Archive for the ‘Breastfeeding’ Category

Breastfeeding in Public? Bravo!

I LOVE seeing pictures like this of celebrities out and about unabashedly nursing their babies. Yea Maggie Gyllenhall!  Ironic that she played a character that made fun of Attachment Parenting in Away We Go, isn’t it?

We need to see more of this from all mothers — and especially mothers like Maggie who have social influence.  This photo is a few years old — I’d love to find another more recent of any other celebrity.

I recently learned about a fellow mama in Austin who stopped to nurse at a HEB grocery store in Round Rock and was asked by one of the managers to please use the bathroom.

Many breastfeeding advocate mothers including myself were quick to come to her defense offering to write letters, join a “nurse-in,” and boycott HEB until they make a public announcement declaring a store policy that supports and welcomes breastfeeding mothers.

I don’t know the laws in other states or countries.  But in Texas — believe it or not — women have the right to breastfeed their babies ANYWHERE they are legally allowed to be.  Amen to that.

Texas.  The state with the so-far-right board of education that recently voted to remove Thomas Jefferson from world history standards because he favored the separation of church and state. They opted to replace him with the study of religious icons, St. Thomas Aquinas, John Calvin and William Blackstone.  They also voted to draw attention to the negative, unintended consequences of Affirmative Action and Title IX.  Alarming for Texas and beyond with Texas being one of the largest buyers of text books in the country. You can read more about this in the recent Times article.

But I digress.  Back to boobs in public.  Texas stands by it legally.  Yee-Haw! (more…)

Posted in Breastfeeding | 5 Comments

Feeding My Family with Love and Respect

This post is part of the 2010 API Principles of Parenting blog carnival, a series of monthly parenting blog carnivals, hosted by API Speaks. Learn more about attachment parenting by visiting the API website.

Cravotta Family DinnerI was drawn to participate in this month’s API Speaks blog carnival because I find the topic so interesting in its subjectivity.  I view myself as:

An advocate of breastfeeding for both its health and nurturing benefits;

Someone desiring to provide and model healthy eating for my children (today we had mac-n-cheese, veggie burgers and fries….some days are better than others); and

Someone with deep curiosity around the intensely personal, primal nature of feeding our young that exists cross-culturally among mothers.

I feel very fortunate to be alive today and part of a generation of women that can experience so much when it comes to equal rights with men. I’m all about competing with men professionally and earning equal pay.

AND at the same time, I like to acknowledge gender differences and embrace all that is inherently feminine.  During this chapter of early parenting years, I personally feel a great sense of my own femininity when nurturing my children with their daily sustenance. I feel connected to all other mothers in the world through this practice — including animals — especially birds for some reason. Funny that one of my 20-something nicknames was “Monnie Bird.” Photo Photo

I think the highly personal aspect of feeding our children with love and respect is how we each define what that means a little differently. To tell a mother that she’s not feeding her child right — iye, iye, iye — that can be seriously offensive!  It seems to cut to the core of a defining aspect of motherhood.

So without implying any kind of critique if yours is different, here’s a window into my family’s practice of feeding with love and respect:

  • Extended Breastfeeding. This is a relative term…some moms define “extended” to mean until a child chooses to wean which could be age four or five. Each to their own. My goal is two years for my littlest. (more…)

Posted in Attachment Parenting, Breastfeeding, Nutrition, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Nightweaning: Our Cry-With-Daddy Approach

Yes. The time has come for us to nightwean. I’ve reached the end of my emotional and mental capacity to be woken up every two – three hours and have my sweet baby yanking and sucking and grabbing and pinching and it going on and on and on. She is 16 1/2 months.  Not a bad ride for the all-night baby buffet.  And my current intention is to keep nursing her during the day until she’s at least two.

Lots of big changes are happening this month in our home– including me working full-time starting tomorrow (!!!) — so a decent night’s sleep is truly imperative.  There is too much at risk for our family’s financial well-being for me to continue to be the crazy no-sleep lady.

A lot of people in the Attachment Parenting community look to Dr. Jay Gordon for as having the best night-weaning method that aligns with our collective views on night-time parenting and providing consistent, loving care. He is quite clear on not advocating night-weaning at all for babies younger than 12 months and offers tips for the older baby or toddler.

When I tried his gradual approach with my first daughter when she was 17 months, this ended up adding to her distress.  She couldn’t understand that sometimes when she was sleeping, she would get Mama’s milk and sometimes she wouldn’t.

Within a few painful nights of this, we determined we needed to quickly eliminate nursing after first going to sleep at night and not nurse again until morning. I was so worried about this decision because I believed that allowing my baby to cry — even if I was with her — was cruel and could break her trust and harm our attachment.

But we received some great counseling from early parenting expert Carrie Contey, PhD, who suggested, like Dr. Gordon, that for babies there is an significant difference between crying alone and crying with a parent.  I remember feeling so much relief hearing this!

To be able to experience emotions like anger, sadness and disappointment…..and even despair — this is all part of being human. I think that having to feel those feelings alone would be quite terrifying as a baby. Feeling and expressing them fully and loudly in the arms of a loving parent offering sympathy and acknowledgment — that’s different in my book.

When we night-weaned my eldest, I still slept next to her and followed Carrie’s advice to make statements like, “I know you are so sad and so angry and you really want milk.  I’m sorry sweet angel – no more milk at night.”   We had two very difficult nights — with wildly distraught cries similar to those I heard last month when we weaned her binky.

This time, we determined that because I’ve got to be on top of my game in very short order and really need maximum sleep, that Mark would be the one to comfort Izzy in her middle-of-the-night wails for Mama. And instead of following Gordon’s gradual night wean suggestion, we’re going straight to it because we believe it’s less confusing.

God Bless our sweet new housemate, Jeanine.  She offered to stay with some friends last night and tonight so that Sadie and I could sleep downstairs in her room and be shielded from the sound of Baby Izzy’s cries.

I’m relieved that this first full-time job is freelance work which allows me to be at home and take nursing breaks during the day and hopefully make up for the nighttime separation sadness.

Looking for additional ideas and advice on nightweaning?   Kelly Mom offers some great tips too.

Posted in Breastfeeding, Nightweaning | 8 Comments

Living the Dream – We Love Our New Housemate!

JeanineHere’s the bizarre dichotomous nature of my life right now. On the one hand, I’m fully living the stress of this recession as my husband and I scramble to figure out how to live off of 10% of the income we had three years ago.

On the other hand, I’ve never been more rich than I am right now. I’ve never felt more alive or inspired to create; I have never been more fully expressed (I love writing my bloggity blog!), and I have never felt more gratitude for everything I have:  My family, my health, my connections with others. Pure sweetness and true wealth in my book.

And — HOLY POWER OF INTENTION — we have a live-in cook!!

Amazing!  Sometimes I still can’t believe it. I can play with my girls and/or exercise while someone else prepares a home-cooked healthy meal and after dinner I can either work or participate in our bed-time routine and someone else cleans the kitchen. What??  Is this for real?? (more…)

Posted in AP & Self Care, Breastfeeding, Co-Sleeping, Nutrition | 3 Comments

Pass it On: Urgent Call for Human Milk Donations for Haiti Infants

Special Addition Logo -color(1)I am no longer eligible to donate breast milk now that my youngest is over one year old. In lieu of the current crisis in Haiti and urgent need there for donated human milk, I’m doubly saddened to not be able to do this. I’m posting the information here to anyone reading Attachment Mama with a baby under one year to please consider donating milk and/or passing this along to  your Mama friends, posting on your Facebook pages, updating on Twitter, etc.

This announcement is copied from my Special Addition newsletter. They are great Austin supporters of breastfeeding and Milk Banks — they sell and rent breast pumps.

The Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA), United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC), International Lactation Consultant Association/United States Lactation Consultant Association (ILCA/USLCA), and La Leche League International (LLLI) are jointly issuing an urgent call for human milk donations for premature infants in Haiti, as well as sick and premature infants in the United States.

This week the first shipment of human milk from mothers in the United States will be shipped to the U.S. Navy Ship Comfort stationed outside Haiti. Comfort is currently set up with a neonatal intensive care unit and medical personnel to provide urgent care to victims of the earthquake. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant stationed at the U.S. Navy base in Bethesda, MD is assisting with providing breast pump equipment and supplies to the Comfort. Dr. Erika Beard-Irvine, pediatric neonatologist, is on board the Comfort to coordinate distribution of the milk to infants in need. HMBANA, USBC, ILCA/USLCA, and LLL are responding to requests to provide milk for both premature infants and at-risk mothers who have recently delivered babies on board the U.S.N.S. Comfort, but an urgent need exists for additional donations.

At the current time, the infrastructure to deliver human milk on land to Haiti infants has not yet been established. As soon as that infrastructure is in place, additional donations will be provided to older infants.

Mothers who are willing to donate human milk should contact their regional Mothers’™ Milk Bank of HMBANA. A list of regional milk banks is available at the HMBANA website.

Currently milk banks are already low on donor milk. New milk donations will be used for both Haiti victims as well as to replenish donor supplies to continue to serve sick and premature infants in the U.S. Donor milk provides unique protection for fragile preterm infants. Financial donations are also strongly encouraged to allow HMBANA, a nonprofit organization, to continue serving infants in need.

UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the Emergency Nutrition Network, and medical professionals all recommend that breastfeeding and human milk be used for infants in disasters or emergencies. Human milk is life-saving due to its disease prevention properties. It is safe, clean, and does not depend on water which is often unavailable or contaminated in an emergency. Relief workers, health care providers, and other volunteers are urged to provide support for breastfeeding mothers to enable them to continue breastfeeding, and to assist pregnant and postpartum women in initiating and sustaining breastfeeding.

For more information, contact HMBANA at 408-998-4550 or . Additional information can be provided from the United States Breastfeeding Committee at 202-367-1132, ILCA/USLCA at 1-800-452-2478, or La Leche League at 847-519-7730.

You may contact the Mothers’ Milk Bank at Austin by calling or emailing:

900 East 30th Street
Austin, TX 78705-3378
(512) 494-0800

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Posted in Breastfeeding, Mother's Milk Bank | No Comments


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