Breastfeeding is one of those topics that fuels mommy wars.
Mothers who decide to breastfeed can’t comprehend why there are mothers who decide not to breastfeed.
Mothers who don’t breastfeed don’t understand what the big fuss about breastfeeding your baby is all about.
And while it’s up to you to decide on which side of this elephant in the room you stand on, I’m here to share what I know about breastfeeding from the research and from my experience.
I wish I could be impartial and provide you with research studies that presented the downside of breastfeeding. But I haven’t found any. (Not that I think any exist).
On the contrary, the value and benefits of breastfeeding are such, that usually, pediatricians, the American Academy of Pediatrics Association (AAP,) breastfeeding consultants and the World Health Organization (WHO) are in agreement that babies should be breastfed for 1 year to 3 years or more. Many people are under the impression that 6 months is what you should aim to breastfeed for, but if you read the fine print carefully, you’ll at least 6 months of EXCLUSIVE breastfeed is suggested, but that it is also recommended that you continue to breastfeed even after you start introducing solids.
My decision to breastfeed was a very natural and easy one. In my mind, mothers breastfed. That’s what they do.
Even though I myself wasn’t breastfed and I don’t remember seeing my mother breastfeed my younger sister and my younger brother because she would do it behind closed doors in her bedroom… I decided to breastfeed. I knew it was important to my baby and I.
Since I had no role models to look up to, I started to do my own research and get comfortable with the idea I would be breastfeeding. And I was pretty excited.
When I was pregnant, I went to my first breastfeeding support group.
It was funny being there without a baby. And it was funnier that I was there before anybody could tell that I was pregnant. And you know what my recurring though was for most of that session? “I don’t want to see any boobs.” Although truth be told, I did see some breastfeeding mom’s boobs there and at other mothering courses I attended.
There is no better time to do something for a woman who has chosen to be a mother than when she gives birth and becomes a mother for the first time or an additional time.
When she becomes pregnant, she may be the princess. She may have cravings and desires here and there that she would appreciate someone satisfying.
After giving birth, however, she’s the queen This is especially the case for women who think that they have to do something in order to earn something. And giving birth is certainly something SUPER worthy of the queen title.
The only problem is, that often, a birthing queen‘s mother, husband or helper doesn’t step up to the plate of treating the worthy new momma in their life like a queen because they, like everybody else, are super infatuated with the baby that they “forget” that mom should also be the center of attention. They forget that even though it took about ten months to create the baby in the womb, it’ll take mom about 12 months to fully recover from the complexities of having been pregnant. Yep, 12 months! Add those two numbers up (10+12 months) and you’ll see that mom has been going through and will continue to go through transformation for 22 months… almost two years of her life!!! And for the most part, those are just the physical changes. So, the focus of this post is to help this new amazing mother with what you can control… her emotions.
And before you roll your eyes thinking that there’s nooooooo way you can help with her emotions (after all you know how hormonal she can get), think again, my friend. When you’re a mom, are raising a baby, have to take it easier, have limited outings and have limited access to hang out with people, the people who moms do hang out with all of a sudden become a “HUGE” deal. Mom either can get the emotional support she needs from the people “supporting” her or she won’t.
Worse yet, another reason a queen‘s mother, husband or caregiver don’t give all the support they can is because they claim they don’t know what to do for the new mom. Really? Like, REALLLLLY?!? You’ve known this woman for years, if not your entire life, and you don’t know how to help her?
Well that’s gotta change. And it’s gonna change right now because here’s a list of the top 10 roles a mother, a partner, a sister, a spouse or a friend has to adopt in order to serve the birthing queen like she deserves.
10 Roles You Have To Adopt to Treat New Moms Like a Queen
When you’re pregnant, and you want the best start for your child, it’s impossible for you not to at least consider breastfeeding. Perhaps you’ve always known that you wanted to breastfeed your baby, or perhaps, you decide to do so after you do your research. Yet no book, blog or word of mouth advice can accurately depict how satisfying and biologically and emotionally beneficial it is for your baby to breastfeed. If you need further clarity about why breastfeeding is better than formula, it’ll be easier once you are holding your baby and can tell with all your six senses what feeding option your baby deserves.
Breastmilk contains more than 100 nutrients that formula can’t replicate.
Breastfeeding allows you to bond with your baby like nothing else. What better love can you give your child than to willingly give of yourself (literally)?
3. Milk AvailabilityIf you’ve seen people carrying diaper bags or diaper backpacks nowadays, you know that going out with a baby requires packing everything but the kitchen sink. All kidding aside, most diaper bags are bulkier and weigh more than the baby itself. No kidding! While you can choose to pack a couple of bottles of frozen/thawed milk to give your baby while you’re driving, you don’t have to pack milk at all if you don’t want to because you always have milk with you. No measuring or mixing required. 😉
Studies show that babies who are breastfed, generally speaking have a 4 point higher IQ than those who babies who weren’t breastfed.
The fact that you can save hundreds of dollars by breastfeeding your baby is just the icing on the cake. All the other reasons for breastfeeding are great enough already. When you breastfeed your baby, you don’t waste time, money or energy driving to the store to buy milk, and as long as there is a demand for breastmilk, and your baby breastfeeds, you never run out.
So there you have it, 5 short and simple reasons why breastfeeding is better than formula. Ultimately, it’s every mother’s choice as to what nourishment they wish to provide for their child.
I have been breastfeeding for over a year and I intend to continue breastfeeding longer. I have greatly enjoyed breastfeeding although it is a huge commitment simply. What have I gotten it from breastfeeding? Just the simple satisfaction to know that I’m providing the best baby nourishment there is. What has the baby gotten from breastfeeding? The baby has been, is and will continue to benefit greatly for the baby’s entire life. Aside from my time and my love, breastfeeding is one of the best gifts that I can give my child. You can do the same thing for yours. It’s your choice, for your child’s benefit.
Share Your Wisdom Tokens With Us
Have you observed any of the benefits of breastfeeding either with your children or children that you know in action? How did you decide to feed your children and what influenced your decision? I’d love to hear from them in the comments below. If you liked this article, and know of a soon-to-be or new-mom who is already short on time, send them this short article.
No matter how well we think we prepare for childbirth, at the end of the day, it’s not what we plan for that bothers us, it’s what we don’t plan as clearly. This blog, is sort of a to-do list for ways grandmas can help put those last final touches of perfection on the delivery day. Pass it on to a soon-to be-grandma as is or tweak it to fit your needs.
Grandma To Do List & Explanation For Why This List is Essential
Yes, Grandma. We know you’re excited. And so is your daughter who just gave birth. You want to know what the biggest difference between you and her is?
She is using ALL of her energy in trying to keep her balance, composure and grace in this important time of her life. You, on the other hand, can just focus your energy on being happy.
Every birth your daughter gives is an adjustment phase for her that you should be considerate of. Sadly, things are more peachy for you than they are for her, at least for these few hours. Your daughter is probably too out of it, too tired, too focused on the baby or too considerate to tell you, but if she could ask you anything, this is probably what she would ask you for:
1. Mom, let me make the decision as to whether or not you’ll be in the delivery room and never resent me for it.
2. No matter who is anxiously waiting in the waiting room to know how the birth turned out, wait until the nurses call you to come in. Don’t peek in the door/curtain…EVER!
3. As absurd and obvious as it may sound, the first night after delivery, I need as much sleep as I can get. One hour or two isn’t enough because most likely, I haven’t been able to sleep as much or as comfortably as usual in the last few days, weeks or months. So once the baby is born, and as long as I have someone staying with me, leave as early as possible for me to try to get some sleep (especially if you know that I like to go to bed early). And if the baby is born at night or in the wee hours of the morning, rejoice for a little bit with us and leave as soon as possible.
3. The day after the baby is born, when you come to visit, don’t mention that you got more hours of sleep than I did, I’m jealous already.
4. The first day at the hospital, ask at what time the hospital serves me breakfast, lunch and dinner and plan to eat around that time so that I don’t feel guilty that I have food and you don’t.
5. When my food comes… the only thing that should be preventing me from eating should be the baby. And even then, help out with the baby as much as possible especially while I’m eating. How else am I supposed to recover and gain energy to be on standby for the baby 24/7?
6. Before assuming that my answer will be yes, ask me if I will want company at home the day that I bring my baby home.
7. Respect the fact that my husband, my baby and I want to bond as a family… and need time to get our footing away from family and incessant nurse and doctor interruptions at the hospital.
8. Thank you for everything and for respecting these requests, regardless of how you feel about them.
Share Your Wisdom Treasures With Us
So ladies (and gentlemen who support your ladies), have you had to make these types of requests to your mother (i.e. baby’s grandma) in order to enjoy your big day as much as possible?
What have you requested?
How did Grandma react?
Was setting these clear expectations worth it?
If you didn’t make these expectations, did you wish you had, or are you planning on doing so?
Times have changed. The village that used to raise children in multigeneration settings rarely applies nowadays due in part to the the greater emotional distancing between families, physical distancing and family member’s pure disposition to care for a baby (or lack thereof).
Deciding who to take care of your baby if and when you return to work after the maternity leave is over, is a difficult and extremely emotional decision. It is also an important decision because literally, the well-being of your baby will depend on the baby’s caregiver. Although I have my personal bias regarding whether or not grandma should take care of her grandchildren, I’ll limit myself to presenting you all the pros and cons that I could think of for each of the two options.
The Pros of Grandma Taking Care of Her Granchild
1. Baby will have grandma’s love and proximity
2. Baby’s parents will have grandma’s wisdom and childrearing expertise at their disposal (e.g. like having a perpetual doula)
3. Baby’s parents are more likely to have access to grandma not only while at work but for date nights as well
4. Parents can be at ease leaving their baby with someone so trusted and loved.
5. Parents can help grandma earn money. It can be more beneficial to pay grandma instead of paying for someone else for a care provider.
6. Grandma can be more accommodating as to where she’s willing to take care of the baby (either in your house or hers). And if you’re running late, she won’t charge you extra.
7. If you prefer that the baby is taken care of in your house, you would most likely feel more comfortable leaving grandma in your home instead of someone who you don’t know as well.
The Cons of Grandma Taking Care of Her Grandchild
1. Relying on a close third caretaker such as grandma can prevent baby’s parents from fully coming together as a couple and as a 3-person family unit.
2. Baby can get confused as to which discipline he or she should follow: grandma’s or parents, especially when all three people are present.
3. Baby’s parents can learn to depend on grandma for anything and everything.
4. Grandma is unable to enjoy her role as grandma because now, she is essentially being a parent all over again.
5. Grandma will most likely feel obliged to do more than just take care of the baby (i.e. house chores, errands, food preparation).
6. Parents can’t really learn to depend on themselves and one another if they know grandma is always there or a phone call away.
7. Even though grandmas have the best of intentions for taking care of children, children need more intellectual stimulation than some grandmas are able or willing to give
8. By staying at home and being cared for by grandma for several months or years, babies and toddlers often don’t get the opportunity to interact with other children as much.
It’s Your Turn to Share Your Wisdom Treasures
Knowing whom to leave your child with is a very important and your expertise will surely help people make up their mind on this dilemma that will impact a child’s life forever.
So what scenario do you think is best for everyone involved? For what reasons?
How did you decide on what to do? How did that work out?
Do you regret any of the caregiver choices that you’ve made? Why?
Please leave a comment below sharing your experience or expertise.
Stepping into any baby department or baby store will make it obvious to you that baby products, like any important purchase (and even more in this case, where your precious baby is involved), need to be researched.
Whether you’re expecting, or you know someone who is, below you will find 13 awesome must-have items for new moms that are proven to allow parents to have a much easier and much more pleasant time rearing your baby.
I’ve done the homework for you and have given you the indispensable products that my baby and I have used more than any other products in a way that has helped us do the daily mommy and baby tasks.
Of course, the most important ingredient in parenting is love.
These products, have allowed me to be a more loving mother, and I truly hope that they help you too.
I have provided links that you can use to purchase these products easily on Amazon, where you will soon prove for yourself (if you haven’t already), that you can usually find the best prices (most of the time).
If you will be breastfeeding, regardless of the number of months that you’re planning on doing so (which I highly recommend that it’s for as many months/years as possible, for the benefit of your baby), I believe that it is a super wise investment to buy an electric double pump.
As a second choice, and especially if you want to have some mobility that doesn’t require being tethered to a wall electric socket, I recommend the Medela Freestyle Breast Pump. You can walk all over the house and do what you need to do while pumping milk.
No matter which of the mentioned pumps you use (or even if you go with your own preferred brand or a manual pump), when you’re a mom, you’ll definitely want to be an “octopus” and have as many hands as possible.
Two just isn’t enough. Right moms?
Therefore, it’s wise to have the ability to be hands-free to tend to your baby, yourself and the million things you need to do (or think you do).
And it’s so soft, that it’s the closest thing you’ll have to a spa in many days…weeks, months, and most likely, years.
It’s super soft, so it won’t affect your sore breasts those first few days. It may seem like a lot of money to spend on a bra, but trust me (and the many moms who have reviewed it), every penny is worth it.
I loved this bra soooo much that I wanted to have two, but in all honesty, one of these bras is good enough.
And when you wash it with baby-scent detergent, ahh, heaven!!
The Boppy has become a VERY important part of my breastfeeding success and it has allowed me to have quality bonding time with the baby.
Breastfeeding, as you know requires a lot time, energy and commitment.
Aside from my commitment to breastfeed, I literally owe my breastfeeding success to the Boppy. Yes, it’s that important!! Especially when you’re breastfeeding for what seems 24/7 or 22/7 (like in my case) and you’re sleepy, tired, and don’t want to worry too much that your arms won’t be able to withstand the weight of your baby while he/she breastfeeds.
Of course, you always need to be careful while holding the baby, but the Boppy helps so much that it almost becomes a part of you. An extension of your body.
Many of your family members that see the Boppy on your baby registry will probably not know the HUGE value of this item no matter how many baby showers you have (I had 4…I know, I’m soooo lucky!).
My friends and family didn’t recognize its value. So I had to purchase the Boppy and the Boppy Travel Pillow myself. I wanted to get the sophisticated Boppy, with luxe designs and fabrics, but I had to be budget-conscious.
Now listen up. What I have to say is important. If I was limited to buying only ONE baby product, hands-down, it would be the Boppy.
I even recommend the Boppy if you won’t be breastfeeding since it positions the baby at the perfect height for you two to bond and for him/her to feed.
My experience has been that babies LOVE to be on the Boppy and it’s comfortable for tummy time also (meaning, when you’re kids are learning how to crawl).
The Boppy is a fabulous product!
My only additional recommendation: even if you’re taking a lot of items to the hospital when you’re baby is about to be born… please remember to take the Boppy to the hospital or birthing center and start breastfeeding as successfully, cozily and comfortably as possible.
No pillow, no matter how fancy, well tucked, soft or firm it is, is better than the Boppy.
I believe in breastfeeding in public as long as you are not flashing anyone. 😉
What I love about this scarf, aside from the fact that it’s super portable and that it gives you 360 degrees of coverage when you’re breastfeeding in public, is that you can use it as an infinity scarf.
Needless to say, the designs are fresh and hip and don’t scream “look at me, I’m breastfeeding!” which is always nice because you can feed your baby and feel the least subconscious that breasteeding can allow.
Nobody will see your stomach, nor your back, nor any other body part that you prefer to keep private.
I didn’t think about buying a nail clipper for my baby until my baby was born and I saw the thin, jagged and super-sharp nails that my baby had.
When I started to research baby nail clippers I read “horror” stories about how parents unwillingly clipped the baby’s fingers while clipping his/her nails. They even offered techniques for how they stopped the bleeding.
I don’t know about you, but that made me queasy then and it makes me queasy now just thinking about it.
I couldn’t imagine hurting my baby while clipping nails and trying to stop bleeding.
The possibility of that scenario was too much for me to take.
In a nutshell, they have kept my baby’s bottom dryer, comfier and more rash-free that I could ever imagine.
Plus, they’ve been eco-friendly and pocketbook friendly.
Feel free to try various cloth diapers to see which you and your baby like best, but I have a strong suspicion that the FuzziBunz will win out.
You need 6 to start out, but you’ll be washing daily. A dozen FuzziBunz is “okay,” but ideally, you need 18 FuzziBunz or more to feel more at ease as as though you can have a life away from the laundry machine ;).
Coconut oil is useful for a baby’s dry and delicate skin and lips.
Additionally, as you are getting used to breastfeeding, coconut oil is good for sore breasts and you don’t have to worry about the baby eating coconut oil as he/she breastfeeds because it’s safe for them to ingest.
As a matter of fact, one of the reasons why coconut oil is so beneficial is precisely because it is the food item that most closely resembles breast milk. Go figure, right?
Plus, some Sleepsacks even have Velcro to hold your baby’s arms close to his/her body so he/she doesn’t wave his/her arms and startled himself/herself awake at night (trust me, you don’t want anything to disturb the baby while he/she is sleeping, especially on those days when either you or the baby aren’t getting much sleep).
Many babies nowadays can unravel themselves from a swaddle with a blanket (mine did this all throughout the day), but they can’t unravel themselves from a HALO SleepSack.
This translates into the baby feeling more protected and for everybody to be in a little bit more peaceful state of mind. This is pure heaven. 😉
And when you are sleep deprived, exhausted or trying to tackle your mile-long to do list with little success, organizational tools that work are quite handy.
You know the drill, you get many outfits at your baby showers, you get hand-me downs, have saved hand me downs from prior children or find baby clothing on sale.
You want to savor your baby wearing all the cute baby outfits that you’ve envisioned him/her wearing, but if you aren’t organized, you will most likely find an outfit, some shoes, some jackets, or some pjs that your baby no longer fits and hardly ever wore.
It is a truly bittersweet moment because you can’t help but feel that the item went to waste, but you’re thankful that your baby is growing.
In order to prevent that guilt from happening (over and over again), this Delta 48 Piece Nursery Storage Set allows you to have at least 30 items hung, with 12 dividers to separate them by size, type, color or any other label that you want to include.
It comes with a 6-shelf hanging organizer, 3 small bins, 3 large bins and is a good value.
The only downside? I wish it came with more than 30 velvet hangers, because they’re perfect.
The upside? You can choose what color you want your set to be.
Did you know that there are children under 2 years old that have already had thousands of dollars worth of dental procedures?
Due to poor dental care! Poor babies!
Due to the sugar in both breast milk and formula and the high acidity levels in some of the food that we eat, as soon as your baby’s teeth start growing you must start cleaning them and later brushing them with a small amount of non-flouride toothpaste.
One excellent resource to clean your baby’s teeth are Spiffies Tooth Wipes, created by a pediatrician to reduce the incidence of baby cavities. These pre-moistened baby wipes contain xylothol.
The best thing for your baby?
They don’t mind them at all, and as a matter of fact, they like the taste of these!
Start introducing good dental hygiene to your children early.
That will better guarantee that they preserve their beautiful smile for years to come.
What Can Bring You Momentous Joy and How to Best Share This Joy with Others?
Oftentimes, we go through life waiting for something grandiose to happen. Without realizing it, we sit around expecting fireworks… of our big moment, our big break, the better house, the better car… but all the while, the most important thing in our life is right there, in front of us.
Cameras are great and all, both for recording and taking time-lapse photos, but seeing good change happen right before our very eyes is magical … to the point that we really don’t believe our eyes! This happened to me this weekend. My baby boy grew right before my very eyes. Several times, I put him down to sleep or down to nap and he woke up different, bigger, wiser and more mature. His hair texture changed from that of a nicely combed baby to that of his father’s straight, but surprisingly unruly hair. This weekend he made it pretty clear as to whether he wanted his father or I to carry him. He crawled decidedly to caress our dog. He patted my hand rhythmically along for the first time, making a rhyme that I’ve said everyday to him for most of his life come alive because he brought me to the present moment. He let us know nonverbally that he prefers sweet potatoes, corn, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower in that order. Out of about twenty pictures posted from him, he repeatedly let me know which his favorite was by touching it. My baby’s eyes are still deciding what color they’ll be. Regardless, they’re the most mystical and mesmerizing color I’ve ever seen… and looking into my baby’s eyes and having him really gaze back is breathtaking.
Tonight, as I rocked him to sleep and sung the lullaby my grandmother would sing to me, I whispered the majority of the song. I was so choked up and in awe that something so precious could be mine. I honestly don’t know what I did to deserve this gift. As I half-sung to him, however, he smiled back and I was uber grateful that even though he’s grown, he is still a baby, my baby, and I still have a few “seconds in eternity” to enjoy him as a baby. And tonight, as I am about to go to sleep, I am immensely thankful for having this bundle of joy in my life who brings me to the “now,” moment by moment.
What Brings You Momentous Joy?
While I fully realize that this blog post is not the most momentous post you’ve ever read, if you have a child or if you have someone whom you love and treasure, go seek out your most joyous moment by loving them to the point that it brings you tears of joy… that will be one of the signs that you are truly and deeply blessed by the Divine. And please, as tempting as it may be, don’t take any kiss, caress or embrace for granted. 🙂
Please take a moment to share that magical, sweet moments that make you thank Life that you’re alive in the comments below. They’ll bring me joy just reading about them. And, if you want spread a little inspiration for stopping to see the beauty in those whom we most love, please share this post with them.