Common Breastfeeding Myths Explained

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As a La Leche League leader and tandem nursing mama, I hear and read a lot of false breastfeeding info on a daily basis. I am not all knowing when it comes to the human body and how it works to feed a baby, but I do feel like sharing my education and experiences might help a mama or two in the same way other veteran nursing mothers have helped me countless times throughout my journey. I will be writing a little series with each post focused on a common breastfeeding confusion like low milk supply, overfeeding, tongue and lip ties, co-sleeping, feeding schedules, etc. 

If you have any specific questions or topics you'd like more info on, send a message my way and I would love to share what I know! We are all in this together, mamas :)

My Favorite Parenting Books

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Seven Times the Sun

I read this book in one sitting during my pregnancy with Reed. The concept of daily, weekly, and montly rhythms being the dependable heartbeat of childhood is woven throughout, and it was written so beautifully I couldn't put it down. I am planning to read it again soon and I fully expect it to motivate me all over again to create routines and traditions my children can count on so they feel safe to play, learn, and explore the world around them. If you aren't familiar with Waldorf philosophy, this book is a wonderful starting point!

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No Bad Kids

Janet Lansbury is my go to for practical, calm nuggets of mothering wisdom. She is all about treating children like the full human beings they are and acknowledging their emotions as valid and important. She put words to the instincts I had early on with Edie and fleshed them out for me so I didn't have to do a ton of trial and error on what works in terms of discipline and communication with my children--gentle parenting is the stuff! I recommend this book to all of my mama friends and I haven't heard a negative review yet. 

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Simplicity Parenting

This is a fairly popular read in the gentle parenting community, and for good reason. I purchased this book shortly after Edie's first birthday and it lit a fire in my soul for giving my kids the best childhood by giving them less. Less toys, less screen time, less guided play creates more space for free learning and building confidence. I recommend this one to parents almost weekly.

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Heaven on Earth

Another Waldorf, rhythm-based parenting read--this book is super lovely and inspiring. Children are magical and should be give regularly daily space to live out that magic. I feel so lucky every day to get to stand back and observe it.

 

 

When it comes to this mama gig, I'll be the first to tell you I don't have it all (or any of it) figured out. I also don't spend every bit of my free time reading parenting books, as I recognize that the dynamic between my children and myself is unique and changing all of the time and can't be explained away by one theory (we are people with souls and big feelings!), but I have found considering other perspectives and experiences and coping strategies in times of stress to be extremely helpful in working through and growing my own. 

 

A Year Ago Tonight

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One year ago tonight, you moved your home from my womb to my breast. The full moon was on our side and even though you were born in the wee hours of the morning, not a second of the work felt dark. The first time our eyes met, I swore I was holding the soul of a little old woman. "It's okay now. It's going to be okay," you said by barely crying before lying calmly on my chest. Your silence, your stillness following such a loud battle--it was the most sacred experience of life. Sweet Reed, you came right on time and you were magic for me from that moment on.

I cannot begin to thank you for the healing, for choosing me, for being there to lie your head against my chest in that same quiet way every day for the last year.  Your very being simply asks of me, "Just be here now, Mama!" and I can say I've done more of that in your first journey around the sun than I have in all of my time before you. And because of that, you have been the most incredible gift to your sister as well. There is a special reason she has never shown typical older sibling feelings toward you. You helped heal her, too. 

Our Reed, we gave you your name because it means a clearing or open space and we thought that was what we needed. But if turns out you are a meadow full of the most vibrant, fragrant flowers. You've opened up my senses and taught me how to breathe it all in (and let me smell your head about two million times doing so). If I could love you more, I know I would. 

Happy birthday, my darling girl. 

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This Will Be the Last Time I Nurse You

One day, and I won't know it then, you'll crawl down from my lap and never come back again. I remind myself of this often when I feel touched out and overstimulated. So much of my motherhood up to this point has been physical, I find myself fearing I won't have enough to offer you when my arms around your sobbing body no longer soften any and every feeling of pain or overwhelm in your heart. I already carry you much less than I used to, and every day both your body and your questions feel so much heavier to me. But I have seen the evolution of your need for my breasts as comfort to just my arms, so I trust you will continue figuring it out. You already are. You find comfort in your father and in your sister and lately even within yourself, and it breaks my heart in the most beautiful, proud way. I still smell your head when you sleep and close my eyes to stop time when you calm yourself against my collarbone. And I promise I will keep repositioning your sleeping sister so I can offer you my arm to squeeze, like most children do with a favorite stuffed animal or blanket, as you drift off into your dreams. But baby, this will be the last time I nurse you.

And it's because of me. It's because I need to know, after all we did to make the transfer of milk from my body to yours work, that I am reading the last page of this chapter as I am reading it. It's because the beginning was such a Hell of uncertainties, I need the ending to redeem us. I need it to be special, for you and for me and for every second we've paused to connect in this way, for both the moments filled with screaming and the ones filled with surrender as your dark brown eyes rolled back behind your fluttering lashes. I need it to end on a high note and not allow myself to get to a place where I am just grossed out by how big you are. I am so proud of the brave little woman you have become, and as you no longer even nurse every night, I trust that you are ready. And so I am, too. My first baby, this will be the last time I nurse you.

And I know you may still ask when you are struggling and you see your sister falling asleep where you once rested alone, but please trust I am telling you no because I believe you are on to bigger things. And I know it may be confusing that I am crying as I explain to you that tonight is it, but please know it's because I have loved giving myself to you in this way for almost four years and I am just so proud of you, and also proud of me. Please don't mistake my tears for second thoughts, because I am sure we have a new sweet season waiting for us after this one. I am sure we will be okay. Because I am still your mama, with or without my milk, and you are still my Edie. I am doing this because I love you and want to have us, right now, as my last memory of feeding my first. So baby, this will be the last time I nurse you.

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