted lactation consultant handy at all times. When people ask what is the best breastfeeding advice I've ever received, that last one is it.

The breastfeeding relationship is one of the most benefit-rich things on this planet, for both mother and child. It's worth fighting for.


I make milk.  What's YOUR superpower?

Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 
 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonDisclaimer: 
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®.


 

In Their Own Words: Dajanay

Posted on August 26, 2014 at 12:08 PM Comments comments (50)
Dajanay Robinson ("DR") is a Winter 2012-2013 SPB alumni.  She and her husband took our Bradley Method® classes when they were expecting their first child.  She agreed to answer my questions about her breastfeeding experience from the perspective of a woman in the black community.

Although I have mentioned this in other social media, I want to re-iterate that Black Breastfeeding Week is an inclusive event.  While these questions are geared with an emphasis to inspire and promote breastfeeding in the black community, the campaign is designed for all women to celebrate Black Breastfeeding Week.  We need to do everything we can to help our sisters in the black community achieve their breastfeeding goals. 

A quote from Jessica Martin-Weber from The Leaky [email protected]@b articulates why all women can and should support this effort: "There is a significant racial disparity in Breastfeeding rates in the USA. Babies are dying because of it. From historical and health care perspectives, the inequality of Breastfeeding support for women of color is tragic."

Without further ado, here is our SPB interview with Dajanay about her first breastfeeding relationship.  Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions and inspire other mamas, Dajanay!
 
SPB: When did you first become aware that breastfeeding might be something you wanted to do?
DR: I always knew I would breastfeed for some reason there wasn’t even a question. After all that is what they are for! As a child I remember my mom who didn’t breastfeed for very long but went through great lengths to NOT give me formula. I’m not sure if the concoction she came up with was kosher but she refused to give me, in her own words, “the chemicals that were in formula”. I am in no way knocking any formula feeding moms.  My mom had something against formula and it’s just something that has stuck with me.

 
SPB: Tell me about your breastfeeding journey - how long have you been breastfeeding? Did you have any difficulties; if so, how did you overcome them?
DR: My breastfeeding journey started off kind of rocky but I was determined; and in the end my perseverance was worth it. We had to start off using a nipple shield because my little guy’s mouth was too small and he couldn’t latch properly to my nipple. I knew that the sheild was something that I would eventually want to get rid of because I didn’t like the fact that there was a layer of plastic between his saliva and my nipple potentially blocking the a major benefit of breastfeeding; the nipple has receptors that detect and sends signals for my body to produce things that my baby might be lacking. So I immediately sought out the help of our friendly neighborhood International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (“IBCLC”) Debbie Gillespie and she was able to get him latched without the nipple shield. The rest was up to us and due to laziness on both of our parts it took some time! My husband had to step in one day and “hide” the nipple shield and I remember going crazy, frantically looking for it and begging him to give it back! It was then he let me know that he had actually thrown it away! So we had no choice but to stick to the fight! By his 3-month growth spurt he latched a lot easier on his own, probably because his mouth got bigger. He didn’t have any nursing strikes or teething issues but my problems didn’t end here.
 
Going back to work reared its ugly head and after numerous bouts of low supply due to not having time to pump; and building it back up to it dropping again due to stress; and then me stressing out more to build it back up. My breastfeeding journey has unfortunately come to an end much to my son’s and my dismay. I did however make it to the 1-year mark. My goal was to let him self-wean but it did not go as planned. My job as a groomer wasn’t a very pumping-friendly position. I recently quit my job to stay at home and re-lactating has crossed my mind, but I’m not sure if I’ll have the support of my husband to do so.
 
"Black women also have unique cultural barriers and a complex history connected to breastfeeding.  From our role as wet nurses in slavery being forced to breastfeed and nurture our slave owners children often to the detriment of our children, to the lack of mainstream role models  and multi-generational support, to our own stereotyping within our community —we have a different dialogue around breastfeeding and it needs special attention."
 
SPB: Did you face any of these barriers?  If so, how did you handle them?
DR: I did not face any of these barriers personally, but I agree with the quote whole-heartedly. We as black women don’t have any role models and the “mammy” stigma has huge hold on us. I am a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority incorporated, and I’ve had more than a few of my sorors ask me why I was still breastfeeding. This was even when my son was still a little baby! It just hurts me to know that people so close to me could be so misinformed to all of the facts and the wonders of breastfeeding. This quote and my experience have fueled my fire to become a lactation consultant and an advocate for all women, but specifically with an emphasis on women of color.

 
SPB: Did you have any role models from the black community that inspired you?  
DR: There is a lack of role models in the black community. As I stated before my mother didn’t even breastfeed me for very long. I don’t know how my decision to breastfeed was so easy, but as I stated before there wasn’t even a question. I just hope that one day the void can be filled and I hope to have a hand in filling it. Maybe black women are a little more private about their choices and that’s why I can’t think of any. I may be biased, but I definitely think it is something that should be shouted from the rooftops; and that there should be more awareness so that women are making more informed decisions. I have recently (just this week) come across a Facebook page called “Black Women Do Breastfeed” where the tagline is “making the community of black breastfeeding moms visible.” This page has 33,042 likes and this is where I would like to start and get involved in helping to fill this void.
 
 
SPB: Did you experience any opposition from your family or friends?  If so, how did you respond to them?
DR: I didn’t really experience any opposition. More so, I got a lot of questions, which I was very happy to answer and educate people. I am a very strong-willed person so any opposition I may have felt just fell by the wayside. I, of course, got the, “how long do you plan of doing it?” The, “isn’t he’s too big?” and lets not forget the, “are you going to give it to him when he’s old enough to ask for it?” I was simply unbothered by these questions and I just answered them honestly.

 
SPB: Did your husband face any opposition about your choice to breastfeed? If so, how did he handle the naysayers?
DR: No he didn’t. His biggest thing was making sure I covered up which was hard sometimes with an active infant. Now that we’ve stopped breastfeeding I know he would have a hard time with me wanting to re-lactate just because we finally got our bed back to ourselves.
 
SPB: How has your experience affected you - would you consider yourself an advocate or a resource for other women?
DR: I hope to be an even bigger advocate and a resource for other women.  I have already been one for my circle of friends and I want to expand that!
 
SPB: Tell me about your goals going forward in regards to breastfeeding.
DR: Going forward I plan on breastfeeding all of my future children until they self-wean and nothing is going to stop me.

 
SPB: What words of advice would you offer to other women in the black community who want to breastfeed?  
DR: You can do it and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! Breast is best and there is so much evidence-based information that supports this fact. There is biblical evidence: the bible references breastfeeding 24 times without shame. There is evolutionary evidence: our milk itself changes and adapts to whatever our child needs. So no matter what you believe one fact remains the same: the primary function of a breast is to produce milk and breastfeeding is what we were created to do.

Other SPB posts in Support of Black Breastfeeding Week:

Breastfeeding Cafe Blog Carnival

Breastfeeding Awareness Month


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

In Their Own Words: Kate

Posted on August 27, 2013 at 9:42 AM Comments comments (0)
This is part of an "In Their Own Words" series in honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month 2013.  Here at Sweet Pea Births we celebrate and honor all breastfeeding relationships, and want to share these stories with you to empower and inspire you.  No matter how the journey starts, with help, support, and persistence, most mothers can achieve the breastfeeding relationship they want with their nurslings.  If you would like to submit your story, please email me at krystyna{at}sweetpeabirths{dot}com.  Sweet Pea Births understands that not all mothers can or want to breastfeed.  These stories are shared for learning purposes, not to judge the choices we make when we feed our children.

Kate’s Story:
My breastfeeding adventure

I had always known I wanted to breastfeed, and there wasn't really a thought otherwise. During my pregnancy I took a breastfeeding class that I found very informative and helpful! I also knew from friends and family who breastfed that it isn't supposed to hurt, it takes some getting used to and practice, etc. Although I felt ready, nothing could have prepared me for what my experience was actually going to be.

My son was born perfectly healthy, but 5 weeks early and not even 4 pounds. I was planning a home birth, so having him early and at a hospital was way outside of my plan already. There was no clear reason for the pre-term labor and they only had him in the NICU for 6 days out of precaution.

Two hours after he was born they finally let me go to the NICU to hold and attempt to nurse my baby!! A lactation consultant was there and 'helped' him latch. Honestly he nestled and really did it all on his own. So she said, "Great!  That's so awesome and surprising for such an early baby," and left. Seconds later he unlatched and it was all downhill from there.

The NICU nurses told me he couldn't nurse because he was too young and just too tired for it. So, I believed them. Every 2-3 hours I would try nursing (he would often latch, but it wouldn't last long), bottle feed him breast milk (some nurses let me feed him, others refused to let me saying they had to do it themself), and then I would return to my room to pump, eat, and rest. I was lucky if they let me stay with my baby for more then 30min (except one nurse who let me stay as long as I wanted, encouraged bare skin contact the whole time I was there, and let me do everything - feeding, changing). This continued the whole 6 days he was in the NICU - try to nurse, bottle feed what I had pumped, pump some more. Finally we got to go home!

He was still having the same issues with unlatching and seeming very tired. I hated feeding him from a bottle and pumping, it is not at all what I imagined for our relationship. Plus I already felt like I had missed out on his first 6 days of life with all the NICU restrictions (it still saddens me!). I had this gut feeling that something else was causing the nursing issues, but didn't trust myself since the 'professionals' told me why he couldn't nurse. He would latch perfectly, had a wonderful suck, but couldn't last more then 30sec before being tired and upset by hunger. I had been producing/leaking colostrum for at least a month before he was born, milk came in full force on day 3, and I had an oversupply the whole time (common in my family I guess). Finally I decided to go with my mom instinct and schedule an appointment with an IBCLC.

We went to my lactation consult and she weighed my son, felt his suck with a gloved finger, had me show her how I hold him and latch (gave me some pointers to make it easier/more comfortable), and let him nurse as long as he wanted (which wasn't long), and then weighed again to see how much he got. She also checked my pump flanges and they were SO the wrong size and causing lots of discomfort!  I didn't even know they had sizes!! Pretty sure the hospital should mention that when they give you the pump kit there..  anyway... 

When she felt his suck she told me she was pretty sure he had a tongue tie, which was probably the cause of unlatching and tiredness since it makes maintaining the latch and sucking SO much more work. We finished our wonderful, helpful appointment and she referred me to a pediatrician who specializes in tongue-tie.

We set up our consult with the pediatrician as soon as possible. A week later we had our appointment;  sure enough he had a tongue-tie! We set up another appointment for the procedure the next week. He had his tongue-tie clipped at 6-weeks and nursed right after the procedure for the longest so far.

I talked with my husband and we decided to give up bottles cold-turkey now that the tongue tie was taken care of, but I would continue pumping. So, I would offer him my breast and let him nurse or try as long as he wanted and if he was getting upset I would sneak a syringe full of breast milk between his lip and my skin and squeeze in a bit every time he sucked. We continued that for a couple days until I gradually got rid of the syringe as he was healing and getting used to his new tongue mobility. 

After a few days he was, thankfully, nursing happily with not a bottle in sight and I gave my hospital grade pump back to the rental company. I only pumped occasionally to have milk for date nights or if my oversupply was bugging me. Our son nursed happily for 12mo until he weaned himself, my son LOVES food. =D

Looking forward to a second child (hopefully sometime 2014) and breastfeeding again! I will definitely follow my mommy instincts right away next time!!!

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®.

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson
We are now enrolling for Fall 2013 Series
The Bradley Method® for New Parents:
September 6, 2013 through November 22, 2013
Classes meet at 6:30 pm

Bradley™ “Next” – full series plus focus on sibling preparation
September 7, 2013 through November 23, 2013
Classes meet at 2:00 pm

For more information or to register, please call us at 602-684-6567 or email us at [email protected]