Mama Knows Breast




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Breastfeeding is Good For the Environment

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Anything you can do to cut down on the amount of stuff you send to a landfill has got to be eco-friendly. Breastfeeding falls into that category. So, boob fed babes=less trash.
Nursing Mother Supplies is recognizing this with an on-line contest. Here’s information from the site:
Get your saying on a t-shirt, win a $300 breastfeeding gift basket and help the environment all at the same time. We, at Nursing Mother Supplies, are searching behind every breastpump and baby to find a witty mom. We know there is a mom out there who has the perfect catch phrase to encompass the environmentally friendly impact of breastfeeding.
* The winning phrase will be printed on t-shirts and sold at nursingmothersupplies.com.
* All of the profit generated from the sale of t-shirts will be donated to charity.
* Fifty percent of the profit will be donated to La Leche League International to assist in its effort to promote breastfeeding.
* The other fifty percent will go to an environmental organization chosen by the winner.
Click here to enter. The deadline is April 30th.

Lamaze International and Mama Knows Breast

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Here’s a cool one… a fellow blogger recently brought this to my attention.
Lamaze International has put “Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding” on its 2008 list of Recommended Resources for Pregnant Women and Their Families.
To see the full list, click on Lamaze.org. Look for the center left column (For Expectant Parents) and the flashing “NEW” icon.

Oscar News: Ryan Seacrest, Jessica Alba and Breastfeeding

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Talk about chutzpah….During the Oscars red carpet last night, E host Ryan Seacrest asked Jessica Alba if she was planning to breastfeed. Maybe it was because of an interview earlier this month when she told Extra that she was worried about breastfeeding.
Watch this video courtesy of TMZ to see her answer. All I have to say is…you go girl!

Dads and Breastfeeding

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If you’re easily offended, don’t watch this video. If, however, you want to see an irreverant take on breastfeeding, you’ll get a good chuckle out of this one from the guys at Dad Labs.com.

So there you have it, my addition to the February Breastfeeding Bloggers’ Carnival. To see what the other participants have to say, visit these sites:
* Tanya at the Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog has some book reviews.
* Stacie at The Twinkies has a joke for us.
* Sinead at Breastfeeding Mums has a story about a pumping multi-tasking disaster.
* Amy at Crunchy Domestic Goddess shares several, shall we say, “titbits.”
* Carol at Happy Sad Mama shares why she loves to nurse her toddler.
* Angela at Breastfeeding 1-2-3 has some search terms that lead readers to her site.

Christina Aguilera Talks About Breastfeeding on The Ellen Degeneres Show… Plus… A Breastfeeding Comic Strip

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Singer Christina Aguilera stopped by the Ellen Degeneres show recently. She has a new baby, and her low cut green dress prompted Ellen to ask Christina if she was nursing. Watch the clip on YouTube.

And now check this out… a comic strip about breastfeeding. Check out Stone Soup’s take on breastfeeding in public. Click here.

Win $5,000 for Your Mom for Mother’s Day

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And now another contest for you to consider….
I’m judging a contest at Mother’s Day Central. Here’s what you have to do to enter– write an essay about why your mom rocks and should be named the 2007 Mother of the Year. Mother’s Day Central will narrow down the entries to 10 Finalists, and then some other bloggers and I will help pick the winners.
Click here to enter your story. The contest deadline is March 5, 2008.

Mothers’ Milk Bank Wins Business Contest

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You voted, and they won! Yes, that’s right. The Mothers’ Milk Bank of New England won $10,000 in an on-line business idea contest at IdeaBlob. I wrote about this contest here before. The money will now go to help this new milk bank open soon.
Head over to the Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog to congratulate Tanya, one of the folks behind the contest entry.

Book Review– “The Sky Isn’t Visible From Here”

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Sky.jpg
When my book “Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide to Breastfeeding” came out last fall, I did a “virtual book tour” on the site Mother-Talk. Now, I’m on the other end of a book tour. I’m reviewing “The Sky Isn’t Visible From Here,” by Felicia Sullivan.
Typically, I write about parenting matters, and more specifically breastfeeding. So this is a major diversion for me. “Sky” is not about babies or kids. Not even close. But it is, in excruciating detail, an example of how parenting styles indelibly mark, and in the worst cases, deeply scar, children. It’s a memoir, and Felicia Sullivan describes growing up in Brooklyn and eventually succeeding on her own in Manhattan.
Here’s the book’s description from Felicia’s website:
Felicia Sullivan’s volatile, beautiful, deceitful, drug-addicted mother disappeared on the night Sullivan graduated from college, and has not been seen or heard from in the ten years since. Sullivan, who grew up on the tough streets of Brooklyn in the 1980s, now looks back on her childhood—lived among drug dealers, users, and substitute fathers. Sullivan became her mother’s keeper, taking her to the hospital when she overdosed, withstanding her narcissistic rages, succumbing to the abuse or indifference of so-called stepfathers, and always wondering why her mother would never reveal the truth about the father she’d never met.
Ashamed of her past, Sullivan invented a persona to show the world. Yet despite her Ivy League education and numerous accomplishments, she, like her mother, eventually succumbed to alcohol and drug abuse. She wrote The Sky Isn’t Visible from Here, a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, when she realized it was time to kill her own creation.

While that description just about says it all, it doesn’t convey the emotion within the pages. I first picked up the book as I was supposed to be getting ready to take my son to school. I stood in the bathroom, wrapped in a towel, toothbrush sticking out of my mouth, transfixed. I had intended to read just one page of the prologue, but I couldn’t stop. We just barely made it to school on time that day.
Sullivan has the ability to make the reader both see, and feel, her world. There are paragraphs like this:
A week before my twelfth birthday, I woke to the smell of buttermilk pancakes and brown butter. I could hear skillets crackling and hissing. I tiptoed into the kitchen to find my mother cooking me an elaborate breakfast. Sugared blueberries, raspberries, and diced bananas spilled out of small glass bowls. Fried sausage links and hotcakes topped with rich maple syrup covered my plate. The abundance of food irked me. We’d been living on thirty-nine-cent packets of Oodles of Noodles for two weeks…In my room, double knotting my shoelaces, I wondered what my mother wanted from me. (page 147).
And there are the heartbreaking passages:
Sometimes people ask, Would I find her if I could, don’t I want to find her, doesn’t she want to be found and forgiven? As if it’s up to me alone to find her. To make mother and daughter whole. People take comfort in these reconciliation stories; they can’t manage the black and white of it, the possibility that love can be extinguished, that, when continuously tested, love can dissolve. Love is conditional…With her, love and fear were one and the same, with every kiss came a pinprick, with every hug came a lashing out. My mother was my first hurt. (p. 24-25)
At the end of the book, Sullivan describes spending time with her mother when things seemed less chaotic, and even fun. It would have been interesting to read more about this period Sullivan labels “before cocaine.” Additional descriptions of the days before her mother’s drug addiction took over might have added yet another layer of complexity to the book. Even so, the struggle to reconcile good and bad memories of the same person is clear.
We all have our hurts and secret agonies. We all have frustrations. Especially when it comes to our parents. Sometimes we share these thoughts with other people. Sometimes we don’t. It takes a lot of energy to analyze yourself, and even more, to put these thoughts into words. Not to mention words that other people might want to read. Quite honestly, I don’t know how writers like Sullivan do it.
For more information, you can visit Sullivan’s blog here.
And to read the other blogger reviews, go to Mother-Talk.

Our Son’s First Haircut

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I cut our son’s hair yesterday. He’s 22 months old and it was his first cut. It was also the last time I’ll ever do this myself again.
The Bear, as we sometimes call him, had been bald for a long time. So when his hair did finally start to grow, I just let it do its thing. It snaked around his ears and curled at the base of his neck. It was blond, and fine, and smelled good when it wasn’t coated with applesauce and yogurt.
Little boys with long hair are all the rage these days. From the back, these Buster Browns look like girls. To further complicate matters, the clothes, and sometimes the first names, are gender-neutral. On a few occasions, I’ve even made the mistake of saying “she” instead of “he.” Fortunately, I now use grammar to conceal my confusion– “How old is your kiddo?” “Do you guys like this playground?” It’s fairly easy to work around.
Apart from the coolness factor of long hair, I get it. These boys are cute. And as a mom of two sons, I do long for long locks. I like barrettes and braids and ponytails. But you can’t quite put a scrunchy in your son’s hair, so there does come a point when it’s time to act.
Take our elder son. When he was 14 months old, and walking with his head tilted up so he could see under his bangs, we got his first cut. At Cozy’s Cuts for Kids (be prepared for music if you click on this link) he sat in a car-shaped chair and watched a video. There were balloons and toys and stickers. But nothing could assuage the crying. He writhed in fear and I was convinced the stylist would inadvertently stab him with the scissors. I, too, had tears streaming down my cheeks. We eventually switched to Kidville, which boasted an airplane seat and a more mellow environment. But it still wasn’t easy. We go only when truly necessary.
And so, I was determined to avoid the same scene with our younger son. I delayed and delayed his first cut. “He can still see,” I would say. “In Judaism,” I would sometimes add, “we don’t cut a boy’s hair until he is a year old.” Turns out…I was actually wrong on that count. Orthodox Jews do the first haircut at age three, and the upsherin, as its called, is an important milestone in a young boy’s life. It symbolizes the beginning of the child’s separation from his mother and transition into the world. He can even begin to study Torah.
Despite all of this, I had an impulsive moment yesterday. The Bear had a preschool interview, and as I was getting him dressed, I realized he really couldn’t see all that well. Fine wisps of hair kept falling into his eyes. Sure, I could wet it, and brush it to the side to make a nice swoop across his forehead. But this required constant maintenance, and I was NOT going to hover over him during the half hour “play date.” And so, with minutes to spare before we had to leave the house, I sat him on the bathroom counter, gathered his bangs into a clump and did a big snip. (Fortunately, a babysitter was here to hold him still). I chose rather dull scissors and even managed to collect the lock in a plastic baggy.
But the result was not pretty. His hair was crooked and too short. I did what I could to fix it. But given my lack of success with the bangs, I left the rest of his hair long. It’s a unique look, this off-kilter cut. Sort of a cross between a monk and an aging British rock star.
Bottom line, there’s a reason I never tried to cut our older son’s hair. There’s a reason I pay someone to color my own hair and hide the gray. Certain things are best left to the professionals. So this weekend, you can guess what we’re doing. “Excuse me, Kidville, do you have an appointment, Saturday morning, at 10:00? I’ve got a little kid who needs his first real haircut.”
This story was originally posted at The New York City Moms Blog.