Archive for the ‘ Breastfeeding ’ Category

Normalize Breastfeeding Now Has Its Own Day of Recognition

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

breastfeeding momOur bare breasts have been awfully newsworthy these days, and for that we can thank two different, but related, campaigns: #FreetheNipple (which has been buoyed by Scout Willis, a documentary and Iceland) and #NormalizeBreastfeeding (which counts Alyssa Milano, Extra‘s Terri Seymour and model-mom Nicole Trunfio among its high-profile fans).

Related: Celebrity Breastfeeding Photos and #Selfies

But before the #brelfies and fashion spreads, there was Vanessa Simmons, a San Diego-based photographer and mom of three who wanted to remove the stigma of breastfeeding in public. So last June, she began #NormalizeBreastfeeding, a now international movement that encourages women share their stories, offer and receive encouragement, and ask questions.

Simmons’ pet project received a major boost in November, when Milano infamously posted a gorgeous black-and-white breastfeeding selfie that spawned its own mini-movement. (It was the first time I had heard of #normalizebreastfeeding.) But she recently cemented the cause’s place in the spotlight by applying for—and receiving—an official day of recognition from San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulcone. Now, June 27 is the International Day to Normalize Breastfeeding. Simmons chose that particular day because it was the day she founded her campaign, plus it was available on the list of “International Days” recognized by the United Nations.

The response has been overwhelmingly positive so far. In fact, other states have hopped on the pro-public breastfeeding bandwagon: The mayors of Houston, Texas and Kansas City, Mo., issued similar proclamations, and supporters from Mobile, Ala., to Sterling Heights, Mich., staged local events.

The push to make public nursing more acceptable couldn’t come at a better time, as moms continue to be kicked out of stores, shuttled into grimy bathrooms, and shamed on social media, all because their baby was hungry and—gasp!—they didn’t cover up. Though there have been some high-profile signs of acceptance (thank you, Pope Francis), more needs to happen before mamas around the world are able to nurse their babies anywhere, anytime without fretting about accidentally flashing some top boob. Hopefully, this International Day to Normalize Breastfeeding is the next step to help get us there!

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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

Pain-Free Breastfeeding
Pain-Free Breastfeeding
Pain-Free Breastfeeding

Image of breastfeeding mom courtesy of Shutterstock

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This Rapper-Dad’s Breast Pump Selfie Will Make Your Day

Friday, June 26th, 2015

george mossCelebrity mom #brelfies are nothing new, nor are pics of mamas with their breastfeeding pumps. (Thanks, Kourtney Kardashian!) But rapper George Moss has introduced a whole new awesome type of nursing photo: the dad-breast pump selfie.

On Monday, the dad of five-month-old Judah posted an aww-worthy shot on Facebook showing him washing his wife’s breast pump after a show. But his caption is what really won me over. He wrote, “If you ever wonder what #rappers do when they get off stage, they clean breast pumps for their wives so their baby can eat. #thuglife” (Feel free to take a moment right now and share on your guy’s timeline.)

Not surprisingly, the post took off like wildfire and has, as of this writing, more than 47,000 likes and nearly 8,300 shares. Moms and dads are applauding the artist for pitching in to help his breastfeeding wife, Michelle, and he’s been responding with equally kind, down-to-earth posts. (Example: One fan wrote, “I think this is awesome. Way to support your wife and help!!! Ps don’t loose the white parts they are tiny and like to fall down the drain!” Moss’ response: “Lol, been there, done that, and reordered some.”)

In fact, he’s shocked his simple photo has resonated with so many people. But in a later Facebook post, showing Michelle breastfeeding Judah, Moss was quick to shift the attention to his wife and other nursing moms.

“Although I appreciate the love, likes, and kind words (and even the few party poopers that the internet undoubtably produces), its absolutely CRAZY that this all happened because I washed a couple bottles,” he wrote. “If anyone should get the credit it should be people like my wife! …This woman AMAZES me! Through all the pain & soreness, frustrations, stress, etc. of trying to breast feed and pump, she gets up in the middle of the night to nurse a hungry baby…and in the middle of me writing this post, she finished nursing him and then made me a late night snack too!”

Moss also called out the men who aren’t putting in the work to support their partners, saying he was “a little saddened to realize how few men (or better put, ‘males’) don’t do the simplest task like washing a bottle.”

Impressed? Yeah, me too.

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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

How to Pump Breast Milk
How to Pump Breast Milk
How to Pump Breast Milk

Image courtesy of George Moss via Facebook

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Breastfeeding Could Improve Your Baby’s Dental Health

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

breastfeeding Breastfeeding baby doesn’t just save you money on formula, it could also prevent you from having to pay for expensive orthodontics in the future.

Researchers at the University of Adelaide, in Australia, found that babies who exclusively breastfeed are less likely to develop dental conditions like overbite, open bite, crossbite, or misaligned teeth. Their study tracked more than 1,300 children for five years, examining how much they breastfed at 3 months, 1 year, and 2 years old— and whether they used a pacifier at 3 months, 1 year, 2, and 4. When the babies turned 5, the scientists examined them for signs of misaligned teeth or jaw conditions.

They discovered that babies who were exclusively breastfed for three to six months lowered their chances of developing an overbite by about a third. The risk dropped by 44 percent in infants who nursed for six months or more.

Nursing for three to six months also dropped a child’s chances of developing moderate to severe misalignment of teeth by some 41 percent. Similarly, those who breastfed for six months or longer lowered their chances of growing up with moderate or severely misaligned teeth by a whopping 72 percent.

The findings were published online this week in the journal Pediatrics.

One possible reason for this improved dental health is the simple mechanics of nursing. “Unlike feeding with a bottle, breastfeeding requires the baby to move her jaw and tongue in ways that help develop the oral cavity,” Dr. Joanna Pierro, a pediatric chief resident at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City, told HealthDay. “So long before baby breaks her first tooth, she is creating the foundation for proper alignment of the teeth.”

Interestingly, those excellent odds could be diminished somewhat if your child uses a pacifier. That’s because, when overused, a paci can put undue pressure on baby’s still-developing jaw and could increase her chances of misaligned teeth or jaw conditions. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should throw out your babe’s pacifier yet. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests using one to help reduce the risk of SIDS, especially in early weeks. Instead, consider limiting its use and starting the weaning process by the time baby is a year old.

While the study stopped short of providing a cause-and-effect link between exclusive breastfeeding and good dental health, I think the findings may help give nursing moms a little incentive to continue breastfeeding for as long as they can or as long as they see fit.

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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter Pinterest, and Google+.

How to Do the Cross Cradle Breastfeeding Position
How to Do the Cross Cradle Breastfeeding Position
How to Do the Cross Cradle Breastfeeding Position

Image of breastfeeding baby courtesy of Shutterstock

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This Model Mama’s Response to #Brelfie Haters Will Make Your Day

Monday, June 15th, 2015

breastfeeding momSarah Stage is no stranger to controversy. The brunette stunner raised eyebrows a few months ago, when, at eight months along, she revealed her teeny-tiny bump and insanely toned midsection. Then, four days after baby James was born, the Costa Rican lingerie model posted a shot of her already-fit post-baby bod. But it’s her most recent Instagram shot that’s caught my attention.

In the sweet picture, we see the six-pack mama breastfeeding her adorable babe. Sure, Stage looks gorgeous—we’d expect nothing less—but she also looks like every other nursing mom cuddled up with her little love nugget during a feeding sesh. Even better, though, is what she posted alongside the photo. Her ballsy caption beats the haters to the punch. She wrote, “If you don’t like this pic, just unfollow me. No need to hate on a beautiful moment with my son ✌ #normalizebreastfeeding

It’s like she took the words out of my mouth. Look, breastfeeding is tricky enough without having to worry about what other people think. And though I have yet to meet a mom who flashes a boob on purpose, an accidental nip slip is going to happen. Can we all agree that it’s part of the gig and give women the space to do their job?

Related: Celebrity Breastfeeding Photos and Selfies

Stage’s post has clearly struck a chord with others. As of this writing, it has more than 51,000 likes and 2,277 comments, most of which are overwhelmingly positive. The general consensus? “You are beautiful,” and it’s “perfectly natural.” Yup, I couldn’t have put it better myself.

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Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter Pinterest, and Google+.

How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding
How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding
How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding

Photo of Sarah Stage courtesy of Sarah Stage and @funkyfreshkids14 via Instagram

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See This VH1 Star Breastfeed Her Baby—In Her Wedding Gown!

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

breastfeedingWhen baby is hungry, a mom will stop everything to feed her—even if that means holding up her own wedding.

Love & Hip Hop star Yandy Smith found this out firsthand last month when she and Mendeecees Harris tied the knot on live TV. The beautiful bride was moments away from walking down the aisle when her 5-month-old daughter, Skylar, decided she needed to eat. So Smith did what any mom would do and fed her. Since she’s breastfeeding, that meant having to free one ta-ta from underneath a jewel-encrusted wedding gown and nursing while friends and family—and TV cameras—waited in another room. (Gee, no pressure or anything!)

An obvious breastfeeding pro, Smith finished up minutes later, looking flawless and ready to get hitched. But thankfully, not before her wedding photographer captured the tender moment, which the celeb posted later on Instagram “OMG @timefrozen you captured my life in a nutshell in this pic,” she wrote. “Baby Skylar started crying right before I walked. I had to walk down the isle (sic) a little late because I had to feed her. I love this picture. Thank you for capturing this without me even knowing. Lol. #smithharriswedding2015 #moderndomesticegl”

Related: Celebrity Breastfeeding Photos and Selfies

She’s not the only one going ga-ga over this gorgeous pic—it’s gotten more than 92,500 likes on Instagram so far, with commenters calling it “awe-inspiring” and “breathtaking.” And it definitely is. But to me, the photo also shows what all of us parents do for our children, which is to put their needs before our own, whether it’s a random Wednesday or our wedding day.

Don’t forget to sign up to receive our free Parents Daily Baby newsletter.

Bonnie Gibbs Vengrow is a New York City-based writer and editor who traded in her Blackberry and Metro card for playdates and PB&J sandwiches—and the once-in-a-lifetime chance to watch her feisty, funny son grow up. Follow her on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding
How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding
How to Hold Baby While Breastfeeding

Image courtesy of Yandy Smith via Instagram

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