Posts Tagged ‘ breastfeeding ’

What’s So Offensive About This Breastfeeding Photo?

Friday, April 24th, 2015

breastfeeding momThe other morning, Elisha Wilson Beach went to the bathroom and stayed a few extra minutes for some a little quiet time before her 4 1/2-year-old woke up. But before long, Beach’s 11-month-old baby daughter, Nolan, wandered in to nurse. The LA mom did what many of us would do: She fed her baby while finishing up her own bathroom duties. Struck by the humor of the situation, she asked her husband, actor Mike Beach, to take a photo of her mommy multitasking. “I thought it was a cute moment to remember,” she told Today.com. “It was funny. I loved it.”

So she decided to share it on Instagram, writing: “This is motherhood and it ain’t always pretty. What’s your #momtruth? #motherhood #motherhoodaintpretty #tmi #confessionsofamom #ididthat #iamnotsorry.”

Related: Celebrity Breastfeeding Photos

Despite the awesome hashtags, not everyone appreciated the post. Commenters lashed out, calling the photo “distasteful,” “unsanitary” and “disgusting” because it took place in the bathroom. (Meanwhile, the ladies room is exactly where people expect breastfeeding moms to hide out when baby wants to eat in public!) They told Beach to “stick your kid in the crib until you’re done, or pump it and give it to them.” They said it was TMI, a wannabe zinger I find particularly ridiculous considering the flotsam and jetsam of junk floating around online.

But for all the haters, there were plenty of moms who could totally relate to the multitasking. “When breastfeeding gets real!” one mom wrote on Beach’s Instagram page. “Been there, done that,” wrote another. Several others reassured the mama that they too gave up privacy in the bathroom when they had children.

I’ll happily add my voice to the chorus of supporters. Because if parenthood teaches you anything, it’s how to multitask like a boss. Just today, I was taking my son to the pediatrician’s office and saw a fellow mom crossing a very busy Park Avenue. Amid the honking cabs and speeding cyclists, she had tucked her screaming toddler under one arm, and under the other a stroller, scooter and half-opened purse. Add a couple of shopping bags and an iced coffee, and she’d look like every mama in my neighborhood. Pulling double-duty is just part of the gig. What Beach showed is simply a reality for many parents, and it’s anything but distasteful.

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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 Get a Good Breastfeeding Latch
How to Get a Good Breastfeeding Latch
How to Get a Good Breastfeeding Latch

Image of Elisha Wilson Beach via Instagram

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Yes, You Can Now Post #Brelfies on Instagram

Friday, April 17th, 2015

breastfeedingWelcome to the #brelfie party, Instagram! After months of disabling accounts with breastfeeding photos, the popular photo- and video-sharing site has officially changed its tune about seeing you nurse your baby.

According to its recently clarified guidelines, pics of women actively nursing are totally fine, as are images of post-mastectomy scarring and nudes in paintings and sculptures. (The X-rated stuff — photos showing sex, genitals, or close-ups of the full monty — is still off limits.) Instagram is the latest major social media player to give breastfeeding shots the green light. Last month, Facebook famously refined its image policy so nursing moms can “always”post their pictures without fretting over bans or censorship.

Related: Celebrity Breastfeeding Photos and #Selfies

Did Instagram head honchos have a light bulb moment and realize that breastfeeding is anything but offensive? Well, maybe, but my guess is that these new guidelines were prompted more by controversy than common sense: For months now, fed-up Instagram users have taken to blogs, Twitter, and, ironically, Facebook to criticize the site’s uneven handling of nursing photos and raise awareness about its “discriminatory” practice of shutting #brelfie-loving moms out of their accounts. At the same time, they’ve continued to post breastfeeding photos despite potential repercussions from the site or other users.

And though this move is a clear-cut win for the #normalizebreastfeeding movement, it’s also painfully overdue. Any level-headed person can tell you that a woman breastfeeding is hardly pornographic, but until recently, that’s exactly the message social media giants Facebook and Instagram were sending with their short-sighted policies. Hopefully this is but the latest step to help drive home the fact that nursing is natural and normal — #nofilter needed.

And 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 of nursing mom courtesy of Shutterstock

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Why Every Nursing Mom Should Rally Around Alyssa Milano

Friday, April 10th, 2015

alyssa milanoOf all the aggravations I went through as a nursing mom, pumping was easily the worst. I hated it. It wasn’t so much that I felt like a cow being milked (I did). What I really couldn’t stand was hooking up all the tubes, placing my boob just so in the suction cup thingy, and praying I wouldn’t hear the inevitable hiss of a loose connection. Oh yeah, and trying to think happy baby thoughts the whole time so my milk would come down. But perhaps most defeating of all for me was seeing the measly ounces I managed to eke out after all of the hullabaloo.

So when I read about Alyssa Milano’s recent scuffle over her breast milk at London’s Heathrow Airport, I was especially riled up. The actress, mom of two and #brelfie rabblerouser was trying to pass through security with the impressive 10 ounces of milk she pumped on the plane. (FYI, she doesn’t recommend it.) But because her baby wasn’t with her at the airport — and because the stash was larger than the allowed 5 ounces — airport officials confiscated the milk. After watching her 10 ounces of hard work go (probably) down the drain, Milano did what any of us would do: She vented.

After tweeting that it was “not okay” for Heathrow’s security to take her breast milk — and leave her shampoo and other toiletries intact — she railed against the airport. She asked some obvious questions (“They said they would let the pumped milk through if I had the baby with me. Why would I need to pump if I had the baby with me????”) and even offered up a solution (“@HeathrowAirport I would have happily spread milk in different containers, which I travel with, to comply to those liquid rules. Instead, milk was taken away with no discussion. Shampoo, lotions, etcetera were simply tested and handed back with no issue. Makes no sense at all.”).

But despite the high-profile complaints, the airport stood behind the decision. “Hi Alyssa. Unfortunately, without a baby present, the government requires all liquids in carry-ons to follow the 100ml rule,” was its official tweeted response.

While I’m all for following the rules, I’m siding with Milano on this one. Making and collecting 10 ounces of milk takes a lot of work, and to flush it down the drain without even offering to inspect it or let the mom break it up into pre-approved bottles isn’t just bad policy, it’s also incredibly wasteful.

Now it’s your turn: Do you think Alyssa Milano had a good reason to gripe here?

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

Photo of Alyssa Milano courtesy of Alyssa Milano’s Instagram

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The Thrive Guide: Free Help for Parents of Preemies

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

preemie babyWhen your baby is born premature, the days, weeks, and months that follow can be a confusing blur of wires, acronyms, and scary-sounding potential outcomes. The noise it creates in your head can be deafening, to say nothing of the alarms, beeps, and cries that come with life in the NICU. But mostly, you feel powerless.

A new education program hopes to change that. Thrive Guide is a free course that aims to school parents of preemies on everything from proper nutrition to promoting development to preventing infection. The first course is available now and covers nutrition during the first six months of baby’s life. (Future components will cover such topics as what to do if baby comes home on oxygen, how to promote growth and development, and nutrition for months 6-12.) All information is verified by an expert panel and tackles topics big and small. For instance, there are in-depth articles on how and why to breastfeed your preemie alongside a useful guide on preparing for long skin-to-skin sessions. (Tip: Have everything you need close by and go to the bathroom ahead of time.)

In fact, it’s those in-the-know details that make the Thrive Guide stand out. For that, we can credit Cheryl Chotrani, founder of Pebbles of Hope, the nonprofit behind the parent education. Chotrani’s son was born in January 2013, 16 weeks early, and spent four-and-a-half months in the NICU. “It was very touch and go,” she says. “It was a very difficult time.”

Related: Caring for Your Preemie After the Hospital

Unlike many of us, though, Chotrani comes from a family of doctors who could answer her questions and offer her connections to valuable resources, including an experimental treatment that prevented her son from going blind. Now 2, he’s progressing beautifully and is developmentally on target, but the experience stayed with Chotrani. She never forgot how helpless she felt watching her son in the hospital — and how lucky she was to have access to specialists — and she wanted to help other families of premature babies.

Enter the Thrive Guide. “We found that there’s not a lot out there for parent education, especially for parents in underserved areas,” she tells Parents.com. “I just realized that’s how I can help. I started compiling information about interventions and anything else we can do to provide best care, and came up with the idea of a course.”

Though intended for all parents of preemies, the guide is designed for families in rural areas, where state-of-the-art facilities and specialists aren’t as easily accessible, and in cities with large numbers of premature babies and high infant mortality rates. It’s available online through udemy.com and Pebbles of Hope’s site, and the info can be downloaded and be distributed in print throughout hospitals and local organizations. And because the guide is free, the educational info can reach the people who need it most.

“Parents of preemies are in a helpless situation. You feel like the outcome is completely out of your hands; you feel left out,” Chotrani explains. “But I think this guide gives them a sense of control and empowerment. They’re not helpless. They have information.”

Plus: Sign up for our Parents Daily Baby newsletter to learn more about your baby’s health and development.

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+.

Baby Care Basics: Concerns for Premature Babies
Baby Care Basics: Concerns for Premature Babies
Baby Care Basics: Concerns for Premature Babies

Image of mother holding baby courtesy of Shutterstock

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Kelly Rowland: “I Want to Raise a Good Man”

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Kelly RowlandInterview by Melissa Bykofsky

Just days after she gave birth to son Titan Jewell Witherspoon in November 2014, Kelly Rowland was back in the studio recording Mommy’s Little Baby (A Lullaby). And she hasn’t slowed down since.

On the same day that her Essence magazine cover, also featuring husband Tim Weatherspoon and Titan, hit newsstands she teamed up with Claritin to welcome spring and to thank New York City’s Department of Sanitation for keeping the city streets safe and clean during a gruesome winter. Rowland recently sat down with Parents to dish on why having a baby has made her life so sweet.

When did you first get that “I’m a mom” feeling?

When I breastfed.

Do you still breastfeed?

No. I stopped at three months. There are other things that make me feel like a mom, like being completely number two-ed on. I was fine; I was like, yea I’m a mom, I got it. I caught a whiff, and I’m just fine.

What’s the best and worst parenting advice you’ve received?

The best parenting advice would have to be to take it one day at a time. Everybody always says you’re a new parent, no pressure. I’m just taking everything one day at a time because each day is going to bring me something new, if not 10 things new that I have to learn. I’m really enjoying being a parent to Titan. I haven’t been given any bad advice. Somebody asked me about spanking and discipline, but I just feel like children are really smart and you’re able to talk to them.

You’re a new mom, but any funny parenting fails you can share so far?

When he first came home I kept putting the diapers on wrong. I was like, I know how to change diapers, but I kept putting them on wrong. The whole side of his little outfit would just be so wet, so I finally understood what was happening. I didn’t know the diaper had another fold on it and all the technical stuff, which protects the leak. I changed outfits; thank god he has enough to go through.

Titan is just over 4 months old. I’m sure you’ve had a lot of sleepless nights….

No, he actually had his first full night’s rest when he was a month and half old. I was scared because I remember the doctor saying to prepare that he has food and the other stuff, but I don’t know if there was a growth spurt or something. He was fine. He woke up starving, but he was fine. He’s sleeping though the night now from 9 to 6 am.

Do you ever sing him to sleep? Is there a song that you sing that just automatically soothes him?

He loves Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star or this song that Verse Simmons wrote for him called Mommy’s Little Baby, and You Are My Sunshine. He goes right to sleep.

You watched your friends raise children while continuing successful careers. How have they influenced and inspired you now that you have a son?

They make it look so easy. I actually just sent a note to my sister saying, I don’t know how you guys do it. The wife thing, the mommy thing, and you’re supposed to be a businesswoman, and you’re supposed to, of course, make time for yourself. Now I see why some people go absolutely crazy. But I’ve found the balance, and I’m grateful that I have people to help me through this process.

What’s the most surprising thing about motherhood so far?

How much patience I have. I have a lot of patience, and I never did before. I really have a lot of patience.

What are you most looking forward to sharing with him, either in terms of wisdom or passions of yours?

I really want him to think on his own. I want him to be his own person. I don’t want the world to tell him who he is, and that starts from home. That starts with me and his father and my family. I want to raise a good man for a woman so she can depend on him and love him and he love her back. That’s all I want.

I’m sure that life is hectic, with your career and a new baby. If you had 45 minutes to yourself, what would you choose to do?

Pray and meditate. I feel very grateful. I’m completely in a state of gratitude right now; life is really sweet.

Melissa Bykofsky is the associate articles editor at Parents who covers millennial trends and pop-culture. Follow her on Twitter @mbykofsky.

More About Kelly Rowland

Playing With Baby: Let the Music Play
Playing With Baby: Let the Music Play
Playing With Baby: Let the Music Play

Photo of Kelly Rowland via Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

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