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Category Archives: Breastfeeding

When Your Co-Sleeping, Breastfed Child Wakes Up 800 Times a Night: What to Do

Katesurfsbabywakes

When my daughter was five months old, she started waking almost every hour looking for boob to put her back to sleep and I was beside myself. She had been sleeping so well up until then, but now her sleeping was fitful and feverish. I knew that all babies woke a little at night, but were they supposed to wake every hour for days and weeks and months in a row?! It wasn’t just developmental stuff or teething, it had to be something else…

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Unsolicited Breastfeeding Advice from Clueless Health Care Professionals

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Katesurfsdoctor

I’d walked by this Chinese medicine place a thousand times before and had heard good things about it. The girls were happy, and both in the shopping trolley, so I thought it would be a good time to stop by.

Hello!” I said to the lady at the counter, “I was wondering if you have any herbs or medicine for the gall bladder. This cold windy weather always seems to make it hurt.

Ok” she said with a smile back, “Just a minute.

She went into another room to go get the doctor. Now, I know that doctors of Chinese medicine are not ‘medical‘ doctors. But, they do have to train for many years in order to become certified. They have to learn all about the body and about acupuncture and about medicine herbs, etc. I actually think I had my life saved once by a doctor of Chinese medicine. I stepped on something crazy in the ocean and my feet turned all purple and blue and I couldn’t walk. She did something crazy that involved blood and hot needles and smoke and by the next day I was fine.  Read the rest of this entry

Breastfeeding is a Learned Behavior: So, Go Forth and Mingle!

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I was soaking wet, standing in the middle of the beach playground with the top half of my wetsuit pulled down, feeding my two year old while chatting to my friend. We were flapping our jaws about something or other, when my friend paused for a second, looked down and said, “God, I wish someone had just shown me how to get comfortable like that when I was still feeding my baby.”  She had read all the books, had all the lactation consultants help her. Still, something about it, she said, she just could never relax and get comfortable. Read the rest of this entry

NIP in America: An Insider’s Perspective From 10,000 Miles Away

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 Katesurfsbreastfeeding

NIP stands for Nursing in Public

A year ago, I would have never posted a picture of myself breastfeeding on the internet. Now, I feel like there’s no better way. Read the rest of this entry

Setting Loving Limits on a Boob Obsessed Toddler

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It’s ok to say “No” sometimes.

Actually, if you’re considering weaning because you’ve had enough of your boob addicted toddler, saying “No” may just prolong your breastfeeding relationship with your child and make breastfeeding more enjoyable for everyone in the long run. Is there a difference between feed on demand and constant, in your shirt every five minutes? Yes, yes there is.

Believe me… I’ve bitten the pillow and the back of my hand out of pure frustration. I’ve had visions of throwing my poor little one off of me… I had had enough! I thought I was going to have to wean because I just couldn’t handle it anymore! I was resenting the fact that my breastfeeding toddler.JUST.WOULD.NOT.STOP. Read the rest of this entry

Don’t Be a Weaner: There’s No Magic Age to Wean

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What’s disturbing to me, is that mothers may feel sadness, grief and even loss because they ‘feel‘ they have to wean at some arbitrary ‘magical weaning age‘, maybe 12 months, or 18 months, or whatever it is. They talk about their own motherly tears and sadness. And, they say how the child grieves because they have to say ‘bye bye‘ to boobies. They talk about how cruel it is that their baby is growing up and that they are “too big for that now“… And, they say how even though it’s sad, they just need to be tough and do it! It actually makes me feel like crying… Whoever came up with this idea that a child needs to wean at X, Y or Z age, actually, has no idea what they are talking about! Like, NO IDEA AT ALL! Read the rest of this entry

Be a Mother Not a Martyr: When Gentle Parenting Seems to Bite You in the Butt

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Martyr: One who makes great sacrifices or suffers much in order to further a belief, cause or principle.

Ok, if you’ve read the title and you know me, you might be thinking, now wait a minute Kate, you ARE the craziest gentle attachment parent I know. Tandem breastfeeding, cosleeping, babywearing, elimination communication around the clock, gentle parenting extraordinaire. And, here I am saying not to be a martyr? Yup, I’m saying it! Read the rest of this entry

Is Your Bra Toxic? Five Easy Tips for Healthy Boobies

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Don’t worry, this is not an invitation for a bra bonfire party (although we can have one if you want, our boobs might be happier that way). Read the rest of this entry

The Most Boring Breastfeeding Story That You Should Definitely Read

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For every triumphant breastfeeding story out there, I’m sorry to say, this is not one of them. For every woman that has gone above, over and beyond the reasonable call of duty to breastfeed, I’m not one of them. Although my story is not one of the exciting ones, I still think it’s important for me to share the very ordinary happenings on my breastfeeding journey, thus far.

For me, there were no tremendous hurdles that I jumped in those early days of breastfeeding. I had a single, full term baby, with no lip or tongue ties. My milk came in no problems. I was tender and sore for a bit, but nothing earth shattering. There was no pumping everyday to get my supply up. Later down the track, there was no pumping to try and feed a young baby while I was at work. (I went back to work when my kids were older and by then, I didn’t have to pump). There was nobody telling me I should go breastfeed my baby in the toilets… I fed my babies wherever I damn well pleased. I’ve had full support from my family, friends and husband. There was nobody hard on my case telling me that I should wean. I’ll remind you again, it’s really the most uninteresting breastfeeding story out there… and, just for that reason, I think it’s important to share.

My older daughter just turned four years old the other day (and the little one is 19 months). Four years is one thousand, four hundred and sixty days. Besides the one day when she was about 2 years old and we just plain forgot, it’s been every day since she was born, of hauling the old girls out for breastfeeding. The one day we did forgot was when I was about 7 months pregnant with her little sister and I had worked all day. She fell asleep that evening without even asking. I thought maybe it was the first signs of weaning but, oh, was I wrong! Once my milk came in after after the birth of her little sister, it was game on, all over again.

I never set out to accomplish any tremendous breastfeeding goal. I never planned to breastfeed for X amount of months or years. I just took it one day at a time. One day at a time. One day at a time.

There was one little rough patch, when my older one was about 2 1/2 years old and her little sister was about 2 months old. I was feeling some pretty strong toddler nursing aversions (it’s very common to feel this way, I wrote a post on it) , and I was sort of over it with her. But, rather than wean her because she was annoying me, I just decided to limit our sessions to a few times a day, and it solved the problem within a few months. I still get the annoying aversion on occasion… It’s this toe curling, blood boiling feeling, and when I do, I just tell her, “Sorry, we’ll have to do it again later.” Sometimes we even skip a day or two, and it’s really no dramas.

I certainly don’t go bragging to anyone that I’ve been breastfeeding for four years… because it’s not really an ‘accomplishment‘ in my mind. It’s just the way things have happened for us. I’m not doing it for selfish reasons and I’m not a martyr… it’s just the way it is.

People have such strange ideas about how long the ‘appropriate‘ durations of a breastfeeding career should be. Breastfeed for too short (or not at all) and you’ve got people criticizing you… breastfeed for too long (ahem, four years?!) and again, people start thinking you’re bonkers. Breastfeeding two kids of different ages, like I’m doing and…oh boy, I’m a lunatic, right?!

Well, stuff ’em all. This is just my my ordinary breastfeeding story.

Sometimes, breastfeeding is just a non-event. Although we often hear about the struggles (and I’m not trying to take away from those stories because there are some real tear jerkers out there), it’s not ALWAYS a difficult journey. Luckily, I’m surrounded with people who support me. I never have to defend my decisions.

So, when will she wean, I’m sure there must be a FEW people out there who wonder that… Geez, I don’t know, but I do know that she won’t be going to her first job with a boob in her mouth. What do you think?

The Past 100 Years of Women’s Fashion: Unfashionably Messing Up Breastfeeding Rates

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Easy access...

This, my friends, is easy access…

Breastfeeding rates in first world western countries (namely the USA) plummeted during the 1950s and 1960s and has been slowly on the rise since then. Read the rest of this entry