The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am

https://www.thestranger.com/features/feature/2015/08/26/22755273/the-more-i-learn-about-breast-milk-the-more-amazed-i-am

Before I had my daughter, I wasn’t particularly interested in mother’s milk. Now I’m literally awake at night thinking about it.

To produce breast milk, mothers melt their own body fat. Are you with me? We literally dissolve parts of ourselves, starting with gluteal-femoral fat, aka our butts, and turn it into liquid to feed our babies.

Before and after giving birth to my daughter 10 months ago, I was inundated with urgent directives from well-meaning, very insistent health practitioners, parenting book authors, mommy bloggers, journalists, and opinionated strangers that “breast is best.” The message was clear: In order to be a good mom, I had to breast-feed.

But breast-feeding is more than being a good mom. And breast milk is much more than food: It’s potent medicine and, simultaneously, a powerful medium of communication between mothers and their babies. It’s astonishing. And it should be—the recipe for mother’s milk is one that female bodies have been developing for 300 million years

(Click link above to read this great article by Angela Garbes)

SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT, SELF SOOTHING AND ‘GOOD’ BABIES: WHY WE NEED TO STOP SETTING MOTHERS UP TO FAIL

https://raisedgood.com/sleep-through-night-self-soothing-good-babies-stop-setting-mothers-to-fail/

“Is he sleeping through the night?” asks a stranger.

“She’s too clingy. You really need to stop picking her up.” says a friend.

“Is she a good baby?” asks a woman at the park.

“He should be self-soothing by now. Consolidated sleep is critical for healthy brain development.” proclaims a sleep trainer.

“You’re creating a rod for your own back.” exclaims a grandmother.

“I hope you’re putting her down drowsy but awake.” advises a mother at a meetup.

“Feed, play sleep! Feed, play, sleep!” chants a daycare worker.

“You’re not nursing him to sleep are you? That’s a bad sleep association. How do you expect him to learn to fall asleep on his own?” questions a health nurse.

“Oh, he’s just manipulating you, dear. He’s got you wrapped around his tiny eight-week-old little finger.” says a mother-in-law.

“If you don’t put your three-day-old baby down to sleep in a crib on his own you’re risking suffocation and death. It is the only way babies are safe from SIDS.” states a pediatrician.

These are the loud lies of infant sleep that our culture repeats from one generation of new mothers to the next, as if on autopilot.

Without questioning the roots or validity of these statements.

Without an understanding of the biological needs of babies.

Without knowledge of what normal infant sleep looks like.

Without an appreciation for how most cultures around the world care for their babies (and why).

These mistruths are dangerous, not only because they’re false, but because they’re full of unrealistic expectations that set a new mother up to feel like she’s failing. To doubt her own abilities. To worry that there may be something wrong with her or her baby.

(click link at top to read blog in entirety)

MAMA, YOUR BABY NEEDS YOU. IT’S THAT SIMPLE (AND THAT HARD)

https://raisedgood.com/mama_baby_needs_you_simple_hard/

Mama, I see you crying in the shower.

I hear your thoughts as they mislead you into believing that you’re failing.

I sense your fear. Your worries. Your uncertainty.

Your overwhelm. Your grief. Your yearning for the life you’ve left behind.⠀

And I see something else.

I see you holding your baby as your tears fall.

(Click to read post on raisedgood.com)

After Birth: How Motherhood Changed My Relationship With My Body

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/08/opinion/pregnancy-babies-birth.html

I love my baby. But I was unprepared for how childbirth would change my body.

I thought I was pretty well prepared for the birth of my son. I had loads of friends with kids, I was an aunt, I’d attended a prenatal course, read (bits) of the many books recommended to me. And yet I discovered afterward that I was completely unprepared for the physical changes my body went through in pregnancy and the recovery that would follow. Obviously giving birth is one of the most extreme things your body can ever go through. So why was the aftermath also such a shock?

(Click link at top to read this op ed piece on nytimes.com)

Advice to New Moms from Moms Who’ve Been There

http://redtri.com/bump-baby/the-best-advice-to-new-moms/

Ahh, new motherhood. You go from dreaming of the day your baby will arrive to holding that tiny, wriggling bundle in your arms and thinking, “What the heck do I do now?” Hang tight, mamas! We’re here to help. We asked women to tell us one thing they wish they’d known when they first became a mommy. Read on for mom wisdom on sleep, self-care, getting perspective on those intense early days, and much more.

(click link at top to continue reading on redtri.com)

The Lonely Terror of Postpartum Anxiety

https://www.thecut.com/2017/08/the-lonely-terror-of-postpartum-anxiety.html

(click link to read this really important piece on thecut.com)

I’m lying awake, gazing at the gentle rise and fall of my 3-month-old’s chest. He’s a delicate infant, constantly surprising me with his smallness, like his sister did when she was born four years earlier. In recent weeks, my son has begun stretching out the number of minutes between nursing sessions. He can go for two hours without eating now, or two and a half if I’m lucky. This means I have more of a chance to sleep, at least in short spurts. But every time I drift off, I jolt awake in a sweaty panic.

I am on high alert all the time these days. I tell myself that this panicky feeling is normal — I have a new(ish) baby, after all. But it doesn’t feel normal. I have constant visions of my son suffocating in the night. I think of waking up to his cold body. I spend nights imagining a thousand unlikely, tragic things that could happen to him.