Toddlers

Toddlers are strange creatures…not quite babies and not quite kids.  It is a very challenging age for me…the one I find the most challenging.  My poor son’s life consists of him trying to do fun, interesting things that no one else wants him to do.  It is a frustrating experience indeed!

They say that newborns are born helpless as an adaptation for upright walking and pelvic size. They say that because of this the newborn is totally dependent on his mama

I say that the real reasons newborns are helpless if because if they were born as walking, destructive toddlers, no one would keep them.  Who would want a baby that as soon as he pops out, he immediately grabs your cell phone and tosses it in the toilet.  Or in caveman days….he gets into the cave’s supply of meat and furs and strews them all over the land.   They wouldn’t survive.  No…God knew what he was doing when he made the newborn a cute, helpless creature..

Breastfeeding is NOT Obscene

Facebook recently had virtual “nurse-in”, protesting their classification of breastfeeding photos as “obscene”.    Calling breastfeeding obscene, is well…obscene.

Is this an obscene photo, I ask you?

58

Most people would say it is beautiful….a lovely example of mother and child.  Words like pureness and serenity come to mind.

The question comes to mind though…so what?  So what if facebook doesn’t allow breastfeeding photos?  Does it really matter? 

The answer, is YES it does.  It matters a lot. The health and well-being of our nations mothers and babies depend on it.   Every time breastfeeding is thought of as something that should only happen behind closed doors, or something private, or something that needs to be covered up, or hidden then mothers and babies are harmed. 

Fact:  Babies are born to be breastfed.

Fact: Babies NEED to breastfeed VERY frequently.

 Fact:  Humans (and especially women) are social creatures and NEED  friendship and compani0nship with others.

Fact: Mothers learn how to breastfeed by watching other mothers breastfeed.

If breastfeeding is kept private or hidden then it will never be normalized.  Mothers won’t learn by watching other mothers, women won’t feel comfortable breastfeeding in front of others, and a mother who isn’t comfortable breastfeeding around others is much more likely to wean prematurely.

  The AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six-months and a continuation of breastfeeding for at least a year.   The WHO recommends breastfeeding continue until  2 years of age.

In order for most mother/baby dyads to reasonably meet those goals, the mothers needs to feel comfortable breastfeeding as she goes about her daily life.  Breastfeeding needs to be seen as the normal way one feeds and comforts a baby.  Breastfeeding needs to become the norm.  Hence, breastfeeding pics needs to be seen as normal…right up there with the obligatory first Christmas, or first Halloween pics.  A way that proud mothers can share pictures of their babies.

Hey Facebook, breastfeeding is NOT obscene.

Punished by a Baby?

Our nation has just voted a man into the presidential office that believes his daughters should never have to be punished by a baby?  How sad is that….that anyone could view a baby as punishment?   I wonder if he believes that certain babies are more of a punishment than others….like if your baby has a genetic defect, you must have done something really bad.   Probably…considering that he is a staunch supported of abortion rights and studies show that 84% of down syndrome babies never make it to the outside.

The fact is, that of all the women I know who have birthed a baby that was conceived during “less than ideal times for having a baby”..NONE of them view that child as punishment….most would say a blessing.   The same holds true for those whose babies are born, less than perfect.  The only regrets are for the babies that aren’t there.

A friend of mine just published this blog post.   I think we should all read it, it is so very true.

Not Back to School

It’s that time of year again…(da,da,da,da)…BACK TO SCHOOL….except not for us…we’re not going back to school.

In a few weeks our homes school group will have a lovely “Not Back to School Beach Day” While all the other kids are in school, our kids will be frolicking on the beach. While all the other kids are in school, my kids have time to play and read and draw and paint and ice skate and swim and go to the library and the zoo and the playground and the farm and the museum and well… wherever we darn well please.

That is the beauty of not going to school…we aren’t bound by schedules and clocks and other restrictions. We can just LIVE life. Sure, we have our “school work”…but guess what..somehow me manage to do in 1 hour what it takes the school system, 4 or 5 to do. AMAZING how that works, efficiency is a wonderful thing!

Yet another beautiful year of NOT going back to school!.

Wonder Drug!

Praying and Ecological Breastfeeding

I was browsing the Kippley’s Blog and came upon this post.  They mention in their prayers:

 So may I suggest a Prayer of the Faithful like this:  “For a rebirth of chastity, for a stop to contraception, for a stop to abortion, and for a culture of life, let us pray to the Lord.”  Implicit in that is a prayer that engaged couples will be chaste and that married couples will be generous in having children and use only systematic natural family planning if and when they need more spacing than they derive from ecological breastfeeding.  And that of course implies a prayer that they will do eco-breastfeeding for all sorts of good reasons. 

I thought this was very interesting.  Thankfully we have gotten to the point where “most” faithful Catholics recognize the importance of breastfeeding and at least do so for the first several months.   Actually, *most* Americans in general breastfeed, at least initially.  Studies tell us that the initiation rate of breastfeeding is around 70%, however the duration is still low and at 6 months only 30% are still breastfeeding and only 14% at 12 months.

As Catholics, I think we are called to “do more” than the general population.

The Catechism of The Catholic Church states that

2370 Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality. These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast, “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil:

I firmly believe that the teaching of NFP MUST be taught in conjunction with ecological breastfeeding.  Ecological breastfeeding teaches us that “natural child spacing” (that is a child spacing of 2.5-4 years) IS possible.  Since the catechism teaches us that NFP is permissible for the use of “just” reasons (and there is MUCH debate about what THAT entails).  With the use of ecological breastfeeding, the need for NFP is greatly reduced.

So, I join the Kippley’s in their prayer….that married couples will be generous in having children and use only systematic natural family planning if and when they need more spacing than they derive from ecological breastfeeding.  And that of course implies a prayer that they will do eco-breastfeeding for all sorts of good reasons. 

 

Healthy Sleep Habits

I recently read this article on sleep.  It got me thinking about healthy sleep habits.  I am actually one of the few people I know who has what I consider to be healthy sleep habits.

I believe healthy sleep habits to be those to of our ancestors, before the invention of artificial lights, and TV’s and computers.  In days past, one went to bed shortly after dark and awoke shortly after day-break feeling well-rested without the need of caffeine or other stimulants.  

Healthy sleep means one doesn’t need an alarm clock to  awaken,  and they go to bed and awaken at approximately the same time each night.  It is well documented that shift work is unhealthy, but even sleeping later/staying up later on weekends can take its’ toll.   I firmly believe in the importance of regular sleep routines.

New research is also coming out on the ill affects of nighttime lights.   The best sleeping environment is a totally dark room which is on the cooler side.   Sleeping in a totally darkened room has been shown to both prevent cancer and help regulate the female cycle.

So, shut off the computer, turn off the lights and go to sleep!