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Feb 26 2013

What is the Deal with Breasts?

By at 2:23 pm

bras hanging on clotheslineI wish the song had been, “We saw your balls!”

Seth MacFarlane, an Oscars host only a 12-year-old boy could love, chose to sing a puerile (and insulting) song listing the actresses whose mammary glands he gleefully got to see this past year at the movies.

You know, I’ve had it. In today’s culture, either women’s bodies are sexualized to the point that none of us can feel sexy, or they are derided as objects of fun. In any case, enough is really more than enough. Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 7 2013

Quitting Nursing Is A Lot Like Quitting Smoking

By at 9:09 am

I can’t tell yet if it was harder to quit smoking or to quit breastfeeding. I smoked for over 15 years. I’ve been nursing for over 15 months. I had my first cigarette as a 16-year-old, on a teen tour in Israel. On our flight back to New York, the smokers in my group would take turns sitting in the back row seats of our El Al flight puffing away, as you could still smoke on international flights in the early-mid 1990s. I liked smoking from my first inhale. The occasional high school drag behind the football stadium and after Hebrew High on a Wednesday night quickly transitioned into a half-a-pack a day habit when I spent a year on kibbutz before college. This was back in the days when kibbutzim included a carton of Noblesse as part of the monthly taksiv (allowance) members and volunteers received, in addition to unlimited visits to the chadar ochel (dining room) buffet and laundry service.

Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 7 2013

I Had to Stop Breast Feeding and I’m Relieved

By at 5:04 pm

After having a few crazy run-ins with vertigo (not the preferable kind, the one performed by Bono and The Edge), I went to the doctor.

I was pleased to discover that I wasn’t having mini-strokes, but rather, just had vertigo as a byproduct of a sinus infection. While a sinus infection is no picnic, it definitely beats mini-strokes. Now I don’t have to waste my spare time writing my husband’s new JDate profile, or making sure the house has enough hangers for my shiva. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 13 2012

Breastfeeding With an Extra Dose of Jewish Guilt

By at 11:56 am

“Your daughter is not gaining weight,” the pediatrician explained to me at my daughter’s two week checkup.

That pediatrician’s appointment still haunts me. It took me from a place where I thought my milk was just slow in coming into full panic mode. It took me to a world of pumping around the clock, supplemental feeding devices, formula, herbs and teas, weight checks, never leaving the house, and endless tears. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 29 2012

News Roundup: Straight Talk About Vaginal Birth Risks, Middle School, and Breaking the Breast Milk Bank

By at 8:39 pm

All the parenting news you probably didn’t have time to read this week.


Here’s a yucky but important topic: vaginal tears that result from vaginal childbirth. Turns out they may be a lot more widespread than most doctors know or admit, and can cause fecal matter through the vagina, flatus incontinence, and pain. Learn more so you can talk about it with your doctor ahead of time. (Motherlode)

Pretty much everyone agrees that middle school is the worst. But no one is really trying to make it better. Now researchers are discovering that helping middle schoolers have a better time predicts whether or not they’ll stay in school, and how successful they’ll be. (Slate)

As a mom you’re probably taking pictures of your kids and family all the time. But how often do you get in front of the camera yourself? One mom reminds us that someday when we’re gone our kids will want pictures of us, and we shouldn’t be erasing ourselves from our family’s photographic history. (Huffington Post)

A mom in Texas made it to the Guinness book of world records for donating a whopping 87 gallons of breast milk to her local breast milk bank. (NY Daily News)

A 3 A.M. Hospital Visit for my 3-Day-Old Daughter

By at 12:05 pm

“There’s something wrong with the baby.”

Those are the words you never want to hear about your 3-day old daughter. You certainly don’t want to hear them at 3 a.m. It was barely 12 hours since we had brought our baby girl home from the hospital for the first time. I sat up in bed, squinting at the baby nurse holding my newest little girl. The hall light shone behind her, blinding me as I wondered if she had really said what I thought she had said, or if this was some sort of bad dream. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 22 2012

Surviving “Out of Town” Family With a Newborn

By at 11:03 am

airplane taking off“If it’s a boy, I think we’ll come for the bris,” my brother-in-law in Miami told me a few weeks ago over Skype, just before the arrival of our second baby.

As an East Coast transplant living in St. Louis, I spent the last few weeks of my pregnancy this summer acting as a part-time travel agent, navigating tricky waters to coordinate which family members would come to visit–and when. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 10 2012

Why Was Breast Milk Banned from an Israeli Maternity Ward Fridge?

By at 4:43 pm

locked refigeratorIt all started with a note taped to a refrigerator. Not just any fridge; this was the staff refrigerator in a hospital maternity ward in Jerusalem. The nurse, who discovered the note, was placing her pumped breast milk therein when she noticed it. “To Whom It May Concern,” read the politely worded note with a less than polite message, “Please do not store breast milk in this refrigerator. The Staff.”

Back just a few days from her maternity leave, as the only nursing mother on staff, the letter may as well have been addressed to her. Shocked, she complained up the chain of command all the way to upper management. She was told that each ward is its own democracy and can decide independently if it wants to allow breast milk to be placed in its own staff refrigerators. Unable to be a part of a “democracy” that could make such decisions, the nurse resigned. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 6 2012

I’m Terrified of Breastfeeding Again

By at 11:56 am

baby breastfeedingAs we near the end of World Breastfeeding Week, Kveller blogger Tamara Reese shares her thoughts, hopes, and fears about nursing for the second time around:

This is not a post about breast being best or better or a judgment upon mothers who can, can’t, will or won’t nurse their babies. Readers and people who know me, know that I am a huge proponent of breastfeeding both from a personal and public health perspective. But I know what it feels like to be scrutinized for your parenting decisions and above all else I believe that each family has to do what works best for their unique child. I have participated in dozens of La Leche League meetings and often after hearing a mother’s story for a number of reasons thought to myself, “maybe breastfeeding isn’t what’s best for her and her baby.” I’ve supported friends who have nursed for three days and three years, and I believe that giving even one drop of breastmilk makes you a breastfeeding mother. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 1 2012

Mayor Bloomberg Wants You to Breastfeed

By at 2:02 pm

mayor bloomberg formula lock up planIf you’re really thinking about it and not just squawking to be quoted, you’re going to have mixed feelings about New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s new push to get more women to breastfeed. Starting in September, 27 of the city’s 40 baby-delivering hospitals will begin to keep formula under lock and key, meaning they will only provide it to moms who request it or need it for a medical reason. Moms who do request formula will reportedly get a lecture about why breast is best.

Much of the debate has centered on, “How dare the city tell me how to feed my child?” And that might normally be me, but in this case, my first thought was, “Oh good, now maybe the hospitals will stop pushing formula.” Because believe me, they do. Any new mom can tell you that. How can they not? The entire maternity ward experience is practically “Brought you by Enfamil and Similac.” My impression: The formula companies have been so cozy with the hospitals for so long I’m waiting for them to sell naming rights to the maternity wings. Read the rest of this entry →

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