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Apr 8 2014

Mayim Bialik on Why & How She Became a Lactation Counselor

By at 4:08 pm

coney-nursing

So you all know I’m a hippie, right? I made my kids’ shampoo for the first five years of their life, I don’t use paper towels or commercial cleaning products, I use naturopathic and holistic medicine rather than Western medicine, I don’t own any toys that require batteries, I believe in natural birth as an empowering and profound experience for women, and I don’t shave my legs. You get it: I’m a total hippie.

Well, as you can imagine, conventional parenting magazines never sat right with me because they simply didn’t address the things I needed to know as a parent interested in cloth diapering, sustainable parenting, and how to stop well meaning family from buying your kids every battery-operated toy in existence for every birthday and holiday. There used to be a print magazine called Mothering that was THE parenting magazine for moms (and dads) like me. It is now available only online for environmental reasons at Mothering.com and it is a tremendous resource for those interested in what’s referred to as Natural Family Living. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 9 2013

Five Reasons Why Mayim Bialik Doesn’t Believe in Sleep Training

By at 12:17 pm

mayim bialik doesn't believe in sleep training

Recently, Kveller has been running a series of posts with professional sleep coach Batya Sherizen, in which she answers readers’ questions about issues they are having with their children’s sleep. I’m not a professional sleep coach and I respect people like Batya, but there are actually other perspectives on sleep, and I wanted to share some of the “other side.” I speak from the perspective of someone who got (free) sleep advice from people who don’t support sleep training and I also come from my training as a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor. Some of us don’t prescribe to sleep training, especially for the first year, and especially if you are breastfeeding. Here’s why.

I wrote a book a few years ago called Beyond the Sling. It was a very straightforward, very honest, very accurate portrayal of what Attachment Parenting looked like in my home. More specifically, there were chapters on my experiences with natural birth and homebirth, breastfeeding on demand as well as extended breastfeeding, not using harsh discipline or punitive discipline, the magic of baby-wearing, and other such enthralling AP-related topics.

And of course there was a chapter on sleep. Sleep training and sleep management is one of the most profitable and difficult topics for new parents. I chose to safely co-sleep with my sons, participating in the subset of co-sleeping known as bed-sharing. That means my sons and I shared–and still share on many nights–a sleeping surface. As I discuss in my book, this arrangement is not for everyone and it is most certainly not for people who cannot or will not abide by the rules of safe co-sleeping. However, from my experience as a mother of two breastfeeding and securely attached children, as well as a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor (C.L.E.C.), I have a lot of things to say about babies and sleep.

Here are the reasons why I don’t believe in sleep training. If you want to be conservative about the matter, these beliefs of mine hold most strongly for children under 6 months of age. Read the rest of this entry →

Oct 18 2013

Blossom & Six: Together Again & Talking About Motherhood

By at 11:29 am

mayim bialik interviews jenna von oy blossom and six

What many people remember from “Blossom,” besides the hats with sunflowers which my character sometimes wore, is the relationship between Blossom and her best friend Six, named so because her “father said that’s how many beers it took.” The actress who played Six was two years younger than me and her name is Jenna von Oy.

Jenna is now a mother of a toddler, and although we had spoken sporadically over the years since the show ended, Jenna’s becoming a mom started a new phase of our relationship. I was able to do some breastfeeding counseling for her (I am a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor) and we have shared a lot about our parenting and lives in the past year. In honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month a few months ago, we decided to start a dialogue which we would post jointly here and on her website. Some of it is about our lives, some is about our parenting, some is just us catching up. 

You can read my interview of Jenna below, and you can read Jenna’s interview of me on her website, www.cradlechronicles.com. I know it’s not a full “Blossom” reunion, but we think this might be a tad more interesting than seeing us try and dance like teenagers as grown adults while wearing flowered hats, floral dresses with vests, and those little clips that cinch the vest and clunky shoes with scrunched down socks. 

Actually, come to think of it, that sounds incredibly interesting. I’ll get back to you about making that happen.  Read the rest of this entry →

Feb 6 2013

Mayim Bialik’s 4-Year-Old Son is Officially Weaned

By at 11:49 am
mayim bialik 4-year-old son weaned

Look ma, no nummies!

Well, nay-sayers, prepare to be proven wrong. All of you snarky mamas who glared at me nursing my 3 1/2-year-old on the NYC subway, prepare to be amazed. And to all of my family and friends who wanted to chastise me about nursing a walking, talking, thinking, laughing little man named Fred, thanks for holding your tongues.

Because we did it. Fred isn’t going to nurse on his way down the wedding aisle or at his high school graduation. I didn’t need to break him of a “habit” and teach him “who’s in charge.” I didn’t need to set boundaries you thought I should have set when I didn’t want to set them.

Because we did it: Fred weaned.

Fred weaned this past Thanksgiving, exactly a year from his night-weaning Thanksgiving of 2011, which I initiated reluctantly–and as gently as I could, and days before I released the public statement that I was getting divorcedRead the rest of this entry →

May 14 2012

Interview Roundup: Talking about Time Magazine

By at 3:27 pm

Time Magazine put a picture of a mother breastfeeding her 3-year-old son on their latest cover, and the whole world started talking. Several news and media sources contacted me to get my opinion on the matter, and here’s what I had to say:

From CNN:

Entertainment Tonight, “The Insider,” May 10th:

Good Morning America:

Entertainment Tonight, “The Insider,” May 11th:

Jane Velez-Mitchell:

Feb 29 2012

How I Weaned My 3-Year-Old

By at 1:17 pm
Mayim Bialik nursing 3-year-old

Fred is no longer nursing at night.

About six months ago, I wrote a post for Kveller about my 3-year-old’s nursing patterns. I suggest you read it before reading this one, but here’s the recap:

Fred, who is now 3 1/2, nursed on demand for the first three years of his life, including every 2-3 hours all night. We both were happy with the arrangement, my husband slept great, and, knowing Fred is my last child, I relished breastfeeding this way. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 17 2012

Mayim on Breastfeeding

By at 4:06 pm

mayim bialik nursing sonIf you know anything about Mayim Bialik, chances are you know she’s a huge proponent of breastfeeding. And not just breastfeeding, but extended breastfeeding. As a certified Lactation Educator/Counselor, she’s more than comfortable with taking the scientific approach to the matter, and throughout her time writing for Kveller, she’s shared plenty of her stories and opinions. Here are some of our favorites:

1. I Breastfeed My Toddler. Got a Problem with it?

In which Mayim tackles the common questions from naysayers, like, “If he’s old enough to ask for it, isn’t he too old to have it?” and, “What does your husband think?” and, “Do you even have any milk anymore?”

2. It May Be Time to Wean My 3-Year-Old

In which Mayim discusses Fred’s shifting demand for milk, her “no ask no refuse” policy, day-weaning, Elimination Communication, and how it’s not actually time to wean her 3-year-old. Photo of Mayim nursing on NYC subway included.

3. New Moms Don’t (Usually) Need Breast Pumps

In which Mayim recommends new moms to stay away from the breast pump if there is no pressing need for it, for reasons including the science, the sensibility, and “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

4. Mayim Bialik Not Done Defending Attachment Parenting Yet

In which Mayim assures you that breastfeeding is the recognized best way to feed and nourish your baby, and giving “an ounce or two” of formula statistically leads to more formula, less demand, and eventual weaning.

About Mayim

Mayim Bialik is the grandchild of immigrants from Eastern Europe and the mother of two young boys. She is best known for her lead role in the 1990s NBC sitcom Blossom, as well as her current role as Amy Farrah Fowler on CBS' The Big Bang Theory.

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