earthy mamma

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20 year old play at home mamma to an exceptional 17 month old named zoey. This is where i will post articles, photos, etc. about my journey as a proud mamma. My boyfriend and I are bradley parents who support a more "natural" parenting style. This is a place where I will share my views, and my opinions are not invitations to attack. my child, my choice. your child, your choice. I want to follow other great parent blogs, so leave me a message. Lets talk nursing, pregnancy and labor, and parenting. I love to give advice and am good at it, so don't be shy either. zen parent/s

YES- you may play with daddy’s shaving cream

YES- we can add a blue one

YES- you can eat that (corn starch and water fun)

YES- you may play outside without pants and shoes

have you guys seen these photos floating around? would you ever get some taken?

The Beauty Love Left Behind


A mark for every breath you took, every blink, every sleepy yawn. One for every time you sucked your thumb, waved hello, closed your eyes and slept in the most perfect darkness. One for every time you had the hiccups. One for every dream you dreamed within me.

It isn’t very pretty anymore. Some may even think it ugly. That’s OK. It was your home. It’s where I first grew to love you, where I lay my hand as I dreamed about who you were and who you would be. It held you until my arms could, and for that, I will always find something beautiful in it.

~Cassie Fox”

15 CELEBRITIES WHO’VE GIVEN BIRTH AT HOME ›

Celebrities Who Have Chosen Home Births

Home is where the heart is, and where the birth is too these days. According to recent statistics, the home-birth rate increased 20 percent between 2004 and 2008 after a 15-year slide, and the delivery method is appealing to a wide range of women. Credit Ricki Lake for that. Her Business of Being Born book and documentary have turned a new generation of moms-to-be on to the movement. Check out 15 celeb moms who’ve opted out of the hospital experience to give birth to their lil ones at home.

Pamela Anderson

It may surprise her fans, but Pamela Anderson gave birth to both her sons at home, saying, “I gave birth at home both times — natural — with a midwife, in water … with nothing.”

Pamela Anderson

Demi Moore

After showing off her growing belly on the cover ofVanity FairDemi Moore gave birth to Rumer at home, and subsequently welcomed Scout and Tallulah in her home as well.

Demi Moore

Meryl Streep

Meryl Streep doesn’t just call her home a place to store her Oscars; it’s also the place she welcomed one of her daughters. Meryl Streep is said to have had a home birth for at least one of her daughters there.

Meryl Streep

Joely Fisher

Joely Fisher raved about her home birth experience in 2006, saying, “I had this miraculous birth, and the first one (Skylar Grace) was fine, and here she is – she’s almost 6 and gorgeous and smart and funny and loves American Idol. But I decided to have her at home and had a lot of friends around, and of course, her father was there. And of course, the doctor, the doula, the midwife, the butcher, baker, and candlestick maker.”

Joely Fisher

Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore, whose daughter, Liv, was welcomed at home, has contributed to Ricki Lake’s home-birth advocacy mission.

Julianne Moore

Woody Harrelson

It comes as little surprise that Woody Harrelson’s wife, Laura Louie, gave birth to their three daughters at home in Maui.

Woody Harrelson

Jennifer Connelly

Jennifer Connelly and Paul Bettany used a birthing pool at home to bring their second child together, Agnes Lark, into the world last month.

Jennifer Connelly

Cindy Crawford

Cindy Crawford is one of Hollywood’s most famous home-birthers, welcoming baby Presley in her LA home. “Eager to shield her privacy, Crawford gave birth in the couple’s Brentwood home under the supervision of a midwife and a nurse — and the anxious, joyful gaze of her husband.”

Cindy Crawford

Mayim Bialik

Mayim Bialik delivered her second son, Frederick, at home with a doula, her husband, and her older son, Miles, by her side. Of the home birth, Mayim said, “Three pushes later, Frederick slithered out, and Miles was carried out of his high chair to cut the cord. A small spurt of blood startled him, and he promptly asked my husband to finish the job … Miles then sat down on the floor and, minutes later, was handed a bundled-up, wide-eyed baby brother. He clung to that baby for enough minutes that the midwife had to separate them.”

Mayim Bialik

Gisele Bundchen

Supermodels are strong! When Gisele Bundchen and Tom Brady were ready to welcome baby Benjamin, they headed to the bathtub in their Beacon Hill, Boston, home for the main event. Gisele recalled, “Giving birth was the most intense and life-changing experience of my life. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to deliver at home, surrounded by love and where I felt safe. It was a really great experience. I never felt so vulnerable, but so strong at the same time.”

Gisele Bundchen

Alyson Hannigan

Alyson Hannigan became a home-birth convert after watching Ricki Lake’s The Business of Being Born. She said, “It wasn’t something I knew I was going to do before I got pregnant, but once I was pregnant, I did more research, and I watched The Business of Being Born, and that sealed the deal. It’s not the right choice for everyone, but it definitely was for me. I never wavered on it. I knew if I needed to go to the hospital I would, but thankfully everything went well, and it was a magnificent experience.”

Alyson Hannigan

Alanis Morissette

Alanis Morissette gave birth to a baby boy in the privacy of her own home, after telling the media, “Our intention is to do a natural birth at home. But I ‘get’ that the baby has his own intentions. I have an amazing midwife, and I’m using a doula. But we have a backup plan: I’ve called all the doctors, and we’ll be ready if something should happen.”

Alanis Morissette

Kelly Preston

Though baby Benjamin was born in a Florida hospital, it is believed that Kelly Preston and John Travoltawelcomed Ella Blu in their home at the time.

Kelly Preston

Ricki Lake

After expressing disappointment with the hospital birth of her first son, Milo, Ricki Lake explored the world of home births before welcoming Owen in 2001. Her younger son’s birth is one of the stories told inThe Business of Being Born and was the launching pad for the former (and future) talk-show host’s advocacy for midwives.

Ricki Lake

Lisa Bonet

Lisa Bonet was such a fan of the home-birthing experience that she did it twice! First with daughter Zoe and more recently with baby Lola

Lisa Bonet


do i have any intactivists following me? what is your stance on circumcision?

Natural Weaning ›

 Excerpted with permission from the excellent book, Mothering Your Nursing Toddler, by Norma Jane Bumgarner and published by La Leche League International. Visit the Mothering Your Nursing Toddler website here, or purchase Bumgarner’s book on Amazon.




The Child under Three
 
Because of the good results, both for their children and for themselves, parents are becoming more comfortable with allowing nursing to take its course and waiting for weaning to occur on its own. Some people choose such an approach because it makes the most sense to them, as did the mother who writes, “She hasn’t shown any signs of weaning, and I’m not going to push it. Why put a strain into a so-far carefree experience? I believe it should end as it started – naturally.” Others, like one mother of six, have more practical reasons. “She’ll have to wean herself,” she says. “I don’t have the time to worry about it, and it doesn’t matter.” For these reasons and others, more children these days have the good fortune to be born into families in which they do not have to give up nursing in anyone’s time but their own.

A few children, of course, come to a spontaneous finish to their nursing before their second birthday. For the few who leave behind this part of their babyhood very early it will be in some other behavior that parents will likely see signs of their immaturity for some time yet. They will continue to need babying, but they will need it in other ways.

One mother, disappointed when her fourteen-month-old weaned, realizes now that weaning came from her approach to breastfeeding, not an active weaning campaign. She emphasized solids, offered other food before nursing once her child was eating solids, and did not nurse her child just for comfort. As this mother found out, children who start taking other foods and liquids before four to six months may come to depend upon these foods for most of their nourishment in the second half of their first year, a time when most nurslings still thrive for the most part on mother’s milk. Often, children who take in a great deal of food and liquid other than mother’s milk at six to twelve months tend to lose interest in nursing sooner than they might have otherwise. They will wean from the breast and cling to other objects for comfort.

Some children seem less interested in nursing and become easily distracted sometime between nine and fourteen months of age. Many advisers suggest that you take advantage of your child’s decreased interest, if in fact her interest does show a decrease, to initiate weaning. If you don’t want to nurse a toddler, this may be the least traumatic weaning time there will be for at least two or three years. But if you expect to find it easier to care for your child if she continues nursing, do not hesitate to remind her to nurse a few times daily until she outgrows this phase. If you do not want to wean, the time around nine months, a little later sometimes, may be a sort of danger time in which you may want to make sure your nursing relationship is not interrupted or disturbed.

Most children nurse without a pause through the months before and after their first birthdays, and a very few will wean in spite of efforts to the contrary, but you can nearly eliminate the possibility that your child might wean prematurely just by offering the breast a few times a day during those weeks or months.

Most youngsters around their first birthday still enjoy receiving a nice tummy full of milk when they nurse, and if other forms of feeding and sucking take the place of feedings at the breast, there will be, as a direct result, less of the milk that so many of these children look for. This is an effective way to encourage weaning, whether that is what mother has in mind or not. For many children such a pattern constitutes a satisfactory parent-initiated weaning. Also, if bottles and pacifiers are handy to offer children, mothers are likely to make use of them to put off a feeding while finishing this or that project they are working on. This also will lead to an earlier weaning, whether intended or not.

The way to achieve a natural weaning, if that is your objective, is to feed and care for your infant without contrived interferences. Nurse on demand from birth. Forget about other foods until your child shows he is ready for them (and not before a minimum six to twelve months of age). Then feed your child sensibly. Eating foods other than your milk in the first year is more for fun than for nourishment. Except in very hot weather, a baby who nurses often but has begun to ask for other foods does not need any more liquids besides your milk than he mooches from your cup or glass. Quenching his thirst with water or juice in a sippy cup can result in less interest in nursing. An excellent way to avoid overfeeding or over-watering your baby is to make tasty foods available and attractive, but let her feed herself, in her own way, and in her own time.

Unless you are in a situation where you absolutely cannot nurse your baby, a pacifier is no help to you or to your baby. It is mostly a nuisance that, unlike your breast, is always getting dirty or lost. There is no need for bottles, either. Both pacifiers and bottles tend to become mother substitutes and are not satisfactory replacements for the full embrace of nursing.

Without the distraction and confusion brought on by pacifiers, bottles, and too much other food too soon, your child can nurse and wean in his own time and have a chance to outgrow his baby needs so completely that he can leave them behind, whether that be in his second year, or fourth, or whenever.

Not all children give up nursing gradually. Some children seem to reach a new plateau in maturity all at once and turn their backs on this or that baby behavior seemingly overnight. One mother writes of her two- year-old:


He had always nursed to sleep, but one afternoon he got two new trucks and was afraid his brother would take them while he was asleep. When I sat down to nurse him he pushed me away, took a truck in each hand, and plopped down on the bed. He never nursed to sleep after that, though he did not wean from other nursings for several months.


It is very common for little people to toilet-train themselves all at once. A few children also wean this way, especially when they are not nursing very often anyway. Surprisingly, the events that can bring on weaning in a child who is ready may be the same ones that may cause an increase in nursing at an earlier stage. A new baby, a move to a new home, or lots of company, often threatening to very little people, may at other times be so exciting and pleasant to your older child that he will drop nursing to have more time to devote to the happy new circumstances. If your child is weaning quickly just because that is her way of doing things, and if your breasts do not become overfull, then let the matter rest and go on to other ways of being with your child.

After Three
 
Most of my experience is with children who weaned between three and four, but clinical observations and research suggest that completely child-led weaning is unlikely to take place before the child turns four. (1, 2) Mothers in East Bhutan, where nursing well into childhood is socially acceptable, say that self-weaning usually occurs between three and five years. (3) In any case, weaning may come dramatically enough that your child will brag about it as one little girl did, telling her grandmother, “I’m going to be a big sister when I’m almost four – and now I’m weaned!” Or it may be so gradual that no one will know for sure when it happened.

For most children in this age range weaning is a slow, unpatterned change in behavior, so unpredictable that it is not always even headed in the same direction. At times, maybe even for long periods, your child will nurse frequently and intensely. When conditions change, either around your child or as a result of his own growth, he will begin to prefer other things over nursing – playing, eating, sleeping, or even cuddling with you sometimes. Then things may change again for him so that he needs to be at your breast almost as often as before.

As the weeks go on, though, there will be movement, whether you notice it or not, away from many periods of frequent nursing toward more periods of less nursing. In some children this movement is regular and swift. In others it is so erratic and unpredictable that it is easy to understand how people come to believe some children would never wean without urging. Some children even wean from one breast long before the other.

Such is the unpredictable course of an uncoerced weaning. At some age, very young or “shockingly old,” your child will not find nursing so absolutely essential to her well-being. And you may even miss it, as did a mother in India, who found herself unable to answer her e-mail messages as soon as she had gotten used to:


You know how things get with a busy four-year-old around the place! Sadly he’s stopped automatically latching on when he sees me sit down at the computer, and pulls me off to play instead!


Your child may be distracted from nursing by anything and everything. You can see that, though he may have some months to go yet, he is on his way toward a time when he will no longer need you in this exact way.

Is child-led weaning completely child-led? Yes and no, depending on your definition. You will probably respond, and appropriately so, to your child’s increasing distractibility as he matures. He may pull you to your favorite nursing spot, sit you down, latch on, and then instantly abandon you to chase his sister or watch a TV commercial. When this has happened several times, you will very naturally and with hardly a thought respond less quickly to his requests to nurse, at least when he seems to be asking rather superficially, and when the world around the two of you is busy and interesting. In this way, even without planning it, you play your part in his weaning. You are following his cues and your own common sense.

You will probably come to a time when you yourself are impatient with nursing. If you have been enjoying loving your child this way, you may be puzzled at the change in your feelings. No doubt your impatience will flare at times and subside at others, depending on what is going on in the rest of your life. Some of what you may be feeling, though, is part of natural weaning and an indication that you are gradually outgrowing the relationship. You too are growing toward being ready when the time for weaning comes.

In time – how much time no one can say – your child will abandon all but a very few favorite nursing times, usually the times when he is falling asleep or first waking up in the morning. When you are down to these few times, your milk production will dwindle. Then some children who have especially liked the milk will quit nursing in favor of a breakfast or bedtime snack. Others continue to enjoy one or more of these special nursing times for a long time yet, dropping them slowly until a few days, then a few weeks, go by with no request to nurse.

Every spontaneous weaning is unique, however, so it is impossible to guarantee anything about it except that it will happen.

Resuming Nursing after Weaning
 
For most children before age three or so, weaning, spontaneous or mother-initiated, is all but final when two or three weeks have passed without your child’s tugging your shirt. After this amount of time most of these little ones do not ask again, or if they do, they find they have forgotten how to suckle. “Is it broken?” one little guy asked when he could not remember after a year just how to go about nursing.

Once in a while someone suggests that your milk may become “poison" or "spoiled" if your child does not nurse for some certain amount of time. This is an old wives’ tale, one that is heard in many parts of the world. In rural Zimbabwe, for instance, mothers are told that if milk remains in the breast for a whole day, it will hurt the child. (4) But you can be assured that milk doesn’t spoil in the breasts any more than blood does in the veins. Your child can nurse safely after any interval.

Occasionally a child will ask to nurse again after you have regarded her as totally weaned, but most forget how. A mother who was sad because her body just would not cooperate with her son’s need to nurse during her pregnancy wrote:


I still have regrets because I see many LLL moms nursing their two-and-a-half-year-old sons, and I know that if I hadn’t gotten pregnant I’d be nursing my son too. I think it would help because he doesn’t talk, and it would be a great way to stay connected to him. He has tried to nurse since the new baby was born two months ago, but he doesn’t remember how. I let him try whenever he wants (it’s not very often).


The most likely circumstance for such requests is when you have a new baby, but also once in a while when a child discovers that mom is pregnant. Or your child may be upset about something, as in this situation recalled by the mother of a now grown daughter:


It was a disastrous time ending up with a breast abscess and an angry weaning at about two-and-a-half. She missed nursing so much though that we gradually started up again, nursed through a pregnancy and tandem nursed. She finally weaned by contract a couple months after her sixth birthday.


There is no reason that you can’t allow your child to try nursing again, even though you have probably told all the relatives he is weaned. Chances are that he is weaned. A request to nurse from a child who has not nursed for a while is usually a request for reassurance and acceptance. You may not be able to discover any explanation for your child’s desire to return to nursing other than the mysterious workings of his growing little mind. It feels good to a little child to know that if he ever did need you again that way, you would be there for him with open arms. One mother says of her weaned twins that they both had to try nursing several times when the new baby came, but gave it up after a few tries. It is much easier for a little person to wean himself if he knows that his decision does not have to be final.

One mother had nothing but positive feelings when her child wanted to nurse again a few times after over a year without asking for the breast: “I never realized just how important and memorable those nursing days were to her and that she would actually remember at all. This was her ‘thank you’ for the loving patience and time I took when it was needed.” A brief return to the mostly outgrown way of loving can be a chance for mother and little one together to enjoy a bit of reminiscing.

Another mother writes of a child who resumed nursing – sort of:


When our daughter was about eleven months, [her two-year-old brother] started to become very interested in what nursing was. He shocked me one day by pretending to nurse on one breast while his sister was at the other. I didn’t try to discourage him because by now I had read a little about tandem nursing and I hoped if he was to start nursing again after two years that it would help our relationship. I had already noticed the difference between my two children’s behavior that I attribute to our nursing relationship. My son is a very energetic boy who likes to tell me “No!” as often as possible while my daughter is helpful and calm most of the time.

Now that she is fifteen months and he is two-and-a-half years old, he still continues to pretend but doesn’t actually latch on. He even tells Baby, as he calls his sister, that it is time to nurse and he directs her to the breast he chooses. I am kind of sad that I didn’t nurse him as long as I have nursed his sister but it is wonderful that he has joined our breastfeeding relationship.


For a child who is apparently weaned to actually resume nursing for a while, sometimes for no reason that you can perceive, might make you feel panicky, especially if you are very happy for your child to relate to you in a different way. Yet it will be helpful to your child for you to go along with him if you can. Just as we adults sometimes make a mistake in deciding to wean our children too soon, occasionally very small growing people make mistakes in deciding to wean themselves too soon. There is a reason, no doubt, whether we can see it with our adult eyes or not, that your child needs to nurse again for a while.

Although it may seem like it at first, you and your child are not going back to the beginning of the weaning process. After a few days of adjustment your child is not likely to nurse any more than do other children his age. He is not returning to babyhood, but picking up a behavior that is appropriate for his age. He will nurse and wean also in a way appropriate to his age – maybe in the next few days, or maybe some months hence.

Weaning need not be any more dramatic and final than toilet-training. We are not surprised when a child who is supposedly toilet-trained forgets and “backslides” for a while. It should be no more disconcerting that a weaned child would remember and nurse when he needs to. In a household with a new baby, being welcome at mother’s breast, if he feels the need, can be quite a help in overcoming a child’s feeling of displacement. There is no harm done by stepping back to baby things for a while – and considerable good in the long run.

Spontaneous Weaning in Children over Four
 
We commonly hear that most younger children do not ask to nurse again after they are weaned because they forget about nursing. This may be true, though I am not sure. It is certain, however, that children over four (or even over three sometimes) do not forget. As I have said, many of them will remember nursing as long as they live. So it should not be surprising that children over four are notorious for going about weaning each in their own way. Many seem to give a lot of consideration to weaning. One little girl, asked when she would wean, thought about it and then replied, “Oh, probably I will try when I’m five, ‘cause you can’t come to school – can you?!”

Children usually wean at a time that is easy for them, when their lives are otherwise stable. From their behavior it is often evident that they are making quite a rational choice for so young a person. Some children tell their parents that they are weaning because they themselves decided to do so, and it is easy to see from watching other children that this is the case with them as well. In some children the process that leads to weaning is not readily apparent; but this is probably not because it is so much different for them, but because they are children who keep their own counsel about it.

In the months that follow a decision to wean (or at least what appears to be such a decision) many children encounter rough spots that cause them to reconsider. These times can worry you if you have regarded the child as weaned. But you have not lost progress toward weaning. A child this age who goes weeks or months without nursing is definitely working on growing up. When she asks to nurse again after such a long time you can be sure that she has just come to a time in her life which she can handle better if she can still nurse a bit. Once she works her way past it, she will get back to the business of weaning.

Many mothers are quite hesitant to say that their over-fours are weaned, even after months without nursing. So often it seems that the minute mother pronounces her child weaned, he needs to nurse again. Needless to say, spontaneous weaning with older nurslings can be gradual indeed!

how does honoring a birth plan negate care? love the manipulative wording. this honestly makes me sick.

5 Things to Do in Your Baby's First 24 Hours to Ensure Breastfeeding Success ›

The first day of life for your baby – and for you as a new mom – is exciting, thrilling, wonderful and terrifically overwhelming. Unfortunately, for many women it is a time of anxiety-provoking questions and feelings of doubt. This list is an attempt to make you feel rock-solid about your decision and ability to breastfeed your baby; I want to help you get off to a strong start. I worked on a postpartum (mother/baby) hospital unit for almost seven years: I know the first-day questions that new moms often have.

Breastfeeding is the normal way to feed an infant. We all want to see ourselves as Mother Earth…the baby comes out, you and your partner exchange loving glances, the baby latches without any effort, you make tons of milk and nobody around you has any question that everything is going exactly as it should.

Perhaps, for some people, this is exactly how things go. But for so many families I had the opportunity to care for, this lovely vision remains a bit elusive. For those of you for whom everything may not easily fall into place, here are five important things a new mom can do in the first 24 hours after delivery to ensure breastfeeding success.

Look for your baby’s hunger cues.
Get Skin-to-Skin
Your baby is most alert in the first 24 hours after delivery. Use this invaluable time to observe your baby’s cues for feeding: lip smacking, putting hands to mouth, tongue thrusting and wobbling head back and forth. These are signs of rooting that happen during the quiet alert state. It is paramount during this alert period to give your baby the opportunity to learn and practice a strong latch. Babies get progressively sleepier after a few hours, so this crucial moment can be missed if others are passing your baby around or the baby is in the bassinet. There will be plenty of time later for family and friends to hold the baby! 

Having your baby directly against your body also makes the transition to life outside the womb far easier for both mother and baby. Nature’s cool balancing act: your baby’s temperature is maintained by you: when your baby is cold, your body automatically warms up; when your baby is hot, your body cools down. Closeness = success.

Avoid Pacifiers and Formula
Introducing supplemental soothing techniques or probably unnecessary food sources in early infant life discourages your baby from making use of his/her mom as the normal source of comfort and food. Since sucking soothes infants and because stimulation of the breast encourages milk production, supplemental anything can interfere with this perfect system.

Latch Early and Often
Many breastfeeding specialists believe that early and frequent stimulation of breasts helps to develop prolactin receptors in the breasts; this can ultimately lead to an increased supply of milk and a longer duration of breastfeeding.

Practice a Good Latch
I can’t say enough about the importance of a good latch early on. Many infants can be uncoordinated at the breast. If you had a long period with anesthesia during labor, your baby’s lack of coordination can be profound. Clicking sounds, cheeks that pucker or a pinching sensation in the nipple are just a few signs that the latch should be discontinued and readjusted. Ask for help. If you need more help, keep asking for help! If you’re delivering in a hospital, make use of the nurses and lactation consultants on staff: they are the extra hands you might need to coordinate those good first latches and avoid any tissue damage to the nipple. And make sure your husband or partner watches as you get this professional guidance, so he or she can help you once you get home!

Keeping your baby near is good for both of you!
Keep your Baby in your Room
Much like the skin-to-skin suggestion, rooming-in with your new baby is a time for both mom and babe to learn from each other. It is an opportunity to learn your baby’s cues. Frequently, moms are encouraged by family and friends (or sometimes even hospital staffers that aren’t educated about breastfeeding) to have their baby go to the nursery so the mom can “get a good night’s sleep” – this doesn’t really work. Studies have shown that mothers who send their babies to the nursery are the moms that then need sleep aids in order to rest; moms who keep their babies skin-to-skin or right next to them can rest comfortably, waking when their babies root and having the opportunity to feed when baby is quiet but alert. The calming effect of your baby’s presence can also reduce stress hormones, the presence of which may interfere with milk production.

Happy, resting baby!
BONUS TIP: Surround Yourself with Supportive People
The effects of surrounding yourself with people who believe in breastfeeding, who believe in the natural system of the mother/baby unit, and who believe in YOU is wildly important. Everyone should know that feeding the new baby the most perfect food he or she can eat is something only you can do. Those who visit are being introduced not to the new baby, but rather to the mother/baby unit that you and your baby have become. You don’t function independently from your newborn and he or she is not independent of you. This early period is the time when two separate beings learn to function in sync. The system is as fragile as it is resilient and should be respected by those around you.