mynaturalfamily

Inspiring natural, happy, healthy families!

Moms make milk…what’s your superpower? April 30, 2011

Filed under: Raising Little People — My Natural Family @ 11:35 am

I just don’t get it.  How on earth do people get offended by the act of breastfeeding in public?  I was at a coffee shop the other day and, while waiting in line for a latte I knew I didn’t really need, saw a woman lift her baby out of his stroller and swiftly onto her breast.  She didn’t have a cover, but honestly, it seemed like the nipple never even made an appearance!   This lady was a boob-ninja.  While I was ogling her adorable baby, I saw an older woman approach the young mom, and hiss in her face audibly enough so that everyone in the vicinity could be sure to hear: “You need to do that at HOME!”  Are you KIDDING me?!  My back immediately straightened and I stopped breathing (I guess when it comes to “fight or flight”, I choose “freeze”), certain I was about to bear witness to a hormone-induced, coffee-singling brawl.  But this mother was not only a ninja, she was a saint.  She just smiled at the opinionated woman and shrugged her shoulders, as if to say, “I’m doing my thing and if it bothers you…tough.”

As I left Starbucks, I was still wondering what one could find so offensive about breastfeeding?  It’s a beautiful part of a woman’s body that, when given the opportunity, can create the only food a baby needs to survive!  Sadly, this woman isn’t alone in her thinking.  Recently, a photo of model Miranda Kerr breastfeeding her baby behind the scenes of a photo shoot (click here to see the article) led people to write comments such as this:

People should NOT breastfeed in public. Like it or not, breasts are sexualized. That’s the way it is and you’re not going to change it. You may think it’s “empowering” to flop your breasts out in public, but so do porn stars. We, as humans, wear clothes for a reason; our bodies are sexualized. If you don’t like it and don’t agree, go flop your milk bags around in a nudist colony, cause I most certainly don’t want to see it.

– Lyrra, US, 29/4/2011 9:28

This woman is far more vulgar than the act she’s talking about.  To me there is a HUGE difference between baring your breasts while performing a sexual act in public (no thank you) and baring your breasts to feed and bond with your child in public (yes please).  Add to that the proven emotional, developmental and health benefits of breastfeeding, both for baby and mom, and it’s easy to see that breastfeeding is not a sexualized act.  It’s as natural as breathing and about as vulgar as a naked baby tush.

What’s your take on public breastfeeding?  Are you okay with it as long as women wear a nursing cover, or do you think it’s unfortunate that a woman should even feel like she has to cover up?  Or are you one who feels like it shouldn’t be done in public?

 

The Movers and The Shakers. April 26, 2011

Filed under: Fluff Stuff & All Things Cloth — My Natural Family @ 12:43 pm

Boy I have been slacking on the posts!  Between the re-diaper sale, a State Farm-sponsored Earth Day Fair, The Great Cloth Diaper Change and Lincoln’s Earth Day Fair, it’s safe to say that April has been one hectic month.  It has also been a truly enjoyable one to boot, though.

The State Farm-sponsored fair was a great experience for me, since it was predominately made up of people who had no idea what the modern cloth diaper looked like and, before they saw our booth, had absolutely zero interest in cloth diapering their little ones.  The most rewarding part was seeing the pregnant women’s eyes light up as they realized they didn’t have to spend thousands of dollars on stuff they’d have to throw away after one use.  The most deflating part was getting laughed at as other women sternly declared, “Yeah, no thanks.  I’d like to deal with poop as little as possible.”  I think for the next booth we have, I’d like to put an enlarged poster of something like this up:

What is this?  It’s the side of a box of disposable diapers specifically instructing users to shake their baby’s poop into the toilet before they toss the diaper (they use the far more eloquent word “soil”).  The manufacturers even claim this step is IMPORTANT, so important, in fact, that you will find this warning on any and every box or bag of disposable diapers.  Why is this an important (but often overlooked) step of baby-bottom-care?  Because throwing poop into a dumpster where birds, mice, insects and other fast-moving creatures can ingest the doo and then carry it with them wherever they go isn’t just nasty, it’s a health hazard.  The adolescent punk in me felt like blurting out “Newsflash Lady, you might as well buy a diaper sprayer because you’re supposed to be cleaning poop out of your diapers whether you reuse them or not.”  But I try not be rude, especially when I’m representing a company of people who are collectively far more mature than me, so I just smiled and said, “Ha ha. I totally understand. Luckily they’ve made it so easy to use and clean cloth.  Here’s a pamphlet.”

I do understand the initial hesitancy with using cloth, trust me.  Like I’ve said time and time before, I was once in the same boat.  To someone who hasn’t researched the benefits, ease and accessibility of the modern cloth diaper, it DOES seem like a hectic nuisance that would add unnecessary work to a parent’s already busy day.  But between diaper sprayers, (flippin’ cute) wetbags, pre-treatment enzyme-busting spray, and detergent made specifically for cloth diapers, fluff manufacturers all over the world have made cloth maintenance an absolute breeze!  Alas, I realize I am probably preaching to the choir here.

Whatever feelings of deflation happened at this fair, however, were quickly countered with total elation during the Great Cloth Diaper Change.  What an honor it was to be a part of such an amazing event! I have to admit I got a bit choked up as 38 parents, some even using cloth for the first time, came together to make a statement about what fluff does to save our planet.  A little voice inside my head spoke up and said, “They’re all doing this for them,” them being the 38 babies these parents held high in the air as they finished changing their diaper.  These parents are using cloth for their kids, not just for their health now, but for their future as well.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: We didn’t inherit this earth from our parents.  We are borrowing it from our children.  If you really want to take care of your kids, do what you can to take care of the earth as well.

 

Where my “Wearers” at? April 13, 2011

Filed under: Raising Little People — My Natural Family @ 2:39 pm

I fall more in love with the idea of baby-wearing every day, despite the fact that my husband gets a repulsed look on his face every time I mention the word “baby-wearing.”   It’s not that he doesn’t agree with the benefits of it, but for him the term conjures up an image of literally wearing small children like an article of clothing (“Do you like it?” “I love it!” “I got it from my womb!”).  For him, I say “hands-free baby-carrying,” and he seems to like the idea of doing it with our future babies a bit more.

Semantics aside, it’s easy to see why the idea of baby-wearing was embraced by our current parenting culture.  We certainly didn’t come up with the idea…mothers in Africa have been wearing their babies for centuries…but it’s hard to argue against a brilliant idea when you see it.  Want to be able to use both hands to more efficiently get errands, chores and work done all while maintaining constant contact with your growing baby?  Yes please!

There are some who believe that holding a baby too much will spoil them, cause them to become dependent and clingy and keep them from learning to self-soothe.  I’m not really in that camp as I see a difference between a four-year-old’s temper tantrum and an infant’s cry: one is because they’re not getting what they want, the other is because they’re not getting what they need.  A baby does not yet understand the concept of manipulation and if they begin to cry when there is a lack of skin-to-skin contact with mom and dad, I believe there’s something instinctual going on there.

The cognitive and developmental benefits of wearing your baby have been proven by medical studies:  babies who were worn an average of three hours longer than a control group (who either didn’t wear their babies or didn’t wear them much throughout the day) cried 43% less than the those who were carried less.  It’s hard to gauge the concrete accuracy of statistics, but every one I know who wear their babies have children who don’t cry very often.  Their baby’s need for contact is consistently met, which I believe creates the opposite of a “clingy” child; because those needs are met in infancy, they aren’t trying to fill a void later in life and become comfortable soothing themselves when it becomes developmentally appropriate.

Other benefits include faster socialization skills, as they can see more of their world and interact with adults more consistently (you don’t learn much about other people when you’re staring at the cover of a stroller all day), greater cognitive development (when you spend less time crying you get to spend more time learning) and better regulation of their internal systems (some doctors argue gestation is actually 18 months: 9 in the womb, 9 outside the womb.  Your body still regulates your baby’s after they’re born!).  Benefits to parents are that they don’t have to spend the better part of their day opening and closing a cumbersome stroller.

Don’t get me wrong: register for that jogging stroller and get a car seat that detaches so if baby falls asleep in the car you can take him out without waking him up.  It’s nice to keep your options open for different situations you’ll encounter.  But when you can, as often as you can, hold your babies close: there will come a time where they won’t want to be held any more, and it’ll come sooner than you’d like.  And I promise you won’t spoil them 🙂

 

A First Time for Everything April 6, 2011

Filed under: Fluff Stuff & All Things Cloth,Raising Little People — My Natural Family @ 12:37 pm

The re-diaper sale was such a hoot!  It was so much fun to see all these parents care so much about what goes on their baby’s skin (natural materials) and what ends up in landfills (not their diapers), and save all kinds of money!  I especially enjoyed seeing new moms bring their moms to the event.  I saw a lot of jaws dropping that day as women who cloth diapered years ago saw what cloth diapering had become over the last couple decades.  Fuzzi Bunz got this whole modern cloth diaper movement started back in 1990 and there’s been no turning back since, and older moms were so amazed and impressed by the ease and accessibility that defined these newer styles. 

Wait, 1990 was two decades ago?!  How did that happen?  Now I feel old.

Anyway, moving on.  You know what else made my heart skip a beat this weekend at the sale?  Seeing all the couples.  So many parents shopping and planning for their baby, some with their first on the way, some with an entire brood waiting for them at home.  They all seemed so at ease and comfortable with each other.  Yes, we were busy and crowded and people had to wait in long lines, but all this love and excitement of welcoming a new little person into the world was shining through the congestion. 

I started thinking about how them being here all started with a first date.  There was the first glance, perhaps one that took their breath away immediately.  Or maybe there were years of friendship before the recognition that they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together gradually crept upon them.  There was a first time one of them mustered up the courage to call the other, a first time they held each other’s hands, a first kiss.  After all those first times, there was the one and only time one asked the other if they would marry them.

It’s probably because it’s the time of the month where I’m wearing my Fuzzi Bunz mama cloth, but I got a little choked up thinking about how great it is to be in love.  In love with your husband.  In love with your wife.  In love with your child.  I started thinking about how even though there’s so much darkness in our world, people still fall in love enough to want to bring a child into it.  Not just because “they want to have a baby” or because their biological clock is ticking, but because they realize that love doesn’t divide, it multiplies.  The children who are shown unconditional love and support from their parents grow up to become adults that show unconditional love and support to others.  That’s something our world could use a little bit more of, I’d say. 

So yeah, I got all this from participating in a diaper consignment sale.  What can I say?  There must be a lot of love in cloth diaper stores…:)