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My Favorite Things

“Milk”-crafted Poetry about Breastfeeding

Once there was a drop

Then two, three four

To count is not to wish, but add up what we have

And we can go forth to grow big and strong

I like myself as I am, but until I know what this is I will trust in my bodily instincts I have had since birth

There are such things that meet my needs

Day by day our blessings grow

Our views are similar to others expectations

I hear a cry, I know my own I hear a voice, I dare to learn

Desire to be I let that live, but in love I find much comfort

In milk I find much joy

Transition into what I need and we can help

We can earn

Many years later, I sit by your side and remember what I said to you

I believe in equal for many babies but not temptation

In life ward actions in public places

In giving and receiving

For maybe you have taught me connection and that I can trust myself

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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.

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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.

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My Favorite Things

Communicating with a Baby: Approaching Baby Signs

I first began to sense the glimmer of excitement of being able to communicate with my little one someday through sign language. It’s funny how the mind works, and it takes a lot to imagine your child signing back at you. I remember the other day when my little one created a grasping motion with her hand while we were nursing directly after I had shown her how to say the word milk in sign language. Although it was probably just a coincidence, I couldn’t help but wonder could this be my little one repeating back to me the word “milk”? You can imagine the excitement I had for a moment, but then it caught up to me, that she was only 5 months old. Most babies don’t start signing that young. It must be a coincidence.

I first began to get interested in practicing baby sign language many years ago when I saw my cousin signing with her children. At first, I didn’t think it was possible- it seemed too advanced. Then she explained to me how it is actually easier to speak sign language than the English language. Although a little one won’t be signing complete sentence, they can still sign key words which gives the mother an idea of what that baby wants.

I am looking forward to taking an actual sign language class with my baby because it will give me a context and fun experience for using sign language with her. The class I am taking uses songs and games to make it stick in your head. I figure that I can learn the same way that a child can learn and learning along with my baby will be fun.

An approach to teaching sign language to a little one includes lots of repetition, but also teaching words that she is motivated to learn. Often moms are just motivated to teach the words that have to do with routines, in order to be efficient and get things done. But teaching fun words like animals or colors can provide more motivation for a baby learning to sign.

One of the goals of sign language for babies can be to communicate younger and earlier with your baby. It can take more dexterity to communicate with your mouth than your hands. Want to teach your baby a few key words? Use sign language. Some of the symbolism is easier to remember and they can repeat them back to you.

It can be difficult to interpret your little one’s signs in the beginning. There signs may come close to resembling the correct interpretation, or so I have heard.

Some people talk about the day their little one performed their first sign and how thrilled they were. So you could imagine the thrill I had of just projecting that thought onto my little one in the future. But, at the same time what I saw leads to a sense of wonderment as to how early does a human being really begin communicating.

From the day we are born we begin communicating in ways we don’t even understand, through body language, gestures, sounds and touch. So close your eyes and begin to imagine someone new in your life, or your little son or daughter signing back to you, smile and allow yourself to think that you may understand them. Then… let your mind wrap around the idea of the silence and the mystery that is love and caring without communication. Let that be, and take your time.