Saturday, September 30, 2006

So I originally created this blog for my knitting projects, and I have as of yet no projects up here. Well I have been working on a bunch of different things, and once I am back home (still in the hospital as of now) with my camera I am going to try to put up my most recent things. I finished the Clapotis from Knitty out of Lion Brand Incredible in Copper Penny. I made it longer and skinnier that the original pattern called for since I like my scarves a bit thinner but it is still wide enough to use as a wrap too.

I am working on braided cable socks for Lily from the Summer 05 issue of Interweave Knits. They are my first real attempt at socks and while the cable is a bit wonky on the first of the pair I think the second one will be nice. I am making them out of Paton's Grace in the lavendar multi. which by the way is one of my favorite yarns. It's incredibly soft.

I am still looking for the perfect blanket pattern for my sister's baby, which by the way the ultrasound says she's having a boy! I am considering designing my own pattern for her, something in cables I think.

I also need to make hats for 4 of my preggo friends! That should be enough to keep me busy. Oh and I want to make the flirty skirty for one of the babies on the way.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Ok time for another breastfeeding rant. Tonight on CBS evening news' "free speech" segment a mother and writer Lori Leibovich rants about the pressure and guilt she felt placed on her to continue to breastfeed her child. She even rants about the recent PSA's highlighting the risks of formula feeding. Saying that "It's infuriating that the same government that's telling us that we're risking our children's lives by not breastfeeding also doesn't provide mandatory paid maternity leave. "

My take on this is two-fold. First no one can "make" you feel guilty about anything. Guilt is a choice, usually stemming from a person's doubts about their own decisions and choices. I believe that if you inform yourself, do your best effort, and make a solid informed choice about anything in life then there is no need for guilt. This includes the decision to breastfeed or not.

With my oldest son, I felt horrible for giving him 4 ounces of formula after I had a medical test done and couldn't give him my milk. I felt guilty about my choice because I wasn't fully informed about what my options were. With my second I needed to work and tried and tried to pump, but because my body just wouldn't let down for a pump I ended up suplimenting with formula when I needed to be away from him for more that 2 hours at a time. But, I chose the formula with the most natural ingredients I could find, not the cheapest on the shelf. I did my research and I felt good about my choice because he was still getting my milk most of the time. Again with my daughter I can not pump efficiently enough to supply her with my milk every time I cannot be with her to nurse her, or when my body is so worn out from all night nursing sessions that I need a break. So her daddy gives her organic infant formula made without corn syrup or chemicals. I recognize that there are still risks involved because she still is getting something other than my milk, but I don't feel guilty because she is getting the best mom she can get even if she isn't get my milk all the time.

Second, there are risks inherent in many choices we make in life. We have to know these risks in order to make informed decisions so that we do not regret the decisions we make. Risks associated with formula feeding are similar to the risks associated with eating any chemically engineered food. If it isn't as nature intended it then there are risks. For instance if you eating a lot of foods that contain high fructose corn syrup has been associated with higher risks for ADHD, diabetes, and obsecity. Another example, foods high in chemical preservatives raise your risk for developing cancer. If you know these risks, and choose to eat those foods or feed them to your children in moderation then you should be guilt free about your choice. Knowing the risks isn't about makeing someone feel guilty, its about allowing people to make informed decisions. Perhaps people would rather remain ignorant about the risks of formula and benefits of breastfeeding, so that they can say they "I didn't know" when their child is diagnosed with diabetes or is overweight at age 5.

I think that we as a society are so caught up in selfish, live in the now, don't tell me what to do attitudes that we forget that when you choose to have children you choose to take on the repsonsibilities and sacrifices necessary to raising them. Breastfeeding isn't always easy, many times the things that matter most in this world are not. There is help out there for someone who is willing to find it. Lacation consultants (certified by the IBLC not just RN's who have taken a breastfeeding class), La Leche League, Post partum doulas, and breastfeeding educators are available to help with problems that arise. Setting up a good support network of professionals and friends also helps. I know. I worked through many challanges with breastfeeding over the last 5 years. From plugged ducts, to mastitis (breast infections), to over active let down, thrush, contact dermatitis, eczema, and cracked bleeding nipples due to poor latch from a tongue tied baby. I have seen it all except low supply (which is rather uncommon if there is adequate stimulation of the breast by the way). Each issue I met head on with research, peer to peer support, and if needed calling a professional. I made sure that I chose pediatricians, primary care physicians, and OB/Gyn's that were knowlegdable and supportive of breastfeeding not only in infancy but beyond the first year. Because of this I have made informed choices that work best for my family. I don't have guilt over any of my choices.

The only valid point that Ms. Leibovich makes is that our government should not be preaching the need to breastfeed without supporting the actual effort to do so with adequate maternity leave. So many women need to work to support their families and cannot continue to breastfeed do to employers who don't support it. Making it federally mandated that women get 2 months paid maternity leave and that ALL employors must provide time to pump and a private place to do so would go a long way in helping mothers choose to breastfeed and to do so longer.

So as a disclaimer, I am writing this from the hospital at nearly 2am under the influence of oxycodone. Hopefully it makes sense to any readers out there.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Ok so I am really getting sick and tired of hearing more and more stories about mothers being asked to leave, move to a "more discreet spot", or cover up while breastfeeding their children. It is very very annoying. Not to mention in nearly every state in the union is it is against THE FREAKING LAW!!! Only 9 states do not currently have legislation specifically protecting a woman's right to breastfeed. They are: Arkansas, Idaho, Massachusetts*, Mississippi*, Nebraska*, North Dakota, Pennsylvania*, Tennessee, West Virginia*, and Wyoming. NONE have laws making it illegal or including it in their indecent exposure statutes. (* these states have legislation before their state governments to establish protection for breastfeeding rights)

The current breastfeeding legislation in your state can be found here.

A great article about why we need legislation protecting a mother's basic human right to breastfeed can be found here.

41 states currently have legislation on the books giving mothers the LEGAL right to breastfeed in a public place. Some states use wording such as "any place a mother and her child are authorized to be" or "any place of public accommodation". Some go further and say any place "public or private". Most exempt breastfeeding from the criminal indecent exposure statutes, no matter how much skin is bared, and many exempt breastfeeding mothers from jury duty.

Some of the best legislation out there is in New York and Louisiana.

New York code of law makes breastfeeding a civil right and the violation of that right by anyone constitutes discrimination. This discrimination bears the same penalties of law as any other act of discrimination under their civil rights law.

Louisiana enacted a breastfeeding in public law in 2001, which initially sets forth the importance of breastfeeding, and then goes on to state that it is discrimination to prohibit a mother from breastfeeding her baby in public. This law also states that it is segregation to ask her to go to a different place to breastfeed.

Other states such as Florida and Illinois do have punishments for breaking the law that gives women this right. Florida's for instance will levy fines on the person or business violating this right.

Federally The Right to Breastfeed Act, H.R. 1848, signed into law in September 1999, ensures a woman's right to breastfeed her child anywhere on federal property where she and her child are authorized to be.

Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney has been at the forefront of championing a bill before the House of Representatives that would protect the right to breastfeed as a civil right at the federal level. You can read the 2005 press release for this bill here.

Basically people need to get over themselves. It is ridiculous to continue to hold women in contempt for just doing what nature intended them to do. I do believe it is our basic human right to breastfeed, it should be protected as a legal and civil right as well. I agree with the Louisiana law that considers it segregation to ask a mother to move locations in order to nurse and I agree that it is discrimination to ask her to leave any location public or private where she is authorized to be. I believe that you cannot set limits on that right by requiring modesty or covering up. I believe that being forced to eat under a hot stuffy blanket infringes on a baby's rights as well!

Another mother put it this way, "If you are offended by it, then don't look at me. If your kid is curious about it, then tell him that is how babies eat. If your husband wants to check out what little amount of skin I have showing, then send him to a therapist or divorce him."

I think that pretty much covers it!



Saturday, September 02, 2006

Here's Lily ready for a walk! She had her brother put her backpack on her (with her dolly inside of course), and put the hat on her head herself! Went to the door and pointed to go out!
Doesn't she look ready to take on the world???

Friday, September 01, 2006

Check out the future of babywearing!! Lily with a silk scarf tied into a sling, and Madison with the Rebozo. Colton with his hip cowboy inspired pouch. And Lily with both bear and baby tucked safely in her beautiful Rebozo that I turned into a ring sling just her size. Can we say too cute or what?!!