Saturday, November 19, 2011


Well, I'm sure you've all seen the news story about the new Milwaukee ad campaign against co-sleeping. If not, you can check it out here. As such, I've decided to forgo the next post about breastfeeding and instead focus on this hot topic.

My husband and I bed-share with our 7 month old. We've done it since day 1. Well, to be totally fair, that's not entirely accurate. When I say "we," I mean "I." When we first brought our little one home, we tried the new king bed we had. Unfortunately, the mattress was a little too soft. Alexander (little one) kept rolling over because of the indentation caused by my weight. We put a very firm twin mattress on the floor for Alexander and I. We slept there for the first 6 weeks or so. During those first 6 weeks, my husband and I slowly grew more and more agitated with each other. We felt like we rarely got to see each other or talk to each other due to the pressures of a new baby and his job. Then, on top of that, we were sleeping in separate beds--not exactly an ideal situation. After Alexander was able to control his head, he and I moved up to the big bed. We took the comforter off the bed and limited the number of pillows. We rotated the mattress so that the foot of the bed was at the head and the head was at the foot thereby giving us more support. It has been like that for the past 6 or so months now, and we've never had a problem.

Mommies are made to sleep with their babies. We have these amazing instincts that awaken us when our baby slows/stops breathing, gets covered by a blanket, or is in danger of being rolled on. Don't believe me? Or don't think that my experience is enough proof? Look up Dr. Bill Sears.
From one of his websites,
 "[W]e've made healthy children our life's mission. After raising eight children and practicing pediatric medicine for more than 30 years, we have answered questions from thousands of parents. Millions more have sought our advice through our 40+ pediatric books, articles in parenting magazines, and our appearances on more than 100 television programs such as 20/20, Donahue, Good Morning America, Oprah, CBS This Morning, CNN, NBC's Today Show and Dateline."

Drs. Bill and Martha Sears are widely respected physicians who are well-known proponents of the attachment parenting method, which is the method to which I generally subscribe. I tell you this so that there is no question as to the credibility of the next page to which I am sending you. Dr. Sears' other website contains a rebuttal of the Milwaukee ad campaign against co-sleeping. That can be found here. Then, you can explore this. I implore you to read everything on those two pages. That's all it is--two itty, bitty pages of text. If you're interested in even more evidence that co-sleeping is a good idea, check out La Leche League International's Answer Page on the topic.

I appreciate that Milwaukee has a serious problem with children sleeping in unsafe environments and therefore perishing. The important thing to note is that the vast majority of those children were killed due to improper execution of co-sleeping and/or bed-sharing. If you drink alcohol, you MUST NOT sleep in the bed with your child until at least 2 hours have elapsed PER DRINK. If you smoke, you should NOT co-sleep or bed-share. If you ingest any other "extracurricular substances," you should NOT co-sleep or bed-share.

Long story short, Milwaukee's ad council should know better and should not be discouraging a perfectly safe and valuable practice. Instead, they should educate parents on how to bed-share and/or co-sleep. As far as I'm concerned, they deserve every bit of criticism that they get.

Have a wonderful week!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


1. People throw around the term "Breastfeeding Nazi" all the time because women support breastfeeding or choose to breastfeed in public. Why on earth does nursing in public suddenly make us "Breastfeeding Nazis" when people run around formula feeding in public and don't get called "Formula Nazis?" Also, what is a Nazi? I'm fairly positive that the actual meaning of Nazi is so far removed from breastfeeding that they can't even begin to be placed in the same category.
2. Before you try to say that breastfeeding and bottle-feeding are the same, do your research. The FDA has NOTHING to do with formula. They can (and HAVE) put, let me capitalize that: baby formula. Formula companies try desperately to sell you on the idea that their product is the same, but no one knows all the ingredients of breastmilk because your breastmilk is made specially for your baby. Each child gets his/her own specially formulated meal every single time they eat! When you and your child are around certain germs, your body immediately begins formulating the antibodies to protect your child from whatever illness they have been exposed to. Even cooler? If your baby is, for some reason, apart from you and exposed to a germ, when they latch on to begin feeding, your breasts read that and are able to make the antibodies at that very moment!
3. Breastfeeding is the natural imperative. When a baby is hungry, they display the rooting reflex. That rooting reflex is not to find a bottle. It is to find a breast. Lean back with a newborn sometime and watch how the baby moves itself from Point A on your chest to Point B looking for his/her natural food source.
4. Breastfeeding is not just food. It is also a parenting tool. When your baby gets hurt, you can soothe him/her much quicker. Sometimes a baby just wants to make sure you're there, that you still love them.
5. Breastfed babies are healthier. This is not an opinion. It is a proven (and well-documented) fact that formula-fed babies get sick at a much higher rate than breastfed babies. Again, breastfeeding is the natural order of things; therefore, breastfed babies aren't "healthier." Formula-fed babies are sicker. This goes hand in hand with IQ. Formula actually makes children dumber. Breastfeeding allows your child to reach his/her IQ potential. Formula also enhances the likelihood of allergies. Breastfeeding helps prevent them.
6. Breastfeeding promotes a very distinct kind of bond with your child. While a bottle-fed baby may bond with his/her mother, there is a difference. Anyone who has ever breastfed a baby knows what I'm referencing, and anyone who hasn't just has to ask a breastfeeding mother. Along this topic, I have a short story to tell. When I first started breastfeeding, I had some positioning and latch issues. It was never enough to actually make me quit breastfeeding, but, then again, I had support. I still felt pretty lackadaisical about the whole thing, though. Then, one day, I started to go to the gym to try to get my booty back in shape. I pumped for my baby, which was fine. An hour later, I got home to find him sitting with his daddy getting fed. The jealousy that popped up at that moment was totally unexpected! I figured I'd feel relieved, that I would feel a little bit freer. The fact of the matter, though, was that I wanted to rip the bottle away from him! Granted, I was still a little hormonal, but, really, aren't we all? :-P

It is very important to note: There are some times when formula is necessary, and I do not condemn those who MUST formula feed. I simply want the knowledge out there so that everyone can make a genuinely well-informed decision. I also want to make sure that it is understood that it is a pretty rare occurrence for there to be no way for a mother to breastfeed. There are very few women who honestly cannot make enough milk or whose babies "just don't like to nurse." I'm not saying it doesn't happen--it's just far less common than people claim. Typically, the mothers who offer these excuses have not been supported in their decisions or are too self-conscious to ask for the help that they need. Once again, babies are MADE to nurse. A baby who can't lift its head or crawl can somehow manage to scoot to the breast mere minutes after it is born.

My final note for the evening is this: We are mammals. If you observe every other mammal on the planet, they ALL nurse their young, and they don't have the health issues that we have. The word mammal comes from the same base stem as "mammary." The mammary glands are what produce milk. We are mammals because we produce milk and feed our young. Want to read some about how other mammals nurse? I thought it was very interesting!

Let me know if there's a topic you want covered more in depth! Have a fabulous week!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

In The Beginning

Hi. I'm Heather. I have a 5 month old baby boy (pretty sure he's the cutest EVER!), a wonderful husband, and a superbly precious kitty named Carmen. Overall, I would say that I am a fairly standard individual with friends and family, triumphs and failures, happiness and sadness. Like most people, I feel like I have "stuff" to share. I plan to discuss my journey from "normal" human being to "crunchy" mom. I also hope to educate my readership on the benefits of crunchiness (namely breastfeeding, natural childbirth, baby-wearing, and bed-sharing). From there, I want to talk about some of the interesting (sometimes exciting, sometimes miserable) trials and tribulations of having a first child. I always welcome questions and comments, but please understand that nastiness will not be tolerated. I will cite sources for you guys, and I will offer my own opinions. So, let's get started! :)

I have always felt that my mother is a "crunchy" individual, owing to her breastfeeding all four of her children (a couple well into toddlerhood), having natural childbirths, and trying to eat organically. Not to suggest that I disapproved of her healthy lifestyle, but it smacked of hippie-ness to me. When I found out that I was pregnant, I absolutely did not anticipate the journey into "hippie-ness" that I was about to take.

I knew without fail that I was going to breastfeed. My mother had threatened to "cut them off" if I didn't use them for their god-intended purpose. I did, however, want to do some reading/studying before that day came. That will be the topic of my next post. I need to find a way to organize my thoughts, so I'll separate my posts into topics. My next post will be breastfeeding and what I learned through my studying. Assuming I cover everything that I want to cover, the following one will be about natural childbirth. We'll see how it goes from there.

Well, it seems like this first post is a whole lot of rambling and not a whole lot of saying anything. My apologies! I promise to do better next time.

Until then,

Ps- If you want to go ahead and explore one of my sources that will be cited repeatedly, you can visit: La Leche League International.