What is the law in your state?

The states in the US vary widely in the implementation of laws that protect a breastfeeding mother and baby...

Breastfeeding gift ideas for an expecting mom

A reader asks: I am attending a baby shower for a friend. I'd like to get her something that will help make her breastfeeding experience more comfortable. What should I buy?

The sole requirement for NIP

During my pregnancy with my youngest son, one of the parts of motherhood that I looked most forward to was nursing. ...

International and Religious views of NIP

Think nursing in public is only a concern in the United States? If so, is it our religious roots that has instilled our country's prudish (and misguided) desire for "discretion"?

Where are our breastfeeding role models?

I saw a woman breastfeeding her three month old son while walking around the busy farmer's market yesterday morning...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Photo Card

Simple Heart Boy Baby Announcements
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Monday, October 15, 2012

2 Years of NIP, 0 Negative Comments


Josias is almost 2 and he continues to love his milky. Of late, he's taken to creating chants like: Milky! Milky! Yummy! Yummy! Or sometimes, it's simply a huge grin along with shouts of: Boobies! Boobies!
Josias and I have NIPed a lot, in almost every venue conceivable, including work meetings with (male and female) colleagues and during work sessions that I was facilitating. When I was a new mama, I felt a little nervous about breastfeeding in front of my 92 year old grandfather. Not only did Grandpa not bat an eye, he told me I was doing a good job!

I have never, not one time, received a negative comment. I haven't even noticed anyone looking at me askance. In fact, on a cross-county flight, I once received congratulations from the man sitting next to me for breasting feeding my son for so long.

There may have been those who thought I should go elsewhere, but no one said so. I read all these stories about mamas who are told to cover up, leave or make baby wait, and I get incensed. I want to support them and all the mamas and babies out there. I want to do something about it.

So, here's what I'm doing today: sharing some good news. All the NIPing, all the blogging, all the Nurse-Ins, etc. have made the world a better place. Josias and I are NIPers extraordinaires and the world has embraced us!

Do you feel your Nursing in Public has been supported, even celebrated? Please share your successes!

Photo credit: Vanessa Pike-Russell

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

You're STILL Pumping?


Breastfeeding is very important to me.  My son and I had a very difficult time initially. Contrary to all my hopes and dreams, for the first month of his life we had to supplement with formula.  It was uphill all the way, but after about six weeks we attained exclusive breastfeeding.

The fight that required turned us both into breastfeeding fanatics.  Yet, there were still days when breastfeeding left me worn out, stressed out and frustrated.  As my maternity leave came to an end, I actually began to look forward to pumping as a way to get my son what he needed without requiring me to breastfeed all day every day.  Oh, the ignorance of the uninitiated!

I went back to work when Josias was 3 months old.  I had the most optimal environment for successful pumping imaginable: a supportive boss, a private office, a flexible schedule and an appropriate place to store breastmilk.  But before I had to rely on pumping, I hadn’t accounted for the fact that Mother Nature never intended a machine to suck breastmilk from my boobs.  And, as with almost everything under the sun, Mother Nature knows best.  The blasted machine just couldn’t get milk out the way my baby did.  And, it hurt!

Each day was touch and go in terms of whether I would have enough milk for Josias.  Somehow, we always squeaked by, but the whole process had me in a constant state of worry. So, as Josias’ first birthday approached, I was overjoyed that I had almost reached my goal of pumping for his first year and I would soon be retiring the pump.

Yet, when the day arrived, I just didn’t feel like it was time to stop.  Each day when I was washing up my pumping paraphernalia in the office kitchen, people would comment, “You’re still pumping?” or, “You must be a glutton for punishment!” or, simply, “Why?”

Why?  I don’t know if I can say exactly.  Josias was a happy and healthy one year old who ate a large quantity and variety of solids. We breastfed frequently when we were home together as well as throughout the night. And, in case I didn’t make my sentiments clear, I did not enjoy pumping.  So everything seemed to be in line to stop.

The only reason I come up with for not stopping at a year, is that I just wasn’t ready to take away all the benefits he received from hitting the nutritional jackpot of breastfeeding throughout the day. And, Josias loved his milky.  I didn’t feel it was time to stop, and I didn’t feel like Josias felt it was time to stop.

When Josias was seventeen months old my discomfort started to outweigh what I saw as the benefits of pumping.  So, that is when I stopped.

Each mama and nursling have to decide when this day I arrives for them.  No matter what anyone else says, I think it is different for each nursing pair and you have to go with what feels right.

If you made it to a few months of pumping? Hooray for you!  You gave your baby innumerable and irreplaceable benefits.  If you decide to keep pumping up to or even past two years?  Hooray for you!  You are doing what you know is best for you and your baby!

When did you stop pumping and why?

Monday, March 19, 2012

9 Ways Google Can Help Us Normalize Breastfeeding

Wouldn't it be amazing if Google used its global influence to help us normalize breastfeeding?

World Breastfeeding Week takes place from August 1 - 7, 2012, and Dionna at Code Name: Mama has brainstormed several ways Google can join the celebration. Joni Rae of Tales of a Kitchen Witch contributed her artistic talents.

So today, please visit Code Name: Mama and check out her nine ideas on how Google can help us normalize breastfeeding. They include fun things like featuring a Google Breastfeeding Doodle (see all of Joni Rae's drawings at her site!) or transforming the Google Maps pegman into a breastfeeding pegwoman, to more serious suggestions such as not accepting advertising from companies that are not WHO Code compliant.

And we would love it if you would help us get Google's attention by sending them an email - there is an example email at the bottom of Dionna's post. Let's get Google to help us celebrate World Breastfeeding Week!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Giveaway: Glamourmom Nursing Bra Long Tank – $44 ARV CLOSED


This is a joint giveaway with Code Name: Mama and NursingFreedom.org. You may enter at one site only. Please find the section marked "Win it!" for the mandatory entry and optional bonus entries This is a giveaway of a Nursing Bra Long Tank from Glamourmom, an internationally-loved brand of nursing clothing. One lucky reader will win! After you've entered this giveaway, be sure to check out the giveaway of a Glamourmom Nursing Bra Full Bust Long Top over at Natural Parents Network and Little Snowflakes! From our reviewer, Dionna at Code Name: Mama:

About Glamourmom

Like many new mamas, Line Rothman was in search of the perfect clothing to nurse in after her first child was born. She specifically wanted to cover her belly - as many breastfeeding mamas know, having your belly completely open to the world while trying to nurse a newborn can feel you feel very exposed, even vulnerable. Line never found what she wanted, so she designed it herself. Glamourmom nursing tank tops offer unique full support built-in nursing bras, along with that comforting full belly coverage. Line's design grew in popularity until it became the internationally loved powerhouse it is today. She has continued to add new designs, styles, colors, and patterns to give breastfeeding mothers more fun and flattering options. Glamourmom offers several different varieties of nursing tank tops - their newest actually has full bust support with an adjustable chest band! You can also find nursing bras, nursing sleep and lounge wear, a stylish long sleeved nursing top, and more. If you are not comfortable ordering nursingwear online, Glamourmom is sold in many retail stores around the world. Simply enter your zip code on the Contact Page to find the store closest to you.

Nursing Bra Long Tank




The Nursing Bra Long Tank gives breastfeeding mamas maximum coverage and great support. The tank features a supportive bra that is very supportive for my modest B - C cup. The openings for breastfeeding are smaller than on my other nursing tank tops, so less of my breast is exposed while I am nursing. However, I can stretch the opening if I need to (i.e., if Ailia is having trouble latching on and I need to be able to see more to help her). The tank has spaghetti straps with clasps that are different from most other nursing tanks. Instead of having the bulky clasps that lift up, these sit flush and hook into the side. This makes the clasps less noticeable, but the downside to them is that they are more challenging to work one-handed. I have been able to clasp and unclasp them one-handed on occasion, but not with a hungry, squirming baby (when it matters most). I imagine with practice, one could become an expert with this style.

The spaghetti straps are adjustable, but I found that the straps on my tank were considerably shorter than I expected - I have them at their fullest length. That is not a problem I normally run into with my tank tops. These tanks are cut long so that there is no question they will cover your tummy. The extra length is supposed to go down mid-thigh. I consider myself to be long-torsoed, and it hits me on my upper thigh. The stylish fit and the discreet clasps mean you can wear the Nursing Bra Long Tank alone or underneath another shirt. The tanks are 92% cotton, 8% elastic, giving them a comfortable, very snug fit. Per the size chart listed on the site, I ordered a medium and have been pleased with the fit. However, if you run toward the higher end of the "medium" size according to their chart, or if you don't like your tanks tight-fitting, you might consider ordering a large.

BUY IT!

You can get the Nursing Bra Long Tank and more by ordering directly from Glamourmom's website. Amazon also carries several Glamourmom products. Glamourmom does offer free shipping on orders over $50.

WIN IT!

For your own chance to win a Nursing Bra Long Tank from Glamourmom, enter by leaving a comment and using our new Rafflecopter system below. One winner will receive a Nursing Bra Long Tank. Contest is open to United States residents only.

MANDATORY ENTRY: Tell us what you would buy at Glamourmom! You must enter your name and email address in the Rafflecopter entry system for your entry to count, after leaving a comment on this blog post.

Leave a valid email address so we can contact you if you win. Email addresses in Rafflecopter are not made publicly visible. Please leave the same valid email address in your mandatory comment so we can verify entries. If on Blogger, you can enter it like this to foil spambots: mail {at} naturalparentsnetwork {dot} com This is a joint giveaway with Code Name: Mama and NursingFreedom.org. You may enter at one site only, and we'll be recording IP addresses to ensure that there are no duplicate entries. That said, please do visit and enjoy all three sites! BONUS ENTRIES: See the Rafflecopter entry system for bonus entries to increase your chance of winning after completing the mandatory entry. All bonus entries are entered directly into Rafflecopter. Just click "Click for instructions" for guidance and then "I did this" — any comments or extra information such as URLs can be entered into the "Extra Info" box. Give it a try or visit the Rafflecopter tutorial, and email or leave a comment if you have any questions!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest closes April 18, 2012 at 12:01 a.m. Eastern Time.

Disclosure: Our reviewer received a sample product for review purposes. Amazon links are affiliate links. We try to seek out only products we think you would find relevant and useful to your life as a natural parent. If we don't like a product, we won't be recommending it to you. See our full disclosure policy here.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Music and Milky

Josias and I attend a weekly program called Music Together, in which babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their parents sing, dance, play instruments and have fun with music.  Josias loves his music class.  We have a CD of the songs we sing in class and we listen to it in the car.  Josias sings along, predicts what song will come next and makes requests.

As much as Josias loves Music Together, in his mind (I imagine), there is one thing that could make it even better.  Milky!  Although the timing of the class does not coincide with a time that Josias would normally want to breastfeed, he asks for milky during every music class.  Always at the end when we sing a lullaby, and occasionally during some peppy dance number.  We scoot to the side, sit on the floor and breastfeed.  Often Josias tries to sing or dance at the same time.

We are entering our third ten-week session of this class and each has been a different group of children and their parents.  During the first session, several of the children would come stare, hover and sometimes point when Josias would breastfeed.  I loved their curiosity and the fact that they were watching a toddler breastfeed. One mother explained to her son that Josias was getting his milk from his Mama and that he used to get milk that way too. In our current session no one pays much mind when we breastfeed.

Until recently I hadn't really thought about breastfeeding in music class, but lately, I've started to wonder, with all these babies and toddlers, where are the other breastfeeders?  My guess is that several of the babies and toddlers do breastfeed, they just don't do it in class, because of timing, because they are thoroughly involved in class, or any number of other reasons.  At this point, Josias does not care that he is the only one having milky during music class.  Will he start to care?  Will I?

I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.  For now, I love the fact that Josias has found joy in music and that we can experience his discovery together, including through breastfeeding.

Do you attend activities with your child where you are the only ones breastfeeding?  How does it feel?

Photo credit: Lorena

Monday, February 6, 2012

What to Put in a Breastfeeding Basket

breastfeeding basket Breastfeeding mamas of newborns soon discover that their main function in life is limited to one thing: nursing.

We eat, breathe, and sleep nursing in those early weeks. And there is nothing worse than spending 15 minutes to get baby to latch on, feeling that let-down start, and realizing that you don't have a bottle of water nearby (oh! the thirst!). Or a book. Or a snack.

So breastfeeding mamas of newborns also soon realize that they need what is fondly referred to as a "breastfeeding basket."

This is a basket of essentials and goodies that is always fully stocked and within arm's reach of the nursing pair. If nursing typically occurs in more than one location, get more than one basket if it's too difficult to cart it from room to room.

This is an excellent way for a breastfeeding mama's partner to support her during those first weeks. Help her make her basket, put special goodies in there to surprise her, and help her keep it replenished every day. She will be so grateful (even if she forgets to say so)!

A breastfeeding basket also makes a wonderful baby shower or mother blessing gift, and it's one that several friends can help compile for the expecting mama. Below are the items I like to keep in my breastfeeding basket (yes, my basket is rather large!). Feel free to leave your own suggestions and preferences in the comments.

Breastfeeding Basket Essentials

For Mama (nursing gear, entertainment, communication, food and drink, personal care items):

  • Nursing pads
  • Nursing aids (Lanolin, rice pack (which will need to be heated before you sit down!), etc.)
  • Nursing pillow
  • A few items to occupy older children (books, crayons/paper, activity bags, etc.)
  • Book/Magazine
  • Remote
  • Phone
  • Notebook/pen (for writing down all the cute things baby does)
  • Water, water, and more water!
  • Snacks (granola bars, lactation cookies)
  • Chapstick
  • Nail file/clippers
  • Lotion
  • Cloth wipes/tissue
  • (And somewhere nearby: Camera, Laptop)

For Baby (diapers, clean-up, clothes):

  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Wipe Spray (and any other diaper necessities - i.e., rash cream, etc.)
  • Burp cloth
  • Extra outfit

What is in your breastfeeding basket?

Dionna is a lawyer turned work at home mama of her amazing son, Kieran, and a beautiful new daughter, Ailia. You can normally find Dionna over at Code Name: Mama where she shares information, resources, and her thoughts on natural parenting and life with little ones.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Let the Weaning Questions Begin

My nursling, Josias, is almost 2 years old. I no longer pump at work, so during workdays he does not get breastmilk while at daycare. When we are together mornings, nights and weekends, however, he is an ardent breastfeeder. 

Josias has reached the point of being able to talk about breastfeeding. For instance, though he may have just finished a 45 minute wake-up nursing session in bed, once out of bed, he may begin to scream MILKY!!  If not offered said milk instantaneously, his wails begin to sound as if he hasn't been fed for days. He has also begun to take intermittent breaks while nursing, engaging the "boobies" in conversation. He will frequently say "Hi boobies!" while waving enthusiastically. This morning as he was nursing, Josias smeared a piece of food on my breast. He then noisily unlatched himself, pointed and said, "Booby dirty!" Yes, thank you.

None of this bothers me.  I usually love it and sometimes find it rather amusing. Yet, as Josias has more and more words and we continue to breastfeed in public, something someone once said to me comes to mind: "If he's old enough to ask for it, he's too old." While I think this is utter nonsense, I may not be in the majority. 

Because I breastfeed in public and in front of other people frequently, I have always received questions about breastfeeding, including how long I intend to breastfeed. I never felt the questions were malicious, and I view the inquiries as an opportunity to share information about the benefits and joys of breastfeeding.

I don't have a goal, in terms of years or months, for how long Josias and I will breastfeed. We had a pretty rocky start, which included the need to supplement with formula for the first month. So, when I'm feeling a bit put upon by what sometimes feels like the relentless need for milky, I try to invoke the gratitude I feel for having this intense and special relationship with my son.

My goal is that we will breastfeed until Josias feels he is ready to stop. As Josias gets bigger, I hope that I will continue to feel comfortable breastfeeding in public. I anticipate receiving more questions about how long he will breastfeed, and I also hope that I can stay positive in my responses and use the opportunity to spread the good news about breastfeeding.

Until what age did you breastfeed in public?  How did you handle questions about weaning?

Photo credit: Author