Posted in Parenting

I Support You

There’s a movement going online in the realm of parenting.

The “I support you” campaign was launched in an effort to stop the “mommy wars” with regards to the breastmilk -vs- formula debate.

The way I see it, motherhood is hard enough without having to feel and be judged by others.  We actually do a good job of judging ourselves without outside help.

The parent section of the Huffington post has launched a slideshow with photos containing the “I support you” message.  You can read the article here and submit a photo to the slideshow by simply clicking “add a slide” at the end of the article, tweeting a picture to @HuffPostParents including the #isupportyou hashtag or shooting an email to formulafeeders@gmail.com.

I decided to submit my own message yesterday via twitter.

I support you

Anyone else on for the ride?

 

 

Posted in Blogging, Parenting

What’s Your Parenting Method? (CTFD & 8 More)

Apparently, there’s a “new” “revolutionary” parenting method that is rockin’ the Web these days.  Affectionately known as CTFD (Calm the F*** Down), it apparently stemmed from the idea that parents these days are much too competitive when it comes to their children and need to learn to CTFD when they realize that *gasp* their child isn’t doing something that another child of the same age is doing.  Because, apparently, every parent’s child needs to be more advanced than the other parent’s child.

By the way, my 8 month old is already doing algebra whilst standing on one hand.  What is your 8 month old doing? 😛

Anyways, I thought I’d try my hand at this and list some more REVOLUTIONARY parenting methods because, you know, I’m an overachiever and want to push the envelope even further than the inventor of CTFD and give parents an arsenal of methods to use.  I’m even going to leave out cuss words because, y’know, we wouldn’t want our children to develop bad habits, now would we?

Ready?

Mommy Training Wheel’s Ultimate Guide To Stress-Free Parenting

  • 1.  JSAN (Just Smile and Nod)
  • Like when the lady at Walmart decides to harass you and make you feel like you’re a bad father for bringing your son into the store without any socks on.  (Happened to my partner the other day!)
  • 2.  LTYH (Listen to Your Heart)
  • Pretty self-explanatory.
  • 3.  DWWFY (Do What Works For You)
  • You want to nurse?  Great!  Choosing formula?  Awesome!  Half and half?  Super!  Exclusive pumping?  Stellar!  Co-Sleeping? Sure thing!  Baby in his own room?  Sounds good!  Rock/nurse  to sleep?  Excellent!  Put down awake?  Cool!  Cloth diapering?  Disposables?  BLW?  Cereal and purées?  Babywearing?  …  If it works for you, GO FOR IT!
  • 4.  SYAI (Say “Yes” and Ignore)
  • Like when you MIL insists that she is going to be able to spoon feed her grandson when he’s never been spoon fed before.
  • 5.  TYG (Trust Your Gut)
  • You know that something’s not right with you little one, but the pediatrician won’t listen?  Insist, insist, insist!
  • 6.  TADB (Take A Deep Breath)
  • Feel like you’re going to lose it?  Take a deep breath?
  • 7.  PBDAR (Put Baby Down and Regroup)
  • Baby still screaming no matter what you do?  Took a deep breath but still feel like you’re going to lose it?  Put your banshee-like baby down in a safe area and go outside so you can’t hear him/her anymore for a few moments.
  • 8.  DLMO (Don’t Linger, Move On)

Did you screw something up?  Perhaps you yelled at your kid in a fit of sleep-deprived-last-nerve-trampled-splitting-headache rage?  Learn from it and move on.

So, what method do you live by?  Do you have anything to add to the list?

Posted in Infant, Parenting

Breastfeeding With Teeth (His, Not Mine)

I’ve recently started to wonder when I’d start to wean my son off the breast.  You see, when I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to at least try to breastfeed.  I say “try” because I didn’t want to put any pressure on myself if it didn’t work out and didn’t want to feel like a failure if I ended up resorting to formula from the start.  As I’ve discussed previously, my desire to breastfeed wasn’t just based on the fact that research shows that it has many health benefits both for mom and baby, but also because I found it more practical and definitely less expensive.

I was thrilled when my milk came in and my son thrived (and is still thriving) on my milk.  It fills me with pride every day to see my “little chunkster”, as I call him, continue to grow and develop so well on “mommy milk”.

With my first goal of trying (and succeeding) to breastfeed met, I decided to set another goal.  I figured that I would exclusively breastfeed at least six months (the suggested minimal amount of time) and then start weaning right away.  However, as time went by, I realized that I really treasured the time I spent nursing my son (even if it wasn’t always easy), and so, I decided that I would continue past six months but would stop when he had teeth.  Well, now that he has teeth (very ouchy teeth, I should say) and is nearing the six month mark, I find myself needing to reevaluate my goal.

To be honest, I’m not ready to give up breastfeeding yet and, as the time for solids approaches, I’m feeling both the natural excitement at seeing my son reach another milestone and a sadness at the fact that I will no longer be his only source of nourishment.  Now don’t get me wrong, I know that milk will still be his primary source of nourishment until he is a year old “food before one is just for fun”, but still, he won’t be getting just milk…

It would seem that I am in need of a new goal…

Now you see, my official day back at work is on August 26th.  At that time, Little Dude will be just past the 9 month mark.  He’ll be staying with his dad for the last week of August and first week of September and then will start daycare.  What want to say is that I’ll keep breastfeeding until mid-August and then start introducing formula.  The fact of the matter is, I just don’t think that I will have the energy necessary to pump to make it to one year.  I think that I want to continue to nurse when it’s feeding time and I’m at home, but will give formula to the sitter and his father.

Sounds like a plan!

Except there’s something tugging at the back of my brain…

  • Me: “It’s a logical decision, I’m totally OK with it”.
  • My brain: “Are you sure?  I mean, you could pump”.
  • Me: “You’re right, but I don’t think I’ll have the energy to pump”.
  • My brain: “It’s just for three months, I’m sure you’ll find the energy”.
  • Me: “You don’t understand, my job is tough”.
  • My brain: “But you’ll only be working part-time.  Besides, breast milk is free and formula is expensive”.

Me: “I know, I know”.

*Bleh*, seems I haven’t made up my mind after all.

Oh well, *sigh* guess I’ll just have to take it one day at a time.

Posted in Infant, Newborn

Impeccable Timing, Charlie Boy!

Ok so today was my postpartum appointment with my OB/GYN and of course, seeing as I am a part-time stay at home mom, I had the pleasure of attending it with my wonderful (almost) eight-weeker.  Of course, I had already been out of the house alone once with my baby and it had gone really well.  Today, however, was a totally other story.

The first difference was in the fact that this time around, I had an appointment.  I had to be there at a certain time.  Noon, to be exact.  You see, usually, when we have to leave the house, we leave after a nursing session.  It’s the logical time to go as we are pretty much guaranteed that he’s not going to wake up starving in the car.  Today, though, I did not have that luxury and noon was probably one of the worst times for my appointment to be.  Why is that, do you ask?  Well, simply because it is when he was due to eat (he was up for a nursing at 6 and then, like clockwork, was hungry again at 9).

Now, I don’t know if he felt my semi-stress at the day’s scheduling juggling I would have to perform, but today he decided to throw the routine we’ve been running with for the past week out the window.  Oh, what a great day to become unpredictable…

For starters, he did not go back to sleep to finish his night after his 6 am feeding.  He also remained obstinately awake until he was hungry again at 9 (this despite the fact that he was clearly tired).  Then, of course, he fell asleep nursing (told you he was tired) no matter what I did to try to keep him awake and actively sucking.  This means that a little over an hour later he was wailing away because he was (you guessed it) hungry again.  I figured, however, that there wasn’t much harm in him having eaten earlier than anticipated because it meant that he would only need to eat again around 13:30.  This would give me ample time to go see my OB/GYN and get back home in time to nurse him.  Or so I thought…

I managed to leave the house without a hitch and arrive at my destination with ten minutes to spare.  Except (hurdle #1) the darned parking lot was full (again) and so I had to park at the bank next door.  This meant more walking with the twelve-pound baby in his very light (ironic) car seat and diaper bag.  Whew, I did make it in one piece though.

When I was finally able to get myself, my baby and his diaper bag through the door, I was greeted with a very full (hurdle #2) waiting room.  ‘Great’, I thought, ‘she’s running late’.  I checked in nonetheless and sat myself down, placing my son between two other baby-filled car seats (’twas the day for postpartum appointments, it seems).  I waited, eventually deciding to unzip his seat cover and remove his tuque so that he didn’t get to hot.  He stirred a bit, but settled down almost immediately.  I exhaled an internal sigh of relief.  But of course, the relief would not last.

About thirty minutes into waiting, the receptionist’s phone rang.  It was my doctor kindly requesting she ask the people in the waiting room to stop talking so loudly.  The room quieted down quite suddenly as people smirked at the request.  Then, everyone’s attention turned to a baby stirring in his car seat.  Actually, everyone’s attention turned to MY baby stirring in his car seat.  I looked down on him and saw his little fists clenched and his face become bright red.  ‘Oh s***’, I thought.  And just as the thought took off, his eyes flew open and he started wailing it out.  Oh yeah, impeccable timing for baby gas Charlie boy.

Then, well, all of the expecting mothers looked up at me wondering how I was going to handle the situation while all of the actual mothers looked down seemingly simultaneously at their own babies, rocking them in their seats probably hoping that my son’s wails wouldn’t bring about a chorus of wails.  Of course, I also had the receptionist telling me that if I needed to nurse him, I could go in the room next door.  I thanked her, as I fished my son out of his seat telling her that he wasn’t hungry and thinking that if I did have to nurse, I certainly wouldn’t be going in the room next door, I would be doing it in the waiting room.  I mean, we were at an obstetrics clinic for crying out loud (no pun intended).

I eventually got my son to calm down by holding him in the anti tummy-pain position and pacing across the small waiting room.  Within a few minutes he had calmed down an no other babies had started crying.  He was even able to fall back asleep minutes before my turn was up.  Then came the fun part: strap the baby back into his seat, grab my coat and the diaper bag and make my way to the doctor’s office.  As if timing was everything, he woke up again as soon as my OB/GYN started talking about intercourse (guess he’s not ready to be a big brother just yet) and birth control and was definitely hungry by the time the appointment was up.  So I nursed him and went back home (not forgetting to go get something to eat on the way as it was minutes shy of 2 pm and I still hadn’t had lunch).

When I got home, I decided to leave him in his car seat (something I’ve never done before) so that he could keep sleeping and I could eat without having a cranky baby on my hands.  I’ve been home for a little over an hour now and he (and I) are still getting some much needed rest.

A thought occurs as I’m about to finish off this post.  I wonder if what happened at the doctor’s office earlier today is Karma getting back at me for smirking all those times I saw mothers try to get a handle on their baby or child acting out at an inopportune moment.  Hehe, probably…

Posted in Parenting

The Breast is Mightier than the Bottle

Or so they say.

Personally, I breastfeed and I love it.  My breasts don’t hurt, I have more than enough milk, I love the proximity with my baby.  But when the people around me learned that I was pregnant, one of the first questions they asked was “are you going to breastfeed”.  I didn’t think much of it at first and always answered “if I can, I’d like to”.  I mean, for me, it was a no-brainer: it’s practical (no bottles to warm up or carry along when I’m out and about with the baby), cheap (I was shocked when I found out how much formula costs) and good for the baby’s health.  However, there was always an exit door in my answer, always the “if”.

You see, my mother tried to breastfeed.  She really did, really wanted to.  But she didn’t have enough milk for me (or for my little sister, for that matter).  She eventually switched to bottle feeding, after my 1 month appointment, when she learned that I hadn’t gained any weight.  After that, not only did I gain weight, but I also stopped crying so much.

Both my boyfriend and I had kept an open mind about feeding.  I told him that I wanted to try nursing, but not at any cost.  I did not want to put any pressure on myself.  I wasn’t going to start supplementing with a feeding tube whilst I hoped for my milk to come in.  I wasn’t going to cut down my rest and sleep hours even more than they would be because my child was perpetually hungry.  My boyfriend, of course, fully supported my decision.  I think he was even relieved by it; he wouldn’t have to worry about me potentially getting depressed by the thought that I am a failure as a mother because I can’t breastfeed.

I’m happy I made up my mind about this matter quickly, that I decided that I wouldn’t put any pressure on myself, because there was a whole lot of outside pressure.

It’s actually rather troubling, that one of the first questions you are asked by the people around you and the random people you meet is if you are going to breastfeed.  I mean, what do they care?  They are certainly not the ones that are going to be getting up during the night.  They are certainly not the ones whose body is going to change to adapt to its new function.  And they sure as heck are not the ones who will be drinking the milk!  So what do they care?

I was bottle-fed, so were my sister and brother as well as my boyfriend and his sister.  We are all very well adapted to the world and healthy.  Drinking formula sure doesn’t seem to have had a negative impact.  Of course, some might argue that we can’t know how breast milk could have effected us, but who cares!

Though I find it fine to inform a new or expecting mother on the benefits of nursing versus bottle-feeding, it is ultimately the mother’s decision.  Once her decision is made, I believe that no one has the right to put extra pressure on her or judge her.

Would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.

My son, right after a nursing session.
My son, right after a nursing session.
Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review #1: Feeding Your Baby the Healthiest Foods

When she came over to visit, my aunt talked to me about a book by Louise Lambert Lagacé, a Quebec dietician with many years of experience in the matter.  After doing a quick Google search, I jotted down the title and went to take a peek at my local bookstore.  After a quick glance, I decided to buy it.

I found its presentation to be alluring and its contents varied and well organized.  Lagacé’s book contains information on the ideal diet for a woman to be following pre, peri and post pregnancy.  It also includes menu suggestions for the breastfeeding woman, taking inyo account that some will ultimately be cutting out dairy and some will be vegetarian or even vegan – though she does strongly suggest that the vegan moms consult a dietician.

Among other subjects, the author dedicates a section to the benefits of breastfeeding and moves on to giving cues that identify when a baby is ready for solids as well as giving advice on which solids to introduce first.  Finally, a great number of baby food recipes are presented at the end of the book.

Despite all of the positive points that the book has, I will allow myself to offer some constructive criticism on two points.  Firstly, the English edition of the book dates back nearly ten years (2003) and so would not include the updated information found in the French edition (which is the one I bought) that was published in 2010.  Secondly, though the book covers breastfeeding very well, it almost passes under silence bottle-feeding even if there is a whole chapter about woman who can’t breastfeed.  In this chapter, the author seems to consider the reasons woman give to not breastfeed to be poor excuses and she basically shoots down each “excuse” one after the other.  On a personal note, though I do breastfeed, I find that there is too great a social pressure on woman nowadays to do so.  Ultimately, I think that though it is important to know the benefits of nursing versus bottle feeding, it is a mother’s choice in the end and her decision should not be judged.

All in all though, I highly recommend this book to all women who are either trying to conceive, pregnant or have given birth recently (think of it as a way to fill some of your sleepless nights!).