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Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Introducing Jenn C.

This is the second post from Jenn, (she also wrote the NIP post.) She will be the main blogger at Nursing Mothers Welcome. Jenn will be speaking to you about her personal breastfeeding journey and about news and events that relate to the mission of Nursing Mothers Welcome.

Mission Statement.
Our Mission is to have breastfeeding become more accepted and respected world wide by showing images of discrete breastfeeding so that future generations grow up knowing that breastfeeding can be done anytime and anywhere.

It was the week before Mother’s day 2012. I had a positive pregnancy test. I could hardly believe it. “This might actually happen for us after all,” I thought as I ran to show my husband of 7 years. After a few much needed confirmations from bloodwork to early sonograms we were on our way to parenthood, due January 15, 2013. It took us over three years to have a successful pregnancy. As the baby and I grew, my husband and I would talk about our plans for the future and how we would raise this child.
The thing at the top of my mind was breastfeeding. I would think how wonderful it would be if I could breastfeed successfully. Whenever people would ask me if I plan to breastfeed I would reply that I would at least try but there was this seed of doubt in my mind about it. I only knew what my mother told me of her experience with breastfeeding me and my sister. I found in my baby book that my mother kept at day 3 after I was born she started me on formula. She told me that she could not breastfeed. She was so afraid I was not getting enough so she fed me formula that way she knew I was at least getting fed. I assumed that maybe it was something inherited that I would most likely fail at breastfeeding too. I did not take into consideration that my mother may not have had a whole lot of positive breastfeeding support and encouragement at that time. I was looking at an article in the journal of nutrition called The Resurgence of Breastfeeding at the End of the Second Millenium by Anne L.Wright and Richard J. Schanler. They cited from studies conducted in 1972 (in the era when I was born) showed that initiation to breastfeed was on its way up to around 55%, however mothers that continued to breastfeed into the 6 months mark dipped to a low of around 23%.
Numbers are showing now that with more support and education regarding the benefits of breastmilk in 2009 the CDC surveys show that 76.9% of mothers initiated breastfeeding and at the 6 month mark 47.2% had continued to breastfeed.
My husband was my first and most important line of support. He reminded me not to set myself up for failure before I even started. If I am to succeed I need to think positive right now so as my pregnancy went on I began to proudly state that, Yes I AM going to breastfeed this child. I believe in the importance of breastfeeding to give my child her best start. I learned that breastfeeding can reduce the risk of diarrhea, asthma and ear infections as well as reduce the risk for obesity and diabetes. Even more, I was surprised to learn about the benefits breastfeeding has for the mother too! Breastfeeding enhances mood, helps you to bond with your baby, it burns 500 calories a day and reduces a mother’s risk for certain types of breast cancer because breastfeeding brings a woman’s breast into full maturity. I was armed and ready to go!
Once my baby, Francesca Rose, made her appearance four days early on January 11, the hospital encouraged me to have her latch on as soon as possible. There was a lactation consultant available, the nurses helped us and the hospital encourages the mothers to have the babies room in. My doula, who was a successful mother of 3 breast-fed babies, came to check on us once we were home. She was a huge influence in my life as I had watched her start her own family before we even got started. She offered me some wonderful advice so as to not feel so overwhelmed. She said the job of feeding the baby is top priority and it will take a lot out of me, so do like the baby does- Sleep, eat, feed, change diaper and nothing else matters. Stay on the couch and let my husband take care of me and the menial household chores.
Whenever I was unsure of something or just needed encouragement I had a number of resources to turn to for help from doulas, and other mom’s, to my husband, lactation consultants, and the web. It really does take a village, ya know, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. I cannot say enough about having a doula or a lactation consultant to turn to. Included is a link to Doulas of the Hudson Valley http://www.doulasofthehudsonvalley.com/our-doulas.html and breastfeeding resouces from the Breastfeeding Initiative of Ulster County http://breastfeedingulstercounty.wordpress.com/ucbf-resources/lactation-consultant/

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

NIP Nursing in Public


My thoughts and feelings have changed and grown regarding breastfeeding since I began this journey with my baby.  We are now at 8 months going strong and counting.  My breastfeeding goal is for at least 1 year and to go with baby-lead weaning.  I’ve had great success with babywearing and co sleeping as tools for bonding and picking up on breastfeeding cues.  I feel confident in discreetly nursing in public now because of a baby carrier.
One of my first NIP (that’s Nursing In Public) experiences was nerve-wracking but an overall success.  When my baby was almost 3 months old we went on our first grocery shopping trip just the two of us.  I had just recently figured out how to use a Moby wrap as a means of carrying or wearing my baby.  As soon as we walked into the store with the shopping cart she began to bob her head and route around.  I guess I didn’t feed her right before we left the house. I decided to put this wrap carrier to the test and attempt nursing while wearing her and shopping.
I quickly scurried into the restroom to figure out how to position her while looking in a mirror to see if I could make it look not so obvious, got a good latch, then off we went into the brightly-lit super market.  I was so afraid someone might realize what I was doing and have something to say about it.  I had heard stories of people being harassed for feeding their babies and I was not that confident yet to endure any criticism. I was avoiding eye contact with people as we passed in hopes that they wouldn’t look or notice.  Nobody said a word and in fact a few women who saw me nodded at me approvingly and with silent applause encouraged me to do what I had to do while going on with my everyday activities. I left that day feeling like I could do anything.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Kudos to Chronogram!

Kudos to Chronogram!
This months Chronogram magazine, dated Sept. 13th has a wonderful photo of discrete breastfeeding. The photo shows two women, in a crowded public place, nursing children. There is very little breast showing in the photo, and none at all in the foreground. It looks very natural and unposed.
The photo is in the “While You Were Sleeping” section of the magazine. This section of the magazine reprints news items that did not get much (enough ?) attention in the mainstream media. The picture accompanies some recent data about breast feeding's ties to intelligence in children. It also talks about health benefits for nursing mothers.
You can check out the photo and information at Chronogram's website, or by following this link.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Inspiring Breastfeeding All Stars

The Breastfeeding Initiative of Ulster County had their one year birthday party at the Kingston Farmer's Market during breastfeeding week. Successful mothers,helpful fathers, agencies, businesses, and individuals all joined to be honored with certificates, “Nursing Mothers Welcome” DVD's and cake and cookies. Senator Tkaczyk was represented, she has been a breastfeeding mother and said she would love to help.

One highlight was a mother who was honored for donating to a milk bank. Women were also celebrated for longevity as nursing mothers, and breastfeeding in difficult circumstances. Supportive fathers were nominated for awards by their wives, and many excellent community organizations like WIC, La Leche League, YWCA, BIUC and Northern Dutchess Hospital received awards.

Here are a few of the inspiring stories that resulted in nominations:

Shelia Dvorak: An amazing mother who in the face of severe adversity and health problems continues to drive long and far to obtain pumped milk for her daughter.

Shaquoia Hilton: A young mother who successfully breastfed through a year in a homeless shelter while working towards independence. She is now pumping at work and is a true model of inspiration.

This letter was sent in to nominate Miriam Pickett :
I'm nominating Miriam Pickett for breast feeding me and my sister in the 1970's for goodness sakes!
When my mom was pregnant with me, her mother was very sick. She knew that she would probably pass away but she wasn't sure if it would be before or after I was born.

She went into labor on Rosh Hasshana and her mother was making a big dinner to celebrate. My mom didn't want to let on that she was contracting because she didn't want to excite her mother and put her into cardiac arrest. My mom actually went food shopping, cooked dinner with her mom and sat for a big dinner, all while she was having contractions! So eventually she couldn't hide the fact that she was in labor. I was born 4 weeks before my due date and my mother and I were separated after I was born. They actually knocked her out and she doesn't remember the delivery at all. She said she woke up and I was gone and her mother was dying. Her mother passed away two weeks after I was born. My mother was depressed. She had planned on breastfeeding me, but as she put it her milk ”dried up” while she was depressed.

So, cut to the funeral then sitting shiva at her fathers house. She was sitting there and I began to cry ( as babies do at the most annoying times) and her mother in law, my father's mother, picked me up and carried me into another room and shoved a bottle in my mouth. My mother watched this, became extremely pissed off, snatched me back and put me to breast. The rest is history!! She nursed me exclusively after that. She built up her supply and never used another bottle again.
Please send us your inspiring nursing stories and or photos we can share. We want to encourage nursing anytime, anywhere!