Tandem Breastfeeding on Television Means…

tandem breastfeeding on television

Tandem Breastfeeding on Television: Phil & Lil breastfeeding on the show “Rugrats”

Today my daughter was watching an old episode of The Rugrats, and I noticed that Phil & Lil, as they reminisced about their first laugh together, brought the scene up of them breastfeeding together. I was surprised & happy to see such a normal representation of breastfeeding on television (granted this aired, what, 10? 15 years ago originally?) I suppose times have changed, but not too much. Still, Tommy’s mom (the ‘normal’ mom) bottle-fed while Phil & Lil’s mom Betty (the ‘radical feminist’ who’s token outfit sports the female symbol on her chest) is the one breastfeeding. But you know what? I’ll take it. =) I love that my daughter can watch mainstream television & feel normal because she too was breastfed just like them.

Check out www.daughterotmoon.com (my new website) for articles on healthy living, natural parenting, & a selection of medicinal, all-natural soaps & cosmetics.

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Friday Family Affirmation

The last day of the work week is here. Set your sights high on that long laundry-list of whatever it is… paperwork, housecleaning that was overlooked during the week, the three defrosted chicken breasts in the fridge that you never had time to bake… today throw out what you don’t need & move on. Literally, let go of the chicken =) … Figuratively…. leave your work at work today. Let your weekend be for you, your family, your kids, your spouse, & that book you bought 6 months ago & haven’t ‘found the time’ to crack open yet, or the bath tub you scrub but can’t remember the last time you laid in…

Not sure how the weekend always slips away while you have the best intentions to fulfill it? Try this:

Set aside 1 hour for each member of your family. Just that person. 1 for your spouse, 1 for you, 1 for each child, etc… & of course mix in some family time but don’t double dip, the one-on-one they will each appreciate & the kids will likely hold onto that little memory for a very long time. I know that my one-o-one time with my mom was very precious since she was a single mom who worked to support us and so was very often busy.

If one child comes in to interrupt your time with the other, simply say, ‘this is …..’s time, give us (x amount of time, put on a movie/go play outside) & I’ll come find you in a little while.’ By saying you will come get them this should help them get the idea that until you come they’ll play on their own, instead of them continuing to check in, ‘is it my turn yet?’ This is how I help my little girl stay in bed through the night ‘mommy will wake you up in the morning.’ So she knows unless she has to go potty, if mommy hasn’t woken her up yet (aka if it’s 4am & she’s waking up for 20 seconds.. it’s not time to start her day).

For me, breastfeeding was the perfect moment of love, comfort & accomplishment. No, it wasn’t always easy, but if we’re talking honestly it was easier than most other things I’ve done inmy life because I had my ‘mommy instincts’ to fall back on, biology, my infant who knew what to do & told me when I didn’t, & all the other moms who reached out & helped me & supported me (because that’s what we do).

The Science of Mom

Since becoming a mom, and especially since starting this blog, I have paid particular attention to new breastfeeding research. After all, my training is in nutrition, and breast milk is one of the most interesting foods around. Plus, I’m currently lactating and still breastfeeding my daughter a few times per day, so it’s on my mind.

When I look back at the papers that I have covered and those that I find on other blogs and media outlets, I notice that many focus on how breastfeeding improves outcomes in babies.

But I also notice that when I blog about breastfeeding research, I have to spend a big chunk of the piece talking about the limitations of the study. Breastfeeding research – at least when conducted in humans – will always have big limitations that require disclaiming and explaining. The problem is that it is impossible to randomize breastfeeding trials or…

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Mother’s Day, now that I’m the only one

For me, I don’t think I miss my mother any more on holidays than I do when I can’t sleep & I reach to call her because I think she’s working the night shift and fiddling with her phone, or when I’m hurting & I just want to lay in bed next to her and watch a funny movie, or when I drive my truck (which was hers) and I remember her singing off key while she drove wildly.

I can tell you I am certainly not over my mother’s death, even now years later. But really, how long does it take to forget your mother? I hope never.

But I am content with the loss of her, I am grateful to have had the 19 amazing years with her I had & grateful still to have today even without her because I am with myself, my daughter, my partner, & everyone who makes up my family & community.

While my mother was alive she taught me how to survive, as a mother should. With her death my mother taught me to live well and live now.

For those of you who’ve lost your mother or any loved one: I know it hurts, believe me I do, but the pain lessens over memories and the joy increases. I wish you the best in your process, and wish you all a happy and joyful Mother’s Day.

Whole Foods vs Laboratory Sources for Vitamins

Whole Foods vs Laboratory Sources for Vitamins

Eatting healthy can be intimidating and over whemling, like a ridiculous science… some days it feels like I’m sitting in school again, with equations swimming in my head like, 2 T of spinach contains 1,800 I.U. of Vitamin A, & my baby needs about 1,500… So okay, that’s good… Now what about if I give her kale later? What if she doesn’t like spinach? What if I give her sweet potatoes… okay that’s 3,610 of Vitamin A…

If you are interested in getting the specific I.U. breakdowns of foods there are many sources for this. One great source is a book I used when making my daughter’s food as a baby & as she grows into a little girl: Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. (Overall a great book, but it is by no means perfect though as I don’t agree with some of the adivce given in the book about feeding times, portion sizes, & some of her thrifty advice.) When I read this I tried to do it perfectly, but then I realized that learning the vitamin content of food allowed me to make my own recipes that provided excellent balanced nutrition. I learned that I didn’t have to count I.U.s or daily percent values, I just kept in mind which foods were high in what or contained what, and cooked!

Now, I say this from experience though: remember, if you do take into account the exact amount of each vitamin from each morsle of food the stress it causes you is not good for you or your baby (even after you’re pregnant that sentence works because when we’re stressed we have less patience, less happiness, and less affection to give to our baby).

If you are breastfeeding, which is the best thing you can do for your baby & your toddler, you can rest assured that she is getting nearly everything she needs nutrition wise. Our bodies work together, mother’s and child‘s, to give her the vitamins you’ve taken in so when you add up that she’s had her exact amount of vitamin A, K, B6…etc… you haven’t taken into account her breast milk portions. And how do we keep track of that? Well, we just can’t. And it’s a good thing too, because if we could we just might and then our heads just might explode, haha. =)

So the best advice I can give is to read what foods are good sources of each vitamin and give your baby more of these healthy sources. Additionally, you can follow the recipes I’ll be periodically posting up here on the site which give you nutritional information at the end of each, listing what vitamins are in the meal and coming from what sources. It is a good idea to be aware of what vitamins are in what you’re giving her to be sure that she gets her conrocopia of vitamins and not just Bs and As every day for example (or none if everything’s canned or processed).

While giving a baby vitamins is a good healthy decision, it must be done responsibly. Don’t be tempted to give up, feed her whatever is in the fridge, and just give her prescription vitamins. For instance, giving a baby vitamin drops and feeding her mac n cheese & crackers all day is not doing the best for your baby. If you feed your baby a variety of vegetables, whole grains, natural & super nutritious additives & dairy products you are likely not to need vitamins at all. Please be careful if you do choose to give your baby vitamins, as vitamin toxicity is just as dangerous as vitamin deficiency. Vitamin toxicity is nearly impossible through eating the foods that contain these vitamins but can & does occur from vitamin supplements. Of course, vitamin deficiency is dangerous, which is why we need to feed our babies & children nutritious food to protect their developing bodies. Good luck in your endeavors: Now, to the mixing bowl! Or if it’s baby’s breastfeeding time, to the rocking chair!

The Insecure New Parent

I’d say I’m a realist some days, some days insecure, & others I’m an idealistic romantic ready to take on the world (I think it depends on the moon, haha). But in all seriousness, parenting is a worrisome endeavor. As a parent you are responsible for an entire life, from the very start. I have to say that is a lot of pressure, especially when you do it on your own as a single parent. Therefore I became an educated mother… a little out of fear of ‘not doing it right,’ but mostly empowered by the immense love I have for my daughter & my desire to do the best I can for her.

So I say there is no shame in being insecure in your parenting, for me it meant that I care enough to bypass arrogance & ego & admit that there was so much I didn’t know & so sought the information. For all those moms & dads out there who can identify with feeling this way, or for those curious about healthy parenting & healthy living– as of today I am starting a thread, under the Category “Healthy Parenting” with topical sub-categories.

The first few posts will be on plastics: simple comprehensive facts on how to read those codes (which signify not only their recycling classification but what chemicals constitute them, & which leach into your food & are known carcinogens). I will also talk about how to take a realistic approach to  healthy living: of how to have some plastic in our lives while minimizing our exposure to toxins.

I hope you all find these posts helpful. I’d love to hear your comments & about any topics you’re particularly concerned or passionate about.

Preschool Lesson: Live in the Day

Today when i went to pick my daughter up from preschool……

I heard a little boy’s voice, “Why?” As the boy rounded the corner I saw that he was holding onto his father’s hand, they walked in step, physically resolute.

“It’s just a check up,” the man said, his blonde hair bobbing as he moved to angle his face down towards his son.

“But why do I have to go?” The boy pressed his father, who retained his repose.

“Even I have to go to check ups, they happen every year.” The mans voice was fatherly to the tee, higher pitched than i image his voice ever being within the office his suite and tie say he just left early from. It was restrained and ideally compassionate as it sought to satisfy the boy’s question.

However, the voice forgot what the mind knew, that no toddler may be satisfied even with the most qualified of rationalization, and the boy continued, “But why?”

“Just because.”

And so the boy’s next few “but why’s” all met the same strained, “just because.”

The inquisitive nature of the boy i think is a testament to his ability, to his thoughtfulness, and to his relationship with his father to trust his responses, to value his authority.

The love and faith of a toddler abounds, yet is forever insatiable, and thank god because that insatiability allows the tolerance of my own three year old of my incessant exchange of ‘I love you,’ and the hugs, because i do, and i feel the quelling of maternal compassion compels me to share this refrain with her throughout our days.

I hope to take a lesson from this scene at her school & also of one of my daughter’s favorite movies, toy story 2 (the one with jessie, as she calls it): Try to enjoy every day of play, every moment of childish wonder and innocent reproach for life and to try not to project on when that will end and when she will grow tall enough and loud enough to dismiss my incessant affections. Hopefully i can remember this when I’m being woken up for the 3rd time in the middle of the night, when down the hall I hear, “Mom… Mommy? Mom!”