What’s really keeping women from breast-feeding? The answers may surprise you.
A new book, written by a mom who had her own struggles with breastfeeding, dives into the questions on why so many moms opt out of breastfeeding. The Big Letdown (St. Martin’s Press, 2017), by Kimberly Seals Allers, asks not about why all moms do not breastfeed–as there are certain scenarios where supplemental options are a true gift–but why supplementing is so often encouraged and formula given out free by hospitals and doctors–even to moms who have no need or desire to supplement. The book’s inspiration sprang from Allers’ own doubts about breastfeeding.
“[The book] is stacked with research to buttress her claims: formula companies make millions by convincing women they aren’t capable of one of their most basic bodily functions, and have spent millions of marketing dollars aimed at women, doctors, hospitals, scientists and policymakers to hammer this point home for the past century. Breast-feeding is hard, says Allers. The obstacles are real, and women will need support, education and encouragement to succeed. But rather than seeing breast-feeding as a challenge worth fighting for, women are handed a bottle of formula and ‘told to give up and not feel bad,’ she writes.”
This article include a short Q&A with the author on her new book. [Read more here.]
Tess Holliday Shares Throwback Breastfeeding Photo and Admits She ‘Was an Emotional Mess’
If anything can make a celebrity seem more down to earth and real like the rest of us “normal people” it’s seeing them embrace and talk about parenthood. Model Tess Holliday shared a photo on Instagram last week and admitted to the struggle she faced in the early months with second child Bowie Juniper who was born last year.
Holliday said the photo brought “so many feels” from a “dark time” in her life. Most mothers do not want to admit having a struggle with newborn babies and to go as far as calling it a ‘dark time’. We tend to associate new motherhood and babies with feelings of love and happiness and feel guilty for anything negative felt. The message from Holliday spoke to many moms who do face challenges in their early days of parenting.
It’s not #tbt technically, but I found this photo on my phone now from September of last year & it gave me so many feels. This photo was taken at my dear friends @honeywoodvintage @charlieoverbey home during a dark time in my life. I was an emotional mess + struggling to find my way as a new mom again. When I looked at this photo a wave of sadness poured over me, but now I only see my tiny bubs nursing & Sweetie looking on like a nervous new mom ? Life is messy, love is complicated, & it can all feel so overwhelming but we grow & learn. I’m so grateful for my life & appreciate it all, even if I can’t always see the light at the end… it’s there. Promise ???✨? #momofboys #motherhoodrising #normalizebreastfeeding
Watch Out For Melanoma During Pregnancy
Pregnancy tends to be a time when women take extra good care of their bodies. We pay attention to what we are eating and how much. We drink more water and cut out the bad stuff. We tune into every twitch and kick and abnormal function and ask a doctor. Another piece to be tuned into as summer approaches is your skin; spotting signs of skin cancer sooner rather than later can be done moreso than with other forms of cancer, simply by paying attention.
“It’s common to develop harmless dark splotches on your skin and a dark line down your belly during pregnancy. But some skin changes – particularly changes to moles on your body – can be a sign of something more sinister.”
Melanoma is an incredibly scary and fast-spreading form of skin cancer, so do not be afraid to ask your doctor about the skin changes you do notice on your body. Check this article for recommendations from a dermatologist on precautions to take. [Read more here.]
Compression Socks During Pregnancy: Feel the Awesome!
A lot more than just the belly swells on an expectant mother. Often a mom will find her fingers, face, and even feet and legs swell during pregnancy. It’s not just an undesirable look for women, but it’s not comfortable either and can even be a sign of looming health issues if not handled and treated in some way–especially when it comes to your legs and feet since you are on them so often. (And trust us, you do not want to be sentenced to bed rest.) This is where compression socks become super handy.
“Compression socks ( or compression hose; pressure stockings; support stockings or gradient stockings) keep everything (you guessed it) ‘compressed’ by being very tight at the bottom and gradually get looser as you go up (sort of like inverted Spanx). It’s like a little elevator to help your legs with their new heavy lifting of fluids to help your heart out – it’s the reason why so many athletes and runners use them.”
This article points you in a direction for finding good compression socks that are not just functional, but many of them add some fun to your feet. [Read more here.]
My Autistic Daughter Doesn’t Need Your ‘Awareness’
As Autism Awareness Month continues, read a different perspective on what ‘awareness’ should mean.
“Despite all of this awareness, there hasn’t been a corresponding increase in acceptance of autistic people. And, unfortunately, organizations that focus on autism awareness are partly to blame. When these organizations talk about autism, they often use language like ‘tragedy’ or ‘epidemic’ to describe people like my daughter, and they promote the damaging idea that autistic people are a problem or a puzzle to be solved.”
Perhaps awareness is more about understanding the world of those with autism and being empathetic to them. Try to step into their perspective on the world and how it works rather than just accepting them into your world. If we ‘cured’ autism, a lot of magnificent and creative minds might disappear in the process, so wishing it away may not be the answer. Instead, maybe understanding their world is a better solution. [Read more here.]
What Normal Looks Like
It used to be we awed over kitchens and houses in Better Homes & Garden magazines, but today all you have to do is scroll a social media feed (Hello, Instagram!) and one might think their friends all live in the movie-like homes you see featured in BHG. The reality is far from this, and this article from Scary Mommy pulls it all back into perspective for moms. Even if you are particular about certain aspects of your home or tidying up specific areas, the reality is, mess and clutter accumulate. Dishes, laundry, toys… There is a lot of it.
Get a solid reminder that you are not alone and your “clutter” is nothing to be ashamed of and read this article. Next time someone visits, do not feel the pressure to have a perfectly composed home and never apologize for its state! [Read more here.]
How Safe Is Gripe Water For Babies?
Deciding what does and does not enter your baby’s body is a pretty big deal. Beyond their basic food–be it bottle or breast–a parent faces plenty of other choices and medication is one of them. Parents struggle with crying babies and one suggested aid for a very long time has been gripe water–particularly for colicky babies whose crying is often caused by unidentifiable reasons.
“Gripe water is a water-based, over-the-counter dietary supplement sold as a tonic to soothe colic, indigestion, teething pain, flatulence and hiccups in babies.”
This article goes over the history of gripe water, its ingredients, and how to decide if it is safe for baby. [Read more here.]
Mum’s car seat safety warning
If there is one topic that can never be discussed enough it is car seat safety for babies and young children. Some parents may find all of the straps and high costs and laws an inconvenience. We admit it may not be convenient, but protecting tiny bodies is a parent’s number one job and that includes in the car.
A mom’s recent Facebook post made head turns when she held her baby upside down in his carseat. But guess what? Her baby was safe and sound and stayed right in his seat where he was supposed to be. [Read more here.]
10 Reasons Your Toddler’s Tantrum Is Actually a Good Thing
It could be the terrible twos or maybe the dreaded threenager years, but if you are dealing with toddler tantrums on the regular, you are probably pretty over it. Perhaps you even ask yourself what you are doing wrong to cause the outbursts. More than likely, you are doing nothing wrong, and dealing with nothing different than what every other parent who has raised a toddler has dealt with and maybe it is actually healthy for the child.
“However, believe it or not, toddler tantrums are an important part of our child’s emotional health and well-being, and we can learn to be calmer in the face of them. ” [Read more here.]
15 Insane Toddler Mom Cartoons That Are Totally… Your Life
When life with a toddler (or two or three) begins to overwhelm you so much that you feel like you are drowning in toys, mess, and tears, it’s good to take a step back and gain some perspective. Remember the ridiculousness of your frustrating situations and that every mom out there is dealing with it too. It doesn’t solve the headaches, but feeling less alone and laughing at the situations together definitely helps. Enjoy these cartoons that capture motherhood in the toddler years pretty well. [See slideshow here.]