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Sep. 25th, 2010


grace4cyn

My weaning letter to my youngest child...

Dearest little Susannah,

Today I am writing you a farewell to nursing letter. We have nursed now for about 2.5 years, give or take. Every time I thought we were done, you would surprise me by asking for it again. Well, now you don't know how to nurse anymore, so when you ask I might oblige, but I can see you are no longer needing it, but do enjoy pretending to be baby as you call it.

I have so many highlights to our nursing relationship that I would like to expound on...so lets start from the beginning. Nursing you from the start was wholly different than my other experiences. You, like your siblings still had a tied tongue, but this time, you had a nursing partner! Your big sister was there to show you the ropes. That first nursng experience was so much better than my other experiences because it was the first time nursing didn't hurt at first. Even though your tongue was tied, becasue my nipples was very stretchy from nursing your big sis, I was able to easily get you latched deeply from the getgo! I thanked God everyday for His blessing in that. My milk came in a lot faster with you than it did with my other children too. I guess the extra nursing partner and all the time at the breast latching correctly really helped. I still didn't have mountains of milk, but I had enough praise God!

Of course you got sick when you were just two weeks old. We all got the flu, and you got it too. I have never been so glad we breastfed until that moment. I took you to the hospital where you tested positive, but they said since you were not showing a temperature over 99, I could go home. Apparantly, according to your pediatrician, its standard to admit a baby of your age if they test positive for flu because it can be fatal. She told me my breastmilk saved you because of the immunities. Our God is so amazing to provide us with something so miraculous. I thanked Him again for this awesome priviledge to nurse you.

Over time, you and your big sister enjoyed nursing together. I know there were times I had a tiny newborn suckling away staying in a contented position clow to my chest while experiencing the toddler phenomenon of acrobatic nursing. Nothing like a toddler upside down over your shoulder tryin to nurse while your newborn is in the sling. Something I never thought I would do, but, well, we did.Finally your big sister weaned ten months later, but of course you showed no interest inweaning, and neither did I. So we plowed forward on.

You were different from my other nurslings in that nursing was simply not your only comfort. While you enjoyed it for comfort a little, you enjoyed your daddy more. he was your cuddle friend, the one you always slept hugged right next to. At night when I would nurse you, he would take you gentl to his side and hold you to his heart so your breathing would be steady, your heartrate sound and your soul calmed and full of peace. It was a beautiful time.

By around 15 months you had nightweaned. It helped us all sleep a little better. Although you never were a big concern at night because you would just latch yourself right back on if you needed it. Now you are only nursing a few times a day, maybe 3-4 times with the occasional "oops I hurt myself, I need to nursie" or "I am angry, need to nursie". It helped to calm your tears, your fears, gave you oads of cheers for sure. And it made me smile too.

Finally as your nusing time came to an end, I could tell you and I both were tired of the strain. At this point I was beginnin to get frustrated nursing you sometimes. I had been nursing for 4.5 years give or take, and momma was ready to be left alone. But, I wanted to let you call the shots for the most part,so I only gently encouraged other things. If you really needed me though, we would nurse. I realized that time came more and more infrequently though. Til, one day you pretty much stopped asking. i knew it was done when you latched on and simply left it in your mouth, looking a bit confused as to what to do next. I told you milk was all gone(which it was lol) and you said,"ok." I told you it had been a long time since you nursed so you didn't remember how to do it. Again, you said something along the lines of "I no member mommy? ok." It was bittersweet, but freeing for me too!

So, I say farewell to our beautiful time together. I think back now with joy over all the places we nursed together. Churches, playgrounds, houses, with friends, visting family, on hikes, shopping, at the fair, youname it girl, we did it. You made me unashamed of my body but taught me it was ok to have modesty too. You taught me to be patient with you and myself. You taught me more about what it means to love God, by loving you and meeting your needs. I thank you for sharing this time with me. It was beautiful, it was sweet, it was hard, it was full of adversity at times, but more than anything, it was worth it.


breastfeeding

grace4cyn

New findings and information regarding infant formula...

Original Article...
Ten Things You May Not Know About Baby Formula

Amanda Whitney Amanda Whitney Thu Sep 23, 12:26 pm ET

The use of baby formula as the primary method of infant feeding has exploded in popularity over the past few decades. Formula has become increasingly healthier in recent years with the addition of chemicals like DHA and lutein, both of which are naturally found in human milk. In spite of these advancements, there is some information that the manufacturers aren't advertising. Take a look at these ten little-known facts about infant formula.

1. The linings of formula cans contain bisphenol-A, or BPA, a plastics chemical which mimics the female hormone estrogen. Exposure to BPA can potentially cause reproductive problems and early puberty. Experts are concerned that the chemical may leach into the formula and be ingested by infants, who are far more vulnerable to adverse effects from contaminants than adults. Liquid and ready-to-feed formulas are more susceptible to this leaching than powdered formulas. The FDA reports that they are currently accepting applications for alternative substances with which to line formula cans; however, they do not recommend changing a child's feeding habits based solely on this concern.

2. Feeding an infant formula can increase the child's risk of developing food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease, a disease which encompasses the chronic conditions ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, according to new research performed by nutritionist Sharon Donovan at the University of Illinois. The study also shows an increased risk for asthma in formula-fed infants. These conditions result from the formula's inability to activate the appropriate immune system genes within the digestive tract. Without the activation of these genes, a child's digestive system is left vulnerable to a lifetime of adverse effects.

3. It is impossible to produce sterile powdered infant formula. According to the World Health Organization, current technology does not allow for powdered formula to be manufactured in such a way that it is sterile, even when it is produced within current hygienic guidelines.

4. Baby formula may be contaminated with the harmful bacteria enterobacter sakazakii and salmonella enterica. Since powdered formula cannot be manufactured to be sterile, these bacteria can be present and cause severe illness in children. The WHO reports that, although these organisms cannot thrive in dry formula, they can survive in it for up to and possibly exceeding one year. Once the formula is mixed, it provides an ideal habitat for the growth of these illness-causing bacteria. In rare cases, infection with these pathogens can even cause a child's death.

5. Formula feeding increases a child's risk of childhood obesity and of developing diabetes. A White House study, released by first lady Michelle Obama in May 2010, explains that babies who are formula-fed are 22 percent more likely to be obese. Formula derived from cow's milk contains about twice as much protein as human milk. This excess protein results in excess insulin production and prolonged insulin response. Even well into childhood, children who were formula-fed as infants show low levels of the hormon leptin, which is known to "inhibit appetite and control body fatness."

6. Soy-based formulas contain plant estrogens which can cause a variety of reproductive issues. Soy formulas are an alternative for children with cow's milk allergies and for vegan families. While studies have shown that obesity and diabetes risks are lower for children who consume soy-based formulas, they are not without their own set of dangers. A study published by The Society for the Study of Reproduction in March 2010 found that newborn mice who were fed a formula containing the soy plant estrogen genistein once daily developed various reproductive problems, as well as abnormalities of the thymus gland. The study mimicked the level of genistein that would be found in a human infant who was regularly fed soy formula. It raises serious questions about the safety and long-term effects of soy-based formulas in infants.

7. The FDA does not test infant formulas prior to their marketing and sale. While the FDA inspects manufacturing facilities and performs quality tests on formulas once a year, they do not test infant formula to ensure that it meets nutritional and quality requirements before it is allowed to be sold. Instead, the FDA relies solely on the manufacturers' own reports that their products meet federal standards.

8. Infant formulas often contain perchlorate, the base chemical in solid rocket fuels. In March 2009, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a study which found perchlorate in 15 brands of infant formula. The EPA insists that the levels of the chemical found in formula pose no threat to infants. However, according to the CDC, the drinking water in 26 states contains high levels of perchlorate. If tap water and powdered baby formula, both containing the hazardous chemical, are mixed together, the levels may be high enough to cause serious harm to infants.

9. FDA testing has revealed that some baby formulas also contain the chemicals melamine and cyanuric acid. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has stated that these chemicals "can cause renal failure by production of insoluble melamine cyanurate crystals in renal tubules and/or calculi in kidneys, ureter, urethra or the urinary bladder." In other words, when these chemicals are present in baby formula, they can cause kidneys stones, kidney and urinary blockages and infections, and kidney failure. In extreme cases, complications of these conditions may result in the deaths of infants. The FDA performs tests for melamine and cyanuric acid in baby formulas, which can be viewed on their website.

10. Many brands of formula contain ingredients which are generally acknowledged to contain or produce monosodium glutamate, or MSG. The organization Truth in Labeling provides information from a Canadian study which found MSG, a dangerous neurotoxin, in at least five brands of baby formula. Although testing was performed only on Canadian products, all five companies manufacture and sell products in the United States as well. The organization also names ingredients from four different types of U.S. baby formula which are known to contain MSG or to produce it during processing. These ingredients include enzymatically hydrolyzed reduced minerals, casein hydrolysate, carrageenan, and maltodextrin.

Unfortunately, the companies that manufacture infant formula do not always tell the entire story. Strict guidelines are put in place to help ensure the safety of formula-fed infants, but unfortunately some problems have still arisen with these infant products. It is imperative that parents have all the information possible and that our society continues to demand higher and higher standards in the production of products for our children and babies.
 


Sep. 20th, 2010


grace4cyn

Hello again my fellow breastfeeding friends and breastfeeding supporters!

Its been a long time.  But I am finally here to write and journal about this great thing!

My children have all finally weaned.  My youngest justrecently.  I would like to reopen this with some suggestions from you guys as to topics youwould like to see here.

Thanks!!

Jul. 8th, 2008


grace4cyn

Crying It Out

I feel the need to address this form of sleep training. I would be putting it mildly if I said I disapproved of this method. Over the last few years it has become apparent to me that this method is not only very popular, but people misjudge its "effectiveness" by only looking at the product. Just because something yields a desired effect, does it make it morally right to do? In what way is leaving your child to cry it out an example of Christ's love and attitude to us? How can you on one hand teach your child that they can trust you no matter what, and in the next breath say,"I'm too tired to get up anymore, my child must learn to self soothe!"? I have a problem folks. I feel like this is detestable and I am truly afraid of the effects this parenting technique will have on our children on into their adult life. But to start from the beginning lets give a definition of what it means to "cry it out."

To "cry it out" is to allow your baby or child to cry themselves to sleep in an effort for them to learn to self soothe. It is still considered crying it out if you are progressively leaving your child for longer periods of time, but going in to pat their back as is dictated in the Ferber method. Now that we are on the same page, lets continue. I want to start with the first question I have here:

Is it morally right to allow your child to cry themselves to sleep, even if it yields the desired effect of a sleeping child?

I am basing my beliefs of what is morally right on God's teachings so there will be no confusion about this. While the bible does not clearly state not to do this practice, as many things parenting related, there is not a single verse that will spell out exactly how to parent because there is room for variety in all of our homes based on our personalities and circumstances. Typically what works for one family will not necessarily work for another one. However, the idea of crying it out is very sad to me because of its complete lack of love. Some people will argue that letting your child learn to self soothe in this manner is loving them more in the long run by providing them with a tool that is valuable for them for life. I disagree. I think it is another one of those things that look and smell real good, but just aren't good at all. When your baby calls for you, your baby is not trying to manipulate you. Babies are incapable of manipulation. Thats right folks...I know this is revolutionary for some of you guys, but its true. Babies lack the MENTAL DEVELOPMENT upstairs to understand manipulation and spoiling!! When they cry, it is INDEED for a reason. Whether it be hunger, thirst, loneliness, cold, hot, bored...you get the picture...to a baby it is all the same. ANd to a baby, since they only have one voice, they cry out to you in hopes you will answer. ANd if you have been answerig swiftly and regularly you have taught your little one a valuable lesson. My parents love me and I can trust them to answer my cry. Or on a much deeper level...My God loves me, He will answer my cry. It is in these early months and years that we can teach our children the nature of God. God is there for us no matter what. He will never leave us nor forsake us. If we are to be the example of Christ to our children, then we have the obligation to teach them His nature. SO, just because letting your child cry themselves to sleep for several nights in a row for any length of time will end up with a child who goes to sleep on their own, doesn't mean it was the right thing to do. Think, please think of the larger picture and the bigger lesson you are actually teaching.

In what way is leaving your child to cry it out an example of Christ's love and attitude to us?

I think I made this very clear in my answer to the above question. It is not the way to show your child Christ's love and nature to let them cry themselves to sleep. Love your little one, nurture them, teach them about His mercy....do not take away that fundamental building block of learning who their Creator is because you think your child needs this unnecessary lesson in life. People, how many 20 year olds do you know that need to nurse/rock/be laid next to to get to sleep?

How can you on one hand teach your child that they can trust you no matter what, and in the next breath say,"I'm too tired to get up anymore, my child must learn to self soothe!"?

We all know parenting is not only a day job. It is a 24/7 365 day a year commitment. It doesn't stop just because we are tired. It doesn't stop just because we want to put our feet up. It is a commitment! Your child is depending on you to be there. Your child does not know that you are tired, and frankly doesn't care. Your baby is just that: a baby. Allow yourself the pleasure of not only daytime parenting, but nighttime parenting too. Take that time to spend with God. While you sit rocking your little one to sleep, choose that time to sit in His presence. Reflect on God's goodness, His everlasting love, on His face. It is a wonderful quiet time us mothers and fathers have the hardest time finding. Use this time to your greatest advantage!! And pat yourself on the back because you have invested time into your young one that can never be replaced.

Now, I know for everyone there are exceptions. And certainly, if you are nearing your wits end, and feel you want to hurt your baby, then please leave the room, let the baby alone in his/her crib and go collect yourself. Single moms, I feel your pain. My husband is in the military and has missed much of our children's life due to deployments. I know how it is when you are exhausted and trying to parent them and have no energy. God can give us strength and family and friends want to help out too. Let them! And if you really feel you are going to scream if you do not get a break, there are actually ways to teach your child to sleep on their own that do not involve them screaming their little heads off in hurt and fear.

If I can leave you all with anything, its this...something Martha Sears says,"Get behind the eyes of your baby." Imagine what it would feel like to need something so desperately and no one will listen or even seem to care. Your child has feelings to, and jsut because they are small, does that make them any less important?

Please believe me everyone, I cast no judgment on mothers who have used this method. I myself with my first felt compelled to use it. I was so afraid I would be doing my child a disservice if I didn't teach them this...I ignored the God-given mother's instinct and instead followed my own desires, all the while destroying the bond I tried to create with my son.

Don't listen to the world...listen to your inner man. Listen to the instinct God has given you. Don't deny your baby's call for help.

Jun. 6th, 2008

breastfeeding

grace4cyn

Ideas on how to get my mamas milk community to increase?

I would love this community to take off, but I am having some trouble in finding people who are interested.  I suppose if no ones interested I can just delete it.  Any ideas on how to make this happen?

Sarah H.

Jun. 1st, 2008


grace4cyn

Tell your story...

Tell us about your breastfeeding experience(s). How many have you nursed, for how long and what did/do you think of it?

I have three children. All three I have nursed for varying lengths of time. My first I really had no idea what I was doing or how to solve the troubles I was having. I nursed him for about 3 months and at that point he weaned early due to my lack of a supply and nipple preference for a bottle which he had been given from the start. My second I had the same troubles as far as latching and poor weight gain early on, but with the right help and support I can proudly say we are still nursing after 2.5 years, with an end in sight :) My third, I am also nursing, she is 4 months. She was the most challenging not because she trashed my nipples due to her tied tongue, but because she was such a poor nurser in the beginning I had to pump 8-12 times a day on top of nursing her 8-12 times a day, then giving her what I pumped in a syringe. But she was worth it! I can say that my nursing experience is varied, but full of goodness and fond memories I ams till in the making. Your turn!

May. 25th, 2008


grace4cyn

The challenge of bottlefeeding a breastfed infant...

This was written by a great lactation consultant form www.kellymom.com and I had to copy it because she makes it so simple!! It is very informative and I hope you enjoy it and can use it!!

To start I want to explain the problem with bottles. They're just nothing at all like bfing and it can give us bfing moms a bit of grief. When babies are young, and we first intro the bottle, the bottle goes in the baby's mouth the mouth fills with milk, the baby is obligated to swallow and the action of swallowing initiates another suck. The suck again fills the mouth and the cycle repeats, giving an appearance of the baby "gulping the bottle down hungrily". Many times the baby fusses/cries after the bottle is taken away, leading caregivers or parents to assume that baby isn't "satisfied" with the amount of milk in the bottle. The problem isn't usually the volume of milk but rather the natural desire to "complete" the nursing cycle which at the breast, would include some comfort nursing. Comfort nursing is impossible with the bottle.

As time goes on and because the milk can be seen and measured, it is not unusual that babies are encouraged to feed beyond being full (to "satisfy" the baby). This then creates a situation where the infant is used to feeling over full meaning they then consume the higher volume without complaint, resulting in overfeeding that is only seen in bottle fed infants. Current/ongoing research seems to indicate this is one of the reasons that bottle fed infants are more likely to become obese - they lose their ability to regulate their appetite because they need to eat more as children/teens/adults to feel full.

One may not see the obesity issue arise at first - sometimes it takes years, but the implication is that (according to research) it starts with "overfeeding" in infancy.

Paced bottle feeding is a way to slow the feeding down for baby, and actually gives baby a chance to end the feeding, instead of being forced to finish (due to the way bottles work). If we remember that the average BF baby only eats 24 oz or so a day, you can see pacing bottle feedings puts baby back at a more normal volume.

It also has several benefits:

~ it reduces overeating. This of course reduces spitting up, helps minimize or reduce reflux symptoms, and reduces risk of obesity.

~ it helps baby maintain their oxygen saturation. Many bottle fed babies experience decreases in oxygen saturation due to the mechanics of the bottle. The flow of milk from a bottle is a continual flow. Once they take the bottle (and suck) they must continue to suck/swallow/suck/swallow. or choke, as the mouth fills again and again with fluid. You might notice a pattern of gulping then a "gasp" (brief sucking in of air) then more gulping, then gasping, etc. as baby drinks the bottle.

This is what I was talking about earlier when I mentioned "gulping the bottle down hungrily". It can be very misleading if we don't understand how bottles work differently than breasts do. Pacefd bottle feeding reduces the risk of baby gulping, which results in increased air intake. This reduces spitting up (and possibly gassiness too), and minimizes reflux symptoms.

~it makes the feeding more variable, like the breast – so baby doesn’t get to gulp down “easy” milk. This often makes bf easier for a baby that has gotten a preference for the faster/easier flow of the bottle.

More here:

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/bottle-feeding.html

grace4cyn

Mommy's Bliss Nipple Cream... BEWARE!!

Beware folks...this just recently in:

FDA warns mothers about nipple cream
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: May 24, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Food and Drug Administration on Friday warned women not to use or purchase Mommy's Bliss Nipple Cream, marketed by MOM Enterprises Inc. of San Rafael, Calif.

The cream, promoted to nursing mothers to help soothe dry or cracked nipples, contains ingredients that may cause respiratory distress, vomiting and diarrhea in infants, the agency said.

The potentially harmful ingredients in the cream are chlorphenesin and phenoxyethanol.

''FDA is particularly concerned that nursing infants are being unwittingly exposed by their mothers to this product with dangerous side effects,'' said Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. ''Additionally, these two ingredients may interact with one another to further compound and increase the risk of respiratory depression in nursing infants.''

The company has stopped selling the cream. The FDA said consumers should stop using the cream and consult a doctor if they experience problems or believe that their infant may have experienced problems due to the product.

Mothers whose children may have suffered adverse effects because of this product should contact the FDA's MedWatch at 800-332-1088.

May. 24th, 2008


grace4cyn

WHAT A HERO!!

http://news.sbs.com.au/worldnewsaustralia/cop_breastfeeds_quake_orphans_547221

I applaud this woman for rescuing these infants. Not only is she nursing them for nutrition, but the act of nursing is so comforting. To have lost their mothers is so horrific, but just knowing they are being nurtured in such a personal way is unbelievable. Thank you Lord for this woman's heart!! I would wet nurse in a heartbeat. In fact, I already have before. I know it is a controversial subject to some, but I believe it to be a natural loving and nurturing act.

Sarah H.

May. 23rd, 2008


grace4cyn

I am back and ready to help!!

I have been gone for a long time. Between my husband's military career and having more children I have been gone. I am back and would like to be of help to any mommies out there who need it. Looking forward to getting to know others!!

Sarah H.
your friendly neighborhood tandem nursing mother of 3, wife to amazing husband and my hero!

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