Categories
Hurdles and How-To’s

Birth Plans

Do you plan to birth? {I do !} If so, I do not necessarily suggest or defer away from the sense of a birth plan, but rather suggest that you look at the whole picture and collaborate with your provider to let them know your wishes. Let me talk a little about my birth plans and how it related to my birth experience. Overall, I would suggest understanding the energetic wish behind your birth plan and how it relates to your providers role in your birth experience. When I handed my provider my electronically submitted birth plan, she said “no, this helps me,” what did your provider say?

                Different situations call for a different plan. For example, coronavirus is a situation causing for worry among providers, among patients, and could it be possible that even babies be effected? In that case, I would suggest that you take in the considerations of your provider’s worries, along with your trust in your provider. People choose different things for different reasons.

                When I gave birth to my first child, I picked 3 things on my birth plan per March of Dimes format along with my nurse. They were practical things that were already endorsed with the hospital such as skin to skin time directly after the birth, waiting to give a bath until baby had acclimated to its feeding situation, preference towards breastfeeding, preference towards husband cutting the umbilical cord. I can’t remember exactly but also some preference towards reduction of pain medication, or at least not offering it to me.

       When I gave birth to my first child, I picked 3 things on my birth plan per March of Dimes format along with my nurse. They were practical things that were already endorsed with the hospital such as skin to skin time directly after the birth, waiting to give a bath until baby had acclimated to its feeding situation, preference towards breastfeeding, preference towards husband cutting the umbilical cord.

                When I made my birth plan, each thing I chose had something to do with a personal commitment to myself should I choose to carry it through. Not offering pain medication meant I would have to be the one to ask for it. Skin to skin time meant being with child in a loving way and embracing differences in the way that I had been brought into the world, preference towards breastfeeding meant I would do my best to always feed my child. I made a mistake with two of my internal commitments to myself because they were done with a weaker energy of asking a question… I chose to distance myself from the inevitable and they were followed through by other people. My husband did not cut the cord in relation to my consent to life. {The provider may not have known my birth plan}, yet with hope we were able to get life going together. When I became a NICU mom, everything changed in relation to my birth wishes.

                Every birth wish had to do with resuscitation in a time a COVID, I placed my wishes in writing to have to do with being present at a time of resuscitation, to having access to a mask and also a throw up bag at all times and a few other things that I placed in a preferencial order but luckily, may not be too relevant this time.

                Every birth, every wish has a hope yet uniting my trust with the provider bringing life into the world was my greatest hope of all.

Categories
Hurdles and How-To’s

To Normalize or Not to Normalize? Is What to Wear the Question?

Can what we wear actually help us to normalize pregnancy and breastfeeding? In my opinion, yes it can. Normalization is the process of saying everyone can do this, it is acceptable and understood in our culture. I think that for the most part pregnancy and breastfeeding is pretty normalized, however, I would never assume so and think that especially for certain types as moms such as someone visiting from another culture, a shy or sensitive mom, even a boisterous outspoken mom, or anyone who is somewhat of an outlier to society could probably benefit from a sense of normalization of pregnancy or breastfeeding. It can help Dad’s too. It can help society as a whole accept some of the ups and downs of pregnancy and breastfeeding so that we can all grow together and enjoy the process. At the same time, it is still important for people to accept differences and acknowledge unique personalities contributing to the process in their own unique way. It’s a little bit like getting dressed in the morning. We all know we have to wear clothes to leave the house but depending on what we are doing that day, how hot it is and how we are feeling we all accessorize with different clothes differently.

This morning when I left the house for my prenatal care appointment, I felt pretty good about what I was wearing, and it made a difference in my day because it was comfortable, practical and similar to what other people were wearing which happens to fit into my unique and stable beliefs. However, I also don’t feel this way every single day. Especially when I am pregnant or in the postpartum period…

What can moms do to feel good every day in every way possible without neccesarily spending a fortune on a new wardrobe when dressing as a pregnant person or a breastfeeding mom? They can revitalize the wardrobe they already have. I am not saying you can’t ever throw out clothes that don’t fit you anymore, but sometimes keeping a couple things around that may run a little large or a little small and repurposing them into a maternity style or breastfeeding outfit can be a beautiful way to feel gratitude in your mind, body or spirit, especially if it was an old outfit that meant a lot to you, that someone gave you, or just a piece of material that you really love. Take a look and see if you already have something that could work for you. I happen to love and treasure maternity fashion, the high empire waste lines, the stretchy but quality fabric and the panels that are woven together in a lacey synched fashion. It can be fun and different than everyday wear and also highlight the body and make us feel good about ourselves in a variety of functional ways. When I began to enter the postpartum period, I still had some maternity favorites that I continued to repurpose and wear because I loved the vibrant color or I still felt it looked pretty good on my body. And so the cycle continues…

Ultimately it was the joy and confidence I found in being a mom that helped me to normalize it for myself and hopefully a few others.

With breastfeeding there are also lots of options. Some people prefer a modest look with a slit on the side, other prefer a double layer, some like to slip under others prefer to unbutton and others like to pull down and pop out. Some throw a modest layer over the top which can also help the baby to soothe and enjoy playing peekaboo with mama. As a mom, I had trouble getting my baby to even latch in a public place in the first four months due to positioning issues and over stimulation. I hope this will go better for me this time around. I hope it will go well for other mothers and babies in their feeding situation. What you wear can affect your confidence, but I would also like to acknowledge that as you go about breastfeeding and letting it teach you to be a better mom in all sorts of ways, it doesn’t matter so much what you wear, and that is part of the normalization process. Ultimately it was the joy and confidence I found in being a mom that helped me to normalize it for myself and hopefully a few others. I remember one day reading online the comment of “are you a pull up or pull down person?” and thinking to myself happily how I like how that person took it so lightly and also acknowledged that people have all sorts of differences and that matters in some ways in not of others. Clothes certainly aren’t the be all, end all when it comes to normalizing pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding, but I say, if it makes it more fun… then hopefully you can go for it, whether it is buying an outfit you really love, or repurposing something you already have with a sense of gratitude. Both ways are powerful, and hopefully all will win!

Categories
My Favorite Things

The Meaning of Weaning

Can a child guess when they might have been weaned or should they have never been told? Is weaning scientific? Can we actually talk about weaning in a truly scientific manner or will it always be considered an art form? Does weaning at a different time from your friend seem to be something that may affect your life or development?

The truth is we do not know the answers to these questions yet our human species does know how to wean. Luckily, we are all given the ability to wean because we are all given the ability to nurse. However what I would like to talk about during this time is not the path of weaning, or the science or art of weaning but whether or not weaning at different stages of development may or may not affect our mind in the future.

In my instance of weaning, I happen to believe that I was weaned around 4 months of age. This is when children have more propensity to sleep through the night on their own accord, they step out of the zone of simply being subconsciously connected to a parent and start to begin to see things on their own. Thus I happen to believe that if you are weaned around this time, it is likely that you may even begin to wean more in your subconscious mind than in your reality mind.

In my instance of weaning, I happen to believe that I was weaned around 4 months of age. This is when children have more propensity to sleep through the night on their own accord, they step out of the zone of simply being subconsciously connected to a parent and start to begin to see things on their own.

I also happen to believe that the earlier you wean a child, the easier it will be. That doesn’t mean that it is the best, because there is always a need to nurse and to be close. It just means that transitioning to more worldly things can be answered easily by simply reaching out for and meeting a need through some other means.

I also happen to believe that the earlier you wean a child, the easier it will be. That doesn’t mean that it is the best, because there is always a need to nurse and to be close.

Personally, the time that was spiritual for me around weaning had to do with talking. I love words, I love to talk, and as you happen to know, I love to write megs’ milk stories for a variety of reasons and a variety of people. Megs’ Milk Stories came to life when my daughter was about 4 months old, a time when my creativity began to spark in my subconscious mind through mother daughter love that is eternally passed down from one generation to the next. It got a new spark through glimpses of communication with my daughter around the time she started doing sign language or began to be a big communicator. Sleeping through the night was never easy for us, responding to each other was, and thus also weaning was for a sense of value of communication.

When I wrote about sign language and mentioned how sacred breastfeeding is to me through the fact that humans likely breastfed before they could communicate with words, I knew I wanted to wean for a developmental stage. We can also wean for other developmental things like crawling, walking, friendship or even noticing a child’s personality appear. There is often not always a lot of grace available during the weaning period, but there is no way it can actually happen without cooperation between the mother and the child.

Categories
Breastfeeding Basics

Let’s Get Down to Business… Of thanking Donor Moms

I have never been a milk donor but I of course have been an advocate and also a hardworking pumping mom. Today as I begin to step up to the plate and plan my baby’s first feeding, I know everything will be okay. And, it’s not because I was able to express some golden colostrum at 37 weeks (yay! Normal). But also because donor moms make a difference and have a different way of helping.

With coronavirus approaching I am considering not signing the waiver to receive donor milk and yet I am starting to realize that I can not feed my baby by myself in the early days. Every baby everywhere has a right to passive immunity and it’s not just about immunity to stop the coronavirus. It’s about immunity to build up from where they are at and defeat other little things that they have no immunity to. It takes at least 48 hours from when the placenta is delivered to when a mother can begin to produce her own transitional breastmilk. She may have some colostrum during that time, but there is no guarantee. Lets take a look at what it takes to get a baby through those first 48 hours on minimum.

For the first day of feedings a baby needs 5-10 mL per feeding every 3 hours for the first 24 hours. For the second day, the baby is going to need 10-20mL per feeding every 3 hours for the second 24 hours. This means that a minimum of 40mL plus 80mL should get you through the first 24 hours. This is 120mL of breastmilk or 4 oz or a half cup of breastmilk.

For the first day of feedings a baby needs 5-10 mL per feeding every 3 hours for the first 24 hours. For the second day, the baby is going to need 10-20mL per feeding every 3 hours for the second 24 hours. This means that a minimum of 40mL plus 80mL should get you through the first 24 hours. This is 120mL of breastmilk or 4 oz or a half cup of breastmilk.

I think it is possible for mom’s to achieve this together if they keep their supply up in an organized fashion. My personal goal is to make 2oz of colostrum before delivery, and then receive less than 2 oz of donor milk to get through the first couple days. Moms and doctors are a little bit different in this regard, and I just like to say really it is a little bit random and not total rocket science, but you can make it into rocket science if you want, to each his own.

Categories
Hurdles and How-To’s

The Peaceful Fight: The ways of Mothers

In these days of the Corona Virus, as much as people may deny, life is happening as we know it. Yes there are still people having babies. I would like to take a moment to go over the different types of immunity and how they can affect us all in these crazy times.

Passive Immunity. This is something you receive from another being, such as a mother, through an umbilical cord or through breastmilk. It can help you to fight a disease in the here and now if you are sick, it may (but no guarantee) also help you develop immunity to a potential host down the road, but, it depends on how the passive immunity is acquired, as in how it is acquired from the mother. For example if the mother has corona virus and she is able to breastfeed and not give the corona virus to her children then this would help to prevent a corona virus outbreak down the road if there was no vaccine. The only other way I hypothesize it might help prevent a corona virus is if the person were able to overcome corona virus while breastfeeding and take it to the next level of immunity by fighting back with their own immune system at the same time. This is called passively acquired immunity.

Passively Acquired Immunity is mostly occurring when we receive a vaccination. When you are given attenuated, or dead viral cells that your own immune system is allowed to develop immunity to in a passive way without getting sick. It can also be when you are around another sick person who has infected other people around the same time, but you, yourself has not spread the virus even though your body has been a host. Both of these types of immunity happen fairly quickly and may or may not prevent viral spread in the future.

The last type of immunity is the strongest: Active Immunity It is when you get sick, and your body fights back, your immune system remembers the blueprint of the virus and will always be able to fight it off. You may still be able to pass on passive immunity to others through breastfeeding or having children. Life goes on after viruses and this is our bodies’ way of saving future generations.

The last type of immunity is the strongest: Active Immunity—It is when you get sick, and your body fights back. Your immune system remembers the blueprint of the virus and will always be able to fight it off. You may still be able to pass on passive immunity to others through breastfeeding or having children. Life goes on after viruses and this is our bodies’ way of saving future generations.

The CDC’s stance on breastfeeding, is currently supportive of breastfeeding, yet does not fully specify how. Everyone makes their own choices. Some breastfeed longer, some shorter, some more, some less. Every milk is different but luckily made especially for your baby and comes at a small expense of the mother. Aside from this, mama milk is also very, very nutritious and promotes a lifelong quality connection between a mother and her child. It is impossible to social distance while breastfeeding in my opinion, but boy is it worth it! As an IBCLC and a mom I sure do feel encouraged by the CDC’s stance on breastfeeding. Be sure to ask your doctor for more information. We are here to fight, not flight- lets work together and stay strong and peaceful.

Categories
My Favorite Things

My Envisioned Transition to Pumping on the Job- a Message of Sanctity

When someone begins to transition, from one step to the next, making little changes at a time let’s start with something that you know that works for you. In my case, I have been making a lot of changes in my life. Changing my routine, preparing for birth, and coping with my desire to pump in a job situation where I am not legally allowed to pump in order to protect a patient at all costs due to a sense of distraction. I respect this. As I eat my lunch in my break in place, I happily do so with the sense that I could easily drop everything at any time and initiate a response to an emergency.

Today as I begin to plan to evaluate pumping supplies and bottles and other baby products and such in relation to ones given situation and pumping and nursing as whole, within a community of mothers, I also reflect on sanctity and what it means to me. Sanctity may have a different meaning to different people and yet remain true to a person’s inherit nature. The Catholic Church expresses the prioritization of sanctity of life over sanctity of body yet recognizes that both are essential to life. The sanctity of life is harder to understand and thus connected to a sense of sacredness we can not explain or even fully endorse.

Sanctity may have a different meaning to different people and yet remain true to a person’s inherit nature. The Catholic Church expresses the prioritization of sanctity of life over sanctity of body yet recognizes that both are essential to life. The sanctity of life is harder to understand and thus connected to a sense of sacredness we can not explain or even fully endorse.

One of the issues I have with the pumps that go under your shirt is that it is not fully expressing a sense of sanctity to the body. There is something to be said for “hiding your pumped milk,” versus allowing it to flow outward into a visible worldly place.

There was something I could not explain. A sense of joy when my milk came in. I remember using the double electric breast pump in the NICU. To this day, I question the definition of double electric pumping. To me, suction was always the most important part of pumping and I had to suction on high yet also recognized the valves and flow of air creating the suction. I looked up the definition of double electric and it endorses a sense of chemical relation or sharing. To me, pumping does not relate to a sense of ions being removed through a membrane and a body. It should be used as the body is intended, where suction of the glands and movement of the nipple are essential to the body. As I continued my pumping journey, I did so and learned that milk supply can be regulated better through a standard breast pump with routine cycles that are consistent and involve listening to your body when it is done. In some cases I think that hospital grade pumps have their place. In that they can be used in emergency situations in NICUs where a baby can not perform this function at all, and a mother’s milk is emergent to the healing process. There is some flexibility in regards to the human body and how it can adapt.

Lately I am learning about the Vagus reflex and how it may relate to the let-down response whether or not it can be felt when milk is exiting the body. I often used pumping as an indicator in my journey to understand my milk supply and when and how to feed my baby. I also noticed the vagus reflex, or a sense of relaxation able to generate more milk in multiple situations. Tandem feeding; Nursing an older baby solo and pumping with a single electric breast pump (PISA) on a higher setting. It is important to have you pump parts and settings correct when pumping because it relates to not harming your physical body while producing breast milk.

The thing I liked about the Willow and other similar breast pumps was that it could be concealed in a fashionable way. It could place milk in a bag in a way that would expose it to less air. However, I do not like the shape of the pump, that I can not see the milk being produced and must rely on an app, that flanges are not compatible with all parts of the pump and also question the way that it could feel. With that in mind, I return to the thought that when making little changes, think about what has worked for you in the past and how you can keep that going for you. My current goal has been to be able to move around while pumping and still relax and initiate the Vagus reflex to continue my pumping. I am not the fittest of the fit. But I choose to embrace my body’s sanctity with a sense of freedom. Pump on mama meg, I say to myself, freely, and embrace sanctity of life for eternity.

Categories
Breastfeeding Basics

Willow vs. Elvie and What to Do?

Credit: willowpump.com

I am one of those rare flowers that actually loves to pump. Heck, I love all things breastfeeding. It’s a time to think, to ponder, to feed and create. I have not tried the Willow or Elvie pumps yet, but I have to admit when I saw them there was something I couldn’t resist. My immediate questions that popped into my mind were, why so expensive? How does the suction work? How do you wash the pieces? Can you pump lying down? And, do people who use these pumps also feel like outcasts or rare flowers in the community? Definitely, laws can bring us together, even pumping laws.

After thinking a little more I decided the best of these pumps for me would be the Willow Pump. It’s about 499 dollars. This is because you can even have the additional feature of being able to lie down. Also when you pump directly into a bag and freeze it immediately, it may have a better effect on the milk. My idea to make this more fun would be to make a mom’s group that focuses on pump sharing. How? Everyone gets a buddy, everyone gets one pump for one side. Buy the maximum bags that you can and everyone gets as many bags as they can or need to use in the moms group. This cuts down on the cost to about 250 dollars. Mom’s groups could happen in nicus. They could happen at work. Or in a church setting. Or even long distance with buddies who live far away. The important thing is to be a source of encouragement and help people work things out. What does this look like?

Source: Willow.com

After thinking a little more I decided the best of these pumps for me would be the willow pump. It’s about 499 dollars. This is because you can even have the additional feature of being able to lie down. Also when you pump directly into a bag and freeze it immediately, it may have a better effect on the milk.

Rituals matter with pumping and motivation matter when pumping. For this reason, I questioned ever using any other pump than the first pump I tried, the medella. There is something about having a ritual that is so helpful in helping things to become streamlined and automatic. You can then trust yourself to start and perform the task when you are feeling down, stressed or out of sorts. For me, even releasing milk into the containers eventually felt like a ritual to me.

Usually you bless the original inventor when someone comes up with a second prototype of the original invention. The second prototype is sort of like a complement to the first. With that in mind, I hope you write the own ending to your pumping story!

Categories
Breastfeeding Basics

Responsive Parenting and My Story of Weaning

As I began weaning my eldest, I began to reflect on the concept of response and the importance it may play in parenting. Being a mother is a wonderful gift and I think that response plays an important role in nursing, feeding, and parenting children.

Weaning can be challenging—both the mother and the child realize how response plays a role in their relationship. I’ve found that reflecting on response as a concept was a beautiful strategy to help me wean my oldest during my pregnancy. I found that around the age my daughter was two years old, there are many other ways that you can respond to a child than by simply nursing them. Although common, it is known that toddlers may benefit from nursing dry, milk, or colostrum response can be a powerful tool in helping a child feel secure, loved, and can learn many new things in a baby-led way. There were times during weaning when I took some time to do different things on my own that had to do with recognizing an internal need I owned going for a walk or simply noticing with love, my daughter play with independence for longer and more engaging sessions that usual.

Weaning can be challenging—both the mother and the child realize how response plays a role in their relationship.

Were the responses always honest? And, how mothers and fathers respond with very unique qualities having to do with attention and care. What does honest really mean? And, if you think it about how we do not know yet, humans may have likely breastfed before they were able to communicate with words and the fact that a child does not yet know how to speak. There is a sense of sacredness in breastfeeding and also in honesty and possibly commitment. A mother and father do care, in different ways. A mother cares a bit with her body and perhaps and bit more with her heightened instinct by transferring her sense of security to her child through holding, loving and yearning. Fathers are very loyal to their children but keep their yearning for something else higher than perhaps the child. It is this lack of knowing that keeps the father’s response honest in the middle of the night or also when a child is fearful or perhaps even hurt or maybe sick.

Some children need more responsiveness perhaps due to where they are in development but also their inherent qualities that are innate.

I think when you as a mom notice that your child does need more responsive qualities in their caregivers in ways that are seperate than weaning this can become especially challenging and also lead to somewhat of a powerless feeling, almost a mild sense of hopelessness tied to a bit of faith in eternity.

Nursing changes me, and most other moms, physically. Also, I was extremely grateful that it gave me a growing sense of confidence, especially when my child was very young, very small and needed food and also immunity protection

I think needs become a sense of connection to yourself along with sometimes your relationship to others later on in life, for example how you feel loss or maybe a bit of grief. There are moments in your life when you can, amazingly easily put something on hold in order to delay gratification until you receive what you may really need later on. To me, this sense of connection to secureness may be related to how you nursed as a child, or maybe weaned. I believe as an IBCLC and also a mom, that how a mother weans can compensate for a the beauty but also the immense challenges a mother may initiates and maintains her nursing.

Nursing changes me, and most other moms, physically. Also, I was extremely grateful that it gave me a growing sense of confidence, especially when my child was very young, very small and needed food and also immunity protection.

Blind faith was what it took me to wean and also at other pivotal moments in my life, if it is good or bad it doesn’t matter as long as you accept that maybe it is something that maybe you could just not do without. I think that essentially unattachment may begin at the beginning of the lifecycle but it is also something you can be in touch with throughout your life kind of like a little flickering candle in the wind. Sometimes you smell the smoke, sometimes you see the flame flicker and other times you just close your eyes and see the flame with a sense of grief that it will always be there. I hope that my daughter got what she needed from her mama milk or nursing experience.

Eventually babies, children, adults and even older adults lessen their connection to the rooting reflex, yet at the same time remembering it helps us to feel safe, nurtured and loved. It is this memory that lasts a lifetime.

It is every mother’s hope to hear the answer “yes, mama, I did,” when mothers ask that question of themselves. Yet when a child is too young to communicate in that manner, mothers and fathers and grandmothers and aunts may begin to answer that question for themselves instead of letting a child speak for themselves. With awareness, around this time, a voice popped into my head. Where did it come from? Was it wise? I did not truly know. To me it was my own voice in a future generation stating a mantra over and over again calling to me, whispering “just a reflex, just a reflex, just a reflex…” I began to think of reflexes, and wondered what are they there for? They are there to keep us safe, to keep us from choking, to keep our eyes from drying up, to prevent us from not being able to conceive of another child, to keep our heart pumping even as we approach starvation, and to show us how to eat and nurture another. Unattachment to our reflexes does facilitate any example of something that does relieve suffering because it is perhaps a bit of give and take with realizing their presence and also yet not needing them. I hoped to give my daughter unattachment by remembering the rooting reflex. The root seems to have a different quality associated with love more than all the other reflexes, yet it also teaches us our first lesson in unattachment through a pattern of remembering and forgetting. Eventually babies, children, adults and even older adults lessen their connection to the rooting reflex, yet at the same time remembering it helps us to feel safe, nurtured and loved. It is this memory that lasts a lifetime. The perhaps Buddhist concept that we can symbolically nurse for a lifetime is challenging to master and even understand. Yet the concept of honoring the mother through compassion affects us all, it affects humanity, and may be carried throughout future generations to come.

Categories
Breastfeeding Basics

Pre-IBCLC Exam Thoughts

When I began this blog almost a year ago, my daughter was not even 6 months old. I remember writing my bio and putting “aspiring IBCLC,” with a sense of hope and determination. Someday… I thought to myself as I was actively completing my five hundred practicum hours under my mentor. The journey was certainly a long one but so far it has been worth it. Yet now, with my exam date less than a month a way reality has begun to sink in, and I am beginning to wondering if someday sooner than I think I may need to delete the word “aspiring,” in my biography section.

One thing that is exciting to me about taking this exam is that this will be the first “international,” exam I have ever taken. Even though I will only be in my little suburban Person test center, it is still neat to think that all across the globe people will be sitting for IBCLC exam licensure around the same time. How perfect is it that of all certifications, the lactation certification is an international one? I think that is great, because all across the world people breastfeed! And, to top it off, the world health organization recommends breastfeeding for the first two years of life.

One thing that is exciting to me about taking this exam is that this will be the first “international,” exam I have ever taken. Even though I will only be in my little suburban Person test center, it is still neat to think that all across the globe people will be sitting for IBCLC exam licensure around the same time.

It will be interesting to think how this blog may also change with time. When I began the blog, there was something exciting about writing aspiring before the letters “IBCLC.” To me this blog is a place with creativity and science meet, a place where together ideas can be explored about breastfeeding journeys, hopes, goals and questions while having a conversation about some of the science of breastfeeding. Since then I have covered topics relating to motherhood and breastfeeding ranging from pumping to sign language to baby massage.

If I pass my IBCLC exam I will be excited about improving this blog in even more ways and looking towards breastfeeding science even more while keeping the conversation fun, light and interesting so passions about breastfeeding and motherhood can unite to give babies and toddlers the very best!

Thanks for reading as I approach these final days up to my exam. I may even have to capitalize on this time with even more to write about in the upcoming weeks. Although I will not be able to talk directly about the exam after I take it, there may be a few generalized comments I can make about how I felt of processed the exam experience.

So here’s to a bit more learning, a bit more breastfeeding, and a bit more creativity in the upcoming weeks!…

Categories
Breastfeeding Basics

Toddler Takes Flight

The first time I flew with a toddler, I have to admit, I was nervous, but I rose to the occasion. The return flight went a little better than the destination flight, and I was glad, because as a tiny tots traveler myself my goal for my daughter has always been to turn her into a little traveler.

Packing for the trip wasn’t as challenging as I thought because I gave myself some alone time and allowed myself to get in the “zone.” To me, packing isn’t all about bringing lots of stuff but sometimes it’s a bit more about your mind and “remembering.” Lots of people forget things on trips but as I pack I try to place, how am I going to be using the thing I bringing, and what my daughter will truly be using. One last word of advice? Always be prepared to be a bit underprepared.

I’ve always wanted to be one of those lactation ladies that supported breastfeeding in public places and been a total advocate, and I’ve kind of been honest with myself that its been a bit of my downfall. But luckily when you got to do what you got to do, there is always a way to rise to the occasion.

The first time I breastfed on plane it was bit ridiculous, but I felt people were still nice about it, and in the end I kind of said “big deal,” to myself, “I didn’t brake any laws.” So, me and my gentle weaning tot got under our little pink blanket, (I had decided not to bring my whole cover because I thought we probably weren’t gonna need it), and her teething side bit me and then she cried when I de-latched her as I am supposed to with my finger.

The second time I breastfed on the plane, she knew what she was doing and I knew what I was doing. I wore my low cut tank top with a button up sweater over it. I sat in a window seat as we flew over the beautiful planes leaving a Las Vegas family vacation. She sat on my lap as she did her latch and looked out the window. And I thought of how its wonderful to have so much time available to nurse on a plane while remembering some of the Nicu nurses and friends who strongly support breastfeeding and all was well. After about 30 minutes she fell asleep on mommy and daddy’s lap right during her nap time. You gotta love it when the world deals you an interesting deck of cards…

Toddler mom life is crazy sometimes. Its messy and filled with fun while making decisions for your child. I am sending Alaska a thank you letter for a wonderful flight and for stewardises that supported breastfeeding with ease when it’s not always easy, not always smooth. I am topping that off with a thank you letter from DHS “safenet,” who happens to support breastfeeding too!! Here’s how you can check out the links to some breastfeeding laws in Oregon: www.healthoregon.org/bf and I am going to make it easy for them while providing the business address they can send the letter too.

I am so grateful that you breastfeed in all fifty states that flying over the planes made me feel high and gleam with pride. Don’t know where you are? Trust, peace out, and just nurse on mama.