Tag Archives: breastfeeding support

Breastfeeding IS a Big Deal…

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I recently ran across a blog post that posed the question, “Should We Stop Acting Like Breastfeeding is a Big Deal?”

While I agree with a few of her points, I believe that the post is very subjective and the author has blissfully lived in a land of acceptance and privilege and has never encountered the harsh realities that some of us have. But the answer to the question is ABSOLUTELY NOT!

I do agree with the fact that breastfeeding should be viewed as the normal thing to do. It absolutely is the normal thing to do. However, the whole world doesn’t see it that way, and until it does, and mothers are no longer being harrassed for doing such a normal thing, there is a real need for activism in the breastfeeding community.

The author wrote this, which really stuck out to me:

 I (like most nursing mothers) was never ever asked to leave or cover when nursing despite doing it front and center in the middle of church, at theme parks, stores, and restaurants and even wedged between two men on many a flight and many other places. I never once had a negative word spoken to me while nursing and lived in three states with widely varying opinions and acceptance for breastfeeding (California, Texas and New Mexico).

Maybe that’s why she doesn’t understand why we should NOT stop acting as if breastfeeding is a big deal.  She has never had to deal with the negativity. She’s never been asked to leave the mall while she was breastfeeding her toddler in the play area because the security guard on duty wasn’t made aware of the malls pro-breastfeeding policy. I have, and it wasn’t fun. It was humiliating. It was embarrassing. It should never have happened, and the reason that it did is because I live in Mississippi and just the word “breastfeeding” is associated with a shameful act.

Perhaps she doesn’t understand why we should NOT stop acting as if breastfeeding is a big deal is because she hasn’t been forced to nurse or pump in a filthy bathroom or encountered the glaring looks of her fellow worshipers during church services while she breastfeeds her infant.

Or maybe she hasn’t been called a “child molester” because she was “still” breastfeeding her 3 year old or had her child taken away because he was breastfed longer than what is socially acceptable. She hasn’t been told that she was only doing it for her own pleasure and that she was leaving a permanent scar on her child because of it.

If it were so easy to “just breastfeed as if it were the normal thing to do” the breastfeeding rates wouldn’t be so low and this wouldn’t be an issue.

So it isn’t realistic to say, “Oh, just simply breastfeed.” That’s exactly what we are trying to do. We aren’t trying to make a statement, we aren’t trying to create controversy, nor do we have an agenda. But when these things happen, breastfeeding mothers NEED support. They need others to rally around them and know that there are others who understand and support them. It isn’t about getting blog hits or creating drama. It’s about mothers supporting mothers.

Part of the problem, though, is that it isn’t just that easy. In this hyper-sexualized culture, breastfeeding is the underdog. Many children don’t grow up seeing others breastfeed, and the deficit in the breastfeeding rates is contributed largely to that.  Breastfeeding is a right-brain function, therefore, when mothers don’t see it, sometimes they really don’t know how to do it. We are bombarded with books and information on how to breastfeed, but when we over-think it and let the left brain take over, the emotional aspect takes a back burner. The way that we remedy this is by seeing other mothers breastfeed. When we learn from others, we don’t have to “overthink” it too much and that allows the right brain to take over.

So, what happens when we don’t know any other breastfeeding mothers to watch?

This is where social media comes into play for a lot of mothers. In an informal poll on my Instagram account, I asked mothers about their experience with breastfeeding and social media, and if any of them “learned” to breastfeed through social media and immediately got comments like these:

I totally did!! Y’all I’ll be honest- I never gave it much thought. I wasn’t for or against it. But during my pregnancy I found websites, blogs, etc and discovered just how AWESOME breastfeeding is! And through pages like this one I saw pictures and it made it seem beautiful and natural. I’m proud to say we are going on 8 months ebf and have no end in sight. It’s a beautiful and sweet experience and I’m SO SO SO thankful for social media making it out there and ‘normal’ for mass amounts of people.”
Social media didn”t help me “learn” to breastfeed BUT I did learn a lot breastfeeding in general. But ultimately, taking a breastfeeding class while I was still pregnant was the best decision I ever made. And then having a great LC afterwards. Social media did help me decide to nurse in public!
 
Several people mentioned that they had learned to breastfeed from watching YouTube videos. So, having those “in your face” breastfeeding photos has a very important purpose for those without the priviledge of a “real life” support system.
 
The point is, until breastfeeding IS viewed as the normal thing to do, breastfeeding needs to be marketed  just as much as formula is marketed (although it won’t happen, since we are up against BILLIONS of dollars…). We are in the overwhelming majority, and when mothers are harrassed and discriminated against it is a big deal.

 

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My Body is My Own: Breastfeeding After Sexual Abuse

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****TRIGGER WARNING! This post deals with sexual abuse and the content may be disturbing to some.****

I hate the phrase, “Time heals all wounds.” The truth is, it doesn’t. Some wounds are so deep that it becomes ingrained in who we are. Sure, time makes them easier to bear, but like a glass vase that has been broken and then glued back together, those scars will always be there, even when it appears that the seams of the shattered glass match up perfectly.
I would love to say that I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I would give almost anything for that to be true. However, as I sit here struggling to find my words and calm my train of thought, I have the bitter taste of bile rising in the back of my throat and I realize that I still have very deep wounds that I may never completely recover from. I have moved on in a lot of ways, and I try to not let it dictate my life, but it’s still a struggle. Every day. It’s a struggle in self worth, mainly, but also a struggle of trying to arrange emotions in a way that they make sense. It’s how I deal with things..I rationalize them. This, however, is almost impossible, because what happened to me will never make sense.
I was sexually abused.
When I was around the age of eight, the fondling started by my step father. He and my mother had lived together then married a couple of years before the abuse started, and I had grown to love him as the stable father figure in my life. This is one of the things that makes it so hard for me to deal with. I had conflicting feelings when it started…on one hand, I did love him. On the other hand, I really didn’t know how to feel. It wasn’t a case of me feeling victimized as the abuse was happening. I was a child, I didn’t fully understand exactly what WAS happening, and the hardest part for me to deal with: at times I may have even enjoyed the attention. He didn’t cause me physical pain, and he never tried to have intercourse with me, thankfully, but I was still forced to deal with very adult issues as a very young girl. It started out as a very subtle thing. Now I know that he was grooming me. There would be a touch here and there, sometimes he made it seem accidental, sometimes not. Sometimes playful, sometimes serious. This is why so many child molestors get away with what they do…because they groom, and according to they do it in six stages.
In the first stage, they target their victim, which was easy for my step father, since I lived in the home with him and was a seemingly trustworthy person to my mother and the rest of my family.
In the second stage, they gain trust. He did that for probably two years before it began. He wasn’t the typical “bad guy” that I was warned about by well meaning family members; he was family, and family can be trusted, right? He wasn’t the creep who might offer me candy to get into his van, like I had seen on movies. He was a normal, decent looking, well dressed, hard working guy. Most are.
The next thing that child molesters do is stage three: fill a need. I’m going to be honest here, I believe that he knew that he could take advantage of me from day one. I also believe that a child molester can stand in a room filled with 100 children and pick out the ONE that they can molest. I had grown up in an unstable home environment up to this point. My parents divorced when I was a baby, and since my mother worked two jobs, I was basically raised by my great aunt and uncle. My mother had been married three times prior to this man. No doubt that he used that entire situation to place himself into our lives. I’m not even convinced that he didn’t marry my mother for this reason, even though the molestation did not start immediately.
Stage four is when they isolate the child. They will create a special bond with the child and create opportunities to spend time alone. This was easy since he drove a truck and was able to carry me on trips with him, and because of my mother’s long working hours.
Stage five is when they start to sexualize the situation. When the abuser has the childs trust and emotional dependence, the molester will progressively sexualize the relationship, and will desensitize the child to various situations, and then use that to exploit a child’s natural curiosity. This is the absolute most difficult part for me to deal with personally. He manipulated me until he found what aroused me and used that to extend the relationship, and he used the things that I loved to create opportunities for himself. I remember on several occasions, we would be alone in the house and he would bring me my mothers sexy nighties to “try on” and “play dress up”, then he suggest that we have a “dance party”. He knew that I loved to dance more than anything. He danced with me, and at some point would pick me up over his head and then slide me down his body, and his underwear would slide down with me and his naked penis would be exposed. Then he would stroke himself as I continued to dance at a distance and tried unsucessfully not to sneak glances at his penis. My curiosity got the better of me, as he knew that it would.
Stage six is maintaining control of the child. He had it. I “clearly” liked it, and whatever was happening was my fault too, since I went along with it. In my own mind, I wasn’t a victim, although I had conflicting feelings of liking the attention, but yet not wanting it to continue…and no one else, I felt, was going to see me as a victim either. Not after what I had done.
I didn’t hate it at first, and that’s what I hate myself for now that I am an adult. However, as I grew older, my feelings about it transitioned as I came to the realization that what was happening was wrong.
Since he drove a semi-truck over the road, he didn’t have a regular work schedule and was home in the afternoon and weekends while my mother worked. When I was out of school for holidays and the summer, I would go on over the road trips with him. I enjoyed getting out of the house and seeing the country. I also liked the fact that we ate at different truck stops and he allowed me to order anything that I wanted. We traveled by day and when the sun went down, I would climb in the back and sleep. He would climb into the sleeper with me when he parked the truck for the night and then he would start to fondle my overdeveloped for my age breasts, then he would raise my shirt up and start to lick and suck on them. Most of the time, I would pretend to be asleep, because I thought that would make him lose interest. Sometimes it did, but sometimes he would continue for most of the night.
He never touched me when my mother was at home. He was an opportunistic predator.
The molestation continued until I was ten, almost eleven. I will never forget the day that I decided to tell my mother. I’d been dreading it for days and went back and forth on the decision to talk to her about it. The day that I finally got up the courage to tell her, I wrote her a note and stuck it on the kitchen table. I knew that she would blame me, and I honestly didn’t want to live anymore. I just wanted to die, but I didn’t want to die with this secret. I went to the kitchen and took almost an entire bottle of aspirin, thinking that it would kill me in my sleep, and then I went to bed. I woke up a few hours later and my mother, brother, and step father had gone out for dinner and left me there. I stayed in the bathroom all night puking up the aspirin that I had taken and wondered why my mother hadn’t came in to check on me. Apparantly she hadn’t read the note that night, because it was the next day when she came in. She gave me a speech about the seriousness of my accusations. I was a seriously dramatic child by nature, and was sure that she would think that I was just trying to cause a stir. He knew this too, and I think it’s why he thought he would get away with it. I believe that my mom was in shock over the allegations and went through different stages as we talked. Nonetheless, when I convinced her that it was really happening, she packed me up and took me to my grandparents to get me into a safe environment while she worked everything out. Afterwards was a whirlwind of going to doctors, counselors, and lawyers offices. My grandparents got emergency temporary custody of me and my mother eventually divorced him and she and my brother moved.

Fast forward several years, I got married and got pregnant my first baby. I knew when I got pregnant that I wanted to breastfeed, but I constantly questioned my ability to endure it. How could I allow an infant to suckle on the same breasts that my abuser fondled and licked? When I brought my baby up to my breast, would I see my molestors face? Would the stimulation be too much for me to bear, and would I develop an aversion toward my baby from breastfeeding him? I was haunted by severe apprehension. My greatest fear was that I would be so overtaken by my emotions that it would destroy any confidence in breastfeeding that I had.
Although I carried horrendous emotional scars that I wouldn’t face even for years to come, I convinced myself that I would push through it if those scars resurfaced after the birth of my baby.
Thankfully, when my baby was born, the hormones and instinct took over and the dread that I had felt about it was much worse than the reality. I was able to disconnect myself from what had happened and keep those feelings locked up for a while to sucessfully breastfeed, but it wasn’t easy, and eventually they did resurface.
However, the breastfeeding isn’t what stirred them again.
It was simply being a mother.
I developed an overwhelming urge to protect my child from what had happened to me, but in order to do that I had to face it. I had to take myself back and re-feel all of those emotions. I had to remember and ponder on the events that led up to what had happened to me. It was important to me as a mother to understand the mind of the one who molested me and stripped away my child-like view of the world entirely too soon.
Overcoming my abuse is still a daily struggle, but writing about it and talking about it has helped me to start to heal, and ironically, the thing that I thought would be a trigger has been what has allowed me to face my demons and begin to move on.
Knowing that my body is being used for what it was designed to has changed my outlook completely. I believed that I would struggle with not having my body “to myself”, yet the opposite has happened. I don’t view it in that way. My intense self-loathing has subsided a great deal just knowing that my body has supported four tiny lives, all on its own. It has been empowering to know that my body came through for my babies and its intended purpose, even though I did not treat it very well in the years follwing my abuse. I feel as though I have reconnected with my own body through my breastfeeding journey and have been able to not only accept my body, but also appreciate the magical thing that it has done in creating and sustaining life. My body is my own, even though it was used to grow and feed my babies. My babies may have been demanding, but not in the same malicious, devious way as my abuser. Their innocence and dependence on me allowed me to remove those mind barriers and fear that I had conjured up in the beginning of my first pregnancy. Having and nourishing my babies has ALLOWED me to claim back my own body.

I may periodically come back and add things to this, as my emotions are always evolving as I take steps to heal. I feel that it’s important as a victim to get those emotions out and at least try to put them into perspective.

Other mothers have sent me their experiences to be included in this and I would like to share them below:

When I was little a male family member abused me many times. It was right after I had started developing breasts. Since then I have had a very negative view of my breasts.
I didn’t tell anyone about the abuse for 5 years. I blamed it on myself, my breasts were too large, they were gross. I felt they were something to be ashamed of. As a teenager with size D breasts it was something I really struggled with.
In my sexual relationship with my partner, I asked to keep my breasts out of it. He was a total boob man, but respected my past and never touched my breasts.
Once pregnant I took the usual baby class and one night was breastfeeding night. After learning all the benefits for my son, I SO wanted to breastfeed him. But, I was scared. If I couldn’t let my partner touch my breasts after 3 years of having sex how would I feel with this little baby touching and sucking on my nipple?
I had nightmares about it throughout my pregnancy. Yet I was still 100% determined to breastfeed.
When my son was born we cuddled, his birth was unmedicated so he was very alert. He soon found his way to my breast. One of the nurses went to touch my breast, without asking, and I quickly asked her not to. I helped my son latch and we began our beautiful breastfeeding relationship.
I feel so lucky that I have never felt any of the things I feared I would. But if I had never tried, I wouldn’t know how beautiful breastfeeding truly is.

When I was 14 and my boyfriend at the time was 16, he decided he was ready for sex. I was not. I begged for us to be able to wait, I was too young and scared. He wasn’t willing to accept that and told me that “if I truly loved him, I would let him.” He forced himself onto me and took my virginity. He covered my face with a pillow and held me down while I cried the entire time. He continued to abuse me physically and sexually, threatening my life, until I was 17. I gained the strength to leave him after losing my father. I became pregnant a year later with my now husband’s baby. The first time I breastfed my son in the hospital, I cried the entire time. I convinced myself that because of my past, I couldn’t nurse my son. I felt too dirty, and almost as if I was abusing my son somehow. I cried every single time I breastfed my son. I made it to 3 months of nursing until I gave up. It took a few years of soul searching and turning to God before I was able to realize that what happened to me, was NOT my fault. In 2013, I gave birth to my daughter. She is almost 7 months old and has not had a single drop of formula. I feel guilty at times that I wasn’t able to overcome my problems to breastfeed my son, but he is a beautiful healthy and happy 4 year old. I am thankful everyday that I am able to give my daughter the best start I can by breastfeeding her.

Important Resources
http://www.themamabeareffect.org
http://www.childhelp.org/pages/hotline-home

Breastfeeding Friendly Companies?

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I recently found out about a new company named 16 Minute Club that was geared toward providing subscription boxes products for breastfeeding mothers. I was thrilled about it and even recommended them to my Instagram and Facebook followers. They were one of a kind and really seemed like they would be providing quality products geared specifically toward a demographic that is sometimes left out of the mainstream mommy product lines.

My elation about the company was short lived.

This morning while browsing around on Faceboook, I noticed a post by this company of a pouch of powdered (freeze dried) organic banana baby food.  From first glance it seemed like a cool product… the instructions on the front stated to “just add breastmilk or water”. Ok, fine. Seems like a cool product. But then I saw it.

4+ Months

So, knowing that according to the WHO:

Adequate nutrition during infancy is essential for lifelong health and wellbeing. Infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. Thereafter, to meet their evolving nutritional requirements, infants should receive nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods, while continuing to breastfeed for up to two years or more

 UNICEF

Exclusive breastfeeding is the perfect way to provide the best food for a baby’s first six months of life, benefiting children the world over. But breastfeeding is so much more than food alone; breastfed infants are much less likely to die from diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections and other diseases: a non-breastfed child is 14 times more likely to die in the first six months than an exclusively breastfed child. Breastfeeding supports infants’ immune systems and helps protect from chronic conditions later in life such as obesity and diabetes. Suboptimum breastfeeding still accounts for an estimated 800,000 deaths in children under five annually (about 13% of total child deaths), according to the Lancet 2013 Nutrition Series. Data from 2011 indicate that only 39 per cent of 0-5 month olds in low-income countries are exclusively breastfed.

the AAP, and pretty much every major health organization in the world now recommends that babies not be introduced to solids until at least 6 months, I commented something along the lines of this:

Cool product. But I wish the package included the current recommendations for solids rather than 4 months.

I also posted this article on delaying solids from Kellymom about introduction of solids.

My comments were deleted and they responded with this:

That article is from 2011. Studies show that adding fruits & vegetables between 4-6 months increases a childs chance of regularly eating fruits & veggies at 7 years.

Ok…fair enough. But what you are missing is that babies who are introduced to solids before 6 months are at a higher risk of obesity, diabetes, eczema and celiac disease.  Further, the “studies” that they cited was a 2009 study by ALSPAC and formula fed babies and breastfed babies were not differentiated. That makes a big difference.  Also, the study refers to babies who are introduced to lumpy foods.  Powdered bananas mixed with breastmilk is in no way lumpy. They then began to copy and paste “information” off of the products website.  First off, I tend to not take all of my advice from someone who is trying to sell me something. Second, if I were selling something, I would definitely want to hear the concerns of my consumers and target audience.

And given the choice between a potentially picky 7 year old and possible serious health concerns…I will gladly take the latter.

Anyway..

Babies are not physically capable of digesting solid foods until around 6 months. They have what is called an open gut…

From Kellymom:

If solids are started before a baby’s system is ready to handle  them, they are poorly digested and may cause unpleasant reactions  (digestive upset, gas, constipation, etc.). Protein digestion is incomplete in infancy. Gastric acid and pepsin are secreted at birth and increase toward adult values over the following 3  to 4 months. The pancreatic enzyme amylase does not reach adequate  levels for digestion of starches until around 6 months, and carbohydrate  enzymes such as maltase, isomaltase, and sucrase do not reach adult levels until around 7 months. Young infants also have low levels of lipase and bile salts, so fat digestion does not reach adult levels until 6-9 months.

From Breastfeeding Essentials:

  • The younger the baby, the more likely it is that any foods other than human milk will cause food allergies. While solely breastfed, the baby is protected by components in mother’s milk that prevent foreign proteins from entering the baby’s system and causing an allergic reaction. At about six months of age, the baby begins producing enough antibodies to prevent such allergic reactions. This benefit is especially important for a baby whose family has a history of allergies.

     

  • Because a young baby’s digestive system is immature, he may not be able to digest other foods as well, perhaps making spitting up, constipation, and diarrhea more common. Waiting until the baby is at least six months old lessens the probability that these unpleasant reactions will occur.

     

  • Solids displace breastmilk in the baby’s diet. The more solid food a baby consumes the less breastmilk he consumes. Early introduction of solids puts the baby at risk for premature weaning. An inferior food has been substituted for a superior one, and partial weaning has begun.

     

  • Breastfed babies are rarely obese, but when they are it is most often related to the early addition of solid foods. This may be because a younger baby is less able to communicate when he has had enough, perhaps resulting in overfeeding.

     

  • Breastfeeding provides some degree of birth control. It is most effective, however, when the baby is exclusively breastfeeding – no formula or water supplements and no solid foods. The addition of these cuts down on the amount of time the baby spends at the breast, therefore reducing the amount of stimulation necessary to inhibit ovulation in the mother.

     

  • A young baby still possesses the tongue-thrust reflex which causes the food to be pushed out of the mouth rather than swallowed. This coupled with the fact that most young babies are unable to sit up alone results in feeding that is messier and more difficult. Once a baby has reached six months of age the tongue-thrust reflex has faded and baby can take a more active part in feeding time

So, thats all I have to say about early introduction of solids. The research speaks for itself.

My main concern is this…

After my comments were deleted from their Facebook, I went over to their Instagram and basically said that since my comments were deleted, I would be unfollowing them. I felt that they were not taking my concerns about this product seriously.

I was right. Other mothers began to show concern and commented about the dangers of introducing solids and those comments were also deleted.

Let me get this right… your targeted audience is breastfeeding mothers, but yet you are alienating those very people?

When mothers would persist with the information from the WHO, UNICEF, and AAP, they were blocked. Myself included.

No reputable research allowed, apparantly!

 

Here are some of the comments on their post that were deleted and the poster blocked by the company:

@kristarathert  Two words: virgin gut!!!

 

@kristinbenandjeremiah solids aren’t to be added at 4-6 months, that’s misinformation, not to be rude.

 

@kristinbenandjeremiah The misinformation about solids before 6 months is dangerous because people look to you to provide correct knowledge.  The WHO says nothing but breastmilk until 6 months, and putting anything in a bottle can cause obesity, allergies, and can cause babies to choke. So spoon would be the only option, and we know thats not recommended until baby can sit fully unsupported. So maybe later than 6 months.

 

@chelseyjordan Unfollowing since you are giving incorrect information.  Saying that this is not solids is a lie and there are many parents out there who won’t realize this or the harm that it can cause!

 

@eutheria No thanks, my milk is perfect as is.  Love how you’ve handled this bit of controversy. Nothing like enraging your target group and then censoring them as a way to build up your client base! Or wait, that doesn’t seem like a good idea at all. Oops.

 

@bindyjam Fun? Adding banana to breast milk is fun? Banana causes most babies to become constipated. Fun? Babies don’t need this stuff in their milk. I can’t believe ou are supporting this by posting it.

 

@katiaxo_0601 did you really say “when breast milk or formula milk do not meet the nutritional needs of an infant anymore? Are you kidding me? Shame on you.

Basically they kept responding with “Please direct questions toward <the manufactuer>” and then this, which disturbed me greatly, given that they are representing themselves as a point of support in breastfeeding.

Some mothers may have every intention to breastfeed 6 months or longer.  However, some don’t for many reasons. This product offers a way for some mothers to transistion if they so choose.

I don’t disagree that mothers should be supported, regardless of their choice. But here is my point: You are a supposed to be a company that encourages breastfeeding, but yet you seem more concerned with weaning. You are in a position to educate women. To give out misinformation is dangerous.  First, babies shouldn’t be transitioned from breastmilk to purees that derive from a powder. Second, if a mother wants to transistion her baby off of the breast, feeding him bananas or other sugary fruits is not the best way. Babies need breastmilk or formula to be their main source of nutrition until at least 12 months, with complementary foods after six months.

And here is my last point…

Another reason why breastfed babies should not be introduced to solids at 4 months is because that is the time for the “notorious” growth spurt!

SO many mothers  wean around this time because they believe that their milk has dried up due to the increasing needs of the baby! It hasn’t, and continuing to allow the baby to nurse as much as he/she wants, it will adjust to those specific needs. But if you start replacing nursings with food or formula supplements..its probably gonna start to dwindle!

So what’s the big deal? Why are you going nuts over this? If you don’t want the product, throw it out or don’t use it!

But its not that simple.

Anything that is not supportive of breastfeeding has the potential to sabatoge it when it is “hand delivered” to mothers. It’s just like the “breastfeeding care packages” given out to mothers from formula companies….It can ruin breastfeeding and not all mothers have the liberty of being educated about the “booby traps” that could cause her milk to dwindle down, or may not have the information about the open gut and the importance of delaying solids. 

The product isn’t the issue. It seems like a good product. The issue stands in the age recommendations for it. The issue stands in the way that the alleged breastfeeding supportive company disallowing comments that points toward the research. The issue stands in them completely disregarding and dismissing legitimate concerns about a product from the very consumers that will potentially buy it.

It also stands in the fact that ALL of the research was not allowed. This is the most important. Don’t give careless “research” like, “Studies show that adding fruits & vegetables between 4-6 months increases a childs chance of regularly eating fruits & veggies at 7 years.” and disallow, “They also have yet to develop the proper gut bacteria that allow them to process solid food safely, potentially leading to gastroenteritis and diarrhea, Dr. Gold said. The early introduction of solid foods has also been linked to increased risk of obesity, diabetes, eczema and celiac disease.”

If you are going to sell a product geared toward a breastfeeding mother, make for damn sure that that product is not going to destroy the nursing relationship that she has fought like hell for. And for God’s sake…LISTEN to the concerns of your target audience. So far I have received reports of over 40 moms being blocked because they voiced concerns about the product. Even sadder than that…the owner of the company is an IBCLC.

 

 

 

Useful links:



Enforce the Right: Protecting Breastfeeding Mothers

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As World Breastfeeding Month comes to a close, I’m reflecting on all of the things that have occurred this month….the positive & the negative.
As the month started out with amazing events such as the BIG Latch On that bring awareness to the importance of breastfeeding & helps to normalize it, which is vitally important as evidenced by the countless women who were discriminated against this month as they fed their babies in public and was asked to cover or to leave.
The negative.
Texas mama Lucy Eades was harassed by an employee at her local gym for nursing her days old baby. This harassment was captured on video by her husband and Lucy received support from around the country after the video went viral on the internet. See it here.
Only a couple of days later, my own La Leche League group was asked to leave our local mall by a security guard because we were breastfeeding in the play area at center court. My post about it on Facebook received 20,000 views, shares, likes, and comments before it was removed by Facebook the following day. See the media coverage here. and Pa.laa’s coverage here.
Fortunately, in both of these instances, an apology was issued and policy changes have occurred due because of them.
Unfortunately, not all breastfeeding harassment cases have been so positive.
Just in case you missed the American Airlines incident, in which a mother was asked to cover & then offered hush money (a whopping $100!) to keep quiet about the incident, read blogger Paa.la’s in-depth story here.

This should not be happening!
Although breastfeeding mothers are protected by law to breastfeed wherever they need to, there are no provisions in place to enforce these laws, which means that until there are, there are no real consequences for businesses harassing or discriminating against mothers.
This will not stop until there are real consequences!
This is why I have decided to team up with beautiful mama Lauren Quackenbush, and am starting the Enforce our Right Campaign
Lauren has started a White House petition urging them to put in place provisions to fully protect breastfeeding mothers rights, and offer consequences to those who do not adhere to the laws that are already in place. See the breastfeeding laws by state here.

Our goal is to get 100,000 signatures by September 27th.
It’s a tall order but we CAN DO IT!

The petition seen here reads:
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
Fully protect a woman’s right to breastfeed her child in public, including full enforcement provisions for that right.
Most states (though not all) have laws stating that a woman is free to breastfeed her child anywhere, public or private, that she and her child are otherwise allowed to be. However, with the exception of a few states (CT, DC, NJ, VT, & WA), there exist no enforcement provisions. This means that as soon as a woman who is legally breastfeeding her child is asked by a business owner or security to leave, she is then trespassing.

Other countries (i.e. Taiwan, the UK) have fines for those who would interfere with a woman’s right to breastfeed; the US should as well.

A woman should not be forced to hide, whether under a fabric cover, in the restroom, or in her car, simply because she elects to breastfeed her child. At its core, this is an issue of discrimination and should be treated as such.

Please help us by signing the petition!
And by sharing on Facebook, twitter, and Instagram by hash tagging #ENFORCEOURRIGHT & by helping us to spread the word!
We need full protection from discrimination!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support that this community gives other women!