Friday, 29 March 2013

You're still breastfeeding? And other Toddler Myths


It is official. I am nursing a toddler and I love it. He is still my little man. Other people including family make comments like “Your still breastfeeding” or “you will have to stop soon”. People are almost offended when they see your breastfeeding a toddler. In our culture toddler hood is synonymous with independence. There is also a lot of misinformation floating around. Pediatricians to family members hold to strong opinions about breastfeeding a toddler.  Most of these are not based in scientific fact or anthropological history. Here are a few of the top myths.
12 months of breastfeeding! 

You must switch to cow's milk and you don't produce enough of nutrient A B or C. 

Breastmilk contains plenty of nutrients and antibodies. Isn't it a little stranger that we recommend drinking the milk of another species? Also,  there are continued benefits for nursing at toddler. Breastmilk is adaptable and quite capable of meeting your toddler's nutritional needs. It is also great for physical, mental and social development. Save the Children: Says that children in the developing world can be saved by supporting breastfeeding. Think about that for a second. What if you existed in a world where there was unsafe water? How would you feed your babies? I am not completely against formula. I was given formula as an infant. But I think we all deserve this information. Once you start breastfeeding, it makes the journey to nursing a toddler so much easy. (Not withstanding the possibilities of thrush, mastitis and food sensitivities but as mothers who have gone through childbirth it is indeed possible for nursing to endure through the journey from infancy to toddlerhood.  That leads into the next myth: 

That baby is too dependent on you! 

Hmm no. My son is being a baby. That is is his job. It does not mean he doesn't have other coping skills or won't learn them. It is a way to reconnect with his mom or for comfort after he is hurt.  Again, this develops trust and social capabilities. Globally, the average age of weaning if 2.5  to 7 years old. ( Katherine A. Dettwylerhttp://www.iamnotthebabysitter.com/wordwide-average-age-of-weaning/ )Why do so many North Americans think 6 months should be the cutoff (if not younger). Breastfeeding is misunderstood. 

It is disgusting! 

This is a cultural phenomena  North Americans have a strange view about nursing. We have moved from seeing women as a symbol of fertility and natural motherhood to symbol of pure sexuality. It is ridiculous. Just because women “can” be sexual does not mean that breastfeeding is inherently sexual.  The WHO says, "Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond." http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/.  There is nothing sexual about this. I think because breastfeeding can trigger the same hormones the two have become convoluted, but it is not the same.  Breastfeeding is healthy and natural. 

Summary:

Let's reclaim our bodies and end this myths. Most are social assumptions. As we are members of society, it is up to us to educate, inspire and transform. Breastfeeding can be a positive experience. Let's highlight the good stuff instead of the negative: the bond between mother and child, a reduced incidence of disease for both mother and child and it is very accessible and free. Don't be afraid to nurse as long as your little one wants to and you are able.  I feel blessed to still be breastfeeding and so should you! 

Recommended Readings:
Kelly Bonyata "Breastfeeding Past Infancy: Fact Sheets http://kellymom.com/ages/older-infant/ebf-benefits/ 2011
World Health Organization "Breastfeeding" http://www.who.int/topics/breastfeeding/en/
Kelly Bonyata "Breastfeeding Past Infancy: Myths" http://kellymom.com/ages/after12mo/ebf-myths/ 2011
Kelly Bonyata "Handling Criticism: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/criticism/ 2011
Save the Children "Breastfeeding Saves Lives" http://www.savethechildren.ca/page.aspx?pid=1065

Katherine Dettwyler, "Worldwide Average Age of Weaning"  http://www.iamnotthebabysitter.com/wordwide-average-age-of-weaning 2012

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Try On Avon Advance Techniques hair color now!

Ever wanted to try a new hair colour?  Try On Avon Advance Techniques hair color now!: Check out the new hair look I created using Avon's Try It On tool! Upload your own photo to try on hair color shades.  Try it now! It's free.

It's great to do something for yourself once in awhile. Also, Avon Canada supports Breast Cancer Research and Domestic abuse survivors. It is an easy to start getting involved with a company that is over 120 years old. What a long time to be empowering women! 

Want to go further? How about try your hand at becoming an Avon Independent Representive. There are a lot of positive reasons to become one today!
Financial Freedom: Pay off your credit card, student loans or plan a vacation
Personal Growth- Gain valuable skills, Learn how to network, use social media 
Gain Friends: Friends are invaluable :) 

Avon is also changing its structure with a move to Promise- when you can soon reserve orders, have a guaranteed discount, one flat shipping rate. 

You can also just order from Avon Canada at www.interavon.ca/ashleigh.swerdfeger-They will ship to anyone on Canada. 

Blog Challenge 24


Embarrassing Moments: 

Oh this is tough. I am so clumsy. I probably have a lot of embarrassing moments to be honest. I have broken countless cups. I crash into walls and have the bruises to prove it. I trip on my own feet.

One of my top embarrassing moments was as a child. I was at this gorgeous store near Lakefield, Ontario. I approached this older, balding man with a black jacket and said "Hi, Grandpa". The man turned and said "Hi, a new grandchild!" I screamed and run to my family.  

The man apologized to my mom for 'scaring me'.  It really wasn't his fault as I thought he was my grandma but man was I ever embarrassed. I was so shy as a child. There are probably more recent embarrassing moments that I could write about but that one is still tops in my mind. 

Day 23 Hobbies

It is easily to identify as 'just' a mom and therefore easy to get burned out. Even if you are a career person, it is important to have hobbies. Hobbies reduce burn out.  Hobbies make you happier. As well, hobbies do not have to be complex. 
A definition, "an activity or interest pursued for pleasure or relaxation and not as a main occupation" (from dictionary.com) 

My Hobbies: 

Reading everything: Fiction: Fantasy, Sci Fi, Mystery, Thriller, Historical Romance, Paranormal, Contemporary Romance, Nonfiction: Self Improvement, Biographies, Historical Novels lol 
Websites- There is a lot out there (Be careful of information overload)
Writing: Poetry, journaling- I really need to do more 
yoga: Hard to do with a kid and a dog  lol. The dog wants to make sure i am okay, and the baby likes to pull on my hair and do breastfeeding gymnastics. It does make for a fun time.
Nature walks- I love being outside and I love walking. Now that my little one is bigger, I can take him for short walks, rides in the stroller, to the park and swing (I wish i had a bigger baby carrier, I only have a sling and he is too long and heavy for it) 
Baking gluten free, even with it is with mixes.  
And there you have it: My hobbies ;) I would love to be able to do this everyday but that is impossible. For now, i try to start the day with a yoga practice and finish the day with reading or writing, but it depends on everything. 

Sunday, 17 March 2013

To my Son on His First Birthday

There are few words to describe the feelings of holding a tiny, fragile being in your arms. Knowing you are healthy. That you are screaming and want your mommy. You passed your apgar test (yay-although it is not always an accurate indicator of baby's chance for thriving) Feeling your warm little body on my chest and knowing you are whole. I can't wait to go home. The meals are great (and gluten free!) I never felt sick  once. Also, the greatness of holding you and seeing you latch even after an epidural is incredible. This is one of the strongest forms of love.
The first nights blend into the early months. Shooting past your birth weight at your first week's appointment. Constant nursing. Taking you to class. I hope that inspires to do what you want! Comfort nursing. Over -stimulation  Understimilation. Growth spurts. The milky baby smell. Gassiness caused by weird spices. Tummy time leads to crawling. Crawling leads to sitting. Sitting to standing. Standing to your first steps.  watching everything.

So many firsts. First smile. First Easter. First tooth. First Thanksgiving and Halloween. First Christmas. First Valentine's day. My first time being a mom. So many worries, wonders and concerns.

This time is short. This time is beautiful- not something to be taken for granted. <3 I love watching you grow into a toddler. It fills me with inner joy. Being a parent is not easy. There are ups and downs. Moments when you just want to cry yourself to sleep. But at the end of it all, I would not change a thing. I have a little being that looks up to me. Loves me. and His daddy. Not to mention, he loves his entire family. His uncles, his grandma and great grandma, his dogs and cats. Babies radiate love and acceptance.

What else does he like? He loves exploring. He loves trying now foods but he is still breastfed. He is growing independent each day. Even though he still likes to snuggle.  He loves to give daddy hugs and the dog kisses.  You on the move, running, dancing and climbing. You have grown so much in such a small amount of time my little man.  What do I want you to know?

  • Nothing is impossible- even the words say "i'm possible.
  • I will always love you and you light up my life 
  • I am guiding you but you have the ability to set your own course
You are big but still growing hair. Have some teeth and are still nursing. All in all you are a happy little guy. I can't wait for the rest. 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Breastfeeding Hypocrisy

Once again breastfeeding and pumping pictures are being banned from Facebook. Why is this important? Numerous bloggers and administrators are being banned for reasons that run the gamut of normalizing breastfeeding to addressing Facebook's double standard.  I am a breastfeeding mother and I support it 100%. We are not attention seeking. We just want to feed our children in peace. Without assmptions, threats or accusations. We do not weaken or threaten society. We uphold it. We are raising the future in a completely normal way. Some of us are able to breastfed and should be able to do so in peace. Pictures of bottle fed babies are normal, why aren't nursing babies?

Freedom of Speech

There is nothing wrong with expressing your feelings. It is enshrined in the Constitution and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. 

While you aren't not supposed to go against the rights of others, how do breastfeeding and pumping pictures hurt others?  Children are nourished and healthy. This pictures are not meant to raise guilt in mothers who formula feed. If you do feel guilty, reporting these images benefits no one. If you feel disgusted by these images- well I think you are deconstructing this a little too much. Why do you think breastfeeding a child is wrong? Does it make you feel uncomfortable? Does watching a polar bear nurse their young upset you? It is a mammalian trait.  Nursing needs to be normalized.  Nursing in public is hard enough without people passing judgement. The same can be said of pumping. Pumping is hard work whether it is for your own child or to donate. Why shouldn't you be able to take pictures of your hard work? 

Facebook's Policy

Facebook seems to have no quarrel with nursing mothers. Here is the word straight from Facebook's Nudity and Pornography section:

''Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved. We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo's David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.' https://m.facebook.com/communitystandards?_rdr

That seems to indicate that no harm should befall breastfeeding pictures. They are not pornographic or sexual. That problem is a social construction.
Why are woman only seen as sexual when they are multifunctional beings. They are are give birth, feed their children and while these are natural, intimate acts, it does not make them sexual. There are health benefits for mother and child.


Pumping pictures are also beautiful. Mothers who pump take pride in this. They may not be able to breastfed and want to celebrate as well. Pumping pictures can also serve an educational purpose. 


Double Standard 

There is a huge double standard. Why are men allowed to show nipples? They have a sexual purpose.  Many users, TMM admin included have found pictures that are more pornographic   than these photos. I am not sharing on this blog as it is family oriented.  I do believe that the human body is beautiful in its form. What annoys me is that is people are worried about breastfeeding pictures while there are pictures 1000x worse. Yet time and time again, Facebook says these sexualized issues are not against their policy. 

Child pornography- 

There is actually a cause on Facebook all about this. If you know where to look there are pornographic pictures on facebook. This is detrimental and what we should be concerned.  This is sickening and is not related to a mother breastfeeding. Facebook says their policies are anti pornographic, photos tell otherwise. 

http://www.causes.com/stopchildpornonfacebook

Breastfeeding is Beautiful (And Normal) 
Why is this even a problem in the 21st century. You can find stunning examples of women breastfeeding in art and sculpture throughout history. There is is even a facebook page lol!

This is me and the babe. This is what it is all about at the end of the day. If we are able to successfully get past various issues, love is the connection. If you believe  in allowing breastfeeding pictures please sign this petition. Whether you breastfeed, use formula, a man, a woman, a grandma, what you are and identify with, you can still support breastfeeding. For  example one of the best indicators of successful breastfeeding is having a supportive significant other. Just like this petition needs your support. 
http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Facebook_to_amend_breastfeedingphoto_guidelines/?cUFvrab

If you want to read more about this ban, check out this link. 
http://thismilkmatters.blogspot.ca/2013/03/facebook-takes-dig-at-tmm.html
Also here are more links that support BF: 

The Leaky Boob
www.theleakyboob.com
The Badass Breastfeeder 
www.thebadassbreastfeeder.com

update- one of the photos was reportedly "accidentally deleted' and replaced. 

Monday, 11 March 2013

Another Giveaway - Not Just Baby Brain

I am on a giveaway finding mission lol. Today, I found another giveawaay. Bonus- it is open to us Canadians. What a great prize! Plus if you win, you could buy something for yourself, your children and your significant other. You will not be disappointed! Note- I am not affiliated with the contest. I like entering contests. I like reading and sharing. Therefore, I am sharing this contest for a $50 Indigo Gift card with all of you!
Follow the link@
http://notjustbabybrain.com/2013/03/kick-off-march-break-with-lego-duplo-on-sale-at-indigo-giveaway.htm


chapters.indigo.ca/lego
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Disney's Mulan & Mulan II Blu-ray Combo Pack #Giveaway

I am always on the lookout for exciting Canadian giveaways. I am excited to provide a link to a Mulan and Mulan II giveaway. I love Mulan! She is a powerful role model, the story line and music is amazing. If a little nostalgic lol.  Share Mulan and Mulan II with the new generation. Just so you know, I am not affiliated at all with the giveaway. I would love to win. Mulan is one of my all time favourite Disney movies.
Here is the link-
http://seapotato.blogspot.ca/2013/03/disneys-mulan-mulan-ii-blu-ray-combo.html

Mulan- http://www.amazon.com/Mulan/dp/B003QSMCKO
MulanII http://www.amazon.com/Mulan-II/dp/B004IDD9OO/ref=pd_sim_mov_aiv_1

Disney's Mulan & Mulan II Blu-ray Combo Pack #Giveaway. Try your luck! You will lose 100% of the time when you don't give yourself a chance to win. Good luck everyone! What is your favourite Disney movie? Do you prefer the older Disney, the new Disney movies or a mix of a both?

Friday, 8 March 2013

It Takes a Village

I read a rather thought-provoking article. i will link it so you all can read it. It is a fascinating history that contains a certain kind of truth. The kind of community you are raised you affects you in holistic ways. I will update as soon as i find the link :)

Basically the moral of this story- even though the residents had unhealthy habits, heart disease was not found in people younger than 65. This trend was the complete opposite of the rest of the United States. I imagine and i am assuming here that it would be the same in smaller, close knit communities, rural villages, and the like. Imagine what your life would be like if you actually talked to your neighbor and didn't isolate yourself from others. Not that everyone does that, but in our fast paced world, we do tend to put up walls.

I think this explains why most of us have joined online communities. It creates the same sense of togetherness, inclusiveness and inner peace. We are actually able to talk to people. People who hold the same values. It makes you feel safe and able to express your individuality.  To some degree, this is an important and useful skill. Technology is the way of the future.  The ability to communicate effectively online is a valuable asset.

This is part of the meaning behind this blog. I want to share my experiences as a Celiac and a as mom. Both are part of who I am. But they are not the whole thing. I am also a part of various groups and organizations on Facebook. Groups that give meaning to my life.

How do you feel about this? Do you have somewhere you feel safe? I think everyone should have something like. Go out of your comfort zone. Say hello to a neighbour. Smile and mean it. Peace and happiness start within you.