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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 →

How Did You Turn Out?

By at 10:01 am

baby bottle and rattleKveller readers, I have two questions based on recent responses to blog posts:

1. Did your mothers deliver you with or without pain relief and were you breastfed or bottle fed?

2. How’d you turn out?

I am assuming that most of you readers out there have baby-boomer parents. So, what about your moms–did they use pain relief? Did they breastfeed? And how do you think you turned out? Do you suffer from “asthma, allergies, cancer, obesity or diabetes?” And if you do, can you pinpoint the cause as your mom’s epidural or that formula you guzzled? If you don’t, can you thank your mom for her non-medicated delivery or her breast milk? What is your real-life experience? Are you angry at your mother? Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 23 2012

Epidural or Not, Giving Birth is the Easy Part

By at 11:56 am

labor & delivery roomI loved Jordana’s piece on epidurals so much that I wish I had written it! As a matter of fact, my son said he kept checking the byline because it sounded so much like me! I am with you, Jordana!

I was luckier than Jordana was, though, because my epidurals worked perfectly for my four deliveries. I was able to push out my babies, felt fine afterwards, and my kids suffered no ill effects (which would surely have shown up by now, decades later.) Like Jordana, I, too, dislike being “mildly uncomfortable.” I even dislike sweating. Read the rest of this entry →

May 17 2012

Once I Wean My Daughter, How Will I Relax?

By at 10:41 am
dior shoes

Before breatfeeding, I used to look at pictures of designer shoes to unwind. Now what will I do?

I’m going to miss nursing. People keep asking me when I plan to wean, and I tell them what I’ve said since Lila was born. My plan was to nurse for a year. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends one year of breastfeeding, so that seemed like a good guideline, and I adopted it as my personal goal.

But the thing is, we’re racing toward the year mark. I had no idea how quickly it would pass.

We have certainly had some hiccups along the way, with my milk supply initially being low, along with bouts of mastitis and thrush. But Lila and I mastered nursing, and I’ve come to really enjoy it. Read the rest of this entry →

Apr 19 2012

A Weaning Story

By at 3:44 pm

tamara reese weaningWe talk a lot–a lot!–about breastfeeding on Kveller, but something we don’t talk about so often is what comes next–the weaning process. We’ve heard from Tamara Reese about her shaky start with breastfeeding and her eventual success with extended breastfeeding, and now, with teary eyes and proud hearts, we bring to you her story of weaning her first child. From the piece:

When I was seven weeks pregnant we went on vacation and my son nursed around the clock. I was incredibly nauseous and his cries for milk made me equal parts enraged and exhausted. I don’t think I have ever been that tired in my entire life. Upon returning home from our trip, I considered weaning him. I felt that every ounce of energy I had left was being drained by nursing and with his second birthday approaching, I knew he would adjust.

And then I actually pictured a day where he and I weren’t nursing anymore and it brought me to tears.

Read the whole piece on Kveller here.

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