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!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Even Royalty Breastfeeds...

Yes, yes, I have a winner… but before we get to that, just wanted to share with you my thoughts on where I see this blog going and hopefully hear back from you with any other ideas.

I’d like to make this site:

*A Celebration of breastfeeding – sharing of photos, stories, good news.

*A Place to keep up to date on new breastfeeding products – books, pillows, nursing clothes, etc.

*A Place to find out about all things breastfeeding – mums send in their breastfeeding questions, and I’ll find an expert to answer them (or do my best too). For example, I’m currently on the hunt for information about how breastfeeding affects the shape and feel of ones breasts and whether women who are breastfeeding can still do efficient self-breast examinations. I’m currently talking to a doctor about this and hope to have a post in the next month.

If any of you have any other questions (however weird or wacky) about breastfeeding, please email them to info@breastfeedersanonymous.com and I’ll do my best to find an answer.

This list is continually evolving and I’d really like to hear from you about how I can make Breastfeeders Anonymous Online more friendly and helpful to all of you. Any ideas, please comment on this post or email me.

And while I’m on the call, I’m looking for photos and stories of people’s breastfeeding experiences to feature over the next few months. If you’d like to be a guest blogger on this site, please email me. You can tell your breastfeeding story or talk about anything breastfeeding related! If you are the creator of a breastfeeding product, I'd also love to hear from you.

Now for what you’re all waiting for…

A winner.

I have to say trawling through the sites posted for this contest was a lot of fun!! And so great to see so many high profile people breastfeeding. I've posted a couple of the pics that people sent me and I'm sure you'll agree they all make ya wanna go ''Ahhhhhh.'' I wanted to give everyone who made the effort to enter a book because you all came up with so much, but alas, I can’t afford to do that… so as promised… Hamish picked a winner from a hat…

Congratulations to Jacqui - please email me your details and I'll pop the book in the post!

Super Boobies



I have to apologise to all those unfortunate people that were in my line of fire when I was breastfeeding. Frequently it was my hubby, on one memorable occasion my mother-in-law and even more unforgettable was the group of young men at a shopping centre eating their lunch.
Oh yes.

You see I had an oversupply of milk combined with a let-down that had both my babies gagging and if left un-controlled could easily travel meters. Yup metres. We have the marks on the wall to prove it! It makes me grin now to remember it, but at the time it was the bane of my life. Endlessly leaky boobs. I single-handedly kept breast pad companies in business for the six months I breastfed each of my children. Out in public was probably the worst, I just had to hear a child, any small child would do, my boobs are not fussy, and off they’d go. Milk everywhere. But at night it was difficult too, I could only sleep on my back, and had to have several towels under the sheet and on top of the mattress protector.

Several of my friends have struggled with the heartbreak of no milk, and, ironically, my sister is dealing with it at the moment. I thank goodness that I was never in that situation. My friends joke that I could easily have been the local nursemaid and fed all the kids, and to be honest I wouldn’t have minded. Having too much milk was difficult and uncomfortable, but at the end of the day I had an abundance of milk for my babies, which was a blessing – albeit in disguise!

Because I was dealing with constantly engorged breasts and blocked ducts I overlooked a lump in my breast. I decided that I had a permanently blocked duct and thought no more about it, there’s no breast cancer in my family and I have to say the idea that it was something sinister simply didn’t occur to me. Until earlier this year, six months after weaning my youngest daughter, I mentioned to my husband that I still had the lump. He just stared at me. “You have a lump and you didn’t get it checked?” At that moment I realised how stupid I’d been.

An hour later I was sitting in the doctor’s office, and when I said that I’d been aware of the lump for nearly three years he just gave me the same shocked stare that my husband had. I had a mammogram and ultrasound the next day, and was instantly given the news that there was nothing to worry about. I have to say that I cried at that point.

I’d also like to say that mammogram DID NOT HURT. Just felt more like a pinch on my rib cage, wasn’t even really uncomfortable. I’d always been terrified of mammograms, all anyone could ever tell me was that they hurt. Well they don’t. Just to be sure they did a needle biopsy the following week – that also wasn’t even nearly as painful as I’d have thought and the following day the news came from specialist that I had the all clear. He rang me himself. “I have to tell two women today that they have breast cancer,” he said. “And I just wanted to call and give someone some good news.”

Caitlyn Nicholas; mum and author (http://www.caitlynnicholas.com/) Her latest release is Running Scared.
Thanks Caitlyn for your story about having an abundance of milk... so often do people talk about apparent insufficient milk supply that we sometimes forget that having too much milk can be a big problem also! I have some interesting leaking/squirting stories myself.
Would love to hear from anyone out there about their oversupply stories/issues... please comment!
*Also don't forget the second contest to win a copy of Breastfeeders Anonymous is still running! See post of a few days ago...


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Easy feeding...



Hi everyone, my name is Bree Tinecheff and I'm the Director of Easy Feed Pty Ltd & The Breastfeeding Blanket™ Pty Ltd.

Breastfeeding my first two children was one of the most satisfying and rewarding things I have ever done. However, I found that in certain situations, breastfeeding in public was not always easy. Initially, I felt uncomfortable breastfeeding in public. I wasn’t coordinated at all and did have some discomfort breastfeeding; initially learning how to attach my baby properly to the breast. Nevertheless, I was certain from the start that I was definitely going to breastfeed my babies because of the benefits to their health and development.

In public, although feeding rooms were usually a common facility, I did not find them convenient or desirable. I personally felt very lonely sitting in a feeding room with my new baby for at least an hour by myself. Because of these feelings, I manufactured a wrap which I used to breastfeed in public. The wrap was the best tool during my nursing period and allowed me to incorporate breastfeeding into my lifestyle.

I was so passionate about assisting other women, confronted with these same obstacles, that I refined my wrap and invented what I now call EasyFeed - The Breastfeeding Blanket. Nearly a mother of three, I have put my heart and soul into The Breastfeeding Blanket and therefore helping other women to breastfeed confidently and comfortably. I hope that, through my product, many breastfeeding Mum’s may enjoy the experience and bonding time as much as I have.

Bree (Bree is a mum of two, with another one on the way; she is also an inventor; http://www.easyfeed.com.au/).



Thanks Bree for sharing your story.

If you haven't seen the Easy Feed, check out the pics on this post- it's fantastic for those a little shy of feeding in public and it looks so luxurious. The EasyFeed Breastfeeding Blanket wraps around the feeding mother, covering the breast, stomach and back area that are usually exposed while feeding. It's the only blanket in world to cover the entire upper torso (including the breast, back and stomach) whilst simultaneously allowing eye contact to be maintained whilst feeding your baby.

Speaking of feeding in public, I'd love to hear from any readers about any aspect of feeding in public... so comment away!
*Contest 2 - don't forget I'm running another contest to win a copy of Breastfeeders Anonymous. See post below for details...

Sunday, August 12, 2007

WIN A BOOK Take 2!

The response to my first contest to WIN A BOOK was amazing and I’d like to thank all who entered. To continue the launch celebrations, I’m running a second contest to win another copy of Breastfeeders Anonymous.

I ummed and ahhed for ages about a question, because I wanted another one that both pregnant women and those already mums could answer, so in the end, I decided to go for a fun one… but I’m afraid it might take a little effort.

Breastfeeders Anonymous was HUGE when I first wrote it and gathered all the compilations – came in at about 500 pages, which was just way TOO LONG for a book of this sort. So, unfortunately I had to cut some of the chapters. One of those that got the old HEAVE HO was ‘Celebrity Milk Machines,’ so I decided to give that chapter it’s fame today. Below is the discarded chapter on breastfeeding celebrities (well part of it).

And how is it related to the contest??? Well, I challenge you lot to find a celebrity who isn’t on here that breastfed or was breastfed as a baby. Leave their name in the comments section and if possible, leave a link to the proof (i.e. where you found out the info).

CELEBRITY MILK MACHINES
It’s sometimes hard to believe that celebrities are actually normal people, especially celebrity mums. Without doubt, a few months or even weeks after the initial piccie in glossy magazines of mum and baby, there are shocking and depressing photos of said celebrity mum’s post-baby body. Usually she’s far thinner than she was before she popped out the baby. Perhaps it’s these images that lead us to the assumption that most celebrity mums bottle feed – I mean how can they produce milk when they haven’t an ounce of fat on their skeletons? I know I myself never pictured Pamela Anderson with a baby attached to her humungous bosom, but my assumption was wrong. Pamela Anderson, along with many famous mummies, breastfed her children. Here’s a list of other celebrities who publicly admitted to breastfeeding their babies:



Tori Amos
Christie Brinkley
Hilary Clinton
Cindy Crawford
Celine Dion
Gloria Estevan
Jodie Foster
Jennie Garth
Jerry Hall
Faith Hill
Madonna
Joan Lunden
Andie McDowell
Elle McPherson
Demi Moore
Sarah Jessica Parker
Jane Seymour
Kelly Preston
Jada Pinkett Smith
Meryl Streep
Uma Thurman
Catherine Zeta-Jones
Roseanne
Princess Diana
Queen Elizabeth 2nd
Princess Mary
Bec Hewitt (nee Cartright)
And lots, lots more.

Celebrities that were breastfed:
· All the members of The Hanson’s band.
· Michael Jordan

I’ll announce the winner on August 19th and it’ll be a lucky dip – I’ll put all entrants name’s into a hat and get my son to pick a winner!

She Says...



Decision making comes with being a parent. However, choosing the best for your new baby—during the fog of those early days as a new Mum—can be hard. I knew I’d breastfeed my baby; I hadn’t really considered there was another option. Sure I’d seen Mums offer their newborn a bottle. But it was with a judgemental heart that I internally questioned why they would deny their precious baby natures milk.
One decision I did make (prior to pregnancy/baby brain) was to keep a journal. It’s encouraging to see all the choices I’ve had to make, and those that I seemed to have little control over.

Breastfeeding, for me, can be described as a rocky road; I travelled it, I enjoyed parts of the journey, but it was mostly very hard work.

My early preparations included attending a pre-birth breastfeeding class at my hospital, buying an appropriate feeding chair and wearing maternity bras. Things started reasonably well; good attachment and a sucking baby. Fast forward three months, and I’m giving my daughter her first bottle of supplemented formulae.

What went wrong? Sometimes I ask myself that. But here’s were the journal helps. The lovely nurse at Ngala had recommended I write down my reasons for giving her the bottle. One decision I did make was not to give up too easily. When the concern over my young daughters declining weight was raised, I tried more feeds, longer feeds, expressing to increase supply, then medication…
I got hold of an electric breast pump; dream fed her, offered her extra milk I expressed before going to bed, while reading every piece of available literature I could get my hands on. Over the three months I visited my GP, health nurse, lactation consultant, KEMH, joined the Australian Breastfeeding Association and took part in a UWA breastfeeding study (where samples are taken to test quality and quantity of milk). While other babies were sucking contently, mine was squirming and pounding at the breast. Her sucking was getting lighter and my supply dwindling.

On her 3 month birthday I drove to the paediatrician, determined to act on whatever advice he said. My head was swimming with recommendations, but his was a simple instruction. “You have to supplement now, her weight is just too low.” I now had peace in my decision to offer her a bottle.

But what went wrong? Well, I have questioned whether it’s related to her emergency caesarean, whether she was just a light sucker (despite a good attachment), whether giving her an expressed bottle got her used to the fast flow, whether she was just too tired to eat, whether my milk was poor quality or if I was too active to have repeated let-downs…

I had tried. I have since felt the stares of breastfeeding mothers as I’ve offered her a bottle; but I know I did my best.

Amanda (Amanda is a mother, journalist, photographer and author. Her new release She Says will be out soon, for more information see her website).
She Says is not a parenting manual of do’s and don’ts or a formula to follow. Rather, it is twenty-two conversations with real mothers. If we listen, we’ll glean wisdom from each of their lives and the journeys they’ve travelled. She Says come from those who aren’t nnormally given a stage to share their wisdom.
Thanks Amanda, it is sad to hear your journey of breastfeeding your daughter wasn't a positive one. I hope that if you have more children and want to breastfeed, you have a more fulfilling experience.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Breastfeeding - or Clowning 101

From the moment I got pregnant I was totally committed to breastfeeding as I knew it was the absolute best I could do for my baby. Like my career, I researched pregnancy and motherhood - mostly because I was terrified because I hadn't been terribly maternal until the 12 months or so before falling pregnant - and had my mind set on finding 'best practice' for mothering. Breastfeeding was certainly part of that.

To prepare I read my two bibles - Up the Duff and What to Expect When You're Expecting and did pregnancy yoga, a natural birthing class (my husbandwas horrified at being dragged to a 'hippy spiritual' class but ended upfeeling empowered!) and a breastfeeding class. I thought I was fully equipped for the 'natural' and planned experience I fully intended to have. To cut to the chase, I needed an emergency caesarean and my son had a couple of complications so they wanted to whisk him off to special care without that all important first breastfeed and bonding time. In my morphine haze, I very persistently harassed the midwives until I got that special time with Bailey.

From that point on breastfeeding was pretty easy for me. Of course I had the usual latching lessons and painful moments while my breasts adjusted to their new role. The main challenge for me was maintaining my usual, 'I know what I am doing' confidence in public when I was really struggling to juggle boobs, breastpads, sick cloths, bras, tanks tops (for under the clothes to keep flabby tum concealed), clothes and oh of course - my wonderful baby. Like all in his family he would go from happy to hysterical due to starvation in 2 minutes, so dashing off to some smelly mother's room or café to find a private corner was not an option.

One 3am morning when Bailey was about 6 weeks old (with the threat of returning to corporate life looming) I had a light bulb idea flash in my head. What if I could design a top that built in a maternity bra, had enough fabric to cover breastpads and leaks, had pockets to hold breastpads in place, was long-enough to cover post baby tummies, was comfortable and looked good enough to be worn as a top? With the 3am feed finished, I sat up till dawn drawing a design until I had ticked off all of the 'must have's' on my list. The result was the FreshMums tank and I now have 3 designs in over 80 stores in Australia, the UK and Singapore with more to follow in New Zeland, the US and otherinternational locations.

It has been a huge 18 months and has required a considerable amount of time, money, energy and mother guilt to stay in business. We are about to launch3 new designs and a great new product called Milk Bands to help womenremember when they fed last, how long they fed for and what side to feednext. It just goes to show - women know what they want but they don't alwayshave time to do it themselves. I'm just glad that I did that drawing and was able to make breastfeeding a little bit more comfortable for over 7000 women- so far!

Tracey – Managing Director Fresh Mums.
http://www.freshmums.com/

Friday, August 10, 2007

Love my ''Num-nums''...

I’ve been breastfeeding for just over a year now and still love it!
I remember holding my tiny newborn baby close to me, watching her search for my nipple for her first feed.

I remember my milk coming in and the engorgement, the discomfort until we got the attachment right and wet patches on many shirts!

But all that becomes forgotten when I think about the special cuddles, the look in her eyes as she feeds, the way she pulls on my shirt now that she’s older and the little grunting noises she makes as we get settled and ready for a feed.


The convenience is something I adore... When my little one was just 6 weeks old, my Grandma had a stroke and sadly died. I got a call at 8am, bubby and I had only just got out of bed. I grabbed my nappy bag and we were on our way to the hospital. Without having to leave my Grandma’s bedside to make and heat bottles or sterilise, I gave her as many feeds as she wanted and felt a huge sense of comfort as I held her close.


I love that it’s just for her and I. When all else fails, even the quickest feed mends tears. It’s a journey we both really enjoy!

Michelle

(Michelle is married, has one gorgeous daughter and when she finds the time, teaches dance! The beautiful photos on this post are of her feeding her daughter.)

Thanks Michelle for sharing your story of the comfort of breastfeeding!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

''Meesh'' for Cobey!


My breastfeeding journey isn’t one that’s too exciting… but my ideas of breastfeeding (in fact any form of child-rearing) have changed as both my son, Cobey, and I have grown.

Throughout my pregnancy I heard horror stories from all who thought I “needed to know” so I wouldn’t feel like a failure if I couldn’t do it. I was very blasĂ© about breastfeeding really... ‘if it works, it works,’ I’d tell myself and 'if it doesn’t, well, there’s always formula!’

Just 6 weeks I said… I’d tough it out for six weeks, then start expressing or giving him a bottle of formula so that the husband, Chris, could feed him. I would be returning for work when he was 6 months old anyway – he would need to be weaned by then.

That magical 6 weeks came and went, I was actually selfishly enjoying the fact that I was the only one that could do this – everyone else could get him to sleep, change his nappy, push his stroller – and that his growth was something that I was doing, my self! I was so proud and decided to wait until 3 months before going down the bottle route.

Well, 3 months came and went, no incident, no discussion of bottle feeding, I started thinking about giving away those sachets of formula in the pantry – perhaps to someone with less support and help than I had.

Solids were soon introduced, just before he turned 6 months, and then it occurred to me – in just a couple of weeks I’d have to go back to work, Cobey had only taken a bottle of expressed milk a few times and I certainly hadn’t built up a ‘stash’ in the freezer! I hit panic stations and cried to a few online friends who, bless their souls, sent me electric breast pumps and well wishes! I was able to express enough to have a week's worth before starting work, then organised to pump twice a day at work.

I was lucky enough to have a boss who co-slept and breastfed her boys - while working – until they were three. Without her support I can’t guarantee that I’d be typing this right now. Our breastfeeding relationship didn’t skip a beat as I pumped one bottle a day for him (proudly letting out a “moo” as I entered the staff room with my thermos).

And now here we are, he’s now 12 months old and neither of us are showing any signs of stopping any time soon. I’m so proud of myself, my determination and my body knowing what to do to help my son grow into the little man he is today. I’m so thankful of all my friend and family for supporting me as we started, and continued on our breastfeeding journey. And also to my son, for walking over to me, pulling on my skirt and asking for his “M-Meesh!”

Nikki. (Nikki is married with one beautiful boy and she currently works and breastfeeds! The gorgeous photos on this page are of her feeding her son.)

Thanks Nikki for popping by to tell your story - it's lovely to hear of someone who's been practically supported in their choice.
If anyone else out there is working and still breastfeeding, I'd love to hear from you! Either comment or email me at info@breastfeedersanonymous.com - I'd love to publish more inspiring breastfeeding stories.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Feel Free To Feed campaign!


As many of you know, I chose this month to launch Breastfeeders Anonymous because the first week of August is World Breastfeeding Week. It’s been great to see breastfeeding receiving media attention all over the globe.

As part of World Breastfeeding Week, My Child magazine in partnership with the Australian Breastfeeding Association, Mothers Direct and Nursingwear, have launched the Feel Free to Feed campaign.

The whole goal behind the campaign is to bring breastfeeding into the public eye in an aim to make everyone feel that they can comfortably and happily breastfeed wherever they are – be it work, out and about in a shopping centre, restaurant, anywhere!

Like me, the organizers of this brilliant campaign want to hear about your breastfeeding experiences and they’re offering loads of good prizes to those who write in.

To learn more about the campaign and competition visit: http://mychildmagazine.com.au/HOME/feelfreetofeed/tabid/167/Default.aspx



Feel Free to Feed was the brainchild of Tracey Campbell who owns Nursingwear, an online store specialising in stylish nursing wear and breastfeeding clothes. Breastfeeding clothes are garments with hidden openings that allow easy and discreet access to the breast. Nursingwear has breastfeeding tops, dresses, loungewear, pajamas and swimwear.

Tracey says: “Breastfeeding clothes are especially great for making it comfortable to breastfeed in public. Knowing that there is community support for breastfeeding will surely also be comforting to many new mums.”

In her business Tracey comes into contact with many mums who find breastfeeding in public to be a bit of a mental hurdle, because they wonder how others will accept it. Many mums also find the prospect of having to express breast milk at work (or in other public places) quite daunting. She knows from experience what a large part of a new mum’s life revolves around breastfeeding. It is really quite inconvenient and limiting to have to find a hiding place every time you need to breastfeed!

Tracey is delighted to, through Feel Free to Feed, be playing a part in helping to raise the public profile of breastfeeding and creating awareness of the needs of breastfeeding mums. If you would like to visit Tracey’s online store to have a look at their range of breastfeeding clothes, please click http://www.nursingwear.com.au/ They also have a a general information site for breastfeeding clothes http://www.breastfeedingclothes.com.au/

I stumbled upon this campaign last week when I picked up my first ever issue of My Child magazine! And I have to say, I’m IMPRESSED! My Child is classy and offers interesting, unique articles and I suggest you take a look for yourself.

In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you if you’ve been part of any celebrations for World Breastfeeding Week… please tell me all about it in the comments section.

Rach!






Joy talks about HOT MILK...

Today Joy Anderson, lactation consultant from Breastfeeders Anonymous reports a bit about her time at HOT MILK (the conference of the Australian Breastfeeding Association), which was held in Melbourne last weekend.


There were many speakers at the HOT MILK conference providing interesting and stimulating information on breastfeeding and topics related to breastfeeding, such as parenting styles and practices. Several presenters spoke about fathers, helping us to understand today's dads and the importance of helping them to be more involvedwith their children - but not by bottle-feeding!


A few snippets from some of the speakers were:-


Ros Escott spoke about the effects of infant feeding on every organ system of the body, quoting peer-reviewed research to demonstrate that artificial feeding results in less-healthy individuals. A few of the many, many facts were that some artificially-fed babies studied had damaged DNA in their lymphocytes; 50% of breastfed babies infected with rotavirus showed no symptoms; and coeliac disease is more common in artificially-fed babies, especially if there is no breastmilk in the diet at the time gluten is introduced.


Psychologist Robin Grille spoke about attachment (bonding) and how early experiences, from the third trimester of pregnancy in fact, shape how the individual parents their own children in the future. He spoke about how very few of today's parents had their own attachmentneeds fully met as infants, due to cultural practices of separation, solitary sleep, methods of discipline, etc, and therefore have trouble fully meeting the emotional needs of their own babies. He talked about how human populations evolved over time to become more aggressive, by wiping out the peaceful (and well-attached) populations, as the latter didn't fight back. Aggression in a population correlated with the level of disturbance of the mother-infant bond following birth. Therefore these people were more successful in wars, so today's peoples are descended from them and have inherited practices that are not conducive to good attachment.


Helen Ball, from the UK, spoke about bedsharing. She pointed out that breastfeeding babies are positioned at the mother's breast level, and the mother instinctively protects the baby's space by facing the baby, with her elbow above the baby's head and her knees bent below the baby. The baby is not near the pillows. On the other hand, bottle-feeding mothers sleep with their babies like they would with another adult, with the baby's head level with or on a pillow,close to the mother's head. They may also face away from their babies. This difference in position in the bed influences the risk of smothering. It would be almost impossible for the breastfed baby in this normal position to be overlain or have their face covered by apillow.


Ted Greiner, a nutrition expert from Sweden, stated that paid maternity leave is a human right in any society, and it should not be considered an issue of economics at all. The proximity of the mother and child is what is important, not only for breastfeeding, but for normal attachment and emotional development of all humans. He described the situation in Sweden, where parents receive a government-provided year of paid leave between them after a baby is born. This is still cost-effective in comparison to large subsidies provided for child-care.


Thanks Joy for your news flash on some of the speakers at HOT MILK! Wish I could have been there.


If you WERE at HOT MILK, please leave a comment telling us all what you learnt or found most informative about the sessions...

Sunday, August 05, 2007

We have a WINNER!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter the competition to WIN A COPY of Breastfeeders Anonymous.

I think the genuine consensus is that one of the best things about breastfeeding is the amazing opportunity it gives to bond with your baby. Not surprisingly it was hard to choose a winner but in the end, I had to go with Oscar’s Mum who posted this gorgeous poem:

With their mouth open wide;
they begin to dive;
straight for that breast;
there's no stopping their quest.

Their aim is always quite precise;
their mouth on the nipple like a vice;
sucking ferociously, don't distract;
if you want your nipple left intact!

The time comes and off they fall;
across your lap they do sprawl;
they look up at you with a drunky smile;
and i makes breastfeeding so worthwhile!!

Oscar’s Mum can you please email me at info@breastfeedersanonymous.com with your address and full name, so that I can send you your prize.

I agreed with all answers, but here’s a few that really made me nod!

That ferocious suckling when first attached, slowing down to a contented suckle when the edge was off their hunger. Jakaluma.

I especially love the "drunk" look once they have completed a feed and dozed on it also. Maria.

Oh, and the poos, breastfed baby poos are so much easier on the nose than toddler poos. Caitlyn.

The second is when I'm feeding and I glance at my husband and I find he's sitting watching us and going "awwwwww". A lovely family moment. Lucy.

I’m really loving blogging about breastfeeding and ‘meeting’ more breastfeeders or people that want to breastfeed and have decided that I want to continue this blog long after the launch month is up.

I’m hoping to make Breastfeeders Anonymous Online a place where breastfeeders (and those want to) can come to share stories, learn about new breastfeeding products and find up to date news/research about breastfeeding. If you have any more ideas about how to make this blog better for readers, please leave a comment.

If you have a story or photo you’d like to share or are the creator of a breastfeeding related product, I’d love to have you as a guest blogger – please email me at info@breastfeedersanonymous.com Even photos that are a little left of the middle, such as this gorgeous one of a dog breastfeeding kittens are welcome - anything that shows the specialness of breastfeeding...

‘Til next time,
Rach!





Saturday, August 04, 2007

Cover Star!

Hi, I'm Fay and its my baby (and nipple :) ) that appears on the front coverof this wonderful book.

I have had a lots of experiences breastfeeding my three children. They were all unique and sometimes frustrating but always very wonderful and fulfilling. When my first baby was born, it was totally normal for me to put her to the breast. No one had told me about it or what I should do, but luckily she felt the same way I did and we just got on with it.This however was not to last as she started breast aversion at about four months. I had no idea what was going on because we had had no problems up until that point. She would attach pull back and scream!!

I went to see anumber of people and unfortunately got some bad advice. I was told my childwas using me as a dummy and I should put her on a strict schedule, so thatshe was hungry when I fed her. She would not refuse then.

Well, as you can imagine this did not help one bit and only served to reduce my milk flow to zero. After two months of fighting her every feed she was eventually out onto formula full time. But I had learnt a valuable lesson. Sometimes you need to trust your own instinct over a professional opinion.

My second fed like a fiend. He was a big boy and wanted to feed or screamall day. (Haven’t we all been there?) I got exhausted but we persisted andwith the help of ABA, I stuck with it and we continued to breastfeed until hewas a year old. Another lesson learnt: a 1 hour feed may be exhausting but a5 minute feed stresses you out :) go with the flow.

By baby three, I thought I knew it all. He again was a fabulous feeder but a lot more placid compared to my second. However, I developed thrush on my nipples and he in his mouth. The pain was so excruciating, I contemplated giving up feeding a number of times. Thank goodness some good advice and the right treatment and we were away. We breastfed for nearly two whole years before we mutually decided it was time to move on. During that time we took part in university trials and did school demostrations. It was a wonderful time and I truely learnt to trust my body and my baby.

Now with baby number 4 due to arrive a couple of months and with the knowledge and support I have obtained through the years I reckon we could feed for years :) But you know everyday has its challenges but I am open to them and ready to fight them.

I love to breastfeed and I love seeing others do it to. It is such a natural process for me and I feel blessed that I have provided all my children with its love and nourishment.

Fay; mother of the beautiful baby on the cover of Breastfeeders Anonymous!
Thanks Fay for providing your story and your wonderful photo! I wish you well with baby number four and hope you find breastfeeding a thoroughly amazing experience for the both of you!
*LAST CHANCE TO ENTER THE CONTEST - see post August 2nd! Tell your friends.*

Friday, August 03, 2007

Bare Breasts and proud of it!


As a romance author I’m used to hearing the occasional wisecrack about heaving bosoms. It goes with the territory of writing terrific sex scenes!

However, after the recent birth of my second child, about the only heaving bosoms for this author are my own!

Once again I’m breastfeeding, the most amazing experience in the world.

I breastfed my first child for 16 months and felt strangely bereft when I finished. Now I’m lucky enough to get another chance at it and I’m savouring every precious moment. When the little darling looks up at me while gently placing an open palm on my breast it’s a wonderful bonding time for us both.

Of course, everyone doesn’t feel the same way considering the odd looks I get when feeding out in public. And what’s even stranger, most of the strange looks come from women! Men don’t seem to blink an eye. Not that you can see much beneath a discreetly draped shawl but for some bizarre reason breastfeeding makes some people uncomfortable.

Personally, I don’t get it.

It’s the most natural thing in the world.
It benefits bub and mum for a multitude of reasons.
It’s easy and convenient.
Quite simply, breastfeeding is the best!

Now, I must run. Baby is screaming for a feed and after that, the heroine in my current novel wants to give me a severe talking-to as the hero I’ve matched her with is ever so slightly fixated on her breasts!!

Nicola

Nicola Marsh is a mother of two beautiful boys and a romance writer for Harlequin Mills & Boon; her current title is Princess Australia.
http://www.nicolamarsh.com/
http://www.nicolamarsh.blogspot.com/

Thanks Nic for taking the time to share your views on breastfeeding!! If anyone out there has a 'tainted' image of M&Bs, believing all sorts of stereotypes then I dare you to open up your horizons, and grab a copy of Nicola's latest book... guaranteed you won't be disappointed.

*** CONTEST: don't forget, you have two more days to comment on my August 2nd post and win a copy of Breastfeedes Anonymous***

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Breastfeeding Angels

I began my journey into parenthood in 1998. After an amazing experience of giving birth to our first child, our beautiful son, the time came to breastfeed him. I was very fortunate that I had been exposed to women breastfeeding, in particular one lady who I worked for in her home, and I already knew I would breastfeed my child/ren. There was never any doubt and I assumed I would feed my baby until about 8 months of age and then I would see how we were going.

Within a half an hour of him being born, I put him to my breast as I lay on my side and allowed him to suckle, although he was very sleepy and didn’t work too hard at it. A few hours later, it was dawn and I wanted to feed my baby, so a midwife was sent into my room to ‘help’ me. It was a complete disaster - the midwife took a hold of my baby in one arm and with her other hand she pulled my breast to meet my baby’s face. I was half sitting and very uncomfortable and she continued, with force, to try and make my breast meet my baby’s mouth. He started screaming, I was crying and the midwife got cranky.

Up until that point I had only had wonderful relations with the midwives in the hospital - they were supportive and kind and had allowed me my own space and freedom during labour. I was confused and upset and asked the midwife to leave us and I would try on my own. At this point I was feeling gutted. I really needed some help and support to start this thing called breastfeeding. I lay in that bed, with my baby son tucked in with me, wondering what we were going to do and feeling frightened that my baby would starve if I didn’t feed him soon. Then I heard a quiet knock on the door and a sweet voice saying knock, knock, can I come in?

An angel had arrived.

I learned that this midwife was also a lactation consultant and was actually filling in for another midwife who was ill that day. She sat on the end of the bed and spoke with me about how I was feeling. She asked a few questions about my BF experiences up until then and at that point I cried and told her what had happened. She held my hand and without judgment of the other midwife, told me she would help me. Something that she mentioned during this time became of great importance to me - she was still breastfeeding her 3yo daughter. I was very impressed and right in that moment, I made the decision that I would breastfeed my babies for as long as they would breastfeed.

This lady, my angel, spent about ½ an hour with me, one-on-one, guiding my baby son and myself into the beginning of a beautiful breastfeeding relationship. Twice during that time, the matron poked her head into the room to remind my midwife that she had other mums to see to and she should hurry up. To which my midwife replied, “I will come when I am sure Sally is ready for me to leave her.” Wow-how special did I feel!

I left that hospital confident in the knowledge that I had someone who believed in me and my abilities to breastfeed and I continued to breastfeed my son for another 14 months. I never did recall my angel’s name but I will always remember her kindness and devotion to both me and breastfeeding.

Sally.

Thanks Sal for contributing your inspirational story! I too had a breastfeeding angel who I contribute my success at feeding my first son to... withouth her, I honestly don't think my experience of breastfeeding would have been what it was.

I'd love to hear any other stories of breastfeeding angels... so please feel free to email them to info@breastfeedersanonymous.com or comment on this post!

***CONTEST - see previous blog post! Still running! Winner announced August 6th!***

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

WIN A COPY OF Breastfeeders Anonymous

One of the most enjoyable things about researching and writing Breastfeeders Anonymous was ‘meeting’ wonderful people and ‘hearing’ their breastfeeding stories – the good, the bad and the downright ugly…




As a result, I’m always interested to hear how people feel about breastfeeding, so I thought that was a great place to kick off my first contest.

To enter the contest to win a copy of Breastfeeders Anonymous answer the question below by posting a comment to this blog post… as you’ll see there’s one question for mums who have breastfed and another for women who are hoping to breastfeed someday.

Question: What do you most enjoy about breastfeeding?
What do you most look forward to about breastfeeding?


I look forward to reading your comments.


The winner will be announced on Monday 6th August – so tell everyone you know to enter.


The photo above is one of the beautiful pics you'll find in the book.