Archive for the ‘ Breastfeeding ’ Category

Broadcaster Mom Breastfeeds…On Live TV!

Monday, August 10th, 2015

breastfeeding momAuthor Lauren Hirshfield Belden may have spun an entire book around all the places you’ll nurse, but I’m pretty sure she never imagined putting a TV studio on that list. Yet that’s exactly where Irish mom and broadcaster Dil Wickremasinghe found herself breastfeeding last week during a live appearance on Ireland’s TV3.

This very public feeding sesh all started when Wickremasinghe’s son, Phoenix, got hungry during a panel discussion on attachment parenting and nursing. Rather than leave the set, she brought her babe to her chest and nursed him discretely behind the desk as the cameras rolled. Subtle, yes, but the on-air mealtime (during World Breastfeeding Week, no less!) was a conscious choice, the show’s host, Elaine Crowley, explained to the folks at home. “I think mothers should be free to choose how, where and when to feed their babies without judgment or condemnation,” she said. “If I didn’t point it out, there is no way anyone would have known little Phoenix was having his lunch live on air.”

Crowley went on to say, “All mothers should be supported no matter what they want to do, and if you’re lucky enough to be able to take your baby to work and he happens to be hungry, well, what are you going to do?”

Still, Wickremasinghe seemed ready for a firestorm, tweeting afterward, “So I breastfed Phoenix live on TV on @tv3midday today. So far no reports of any exploding tellys… Pity! #WBW2015

Okay, there were some complaints, but many TV3 viewers threw their support behind the working mom. “I really liked Dil Wickremasinghe’s spot. Good to see breastfeeding & attachment/mindful/gentle parenting normalised. More!” one woman wrote. “[A]s a 1st time bf mum thats wonderful to see. Bf is something so natural & should not have to be hidden away,” another tweeted.

I’ll throw my support in the mix, too. Though I probably wouldn’t want to nurse on live TV (see: possible nip slips and milk sprays), I wholeheartedly endorse the idea that a woman should feel free to feed her baby wherever, however she sees fit. That holds true whether she’s in a boardroom, on the floor of Parliament, or in front of a bunch of cameras.

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+.

Establishing a Breastfeeding Routine
Establishing a Breastfeeding Routine
Establishing a Breastfeeding Routine

Screen shot courtesy of Dil Wickremasinghe via Twitter

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See Hilaria Baldwin’s Sweet Breastfeeding Photo!

Friday, August 7th, 2015

hilaria baldwin breastfeedingWorld Breastfeeding Week may be ending today, but that didn’t stop Hilaria Baldwin from giving it a very public shout out. On Thursday, the mom of two shared a sweet photo on Instagram showing her nursing seven-week-old son Rafael. In the tender pic, the baby is in a full-on milk coma, sleeping contentedly on (and still attached to) Baldwin’s chest as she cradles him to her belly.

“Rafa’s favorite spot,” she wrote. “There is no one right way to feed our babies, but this week marks #nationalbreastfeedingweek and I would like to extend my support to mothers who have taken this path.”

Her encouraging post couldn’t come at a better time. The focus of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week is on helping moms combine breastfeeding and work, a juggling act that’s often complicated by an unsupportive work environment, as one of my colleagues recently pointed out. But it’s not much easier away from the office. Women continue to be shamed on social media, kicked out of stores, and publicly dressed down for nursing or pumping outside the home.

Just as troubling? Mamas are reportedly quitting breastfeeding earlier than they expected. According to a recent international study conducted by breastfeeding accessories manufacturer Lansinoh, the top three reasons for the attrition rate are pain, learning how to do it and figuring how to often to feed baby.

Related: Celebrity Breastfeeding Photos and Selfies

To be fair, nursing isn’t always easy, nor is it the best choice for every woman—a fact Baldwin readily acknowledges in her post. “In the end,” she wrote, “regardless of our methods, #AllMommiesUnite and whatever way we love and nurture our children is beautiful, perfect and inspiring.”

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+.

Balancing Work & Breastfeeding
Balancing Work & Breastfeeding
Balancing Work & Breastfeeding

Photo courtesy of Hilaria Baldwin via Instagram

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Why Do Moms Quit Breastfeeding? Here’s the No. 1 Reason…

Tuesday, August 4th, 2015

breastfeeding babyA new worldwide study has concluded what many new moms already know: breastfeeding ain’t easy.

Though nearly all of the 13,000 pregnant and first-time moms polled in the 2015 Lansinoh Breastfeeding Survey said breast is best, going the distance is a whole other story. That’s because just like your carefully crafted birth plan, any intentions to breastfeed for six months (or longer!) sound good in theory, but may be nearly impossible to pull off once baby arrives. This was the case for moms in the U.S. and any of the other nine countries included in the survey.

Consider the facts: Nearly two-thirds of women polled considered six months or longer the idea length of time to nurse. Yet only 62 percent of moms worldwide were able to pull it off, compared with 49 percent of American moms.

The main reason for the attrition rate? Pain. Women in all but one of the 10 countries surveyed it was the biggest issue they faced. (Only moms in China disagreed, saying waking up in the middle of the night was a bigger gripe for them.) Two other common reasons nursing moms quit include learning how to breastfeed and figuring out how often to feed baby.

This isn’t too far off from the top three concerns pregnant women had about nursing: that baby won’t latch (26 percent), that they won’t be able to breastfeed for the recommended six months or longer (17 percent), and that nursing will hurt (14 percent).

Related: 5 Reasons Why Breastfeeding May Hurt (and What to Do About It!)

I don’t know about you, but many of these stats reflect what I felt as a first-timer. I spent much of my pregnancy poring over articles about breastfeeding—I was a parenting editor—so I thought I knew what to expect. I know, I know. Stop laughing. Obviously, much of my experience didn’t go by the book. I was surprised at how much letdown hurt, even after months of nursing; how messy it was; how hard it was for me to tell my pediatrician exactly how much my baby was eating. (It’s not like my breasts had ounce markers on them.)

On the flip side, I was also floored at how much I enjoyed nursing. Sure, it was boring or uncomfortable sometimes, but it was also a pretty spectacular way for me to bond with my boy. I loved watching him fall asleep in my arms, belly full with milk my body somehow miraculously made. No one bugged us, no one expected anything more from me than what I was doing at the time. And it was heaven.

Of course, I’m not the only fan out there. Here in the U.S., 67 percent of women said breastfeeding was “perfectly natural,” up 10 percentage points from 2014. And only 7 percent said they pumped to avoid feeding in public, down a whopping 19 percentage points. Still, that doesn’t mean doing the deed out in the open is easy-peasy for moms here. A staggering 25 percent admitted they’ve been criticized or mistreated for nursing in public, compared to 18 percent of women in other countries who say they’ve experienced prejudice.

Related: Tips for Breastfeeding Your Baby in Public

But as this study found, moms strongly believe in a protected right to breastfeed. Some 86 percent of U.S. mamas said they believe the workplace should offer a time and a place to pump, while 87 percent responded that breastfeeding should be legal. This is heartening news as we celebrate World Breastfeeding Week, which focuses this year on supporting the working mom who breastfeeds. While surveys like this point out stubborn places that need to be improved, they also showed that, slowly but surely, some strides are being made for all nursing women.

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+.

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

Photo of breastfeeding baby courtesy of Shutterstock

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LOL: Breastfeeding Mom Cops to an “Epic Fail of Fails”

Friday, July 31st, 2015

baby colleyShow of hands: Who here is guilty of a parent fail? Yup, pretty much everybody, ever. A dad friend of mine once admitted to looking the other way when his 2-year-old bypassed the chicken on her plate and ate only ketchup for dinner. A mom I know told her child that people only have birthday parties every five years. And just the other day, I bribed my kid into going to camp by promising him a Starbucks cake pop.

But Gemma Colley may have us all beat. Earlier this week, the British mama got a spray tan, then went home to her two kiddos. A few hours later, her baby boy was hungry, so Colley began breastfeeding him. When the infant was done, he pulled back and revealed a Jon Hamm-esque five o’clock shadow.

Oops! Lucky for us, the good-natured Colley shared her self-described “epic fail of fails” on The Unmumsy Mum’s Facebook page, writing, “I had a spray tan, a few hours later I breastfed my little boy. Cue 5 o’clock shadow and a very guilty mummy. Lesson to you all. Don’t do this.” Naturally, the Internet has totally embraced the photo: As of this writing, it’s been shared over 43,000 times and liked by 161,560 people.

Of course, there’s no telling how many of those people may also have been a little freaked out at the sight of Baby Colley’s face smeared with a bunch of chemicals. Rest assured, it looks worse than it probably is. “There isn’t any research that we’re aware of about whether artificial tanning products affect infants, but since this is a one-time event with a limited amount of product, it probably isn’t harmful,” says Diana West, IBCLC, director of media relations for La Leche League International. “The most important takeaway is that the tanning product shows that this mother responded to her baby’s need to nurse, which is always a wonderful thing.”

I want to hear from you: What’s your worst parenting fail? Share it in the comments below!

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: Gemma Colley via Facebook

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Fighting Words: Donald Trump Called a Breastfeeding Mom ‘Disgusting’

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

donald trumpFrom the Obama administration to the entire country of Mexico, Donald Trump seems to have plenty of insults to go around. But at least new moms are safe from his verbal Molotov cocktails, right?

Um, not quite. Reports are cropping up that back in 2011, The Donald had some choice words for a breastfeeding mom who asked for a break during a deposition to pump.

The mama, attorney Elizabeth Beck, was repping a group of people who lost money on one of Trump’s real estate developments, and was charged with deposing him. Beck and the blustery billionaire’s attorneys reportedly agreed to a lunch break beforehand, with the understanding that she would use that time to pump in a private room.

The appointed hour came and went, so Beck reminded the group about the break. (Side note: As any nursing mom knows, you can’t wait too long to drain milk-filled boobs. If the leaking doesn’t get you, the pain certainly will.)

According to Beck, her request sent Trump into a toddler-worthy meltdown. “He got up, his face got red, he shook his finger at me and he screamed, ‘You’re disgusting, you’re disgusting,’ and he ran out of there,” she told CNN on Wednesday.

The Trump camp doesn’t deny that he called her disgusting, but Trump’s attorney, Allen Garten, said it was because she was going to pump in front of the group at the deposition. He told the network that Beck was setting up the machine right there in the room and “started to move the breast pump toward her breast.”

The presidential hopeful has responded to Beck’s allegations in a style that’s true to his “no apologies” platform, taking to Twitter on Wednesday to point out in a trio of tweets that Beck “lost the case,”  ”was easy for me to beat,” and that she “did a terrible job against me.”

Setting aside the name-calling for a second, let’s consider what appears to have happened in that room: A nursing mom asks for a break, doesn’t get one, and as a result, fights for her right to pump. Even if she did set up the machine in front of her colleagues, what’s so disgusting about that? More troubling to me is that not only was Beck’s very basic request apparently ignored, she was made to feel bad for standing up for herself. That’s something no working mom should have to contend with, whether she’s behind a register or in a boardroom.

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+.

Breast Pumping Made Easy
Breast Pumping Made Easy
Breast Pumping Made Easy

Photo of Donald Trump courtesy of Shutterstock

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