Posts Tagged ‘ breastfeeding ’

Pope Francis Says Yes To Breastfeeding

Monday, January 13th, 2014

Finally the Catholic Church is getting some sense knocked into it via Pope Francis. It’s a long way from redemption, but this new Pope has been nothing short of impressive. On Sunday he baptized a bunch of babies and told the moms to feel free to breastfeed. In.The.Church. That’s a remarkable statement; especially considering the church bans women and gays (allegedly) from the priesthood and has too many settlements to count for child molestation by priests. Nevertheless, progress is progress. Or, as my late alcoholic mother would say when reciting AA doctrine, “Progress not perfection.”

I think Joe, my guest blogger, should tell his church to take a page from this Pope’s rulebook. In Joe’s church, toddlers are virtually banned from Mass. I’m sure moms would be kicked out for any boob action (I’m still confused as to why you go to that crazy place, Joe. But I’m also glad because your posts on it are beyond hilarious.)

So for the Pope and the members of the Catholic Church, I say keep moving forward. You may actually get out of the dark ages in Francis’ reign.

It’s probably pretty clear by now that I’m not Catholic. I wouldn’t push religion on anyone. But I do wish the Muslim country of Afghanistan could hear the Pope’s message. Or have one of their imams embrace it.  The headlines from the war-torn country last week were heartwrenching. There is a crisis of malnutrition, mostly in children and babies. Doctors are baffled. But one strong theory is that with the conservative Muslim culture so ingrained in the psyche–to the point where if you don’t follow the doctrine you could be killed–mothers aren’t breastfeeding their babies. I mean, it’s baffling. And this certainly isn’t the only country. There are plenty of places where there is a stigma to breastfeeding even when it means the difference between life and death. Hell, even in the first world country of England, Hollie McNish became an overnight sensation with her video poem, Embarrassed. 

Women: if there is a gospel we need to spread, it is the one the National Health Service in the UK coined (ironic given the above video from McNish), The Breast Is Best. Granted there is controversy even with that, but the bottom line is, I don’t care how it happens or what country coins what slogan. If women across the world were proud to provide food to their babies via their breasts, there would be a lot less death, heartache, suffering. Not to mention billions spent in aid to help babies survive, mostly against the odds.

Here’s an excerpt from the article in the New York Times in regards to the Afghanistan article:

Nearly every potential lifeline is strained or broken here. Efforts to educate people about nutrition and health care are often stymied by conservative traditions that cloister women away from anyone outside the family. 

In a country where access to clean water is difficult, and most milk is powdered, that is often a recipe for diarrhea and other conditions that can worsen malnutrition…Ahmed Wali, the 2-year-old Bost Hospital patient with kwashiorkor, is the ninth of 10 children of his mother, Baka Bebi, who is in her mid-30s. She weaned him onto powdered milk mixed with stream water as soon as she could.

 So while the outlook from Pope Francis should be celebrated and embraced, and we can hope for change….

“Today the choir will sing but the most beautiful choir of all is the choir of the infants who will make a noise. Some will cry because they are not comfortable or because they are hungry,” he said in a familiar, relaxed tone to the parents.–Yahoo New Service

There is still preventable tragedy on a large scale that needs to happen:

Ahmed, at just 3 months old, looks bigger than his emaciated brother Mohammad, who is a year and a half and weighs 10 pounds…

“The main cause of malnutrition in Afghanistan is lack of breast feeding,” he said. “They see beautiful pictures of milk cartons, and they think it’s better.”New York Times

 

Pope baptizing via 10News/CTV

Malnourish pics of baby via The Bronx Papers 

Malnourish pics of children via Shutterstock and Gary Yim

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Why You Shouldn’t Pack Formula In A Suitcase

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

We went to visit some of Phil’s family last week. In true anal-retentive form, I did all the laundry before I left, taking great care to fold it in the order it would go into the drawers. Do I need to repeat that sentence? Yes, I painstakingly arranged the laundry just-so in the suitcase. In the order of where they go in the dresser drawers.

Phil has his own suitcase. I can’t blame him. In our new house we are going to have a walk in closet and neither of us wants to share with the other for fear of breaking up our marriage.

We arrived home late Friday night, exhausted from a full day of travel with Fia and Emmett. Particularly the latter since he’s a boy. Which means he’s into everything. Sitting still is like being a prisoner at Guantanamo Bay.

Sidenote: I honestly don’t know how the male species has sustained itself. There is no reason any boy should live past 2 with the constant death march they are on. I’m terrified to take my eyes off Emmett these days.

Anywho, we get home late, get the kids to bed, and I open up the suitcase to unpack. A plume of powder hits me. Fine, white, somewhat sticky powder. I’m surprised I didn’t end up on an episode of Locked Up Abroad for transporting cocaine. Then again, we didn’t leave the country. Nor was this cocaine.

The nearly full formula canister I had must have exploded in flight. Either that or the baggage handlers were hungry/thirsty.

Does anyone know how rank that stuff smells? And how hard it is to shake off clothes? Or vacuum out of a suitcase?

I have spent the last 3 days doing 7 loads of laundry and vacuuming and washing out my suitcase. It is now sitting in the sun to bake out the formula smell.

Phil is smirking. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to be obsessive and anal…

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Why I Liked My Mammogram

Friday, July 12th, 2013

I’ve never been so excited to get a mammogram. Not because it’s at all fun. Not because I want to get it over with due to my-hypochondia-that-makes-my-head-spin-at-night-over-the-alleged-tumors-growing-in-my-body-that-will-leave-my-kids-motherless. No, I was excited because I got to be in the car for 15 minutes. Alone. Then in the waiting room for 15 minutes. Alone. I was actually hoping they were running late. I brought the paper just in case. Then I had another 15 minute drive home. Alone.

It’s the same reason I love getting stuck in traffic in Los Angeles–which is not hard to do. But only if I’m alone.

It’s my time. I can listen to NPR, not Elmo. I can talk on the phone, not scream at my kids to stop screaming.  I don’t have to keep them awake with my own terrible vocal chords by botching Old MacDonald so they won’t fall asleep and screw me on the afternoon nap.

I know every parent can relate to what I’m saying so my words are nothing new. In fact, my friend and fellow blogger Jill Simonian has started to take naps in her car. She took a video of how it’s done. I’ve done it once myself and it felt great.

But back to my boobs. I had to wait 7-months after breastfeeding to get this routine mammogram done. And while I know I’m all over the place here–and I wrote recently about the sad state of my boobs–I actually do have a question. I seem to still have a tingling sensation at times. I wouldn’t call it a sharp pain, or even the “letdown” but it comes and goes, mostly in my left boob. The technician thought that was fairly common. Is it?

Do any of you who have stopped breastfeeding for a while still experience a tingling feeling intermittently throughout the day? Because if not, it is one more thing for me to spin over.

Maybe this is too much information. But in light of the Holly McNish video poem–which I hope you all have watched–I figure I may as well start an adult discussion about boobs that is more meaningful than a tacky billboard full of them (if you’re confused as to what I’m referencing, watch the link above).

Now, if my mammogram comes back with problems, I will eat this post. All of it. Until then, I’m standing by my delightful mammogram excursion.

 

Pic of mammogram machine via Shutterstock

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Comparing My 4-Year-Old Son to 1980s Movie Villains

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Joe DeProspero has two sons, a wife, and is free birth control for anyone who sits near him in a restaurant. His writing has been described as “outrageous,” “painfully real,” and “downright humiliating.” He talks about the highs and unsettling lows of parenthood while always being entertaining and engaging in the process. He currently lives in New Jersey with his family and can be emailed at jdeprospero@gmail.com or followed on Twitter @JoeDeProspero. He has written a comedy fiction book titled “The Boy in the Wrinkled Shirt” available via Amazon and is currently working on an uncensored parenting humor book, due out in late 2013.

This unmistakable ’80s item represents my current patience level with my kids. “Rewind” is not an option.

I was raised on an unhealthy dose of 1980′s cinema that, if nothing else, outlined the criteria for the type of people I should avoid when I got older. The antagonists in such films as The Karate Kid and Back to the Future were bold, brash, and cared only of their own visceral needs, leaving a trail of well-intentioned, disenchanted (and  brightly colored) victims in their wake. And I’m afraid I’ll end up raising one of these cretins.

I know what you’re thinking. There’s no possible way that my innocent 4-year-old son could be comparable to ’80s movie villains. Well, I happen to believe that the evidence is indisputable. Here are just a few of the reasons why.

He covets my woman

I love my wife. My son, Antonio also loves my wife. Clearly, this presents a conflict of epic proportions. We’ll be at dinner, enjoying a meal, and he’ll reach across the table and grab my wife’s breast. Then he’ll look at me and snicker, as if to say, “These babies are mine.” I then shoot him a look to say, “I was there first. That’s how you got here.” I’m not even sure why I allow him to live with us, really. It’s like having one of her ex-boyfriends sublet our basement.

He threatens to embarrass me with gratuitous, juvenile acts

A few days ago, while I was changing him into his pajamas before bed, he looked deep into my eyes and casually stated, “I’m going to stick my penis in your nose.” I stared at him for several awkward seconds, desperately thinking of a possible retort and subsequent punishment. What did I do in return? I fixed him a bowl of cereal. I mean, he did look hungry. I can easily see Darth Vader threatening the very same act on Luke Skywalker.

He takes my money

I can finally relate to that Kanye West song “Gold Digger.” Because my son will regularly reach right into my pocket, fishing for cash, without asking. He might as well give me a wedgie and toss me in a locker while he’s at it.  And he never, ever pays me back. A triflin’ friend indeed.

He laughs at my misfortunes

Imagine I’ve just stubbed my pinky toe on a coffee table. I’m writhing in pain and liberally shouting expletives. This, apparently, is the pinnacle of comedy for my son. Nothing humors him more than watching me experience acute, excruciating agony. This has Biff written all over it.

He damages my property

This past weekend, I was outside with both my sons, playing in the front yard. Due to the heat wave in the tri-state area, I took my shirt off, laying it on the hood of my car (to the delight of absolutely no one). Minutes later, while I was helping my younger son, Nate get up off the ground, I looked over to discover my shirt sprawled on the driveway. Antonio proceeded to blatantly run over it with his bike, and then back over it for good measure, all while laughing maniacally. In that moment, I could only dream of a truck dumping manure over his well-deserving head.

Occasionally, my son mistakes his bike for an iron.

Ultimately, I hope that I’m raising protagonists and not antagonists. I also hope that, unlike Beetlejuice, my son will soon answer me without having to call him three times. But maybe more than anything else, I hope to have better fashion sense than to dress my kids like my parents dressed me in the ’80s. It would save us both an awkward conversation when they’re old enough to understand humiliation. With that said, I’m going to “make like a tree” and get out of here. I’ll leave you with this.

What do your kids do that reminds you of something dreadful you’ve seen in movies? Feel free to leave your stories, and all other feedback in the comments below!

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Breastfeeding In Public: Embarrassed

Monday, July 8th, 2013

If you haven’t already, I urge everyone to take the 3 minutes and 36 seconds to watch this incredible poet, Hollie McNish, deliver her brilliantly and elegantly worded poem, Embarrassed. Her mantra strikes to the heart of our society–that in a day and age where, “this country of billboards [is] covered in tits,” women are still shamed from breastfeeding in public. She is talking about her homeland in the UK, but her words carry the same weight for mothers in America–and possibly everywhere– as well.

This is one of the most powerful statements I’ve ever seen. I’m not alone. According to the Huffington Post, the video has gone viral. It’s also all over the blogosphere. So if you want to be hip to what’s hot, take the time to watch it. Then pass it on.

 

Pic of breastfeeding via Shutterstock

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