Month: August 2018

How To Talk To People Who Are Unsupportive of Breastfeeding

How To Talk To People Who Are Unsupportive of Breastfeeding

How do you deal with family members who are unsupportive of breastfeeding? What kinds of things can you do to educate them about breastfeeding? Should you make a baby sitting plan or child care guide?

I want to share some thoughts and ideas with you about breastfeeding in general, as a human. My goal today is to give you the inspiration to believe in your ability and your right to breastfeed. Give you some good resources to show those who may need to be educated on the importance of breast milk. And finally, we’ll talk about a possible Parenting Plan that you can use for yourself, your partner, family members, and any other baby care persons or babysitters in your life.

 

PERSPECTIVE || I have had very few people make comments and accusations to my face about breastfeeding. But I’ve seen a fair amount of other women complain about their lack of support! I’m only six months in though, and now I’m starting to feel the pressure. People are beginning to be a bit more uncomfortable about the idea of me doing this for 2 YEARS. I’m a confident person who is unafraid of confrontation and prefer it all to be laid out on the table for all to see. But I know that it’s not that easy for most people. So here’s some tips from someone who will, and does, stand up for breastfeeding.

 

Let’s start by talking about what we are… Fellow humans.. .

 


We Are Human Beings!

 

Us humans have accomplished creating a great many things. Medicine, science, inventions, transportation, recipes, drugs, etc. What we didn’t make, is other creatures, plants, or the earth herself.

It’s easy for anyone to understand that we didn’t make cows. Nearly all formula is made with the help of cows milk. Do you know how much dairy is actually healthy to consume? Unfortunately, it’s not very much. Dairy is actually quite unhealthy for humans to consume, especially in large quantities.

So when someone says, “You should feed your baby formula instead!” What their saying is, “Cows milk is better than human milk, for your human baby.” Which put simply, is not the case.

 

Formula was invented in 1867. And although I myself reap the benefits from this recipe of Infant Formula Food for my own child’s nutrition. I can’t deny my passion for humans breastfeeding their own human babies (if they can). And that’s the thing, fellow humans…

When you think about other countries that do nothing but EXCLUSIVELY BREASTFEED their babies, many mothers use wet nurses (since 2000 BC!). Let’s remember please that IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD. This phrase is coined by the remembrance that living in the days of villages and small towns, mothers had help 24/7. There were no separate houses, rooms, and enclosures to keep everyone so sperate like we live today. With our closed mansions and apartment buildings and spacious homes. When you think about this, realize that when a mother had to attend to something, she would leave her child with her living companions such as other family members or friends. Everyone helped each other constantly. Nowadays we stress about when it’s appropriate to leave our child with a sitter for the first time. Some mothers don’t get away for six months! This is simply crazy to me, and to any of our ancient ancestors who had constant help from fellow humans!

They also didn’t have a need for child care “centers” because everyone helped take care of the children! Mothers, fathers, family members, older kids, and other tribe members. There weren’t necessarily specific members of the village who were caretakers. I’m sure the children had their favorite babysitters and had preferences for family members. But you know they weren’t paid for watching the children right? Everyone helped watch the children, no questions asked.

And finally let us admit that the sad reality when living outside of our modern medicine, is that most mothers and babies were in serious danger during pregnancy and labor. Many women died during or after childbirth. And any and all babies that were born with complications or undeveloped bodies perished. Having both mother and child survive was celebrated because it was so much more difficult than we like to remember it today. We think it’s hard now (!) with the help of labor coaches, hospitals with doctors, and the comforts of our own home with a doula. Not to mention transportation. Your still (most likely) only a phone call away from emergency interception services!

 

It takes a village to raise a child. Your village now includes doctors, nurses, coaches, trained and medically efficient with tools and modern technology and medicines. Don’t forget how blessed we really are, to have THIS kind of tribe on our side!

 

To wrap this up, full circle, this is probably the most impacting point for breastfeeding today…

 


Mothers were designed to breastfeed their babies, just like every other mammal on the planet Earth.

 

Baby goats drink goats milk. Calfs drink cows milk. Humans should feed their babies human milk. It's just that simple. Click To Tweet

 

There are some seriously good reasons that infant formula is helpful to have. I myself use infant formula supplements for my baby due to a low supply (I could use a wet nurse right about now)! Other reasons could include (but are not limited to) babies that are unable to (premature or lip or mouth unable to latch, breathing or lung development, etc), or the mother is unable to breastfeed due to infections, disease or being at risk (of infection, sickness, or other illness anticipated).

But let’s just get one thing straight. You need to find your confidence right now, in this very moment.

 

If you are ABLE TO breastfeed your baby then YOU SHOULD BREASTFEED THAT BABY.

 

Any person, family member or not, that tells a perfectly healthy mother and child that they should “stop and switch to formula” is unfortunately uneducated about breastfeeding and has lost their way.

Copy and past the SOURCES AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST and let them find out for themselves, how VERY CORRECT AND CONFIDENT you are in your ABILITY/BLESSING to breastfeed your child.

It’s not only the right thing to do, it is YOUR RIGHT to do so. Anywhere, at any time, and in the presence of anyone.

 

Have you found your confidence yet fellow human?

 

SIDENOTE || In my opinion, breasts were not meant to be sexual. There is absolutely no sexual value to breasts other than attraction. They provide little stimulation or assistance to males. The fact that many men (and women) are attracted to breasts is simply conditions of personal attraction of our modern age.

Consider this, a woman in a village is sitting there breastfeeding her baby openly when the men come home from hunting. They all go about putting their animals to butcher and stretch and cook. Do you think that woman stopped feeding her child in the open wilderness? Do you think each man was walking around with a bone because her breast is out? … No. We in this modern age, have devalued breastfeeding for our own sexual greed and selfish desires. *cough* (Sorry not sorry)… Moving on!

 


Tips for Having the Conversation About Breastfeeding With Unsupportive Family & Friends

 

Remember your Birthing Plan? Where you decide ahead of time what the BEST labor scenario looks like. What you do and don’t want to happen to you, and your baby. Well, it’s time to make a Child Care Plan for yourselves and your family.

(I’m currently working on a downloadable option for you, but I’m not done yet. Follow me on Twitter for release updates @luvlifewlee )

 

#momtip When writing your Child Care Plan: Get creative and actually WRITE it down, PRINT it out, do what you have to, but get these things discussed with your partner and reveal it to your family as soon as possible! Click To Tweet

 

This Child Care Plan should lead the discussion! This plan is not subject to change by forceful, uneducated, or unsupportive persons. This is a guide that THEY CAN USE TO SUPPORT your breastfeeding journey.

Include WHAT TO DO if there is no breast milk available, or the baby refuses to eat what he is offered. In the plan, detail what they should try first.

Is it the right temperature? Is the milk sour? Is the bottle clogged? Is it the right bottle? Is he teething?

If all of this is attempted, what is your sitter to do?

Call you or use formula? Who is the emergency contact that has access to your milk stash?

Outline it ALL, so that they have no questions about how they are “supposed to” care for your child, while you are not there to do so yourselves.

With the number of parenting styles out there, find a few that you seem to be close to and use what you want from them to create your very own plan of action for your baby. In a way that anyone can read and follow. This level of consistency for your baby will be so impacting for their future as it provides stability throughout the entire village. (Including doctors and the like!)

 

Understanding Their Perspective: They are unsupportive of breastfeeding because they believe there’s something better for baby.

 

Remember to be patient and have some understanding. This world is a crazy place. Science and news have a dramatic impact on us and misinformation is always common. It’s not their fault that they are misinformed because many doctors all over the country are. This isn’t a blame game, by them or by you.

It’s an issue with the FACT, that breastmilk is the best food source for infants and children (for as long as you choose to, but the recommended age for all infants it at least 12-24 months).

The RIGHT that you have to breastfeed your baby anywhere at any time (it’s the LAW) on the planet. (And no other countries have ever even thought about the idea of banning breastfeeding so WTF.)

The BLESSING that your child has to be alive and healthy because of their mother’s milk.

 

Build your breastfeeding support team! 

 

If you need to, bring along a support person that’s pro-breastfeeding to give you some confidence behind your voice. Find someone who is polite, educated, and patient with people. Don’t bring your girlfriend who is not a mom who will do whatever you say, “Ya what she said” isn’t the kind of support you need. You need that friend or coworker or great aunt Betty to stand up for you and be on your team. (Hopefully, your partner is that person!)

Have you read How to Win Friends & Influence People? The part that we’re going to need to know is the art of influencing others by inspiring them. Let’s consider who it is that is “unsupporting” you.

 

LESSON IN PERSPECTIVE || These people currently think that there is a more beneficial, healthier, and scientific recipe that has been crafted to perfection for infants. This misinformation was mass marketed to every doctor, hospital, news station and scientific communities! Everywhere people were on board with formula. And for so many for the first time, there was a life saving miracle for newborn babies. It went “viral” and formula has helped many infants survive! To a certain extent, they are right to think that there are benefits to formula for many thousands of families.

 

IMPORTANT NOTE || If you are unable to breastfeed, then formula is the answer to your babies survival needs! DO NOT FEEL BAD ABOUT THIS MAMAS! If you are having trouble breastfeeding and are at risk yourself, or your baby is unable to breastfeed. Then it’s time you look towards formula is the answer. Because it is. It’s amazing really, that we’ve created this for our newborns so that they have SOME OTHER OPTION.

 

Having the conversation about breastfeeding?

 

Informing your unsupporting family needs to come from a place of respect for their love for your child. They love your baby too. And they currently think this is honestly a healthy option to consider. Or they would not be hasseling you, period.

 

Using an explanation such as,
“IF I was unable to breastfeed then I would use formula to sustain my baby. But I can breastfeed her naturally, and that will be a more substantial meal for her. Filling her with the correct balance of proteins, important live enzymes, and everything they may need. Did you know their saliva signals to my breasts of she is ill? Breast milk can provide natural antibodies for her immediately. Isn’t that cool? Sorry, but formula can’t do that kind of magic like I can!”

 

Make sure they KNOW (that you know) they have the best intentions for the baby too.

THANK THEM for caring so much as to have this conversation about breastfeeding, and reading the articles that you send them (using the sources below)

EXPLAIN how and why you breastfeed the baby

Let them in on your GOALS for how long your going to breastfeed and why

INFORM them of how they can help you and baby (via your Child Care Plan)

 


Post Summary

 

I’m so good at these long posts right? Thanks for reading about how you can refer to all of our ancestors for breastfeeding support. It’s our amazing human design that allows us to feed our babies. That we should be allowed to do this anywhere without oppression or disrespect. Formula has some amazing benefits to many thousands of families, but if you are able to breastfeed then you should breastfeed. It is simply the best and most healthy substance designed for babies.

And remember that your family is only hassling you because they honestly care about you and the baby. They are sorely misinformed of the uses of formula and it’s purpose. Confirm with confidence that you have a plan, goals and are happy to guide your child’s journey of health, with their help. There are these resources I have mentioned, so please feel free to get educated and pass them along!

And remember, it takes a village to raise a child.

 

Final Thought 

Building your team of breastfeeding support is extremely important and that you NEED to find your confidence and talk to them about your breastfeeding journey. Start with discussing everything with your partner. Create that Child Care Plan together. And present it to lead the discussion with every single family member and friend who is in your child’s life as a fellow caretakers! You’re going to need the help of your village.

 

Sources

“Infant Formula” – Wiki, by Wikipedia last updated 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infant_formula

A History of Infant Formula, (Articles from The Journal of Perinatal Education are provided here courtesy of Lamaze International) || Website: National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2684040/

 

Copy and past these sources to show your family and include in your plan! If you have a great article to share, please leave me a comment so that we can build this list together! 

 


If you enjoyed this post please share with your family and friends on social media! [wp-svg-icons icon=”share” wrap=”i”]

What to do about people who are unspportive of breastfeeding

Share your story with me about your discussion with your family! Have a question about your situation and want to know what I’d say (I always respond to my comments)? Or do you have a URL link you’d like to add as a source for others to use and share with their family to support breastfeeding?

PLEASE leave me a comment below! [wp-svg-icons icon=”bubbles-4″ wrap=”i”]

What To Do When Your Friends Are Making Bad Life Choices

What To Do When Your Friends Are Making Bad Life Choices

We all make mistakes, sure. But sometimes there are people in our lives that are making bad life choices. So what can we do as their friend to influence them?

I wrote a previous post about how to “tolerate people”. I recommend checking that out first to ensure we’re all on the same page here because it’s important to understand how we got to this serious question I’m about to tackle. It’s called How I Tolerate People and Their “Issues” (opens in new window for you).

Okay, so you tolerate your friends and you expect them to have some issues. But there is a limit, there’s always a limit guys. It’s one thing to agree to disagree and walk away. It’s another to watch someone else make serious mistakes. Especially someone you care about and are close to.

Where is the limit? Personal boundaries can vary widely from person to person. Sometimes you find those with short fuses and some with long ones. I have a seriously long fuse guys, it takes a lot to get me upset and I tolerate a lot before I get to a point of being upset. So my limits on those around me, are pretty far stretched because of… Well, you’ve read the previous post.

 

Continue reading “What To Do When Your Friends Are Making Bad Life Choices”

Breastfeeding Journey 3-6 Months [Update]

In this breastfeeding update, I’m writing about the breastfeeding experience during the age of three to six months old. I want to go into the bad parts, and then celebrate the good parts in regards to breastfeeding a baby. How has the adjustment been to a child in our lives for over six months now? And how I feel about continue breastfeeding until my baby is two years old.

I’ll start by summarizing what I have learned so far.

Breastfeeding is hard.
&& I love breastfeeding.

 

That about sums it up. No joke. There’s way TOO MUCH to learn about. Here are some topics you should really get familiar with in regards to breastfeeding.

  • Good latch
  • How and when to express milk (too much and you deal with engorged breasts, too little and you may not see results) by pumping or hand expression
  • What let down is and how to improve it
  • How to hand express
  • Engorgement
  • Mastis
  • Average, over and underproduction of milk supply

In the last Breastfeeding Journey Post [0-3 months] I gave a lot of advice on EVERYTHING BREASTFEEDING that, I had learned in my first three months. And I talked about how I have a low milk supply, what seems to help. You can read about breastfeeding for six months like I have done now. And still not have it all figured out. I may not be perfect, but I want to share with you my own breastfeeding journey. I expect it has some unique twists… Here we go. Bad news, then the good news. Don’t skip ahead now! I go full circle on this one.

 


This is the bad news about breastfeeding, Mama Bears…

Breastfeeding is painful at times, for a number of reasons. I personally don’t have much pain anymore, except she gets heavier by the day. It’s always a struggle to find the right position. We primarily side lay, which can be difficult if your out and about without a comfy place to lay.

By the time they are 3 months old, they wiggle and move like crazy. At least mine does. She never sits still unless she’s drowsy, and on her way to dreamland. Which is when we do the most successful nursing.

Your probably the only one that can fulfill this need Mamas. If your partner hasn’t made comments like, “I’d do it if I had the boobs”, then maybe you’re dealing with some unsupporting family issues. (I have some tips for you though, keep reading.) When your the only one that can provide this, it gets really overwhelming at times. Right about now I have had 6 months with the baby and we’ve adjusted to being a parent. Finally. (I started to be comfortable around 4 months, where I feel like it’s taken him until this month to be fully adjusted to her.) IBut that doesn’t mean you aren’t craving a break, and need some freedom. Breastfeeding makes that really difficult for us Mamas.

As our baby’s development increases, their curiosity also skyrockets. It can be difficult to keep the little one focused on the tasks at hand. They also tend to get bored easily. It’s this weird balance of timing and charm to have a successful and fulfilling meal, it’s a chore. Most of our long, full nursing sessions are accomplished before falling asleep. We currently bed share with our baby, so she remains latched on when we sleep together. (Here’s the “need to know” down low on bed sharing safely.)

And finally, since we bed share she does latch on and off in the night at will. This is beneficial to me because most of the time I don’t wake up all the way anymore. But some nights I don’t get as much restful sleep. I usually have to sleep on my side to accommodate her, so that can be stressful on my body if I don’t find adequate time to nap. Stretching is a necessity as I get extremely tense from stiff sleep, especially after carrying a baby all day!

 


Here’s the Good News Mama’s

  • You get used to a schedule of feeding times and are able to realize a routine that works with nursing.
  • You can enjoy the bond with your child when you breastfeed.
  • It isn’t always painful, in fact, there are times when it’s downright enjoyable.
  • It is extremely empowering to provide the food for your child, from your own body.
  • Your baby’s health is optimal when fed mothers milk (Recommended by doctors and scientists all over the world!)

 

I’ll be posting about my daily routines and schedule in detail soon, but basically, we stick with a general flow of each day, as follows:

We wake up and have a quiet time until her first nap, if hungry she has a bottle (3 Oz formula) as much of my milk supply has been drained throughout the night. When she wakes up from her nap, we begin playing and spend time in the open living room. We chat with the dogs and interact with the environment. Much of this time is spent listening to music and getting exercise. (You can read about CJs amazingly advanced 6-month-old Iles tones here!) When she’s hungry she nurses until she asks for a bottle, another 3 Oz. Most of the time she then continues with nursing. We switch gears to a more simple and focused task. Such as playing with blocks, reading books, or doing something all new such as musical instruments or playing baby games on the tablet. She goes down for a long 1.5-2 hour nap from 12-2pm. (The 4 month sleep regression lasted from about 14-22 weeks (2 months long). And it’s a total pain, more about that coming up soon). Once she’s up, we kind of has open time to do what we feel like whether that is going outside, hanging out and socializing with others, or having some silly one on one time. Maybe we try some solid single foods while I eat lunch. Up until dad gets home or she takes her last nap. She’s hungry almost as soon as she wakes up so I’ve been nursing her to sleep, and then we also have a good nursing session when she wakes up. Especially after the long nap midday, we have a cute little nursed meal. We still finish with 2 oz of formula usually. She’s good, until that last nap of the day, we nurse to sleep and then she has time with Daddy. She eats at 5 pm, 3 oz on the dot, every day. Then when she’s getting dozy we start the night time routine that starts with a bottle of 3oz (sometimes this is milk instead of formula, that I’ve got expressed throughout the day). We then nurse to sleep, and usually, it’s harder than nap times to get her into a deep sleep. But once she’s down, she sleeps from 7:30 pm until about 10:30-11 in which time we go to bed.

 

So she has 3-4 bottles of formula a day still. Which hasn’t really increased from the 0-3 month post! Which is good because it means I’ve maintained my production! Although still lower than the average. I’m a proud breastfeeding mama!

[Proud breastfeeding photo]

Anyone who tries to give me any crap for formula supplementing or tries to say I don’t breastfeed is bent. I spend hours of my day attending to my baby with my breasts. And that’s primarily TO FEED HER. This thing that I do, it’s called breastfeeding.

 

The really cool part though is that I get to spend hours a day feeding my favorite little cute thing ever. My beautiful daughter and I really do have a special connection. As we proceed with our parenting, my husband and I probably are closest to the Attachment Parenting style. Breastfeeding, babywearing, and cosleeping are all very important to us. I’m really enjoying being her everything, to be honest. Now that she can reach for me, and call me “Mumummmm”, I’m lovestruck. And in absolute awe at how happy I have become within myself. There’s nothing that brings me more pleasure than being whom my daughter needs, and wants.

Not only do I enjoy the breastfeeding experience, and don’t find it painful any longer (except for the occasional crack from a bad latch or her occasional bite). I feel really good about being the one to provide substantial health benefits to my little girl. I’m so thankful for formula too, as it really does do an amazing job of mimicking breast milk. I just think it’s so amazing that us mothers are literally designed to do this!

Breastfeeding is the healthiest and most natural thing a mother can do for her child.

 


How am I feeling about my decision to breastfeed for two years?

If your a new first time Mama like me, then I’m stoked your here reading this post and other posts like it. Being well educated on breastfeeding is the key to success. Be ready to manage your time and create a routine. Don’t underestimate the amount of time that nursing takes. Not to mention patience, a fair dose of pain, and enviable frustration. There’s no such thing as a perfect breastfeeding journey, there will be ups and downs. Prepare yourself with resources to deal with unsupportive people in your life that may try to deter you away from breastfeeding. And most importantly, make sure your partner is on board and also well educated on the benefits. Having them there to help support your breastfeeding journey will help tremendously, especially on the hard nights. There really is several things he can do to help support you and the baby.

Find me on Pinterest for a good place to further your education. I pin only articles that I’ve read thoroughly and thought was educational and informative for any mom, partner or person.

I’m feeling good about breastfeeding so far. It’s been a stressful, painful experience at some points. It’s still a let down (haha) that I can’t exclusively breastfeed my baby. I’m feeling good about what I can provide though! And I’m working hard every day to keep up my milk supply for her. Primarily that means expressing every time she has a bottle, using my hand. I still avoid the pump and found it painful, uncomfortable and nearly impossible to do as a stay at home mom who prefers attachment methods of parenting (I like to be hands-on and available for my baby, not strapped and immobile on a machine for an hour or more a day).

Am I looking forward to continuing this journey for another year and a half? Yes, I am. I’m game, I’m a proud breastfeeding mama (if you can’t tell).

 


Hand Expressing Vs Pumping 

Hand expressing milk has been the answer to almost all of my troubles with breastfeeding!

A few notes for you to consider

  • Hand expressing is easy and can be done anywhere
  • You can use bottles or skinny cups catch milk (bowls don’t work, you spray everywhere) easily
  • With a little practice, it’s quite easy to master the hand expressing technique
  • You get to know your own breasts better when you hand express!

Hand expressing has helped with my low milk supply in many ways.

The most important key to maintain milk supply is keeping breasts drained. By pumping or hand expressing, emptying your milk ducts is the main trigger that signals your body to make more milk!
In my first three months of breastfeeding, I neglected to express every time my baby was fed formula. I thought it was about timing when to pump and for “how long to pump”. But it’s a lot simpler than that. I need to express whenever my baby should be nursing and isn’t. (For working moms, that’s expressing at work on a schedule that closely matches your baby’s feeding schedule. For stay at home moms that substitute with formula like me, that means every time you give them formula instead of being able to nurse for a full feeding.) My trouble is whether I pump or hand express, while she drinks her 3 Oz, I express 0.5-1 ounce from both breasts. And that isn’t enough to satisfy her. Granted she nurses before and after the formula fed bottle usually. In other words, I’m nowhere near being able to exclusively feed her my milk. I’ve accepted this, and am happy about it because of how healthy my child is being fed both breast milk and formula. We’ve now introduced CJ to single solid foods (video) as well now, and she’s enjoying that a lot!

Another thing that I think I was lacking is consistent let down(s) and milk flow. Most women complain of having an overactive milk flow, in which their let down comes down fast and hard. Sometimes too fast for the baby, overwhelming them with milk and creating a mess of the mama! I didn’t realize my slow milk flow and lack of letdowns until I started hand expressing.

I’ve been doing this for about a month now, and have noticed a massive improvement in my milk flow. Having an easier time getting multiple let downs (I was only getting one, sometimes another short burst). This in time ends up shortening the amount of time it takes me to completely drain each breast. Which ultimately makes it even easier for me to stay on top of everything that has to do with living with a baby. I hate having to hook up to a pump, clean parts, process milk stashes. When I can easily just grab a clean bottle, hand express (until I’m empty) and provide that milk warmed to my baby, sometime later that same day. (Honestly, I’m six months in and am not at all concerned with building any kind of milk stash. Dun dun dun.)

I still drink lots of water, stick to one cup of coffee (okay fine, no more than two on a crazy day), and eat a crap ton of oatmeal. I think bed sharing and letting her nurse at night and before naps still has a lot to do with my nipples getting that stimulation they need. Having her saliva on my nipples will allow my body to make special mixtures of nutrients and antibodies to help her survive when she turns ill (it’s inevitable, she’ll get sick someday).

And then… there’s the cuddles…

 


The Breastfeeding Bond Between Mother and Child

Honestly, the good, healthy reasons to breastfeed is awesome and all. Being empowered that I provide her nutrition feels great and all… But the bond that is formed between mother and child while breastfeeding is like no other pleasure in this realm.

As I try to explain to you the bond, the power, the energy, the connection that forms between me and my child. I sit back in my chair right now and all I can do is think about holding her closely for another embrace. There is no explaining it. Breastfeeding is one of my very favorite pleasures in life that only I can enjoy as a woman. I’m a proud breastfeeding mom. I’m a happy mother of a breastfed baby girl. Life with a baby is the most incredible thing I’ve ever experienced. Thanks for reading, fellow humans.

Sign up for the Newsletter Signiture

 


 

If you’ve enjoyed this breastfeeding story, please share on Pinterest, Twitter, or Facebook. [wp-svg-icons icon=”share” wrap=”i”]

Love from @luvlifewlee, thanks!

I'm writing about the breastfeeding experience during the age of three to six months old. I want to go into the bad parts, and then celebrate the good parts in regards to breastfeeding a baby. How has the adjustment been to a child in our lives for over six months now? And how I feel about continue breastfeeding until my baby is two years old. #breastfeeding

Have you ever tried hand expressing milk? Will you be trying it after reading this post? Let me know in a comment below! [wp-svg-icons icon=”bubbles-3″ wrap=”i”]

 


What Next?

 

CJ Is 6 Months Old! [Milestones Series]

I’ll be honest in saying I’m emotional Mama this morning as I wake up and realize that my baby is now 6 months old! I feel like this is may be the most important birthday. Let me tell you why…

I didn’t rock pregnancy. There’s a reason why it’s been 13 months of her existence, and I don’t have a single “pregnancy” post. I carried great, and although I was diagnosed with a short cervix at 24 weeks (and was at risk of preterm labor), there were no complications with my pregnancy or labor. (You can read our Positive Birthing Story here.) I just didn’t much like being pregnant.

GETTING TO KNOW ME || As a toddler myself, I loved playing with dolls and then bossing around my sisters when they came along. But as a teen, I had decided that getting married and having babies wasn’t for me. I didn’t grow up obsessed with “cute babies”, in fact, my sisters were much more interested than I, in small babies and kids. It wasn’t until I met my husband that we would even consider getting married. He too didn’t think there was much reason for it. Until 2015, after six years, we kind of just started planning the wedding and before we knew it we were calling in the troops and making reservations for our 3 day wedding in the woods! When a roommate had a baby, I began babysitting while she worked and I fell in love. I got baby fever so, so bad. Or so, so good. Because I remember rolling over in bed one night, and looked into my loving husband’s eyes when I said with a cute grin, “I want to have a baby, Baby.”

His reaction was unforgettable. He smiled at me, that huge, loving smile with his eyes lit up, “Okay Baby, we’ll make a baby then.” And it was that simple! We had decided in that moment, that we were going to try for a baby.

It wasn’t hard. We had lots of “practice” so far (if you know what I mean). And I think spiritually, physically, mentally, I was ready. In that moment of validation and decision, I became a mother.

I didn’t know then that I wouldn’t have any complications with pregnancy, labor or her first six months. I didn’t know then what she (or he) would look like, be like, sound like! I didn’t know if she’d be disabled or healthy. Part of being a mother is worrying about the little things that COULD happen. This “preventative” parenting started right away. My whole life changed.

Here are a few posts that describe the kind of dramatic changes I myself have made, in just 14 months:

How To Have A Routine (Even if you’ve never had one before!)

 

So as I sit here thinking about what my 6 month old daughter has taught me, and what she has learned to do. I think about who she is and whom she’s going to be. I still worry and will make efforts to keep my baby safe and protected in every way I can.

I sit her in gratitude and peace because I have been blessed thus far with a loving, smart, healthy child. I couldn’t have imagined how beautiful and perfect she is, even if I had tried. I’m an optimistic person, but this child blows me away every day. What amazes me more is the perfect blend of HIM & I, that she is. I see so much of her Daddy in her, and these days I’m seeing so much of myself in her stubborn, independent ways. Yet, there’s something still so new, so fresh about her spirit that I’ll spend the rest of my life getting to know!

Well, enough sappy love stuff. Let’s get down to her developmental update for my six month old baby girl, #CJBowden! (Please note that CJ is a nickname to protect her security. If you know us personally please call her CJ on the blog or any pics/vids you may choose to share on social media. Use the tag #cjbowden when posting on any social media accounts. Thanks!)

 

 


SOCIAL SKILLS

She recognizes people she knows versus strangers. Although we don’t spend a lot of time with people whom she doesn’t see often, we are extremely social people. There’s always someone else around to interact with.

CJ definitely prefers Mama to almost anyone, unless I’m absent. She does better for other people when I’m not in the same room with her. If I’m in sight, it won’t be long before she wants back into my embrace.

She smiles and flirts with other people a lot, she doesn’t shy away or attempt to hide.

She physically leans towards her desired person. And if sitting alone, she raises her hands to indicate she wants to be picked up or moved.

 

 

EMOTIONS

I’ll admit, she’s definitely got some emotions following now and she’s ready and willing to make them clear. It’s easy to see when she’s happy, sad, frustrated or hurt.

CJ can he sensitive to other people’s moods and energy level. I actively try to remove her from high energy conversations or environments. Not that she becomes angry or cries, but she becomes hyper-focused (like I do). And since I’m also affected by this energy, I can feel it too. When we remove ourselves, even if just to another room temporarily, she quickly bounces back into optimism.

Which, she has retained. Even in her frustration with trying to be more mobile and working on her body control and balance. CJ tries hard to focus and try again, without getting angry. Finally, she’ll give in and protest, swinging her arms and hitting it. I then assist with whatever has her bothered and distract her. Sometimes she chooses to continue her attempts, but most of the time she chooses some other activity instead. Smart girl, read more on this in Decision-Making section below.

 

 

COMMUNICATION

My 6-month-old baby girl has hit every single expected milestone so far, ahead of time. But I think communicating is more average at this age that other areas such as Physical and Social Developments (where I know she is way above average).

With that being said she’s repeating sounds such as mama, baba, dada, and papa. Although not always on purpose, there at times where I’m questioning if she actually is saying Baba because she wants a bottle. Or me, if she tries for Mama.

This morning though, she was squealing at the dogs to get their attention, I said, “Dog-Dog.” And oh my goodness did she almost say it back, after a short pause! She looked at me for approval and I was stoked, “Yes! Dog DoGGG”.

If I was to guess what her first words would be they are:

  1. Mama
  2. Baba
  3. Dog dog / doh doh
  4. Daddy / Da-dee
  5. Pop Pop (For the recovering live-in grandpa, as we nicknamed him Pop Pop when she was born, he’s obsessed with his granddaughter!)

If I was to guess when it would be soon. Any day I’m expecting her to repeat calling me Mama enough times in a day that I’m convinced she knows. Any day. And I’m so excited for this, much more excited than this next section…

 

 

PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT
Such as standing, hands, and body control

From the time she was born, she had excellent head control. It was tiresome to try to keep her from wobbling to and fro all the time. She’s always excelled a good month or more ahead of schedule. I fully expect that she will be crawling within a month and walking within three (or sooner).

She already has the strength for both, yet she lacks the balance and body control so far. I’m having to watch her very closely now, as she is constantly trying to interact with anything that is nearby. She thinks she can get there already. And has taken to “lunging” forward for things. Ugh. She’s been a lot more of a handful now that she realizes she is an independent human.

I’m thankful for this though as I want to bond closely to my child, without her being clingy. It’s okay to rely on us for food, security and her daily needs. But, I want her to know that she can do things (or try and fail at things), with and without help. I’d love her to ask for help, before offering it. I’d like to be able to warn her of danger and have her trust me. I’m not going to be that parent that says “because I said so”. If I don’t have a valid reason, then she shouldn’t be punished for asking. If she asks a question that she knows is against the rules, then I’ll explain the rule and why it exists. I’ll never make it a habit of letting her take the easy route if she doesn’t ask if there is one!

That being said, I let her “fall” when she’s practicing walking. (By “fall” I mean, gently but quickly put her on the floor, even if it’s face down because she lunged. If she had really fallen, that’s where I try to place her). I kind of want to slow her development in this area down because I’m selfish and she’s only 6 months old. But I do t think it’s working. I thi k what I’ve been doing is just helping her learn quicker.

Either way, I’m in so much trouble soon guys. This active girl is going to keep us all busy, and trying to keep with HER is going to be a serious challenge…

 

 

PROBLEM SOLVING, MAKING DECISIONS & ENVIRONMENTAL DISCOVERY

There are some serious benefits to being a stay at home mom, let’s just admit that it’s the greatest thing ever to be able to see every minute of your child’s abilities and traits develope, every day. At least, I think so. There’s nothing else I’d rather do now. And honestly, there’s hardly room to do anything else anyways!

That being said, knowing also that we plan to provide Homeschooling for her ourselves, I kind of role play not being a mom sometimes.

Why? Because the mom in me wants to do it for her. The human in me, says to sit and watch her try. So I do a fair bit of both Moming and Teaching.

Here’s what I know about my 6 months old decision-making ability:

  • She does have a preference for certain toys
  • She has a preference on which toys she likes at which time of day (quiet morning, quiet toys) and place (when outsides, she doesn’t want toys, just something to gnaw on absent-mindedly).
  • She may choose to *go* to another person my leaning towards them.
  • She can choose to be upset, for very little reason behind it at times. Usually changing the environment or room we are in, helps. (Boredom, which in itself a choice, right?)

Once a decision is made, she is capable of trying to get it (even if she physically can’t). I’m always trying to read her body language and sounds to figure out what in the environment she wants. If she can explore it safely, I let her. Today we spent 40 minutes crimping a large piece of paper into a small ball and then unwrapping it. By the end, she was attempting to squish it together, and pull it back apart.

 

 

PERSONALITY EMERGING

If I had to choose just three words to describe Baby CJ’s personality they would be:

Optimistic – she’s happy 90% of the time more than any other baby I know.
Silly – The sillier the play, the better. No surprise here, Daddy & I are pretty goofy characters ourselves. Honestly, this kid is a hoot and I expect her to be extremely playfully, silly and spontaneously hilarious.
Sweet – My social butterfly is a fan of close interactions, touching faces, sloppy kisses, and oh the cuddles! She’s also very kind to the dogs and has a lot of fun giving and receiving their attention.

Bonus Round words would be: Independent, rhythmic, and hard working.

 

 


DAILY LIFE WITH A 6 MONTH OLD BABY CJ


 

SLEEPING

As you’ve probably read these posts on cosleeping, you know now that I have been bedsharing since the 4 Month Old Sleep Regression. This has finally ended and she’s going to sleep easier. We’ve really had to hone in on the routine. But sometimes, you just gotta let the kid hang out until their tired and good and ready for bed. Some nights it was 9:30 pm, that’s 2.5 hours longer than the bedtime yo!

Thankfully though, the hubby has stepped up is baby-game and we stayed fairly unstressed throughout this phase.

Although bed-sharing has limited our adult cuddle time, we’ve still managed to keep the love alive! (If you know what I mean.)

 

SOLID FOODS

We have begun to try single solid foods, and she loves it. We’ve had no bad reactions or allergies to speak of. CJ’s favorite is Avocados! She also enjoys Sweet Potatoes and Mixed Veggies. The only fruits she’s REALLY enjoyed are apricots, plum, and purple seedless grapes (mashed or purree of course). So far she’ll pretty much eat (or try) anything and has yet to refuse anything. Even if she didn’t make a pleasant face, if offered she’ll try multiple times before closing her mouth in a quiet decline for more. And I don’t force it. She gives it a lot of attempt before finally deciding she doesn’t like it. When offered the same thing a few days later (like the mixed veggies), she then LOVES it! So we’ll just keep experimenting with foods and offer lots of variety. Never to completely remove a food option completely, unless she is alergic.

 

BREAST MILK & FORMULA

This is probably my biggest struggle: breastfeeding. I’ll do a new post soon but in short, my supply is pretty weak. I’m able to nurse her before and during naps and at night (bedsharing helps a ton). But I still am nowhere near discontinuing formula. Unfortunately.

Since I hate pumping, although I do have 3-4 sessions of power pumping a week. I have been hand expressing milk every time I give her a bottle. The progress is slow, but I do feel like it’s what makes the difference in my production. I feed her what I have expressed before her last night time bottle (in a bottle). And I have noticed (and so has she) a better, faster let down lately! So I may still have a hope of removing the bottle completely when she begins to eat solid foods for meals (that’s a whole out yet though).

 

 


PRODUCTS I USED & WOULD RECOMMEND FOR INFANTS 0-6 MONTHS


 

Baby Carrier vs KTan Infant Sling || I now use a more ergonomic baby carrier instead of the K’tan Sling. It’s easy to put on, and the weight of her is better suited on my hips and shoulders, versus my neck and shoulders only. (And I’ve managed to lose my K’tan, and I honestly got the other backup carrier out of desperation only to find that it was better suited for me now that she’s older.) She’s still up against me.

Babywearing is how I survived much of her sleep regression at 4-6 months old, honestly. Especially to get in naps throughout the day when she fights them so hard. One minute she’s wide away okay with my dreadlocks or a carrier strap. The next she’s passed out, unable to resist the rocking or walking around. When they are THAT tired, they’re pretty out. I could just sit down, and enjoy the cuddles of her on my chest as she slept for as long as she could. Sometimes it was 10 minutes, sometimes it was an hour. But at least, she slept!

Rock N Play Baby Bed || I’m so sad that we are saying goodbye to the Rock N Play already! When she learned to sit up on her own, we could keep an eye on her in it. Now though, she can pull and lean over the sides. Mostly trying to reach the dogs as they pass. The rock n play wouldn’t tip over, but she could lunge her way out now. I’ve decided to pass along this amazing baby bed to CJs cousin, who is due next month!

Amber teething necklace! || Not just for teething but any growing pains or physical discomfort. These necklaces release a natural oil through their skin enough to ease their anxiety. Increasing their ability to calm down. Which leads to cuddles, appetite, and eventually sleep. (Just make sure to take the necklace off when they sleep, ride in the car, or are not being watched closely in general.) We only had to give her baby Tylenol once, in this whole six months.

Teething Toys || A good variety of toys to chew on for teething included things that are hard, soft, squishy, rubbery, cold, etc. Anything really, but lots of textures and options have helped. She would bite pretty violently when teething, helping her by holding toys and offering a variety was key to allowing her a comfortable way to deal with her teething. Her bottom two teeth came in at 4 months old (a bit early if you ask some people, but some babys are born with teeth so, no I’m not shocked by this being “too early”).  I thought for sure her top two would come in at 5.5 months but her teething has subsided temporarily and did not come through. I imagine the next hard teething cycle she has, she’ll be cutting through pretty quickly.

 


POSTS I WANT TO WRITE ABOUT THESE MONTHS ARE:

  • How to handle the 4 month sleep regression as an attachment parent
  • What it means to be a positive parent and why I associate with attachment parenting styles the most.
  • It takes a village to raise a child!

 

Stay tuned in by following me on social media! Here are the links:

Like the Blog Page for updates and new posts on Facebook here:
Facebook.com/luvlifewlee

Follow my Pinterest Boards for the best resources and info here:
Pinterest.com/luvlifewlee

I update and interact on Twitter daily @luvlifewlee
Twitter.com/luvlifewlee

I’m also active on Mix (the new StumbleUpon platform)
Mix.com/luvlifewlee