Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Child Magazine

Relatively new, but terrifically fabulous new Aussie parenting magazine, My Child ran a whole column on Breastfeeders Anonymous in its Summer issue (out now)! Below is the article, but if it's too small to read you'll just have to go out and buy My Child (check out their website anyway at http://www.mychildmagazine.com.au/)

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Another boost for IQ!

Despite having my nose to the grindstone this month, writing for National Novel Writing Month, I'm blessed to have people in my life who keep their eyes and ears open for news about breastfeeding. And this week, the news has been flowing fast and furious.

My boss, Debbie, the librarian where I do the Saturday shift, sent me a link about how new research has confirmed previous thoughts on Breastfeeding increasing IQ. If you'd like to have a read, go to: http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,22712138-948,00.html

And, bless my gorgeous grandma, aside from reading my book in its entirety (60 years post her own experiences of breastfeeding), she rang today from her nursing home to tell me she'd seen something about breastfeeding on the four o'clock news. She's talking about the fabulous launch of Unicef's Breastfeeding Manifesto (http://www.unicef.org.uk/campaigns/take_action/email_fax_your_mp/index.asp?action=37)

This new manifesto sets out seven key objectives to improve infant feeding practice and to empower women to breastfeed for as long as they choose. Now that's gotta be a good thing!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Book Shops


Thanks for all those who continue to read my blog despite regular updates - life is mad but I love seeing a comment.

My life is only about to get more crazy as I've taken on the challenge to do National Novel Writing Month this month (http://www.nanowrimo.org/) and therefore unless there is mindblowing book news or someone (hint hint) sends breastfeeding stories or photos, I won't be updating much. Although saying that, I have a few guest bloggers lined up, which will hopefully make an appearance soon.

In the meantime, Ï'm excited to say that many bookshops have started ordering Breastfeeders Anonymous from my distributor, so if you've been holding off for the book in bookshops (down under that is) then you should be able to get one soon. If you want to order from a bookshop that doesn't have it in stock, tell them that Dennis Jones and Associates is the distributer.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Hiya folks... promise to add more than photos on WW's soon. But in the meantime, here's another!


Thanks to Sophie for sending it in. And please if any of you have any breastfeeding pics you'd like to share or your breastfeeding story, please email me at info@breastfeedersanonymous.com

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another Wordless Wednesday

Here's another gorgeous pic from my book.

Don't forget if you have a breastfeeding pic you'd be happy to share, please email it to me at info@breastfeedersanonymous.com for next Wordless Wednesday!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Feedback!

I recently got such an uplifting email from a reader and retailer of Breastfeeders Anonyous. Kelly's shipment of the books arrived last week and here's what she had to say:

Thanks for the books - they arrived yesterday. I have to say I have already finished reading and I loved it! I'm so glad to be able to offer this to my customers as it really is a must read. I wish this book had been around when I was first starting out - it is so practical and tells you all the important stuff that no one ever does. I paticularly liked the A-Z of breastfeeding with a toddler. So very true. I also found the myths section fantastic and particularly about losing weight when feeding. Unfortunately I was one of those women who fell into the third category of losing extreme amounts of weight so it was great to know I'm not alone. I almost want a third just so I can use all this new info!

Kelly is selling Breastfeeders Anonymous through her online maternity store - Nuvo Maternity (www.NuvoMaternity.com.au)

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Mother and Baby Mag!

Breastfeeders Anonymous features in the latest Mother and Baby Magazine in Australia.
Sorry the scanned image isn't that fantastic, so here's what they had to say:

Written by a mum with a passion for breastfeeding, this book aims to be a support for any mums facing the highs - and sometimes lows - of breastfeeding. It includes answers to many frequently asked questions and busts the breastfeeding myths you're sure to encounter.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Breastfeeding Mums

Today I have another guest blogger - YAY - Sinead from UK website BreastfeedingMums. I wanted to showcase someone from the UK as a reminder that Breastfeeders Anonymous will soon be available in the UK from http://www.preciousbundle.com/ This is Sinead's gorgeous pic below with her beautiful son. Sinead, like moi, is VERY PASSIONATE about breastfeeding and decided to start a website to help others in their breastfeeding efforts. Below she tells us a bit more... Thanks Sinead.




Breastfeeding Mums came about as a result of my decision to become a work at home mum after the birth of my third child. I had successfully breastfed both of my daughters and having attended a local breastfeeding support group whilst breastfeeding my second daughter, I realised that there was so much information new breastfeeding mums wanted to know but that they just didn’t know where to find the answers.

At that point I realised I could help in so many ways.

Having qualified and worked as an English teacher for several years before becoming a parent, I knew I had the necessary skills to put together informative and useful articles that would guide and inform breastfeeding women and so I got to work; the result was my website.

Almost immediately I began receiving thank you emails from mums who’d come across my site and who had found the help they needed (for example, should a breastfed baby be winded during feeds, is it safe for a breastfeeding mother to drink alcohol, is it possible to restart breastfeeding after stopping?) and that spurred me on to keep writing more and more articles.

As time went by I also added a lot of pregnancy articles to the site as I began to understand that I needed to reach pregnant women too if I was to get the breastfeeding message across. This has been a very successful move and many of my most popular articles are those which are pregnancy-related.

BreastFeedingMums helps many new mothers cope with the demands of breastfeeding and I love the fact that I have helped mums simply by taking time to recall and write about the questions I heard mums asking time and again throughout my own time as a breastfeeding mum.

Aside from the website, I started the BreastfeedingMums Blog (http://breastfeedingmums.typepad.com/) initially as a way of publicising my website. However, it also serves very much as a lovely keepsake of my own breastfeeding memories and my attempts at building up a successful and useful website.

The funny thing is the more I add to the website and blog, the more I realise there still is to do!

In the last few weeks I’ve begun podcasting some of the articles from the website as a means of making my articles more accessible to women who perhaps don’t have the time or privacy to sit down and read the articles and also for women with disabilities who perhaps find it difficult to read articles on a computer screen.

I’m also currently writing a book about my experiences which I hope will also help mums who are finding breastfeeding challenging.

On top of all that I have several other top-secret projects up my sleeve which will be revealed in the very near future!

I can honestly say I have learnt so much from my own personal breastfeeding experiences, not least the fact that I went from being virtually computer illiterate to feeling perfectly comfortable doing all manner of technical stuff these days! More than anything though I feel thrilled that I am now attracting around 1000 visitors a day via the website and blog… and if my advice helps even a tiny percentage of my visitors then all the late nights and hard work will have been well worth it.


If I’d gone back to teaching (which I may in the future) not only would I have missed out on the privilege and freedom of working from home whilst my children are small, but my life would be so different now. I truly feel that the choices I have made have been for the best.
Visit Breastfeeding Mums at http://www.breastfeedingmums.com/

Friday, October 05, 2007

Introducing the Boob Squad

For those of you on Facebook, you may have noticed á while ago I joined the group ''Hey Facebook - breastfeeding is not obsene'', which started when Facebook tried to ban a mum from posting breastfeeding pics. Since then, the group's membership has skyrocketed and recently another new group (not a Facebook one) ''The Leage of Maternal Justice'' has launched some missions to show Facebook that Breastfeeding is FAB!


They're having an online Nurse-in, in which they'll showcase a montage of breastfeeding photos live online. You can send them your photos by logging onto their website and following the links (http://www.leagueofmaternaljustice.com/) and I encourage all of you to do so. Thanks to your great photos for my book, I know many of you have gorgeous breastfeeding photos that would be great for this purpose.




Thursday, October 04, 2007

Missing In Insomnia

Hi friends

Thought I'd better pop in and explain why I've been so absent of late.

We've been busy and away for much of the last week - big highlight was the Thomas The Tank Engine concert in Perth - which means I've had no time for work and computer stuff. Am also running on very little sleep and it's beginning to take its toll...

While I've been MIA, there's been a couple more sightings of Breastfeeders Anonymous in the media, so I'll scan those reviews and articles and bring them to you ASAP.

In the meantime, hope you are all well and happy. Please leave a comment and say HI if you're reading - I have to wonder sometimes if I'm now talking to myself....



Sunday, September 30, 2007

Zoo Pillow

Today, I'm featuring the breastfeeding story of Darnelle and also information about her brilliant breastfeeding product - Zoo Pillow! I used this pillow myself - mum brought it into the hopsital when I was having breastfeeding difficulties and I'm sure it had lots to do with my success!! Thanks for sharing Darnelle...


My wonderful bundle of joy, Fletcher Thomas arrived on the 9th of Feb 2001 after a relatively easy uncomplicated 5 hour labour - yes I know I know "just 5 hours for a first baby," I should count myself very lucky - no stictches, no tears, not even a graze, no epidural, no drugs, not even gas.... but frankly when I think back about the breastfeeding challange that presented itself soon after I think I'd swap with any one of my girlfriends who had a 30+ hour labour!

As far as I'm concerned the real pain and discomfort associated with the arrival of a baby, started when I tried to breastfeed.

As a 1st time Mum you only have your instinct and the miriad of advice thrown at you by well meaning friends and family to draw from... oh yes and the advice from healthcare professionals that changes as each new shift starts. We all start with the one goal - to do the abolute best for our child, regardless of what it takes or how difficult and daunting it feels to achieve that goal. I was no different - so 5 minutes after he was born Fletch was on the breast wolfing down his first mouthfuls...... well that's what I thought he was doing!

I was later to discover he was actually making it his little life's mission to remove my nipples one layer of skin at a time!

I left hospital 2hrs after Fletch was born and went to a birthing clinic, where I ate and slept well and was given the all clear to go home the next morning literally 24hrs after he was born - Fletch was sleeping for 4 hours like clock work, attaching to the breast, weeing and pooing as designed.

By the end of the first 24hours at home Fletch was getting hungry as my milk hadn't come in and I was running out of colustrum. My nipples were raw from following the well intentioned advice from the lactation consultant "just keep putting him on dear it'll get better".

By then end of the first 48hrs at home he was really hungry and letting everyone within a 25km radius know about it. During that time Fletch had choked up a yukky glob that on closer inspection I realised was the scap off my left nipple - "just keep putting him on dear...." So I did - every time I put him on my left breast I was tensing before he latched in anticipation of the pain. It was at about this stage that I thought breastfeeding was the punishment for an easy birth.... can you get an epidural to help with feeding???

Physically I was feeling fine - emotionally I was starting to feel like a complete failure because I couldn't feed my baby.

I had been given every piece of well meaning advice from every concieveable source - the problem was each piece of new advice given seemed to conflict with the previous peice of advice given....

At this point I was wondering why was it I needed to pay to get a licence to have a dog or sit through 10 lessons and a written exam to get a licence to drive a car but not one scrap of proof was required to prove I was ready to take my son home from hospital? I obtained this gorgeous but clearly unhappy offspring without a written exam, without proof I knew what I was doing or that I was properly skilled to "drive" him safely..... Fletch came without a glovebox and certainly without a manual in the non exsistant glovebox!

A very dear friend, nurse and mother of 4 came to visit on day 3.... she listened to him wail and said he's hungry - at which point I sobbed. She had guessed from the sound of his cry when we spoke earlier on the phone..... she boiled up water, produced a bottle and formula, fed him 20ml - at which point he promptly fell asleep and she said "right - let's get this breastfeeding sorted!".

The upshot of it all was that although Fletch was latching beautifully I was not producing milk. I was sitting badly, I was tense and I am sure my fears and concerns about trying to produce milk were all working against me.

Most women will tell you that to feed comfortably they will use cusions, pillows, the arm rest of the couch almost anything to support the arm that is holding the baby while they are feeding at the breast. What most of us don't realise is that while we are doing this we are sitting with exceptionally poor posture.

Poor posture puts tremendous strain on the muscles in your neck, back and shoulders.

We all know you should sit straight all the time, but hours in front of a computer or just to be comfortable in front of the telly teaches us to lean forward and hunch our shoulders. Add to this the weight of the baby and the added weight of full breasts and we are virtually bent over.

The other end of the spectrum has us holding the baby up to the breast and taking the baby's weight for ten to thirty minutes on one, then the other arm. When you consider that we need to do this 6 to 8 (PLUS) times a day and the pain and discomfort that results from muscle tension, is it really any wonder we complain, give up and feel that breastfeeding just isn't the comfortable, natural experience it is proported to be.

After meeting a wonderful physiotherapists and the hours of discussion that resulted I learned that it was my posture not the breatsfeeding was what was causing the horrendous burning pain in my neck and shoulders.

The ZOOPILLOW was created to support feeding mothers. It fits around your waist creating a support for baby that holds him to exactly the right breast height. It supports your arms and eliminates the need to take any of the baby's weight while they are at the breast. It allows you to sit comfortably, shoulders relaxed and spine straight... in essense you are cradling baby to your breast instead of taking the baby's weight in your arms or lifting a shoulder and creating the muscle tension that incorrect posture causes.

Within 2 feeds with the first prototype of Zoo pillow I had learned to relax, the burning pain in my shoulders was gone and importantly Fletch was not picking up on my tension and fear - he was relaxed in himself and feeding well. My milk, while not over abundant (I was never one of those lucky women who could hit the wall from a seated position on the couch if the breast pad was not on quickly enough) had come in once I relaxed and was now flowing well.

Happy Mum and happy baby :-)

So to be really clear, the Zoopillow is designed to support MUM while feeding, it eliminates any stress or strain on your neck, back or shoulders while feeding and it promotes correct feeding posture. I personally found it helped with milk flow and have been told by many many other Mum's that it also assisted them in this regard.

Because of the shape of a Zoopillow it can also be used as a sitting support and tummy time support for your baby as they grow and develop. The Zoopillow also has a waterproof inner and a removable and washable cover if you should be lucky enough to have so much milk that there is an overflow at the end of a feed or if you are lucky enough to have a 'chucky' baby like Fletcher was.

The Zoopillow is now used by many maternity hospitals, NICU wards and birthing units in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The Zoopillow is also available for sale through the Australian Breastfeeding Association, Multiple Birth Association and baby retail stores throughout the country. For more information you are welcome to visit my website http://www.zoopillow.com/ or email me at sales@zoopillow.com.

Happy COMFORTABLE feeding to you all.

Warm regards,
Darnelle Christian

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mum Knows Breast

Hi Folks - today I have another guest blogger in the form of Kelly from Nuvo Maternity and online Mum's space Mum Knows Breast. Welcome Kelly and thanks for sharing your story...

I breastfed both my boys and found the experience to be totally different with each which surprised me a little at the time. However, both times in the first few weeks I had sore nipples and had to learn to attach properly.
I remember the first night home from the hospital with my first son Ryan was terrible. He screamed all night and I just couldn’t attach as my nipples were cracked and sore. I remember being in tears the next day when the midwife from the hospital visited. The midwife was fantastic and really got me on the right track and I was able to successfully feed him for 7 months.

I remember the first 6 weeks as being the hardest and then things really did settle down. I returned to work one day a week when Ryan was 8 weeks old and expressed while at work for 6 months. He then weaned at 7 months, as I was one of those women who lose a lot of weight while breastfeeding and was unable to maintain my supply or a healthy weight range.

Two years later son number two, William, was a whole new ball game! It was easier to get my head around breastfeeding second time but at 3 weeks I was hospitalised for a week with Mastitis. I have never been so sick in my life but continued breastfeeding with a lot of support from a fantastic nurse and lactation consultants at my local child health centre.

Breastfeeding while caring for a two year old was difficult at times as my second son was a distracted feeder who often had his best feed at night! I also fed him until 7 and 1/2 months when my increased weight loss again kicked in and I was unable to keep up my milk supply.

Even though I fed both boys for 7 months I still felt guilty when they were weaned before 12 months and it is one of the reasons I like to support other mums to do the best they can and congratulate themselves for breastfeeding for however long they are able.
I found breastfeeding a rewarding yet challenging experience and it really did change my life in the form of a career change! As a breastfeeding mum, I found it hard to find clothes to nurse in that were both fashionable, high quality and comfortable so decided to design my own range and my business Nuvo Maternity was born while on leave from primary school teaching.

To see more of the great Nuvo range got to www.NuvoMaternity.com.au.

Kelly also runs the fantastic online resource Mum Knows Breast - check it out at www.mumknowsbreast.mumspace.net

Breastfeeders Anonymous is Good Reading!

Yesterday I saw my FIRST review in a magazine! It's a magazine I love so it's very exciting to see my book's pic in there and a few lovely words... see below.
If you'd like to find out more about Good Reading Magazine - which is a fabulous read for ALL booklovers, then go to http://www.goodreadingmagazine.com.au/

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

Molly breastfeeding... Just another gorgeous photo from the many that are published in Breastfeeders Anonymous.

If you have any breastfeeding photos, pictures or cartoons, you'd like to share please email me at info@breastfeedersanonymous.com as I'm always looking for contributions for Wordless Wednesday.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Something special...

Breastfeeding is special at every stage, at least I think so, but I think there's something magical about feeding beyond a year. It's a milestone that sadly many people don't ever reach and breastfeeding a little person is so very different to breastfeeding a tiny baby.

Little people decide when and where they want to breastfeed.
Little people ask for milk in the most wonderful ways - whether verbal or non-verbal, they get to the stage when they love milk so much and can't contain the excitment when it's on the menu.
Little people know that breastmilk can fix any injury or discomfort.

Despite Lachlan still sucking with his teeth a lot of the time (meaning I'm sometimes in pain while feeding), I'm absolutely adoring feeding him at the moment. We've sort of got our own feeding routine, but there's something so magical about breaking it. Generally he feeds early in the morning, once in the night, before naps and before bed, but occasionally, he'll sit in my lap and tap enthusiastically on my breasts, his eyes lighting up at the thought of what's to come... now, who can resist that???

It's enough to make me contemplate another - but shh... I didn't say that!

I'd love to hear about your experiences feedind an older baby or toddler. In my book there's a page about the different things toddlers call breastmilk, mine doesn't have a word for milk yet, but if yours does, please share...

Also, don't forget, I'm always on the lookout for photos or stories, or if you hear about a new breastfeeding product or see breastfeeding in the media, please let me know at info@breastfeedersanonymous.com

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Making Breastfeeding Mamas Sexy...


My breastfeeding experience was pretty mild in comparison to what many mothers go through, but it was still very tough the first time around. I really do wish mothers could still stay in hospital for a good week after birth, in their own room, and were cared for by compassionate staff, that would be my dream. Going home on the day your child is born is atrocious.

Breastfeeding with my first child was ok for the first couple of days, but day 4 was torture. My breasts hurt so much and I’d cry when my baby was hungry because of the pain I knew I was about to feel. I almost gave up that day, but by the next day it was a tiny bit better, the next a little more. It still took till 6wks before the pain had completely gone.

If we were able to stay in hospital, this experience would’ve been a lot better as people should help you latch on and talk you through it all. I get really upset that a mother’s role in childbirth is undermined as not as important and major as it is. What a woman goes through is so tough, yet she is not cared for as a woman and appreciated for all that she has endured.

My 2nd child didn’t hurt anywhere near as much, a little scratching, but nothing major. I only was able to breastfeed until 10mths with both children, and I do feel sad that I couldn’t make the 1yr mark as I had wanted to. But then I realise we as women set goals sometimes and then feel like a failure for not reaching them. My two girls are wonderful and I need to learn to love the fact that I breastfed as long as I possibly could.

HOTmilk came about by me not being able to find any pretty or sexy breastfeeding lingerie, yet knowing that having that lingerie, something for me, would help brighten a tough day. I felt that everyone spoils the newborn baby, but very few people spoil the mum and appreciate all her hard work over the past 9mths, and that dreaded labour day. Being able to spoil new mums and help them to feel fabulous is what HOTmilk is all about. I get such joy reading emails we get from mums who are just so grateful, it feels like we’ve done a good deed and we’re very proud of that.

Thanks Lisa for sharing your breastfeeding story. Lisa, mum of two girls, is the brain child behind HOTmilk Lingerie. You can visit her website and learn more about the fab HOTmilk range at http://www.hotmilklingerie.com

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wordless Wednesday: What The?


Thanks to Amanda for sending me this Wordless Wednesday (www.wordlesswednesday.com) image. If you have any breastfeeding photos, pics or cartoons (funny or real life), please email me at info@breastfeedersanonymous.com

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Precious Bundle

It's official! Really soon Breastfeeders Anonymous will be available in the UK. So, all those European contributors who've been holding off on getting yourself a copy... watch this space. I've just sealed the deal with Precious Bundle (http://www.preciousbundle.com/) for them to sell Breastfeeders Anonymous. They are an online store but as the book will be being sent from within the UK, postage will be far more do-able!

Sarah from Precious Bundle loved my blog so much that she's decided to start her own. She'll update her customers about new products and also include information that will be useful pregnant women and mums of young children. You can check out her blog at http://www.preciousbundle.blogspot.com/

My other HUGE news is that I've recently signed with book distributors Denis Jones and Associates. This means that soon Breastfeeders Anonymous will be available for bookshops to order. Hopefully they'll all stock up on a few copies, but even if you don't find it in stores, you will be able to ask them to order it in.

Finally, as tomorrow is Wednesday, I've decided to begin taking part in Wordless Wednesday (http://www.wordlesswednesday.com/) This basically means busy bloggers get a day of rest and the permission to simply post a photo/picture. I'm going to start featuring one breastfeeding photo, picture or cartoon each Wednesday. I'll post some of the pics from the book but would love to have some new photos to share, so if you have a photo, pic or cartoon you'd like to share about breastfeeding, please email it to info@breastfeedersanonymous.com

Well, I've chatted enough tonight, so till tomorrow...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Breast Buddies



Upon announcing my pregnancy I was met with "congrats we're so happy for you" and immediately after "so are you going to breast feed?" Hmmm was I? Why not? Being a first time mum I figured I'd give it a try. 9 months later we welcomed Julia into our lives, what an amazing time. She was such a good baby right from the get go so I figured we'd sail right through breast feeding with no trouble at all. Boy was I WRONG! Two weeks into it we were both frustrated and ready to give up and that is just what I did. I felt extremely guilty, especially when I would see other mums breastfeeding their babies. Why was it so easy for them? Why werent their babies fussing and losing interest.

A few years later I became pregnant with our second child. Again "congrats so happy for you" and then "so are you going to breast feed" This time I was determined! We wanted to stay as "natural" with things as we could (homemade baby food, baby wearing, co sleeping etc) 9 months later we welcomed our second daughter Fayth into the world. She seemed to have an easier time with feeding than Julia but yet again after a few months, she was fussy and uninterested. I didnt want to just give up this time so I went searching on the internet for information and ultimately a solution and boy did I find one! A nursing necklace! I didnt want to buy one so I made one myself...after a few "demos" I finally got it right. Fayth LOVED it, it was an immediate success! The necklace generated tons of interests from others and soon people were sharing their stories with me and asking me to make them one. I did so, here and there and then one day I thought hey why not make this a business? So I launched The Breast Buddy website and it was a hit right from the start. I have made this my life, my work and have never looked back!

Happy Breastfeeding ladies...you can do it, let The Breast Buddy help you!
Thanks Dana for telling us all about your gorgeous necklaces... makes me wanna have another baby just so I can buy one. Hey, might just buy one anyway. You can order Breast Buddies at http://www.thebreastbuddy.com/

Friday, September 14, 2007

International Breastfeeding Symbol...


Today my guest blogger is Mama Bear from ''The International Breastfeeding Symbol'', telling us about how the International Breastfeeding Symbol came about.

The International Breastfeeding Symbol was created due to a contest hosted by Mothering magazine. Mothering magazine is a natural living magazine here in the US, and it has fans all over the world. It hosted a contest to come up with an International Breastfeeding Symbol, and in November2006, Matt Daigle's symbol beat out all the others.

I personally voted for Daigle's design, as I thought it was by far the best, in terms of representing without words a mother breastfeeding her infant, while being in keeping with the simple style of other international symbols. I do not know Matt Daigle personally, but I have corresponded with him about his symbol, which is why you see his quote on my homepage.

I decided to create a website devoted to breastfeeding education because I've felt passionate about breastfeeding since I was a little girl (believe it or not)... It just so happened that no one had created a website devoted to the new symbol yet... I figured I'd do it, so I did.:)

I made a store to go with it because I couldn't find a store at the time that sold any of that stuff (now I notice there are a bunch, but most of them appeared after my site was up and running)...

Thanks for sharing your story... you can visit Mama Bear's site at www.breastfeedingsymbol.org and see her great range of products boasting the Breastfeeding Symbol. You'll also find loads of information about breastfeeding and loads of other great links.




Wednesday, September 12, 2007

BA Out and About

If you're in Brisbane and are heading down to the Natural Baby Expo this weekend (http://www.naturalbabyexpo.com/) then be sure to find The Product Store and take a peek (or even buy a copy) at Breastfeeders Anonymous.


The Product Store (http://www.theproductstore.com.au/) is an online shop for mums who want quality products from around the world. I'm chuffed that they liked Breastfeeders Anonymous enough to put it in the Aussie Creations section of their online store. The team from The Product Store will be at The Natural Baby Expo this weekend and this is the first time Breastfeeders Anonymous has been out and about!


Breastfeeders Anonymous is also one of this month's feature products at Mothers Direct (http://www.mothersdirect.com.au/)


Stay tuned as in the next few weeks I have some very exciting breastfeeding products being showcased... I'll give ya hint... we're talking pillows, jewellery and lingerie!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

The WHYs of breastfeeding


I'm a frequent user of online parenting community The Bub Hub. Many Hub members were contributors of stories and photos in my book. Recently on the Hub, I noticed a thread of interest titled ''Why are breastfeeding rates so low?''


The question I want to discuss is: Why are BFing rates so low in Australia?


Current statistics state that only 10% of mothers exclusively BF until 6 months as recommended by the WHO. But the more alarming statistic is that by 6 months 70% of mothers are not BFing at all.It has been suggested that the majority of those 70% want to BF but are unable to. I believe this could be true so I ask the question: Why have we lost the ability to BF our children? Why has the art of BFing been lost?


To read the rest of the post and the replies, go to http://www.bubhub.com.au/community/forums/showthread.php?t=119503


This is a question that constantly plagues me. I WANT to help increase breastfeeding rates by helping mums-to-be and new mums become more aware and informed about what breastfeeding can be and should be like.


I truly believe the key is breastfeeding education for ALL pregnant women (whether in the form of classes or free literature) and promoting breastfeeding as IMPORTANT to the general public. I love to see breastfeeding campaigns, such as the current year long FEEL FREE TO FEED campaign (http://www.nursingwear.com.au/) . I'd love to get a grant and be able to give Breastfeeders Anonymous to EVERY pregnant woman in Australia.


I also believe the answer lies in our culture. Western culture does not embrace breastfeeding. We are too busy to sit and indulge in long feeds. We (and I'm talking the generic we) don't keep our babies close enough to encourage good breastfeeding.


In Breastfeeders Anonymous lactation consultant Joy Anderson wrote, ''Humans are a ‘carrying’ species of mammal, and our babies are born with an instinct to expect to have constant contact with their primary caregiver (mother) and be fed little and often.'' This unfortunately does not often sit well with our modern western culture.


Of course there's also the issue of promotion of formula. I recently went to a baby expo and was APPALLED to see a major formula company with a HUGE stand, grabbing as many pregnant women as they could and handing out formula samples. What kind of message is this giving? I would love to have a Breastfeeders Anonymous stall directly opposite this stall and get the breastfeeding message out there, and maybe one day I'll be able to afford to do so.


Anyway, I've rabbitted on for far too long, but I thought this was a really interesting discussion. Why do so many women want to breastfeed, yet so few of these actually succeed in doing so? I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Breastfeeding t-shirts



I love breastfeeding t-shirts! Both my boys have been seen sporting ‘Mum’s Milk For Me’ tops at some stage during their short lives. I’m actually surprised by the number of odd-looks I get – and I have to clarify that they were both fairly young babies when wearing these great t-shirts. In some ways, this makes me wanna put them and myself in more breastfeeding clothing, but I’m also aware that some people are sad because they didn’t end up breastfeeding and these tops may rub salt in their wounds.


So, I’m interested. What do you think of breastfeeding t-shirts?

Have you worn them or put your child in them?

What are your favourite t-shirt quotes?


Below are a few of my all-time favourite quotes from breastfeeding t-shirts:

1) I make Milk… what’s your super power?

2) I’m a boob man!

3) Too lazy to bottle feed - I particularly relate to this one!

4) Breasts: not just for selling cars.

5) These breasts save lives.

If anyone’s game, I’d love to publish a few photos of mums, dads or babes wearing breastfeeding tees, so email your pics to info@breastfeedersanonymous.com

There are many places you can buy these t-shirts, including Mothers Direct (http://www.mothersdirect.com.au/), The Lactivist (http://www.thelactivist.com/), and The Mothers Milk Marketing Board (http://www.lactivist.co.uk/).

Monday, September 03, 2007

Great UK news...

Today, I decided I'd publish another extract from the book in the form of the story of one of my UK contributors. Why? Because a) I'm still waiting on my next guest bloggers to hand their contributions in, b) I love the stories in the book, and c) I had a little bit of good news today, regarding distribution in the UK.

Looks like I'll soon have a retailer selling Breastfeeders Anonymous in the UK, meaning UK contributors and anyone who wants to buy the book will be able to so much easier. I'll post the news here as it comes to hand... don't wanna say too much more yet, until it's in the bag. WATCH THIS SPACE.

And until then, enjoy reading Sue from Merseyside's breastfeeding story below. And don't forget, I'm always on the lookout for stories, photos, breastfeeding news or new breastfeeding related products - if you can help with any of these, please email me at info@breastfeedersanonymous.com

Over to Sue...

I had problems with breastfeeding when I had Matthew. Where those who were bottle feeding would give their babies to the midwives to keep in the nursery and feed if they woke, I was told to sit in the nursery as my baby was two days old, hadn’t latched on, and was starving. I had a cup thrown at me and was told to hand milk myself. When I finally provided 15mls of my milk, they poured it onto his face and it spilled everywhere. They had the cheek to ask for more. You really do lose your dignity when you feed your baby; some hospital staff are so matter-of-fact that they just expect you to flop yourself out and get on with it. Hard for someone who has never even been topless on holiday before!

The third day I was in tears. A midwife sat with me for 45 minutes and explained everything about the shape of the nipple, how a baby sucks, how to latch them on and it all seemed to just click into place from then on. I stayed another night to make sure we were feeding well and then came home, where it was easy and seemed to work out well.


Mathew thrived on my milk and was really healthy and happy. I was so comfortable with breastfeeding and had so much that after about two months, I began to donate milk to the local hospital for premature babies. I breastfed Matthew for nine months and only stopped following a traumatic miscarriage in which I lost quads and required emergency surgery and a blood transfusion. I intended to feed him whilst pregnant, although I didn’t know anyone who had done it – my mum didn’t even try to feed me after struggling for 10 days with my older brother. I didn’t feel pressured to continue, but I’m really lazy and the thought of washing and sterilising all those bottles horrified me.


With my second baby, Scott, I fed easily and listened to my instinct, not hospital advice.
Breastfeeding was the nicest choice I’ve ever made and is so rewarding. Knowing that you are single handedly keeping your baby alive is something to be proud of.

Sue; Merseyside, U.K.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Local Launch News!

Well, folks, apologies for the pause in blogging yesterday, but it was a BUSY one! I'd been up all night with two sick boys and then I had such a fun afternoon at my local book launch that I was just tooooooooooooooo knackered to come on and blog. But I was thinking of you all... and I so wished all of you could have been at the launch.

So, the lowdown.

The book launched was organised by three lovely friends of mine (Peta, Jen and Debbie), they organised people to bring plates of the most delicious food and we all sipped pink champagne (or juice for those pregnant and bf among us). My darling hubby who provided some of the mundane things (haha) like milk, sugar, dips, etc, was very thoughtful and even organised BRIGHT PINK serviettes to coordinate with the front cover of the book. And, the venue was simply beautiful too. Held at the Kodja Place in my local town, you can check it out online at http://www.kodjaplace.net.au/

There were a number of dignitaries there, including the absolutely lovely Senator Judith Adams, who was so generous with ideas about how to get the book out there. My mate Peta introduced the arvo, welcoming everyone and telling them how we met three years ago (almost) on the ''boob couch'' at playgroup. She handed over to my other mate Jen (and also a contributor in the book), who spoke so many lovely words about Breastfeeders Anonymous. I'm so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life... ahhhh.

And then, I chatted for a few moments about the book, why I wrote it and what I hope it does.

So, all in all it was a great arvo.




Photo 1: Me signing books!

Photo 2: Jen, Peta and I doing our speaking bits'n'pieces

Photo 3:My baby boy playing on part of the Kodja Place display.

Photo 4: A view of part of the room and some of the attendees.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

BA hits the airwaves...

Yesterday Joy Anderson (lactation consultant in Breastfeeders Anonymous) and I took part in the Family Matters segment on Bernadette Young's afternoon show on 720AM Perth. It had such a huge response, they decided to podcast it, so you can listen to the segment from the comfort of your own computer at:

http://www.abc.net.au/perth/lunch/podcast.htm

As usual the callers views varied greatly when it came to breastfeeding. A few women called/emailed in about their amazing breastfeeding experience - one woman is feeding triplets and sounded far more alive than I do! Another lady talked about tandem feeding and a few men called in about the convenience of breastfeeding and how they stood up for mothers feeding in public.

Two listeners told about their ultimately disappointing experiences with breastfeeding. I wanted to say more to these two than I got the chance to... so, on the off chance, they're reading:

I wrote/researched Breastfeeders Anonymous for women like YOU. Women who initially wanted so much to breastfeed but due to one problem or another, ended up weaning long before they'd intended/wanted. This book is not to make bottle feeders feel guilty, it's to empower women to be able to experience breastfeeding how it should be. As Joy pointed out afterwards, there shouldn't be the problems there are with breastfeeding and there wouldn't be if people were given the right start in hospital and those first few weeks. My aim in getting this book out there is to make women aware that if things aren't going to plan, get help in those first few days otherwise issues will skyrocket! If you seek help from the beginning, most problems can be overcome.

Tomorrow some great buddies of mine (hiya Peta, Jen and Debbie) are throwing a local launch for Breastfeeders Anonymous. So, hopefully tomorrow night, I'll have some pics for you.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Having issues!


Just because I've written a book on breastfeeding doesn't mean I know everything about breastfeeding. Nor, unfortunately, does it mean I'm immune to breastfeeding 'issues'... in fact, right now, I'm having HUGE issues - at least the pain is huge - and I'm wondering if any of you have any suggestions.

Lachlan (son #2, above) is 13 and a half months and still feeding a fair bit. He adores my bosoms and likes frequent contact, but he has sharp fangs and seems unable to separate eating with sucking. Hence my nipples are doing it tough at the moment and one in particular now has a huge split on it's side and (sorry TMI) is boasting puss.

1) Feeding is AGONY!
2) I'm not sure that Lach sucking the open wound is actually good for him.

So, I've been trying to feed less on my sore breast for a few days but Lach knows! And he wants that breast as well. He's not at all a happy chap about making do with one side, so my cut is needless to say, not getting any better.

Neither Lachlan or I are ready to wean just yet, but I'm really suffering here and if he continues to suck with his teeth (sharp ones), I fear the other breast is in danger of paper-cut-like damage as well. And, we all know how painful a paper cut can be.

So, I was wondering if anyone has any ideas??? Would muchly appreciate the help....

Now, onto business - I have some really exciting guest bloggers coming up over the next week or so, so be sure to keep popping back and let your breastfeeding buddies know too. And, please don''t forget to sign my party roll call by commenting on the last post!!

RACH!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Roll call...


Well folks, it's been a busy and exciting month. It's been 27 days since Breastfeeders Anonymous was released and it's slowly making its way out to the general public. Thanks to those people who've bought the book - I hope you are finding it useful and enjoyable.

So, far Breastfeeders Anonymous is only available online through my site (http://www.breastfeedersanonymous.com/) or Mothers Direct (http://www.mothersdirect.com.au/) - in fact it's a feature product this month on this site - but I'm trying my hardest to get it into other stores, especially bookshops. And, for those overseas peeps, I'm trying my best to work out a way of getting it to you guys too - the weight of books makes this a challenge, but I'm up for it, so watch this space...

I've had interest from nurses and midwives who are showing copies to their collegues and patients and have encouraged me to contact hospitals, clinics and universities with information about the book. This is my mission (one of them) over the next few weeks.

The book has also featured on a number of websites this month, including being in the newsletters of The Bub Hub (http://www.bubhub.com.au/) and Mum Zone (http://www.mumzone.com.au/) and I've exchanged links with a number of other great parenting websites. I've been on-air speaking about the book at Sonshine FM and will be on 720AMs Family Matters segment this Wednesday (www.abc.net.au/perth). I've sent a number of review copies out to newspapers and magazines and am anxiously awaiting the opinions of reviewers. It's been a busy month and I'll keep going, doing my best to get Breastfeeders Anonymous out there.

Why? Because I believe in the book and I believe in its message.

Anyway, I want to thank everyone who's popped by during the month of my online launch for doing so. I hope you've enjoyed reading the stories and finding out about the various breastfeeding products that I love. Keep coming, I aim to continue updating as regularly as possible. And, if you wanna share you're story....

Now for the roll call... if you've partied with me online this month, please leave a comment on today's post, so I know who and how many people joined in the online party. Also, if any of you have any ideas about where I can promote the book more or any places you think may be interested in retailing it, please let me know.

Thanks again friends...

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Breastfeeding - it's inspirational!



'The Breastfeeder.'
Acrylic on Canvas.

This work was inspired by my own new experiences of early motherhood. Personally I encountered no difficulty at all breastfeeding, although I hesitate to use the word naturally as nothing in motherhood I believe comes naturally. Everything is encountered, experienced and then practised. Breastfeeding was a beautiful time for myself and my baby Anabelle. The work expresses the sense of spirituality gained through birth (hence the fish) and the serenity and quiet pleasure that I felt whilst breastfeeding my child.


The Artist - Jaime Bowers is now a mother of two beautiful girls. Originally from Kojonup and now living in Margaret River, she taught herself art and describes her styles as expressionistic with strong feminine themes. She's available for commission work and can be contacted on: jaimebowers77@yahoo.com.au


Thanks Jaime for letting us share your gorgeous pic of a mermaid breastfeeding her merbaby! I just love art that's inspired by breastfeeding.



Keeping track of breastfeeds...


I decided to breastfeed my babies well before they were born, and after a few initial setbacks with my first child, I was anxious but determined to try again with my second. This time it worked well! However, due to lack of sleep, not being eductated enough on breastfeeding and being unable to find a decent way to track what side, what time or how long they’d breastfeed (my babies were ‘demand’ feeders), breastfeeding became frustrating for me.
I was not looking forward to breastfeeding my next child and wanted a logical solution to some of my breastfeeding issues.

In January 2005 my sister-in-law called me, upset by the same issues that I’d faced while breastfeeding and not wanting her to stop, I decided then and there to come up with a solution. The idea of Milk Bands was born.

Milk Bands are rubber bracelets (in a gorgeous array of colour) that help breastfeeding mums keep an accurate nursing log of their baby’s feeds without the hassles of having to make written records or remember to swap pins, watches or bracelets from side to side. Milk Bands incorporate many features to make feeding and the things associated with it easier.

Since then many of my friends and family have benefited from Milk Bands and now people all around the globe are also using them.

Jenny – is the creator of Milk Bands and is also the mother of three beautiful children, with another on the way.

Thanks Jenny for telling us a bit about your inspiration to create Milk Bands. I personally adore this product – in fact, I only showcase products on this site that I really believe in. To find out more about Milk Bands or your nearest retailer, check out the website at www.milkbands.com

REQUEST: If you have a breastfeeding product you really found useful, please comment on the blog or email me (
info@breastfeedersanonymous.com) the details… I’m always looking for more GOOD products to showcase. And, please don’t forget I’m always on the lookout for personal stories…


Friday, August 24, 2007

Mastitis – Just Too Many Times


I thought I was going to die. Two weeks after the birth of my third child I lay in bed consumed with pain and fear, dripping with fever. My number was up, so I believed. This was the eleventh or twelfth time I had had mastitis, but the first time I had become delusional.
In amidst the tears and feelings of devastating loss I pleaded to the ceiling and beyond to let me live. And then I bargained…if you let me live I promise I will do something, something that will make a difference to breastfeeding women.

As I was getting over that horrible bout of mastitis I trawled the mother and baby books yearning for more support - both practical and emotional - than the measly, vague offerings they dedicated to mastitis. I needed and wanted more! And so it was that the seed of the book began.

Over the following year I became determined to share all that I had learned and to collect the words of other mothers so that there was ‘something’ there to fill the void that I had felt so keenly that last and final time I had mastitis.

‘Mama’s Word’ came about in the spirit of days gone by when womanly wisdom was passed on from one generation to the next, by word of mouth. I am passionate that we, as mothers, share our stories without skipping over the raw edges and the sticky bits. It is in the sharing that we can link up and lighten our load.

Charlotte is a mother of mother of three; you can find out more about her book at http://www.mamasword.com/

Thanks Charlotte for stopping by today to tell us about your bf experiences and your new book! As someone who has suffered from mastitis over and over again, I know how depilitating it can be and think your book is brilliant.

If anyone has any of their own tips for how to cope with or avoid mastitis then please let us know (in the comments section of this post).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Breastfeeding After Reduction...

After four long years of trying to conceive, I'd had two miscarriages and the issue of my enormous breasts was really getting to me. So, concluding that we might never have children and even if we do, it might be in ten years or whatever, I opted for a breast reduction. The surgeon removed almost 3kg and it was a huge weight of my shoulders, literally! He knew of my intention to breastfeed should I ever have children, so performed the procedure most likely to retain that capability to the best of his ability. (I’m convinced now he did a fantastic job!)

During a year away in Europe we conceived and I came home exactly 24 weeks pregnant! From then the research started, I found out EVERYTHING I could about breastfeeding in general and breastfeeding after a reduction. (An excellent book for someone in the same situation is ‘Defining Your Own Success: Breastfeeding After Breast Reduction’ by Diane West). Sometimes I don't think that helped; sometimes all the knowledge made me nervous and sometimes it is what saved our breastfeeding relationship.

Marty was born 10 days late after a wonderful labour and I couldn't attach him straight away (I didn't know about baby led attachment - see, not enough research!) but he was so eager to suck. I gave up after about 5 minutes and he sucked my finger for around half an hour. He had such an excellent strong suck and it still devastates me that I didn’t take full advantage of that.

Over the next six days in hospital I fed him as much as I could and started expressing around day 3. My milk never 'came in', the colour just gradually changed from yellowish to milky white. The day before we left hospital the midwives finally convinced me to give Marty some formula and he drank that 100mL in lightning time. I know he was hungry and I knew it then - it was just so hard to realise I couldn't provide him with everything he needed.

When I came home I started taking Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle to boost my supply. Over the next few months I also took Motilium which helped greatly. The best I achieved was breastfeeding Marty all day/night and he received 120mL of formula in the evenings. I started solids early because I hated formula so much! So for a while there he was 'exclusively' breastfed with a solids meal in the evenings.

During all this time I contracted mastitis 6 times (add that to the one time I had it before I even fell pregnant with him!), endured deep and severe unexplained breast pain, found out all about vasospasm and spent hundreds of dollars on medication, ultrasound and laser treatment. I’ve breastfed, used a nipple shield, useda supply line, finger fed, fed with a soft cup feeder and bottle fed. Breastfeeding probably didn't end up cheaper for us but I will never care.

It’s Marty’s first birthday next week and he is still having two feeds a day (after my last bout of mastitis and subsequent cracked nipples etc). He enjoys a beautiful long lazy morning feed next to me in bed and one to fill his tummy for beautiful dreams right before bed.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mythbusters!

Well, it's been just over three weeks since Breastfeeders Anonymous was published and I thought perhaps it was time I posted an extract from the book. One of my favourite features of the book is the loads of myths about breastfeeding that are busted!

I think part of the problem when some people experience difficulties breastfeeding is that they expect it to be different from what it actually is... a lot of this is (I believe) because of the myths that are doing the rounds.

Below is just one of the myths busted in the book... I'd love to hear your experiences of how breastfeeding differed to what you expected.


The majority of mums believe this the biggest breastfeeding myth of all. A survey in the U.K. (2004) found that 95% of women (who had not yet breastfed) believed that breastfeeding came naturally.[i] This scary statistic sets up high hopes and expectations, which are often unrealistic. Breastfeeding is natural, but it does not necessarily come naturally. In her book Breastfeeding with Confidence, Sue Cox explains that the natural part of breastfeeding is ‘making the milk.’ The process of breastfeeding often takes weeks to establish, which is perfectly ‘natural.’

Breastfeeding is also often referred to as an ‘art’, which I believe is misleading. An art requires talent and no matter how hard you persevere, if you don’t have some kind of talent, your art will not be up there with Picasso’s. For breastfeeding this is not the case. Breastfeeding does not require talent and it does not always come naturally, but it is almost always possible with a lot of determination, perseverance, education and support.

Pregnant women who realize this before they begin their breastfeeding journey will be better prepared for obstacles that may arise and be more likely to overcome them. The best way to get ready for breastfeeding is to arm yourself by learning as much as you can about what’s ‘normal’, what’s not, and proper techniques for positioning and attachment. It’s also good to watch as many other women breastfeeding as you can. This helps to immerse you in the whole experience and feel at one with the sisterhood of breastfeeders.

The biggest factor in succeeding is your frame of mind. Research shows that women who make the decision to breastfeed while they are pregnant are far more likely to succeed than those who don’t even bother to think about it. If you believe strongly in the importance of breastfeeding and have confidence in your body’s ability to nourish your child, you will most likely succeed.
[i] Meickle, James. ‘Myths’ Stop Women Breastfeeding, in The Guardian. 10 May 2004.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Making memories...




Today I'm pleased to have Gab, a proud breastfeeding mumma, sharing some of her special photos.


I LOVE breastfeeding photos and can't recommend highly enough the value of taking them while you're still breastfeeding. They are the most beautiful pics to look back on... My book has almost thirty gorgeous pics but I'd love to put many more in subsequent print runs, so if you have any of your own you'd like to share, please email me at info@breastfeedersanonymous.blogspot.com


The first pic I have attached is one that I consider to represent the modern breastfeeding mum - working from home with the flexibility to breastfeed on demand :D This pic shows me at work on the pc, pushing my chair away from the computer having just given my daughter Te Aroha a quick feed, or perhaps in the middle of one of these snacky feeds, which she used to do every15 mins or so at times.. she'd just wander over and climb up on me to latch on for a quick suck and then she'd be off again... :D Love thesememories. Love how working from home meant i could totally demand feed as well. All our needs were met. She self weaned when she was just over 2yrs of age and I demand fed for this entire period.


It was a big part of the reason i didn't return to work in my previous job - while they provided a room for expressing milk, how could i give my baby those little quick feeds they love to snack on during the day if i didn't have them right there WITH me able to access the breast? I'm sure you know exactly what i mean :D I remember thinking at the time, 'the day i can take her to work and feed her, is the day i will go back to work for someone else'.




The second picture is her very last breastfeed.. in March this year when she was 26mths old. We were so lucky to get a snap of that feed as we weren't to know it was her last. As you can see I just love breastfeeding.. my face says it all, there's so much unspoken communication going on there between the two of us that it makes me teary seeing it (i am pregnant and allowed to have an overflow of emotions and gushiness hehe).


The third picture is my daughter asleep in a ring sling in the midst of a very noisy birthday party for my then 3 yo son. Despite the noise and the fact she's sleeping through it, there's those intermittent tiny suck suck sucks and she's still latched on tight... like she loved to be. A feeling of total bliss and safety for them.. all their needs being metwhile being snuggled in a sling and held on the breast.


Gab; is a work at home mum to two and a half kids, 4yrs, 2yrs and a new bub arriving in December. In 2003 she started her own business after having herson Julian and began importing textiles for modern cloth nappies.For more information about Gab's business visit her website at http://www.bubbaearth.com/m/

Thanks Gab for sharing these special memories!


Also, just wanted to say thanks for those who are leaving comments - it's nice to know someone's reading all my posts!






Monday, August 20, 2007

Becoming a mother...



I always wanted to be able to breastfeed. The idea that I could provide everything my baby needed for happiness and survival was amazing to me.

I was confident throughout my pregnancy that I would be the ‘perfect mother’. The reality, of course, was quite different and after the initial shock came the cracked nipples, sleepless nights, social isolation and long hours alone each day. Motherhood certainly wasn’t everything it seemed to be in those glossy parenting magazines and I felt somewhat less than perfect.

But I stuck with it, and with time we became a team, understanding each other without words, knowing how best to respond to certain cries, how to read the tired signs and how to attach correctly. I also learnt how to overcome isolation through being a part of ABA and playgroup.
My challenges in those early days gave me a real insight into many of the issues new mothers face. With this understanding I knew that somehow I had to do what I could to help other new mums.

I am now president of non-profit organisation Mothers Helping Others, which was recently nominated for the Pride of Australia award in the category of community spirit. We believe that we can help local children and families by supporting mothers. Some of our recent projects have included improving our local playground to provide mothers with a relaxing place to enjoy time with their children and socialize with other mums. We also hold social ‘girls nights out’ to raise awareness of the need for mums to make time for themselves, have recently held a photography workshop to encourage mums’ creativity, we have a young parents’ playgroup and we are also addressing the need for improved parenting facilities for our area. In 2008 we also hope to run a range of parenting courses on topics like baby massage, relaxation strategies, settling techniques and nutrition.

I congratulate Rachael for her courage and initiative on embarking on this project and would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this book for taking the time to support new mums during this sometimes challenging yet immensely rewarding and unforgettable time of their lives.
Peace Mitchell
Mothers Helping Others

Thanks Peace for giving us an insight into your journey into motherhood and beyond. I think the work you and the other Mothers at MHO do is amazing and I only hope that through my book, I can also offer new mums some support during a time when it's much needed.
The photo on this page is of Peace and the other mums from Mothers Helping Others.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Mama's Breast

Today we have another gorgeous poem celebrating breastfeeding...

My Mama’s breast is a wondrous place to visit.
Her milk tastes like rainbows, sunshine and love.
I can drive my cars on her arm.
There is some skin on her elbow that feels good to pinch.
I can hear a song from one of my ears while the other keeps warm. Mama and I can share stories with our eyes.
When Trinity is snuggling the other side we can all practice our winking together.
With my tummy full of stars I often fall asleep.
My Mama’s milk makes me feel like I have sunflowers inside me.
My Mama’s breast makes my heart sing, her milk makes me twinkle.


Chrissy Butler

Chrissy is a breastfeeding Mama of 5 years 3 months and is still going strong. She is also an author and illustrator. She says, "I have fed during pregnanacy and tandem fed. I am still enjoying feeding my 2 year old son Jimi Jazz. Birth, breastfeeding and all aspects of mothering continue to inspire my writing and artwork. I am the author of My Brother Jimi Jazz a family homebirth story, which was inspired by my journey into motherhood. I am currently writing articles and making artwork about the delights of motherhood."

You can find out more about Chrissy's picture book and her art at http://www.chrissybutler.com/
Thanks Chrissy for sharing your poem - your book and illustrations are just adorable.




Saturday, August 18, 2007

One Stop For Breastfeeding...



Hi, I’m Frances, the founder and manager of Breastmates. My business is an online store that focuses on breastfeeding products – to make life a little more comfortable for new mums. I have a huge range of “booby products” available, many of which are new and exclusive, modern products to aid a mother's breastfeeding time. Plus I have the gorgeous HOTmilk bras which are a fabulous way for mums to feel sexy and glamorous again while also breastfeeding. (Has it really taken this long for such a product to be designed?!!)

I created this business when I developed reusable wool and hemp breast pads. This product came about because I wanted to use natural products, but also ones that were affordable. When I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I created my own (with a lot of development, engineering and testing along the way). These pads have fantastic natural healing properties, absorb leaks, are easy to care for, etc etc.

The breast pads were the start, and I now have over 40 different products. I decided to make this a specialty breastfeeding store after receiving so much BAD advice from baby shops – one particular experience stands out, when I was served by a bored teenager who really had no idea what I wanted. But now after 2.5 years I am in a position where I can run this from home, I learn about all the products that I sell (and use them) so that I can give independent and informed advice to mothers that need some help. I am also working on loads of PR campaigns and am proud to be promoting breastfeeding in a positive and modern way, for today’s women.

I never envisaged that I would create a breastfeeding business, and that my life would take this path, but it works for me and I LOVE it. I was lucky that I was able to breastfeed my son. It was a bit of learning curve in those first two weeks, but after that it was a dream. I loved just talking those quiet minutes to sit and watch him, and count all his eyelashes!

Thanks Frances for taking the time to tell us about your unique business. It's great to hear that you're working to support breastfeeders and promote it to the general public. To visit France's great store go to http://www.breastmates.co.nz/












Friday, August 17, 2007

Lactivism


My daughters face remains the same
as the day she was born
She is larger,
Hairier,
Longer limbed.
But when she is sleeping, her mouth still suckles,
lips and tongue dreaming of my breast.
When I look at her
I am back there
The smell of hospital, of that day, that week,
When we met.
That precious babyhood.
Already faded and Elusive.
I find it hiding in my daughters face.

Meme.

This gorgeous poem was inspired by the breastfeeding experience of Meme, the mother of three girls, all of whom she breastfed for at least three years (number three is still going). Meme joined the Australian Breastfeeding Association around the time she was pregnant with herfirst baby and simply never stopped going to their group meetings. She is active in her group now, giving as much back to the association, as what she feels they gave to her.

Meme became passionate about breastfeeding as an issue while her first daughter was a baby, when she read the classic book 'The Politics of Breastfeeding' and now considers herself a luscious lactavist.


Thanks Meme for sharing your beautiful poem with us. Breastfeeding has inspired so many good things in so many people... this month I have more artists sharing their breastfeeding inspired work, so keep checking back!

If you consider yourself a lactivist, please comment in the comments section on this post! I'd love to hear about any acts of lactivism you've been involved in.

Don't forget, if you've got a poem, story, photo or work of art to share, simply email me.


The photos on this page are photos from the book!