monthly theme, august 2013: “feeding your child” post listing

Suggested Prompts: (or people could write whatever they wanted, obviously!)

  • How did you feed your baby? Breastmilk from the breast? Breastmilk from pumping? Formula? A combination of the three?
  • If you exclusively breastfed your child, how long did you do it? Did you have a “goal” for length of time, or did you just wing it?
  • If you breastfed + supplemented with formula, how long did you nurse in any amount?
  • If you formula fed, how did you choose the formula brand? What are your suggestions for finding the best brand for your child?
  • Did you research breastfeeding prior to your child(ren)’s birth?
  • Did your method of feeding your chlid(ren) differ from what you had hoped/planned to do? How did that make you feel?
  • If you worked outside the home during the first year, how did that affect your decision?
  • What would you tell an expectant mom about the realities of breastfeeding & formula feeding? Is there something you wish you’d have been told?
  • If you’re pregnant, how do you hope/plan to feed your child?
  • Do you feel your “preferred” method to feed your child was affected by how those around you feed their babies?
  • How much (in your estimation) did you spend on feeding your child for his/her first year of life? (pumping supplies / formula cost / lactation consultants / etc)

Contributing Bloggers:

  1. Cathy @ ANDMom: “Feed Your Child” – When it comes to feeding children, eating + growing = win.  The rest is details.
  2. Heather @ One Step at a Time: “Breastfeeding Your Child (Pail Monthly Theme)” – Breastfeeding is tough at first, just like having a new baby. But if you stick it out you will reap the rewards.
  3. ElizabethA New Version of Me: “Feeding My Babies” – My perspective on infant feeding after breastfeeding, bottle feeding and tube feeding.
  4. JoseyMy Cheap Version of Therapy: “selfishly feeding my child(ren)” – A selfish take on what breastfeeding meant (and continues to mean) to me – both positive and negative.
  5. MichelleA Well Adjusted Pessimist: “feeding my child” – For me, breastfeeding is so much more than feeding my child.
  6. Kacey @ Recipe for a baby:How do you feed your child…” – Learning to breastfeed, the second time around.
  7. My New NormalFinding My New Normal: “Breastfeeding Woes” – Coming to terms with the fact that breastfeeding wasn’t working and trying not to feel like a total failure.
  8. D @ My Life is About the Journey: The highs and lows of breastfeeding (and what they don’t tell you)” – Breastfeeding hasn’t always been an easy road for me.  In this post I have highlighted some of the bumps and bruises that I’ve received so far during my 4 month journey.
  9. Ms. Future PharmDMom PharmD: “Feeding babies” – The saga of nursing for a total of 19 months plus a bit about how solids have or have not been successful.
  10. MeganMy New Journey with Being a Mom After Infertility and Battling my Weight: “Feeding a Baby-Working Mama Style” – When things once again didn’t go as planned and how I adjusted.
  11. christine @ believing in june: “feeding my kiddos” – How I came to peace with combo feeding my little ones.
  12. missohkay @ the misadventures of missohkay: “It’s just food” – Food. It’s not what’s for dinner.
  13. BMarCloudy with a Chance of Infertility: “Bittersweet” – The end of my breastfeeding journey with a link to my early days on the breastfeeding roller coaster 🙂
  14. DelennSlaying, Blogging, Whatever…:PAIL Bloggers – Monthly Theme – Feeding your child” – My experience of breastfeeding and formula feeding.  What the classes don’t tell you.
  15. ElizabethBébé Suisse: “Breastfeeding as a mixed metaphor: feeding my child” – Mixing metaphors and overcoming a few bumps in creating a beautiful breastfeeding relationship.
  16. Amanda @ Reading Each Page: “Thank Goodness for Formula” – Feeding my son didn’t work out how I had planned, but thanks to science he is a happy and healthy baby.
  17. RelaxedNoMoreRelaxed No More: “To Mush Or Not To Mush” – When my little one was 6 months old, he was more ready for solids than I was. These are my contemplations on starting solids and which way to go with them – the traditional puree road or BLW.
  18. EsperanzaStumbling Gracefully: “Breastfeeding Take Two” – Trying to resolve my ambivalent feelings about breastfeeding as I embark on a second attempt.
  19. LisaLoving Our Life Together: “Monthly Theme: How to Feed a Baby
  20. ozifrogmaybe baby, J-man & the adventures of hub-in-boots: “Feeding the jman” – Ozifrog writes about her “boob man,” breastfeeding, and all the things she wish she knew about feeding jman.
  21. Stephanie @ Blawnde’s Blawg: “PAIL’s Monthly Theme Post – Feeding Your Child” – feeding my children, from one extreme to the other

If you are still writing your post, or these posts inspire you, link up in the comments. Additional posts will be added through the end of the week, so check back in to see if any new posts pop up, and feel free to leave some general comments on the topic below.

*****

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

monthly theme, august 2013: feeding your child

In honor of World Breastfeeding Week (Aug 1-7) and National Breastfeeding Awareness Month (in the United States), we thought we would use the idea of “Feeding Your Child” for the August Monthly Theme.

Back in March of 2012, the very first Monthly Theme for PAIL was “Breastfeeding,” back when PAIL was a brand new idea and hosted on a personal website. Here is a list of the participating entries from that month’s theme. I’m sure that much has changed for people in the past 18 months though, so we are excited to see what people have to say about things now!

We realize that not everyone can breastfeed, and beyond that, not everyone chooses to breastfeed, but everyone does feed their child, and we’d love to hear about your experience!

Suggested Prompts:

  • How did you feed your baby? Breastmilk from the breast? Breastmilk from pumping? Formula? A combination of the three?
  • If you exclusively breastfed your child, how long did you do it? Did you have a “goal” for length of time, or did you just wing it?
  • If you breastfed + supplemented with formula, how long did you nurse in any amount?
  • If you formula fed, how did you choose the formula brand? What are your suggestions for finding the best brand for your child?
  • Did you research breastfeeding prior to your child(ren)’s birth?
  • Did your method of feeding your chlid(ren) differ from what you had hoped/planned to do? How did that make you feel?
  • If you worked outside the home during the first year, how did that affect your decision?
  • What would you tell an expectant mom about the realities of breastfeeding & formula feeding? Is there something you wish you’d have been told?
  • If you’re pregnant, how do you hope/plan to feed your child?
  • Do you feel your “preferred” method to feed your child was affected by how those around you feed their babies?
  • How much (in your estimation) did you spend on feeding your child for his/her first year of life? (pumping supplies / formula cost / lactation consultants / etc)

As always, if you don’t have a blog we welcome your comments on the topic below and we’ll link your comment in the post listing.

Also, if you’ve written a post on this topic in the past, feel free to submit that post instead of having to write a new one (unless you want to).

Entries for this month’s theme are due next Wednesday, August 21 at midnight, EST. The full list of links will go live on Thursday, August 22nd.

*****

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

guest post: the reality of breastfeeding?

A few days ago, I stumbled across some articles about breastfeeding. They weren’t the usual uber-positive articles I was used to encountering. The first article purported to be a no-holds-barred account of the difficulties one can encounter when breastfeeding.  The second article, while a few months older, was more extreme about the pain a mother can encounter while breastfeeding.

OK. True confession time. I didn’t breastfeed my son. Hell, I didn’t even carry him. He came to us via gestational surrogacy, and I decided not to attempt to induce lactation. Our awesome gestational carrier did pump breast milk for him for almost 6 months.

It may seem like I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I do because I’m a woman and a mother.  The prevailing message about breastfeeding is that it is best and if you don’t do it, you’re denying your baby his/her natural food. It’s also irreplaceable bonding time. Not breastfeeding might damage maternal-child attachment.  Not breastfeeding might doom your child to a variety of poor outcomes. Not breastfeeding may even doom you, the mother, to serious breast or ovarian cancer.

I’ve watched what the pressure to breastfeed has instigated. I’ve had too many friends both offline and online berate themselves if breastfeeding doesn’t work out or even when they decide to stop pumping.  Wondering what is wrong with them if their breastfeeding journey is more of a struggle than they thought it would be. They feel as if they’ve failed their child and failed as a woman. At the very least, they feel disappointed in themselves and their experience with breastfeeding. Add in infertility, and a failure to breastfeed or less time breastfeeding than one wishes becomes yet another way in which our body has betrayed us.

And I don’t want any woman to feel that way about herself and her body ever. Ever. I’m not trying to start a debate about breastfeeding. Truly. But I am adamant about the power of mommy blogging. I credit mothers blogging with helping to pull back the curtain on motherhood and demonstrate the reality of what motherhood is like. It has major highs and lows, and mothers are not one-dimensional characters. It can be both awesome and suck at the same time.  These are messages society has not been used to seeing, but they are necessary.

I’d like to see the same attention given to how we feed our babies. How you fed your baby is part of the lingua franca of motherhood, meaning that you can’t join a mommy’s group or meet a group of mothers without method of sustenance becoming practically an ice breaker. And source of judgment.

I’m not against breastfeeding. Far from it.  What I appreciate about these articles is that they bring scrutiny and awareness to the reality of breastfeeding. For some women, it is hard. For some women, it doesn’t work. It isn’t a bed of roses for every woman, and while breastfeeding is laudable, it should not be held up as the only acceptable way and only positive, easy stories portrayed. If your nipples are falling off, for God’s sake, find a different way to feed your baby!

I support every woman and whatever choices she makes, but I don’t want any woman to feel compelled to pursue a certain direction because of peer pressure and one-sided media representations.

What do you think? Do you think articles like these provoke fear or do you think they are a needed reality check?

What kinds of articles about feeding your baby would you like to see the media and blogs tackle?

*****

Keanne of Family Building With a Twist in her own words: I’m KeAnne (like LeeAnne w/ a “K”). Mommy to 1. Wife to someone who knows how my mind works. Scary (you should see what goes on in my mind). Owned by 3 cats. I work full time and don’t craft or DIY (you’re welcome). I like books, conspiracy theories, Downton Abbey and cooking. I dislike chocolate, zinfandel, carpet beetles and experts. Expect over-thinking, the occasional rant, strong opinions and the occasional (OK, often) piece of useless knowledge.

featured post: “how breastfeeding almost made me fail as a mother” by the infertile housewife

About ten days ago I was scrolling through my personal Twitter feed, catching up on the day’s happenings. I saw a recent tweet from The Infertile Housewife about the difficulty she was having processing her feelings about her breastfeeding experience. I messaged her back that if she wanted to talk, I was always just a tweet/DM/email/whatever away.

My position on feeding babies is this: FEED YO BABEEZ! It doesn’t matter how you choose to/need to/have to feed your baby. Feeding babies is HARD WORK and however you accomplish this, you have likely busted your ass to do so. But, as I am sure we can all attest, not everyone feels this way. It’s that extra layer of crushing guilt and shame about how we feed our babies that I think we could all do without.

ANYWAY. A few tweets later, she sent me an email what ended up being this post “How Breastfeeding Almost Made Me Fail as a Mother”. I teared up when I read it and my heart went out to her. Her experience was, to say the least, devastating:

The lactation consultant did finally come back to talk with me.  She tried giving me more tips to try, but I think she realized just how defeated I was becoming.  She told me to keep on trying, but if I needed to supplement with formula, it wasn’t a big deal.  Well, it was a big deal to me.  I did NOT want to do that.  I felt like if I didn’t breastfeed, I was a complete loser.  I definitely got that impression from the nurses.  I was in so much pain though, and I started to feel completely helpless and alone.

When the nurse came in, I couldn’t even look at her.  I felt like such a failure, but I knew deep down that I couldn’t carry on like this any longer.  Booger was not getting enough to eat, and I was in agony.  I had to feed every hour at this point.  Enough was enough.  She didn’t say much when Truck Driver Burt told her I was in too much pain and that we needed formula.  I could feel her disapproval though.  It was palpable.

Folks, this post really got to me. Not being, hell, not feeling supported as a new mother is a tremendous obstacle to overcome. Reading this, my heart broke for The Infertile Housewife. It made me so sad, and so angry that she was made to feel this way and experience this treatment. I could commiserate with her on dealing with hopsital lactation consultants. I declared on our tenth and final visit to the lactation clinic that if I heard “try harder” one more time I was “quitting” breastfeeding. Fortunately, I had a lovely woman who not only helped me, but made me feel supported and validated in my efforts, struggles, and choices. I wish T.I.H. had felt the same, truly. I wish we all did, in all things parenting.

It brings me peace of mind to know that she has found some peace in feeding Booger. I hope that writing out her experience, publishing it, and allowing us to feature it here brings some peace and some validation too. We’ve all struggled to feed our babies somehow, some way. Please pop on over to The Infertile Housewife in a fist pump of solidarity and check out her raw and honest post.

*****

The Infertile Housewife in her own words: My husband and I struggled with infertility for three years.  In May of 2012, I found out I was finally pregnant with our first child.  On January 29, 2013, our son was finally born.  

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

news item: “Breast is Best” unless…

“you have to work.” Is the title of the article I saw a Facebook friend post the other day. The CDC (Center for Disease Control in America) has released its latest round of statistics on breast-feeding and overall the news is good. More women than ever are attempting to breastfeed:

“Over 75 percent of both white and Latino infants who were born in 2008 were breast-fed, while the number of black infants breast-fed the same year was under 60 percent.”

This is great, right? It is, it means that most women are at least attempting to breastfeed. But, the CDC followed up with those women at 6 months after birth and 9 months after birth and found that:

“..as of 2008, the overall percentage of babies still being breast-fed at six months was less than 45 percent. (Six months is the American Association of Pediatrics’ recommendation for duration of exclusive breast-feeding.)”

Why the drop off? For myself, breastfeeding got SO much easier about 4-5 months. We got our “groove” going and my Stella was going longer stretches between feedings. The author of the article says she knows why:

“Breast-feeding after you return to work is a tremendous pain in the ass for even the most privileged women…”

We all agree that rasing a child is the most important ‘job’ in the world. We have all sorts of laws that supposedly ‘protect’ the right of working women to pump in a secure environment without facing penalties, either explicit or the more sinister penalty, being quietly ‘mommy-tracked’, passed up for promotions, given less important files, cases,work, etc. The laws are good, but enforcement, and actually embracing them and supporting working mothers is not what is happening in most situations in this country.

This article is short, but speaks to a number of issues, breastfeeding rates in America, the disparity of those rates among women of different races, the issue of maternity leave, ways the CDC tries to encourage breastfeeding, access to lactation consultants, and issues with the WIC program (Women Infants and Children) that provides formula and food for low-income families. I hope you’ll read the article and chime in with your thoughts. I will chime in more in the comments, especially as I have worked with the WIC program through our foster care experience and can speak more on that issue as the article leaves a few details out. So, please read: “Breast is Best – Unless You Have to Work” and please comment with your thoughts and personal experience.

******

Some thoughts/questions for you to consider:

If you are nursing and back to work, how is it going? Do you feel truly supported?

Do you have adequate access to a room to pump in, is it comfortable, clean, secure?

Did you give up nursing because it was too hard to work and pump?

Did you have access to a Lactation Consultant in the hospital? Did you have access after you left the hospital?

Have you ever felt ‘penalized’ in your job because you chose to pump milk for your child while at work?

******

Share. Visit. Read. Comment. Support.

%d bloggers like this: