Thursday, January 28, 2010

Quick Note

I just wanted to let people know that Veronica won't be posting for a couple of days. Their computer has a virus and is out of comission for a bit. Keep your comments and thoughts coming!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Brandi's Feelings On Attachment Parenting

When my five year old son was still just tiny I felt really insecure. As a result of my fears and insecurities I was bombarded with advice. I was sleep deprived, frustrated and just wanting to be happy with parenthood. Several people (including Parent's Magazine) suggested that I put my baby on a schedule. I made an effort (though not whole hearted) to get us on a schedule and was miserable. I don't even remember how it came about but, for some reason I decided to keep C in bed with me. Amazingly, the first night we both slept through the night. I left my pajama top open and he just nursed as he felt the need. It worked so well that I continued sleeping with him until he was 8 or 9 months old. I would have kept sleeping with my baby but at the time we only had a full size bed and it started feeling crowded.

As for nursing... well, it was hard at first but lucky for me I had a very supportive mom and husband who urged me to keep it up even when I wanted to throw in the towel. As a result I nursed my baby until he was a year old. I didn't want to stop nursing but my pediatrician pressured me to stop. My baby wasn't in the "normal" range for weight. When I tried to tell the pediatrician that being skinny was just in his genes (my DH and I have always been on the skinny side) he just dismissed it and insisted that I give up nursing and start feeding my little guy children's ensure to fatten him up. Sadly, I forced my baby to be weaned and endured several hellish nights. I was so depressed to give up nursing, I knew my baby wasn't ready to be weaned (and I didn't really want to stop) but, I allowed a "professional" to bully me into it. I'm happy to report though that my second son nursed until he was 15 months and my third son is 13 months and we're still going strong.

Other aspects of attachment parenting have come later for me. I tried baby wearing with my oldest but, didn't have a good carrier so I just held him all the time. It was when I had a third child that I knew I had to find a better carrier and I came across a great one. Here's the website: My third son spent everyday for the first month or two in there. It was a much safer alternative to putting him down where his brothers could get to him. It also freed up my hands to hold the older kids' hands when we went places and made it possible for me to get chores done as well as get in a workout. When my third son got to be 8 or 9 months the sleepy wrap wasn't as effective. Luckily, I had just become friends with a girl who had made a really nice Mei
for her daughter and she was willing to make me one. Now where ever I go I carry my little guy. It is so much nicer to carry him than to push him in a dirty shopping cart or try to get him to walk and hold his hand. I also like the fact that my little guy can see things at eye level instead of having to hold him and a stroller up to see things.

As for cloth diapers... I don't have support from DH and so sadly I've given up on changing his mind. I am a huge supporter of anyone who is willing to do it. I think that it is so much better for babies, and much more economical.

The aspect of attachment parenting I still struggle with (but am still trying to master) is gentle discipline. It is so easy to yell or spank and when it is the end of the day and I have frazzled nerves. It is also hard when your parenting role models yelled and hit. This in no means gives any excuse. Spanking and yelling are not good. However, I believe that we are all works in progress and it is our job to try to be better. I am happy to report that my 13 month old hasn't ever been spanked, and I hope it will always be that way.

The final thought that I want to put to you is homeschooling. Although attachment parenting groups are told not to have that as a requirement, I want to tell you I believe it is a natural carry over. So, while it isn't stressed in attachment parenting I'd recommend looking into it and make your decision from there. I hope to include articles and thoughts on homeschooling. I also want to say if you aren't perfect in your attachment parenting... keep trying! No one is perfect and we all have off days, that is why it is good to have blogs like this you can turn to for support. I hope that we can forge good friendships from this blog.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Mommy Needs Comfort Too

I have four children. The first one was an experiment in every sense of the word. I think that is pretty normal with the first child because Mom and Dad are figuring things out. Then the second baby came along and I thought I could do everything the exact same as I did with my oldest. That didn't work. Baby number two almost sent me over the edge for a lot of different reasons.

So I made a lot of mistakes with the first two babies. They survived and they are perfectly normal, happy, healthy, thriving kids today. No harm done. But when baby #3 came along I decided I was going to throw caution to the wind and do whatever felt right at the time, no matter how strange it seemed or how little sense it made. It was then that I began to understand for the first time that I had instincts! Wow, talk about a V8. I had instincts and if I just let go of my many hang ups, I would be able to hear Mother Nature tell me how to parent my new baby.

In the past I'd had an extremely hard time in the first couple of weeks after giving birth. My emotions are all over the place and for the life of me I could never figure out why I felt so anxious, scared, easily agitated, nervous, panicky, and just plain crazy at times. One evening when Lauren (baby #3) was about six days old I was lying on the couch. The baby was peacefully sleeping in her bouncer which was positioned a few feet away from me. The house was quiet and I was alone in the dark. The TV was on, mainly to serve as a distraction from my ever growing anxiety. As I laid there, I began to see the early signs of an onsetting panic attack. I'd had my fair share of them during my pregnancy and after the birth of my second baby.

As I laid there and felt my body begin to sweat and my limbs start to shake, I did everything I could to keep it at bay. And then, a light bulb went off in my head. I went over to where Lauren was sleeping and picked her up. I noticed that as soon as my skin touched her skin, I started to calm down right away. It was instantaneous. Then the two of us laid down on the couch and I laid her on my chest. I became even calmer still. And then I took it a step further- I lifted my tee shirt and stuck her inside, right against my chest. My shirt was very loose fitting and she fit perfectly against me. Yes, she could still breathe just fine. As I laid back on the couch, I could feel her pulse against my skin. I could smell her. I could hear her breathing. It was as if she was a part of me all over again.

The two of us laid like that for a couple of hours. The calmness and tranquility that overtook my body during that time is indescribable. To understand the magnitude of my panic just moments before, then to see the drastic change that took place when I put her inside of my is uncanny. This little exercise saved me time and time again in those first few weeks of her life.

It's funny because society has made us believe that when a baby is born, that baby needs to immediately learn independence from the mother. You are to take that baby, the same baby that has spent the last nine months in the warmth of her mother, and suddenly expect her to adapt to this cold and strange world.

On the same note, the mother is expected to immediately learn independence from this life that she grew so accustomed to feeling 24 hours a day, knowing that nothing in this world could harm that precious person inside her. Well I don't buy it. It's not just the baby who has a difficult time being suddenly ripped from the mother. Mom has just as hard a time, if not harder because she knows exactly what has taken place and she has the matured intelligence to feel sadness as a result. Sadness and despair (in many cases) is absolutely inevitable for the mother. Rather than teaching mothers to separate themselves from their babies so quickly, society should be embracing the idea of a gradual and natural separation. It's something that should take place ONLY when both mother and baby are completely ready.

I wish I had understood this concept with my first two babies. It could have saved me a lot of heartache and confusion.

Monday, January 25, 2010


Oh how I love wearing this guy against my chest. When I first put him in the sling he gazes up at me for a long time, and then he gradually drifts off to sleep. He could stay like this for hours. It's simply amazing how carnal babies are. They know their mamas and there is nothing more secure to them. He is so cuddly!

Awesome Thank You Card

My friend Leigh has started donating milk to a milk bank and they sent her some paperwork, along with a thank you card that had this printed on it-

Thank you for nursing your baby. Thank you for nursing in public. May future mothers never have to search for a secluded corner, dressing room, or rest room to nourish their babies. Nursing in America is becoming the norm and the credit goes to women like you! Breast milk- every ounce counts!

How cool is that?

Benefits of Breastfeeding


Breastfeeding is one of the most natural and beneficial acts a mother can do for her child. Dramatic health benefits have been proven to pass from mother to child through breastmilk From antibodies which protect an infant at the exclusive nutrients in mother's milk which have been shown to prevent a number of childhood diseases...the benefits are incalculable. There is no other single action by which a mother can so impact the present and future health of her baby.

Yet, in today's society, breastfeeding is often thought of as unnecessary. Young mothers are mistakenly led to believe that formula does very well as a replacement for breastmilk. It emphatically does not! Nothing can duplicate the properties of breastmilk, no matter how many vitamins, minerals and supplements are added to what is basically a chemical formulation.

Breastmilk remains the one and only natural, complete and complex nutrition for human infants. It is nature's formula for ensuring the health and quality of life for infants, as well as on through childhood to adult life. Just as importantly, breastfeeding promotes a very special bond between mother and child that only a mother can provide.

To fully understand the benefits of breastfeeding, these are some of the major, but by no means all of the benefits of breastfeeding your baby.

Breastfeeding Facts
Health Benefits to Babies Who Breastfeed

Children receive the most complete and optimal mix of nutrients & antibodies

The varying composition of breastmilk keeps pace with the infant's individual growth and changing nutritional needs

Have fewer incidences of vomiting and diarrhea in the US (20-35 million episodes of diarrhea occur in children under the age of 5, resulting in over 200,000 hospitalizations and 400-500 deaths in the U.S.)

Protection against gastroenteritis, necrotizing entercolitis

Reduced risk of chronic constipation, colic, and other stomach upsets

Reduced risk of childhood diabetes

Protection against ear infections, respiratory illnesses, pneumonia, bronchitis, kidney infections, septicemia (blood poisoning),

Protection against allergies, asthma, eczema, and severity of allergic disease

Reduced risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) Statistics reveal that for every 87 deaths from SIDS, only 3 are breastfed.

Protection against meningitis, botulism, childhood lymphoma, crohn's disease and ulcerative entercolits

Decreased risk of tooth decay (cavities)

Nursing promotes facial structure development, enhanced speech, straighter teeth and enhances vision.

Breastfed infants develop higher IQ's, and have improved brain and nervous system development; IQ advantage of 10-12 points studied at ages 8, 12, and 18. (Breastfeeding is considered the 4th trimester in brain growth and development...there are specific proteins in human milk that promote brain development))

Reduced risk of heart disease later in life

Increased bone density

Breastfeeding plays an important role in the emotional and spiritual development of babies

Breastfed babies enjoy a special warm bonding and emotional relationship with their mothers

Antibody response to vaccines are higher

Are hospitalized 10 times less than formula fed infants in the first year of life

The colostrum (first milk) coats the GI tract, preventing harmful bacteria and allergy -triggering protein molecules from crossing into baby's blood

Decreased risk for vitamin E and Iron deficiency anemia

Decreased risk for acute appendicitis, rheumatoid arthritis, inguinal hernia, pyloric stenosis

There are factors in human milk that destroy E coli, salmonella, shigella, streptococcus, pneumococcus....and many others

Less risk of childhood obesity

Health Benefits to Moms Who Breastfeed

Reduced risk of breast, ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancers

Reduced risk of anemia

Protection against osteoporosis and hip fracture later in life

Reduced risk of mortality for women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been associated with total time of lactation

Helps the mother's body return to its pre-pregnancy state faster - promotes weight loss...1/2 of calories needed to manufacture milk is pulled from fat stores... can burn from 500 - 1,500 calories per day.

Helps delay return of fertility and to space subsequent pregnancies

Develops a special emotional relationship and bonding with her child

Breastmilk is free- reducing or eliminating the cost of formula (in the thousands of dollars/per year)

Breastfed babies are sick less thus reducing healthcare costs to family in Doctor office visits, prescriptions, over the counter medicine purchases, and hospitalizations

Moms miss less time off from work due to child related illnesses

Helps the uterus contract after birth to control postpartum bleeding

Benefits to the Environment and Society

Breastfeeding reduces the cost of healthcare by promoting healthier children and mothers..........If all WIC babies in the U.S. were breastfed, our economical savings would be $33,000,000 per month ..........In 1993, 90,000 babies were hospitalized for RSV at a cost of 450 million dollars. Currently, the U.S. spends over 1 billion dollars a year on Otitis Media (ear infections)

Reduced insurance premiums for both parents and employers

Breastfeeding reduces global pollution by decreasing the use of resources and energy required to produce, process, package, distribute, promote and dispose of materials created by the manufacture and use of artificial baby milk

Reduced tax burden on communities and government to ensure children are properly fed

Reduced absenteeism in the workplace due to children's illnesses

Other Benefits from Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding makes you feel good, the hormones produced during nursing have an endorphin effect giving you a relaxed feeling.

You have a great excuse to sit down and relax.....

You can nurse while sleeping...nursing moms get more rest than formula feeding moms.

Breastfeeding saves moms about 7 hours a week off their feet.

No screaming baby in the middle of the night waiting on the formula to heat up.

It's the only time you can ever lose weight without dieting or exercise!

Breastfeeding is more convenient, when traveling, all you need is to take diapers, the milk is always available, sterile, and the right temperature.

During times of disaster, you don't have to worry about finding formula.

Breastfed babies smell great....spit ups don't stain, or smell, and poopie diapers are not offensive...(until solids are introduced)

Breastfed babies know their moms and will never confuse them with a sitter.

The strong bond developed with nursing is much more intense.

There is no feeling to describe the child suckling at your breast and letting go to give you a big smile; and knowing that the growth of your baby came from what your body produced! Wow! What a feeling!

The satisfaction of knowing you are giving your baby the best start in life!

Breastmilk taste great! Sweet tasting! Variations in taste according to foods moms eats. Have you ever tasted formula? Ugh!

Breastfeeding requires the use of only one can do other things while breastfeeding, (except cooking and driving)

Many, many more benefits, too numerous to list!!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Hello readers! Since this is a brand new blog I likely have no readers yet. But my plan is to have several authors who can contribute and give their thoughts and wisdom on many issues pertaining to attachment parenting and breastfeeding. These topics are things I am wildly passionate about. I've had experiences in my life which have allowed me to see and experience both sides of the parenting spectrum, and as a result I've found my niche as an attachment parent-er. It has proven to be very beneficial for me, my children, and entire family. If you would like to be a contributor to this blog, please leave a comment for me including your email address. Thanks and happy reading!