Posts Tagged ‘lactivism’
“When we trust the makers of baby formula more than we do our own ability to nourish our babies, we lose a chance to claim an aspect of our power as women. Thinking that baby formula is as good as breast milk is believing that thirty years of technology is superior to three million years of nature’s evolution. Countless women have regained trust in their bodies through nursing their children, even if they weren’t sure at first that they could do it. It is an act of female power, and I think of it as feminism in its purest form.” ~ Christine Northrup
A lot has happened over the past few weeks, not all of it worth reporting. After months of constant stress over having care for Shammy while I worked, we have finally found a long term solution.
I had a very strong aversion to commercial daycares when Shammy was an infant but I am ok with the idea after 1 years old. So after our babysitter put in her notice we then started the frustrating search for the right place. It was quite an adventure to navigate all of the options available. Our friends and acquaintances seemed to think that we were made out of money or really needed to save our son’s soul for all of the recommendations that we were getting cost more than I make in a day at work thus making it cheaper for me to just stay home or it was religious based.
We do believe in exposing our son to different religious to foster understanding, acceptance and help him find his path when he is old enough to make that choice but we are against emphasizing a religion that is not our own on a daily basis by sending him to a place that has bible time in lieu of story time.
For a while I was so frustrated and overwhelmed that I started to considering private babysitters again, what a barrel of rotten apples that was. In previous occasions we had found the right person very quickly, but this time it took us almost 2 weeks to find the right place.
Early in my search I had come in contact with a brand new licensed home day care not far from our house. It looked good on paper and the address had symbolism special to us, it took us a week to finally set up a meeting. It has a maximum enrollment of 5 and it is set up like a preschool classroom with a play based curriculum. The price is right, home cooked nutritious meals are included and cloth diapers are cool.
How do I know that we found the right place? When I go to pick up Shammy and at first he is happy to see me and eager to nurse but as soon as he’s done breastfeeding he waves bye bye and goes back to play. He is only going 3 days a week but so far he likes going to “school”.
Over the past month I have been doing in depth research on educational options. Despite what some people may think, I don’t aspire to become a doula or midwife, I don’t have what it takes and quite frankly I’m not very interested in that. Since I get paid to talk about breastfeeding and I still don’t tire of it I feel most drawn to pursuing a breastfeeding specialty certification. The ultimate goal would be the IBCLC certification since it’s the only title that is widely recognized but sadly the fact that when I went to college I took the wrong classes since I never imagined myself working in the health field means that I would have to go back to college for 8 classes in addition to the lactation education required.
I would totally do this is if wasn’t for the fact that I can’t afford such a large tuition cost ($300 per class plus fees at the local college). I’m still struggling with my student loans from my first stint in college over 10 years ago which messes up my changes for financial aid.
So IBCLC is out for the time being but there are a variety of other options available. The title earned varies by school but the course content is practically the same. The tuition ranges from $700-$1,000, still steep in our current situation but not so impossible. There is one program that offers me a payment plan that I can almost afford so I may just go that route, depending on how much time I find to study it can take me 6 months or 2 years. Since the Certified Breastfeeding Counselor title doesn’t open as many doors or brings as much money as IBCLC I have also looked into becoming a Certified Childbirth Educator as an additional revenue stream. So I just need to find a spare $1,200 to get this all accomplished.
So in the meantime, I’ll start small with Breastfeeding USA, it’s very affordable to become an accredited Breastfeeding Counselor through them because it’s a volunteer gig and I’m already doing it with every non-WIC mom that I help. The most expensive thing is the textbook, which is also the required text for the bigger course so if you really want to support me I could use this book
Some people mistakenly assume that I have a problem with mothers that choose to formula feed, my problem is not with the mother but rather with the formula companies and their marketing tactics. While I listened to the Health Department’s Head of Tobacco Prevention discuss their program I saw many similarities between what tobacco companies do in their marketing that formula companies do as well and wonder if we (meaning lactivists) should take the same approach of grassroots work to get local resolutions or ordinances to regulate the marketing of Artificial Baby Milk. I am not advocating a formula ban, not at all, but rather for Enfamil/Similac/Nestle/etc to stop their predatory practices undermining breastfeeding.
And then we come across the latest big debate about the free formula samples given in hospitals, my boss firmly believes that there would be riots in the local hospital if the free samples were no longer available. But like a popular article recent states on hospitals sending breastfeeding newborns home with formula “is like giving somebody divorce papers at their wedding.”
So since formula freebies are an addition for some just like cigarettes and every body ears violence at the unfairness of completely removing them from hospital cold turkey, how about locking them behind a key and distribute BY REQUEST ONLY to moms that are only formula feeding! that way the mom that is breastfeeding and doesn’t need a confidence buster won’t be tempted and the mom that is dead set on her god given right to give her baby substandard nutrition can still get her free can.
And this installment’s rant:
As you all know I hate bucket babies, I totally get the convenience of getting a sleeping baby out of the car without waking them up by just taking the car seat out, we’ve done that here. What I hate is when the baby spends the better part of the day in the bucket and gets minimal skin to skin.
So imagine my disgust when at a consignment sale I come across a contraction that allows the mother to “wear” the car seat, OMG! I’m all in favor of babywearing but this is just ridiculous, those car seats are heavy without the baby and this is far from ergonomic. The one I saw for sale was practically new indicating that the mom didn’t get the benefit intended from it, I would be that the money she was hoping to make selling it would go towards her chiropractic expenses after messing up her back.
It’s been a long time since I updated, various circumstances kept me from making progress on my draft for the longest time. Wordpress has gone through various glitches and upgrades that have mutilated my draft and repeatedly lost my layout so this post will be barebones because my formatting still disappears everytime I try to save.
Normally I’ll tinker around with WordPress until I force it into submission but add to that the fact that I now work during the time that I previously blogged and it’s harder to sit down and properly tinker or allow inspiration to flow….
A lot has happened in this time that would take me too long to write and would further delay a post so instead I’ll summarize it by saying, one night Shammy went to sleep a baby and woke up a toddler the next morning.
He is just a couple of weeks away from turning 1 year and he is already asserting his independence, testing boundaries and more. Plus we now have the amusing acrobatics while breastfeeding and requests to breastfeed his toys.
In the time since my last post Shammy got his first couple of teeth and a few weeks later Shammy got officially sick needing his first trip to the doctor (outside well visits) and prescription. Thankfully he is all recovered now and back to his smiling self. I credit breastfeeding with his speedy recovery as when he stopped eating he would still nurse and when he refused pedialyte at the ER the doctor didn’t push it further because he saw him breastfeeding (the look that I got when they found that that he still breastfed at 10 months was something else altogether, lol).
My boobs have gradually adjusted to not pumping at work, the first day I gave myself a plugged duct complete with a milk blister that took Shammy a couple of days to work out but it has been getting better since then. I am really enjoying my job although the office days are draining because of the massive amounts of driving that I have to do. I have been out of training for almost 2 months and I feel like I am making a difference with moms and babies but sometimes it’s an uphill battle with my higher ups as they seem to be very pro-breastfeeding but anti-breast, if they could have a baby breastfeed through a shirt they probably would. That is all that I will say on that matter.
Because of my job I have been really inspired and interested in becoming a CLE (Certified Lactation Consultant) but I would have to suddenly find myself with $700 that could only be used for education and not for one of my many bills to get the training for that, IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) would be a better thing to pursue but that one feels very unrealistic, at least for now.
I have found a breastfeeding friendly bathing suit almost by accident. I had a gift card and decided that a new bathing suit was in order, my bikinis still fit but I now find that the elastic in the bottom sits right on my scar making them rather uncomfortable so I bought my first one piece in over 20 years, it’s got a very plunging neckline for easy access, I have no idea when I’ll wear it for the first time. Looking at it, it completely fits the criteria given by magazines as the bathing suit for a postpartum body, lol. And that’s how I added yet another item to my “you know you are a breastfeeding mom when…” list, when you evaluate the merits of clothing based on ease of boob access.
I have been entertained planning Shammy’s first birthday party. It has turned out to be a much smaller affair than originally as most people will not be coming which is a good thing since he won’t remember it anyway. I just wish that I knew it was going to be this small before I started shopping, oh well, some stuff may end up on Ebay.
My husband had the idea to create an e-mail account for Shammy, this way we can write e-mails to him as he grows up and attach pictures, etc. Once we get off our asses and finally send the first message we plan to share the address with family so that they can do the same.
Today’s rant is moms that say that they are going to “try” breastfeeding. It’s now what they say but how they say it, it’s as if they are already convinced that they are going to fail before baby is even born, I hear this daily at my job. Another observation from my work is that most moms don’t understand that just because baby cries it doesn’t mean it’s hungry, they don’t bother to eliminate other possible causes of crying (like a dirty diaper) and instead say “I don’t have enough milk, my baby is always hungry”. I actually had a mom tell me this last week as her baby feel asleep satisfied after nursing and she was still leaking though her shirt. ”Hey lady, your t-shirt disagrees….”
In my work a lot of moms have never seen anyone breastfeeding, don’t know how to do it, didn’t research it yet they expect it to come naturally once baby is born and then give up because it wasn’t “easy”. This article clearly illustrates how even in the animal kingdom it takes a village and breastfeeding need to be visible.
To help improve breastfeeding visibility (and try to set a new world record) I am the local organizer of the Big Latch On. A worldwide event aiming to set a new record for the most number of mother’s breastfeeding at the same time. I would love it if you could attend/sponsor/donate. Even if you’re not currently breastfeeding we need volunteers and sponsors. It will take place on Saturday, August 6th, 2011, click on the photo to learn more.
A “July Babies” message board that I belong to recently posted a survey for mothers to answer various questions about baby’s first year. At a glance I noticed that formula fed babies had many more sick visits to the doctor than exclusively breastfed babies so the geek in me actually sat down and analyzed the first 100 responses to the survey and came up with the following analysis:
Babies exclusively breastfed at least 6 months had 0.66 sick visits to the doctor in the first year compared to formula fed babies that had 11.67 sick visits! This figure included premature babies that only got formula.
When I take out formula fed premature babies out of the equation (I still counted breastfed preemies), formula fed babies that were born healthy still had 3.3 sick visits in the first years.
Let me put this in clear words: This is 5.5 times MORE ear infections, colds, diarrhea, viral infections and other illnesses than breastfed babies!
And then people wonder why I am such a breast milk advocate….