Oct 22 2012
“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
It 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
As 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
If 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 →
Kveller 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
I 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
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
We 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.
Mar 13 2012
A not-so-accurate representation.
I shifted on the carpet trying to get comfortable. I was sitting just outside the circle of breastfeeding mothers. No matter how I sat, I couldn’t quite get comfortable–but I don’t think it was the flooring. I tried hard to keep my glance from falling on any of the bare breasts, and if (God forbid) I accidentally had one fall in my gaze, I averted it with a quick snap of the neck. Fortunately, my breast-detection skills had been honed as a teenager. Only now, those skills were being used for avoidance.
And that was the last time I went to a breastfeeding class with my wife. Read the rest of this entry →
Feb 9 2012
Last night after dinner my son asked for a bowl of ice cream. He sat quietly in his booster seat and carefully guided each spoonful into his mouth and with about three bites left, he handed me the bowl and said, “All done axe-cream.” I sat there and looked at him in amazement. Partly because how could a child of mine not finish a scoop of ice cream, but mostly because he is a kid. A full blown CHILD who uses a spoon and tells me when he’s finished and while he still craps his pants, he’s lost almost every glimmer of babyness and replaced it with kid things like nose-picking and matchbox cars.
And somehow we got to this place after two years of holding my breath that every little decision I was making was absolutely critical to his future development. Read the rest of this entry →