Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival August Call for Submissions:

APBC - Authentic ParentingWelcome to the Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival cohosted by Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children and Laura at Authentic Parenting. We hope that you will join us on the last Friday of each month as we share posts about simple living in our lives. Submission deadline: Saturday, August 24.


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Breastfeeding

As August is Breastfeeding Awareness Month, every year at this time, we use the carnival to spread awareness and knowledge about breastfeeding. So share your stories, your hardship, your happiness. Tell us all about the benefits of breastfeeding, help us spread the knowledge.

How to join in?

To submit an article to the blog carnival, please e-mail your submission to mandy{at}livingpeacefullywithchildren{dot}com and mamapoekie{at}yahoo{dot}com, and fill out the webform by August 24. Please write a new, unpublished piece for the carnival. We will e-mail you with instructions before the carnival date. We ask that you publish your post on August 30.

Please do:

  • Use your creativity
  • Write an original, previously unpublished post on the given topic
  • Be respectful
  • Spell check your post

Do Not

Use excessive profanity or promote violence against others

As the co-hosts of the carnival are advocates of peaceful living and gentle parenting, we ask that you not post about non-gentle practices or violence toward others. While we will not be editing your articles, we do reserve the right to not add your post to the carnival if it is not on topic, is poorly written, or goes against the guidelines which have been set forth.

Why Participate?

Blog carnivals are a great way to generate blog traffic and build a supportive community. Your blog will receive links from many other blogs and you and your readers will have the opportunity to discover other blogs with similar goals in mind. Please join us as we embrace Authentic Parenting! We hope you will consider joining us every month as we discuss ways to live and parent authentically.

 

In Support of Breastfeeding

On Thursday, bloggers from around the world came together in a show of support for breastfeeding mothers. New mothers have enough challenges without having to feel guilty for how they feed their baby, especially when they are choosing the most natural of means – breastfeeding.

Over the last few days there has been a lot of heated debates, controversial posts, and social media outcry against the position that the Weston A. Price Foundation takes on breastfeeding. While they do present sound information on the ideal diet for breastfeeding mothers, they do so in a manner that brings about guilt, fear, and confusion.

The bloggers who participated in the Breastfeeding Support Blog Party are not trying to create a divide between mothers. They simply want to offer support, in the form of blog posts, as to why breastfeeding should always be the first choice both for baby and mama.

We hope you take some time to read the posts that were written as part of the Blog Party. There are also over 140 posts linked up as part of this. Take some time to check them out here or link up your own breastfeeding support post!

Dionna at Code Name: Mama has come up with 40 ways that family, friends, coworkers and employers can support mothers who pump breastmilk, along with a ton of resources for you and the pumping mom in your life. There are also some fun graphics you can print and pass out, with 70% of all proceeds going to buy pumps for moms in domestic violence shelters!

Destany at They Are All of Me writes about ten common breastfeeding myths that scare women out of breastfeeding.

Jennifer at Hybrid Rasta Mama discusses how her diet wasn’t WAPF perfect, but she still breastfed a perfectly healthy baby.

Christine at African Babies Don’t Cry is passionate about breastfeeding, here are her 101 reasons why!

Kelly at Becoming Crunchy discusses the question of whether you should still nurse – even if your diet isn’t ‘right’.

Jorje of Momma Jorje has enough pressure in her life, she is glad she doesn’t have to worry about what, when and how much food she feeds her son since he is also still nursing.

Angela at EarthMamas World discusses a few of the most common problems that a mama may encounter while breastfeeding. Angela also shares natural remedies for each of these breastfeeding problems!

That Mama Gretchen reflects on the beautiful bond breastfeeding has created as her two children have transitioned from their womb experience to their earth side one.

Julia at A Little Bit of All of It shares ways breastfeeding and breastmilk are unique and special in a way only they can be.

Amy W. at Natural Parents Network shares 5 scientific reasons that mother’s milk is an unequaled form of nutrition and nurture: so awesome, and so unique!

Laura at Authentic Parenting shares solid information on iron intake for the breastfed baby.

Charise at I Thought I Knew Mama shares the questions (and answers) about breastfeeding she wished she had a friend to answer for her before becoming a mama.

Abbie at Farmer’s Daughter choose to breastfeed her children in part because it’s easier than bottle feeding, not to mention that it is the best nutrition for babies, that it has health benefits for both mother and child, that it encourages bonding, and of course that it’s free! Basically breastmilk is the ultimate convenience food.

KerryAnn at Cooking Traditional Foods shares how the rush to recommend raw milk formula actually harms mothers.

Starlene at GAPS Diet Journey shares her experience with nursing and why she feels it is an important piece of the your baby’s health.

At Living Peacefully with Children, Mandy draws a connection between how formula companies market and how women are treated by society.

Amy at Anktangle outlines a few of the many ways breastfeeding benefits both mom and child—aside from providing excellent nutrition.

Adrienne at Whole New Mom shares Part One and Part Two of 100 Reasons Why Breast Is Best.

Dawn at Cultured Mama shares her personal breastfeeding journey and how she overcame low supply issues and successfully tandemed nursed with only one breast.

the reality of nursing in public…

Most stories about mothers nursing their children in public are negative. We hear the stories of discrimination and oppression. Those against breastfeeding will claim they saw a woman fling her breast out to breastfeed her child. Breastfeeding mothers tell of snide comments they heard, demands that they leave a public place or feed their child in a restroom. I’ve had my share of comments. They do exist, as much as some will have you believe otherwise. Occassionally a mother may have a positive comment or smile. Personally, I try to encourage other mothers I see nursing in public, even if it’s just with a cheesy smile. However, overall neither of these scenarios is the norm.  

I’ve never once seen a woman fling a breast, which frankly sounds quite painful. If you know where I can witness this, please let me know; I’ve never quite understood the logistics of it. The truth if the matter is, most people don’t notice a mother nursing her child. When a child shows signs of wanting to nurse, a mother matter of factly lifts or lowers her shirt enough to allow the child to latch on. They nurse and go on about their business. No fanfare precedes the event. There are no requests for cheers or hurrahs. The mother is merely attending to her child’s needs, just as she would hug the child or hand the child food.

While negative experiences sadly occur, in the thousands of times I’ve nursed in public, the number of negative comments are comparatively small. I’ve nursed in a laundromat full of college guys, out hiking, in stores while pushing a cart, while helping my older children with crafts at a children’s museum, next to a strange man on an airplane (who was kind enough to offer to pull my tray down for my water), at concerts, parks, libraries, and more. Most of the time, no one says a word.

So while we do need to normalize breastfeeding and nursing in public, new mothers shouldn’t feel frightened to do so. Chances are, no one will even notice. If they do, it’s very likely they won’t say a thing. And if they do, take confidence in the fact that you are doing the best for your child and stay firm in your rights.

This post was originally posted on Nursing Freedom.

under-sexed…

When the topic of nursing in public comes up, the topic of sex inevitably follows. Anti-breastfeeding individuals liken breastfeeding to sex and claim enough is enough. Breastfeeding advocates claim that our society is over-sexed; breasts are lauded for their sexuality, plastered on billboards, used to sell beer and cars rather than their true purpose – their functionality.

Yes, breasts are sexual. It is possible to be functional and sexual at the same time. In fact, a person’s entire body is sexual. If someone is under the impression that breastfeeding is sexual and therefore taboo in public, I don’t agree that they are over-sexed. In fact, I would argue that they are under-sexed, because they seem to be wholly unaware of all of the wonderful sexual aspects of various other body parts which they see everyday.

If the idea of possibly seeing a body part which has dual functions bothers you, then a larger call to arms is in order. Don’t just target the breastfeeding mothers; go after anyone who uses any body part that holds dual functionality: mouths, hands, fingers, noses, ears, necks, eyelashes, arms, legs, feet, bellies, backs….the list goes on.

If your imagination doesn’t go that far or you think that’s too much, you may be just a little under-sexed. Frankly, assuming that breasts are sexual while other body parts aren’t just isn’t very creative on your part. So, we’ll make a deal. You won’t spout your ignorance about the functionality of breasts and the sexuality of other body parts. In turn, I will only use my breasts in public for the purpose of breastfeeding, and I won’t tell you about all of the other body parts I use to get my husband all hot and steamy.

food and feces…

Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at NursingFreedom.org. All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public (“NIP”). See the bottom of this post for more information.

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A celebrity recently caused another uproar in the debate regarding public breastfeeding. While eating at a restaurant, she witnessed a mother breastfeed her baby at the table and change it’s diaper. People came out of the woodwork saying that mothers should go to the restroom for that.

By that, I hope they are referring to changing a diaper. I agree that tables are no place to change a diaper. I have no desire to eat on a table that just had a pooey diaper on it. The aroma of poo as a diaper is changed doesn’t add to my culinary experience. I take my babies to the bathroom to change their diapers when we eat out. Food and feces just don’t mix.

And for that same reason, suggesting that a mother breastfeed her child in a bathroom is ludicrous. If a person recognizes that changing a diaper at a public dinner table is unsanitary, how is it that that same person thinks it is perfectly acceptable to expect a child to eat in a public toilet?

Art by Erika Hastings at http://mudspice.wordpress.com/

Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public

Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit NursingFreedom.org any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.

This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts – new articles will be posted on the following days:

July 5 – Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World

July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child

July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.

July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives

July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It

feel free to be offended…

Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at NursingFreedom.org. All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public (“NIP”). See the bottom of this post for more information.

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There are those who are offended by the sight of a mother nursing her child in public. To them I say, “Feel free to be offended.” 

In a world as diverse as ours, something is bound to offend another person – sexuality, race, gender, religion, clothing, speech, habits, etc. We have the right to our individual beliefs and, as a part of that, a right to feel offense. Where our rights stop is where they interfere with another person’s rights.

Personally, I’m offended by smoking. I think it’s disgusting, and I really don’t want to be anywhere near it. However, I’m not going to ask someone to quit smoking. I will quietly go somewhere else so that my children and I don’t have to be around it. I am also disgusted by the site of people chewing food with their mouths open. Apparently the memo that watching partially masticated food is unappealing didn’t make it’s way through the entire human population (or my in-laws’ house). I reserve the right to look away in my offense.

What I don’t have is the right to dictate how people legally live their lives. I may be offended by some things, but frankly it’s none of my business. I don’t have the right to dictate what they can and cannot do based on my sensibilities.

So the next time I’m out in public and breastfeed my child, feel free to be offended. Feel free to look away, walk away, cover your head in shame, or however you choose to deal with your uncomfortable feelings. You have that right, just as I have the right to nurse whenever and wherever I have the right to be.

Art by Erika Hastings at http://mudspice.wordpress.com/

Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public

Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit NursingFreedom.org any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.

This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts – new articles will be posted on the following days:

July 5 – Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World

July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child

July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.

July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives

July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It

breastfeeding rap…

For those tired of having doctors give out poor breastfeeding information, this presentation from the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine is refreshing:

It’s nice to see some health care professionals with correct information. Now if only health care professionals could have more education regarding breastfeeding than a few hours presented by formula companies…

public intimacy…

Welcome to the July 2010 Carnival of Nursing in Public

This post was written for inclusion in the Carnival of Nursing in Public hosted by Dionna and Paige at NursingFreedom.org. All week, July 5-9, we will be featuring articles and posts about nursing in public (“NIP”). See the bottom of this post for more information.

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Intimacy. 1. The state of being intimate. 2. Something of a personal or private nature. 3. Rituals of connection.

Breastfeeding is definitely an intimate experience. It allows mother and child to bond and promotes connection. And due to its intimate nature, many would claim that mothers should only nurse their children in private. Afterall, intimate acts should never occur in public…

…except that intimate acts constantly occur in public. People kiss. Hands are held. Hugs show affection and lift someone’s spirits. High fives convey excitement. Conversations occur. Hands are shook. Special looks are given. Personal jokes and stories are shared. Intimacy is all around us.

Those who claim someone should only breastfeed in private are merely intruding on an intimate act. Rather a social faux pas, isn’t it?

Art by Erika Hastings at http://mudspice.wordpress.com/

Welcome to the Carnival of Nursing in Public

Please join us all week, July 5-9, as we celebrate and support breastfeeding mothers. And visit NursingFreedom.org any time to connect with other breastfeeding supporters, learn more about your legal right to nurse in public, and read (and contribute!) articles about breastfeeding and N.I.P.

Do you support breastfeeding in public? Grab this badge for your blog or website to show your support and encourage others to educate themselves about the benefits of breastfeeding and the rights of breastfeeding mothers and children.

This post is just one of many being featured as part of the Carnival of Nursing in Public. Please visit our other writers each day of the Carnival. Click on the links below to see each day’s posts – new articles will be posted on the following days:

July 5 – Making Breastfeeding the Norm: Creating a Culture of Breastfeeding in a Hyper-Sexualized World

July 6 – Supporting Breastfeeding Mothers: the New, the Experienced, and the Mothers of More Than One Nursing Child

July 7 – Creating a Supportive Network: Your Stories and Celebrations of N.I.P.

July 8 – Breastfeeding: International and Religious Perspectives

July 9 – Your Legal Right to Nurse in Public, and How to Respond to Anyone Who Questions It

beginnings…

This piece is entitled beginnings. I painted it the weekend before our last child was born. I was feeling a bit stressed and frustrated and needed a break from exhausted, cranky little people. I headed out to the garage with roughly cut pieces of fabric. The paint is tempera paint, borrowed from my children’s art supplies. After the pieces had dried, I used my quilting ruler and rotary cutter to make them a uniform size before sewing the pieces together.

The piece is wrought with meaning on many levels and in many different areas. I would go through all of it, but I personally think that art should be interpreted individually. It doesn’t matter to someone else what the piece means to me; it matters what the piece means to that person.

I will say that painting the piece was surprisingly therapeutic. I have hopes to paint more in the future. 

normalizing breastfeeding through solidarity…

Photo by Christy Scherrer

While the US pretends to be a progressive and educated society, we come up lacking when it comes to the basic needs of our young. This is clearly evident when the topic of breastfeeding comes up. US breastfeeding rates are abysmal, and the public view on nursing in public, and nursing in general, rank even lower. While evidence supports numerous benefits for child, mother, and society, breastfeeding support is lacking and breastfeeding mothers frequently are treated poorly. Many, including the two-faced individuals who claim that they support breastfeeding and yet vehemently exclaim that they shouldn’t have to see that, would have others believe that discrimination against breastfeeding mothers and rude comments are a mythical occurence. However, too many breastfeeding mothers can attest to discrimination and comments. Those instances that make it to the media are not isolated events.

How do we normalize breastfeeding against such ignorance and intolerance? Some mothers (and fathers) prepare and practice informative and/or witty comebacks. Some work towards educating the public. Others are setting the example, either with a purpose in mind or merely by meeting their children’s needs by nursing anytime and anywhere. While educating others, meeting our children’s needs, and protecting ourselves are all important aspects of normalizing breastfeeding, I think we are missing the one thing that will go the furthest: empowerment!

Most of us have received a negative comment (or more) about breastfeeding at some time or other. If not, there are the comments about us, said loudly enough to make certain we hear them. How often have we heard positive comments?

Nothing we say is going to change these people. Expecting a majority to band together to support a minority is unrealistic, at best. Instead, I call for solidarity! Support other nursing mothers you see out and about. Anyone can do this. A kind comment, a cheesy smile, or even a thumbs up to show support goes a long way. If nursing mothers and their support networks (husbands, partners, parents, siblings, children) band together, we can empower each other (and future nursing mothers) and make a change. Vow to make a small difference in the life of a nursing mother you don’t know.