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Dallas Nurse In Rescheduled For Friday

November 30, 2006

A long, long time ago, I lived in Dallas. I was there for a summer job during law school. During my stint in "The Big D" I discovered that the cowboy motif was alive and well. I learned to say "inn-surance" (emphasis on "in") instead of "in-sur-ance" (emphasis on "sur"). And I realized I was essentially considered a foreigner since I was from Boston.

So, why in the world, you ask, did a New England girl who wore a lot of black and didn't have big hair go to Texas? I went there for a guy, of course. And once that relationship ended I never went back. Since then, I've only passed through the airport on a cross-country trip. And from what I remember, that is one big airport.

So those ladies in Dallas have their work cut out for them tomorrow. Last week, during the nationwide nurse-in, police at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport turned away the moms and babes who showed up. Well now they're coming back on Friday and holding another nurse in at 10 am at the Delta ticket counter. To see a copy of the press release, click on the word "comments" at the bottom of this entry.

You probably recall that this was all started when Emily Gillette was kicked off a Delta commuter flight (operated by Freedom Airlines) for breast feeding her daughter. During the nationwide nurse in, roughly 850 people gathered at 40 airports across the country.

After tomorrow, we should be able to add the Texas crew to the rally tally. So ladies, since everything-- especially the airport-- really is bigger in Texas, make sure you go to Terminal E. Remember, don't mess with Texas!

Teething and Breast Feeding

November 29, 2006

The Bear has teeth!
No, duh, you say. All bears have teeth. So true. But for those of you who are new here, "The Bear" is our baby. He's now eight months old, and among other milestones (sitting up, clapping his hands and pushing himself backwards to slide on the floor) he now has two little buds poking out of his bottom gum. Very cute. But man, they hurt! He clamped down nice and hard today. I let out an involuntary yelp and pulled my boob out of his mouth. I don't think he saw the memo yet about not biting the boob that feeds you.

Another side benefit of these two new teeth is a little extra crankiness. Of course, it seems to be rearing its head in the middle of the night. Someone recommended we rub Whiskey on his gums. We tried a little Johnnie Walker a couple of times, and it worked! But I'm afraid to keep doing that in the middle of the night, for fear of creating a new dependency in addition to his 3:00 a.m. nursing addiction. The pediatrician recommended giving him a little Tylenol or letting him suck on something cold.

Has your babe ever nipped your nip? If so, how did you react? Did it happen multiple times? How did you get the kiddo to cut it out? And how do you handle teething? Inquiring minds want to know.

By the way, for those of us with a few more teeth, we celebrated The Bear's eight month milestone with cupcakes of course!

Join the Breast Feeding Bloggers' Carnival

November 27, 2006

Last month, four other moms and I who blog about breast feeding-- for the sake of brevity, let's call us "the booby bloggers"-- got together to do a carnival, or joint post. As you may recall, we all wrote posts on the theme "Home For the Holidays."

Next week, we are bringing you our monthly installment once again. This time the theme is "Gifts for the Breast Feeding Mom." And we're going to try something new-- opening the carnival to other bloggers. We are accepting submissions and will pick five other bloggers to join in. So if you're a mommy blogger, send me a submission by Friday. And daddy bloggers, we'd love to hear from you too. After all, you and your babes share a common fixation!

Breast Feeding Videos

November 26, 2006

Welcome back from the long Thanksgiving weekend. If you're like me, you've probably been eating your way through the past 4 days. In this family, we had Thanksgiving plus three birthdays to celebrate. So as far as The Bortski is concerned, that means there has been cake every day. As for me, the lingering leftovers drove me to the gym today. And I hate the gym.

After both kids were born, I vowed I would do a twenty minute yoga DVD in the apartment at least 3 times a week. For some reason, I've been less than diligent at keeping my resolution. There's always an obstacle-- diapers to change, mouths to feed, laundry to do, emails to write. In reality, it's most likely laziness that gets in the way. But maybe this video will give you a glimpse into some of the challenges moms face when they try to work out at home. And so, courtsey of YouTube, I bring you my YouBoob video of the week. Click on the photo to watch the clip.

Yoga.jpg

While yoga at home hasn't worked out that well for me, I have managed to go to a local yoga studio that allows you to bring your baby to class. If you're in New York City, you've got to check out the Prenatal Yoga Center. Maybe this is a better way to get your zen on. Then again, there's always one or two moms (myself included) who have to stop doing downward dog to breast feed. Thankfully no one objects to the crying!

Blogs Report on the Nurse In

November 22, 2006

As expected, the blogosphere has been buzzing all week about Emily Gillette getting kicked off a plane for breast feeding. I've found some interesting posts after yesterday's nurse in and I'll keep adding to this entry throughout the day if I find more.

Jennifer at The Lactivist writes about a run-in with an airport representative in Port Columbus, Ohio.

Chris Musser, The Reluctant Lactivist, was one of 40 moms and kids at the airport in Portland, Oregon. She describes the scene:

We got a warm reception from travellers who happened by and from the Delta employees we spoke with (I made a point of urging them to speak with their bosses about getting a written breastfeeding policy in place, which Delta is currently refusing to do). One woman...I'm guessing a former breastfeeding mom...walk by us chanting, "Yay! Breastfeeding!" I saw a number of people stop and give moms kudos to their advocacy. The director of the Port of Portland approached us about our plans and was quite positive. I had stickers with the breastfeeding icon on them which I was handing out to participants and the press...I offered him some, explaining the purpose of the icon, and he asked for multiple copies. Perhaps PDX will be one of the first airports to adopt the icon!

The Mommy Blawg, which is about the intersection of motherhood and the law, examines what happened at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport. Moms were turned away by the police. She writes:

Texas Health & Safety Code § 165.002. RIGHT TO BREAST-FEED. A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.

Ah, how simple. Is it really to much to ask that police officers be familiar with the law? The statue was only enacted eleven years ago, so maybe the word hasn't gotten out yet.

Ms. Booty Homemaker was at the airport in Nashville, Tennessee. She writes:

With the exception of perhaps two or three quizzical glances, we nursing families were met with great welcome, kindness and support. Two older women who’d nursed their babies years ago stopped to congratulate us and cheer us onward. One even was interviewed by the news. Another older couple stopped to speak with some mamas; the gentleman worked for Delta and wanted to express his support of us. An airport employee gave stickers to all the kids and an American Airlines flight attendant stopped to tell us that not all in her profession were offended by breastfeeding, that she herself was so glad to see us.

On The Huffington Post, Erin Kotecki Vest writes an entry called "My Tits and My Toddler Fly The Unfriendly Skies":

I'm curious as to why those of you squeamish types can't seem to handle a little boob. Is it because you want it to stay stuffed in a Victoria Secret bra instead of in a baby's mouth? Does it make you uncomfortable to see what God clearly intended as man's plaything and not a tool of nutrition used in such a vulgar manner?

Here's another good one from The Huffington Post. Russell Shaw writes, "Bless The Moms Who Breastfeed in Public Places":

The height of hypocrisy is that some of the same people who totally object to a mother breast-feeding her child in a public place are some of the same people who vote for "family values" conservative politicians. Although discretion is certainly appropriate in some crowded public places, and a concealing blanket isn't a bad idea, I cannot think of a "family value" more basic than a mother feeding her child.

Finally, Jeff Jarvis at BuzzMachine actually linked to Mama Knows Breast when I wrote my entry about how the internet enabled all of these moms across the country to work together. The phenonemon is known as a smart mob, so he aptly titled his piece, "A Mob of Moms."

Nurse In Round Up

November 21, 2006

The two babies are asleep, the dishes are done, "How I Met Your Mother" is playing off our TIVO and I ate nearly a pint of Ben & Jerry's New York Super Fudge Chunk. So at long last I was able to sift through emails, news reports and random internet ramblings. And here's what I've come up with, some highlights from today:

* Forty airports across the country...from Las Vegas to Vermont.
* Roughly 850 moms, babes and supporters.
* International (Pakistan ), national (The Washington Post), and local news coverage (watch this video from a New Mexico TV station and see an interview with Emily Gillette, the woman who was kicked off the plane).
* Plus an apology from Delta.
But I think this photo, says it all. Look very closely at what she's doing.

GirlFeedsDoll.jpg

Nurse In News Reports

So here are early reports from different news sources...

Indianapolis.jpg


Of course moms and their babes were in Burlington, Vermont, where this brouhaha all started last week when Emily Gillette got kicked off a plane for breastfeeding her daughter. Today, about 25 people staged a nurse in at that airport. In Boston, five women gathered at Logan airport. Moms were also in Louisville, Kentucky...Indianapolis, Indiana (see photo above)...Bradley International Airport in Connecticut...Jacksonville, Florida....40 moms showed up in Portland, Oregon....and about ten moms were in Detroit, Michigan. Jennifer Laycock, of The Lactivist, was one of 12 women who were at the airport in Columbus, Ohio. She even got quoted in the local newspaper. Make sure you click on Jennifer's site to get a good round-up from other airports as well.

I'll bring you much more after I put The Bear to sleep, do The Bortski's bath, books, bed and crying routing, have dinner with my husband, clean up the kitchen and self-medicate with Oreos.

Nationwide Nurse In Today

It's 9:15 and as I type, moms across the country are gathering at airports for a nurse in. As I've been reporting here, they were motivated to stage this grass roots nurse in by the story of Emily Gillette, the mom who was kicked off a Freedom Airlines flight (a commuter flight for Delta) for breastfeeding. The nurse in kicks off officially at 10 am, local time.

To monitor the progress of the nurse in plans, I subscribed to the Yahoo chat group moms were using to coordinate their efforts. This morning I woke to find 182 messages in my in-box-- progress reports about t-shirts, press releases, and travel plans. From the site I found a list of least 33 airports where you can expect moms and their babes to be today.

As the day progresses, I'll be writing periodic updates on the events. Usually each time I write a new entry I send out an email notification of the entry. To save you from In Box clutter, I won't do that today. But do check back every few hours or so to see what's new on my site.

Right now I have to take a shower. Good thing it isn't de rigueur yet to use video to communicate over the internet.

Baby Videos

November 19, 2006

For my "YouBoob" video of the week I was trying to find a scene from the NBC show The Office . I couldn't find the clip, but the dialogue went something like this... The Scene: A woman is sitting in the middle of the office, using a breast pump. She says to her gawking co-workers, "Take a picture, it lasts longer." Man: "I'm just so distracted." Second man: "Ditto that, my brother." (caveat: these quotes may not be exact)

Since I couldn't find that clip, I have something else that I think will make you smile, maybe even chuckle out loud. It's not a breast feeding clip. But courtesy of YouTube, you'll get to see a mom and her quadruplets having a mighty grand time.

babies.jpg

Nationwide Nurse In on Tuesday

For the past couple of days I've been watching a grass roots movement in action. Moms across the country are getting together, via the internet, to organize a nationwide nurse in on Tuesday, November 21st. They've been galvanized by the story of Emily Gillette, the mom who was kicked off a Freedom Airlines flight (a commuter flight for Delta) for breastfeeding. Moms who have never met each other before are talking about meeting at 10 am, at Delta counters around the country. They're drafting press releases, making t-shirts, discussing logistics, even debating the merits of organizing the event. It's pretty cool to watch this unfold.

If you want to find specific information about the nurse in, you can check out this Yahoo Chat group. You can also check out ProMom and Mothering.

Click onto any of these links to see the internet -- and some spirited women-- in action.

Nationwide Nurse In on Tuesday, November 21

November 17, 2006

When The Bortsky was a baby we took him on numerous airplane rides and I had not a single qualm about breastfeeding him. He was hungry, so he ate. Plus, it had the added benefit of keeping him from screaming bloody murder. I'm sure it also helped his ears during the flight. So I can just imagine how I would have felt if a flight attendant had asked me to stop. Could I have found myself in the same situation as Emily Gillette, the mom who was kicked off a Freedom Airlines flight for breast feeding her child?

Now, it seems a nationwide protest is brewing. This grass roots "nurse in" is scheduled to be at Delta airport counters on Tuesday, November 21, at 10 AM, local time. Freedom Airlines runs some of Delta's regional flights.

To follow developments on the protest, check out the discussion boards at ProMom and Mothering.

To update you on Gillette's story, Freedom Airlines has written a public letter responding to the incident. The letter says the airline disciplined the flight attendant because she acted contrary to the company's policy which supports a mother's right to breastfeed. The letter also said the pilot offered Gillette the chance to get back on the plane. But she says that didn't happen. The dispute continues...

International Breast Feeding Symbol

November 16, 2006

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the contest Mothering magazine was running to create an new international breast feeding symbol. The idea is that there should be something similar to the signs which indicate no smoking, or a ladies room or handicapped access. So at long last, breast feeding moms, there's something for you too. Drum rollllllllll please....here's the winner.

winningicon.jpg

The magazine has made the image available copyright free, for use in the public domain. That means anyone can download it. Go to Mothering to download the symbol for your own use, and to read what the magazine has to say about the symbol. Here's an excerpt:

The purpose of an international symbol for breastfeeding is to increase public awareness of breastfeeding, to provide an alternative to the use of a baby bottle image to designate baby friendly areas in public, and to mark breastfeeding friendly facilities...(S)ometimes there are no chairs in public, sometimes nowhere to change the baby, or for the mother separated from her baby, nowhere to plug in an electric breast pump. Mothers welcome quiet, private places in public where they can collect themselves and their children. The symbol could designate these kinds of places. In addition, businesses could use this symbol to designate a lactation room, required now by law in California. Restaurants could use the image to let moms know, "Breastfeeding welcome here."

You can also read an interview with the creator of the symbol, Matt Daigle of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He is a stay-at-home dad, freelance graphic designer, and cartoonist. He and his wife have a one-year-old son.

Elizabeth Vargas Fake Breast Feeding Photo Update

November 15, 2006

Vargas.jpg


A few days ago I wrote about how Marie Claire magazine published a fake photo of ABC anchor Elizabeth Vargas breast feeding. I've now had a chance to review the article, and here's my take.

The piece is nothing earth shattering. It's a Q &A about Vargas' career and family. What do we learn? That she's not exactly like the rest of us-- she has a cook, an immaculate apartment and she's married to the singer Marc Cohn. Not to mention she is one of THE stars of ABC news. (You may remember she and Bob Woodruff were supposed to be the future of ABC's evening news. They were named co-anchors after Peter Jennings died. Then Woodruff got seriously injured in Iraq and Vargas got pregnant. So now she's back at 20/20 and Charlie Gibson has the anchor job). But in other ways she is like the rest of us. She has to figure out how to balance work and family. When she was anchoring the evening news, her son wouldn't go to sleep until she got home.

As for that photo...from my perspective, there is no reason your average reader would think it was a fake. The story byline says "By Judith Newman, Photo Illustration by Eric Cahan." Does that mean anything to any of you? Certainly not to me. I just don't get what Marie Claire was thinking. Didn't it occur to them that most people wouldn't get the distinction, and that ultimately, someone (Drudge) would point out the liberties they took?

The Boston Herald ran a story on this today. There was an additional comment from Marie Claire:

“We wanted an arresting, satirical image to make the reader stop and read this important story about what happens when job and family collide. This is an image illustration and is stated so with the byline of this story.”

Wouldn't a real photo have made the case just as strongly?

Oh, and by the way, the photo at the top of this entry is from The Boston Herald. Just wouldn't want anyone to be confused.

Mom Kicked Off Plane For Breast Feeding

File this one under-- you've got to kidding.

A New Mexico mom says Freedom Airlines kicked her off a flight for breastfeeding her daughter on board the plane. The plane was waiting to take off from an airport in Burlington, Vermont, when 27 year-old Emily Gillette says a flight attendant asked her to put a blanket over the baby's head. Gillette says she refused. That's when a Delta ticketing agent asked Gillette and her husband and daughter to get off the plane. Freedom was operating the Delta flight between Burlington and New York City.

Now, imagine for a minute you are a passenger on this plane. Which would you prefer-- (a) or (b). (A) listening to a screaming, miserable baby on your flight, and maybe, by chance, feeling a little odd about the slight potential that you could see a little bit of the mom's boob. Or (B), contentedly-- in silence-- reading your trashy novel, working on your lap top, listening to your iPod, or trying to meditate to transport yourself away from the sardine box in which you are all crammed. I'm sure most of you picked (B), thinking, "Just feed the poor child and make the crying stop already!!" And if you picked (A), think about how you would feel if the flight attendant said, "Sorry, no pretzels for you on your flight today."

But back to the story at hand...

Here's what a Freedom Spokesperson had to say about the incident to The Boston Globe:

"A breast-feeding mother is perfectly acceptable on an aircraft, providing she is feeding the child in a discreet way," that doesn't bother others, said Paul Skellon, spokesman for Phoenix-based Freedom. "She was asked to use a blanket just to provide a little more discretion, she was given a blanket, and she refused to use it, and that's all I know."

Gillette has filed a complaint with the Vermont Human Rights Commission as well as Delta and Freedom Airlines. She told the Burlington Free Press she'd like to see the airlines change their policies. In addition, she'd like the airlines to make a donation to an organization of her choice and give her another trip.

Elizabeth Vargas Breast Feeding-- Photo is a Fake

November 14, 2006

Here is the latest from the Drudge Report:
ElizabethVargas.jpg

Marie Claire magazine has published a fake photo of ABC News' "20/20" anchor Elizabeth Vargas breast feeding. I have to go pick up the December issue of the magazine to see for myself. But here's what Drudge has to say:

A source close to the anchor says Vargas' is disappointed but has a sense of humor about the whole thing.

"Elizabeth was more than happy to sit for the interview but was disturbed that the magazine would set aside basic journalistic standards to photoshop her head onto a fake image. Vargas did joke that her real baby is cuter, that she is proud to breastfeed her newborn but wouldn't do it at the anchor desk and that she wouldn't be caught dead in that ugly gold blouse!"

A MARIE CLAIRE spokesperson counters: "There isn’t a working mother who can’t relate to this image and immediately identify with the very real dilemma Elizabeth Vargas wrestled with. We do not believe anyone seriously thought she would nurse and report the news the same time! This is an image illustration and is stated so with the byline of this story. We only want to make the point that women choosing between their career and being a parent is a tough decision that we are very sensitive to. We at MARIE CLAIRE think that Vargas is a great journalist and we look forward to watching her on 20/20. We are also grateful for her interview, which we hope reaches the many women who can relate to this serious topic."

Here are my thoughts:

First, I really like Elizabeth Vargas. I like her reporting style. And on the superficial side, she always has great clothes and hair! Plus, I used to be a former television reporter, so I can relate to the challenges she must face as a working mom. Television news, like many professions, is incredibly demanding on your time. It can be unpredictable. You can be called off to work at the drop of a hat. It's not easy then to find a balance between work and family. So hats of to Vargas for pulling it off. I'm looking forward to seeing what she says in the interview.

Second, as a former reporter, I simply don't understand why Marie Claire would feel the need to fake a photograph. It's wrong journalistically. They didn't need to do an "image illustration" -- or whatever that is, as they call it-- in order to make the point that being a working mom is tough. We know that. No news there. Besides which, the photo doesn't exactly support that point. Where's the burp cloth? Everything looks just a little too perfect. No one is that poised when breast feeding.

So, it will be interesting to see how this story develops. As they say, stay tuned...

Breast Feeding Bloggers' Carnival

In honor of the approaching holiday season, I wrote a poem entitled "'Twas The Breastfeeder's Nighttime." As I'm sure you've guessed, it's a parody of "A Visit From St. Nicholas," (otherwise known as "'The Night Before Christmas") by Clement Clarke Moore.

This poem is my contribution to the first ever Breastfeeding Bloggers' Carnival. Once a month, four other bloggers and I are banding together to bring you our thoughts on a given topic or idea. This month, we're all writing about the theme "Home For the Holidays."

Here's what you'll find at our first carnival:
Jennifer, of The Lactivist Breastfeeding Blog, has the scoop on breastfeeding laws in every state. Check here if you're traveling to visit relatives away from home.
Tanya, of The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog, writes about the challenges of dealing with unsupportive family members during the holidays.
Angela, of Breastfeeding123, has ten tips for keeping your breasts healthy during the stressful holiday season.
And all the way from Ireland, Sinead, of BreastfeedingMums Blog, brings you advice on how to keep your wits about you during this hectic time.

By the way, before I met these other bloggers, I had never heard of a blogging carnival. Apparently, they're quite common. To see other carnivals, check out this site, The Blog Carnival index.

I first posted this poem yesterday. So in case you missed it, I bring you once again...

‘TWAS THE BREASTFEEDER’S NIGHTTIME
By Andi Silverman, www.mamaknowsbreast.com

‘Twas a holiday eve and the babe was asleep,
Swaddled tight in his crib he made not a peep.
My boobs were depleted from feeding all day.
“Please don’t wake. Sleep all night,” to the babe I did pray.

But his lips, how they moved, as he lay in his bed.
Visions of milky breasts danced in his head.
Dad in his boxers and I in my sweats,
Could we get some shuteye? Go ahead, place your bets.

The moon on the breast of my t-shirt did glow,
Gave a luster to leaking spots set to grow.
My nursing pads were soaked, they fell out of place.
My bra had unsnapped. How I missed sexy lace.

For months I’d been feeding our babe everywhere.
Coffee shop, park bench, museum, movie chair.
All my modesty gone, nothing shy anymore.
If the kiddo was crying, I knew how to score.

And now with the holidays, things often got dire.
While out buying gifts, I sometimes drew ire.
I breastfed in clothing stores. Changing rooms rock.
I breastfed in bookstores. To the stacks I did flock.

When from the babe’s room there arose such a clatter.
We sprang from our bed to see what was the matter.
Away to his room we flew with a flash,
Threw open the door, in the dark I did crash.

What a klutz I can be, ‘twas those bags made me fall.
Sacks for our trip, all arranged in the hall.
We were going to Grandma’s, a five hour drive.
Holiday time—Will I make it alive?

One big huge duffle held all the babe’s stuff.
Diapers, wipes, onesies. Did I bring enough?
Now don’t forget burp cloths, crib sheets and toys.
Books and Bjorn, we’ll exhibit such poise.

On breast pump, on bottles, on stroller and boppy.
On car seat, on cradle, on blanket and binky.
Fill the back of the car, fill the trunk with our haul.
And we’ll drive away, drive away, drive away all.

Now don’t forget stopping to feed long the way.
Gas stations, McDonalds and rest stops, oy vey.
Of course there’ll be lots of those diapers to do.
Get out the Purell, you’ll be covered in poo.

When we finally arrive, now what will await?
Lots of food and embraces, it’ll be really great.
No, no one will not fight. I will not shed a tear.
Ok, a white lie— but rejoice in who’s here.

And what about wine or a champagne or two?
Will it make my milk bad? Old wives tale or true?
And will anyone say, “Can he now take a bottle?”
“How long will you breastfeed?” How these questions can throttle.

Now back to that “clatter,” the babe and that noise.
We had rushed right on in, leaping over the toys.
When what to our wondering eyes did appear,
Our babe still asleep, oh how sweet, oh how dear.

His cheeks, how they glistened, his hair soft and furry.
And I smiled when I saw him, despite all my worry.
How delicious, his belly, moving in and then out.
How precious, his lips in a sweet little pout.

He had not woken up! He did not need to eat.
He had had quite enough, his day quite complete.
And so back to our bed we did quietly crawl.
Happy Holidays to one, happy sleeping to all.

© 2006, Andi Silverman, www.mamaknowsbreast.com

A Breast Feeding Poem

November 13, 2006

You can smell the holidays right around the corner. Christmas commercials. Decorations in stores. Chocolate, food and more chocolate...

Well here are my thoughts for the holiday season-- a poem to make you smile. It's a parody of "A Visit from St. Nicholas," otherwise known as "The Night Before Christmas." This poem will be featured tomorrow on the very first Breast Feeding Blogger's Carnival.

And now, without further ado, I bring you...

‘TWAS THE BREASTFEEDER’S NIGHTTIME
By Andi Silverman, www.mamaknowsbreast.com

‘Twas a holiday eve and the babe was asleep,
Swaddled tight in his crib he made not a peep.
My boobs were depleted from feeding all day.
“Please don’t wake. Sleep all night,” to the babe I did pray.

But his lips, how they moved, as he lay in his bed.
Visions of milky breasts danced in his head.
Dad in his boxers and I in my sweats,
Could we get some shuteye? Go ahead, place your bets.

The moon on the breast of my t-shirt did glow,
Gave a luster to leaking spots set to grow.
My nursing pads were soaked, they fell out of place.
My bra had unsnapped. How I missed sexy lace.

For months I’d been feeding our babe everywhere.
Coffee shop, park bench, museum, movie chair.
All my modesty gone, nothing shy anymore.
If the kiddo was crying, I knew how to score.

And now with the holidays, things often got dire.
While out buying gifts, I sometimes drew ire.
I breastfed in clothing stores. Changing rooms rock.
I breastfed in bookstores. To the stacks I did flock.

When from the babe’s room there arose such a clatter.
We sprang from our bed to see what was the matter.
Away to his room we flew with a flash,
Threw open the door, in the dark I did crash.

What a klutz I can be, ‘twas those bags made me fall.
Sacks for our trip, all arranged in the hall.
We were going to Grandma’s, a five hour drive.
Holiday time—Will I make it alive?

One big huge duffle held all the babe’s stuff.
Diapers, wipes, onesies. Did I bring enough?
Now don’t forget burp cloths, crib sheets and toys.
Books and Bjorn, we’ll exhibit such poise.

On breast pump, on bottles, on stroller and boppy.
On car seat, on cradle, on blanket and binky.
Fill the back of the car, fill the trunk with our haul.
And we’ll drive away, drive away, drive away all.

Now don’t forget stopping to feed long the way.
Gas stations, McDonalds and rest stops, oy vey.
Of course there’ll be lots of those diapers to do.
Get out the Purell, you’ll be covered in poo.

When we finally arrive, now what will await?
Lots of food and embraces, it’ll be really great.
No, no one will not fight. I will not shed a tear.
Ok, a white lie— but rejoice in who’s here.

And what about wine or a champagne or two?
Will it make my milk bad? Old wives tale or true?
And will anyone say, “Can he now take a bottle?”
“How long will you breastfeed?” How these questions can throttle.

Now back to that “clatter,” the babe and that noise.
We had rushed right on in, leaping over the toys.
When what to our wondering eyes did appear,
Our babe still asleep, oh how sweet, oh how dear.

His cheeks, how they glistened, his hair soft and furry.
And I smiled when I saw him, despite all my worry.
How delicious, his belly, moving in and then out.
How precious, his lips in a sweet little pout.

He had not woken up! He did not need to eat.
He had had quite enough, his day quite complete.
And so back to our bed we did quietly crawl.
Happy Holidays to one, happy sleeping to all.

© 2006, Andi Silverman, www.mamaknowsbreast.com

Breast Feeding Video

November 12, 2006

Welcome back to YouBoob, my weekly breast feeding video courtesy of YouTube. This one is a ballad. A dad and his infant sing a duet entitled, "Where's My Boob?" This one is heading right to top of the charts!

WheresMyBoob.jpg

CLICK HERE to watch, or click on the image above.

Breast Feeding and Actress Rachel Weisz

November 08, 2006

Here's the latest from our celebrity mom star-struck media. People Magazine reports that actress Rachel Weisz credits breastfeeding and Pilates with helping her get back in shape after giving birth in May.

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The magazine quotes her as saying:

"I don't really have a magic potion or pill...I do Pilates. Nursing burns a lot of calories, 500 calories a day. So, if I could help promote breast-feeding, that would be a good way...I was seven months pregnant when I won the Academy Award!...Really, since then, I've just been a mom, mainly. It's the most ultimate honor you can get. But I had to duck out of the rat race for a bit and be Mom... I have respect for all working moms out there, because it's definitely a complicated balancing act, which millions of women are doing all the time...But I'm part of that club now."

Welcome to the club, Rachel.

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Home For the Holidays

November 07, 2006

Last month I wrote about the new friends I've made through this blog-- 4 other women who are also blogging about breastfeeding. There's Jennifer of The Lactivist, Tanya of Motherwear, Angela of Breastfeeding123 and Sinead of Breastfeedingmums. Well this crew has decided to band together once a month and bring you a "carnival of blogs." Basically, we'll all be writing about one particular topic, and linking to each other. This will give you the perspectives of a bunch of different booby bloggers. On my site, I'm going to call this monthly carnival, "Of Babes and Boobs."

Next week will be the first installment of "Of Babes and Boobs." The topic is "Home For the Holidays." So the five of us have our homework cut out for us. We're trying to come up with tips, stories, advice and inspiration for your holiday season as a breastfeeding mom.

My assignment isn't due until next week, so for now, I turn to you dear readers. Do you have any stories or ideas for me? Send your letters to "Dear Mama, All I want for Christmas (or Chanukah, or whatever holiday you celebrate) is _______________." I'll be here, working on my list.


Quote of the Day

November 06, 2006

Once again...out of the mouths of babes...

This one is courtesy of our two year old, The Bortski. We had this conversation while the baby, The Bear, was busy nursing:

"Mammee, the baby has boobies." (translation: "Mom, the baby breastfeeds.")

"Yes, that's right. Do you still have boobies?"

"Not yehhht," he said with authority and a sly smile.

Breast Feeding Video

Welcome back, once again, to my breast feeding video of the week, YouBoob.

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Here's a clip from the Australian Breastfeeding Association. At first glance you may think this is a little too sentimental. But I promise you, it's worth watching the entire clip. Trust me! CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO.

Donating Breast Milk

November 05, 2006

There are a lot of things you simply don't know about your breasts before you have kids. I, for one, didn't know that boobs can leak or grow exponentially. And I certainly didn't know that you can donate your breast milk. It simply never occured to me that you can donate breast milk in the same way that you can donate blood.

Welcome to the wild wild west of parenting. Lots to know. Lots to know.

Here's the scoop. Milk banks have been around since the turn of the century. The first one opened in 1909 in Vienna, Austria. In 1919, milk banks opened in Boston and Germany. Today, the Human Milk Banking Association of North America (HMBANA) is a non-profit that is sets the standards and guidelines for milk banks in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. It was founded in 1985. There are currently 11 milk banks that distribute the milk to hospitals, and babies who are home and need breast milk. Sometimes they are even able to help babies who have been adopted.

The milk banks screen donors and carefully process and pasteurize the milk. If you're interested in becoming a donor, contact the milk bank closest to you.

In addition to the milk banks that are affiliated with the HMBANA, there is now also a company called Prolacta. This for profit operation is also collecting breast milk and selling it to hospitals.

Prolacta recently announced a deal with the University of Minnesota Medical Center to collect milk. Like the milk banks of HMBANA, Prolacta then sells the milk back to hospitals. Only it charges a lot more. This recently caught the attention of some of my fellow breast feeding bloggers. To read The Lactivist's take on Prolacta, click here.

Prolacta is also a sponsor of an organization called The International Breast Milk Project that collects milk and sends it to children in Africa who are orphans because their parents had HIV. Here's a news story about donations to children in South Africa.

Whatever your take on Prolacta, I think the main thing to focus on here is that there are moms out there whose generosity is helping improve the lives of babies who need help. Think about how tiring it is to feed and care for your own children. Now consider that these donors are also taking the time to pump milk to help babies that they'll never meet.

Breast milk donors, we applaud you!

Breast Feeding and Sleep

November 02, 2006

Sleep, oh, sleep, where for art thou, sleep?

The Bear is now 7.5 months and has decided that in the middle of the night he wants to party. We had a few good months-- months 3, 4 and 5-- where he slept through the night. From 6 pm to 6 am he dozed away, uninterrupted. It was sheer bliss. But then, sometime this past summer, he fell off the wagon. Now, he won't go back to sleep unless I breast feed him. He's up at least once during the night. Sometimes twice. I've been trying to do the Ferber sleep training thing, but it's not working yet.

I know there are many different approaches to teaching your kids to sleep. I've bought the books. I've asked the pediatrician and friends for advice. Still nothing is working yet. As The Bortski would say, "Help, Please, Help!"

Any and all advice is welcome. Or if you don't have any specific recommendations, simply tell your tales of sleepless nights. This might not be Shakespearian, but I'm sure it will make for good reading. Misery loves company, right?

Breast Feeding Icon-- You Can Vote

November 01, 2006

We all recognize certain international symbols. There's no mistaking the men's and ladies' room. We know what a handicapped sign looks like. And of course there's the no smoking logo.

Now the folks at Mothering magazine think it's time for an international breastfeeding icon that could indicate a place that is breast feeding friendly. Mothering says, " Ideally, the space would be private, quiet, with a comfortable chair and an electrical outlet for pumping." The icon could be used in offices, restaurants, airports, malls, libraries, parks. You get the idea.

Apparently examples of breast feedind icons have been spotted in Canda and Singapore. But Mothering thought it best to create a new logo altogether. The magazine has been holding a contest to design the logo and they've narrowed the choices to three finalists. They'll make the winning image available worldwide (copyright-free, as a public domain image).

So check out some of the other entries that are no longer in the running.

And while you're at it...Vote for your favorite of the three finalists.
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Bottle Versus Breast

A couple of weeks ago I got a call from a reporter, Mackenzie Carpenter, at the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. She was working on a piece about the "politics" of breast feeding and bottle feeding. It was pretty cool to get her call. As a former reporter, however, I was agonizingly aware of every word I uttered during our conversation. This was the first time I was ever interviewed, and I wasn't ready for it.

I asked Mackenzie to go easy on me, and she reassured that I shouldn't worry. Today I got an email from her telling me the piece ran in yesterday's paper, but that unfortunately my quotes got cut by her editor. Oh well.

Anyway, the story's headline pretty much sums up the piece-- "Bottle vs. Breastfeeding: Cultural Confusion Engulfs Moms No Matter Which Method is Used." The basic idea is that moms face societal and personal challenges whether they breast feed or bottle feed.

Here's my take on it. As moms, we question our child rearing choices all the time. Is the baby getting enough to eat? Am I reading enough to the baby? Does he have the right toys? Should he have a play date or is it ok to just be around his older brother? Bottom line, it's all too easy to feel guilty about the choices you make, and I think breast feeding and bottle feeding are simply an easy flash point for all of that parental guilt to come to a head.

I'm not sure I said anything remotely like that when Mackenzie interviewed me. In fact, when we spoke I was so tired, and so busy breast feeding The Bear to keep him from crying, that I can hardly recall anything I said.

In any case, it was fun to talk to her on the phone. Hopefully, I'll be a bit more mentally prepared for the next time the phone rings!