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Archive for the ‘Breastfeeding’ Category

How Long to Nurse Him?

When I had my first child, I knew I would breastfeed. My mom had nursed my sister and I, and she encouraged me to attend La Leche League meetings and get informed.

I figured I’d go at least to the two years that is the current AAP recommendation. By the time he turned two, though, and then three, it all just seemed natural, and cutting him off arbitrarily seemed cruel and unnecessary.

My second nursed past three as well.

Then came my “baby”, the last for us (at least biologically) unless the Lord has some strange designs for the future.

I treasure this photo: R.T. nursing at the shrine of Our Lady of La Leche – in front of the statue of Mary nursing the baby Jesus.

He nursed past four. The longest-nursing of my kiddos. I would have thought four was “too old to nurse” even not that long ago. But walking through it daily, with our life, and his concerns, it still seemed right and natural.

For most of the past year he has declared from time to time, “I’m weaned!” and it was a topic that was discussed as part of growing up. But he just wasn’t ready to give up that reassurance when he was going to bed at night (typically the only time he nursed, by that point).

Then one night he was so tired he fell asleep without nursing. With one thing and another, it happened again. And, at 50 months old, he quietly but officially passed out of that stage of his life.

In some ways, I was more than ready for this. It makes bedtime duties easier to share, and gives me the freedom for the occasional “Moms Night Out” with my homeschool friends.

[Male readers may skip this paragraph] Not to mention the freedom that I now have to find better-fitting, and perhaps even (gasp) attractive undergarments!

But it is a bittersweet moment.

I enjoyed the special bond and relationship with all my children that nursing creates.

Weaning marks in a concrete way that they are growing up. Taking one more step towards the day when they will be adults, and off on their own. Desirable, of course, but sad as well that we “lose” the babies and children that they were(are). Maybe having my oldest graduating and preparing to move forward with his life has brought that home to me even more clearly right now.

Additionally, I think R.T. being my last “baby” makes it even more of a “finish” for me. Jewel’s weaning was the end of her babyhood, but not the end of that phase of my life, since she has a younger brother.

This time the baby and I are both closing a chapter.

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Seven Years Ago…

Seven years ago today… was a LOOONG day!

We had planned a home birth, and things progressed rapidly in the morning. But just before we expected her to come any minute, progress stopped (but the painful contractions didn’t).

After trying everything known to, well, woman, our midwife transferred us to the hospital (a 30+ minute drive). Thank God that her backup doc was the one on the floor, so we were not immediately confronted with a C-section battle.

People may see me as “opposed to medical intervention in birth,” but what I am opposed to is “UNNECESSARY medical intervention.” Medical intervention saved one or both of us from a very bad outcome seven years ago, and allowed me to give birth to my beautiful daughter, Jewel.

Her grandma (my mom) caught her, we nursed right away, and a few hours later we were home with our whole family cuddled up in bed.

  • Thank you, Lord, for the medical knowledge and help that was there when we desperately needed it.
  • Thank you for my husband, Wolf, an amazing partner and father.
  • And thank you for Jewel, who is a blessing beyond measure…

Happy 7th Birthday, Jewel!

Review and Giveaway: Making Babies Book


Follow along from conception to birth and beyond in this delightful book (and companion DVD series) from Shoshanna (Pearl) Easling of the Bulk Herb Store. (Don’t miss yesterday’s review and giveaway of the DVDs!)

It’s the FIFTH and FINAL DAY of the As For My House Holy Week Giveaway Bonanza!

So you say a bunch of blog giveaways aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “holy” or “Easter”?

Me, either. But I wanted to share my joy with you at this blessed time of year, and share gifts in honor of the Greatest Gift of All that Christ gave us.

There are five giveaways, each lasting for a week, leading up to Easter Sunday.

Like the DVD Series, this book is AMAZING

The book is GORGEOUS! It would make a fabulous coffee-table book, just to flip through and look at the gorgeous pictures of food, herbs, and kids.

The book is HUGE! More healthy recipes than your average cookbook (including a good number of gluten free and casein free options), more herbal concoctions than your average herbal book, more pregnancy information and exercises than your average pregnancy book… Just, WOW!

Look at all this stuff:

  • The first three section of the book are direct companions to the DVD Series – containing the recipes, exercises, and herbal goodies mentioned in each section.
  • My Pregnancy Cookbook – a bunch more recipes!
  • Did You Know? – basically an FAQ section with at-a-glance information on everything from “tips for morning sickness” to “mercury in fish”
  • Grandma’s Remedies – everything from soothing tea, to toothpaste, to treatment for diaper rash
  • Baby Diary – a journal framework for you to records the details of your pregnancy journey
  • Resources, Glossary, and Index


For my regular readers, I will comment that while I had no problem with yoga pants for exercise segments [since you are presumably at home alone (or with your husband) while doing these moves], I was disappointed to see her wearing pants about as often as skirts in the rest of the photos, as well.

There is one thing (as in the DVDs) that I found, frankly, both disturbing and entirely out of place: Shoshanna recommends circumcising your baby boy. Not only does this seem quite contradictory to the expressed views of “natural”, “simplistic” and “organic”, and the implied view that God knew what He was doing when He created us — it also flies in the face of current medical research, and even practice.

The 2009 national circumcision rate was just 32.5%, and less than 25% in some states — a far cry from the 55% – 65% she claims in the book. A concise collection of the basic facts and figures (including debunking the myth, which Shoshanna’s second-hand experience of eveidently led to her decision, that circumcision is “cleaner”) – can be found at the Circumcision Resource Center.

Although I find that quite a serious issue, it is still only one item out of literally hundreds. Let us not lose sight of the big, wonderful, picture.

You can purchase your own Making Babies Book directly from the Bulk Herb Store. Or, as of this writing, Amazon.com has it for the same price, with Free Super Saver Shipping!


And one lucky As For My House reader is going to win a copy!

Enter with the RaffleCoptor form below to win a Making Babies Book!

I received a copy of the book for review purposes. I was not compensated in any way for this review. This review has not been approved or edited by anyone. Bulk Herb Store is providing the prize for this giveaway, shipped directly to the winner.
I was “disclosing” before it was cool. See my Review Policy for the full scoop.


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Review and Giveaway: Making Babies DVD Series


Isn’t she adorable?

That’s Penelope Jane Easling, the actual baby that was followed from conception to birth and beyond in this delightful DVD series (and companion book) from Shoshanna (Pearl) Easling of the Bulk Herb Store.

Today’s review and giveaway are for the DVD Series, but stay tuned tomorrow for a review and giveaway of the incredible book!

Welcome to Day FOUR of the As For My House Holy Week Giveaway Bonanza!

What? A bunch of blog giveaways aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of “holy” or “Easter”?

I know… But I wanted to share my joy with you at this time of year, and share gifts in honor of the Greatest Gift of All that Christ gave us.

There will be five giveaways, each lasting for a week, leading up to Easter Sunday.

This DVD Series is … Incredible!

Making Babies DVD Volume I follows Shoshanna through the first trimester of her pregnancy. There are countless recipes, remedies, and herb concoctions, as well as a wealth of information about fertility, conception, morning sickness and pregnancy.

Making Babies DVD Volume II covers Shoshanna’s second and third trimester – along with plenty more healthy recipes, remedies, and herb concoctions. It also includes exercises, birth preparation, information on the birth experience and much more.

Making Babies DVD Volume III begins with Shoshanna’s wonderful natural birth, then covers the postpartum period as she stays healthy with her new baby. Making Babies Vol 3. is also full of deliciously healthy recipes, remedies and herb concoctions. Because of the sensitivities of little Penelope (and a blessing to many others like myself), she includes many recipes that are gluten free and casein free. It includes information about birth, nursing, postpartum, losing weight and getting in shape, and much more.

There are also interviews with several professionals throughout the series, lending their wisdom in specific areas (a chiropractor, a doctor, a midwife, etc.).

I will admit right here that I have not had a chance to watch all the DVDs. There is OVER SEVEN HOURS of material in this series! I wanted to make sure to get this giveaway up for you, so I just watched bits and pieces from Volume I and II, and most of Volume III.

I do fully intend to watch it all – even with no intention of ever having another child. I think that (a) many of the recipes and remedies have broad application, and (b) someone I care about may one day be pregnant – you just can’t have too much good information.

Each DVD is visually pleasing, with very professional film-making, and lovely sets. There is a spacious kitchen for the cooking segments, an outdoor setting where she prepares her herbal concoctions, and several other locations where she presents a wide array of tips and ideas.

One of the true highlights of the DVDs, though, is Shoshanna herself. Her cheerful, bubbly personality is guaranteed to make you smile. She gives you a ton of valuable information, but in a lighthearted and un-self-conscious manner that makes it very enjoyable viewing.

For my regular readers, I will comment that while I had no problem with yoga pants for exercise segments [since you are presumably at home alone (or with your husband) while doing these moves], I was disappointed to see her wearing tight jeans in the kitchen segments of Volume III.

There is one thing in Volume III that I found, frankly, both disturbing and entirely out of place: Shoshanna recommends circumcising your baby boy. Not only does this seem quite contradictory to the expressed views of “natural”, “simplistic” and “organic”, and the implied view that God knew what He was doing when He created us — it also flies in the face of current medical research, and even practice.

The 2009 national circumcision rate was 32.5%, less than 25% in some states; 80% of the men in the world are intact (and most of those circumcised are Muslims!). A concise collection of the basic facts and figures (including debunking the myth, which Shoshanna’s second-hand experience of eveidently led to her decision, that circumcision is “cleaner”) – can be found at the Circumcision Resource Center.

Although I find that quite a serious issue, it is still only one item out of literally hundreds – 2 minutes out of over 7 hours. Let us not lose sight of the big, wonderful, picture.

Here’s a preview:

You can purchase your own Making Babies DVD Series directly from the Bulk Herb Store. Or, as of this writing, Amazon.com has it for the same price, with Free Super Saver Shipping!

$75 does sound like a lot of money – but really, when you break it down it’s not at all out of line. $10/hour for a professional lecture series? $25 for a single DVD? Reasonable. And besides, you just can’t put a price on your health, and your baby’s…

But one lucky As For My House reader is going to win a set!

Enter with the RaffleCoptor form below to win a Making Babies DVD Series!

I received a copy of the DVDs for review purposes. I was not compensated in any way for this review. This review has not been approved or edited by anyone. Bulk Herb Store is providing the prize for this giveaway, shipped directly to the winner.
I was “disclosing” before it was cool. See my Review Policy for the full scoop.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

What’s for Lunch?

Very cute way to share a great message!

Breastfeeding Books for Babies

Okay, it should really be for Children, but that loses the lovely alliteration…

After some comments on my review of Near Mama’s Heart, I thought I should give you a rundown of some other books about nursing that we’ve read.

I believe in reading to kids of all ages, and I am absolutely convinced that they absorb a lot of things we may never think about… In this case, I hope you will think about normalizing nursing for your littles, even though they may never see it out in society today.

A lot of our books are in storage, but I’m going to try and get as many listed as I can think of. Here’s a few to start the ball rolling:

This is a board book with a mirror at the end so your child can see just how cute breastfed babies are. To my adult eye, it looks a little dated, but the kids adore it.

Very cute board book, including illustrations of a wide range of ages and positions – even tandem nursing. Another favorite in our house.

This is a slightly longer book (ours is softcover). It’s a very cute series of plays on words, as a new big brother struggles with the meaning of the word “nurse.”

Of course, there are any number of other breastfeeding books for children out there – and just because I haven’t read them doesn’t mean I think there’s anything wrong with them! Even a cursory search on Amazon breings us a great list of Children’s Breastfeeding Books.

What are your favorites?

How Will They Know?

Just as the nations need someone to go and share with them the Gospel… Children need to see the normal nursing relationship to learn that it is, in fact, the normal way to feed a baby.

As you know, I rarely post something here that just says “go read someone else’s post” … But, well, when someone has written a post that so eloquently sums up the things I say about this topic often and vehemently, it only makes sense that I share that with you rather than trying to reinvent the wheel!

With that in mind, I highly reccomend that you check out this post on the Nursing Freedom blog: Why Children Should Witness Breastfeeding in Public.

Trusting Your Mama Self

R.T. had to have some major dental work done on Tuesday. And with that much to be done on someone his age, they do it under full anesthesia in the Operating Room. The child is still, as well as getting pain relief, and everything can get taken care of.

You take your child in, and nurses and doctors come and check them and talk to you. Once all is determined to be well, they are given an oral medication that is a sedative and anxiety-reducting medication (related to Valium).

Once the medicine takes effect, they are wheeled back into the Operating Room, monitors are attached, and the the complete anesthesia is done. The preliminary medication is really just to ease the separation from Mom.

So R.T. had been given this medication, and was starting to act “dopey.” I suggested that Wolf take Jewel out to the waiting room, to remove the added distractions and help R.T. relax.

When they started to leave, R.T. screamed, and tried to go after them. It was a weird, overdramatic reaction. They lovingly said goodbye, and I soothed him while they left.

Just moments later, a nurse came to take R.T. back.

I told her that he was not ready yet, and she seemed frustrated with me. She checked the clock – it had been the ten minutes she was “supposed to” wait; his head was bobbing, he was clearly feeling it.

But I held my ground, and she agreed to come back in another few minutes.

I laid R.T. in the bed, and reclined next to him. I stroked and soothed him, encouraging him to relax, even sleep. I reminded him that when he went to sleep, and woke up, he would be able to nurse again. (Yeah, it had been a long night fasting!)

When the nurse returned, R.T. didn’t even respond when I got up off the bed and raised the side rail. He obliviously watched the ceiling go by as she wheeled him down the hall…

Those extra few minutes made the difference between screaming trauma and total contentment.

R.T. being child #3, I am by now well-versed in trusting my mama instincts. I know God made us attuned to our children, and I don’t hesitate to use that fact to everyone’s advantage.

It is the one thing I most wish I could gift to new mothers.

Too often, people are quick to take the “advice” of others, even when it is not right for their child or their situation. This is especially true when there is some weight of authority – doctors, nurses, teachers, etc.

I am not discounting the value of these people, or their advice… I am simply saying that, as in the situation I just described, they do not necessarily know the entire situation, and they certainly do not know your child as well as you do.

Trust it, mama. It’s a God thing.

Anesthesiology Fasting and Human Milk

This is an open letter to Anesthesiology Departments everywhere.

I sent a physical copy to my pediatric dentist, and Miami Children’s Hospital, which whom they are affiliated.

Please help future baby patients by forwarding a copy to your local medical facility!

To Whom It May Concern:

My son was seen at the dental center last week. He needs a significant amount of work done due to carries, and an Operating Room scenario was suggested.

I was informed due to the anesthesia the child should have nothing to eat after 10 pm, but was typically allowed clear liquids up until two hours prior to the procedure.

When I inquired about breastfeeding, from both the O.R. Coordinator at the dental office and the Nurse Practitioner she contacted for me at the hospital, I got only the generic response that “feeding” the child, and “milk products”, were not allowed.

Knowing of the easy, complete, and rapid digestibility of breast milk, this answer left me dissatisfied.

A quick online search revealed several studies suggesting that a window of as little as three, or even two hours (as with clear liquids) was ample. Even the Practice Guidelines published by the American Society of Anesthesiologists recommends a four hour fast from human milk.

In light of this, I would implore that Miami Children’s Hospital include this specification in their pediatric anesthesia guidelines – not just for R.T., but for all the infant patients you will serve in the future.

Sincerely…

References:
ASA NPO Practice Guidelines (see page 899)
La Leche League FAQ (also includes several more great resources in the accompanying links)

Jesus Was Breastfed

Well, He was, that’s all.

Christians should know better than anyone else – God designed our bodies to make the perfect nourishment for our babies, just like He designed our bodies to bear the children, and our hearts to nurture them.

One of the names the Catholics have for Mary is “Nuestra Senora de la Leche y Buen Parto” – Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Childbirth.

There’s a beautiful chapel housing this statue (a replica, as sadly the original was lost in a fire) up in St. Augustine, Florida – the oldest city in the United States.

There is a church, gift shop, and other historical markers at the Mission – well worth a look if you’re in the area.

And, naturally…

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