I gave my husband very, very specific instructions—a perfect plan, and he didn’t follow it at all. I was so angry!
When my youngest son was nine months old, I had the opportunity for a girls’ getaway which I so desperately, desperately needed! Thankfully, at this point, nursing was still going strong, but that strong nursing bond that I didn’t get to experience with my first two kids, made it more difficult to get away. He would nurse faithfully every morning, before naptime, and before bedtime with a random nursing in the middle of the night--just to keep things interesting. He refused a bottle, which meant that I had to be there every morning, every naptime, and every bedtime as well as in the middle of the night. Up until this point, I was able to easily work my schedule around his feedings and was very proud of that.
But with the girls’ weekend getaway coming up, I didn’t want to say “no” like I usually did to things that conflicted with my breastfeeding schedule, so I had to figure something out. But how would I do this? How would I be able to be gone overnight? What the heck would my husband do if he woke up? He already felt powerless enough the way it was, but he wanted to support my decision to go and be helpful in any way he could. Mamas, you understand…I had to get the heck out of my house and connect with friends and feel “normal” and eat and drink and laugh and tell stories and not be sucked on or yanked on or tugged on or pulled on or pushed on. I needed a break.
I was determined to make it work so I came up with a fool-proof plan. My parents’ house was only fifteen minutes from our getaway, so my husband could take my nursing little one and the older two kids to their house. I could sneak away to nurse before bed and come back. Then, if he got up in the middle of the night, my husband could call or text me and I could sneak away again to nurse and come back. Then in the morning, I could, once again, sneak away, nurse him and come back. I know this sounds crazy, but I was a dedicated, desperate breastfeeding mama who just needed a little time away! It was a great plan.
I even left a bottle and breastmilk so that all the bases were covered. I nursed my son before bed and then off I went…to my getaway! I was giddy. I couldn’t wait. I knew that I was “on call”, but I didn’t care. It was totally worth it. The girls and I had a blast. It’s amazing how just a little time away can refresh your tired mama soul!
When I went to bed, I set my phone right next to me expecting the “honey, we need your boobs” call, but it never came. I fell into a sound sleep. In the morning, the sun began shining on my face and suddenly, I sat straight up in bed realizing that I had just slept through the entire night! I reached for my phone expecting to see text after angry text and missed call after frantic missed call, but there was nothing! I couldn’t believe it! Even if my son hadn’t woken up in the middle of the night (which would be shocking), surely he was ready for his morning milk and snuggle time?? And my boobs were bursting.
By: Elizabeth Spencer (Guilty Chocoholic Mama)
In the category “Things That Cannot Possibly Be True,” the babies I once breastfed have turned into teenagers. And while it had better be many (many!) years before I have this conversation with my sweet girls, here’s what I’ll tell them about breastfeeding when the time comes.
1. You can be doing everything right, and it still might hurt at first. I certainly do not want to scare or discourage my daughters. Far from it. But I think they need to know that discomfort or pain in breastfeeding—especially initially—does not necessarily mean they’re getting it wrong or that they should give it up. Let’s face it: the breasts are a sensitive part of the body, and unless you’ve lived an unusually alternative lifestyle prior to breastfeeding for the first time, they probably haven’t seen this kind of attention before. Give it some time and care…things will get better.
2. Breastmilk is proof of the genius and creativity of the Creator. Think of all the things doctors and scientists have figured out in the last several thousand years. They’ve cracked DNA code and unwound the whole double-helix thing and probed into cellular activity at the most minute level. But what, exactly, makes breastmilk the wonder it is? They still can’t figure that one out. Probably because they’re not supposed to.
3. Think of the most valuable thing you’ve ever owned. Now understand that “liquid gold” is worth more than any of it. If you decide to pump and store breast milk, those little packages will probably soon surge to the top of your list of “Things Other Than the Children to Grab If the House Ever Catches On Fire.”
4. When you talk to a prospective mate about the possibility of becoming parents someday, be sure to ask what he thinks about breastfeeding. Spoiler alert: you want him to think it’s important and valuable and amazing and something he should and will support enthusiastically.
5. If you marry into a family that considers breastfeeding “weird” or “unnatural,” do not let it discourage you. Look at this as an opportunity to enlighten and inform. Who knows? Maybe you’ll become the family trailblazer on this one, and future generations will rise up and call you blessed.
6. Don’t worry: you’ll know when your milk comes in. Like most new, first-time moms, I worried about, oh, everything. And one of my earliest worries once baby #1 had made her appearance was how I’d know when my milk had really and truly come in. Then one morning I got up, looked in the mirror, and discovered that my almost-As had finally—finally!—ventured into “B” territory. So then I knew.
7. Breastfeeding is one of the first gifts you can give your baby. It’s not just the nutrition, although the complete perfection of that—from complexity to temperature to delivery system—is mind-boggling. But it’s also about the skin-to-skin connection and the bonding and the love-in-action that lays a foundation for so much of what lies ahead. Of all the gifts you’ll give your children over the course of their lifetimes, this is among the first and best.
I can hardly believe a conversation like this with my daughters is already on the distant horizon. But when I need it, I’ll be ready. I’ll tell them these things, and then add the postscript I tag onto most of our talks: I love you.
By: Kristy Kemp
Are you expecting a new addition to your family but are torn between having a hospital or home birth? From time immemorial, home births have been stereotyped as unsafe and one of the greatest contributors to still births and post-natal deaths. In this article, we shall look at some of the safe home birth facts the experts may not be willing to tell you concerning home births.
How Fast is your Labor?
The truth of the matter is, women have different surges of labor and because we are not equally endowed to live in close proximities to hospitals and health centers, it therefore holds that a home birth is one of the safest options for women who experience fast labor.
There would really be no point of taking a taxi to rush a woman to a hospital when the baby is too close to coming as the ride may put the life of the unborn as well as the mother in great jeopardy.
Extensive Postpartum Care is Guaranteed
A home birth may also be considered safe in the sense that the post-partum care given is extensive as compared to a hospital birth. This is due to the fact that hospital policies pose more restrictions to the mother and her family may not have the liberty of giving her the care she so deserves.
At home, the midwife will ensure she leaves no stone unturned as far as giving the woman the care she needs is concerned. This is because unlike in hospitals where attention is given to many new mothers, a home birth means the woman takes all the attention as it is only her against the whole world.
There is Safety in Familiarity
The art of giving birth is no mean fete and as far as possible, it requires the woman to be around the people she is used to, and a home birth ensures just this. As the woman screams while in labor, she continually gets comforted by the familiar faces around her and this reassures her that she is not alone in the struggle. In the end, she and her baby have a higher survival chance due to reduced stress.
By: Kristy Kemp
Skin contact between the mother and child have been proven through scientific means to be very important.This skin to skin contact has been credited for the reduction of mortality rate from about 70% to about 30%. There are many benefits that scientist have proven all over the world to be the importance of ensuring that the newborn child remains in contact with his or her mother.
Skin to skin contact keeps the baby warmer since the child has not come to stable temperature regulation, the skin of the mother will help that of the child regulate its temperatures. The temperatures of babies are not always stable, and the mother’s breast is essential in controlling it. The mother’s breast temperature can increase suddenly then within a very short time; this happens to ensure that the body temperatures of the baby do not increase excessively or reduce to detrimental levels. The primary reason why children cannot maintain their temperature is that their breathing rate is slow leading to the slow heartbeat. This, in turn, makes the distribution of blood within the skin slow and as we know, blood is responsible for the allocation of the heat all over the body.
Another important factor of skin to skin contact is that it is necessary for bonding. The time immediately after birth is called the Golden period. Between this period the mother and the baby should create a chemical connection with one another. By maintaining the contact with each other’s skin, they will be able to develop a bond which will be inseparable shortly. This is the reason why you find some babies can identify their mothers by just a mere smell.