Grace Prevails with Fearless Trust

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I did not have any attachment to my own mother at all.  She had some serious hurt and issues she did not want to deal with and it really prevented a healthy relationship between the two of us.  What I took from that is that when it came time for me to have my own family, I wanted things to be different.  I wanted to have an incredible relationship and attachment to my kids, in every way possible.

It was a surprise to find out I was pregnant in the summer of 2010, and I set out to do all kinds of research possible.  I wanted to know what all of my options were.  I was blessed to not have any distractions such as working a typical job, and I really threw myself into preparing for my pregnancy.

Some of my dear friends told me about breastfeeding and I was all ears.  As I started to my research and I heard about all the wonderful benefits, some physical and health related for both mama and baby, but also the relationship benefits and attachment that can occur, I was thrilled.  But I had no concept of what I was in for.

We birthed unassisted from home and was able to start breastfeeding within the hour at home.  We did lotus birthing and never cut the cord.  All very new things to us, but we just went with what we felt led to.  We are very outside of the box people, and her name reflects that.  Our daughter’s first name is Fearless Trust, taken from Psalm 27.

That first night, of her sleeping on my chest, us tummy to tummy, was just heaven on earth.  I had never known such joy.

I was not truly prepared about the after effects of birth.  I felt like a truck had hit me physically.  I felt so awesome pregnant, and so horrible not being pregnant.  No one told me that breastfeeding could be painful.  I was not prepared that my nipples needed to adjust to being latched on, I was not prepared that getting the right latch was necessary or it would hurt both of us in different ways, I was not prepared that with every session, it would cause my uterus to clamp down and that was a natural process after birth.  And worse, I had no one in my family to reach out to, no real friends to be that open and honest with about what we were going through, so I just started researching on the internet, and listening to my instincts, which has always led me to good things.

I took a ton of arnica.  I diffused a lot of Frankincense and Myrrh, which seemed to soothe both of us.  And I really worked on getting to know this little one and developing our communication right from the get-go.

I started noticing different positions helped her and myself.  Stacks of pillows around me became my best friend.  We virtually lived on the couch or the bed the first few weeks.  I was blessed to have an incredible MIL who brought me food and let me and her rest and bond.  I could not believe how hungry and thirsty I was, nor how tired I was breastfeeding.  Many naps occurred for us both.

I had read stories of mothers in various cultures who basically stayed in for 90 days after birth and I gave myself and this little one permission to do the same.  I did not worry about attendance to anything, going shopping, anything like that, and outside of few walks close to home, the little one and I just stayed and rested and bonded.  I totally credit this one particular thing in helping our breastfeeding journey, and also our relationship.  It made for very low stress for both of us.  It is a privilege that I know few get to experience, but rest at this stage is so vital for both mama and baby.  Not everyone may need 90 days of that, nor do I remember if we were exact on that number or not, but what was significant is that I felt that any competition to show or prove that her and I were back up and running at full speed, going out and running errands and making public appearances — I just felt none of that was necessary at all.

In my history, my gut health was horrible and had caused a lot of problems for me.  In researching breastfeeding and introducing solids, it was awesome to see how breastmilk helped prepare their gut for LIFE.  And also to find out that there is a time that the gut seals itself, and that sealing can happen anywhere from 6-10 months old of age. I was very interested in helping her get ultimate gut health so that she would not have to struggle like I had or try to rebuild her gut health.  I also watched her for interest in solids.  She really did not have any and was totally satisfied by milk.  So we went almost a full year exactly in breastmilk alone.  I never pushed solids on her, but really waited until she was ready.  Her first solids were homemade chicken bone broth with a pastured egg yolk in it. And we took our time with solids.

I know by this time, many mamas wean or look into weaning.  I kept researching, but I felt I did not want to force anything.  As she got older, it seemed that the breastfeeding was not just a nutritional thing for her, there was this huge emotional aspect that it brought her in calming her emotions.  She never did want a pacifier or bottle, she just wanted me.  Or I should say, she wanted what we referred to as “milk-milk time.”  I can tell you that breastfeeding through the emotional two-year old time and through teething, and having that available to help with those meltdowns was just incredible for both of us.  

Yes, some adjustments had to be made.  As she got older, at times her latch would get lazy.  Or you go through they want to breastfeed in “olympic” positions, even upside down.  Or you go through being very “touched out” as a mama, and you really don’t feel like breastfeeding right now, or because you’re working on something.  We had to constantly upgrade our relationship overall, and our breastfeeding relationship.

We just hit the age of three and a half years.  And we are still breastfeeding very strongly.  Right now, she likes it at night sometimes, while we sleep, and in the mornings when she wakes up, or still she uses it if she ever gets really upset and it is her way of calming herself down.  She has had to adjust to different positions since she is so big now. And I have had to make some adjustments too, in various ways. But overall, we have worked together on this and the benefits of that have spread throughout our entire relationship. There is a trust level and communication level we have that is hugely significant to us both.  

In addition, she has never been sick yet. We have not had to deal with a cold, ear infection, none of that.  Of course, there are other elements in play to that process.  But I do believe breastfeeding has played a huge part in this, in giving her gut time to seal, and giving her immune system a huge jump start, etc.  Also, she is off the charts in how tall she is, which again, other elements affect that of course, but I do believe that extended breastfeeding has played a huge part in that.  

Whenever she is ready for this process to end, I am fine with that.  But for as long as she feels this is something she needs, I want to partner with her in that way.  I never expected our journey to be like this, but it has been an absolutely amazing journey.  And I love that my dream of having an awesome connection and relationship with her has come true, and that we have breastfeeding to thank in helping that to be all that it is today.  

Cherieann Riley  

Breastfeed with Pride

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I am a 28 year old woman with three beautiful, yet difficult children. I gave birth to my first at 19 years old. Even being young and uneducated on many aspects of parenting, I still pumped my breastmilk for a little while.  My first born, who is now 9, has severe ADHD, ODD and mild depression.  He was born at about 38 weeks gestation. These days, I often wonder had I made more of an effort to breastfeed, if that would have impacted the struggles he faces today?  While I try not to dwell on the “what if’s”, I do believe it would have.  I was young, and yes… naive. I made bad choices and didn’t have the best parental figures to learn from. I gave birth to my second child when I was 27.  I still had a lot of learning to do, but at this point, I understood just how important breastfeeding was. To be perfectly honest, the first few weeks were heartbreaking and painful. I struggled with engorgement and latch issues.  I tried a nipple shield to help with her latch and also my discomfort.  Sometimes it helped, but sometimes it didn’t.  I supplemented with formula when my daughter was still very young. I cried many times over what, at the time, I thought was a failure. I got back on track and my sweet daughter was nursing and doing great.  Around 10 months old, her teething began. Oh, how my sweet girl would bite! Once again, I found myself crying. I thought was a failure, yet again. I resorted back to formula and by the time she was 11 months, she wasn’t breastfeeding at all. I was so disappointed in myself. Now, I realize how great I actually did.  I did the best I could, and that’s all anyone could ask for.

I am now 28 years old and my youngest is 9 months old.  I didn’t mention this before because it is off topic, but my first two children were c- sections.  My first 3lbs 14oz and my second 5lbs 11oz.  Since then, I have educated myself about vbac’s and was attempting a vba2c (vaginal birth after 2 cesarian sections). I remained pregnant until 41 weeks and 3 days. My body did not progress, so I opted for a repeat c-section. He was delivered at 8lbs 11oz! This was a huge difference for me. I was very nervous when it came to breastfeeding.  Could I really provide nourishment for a child who was so much bigger than my first two failed attempts at trying to make it to one year nursing? The answer is YES!  My little guy is currently 9 months old and exclusively breastfed! We practice baby led weaning, which basically means he still relies on the breast, but samples table foods he is interested in for fun. I am confident we will easily make it past one year breastfeeding!

The way I see it, there are two morals to the story. The first one being; when you know better, you do better. The second being; practice makes perfect. Well, at least as perfect as humanly possible. Being a Lactavist ranks top priority above all my other causes. My personal breastfeeding journey, like most women, has been full of trials and tribulations. But, at the end of the day, when I look back at my children and our breastfeeding journeys, I feel one thing… PRIDE.

Ring Slings By Miranda Giveaway

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Miranda of Ring Slings by Miranda makes beautiful, handcrafted Ring Slings. She graciously sponsoring a Giveaway of a beautiful, hand dyed Ring Sling for one lucky person at the end of World Breastfeeding Week.

Entry is a piece of cake.

RULES

This giveaway has ended

• Entry Available to US Participants only, who are Active Registered Users of Facebook.

• Standard Shipping is Included. If you you want a specific method of shipping, you will be responsible for paying for the shipping.

• You must be over the age of 18 to enter.

• You must have a valid Email Address.

• You must complete the information required for leaving a comment (on the comment form below).

• Your entry will be based upon visiting the Facebook Pages Ring Slings by Miranda http://www.facebook.com/RingSlingsByMiranda and Generally Crispy http://www.facebook.com/GenerallyCrispy and “LIKING” both of them.

• You must be in good standing with both Facebook pages.

AFTER you have completed this task, you will leave a Comment in the Comment Section (Below) indicating you have completed the required tasks.

If you have already ‘Liked’ one or both of the indicated pages, you are half way there!

Winner will be announced on or about August 7th, 2014 (5pm MST-Arizona Time) on Ring Slings by Miranda Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RingSlingsByMiranda and Generally Crispy Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/GenerallyCrispy

Winner has 48 hours from the announcement of the winner to contact Miranda of Ring Slings by Miranda http://www.facebook.com/RingSlingsByMiranda to claim their sling. In the event that a winner has not claimed their prize within 48 hours of the announcement, the original winner will be discarded and a new winner will be selected. Initiation of Winning/Winner Contact is the responsibility of the contestant within specified time frame.

We will verify that the tasks have been completed. Comments will be approved (Yes, we do moderate) in the order they were received.
If we the selected winner did not meet the requirements upon the drawing, their entry will be discarded and a new winner will be selected. So play honestly and fairly.

Go LIKE…
Ring Slings By Miranda’s Facebook Page
and
Generally Cripsy’s Facebook Page

http://www.facebook.com/RingSlingsByMiranda

http://www.facebook.com/GenerallyCrispy

Generally Crispy will be hosting several other Giveaways following the conclusion of World Breastfeeding Week. Be sure to Follow us to receive notification of new posts and notifications…you wouldn’t want to miss out!

Be sure to leave Miranda a comment on her Facebook page thanking her for sponsoring such an awesome giveaway. Also, be sure you check out her Breastfeeding Story,  Breastfeeding with Pride!

This is the part where you leave your comment after you’ve finished “LIKING”  Rings Slings By Miranda and Generally Crispy

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UPDATE: There has been a notification that some of the links may not be working. I have added typed URLs to the post to help make finding the appropriate pages easier in the event that a link does not work.

http://www.facebook.com/RingSlingsByMiranda

http://www.facebook.com/GenerallyCrispy

Be sure to check out The Necklace Pendant Giveaway too! And Subscribe to the website to receive notification of additional Giveaways, Posts, Information or Specials! We will be having more giveaway announcements in the coming Hours, Days and Weeks! Be sure to share our website and Facebook Pages, the more fans/followers…the more Goodies get given away!!!

World Breastfeeding Week 2014

Submissions for this event have closed! Be sure to check back next summer for entry information!!

Be sure to Subscribe and receive notification of new posts, events and giveaways!

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Each year we run a series of guest submitted breastfeeding stories as an effort to help normalize breastfeeding, share experiences and come together to support women and families in their choice to feed their children as nature has intended.

What is World Breastfeeding Week?

Over the last few years we have collected and shared stories and accounts of breastfeeding relationships of all types. Helping normalize breastfeeding by bringing  mothers together with support, sharing knowledge and information has ultimately been the primary goal.

As we enter into the summer months and see World Breastfeeding Week is approaching we find ourselves delighted that we are able to play a small role in helping normalize the vital function of nourishment in such an amazing global movement, such as such as World Breastfeeding Week.

As many already know, breastfeeding is a topic that is very near and dear to our hearts for countless reasons and because of this, we would like to do things a little differently this year. In addition to bringing wonderful stories from real mothers, real babies/children and their journey through breastfeeding, we will be hosting some fantastic giveaways as well.

If you are interested in sharing your candid experience breastfeeding, we would love to hear from you. What we mean by ‘candid’ is that we are not looking for scripted stories. We understand that each breastfeeding experience,  from birth to birth and woman to woman is incredibly unique, we welcome all types of submissions including stories of complete success, stories involving Complications, Milk Sharing, Milk Donation, Wet Nursing, SNS/Tube Feeding, Exclusive Pumping, etc. We are also delightfully accepting information based submissions as well.

We invite you to check out our World Breastfeeding Week stories from previous years and hope that you will be a part of our present WBW and our future WBW Adventures.

If you are interested in a story submission, you may Contact Us by email at:  GenerallyCrispy@gmail.com and be sure to visit our Facebook Page and say hello!

Why World Breastfeeding Week is Important
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The Letter, Part One – You have no right to refuse the following.

I am flabbergasted.

One Arizona Midwife Speaks

In mid May, all licensed midwives in the state of Arizona received a letter attached to an email from the Arizona Department of Health (AzDHS). This letter was a reminder that we midwives best be certain we are adhering to the rules or there will be consequences. It was a formal warning of the prosecutory process that has already begun.  There are so many pieces to this communication that need to be addressed, such as the threatening tone via statements like “in an effort to make sure you are all in compliance…,” or the importance placed on submitting timely reports (which in the past AzDHS stuffed in a box, or used for poor data analysis, or used as they are now doing to regulate midwives) or the way in which the letter implies that AzDHS is looking out for the safety and well being of parents and babies by…

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The Ugly Truth about Forceps

Let’s talk about something ugly.
I don’t think receives nearly as much attention as it should. Something that I think a lot of people brush off, or ignore, because they don’t want to think about the ugly, or the negative.
It’s time that we think about this ugly, negative thing. Any human being who will ever face becoming a parent should definitely think about this ugly thing.
Forceps.

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At first glance, forceps appear to be much like any medical or surgical instrument. To many without medical experience, it may look a bit foreign. Forceps like these, and similar, are used by a doctor during the vaginal delivery of an infant, when the doctor believes it is necessary. Doctors will insert the ‘tongs’ of the forceps into the vagina, pinch the new babies tiny head with them, and pull the baby from the womb.

Now stop for a second. Read that paragraph again. I have a feeling a lot of you may stop and think that because it is a medical instrument, because a doctor has to use it and a doctor decides when it’s necessary, that it’s okay. The unfortunate truth is that forceps are not okay.

Imagine this:
Your little one has crawled under the bed and you cannot reach them. You know it is not safe for them to be under the bed, alone and they must come out. You get your forceps, grab your little one’s head with them, and drag them out from under the bed. Your child cries, hard. The tongs have left half moon wounds and bruises on their cheeks and temples. One tong has even cut your child’s face open, and they’re bleeding. No need to mention the force required to tug the child by their head has hurt their neck, and scared them.

Now I imagine most of you are sitting there thinking, but, I would never do something like that to my child. No child should be pulled out of a space by their heads. Right? It’s just so violent.

What I’m asking is, why anybody would think to do that to a newborn.  What’s worse than my ‘example’ is they aren’t under a bed. They are embraced in a tight, protective womb, held by a mother’s body. They are squeezed inside a space as small as they are. Keep in mind that every complication that could warrant the use of forceps by a doctor can be solved another way.

Forceps are never a final option, as small and fragile as newborns are, it just doesn’t follow logic to grab their head with a giant set of metal tongs, and pull them from such a tight, confined space.

This next part is the reason why the dangers of forceps need to be known by every single person who could ever be involved in childbirth.

Forceps can cause many injuries to an infant’s face, neck, and head. Bruises and lacerations are your least concern, because forceps have been documented to break infant’s skulls, tear their spinal cords, and cause brain damage.

Just to be clear; forceps are not just dangerous. Forceps are deadly.
Let me show you just how deadly forceps really are. I have to warn you, these articles are very graphic. I do, however, highly suggest everybody reading them, because I feel that the severity of forceps usage is what is so important.

Heres an article about a mother who lost her son due to forceps being used during childbirth.

Let’s focus on this article about a couple who’s baby girl died three days after a forceps assisted birth that says “thousands of babies every year are being delivered using forceps – yet this instrument is deemed so risky many obstetricians no longer use it. Unfortunately, few women are told of the potential dangers.”
It also adds later “studies since the Eighties have reported high rates of damage to mothers and babies through forceps use. Recent research confirmed this poses a higher risk of birth injury than other interventions, including Caesareans.”
As well as “Using forceps safely requires a high level of skill and expertise, which ‘means that the outcome is always uncertain, even for experienced surgeons,’ says leading U.S. surgeon Atul Gawande, head of the World Health Organization’s Safer Surgery initiative.”

And here’s an article about a couple who lost their baby girl, Olivia, due to forceps being used during childbirth. Olivia’s parents also have this page, which says “By trying to instate “The Olivia Law”, the parents hope to make the use of forceps nonexistent and hopefully illegal so that no other child suffers like their baby girl did.” And here’s a link to the petition to pass The Olivia Law.

Forcep delivery can also cause an array of medical complications for mother, including but definitely not limited to long-term or permanent urinary or fecal incontinence, uterine rupture, and bladder damage. You can look at this link to see a list of some of the other risks to mom. Remember, this list is not complete.

Forceps are not a last-resort. Any complication during childbirth that can be “solved with forceps” can and should be solved with something else, there is always another option. So please do not risk your child’s health, their life, when you CAN choose something else.

It’s time we remove forceps from our delivery rooms. Not even one more family should have to suffer at the end of forceps. Not even one more child should die.

Written By: Monica Smith

You’ll Suffocate Your Baby

My son is 17 months old and has been exclusively breastfed. I can’t really pat myself on the back for nursing him for so long. I always knew I would breastfeed and that formula was never an option. Making nursing my only option made it so much easier for the both of us.

From the moment he latched on I knew there was no other way for us. I am so thankful an blessed that nursing came easy. The trauma from his birth, my birth rape, and our home birth turned c-section was enough of a challenge that I thought I would go insane. Being able to easily nurse him made that trauma a little more bearable.

I say easily nurse but with all nursing relationships there is a challenge. Mine was my 42G breasts! When I first began nursing I would practically undress to nurse him. I just couldn’t figure out how to feed him, and not suffocate him, without getting undressed. I still have no idea why. Maybe because I used to have nightmares that I had suffocated my nursling so subconsciously I was preventing that. Nursing in public was not an option those first couple of weeks, I was all breast barely covered by the boy.

Trying to hold him so I could see him and nurse him was a bit of a struggle. I wanted (more like needed) to see him to make sure he was “ok” but found the cradle hold made it a little harder. So it was football for us. Eventually we evolved to a sitting/standing nursing position.

As he has grown so has the way we nurse. At night I used to have him lay across my chest to nurse. Now I side nurse or even (thanks to BIG breasts) lay on my back while he nurses at my side. It amazes me how our nursing relationship has changed and evolved just as our mama/baby relationship has changed and evolved.

I can comfort him when he is sick, sad, or hurt. I can feed him anywhere at anytime. I can provide him with the best immune system. I am still AMAZED after all this time that my body can make something so wonderful and perfectly catered to my boy.

I have been blessed that our only challenge has been my breasts. My mother breastfed and so did my mother in law, as well as many of the women in my family. I live in a great crunchy friendly community where our friends are supportive of nursing. And….. I am a red head so the few (2) times someone has commented on me nursing my son they have felt my fury. LOL.

There are days that I wish I could just have a moment to finish something without the boy climbing up my leg to get nurses but I know I would miss it. When I have 14 hours days doing home visits (I am a student midwife) I long to be home with my boy. I pout when I come home and he is asleep without me nursing him. Pretty silly hun? But I guess it is apart of him growing up.

Story By: Meredith L.