Sunday, January 2, 2011

William Russell Deering

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

More on "Extended" Breastfeeding

It appears that this is the current hot topic, though I wasn't aware of it. It just happens to coincide with the fact that now I am nursing an "older" baby.

I would like to share a link to an article from The Mommy Files from earlier this month.

Moms who breastfeed until their kids are 4, 5, 6...

"Breastfeeding a child until he is age 4 is unusual in the United States. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about the first six months and support for nursing for the first year and beyond, as long as mutually desired by mother and child. But only 23 percent of women in the U.S. make it until age 1, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It's simply not part of American culture to nurse a toddler."

"If you are old enough to ask for it, you are too old for it."

"that insane. kids that are 2-5 years are too old to be breastfed."

"Sounds like Social Services should investigate!"

"When exactly does it stop being necessary and start being weird and borderline abuse?"

"Sounds like the mothers are putting their needs to be soothed and close to their kid above the kid's own welfare."

"I think when the kid is old enough to climb up on Mommy's lap and help himself or herself with no assistance from Mommy, it's enough."

" Show me somebody breast feeding past 1.5 years old, and I'll show you a parent who will overindulge their child for life."

"yes, are these moms addicts or what? unsuction the teat and seek professional help."

"As this article shows, late breastfeeding is mainly to meet the emotional needs of the mother. yuck."

Many comments were directed at the mother in the article who felt it was necessary to only nurse her older child in public and tell him to not discuss it in public. These people, perhaps due to the slight undertone of the article admonishing extending breastfeeding, perhaps due to illiteracy, didn't seem to understand that the mother was not keeping the breastfeeding secret because she was ashamed of it or that it was wrong, but because she feared the social backlash. Based on the comments following this article, it sounds like she was right... they only proved her point!

I have felt the same way about co-sleeping, afraid to admit it to my son's former pediatrician who insists babies should be isolated in a crib in their own room. I would also refrain from telling him that I fed on demand, since he insisted babies must be on schedules. His outdated parenting advice conflicted virtually everything I believed in about bonding and attachment, hence the "former" title.

The fact that she felt she had to hide is supposed to point out how American society is messed up, not that the practice of extended breastfeeding is messed up. I do agree with some of the comments that her doing so, telling her son to keep it a secret, was probably not the healthiest decision in the world for her son. But I've made plenty of mistakes with my kids, and I'm sure I will make more. Hopefully she has the knowledge now that she will explain to her son why she felt that they had to hide, and I have a feeling that the kid will understand when he is older and won't be as "harmed" by it as some people posted.
As far as the concerns about extended breastfeeding being unhealthy from a psychological standpoint, perhaps we should be researching this. It appears that there are many redundant studies which waste resources trying to prove that formula is just as good as breastmilk. Maybe more focus should be on the benefits of extended breastfeeding, an area where it is obvious America needs to improve in order to increase breastfeeding rates, which is supposed to be our national goal. I believe that American society is pretty screwed up, with mental illnesses increasing exponentially in the last generation. The rest of the world doesn't seem to be as screwed up as we are. In fact, the cultures with the highest breastfeeding rates extending over the longest periods of times seem to be the most emotionally sound societies. Would studies prove my theory sound?

Zane, 6 months & 13 months

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What "Extended Breastfeeding" Looks Like

Firstly, I do not agree with the term "extended breastfeeding", as if there's some magical time where breastfeeding goes from "normal" to somehow "unnormal". It does have a negative connotation the more you think about it. What's even more sad is that to many people, "extended" breastfeeding starts at 6 months, perhaps due to a misunderstanding about the "exclusive" recommendation from the American Academy of Pediatrics. To some, it is a year. To others, it means "walking & talking", after they have teeth, "if they can ask for it, they're too old for it". I regret thinking that way, misinformation, and lack of support with my first two children, whom I weaned around nine months.

My son Zane is 13 months old today. And this is what it looks like when he's nursing.

Here are some other videos of him nursing:

What "Extended Breastfeeding" Looks Like

Adventures In Nursing a One-Year-Old: Boobie Bongos

Adventures In Nursing a One-Year-Old: The Ham

The Le Leche League offers a variety of information about nursing beyond one year, one of my favorite articles being:

Breastfeeding Beyond a Year: exploring benefits, cultural influences, and more by Jen Davis.

One thing that strikes me when watching my videos is the fact that my son is still a baby. How could any one think that it is wrong to nurse a baby? And I am curious about how the next year will unfold for us. I can't wait to hear what words Zane will use when asking to nurse. I am anxious about the negative response when I "indiscreetly" nurse him in public.

Perhaps one of the most helpful resources I have found online about breastfeeding is, particularly the articles there about extended breastfeeding.

My husband has been supportive about my lactivism, but has expressed concern about still nursing when the child is, well, not a baby any more but ready to go to kindergarten. I have never imagined myself being a mother that nursed at that age, though I have nothing against it and support those that do so (admittedly, this was not always my belief, but in my entire life I have only actually seen 3 women breastfeeding besides myself, and they were all under 6 months old). I can find the words to express my thoughts about how my son is the only baby I have EVER seen nurse beyond the age of six months. On the rare occasion my older children (9 & 7) happen to get sick, I do express milk for them to drink (YAY BOOBIE MILK!). My goal at this point is at least 2 years, though I am planning on leaving the decision up to my son this time around.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Press Release: Nursing Mother Forced To Leave Waiting Room

Press Release: Security Guard Demands Breastfeeding Baby and Mother Go To Private Room

I've been doing my best to help Mildred Musni, a breastfeeding mother in Virginia, help her community to embrace nursing in public after an incident where a security guard demand she leave a hospital waiting room as she nursed her five-week-old baby. She was covered at the time, and the guard was exceedingly rude. The hospital has issued an apology; please read more at the press release above; I am hoping that the media will grab a hold of the story, as I am swamped with school work to do an article justice just right now.

Take it and run with it!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

M.I.L.C. Virtual Nurse-in For the normalisation, protection and promotion of breastfeeding

M.I.L.C. Event to kick off on August 1, 2009, during Breastfeeding Awareness Week.


Start Time:
Saturday, August 1, 2009 at 12:00am
End Time:
Friday, August 7, 2009 at 6:00pm
Your Facebook Profile


The Mother's International Lactation Campaign (M.I.L.C.) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the normalization, protection and promotion of breastfeeding.

In 2008 and 2009 via the Facebook group "Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding is not Obscene!(official Petition to Facebook)" The organization hosted two nurse-in events on the popular social networking site. Facebook continues to remove depictions of breastfeeding from their site, demeaning women and encouraging the misconception that breastfeeding is in any way a lewd, sexually explicit or offensive act and is inappropriate content for their site. Facebook has issued several public statements in response to the petition group, claiming to support breastfeeding but removing some images out of "concern for the safety of the many young users of the site."

The virtual nurse-ins received extensive media coverage all around the world and membership in the petition group has surpassed 240,000. On one designated day, participants simply posted as their profile picture the image of a nursing mother and changed their status line to: Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene. Individuals used a very diverse and representative range
of images for the event including personal photographs, historic works of art and international symbols.

August 1-7, 2009 is World Breastfeeding Week.

Please join us once again in a peaceful demonstration to Facebook to let them know that breastfeeding is not
obscene, and women should have the right to share images of it on Facebook. Participants need not be nursing mothers nor even female for that matter, the event does not require you to go anywhere, write anyone or donate a single cent. It all happens on Facebook. Let's tell them that the support and promotion of breastfeeding on global social networking sites is an important step in the cultural normalization and protection of breastfeeding. Babies have a right to be breastfed, and women should be supported and encouraged to nurse their babies. When society sends the message that breastfeeding is private, awkward, offensive or socially
inappropriate, breastfeeding initiation and duration rates are affected. Negatively.

For all or any part of the week of August 1-7, please show your support by changing your Facebook profile picture to one depicting a mother nursing her young. A photograph, a drawing, sculpture, symbol or even a photo of your cat or dog nursing a litter. Really, it is so very simple to participate. Click to attend the event, borrow a picture or post your own and change your status line to Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is not obscene!

That's all there is to it. Show your support. Invite all your contacts to do the same. Thank you!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
We are also very interested to know what initiatives, activities or promotional events are being undertaken in your own communities to support World Breastfeeding Week. Please feel free to use the wall space or post links to promote activities or events that you are aware of in your community or special thoughts or ideas that you may have to help protect, promote and normalize breastfeeding. Thank you for your support.

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My profile pic is already a nursing picture, with no plans of changing it any time soon!

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New blog just for baby friendly business reviews!

I started a separate blog for business reviews, in conjunction with Yelp!. We'll try this out and see how it comes along. Working on a form on my website that will allow others to submit reviews based on my criteria.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Formula Advertisements on my Blog

I'm very frustrated by the fact that my Google AdSense advertisements, based on content, apparently think that my site is about nursing covers and infant formula.

However, I do get paid every time someone clicks on them.

And after some thought about it, I realized that those companies GET CHARGED when someone clicks on them.

Is it underhanded and dirty to recommend that you click on those ads every time you visit my site and drain their marketing funds? All it requires is a click from you and simply close the window that opens, which will help me financially to be able to keep up my work promoting breastfeeding at the same time that you will be impacting the profits of the opposition.

Until I figure out how to get the ads to better reflect my content (surely other businesses wouldn't be keen on their competition being promoted on their blog, so there has to be a setting somewhere...) please feel free to click, click away!!!!