Mama Knows Breast

Andi in the news

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“If You Give a Mom a Martini”

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Here’s my assessment of Mother’s Day when you have small kids. In my case, boys. Two of them. 18 months apart. Under the age of 5. Mother’s Day is the place where aspiration meets reality.
My husband aspired to give me a break yesterday. I aspired to relax. But in reality, it didn’t quite happen.
Sure, they let me sleep in. (Thank you! Thank you!) And yes, they made an awesome pancake breakfast. (Loved the flowers.) But one parent is not enough to handle these two steamrollers, so I decided to tag along on their trip to Central Park. One massive toddler meltdown and a near collision with a golf cart collecting trash later, we retreated home. I never made it to the yoga studio.
Over the past few years, I’ve slowly come to terms with the fact that “down time” is something to catch as catch can. If you’ve got a half an hour to yourself… take advantage of it. Don’t wait for that free afternoon. It’s hard to find, and even when you do, it might be fleeting.
A new book embraces this very notion. “If You Give a Mom a Martini” has tips for making the most of your free time. The subtitle…”100 Ways to Find 10 Blissful Minutes For Yourself”… says it all.
The book is co-authored by Julie Klappas and Lyss Stern (with a foreword by Christie Brinkley). Full disclosure… Lyss organized my first speaking engagement when my book came out.
Give a Mom a Martini is a quick read and has the usual suggestions of taking a nap and getting a manicure. But it goes further, and may even leave you chuckling at some of the pointers… I liked the idea of using a baby mop. Unfortunately my kids are too old. I think buying a lottery ticket is a good way to day dream… so I’ve done that. And I’m planning on decluttering our mailbox by trying out

All in all, even if you only have ten minutes of peace and quiet, this book is all you really need. Just lock the bathroom door and tell the kids you’ll be right out. Soon. When you’re ready. After all, shouldn’t every day be Mother’s Day.

If You Want to Make Last Minute Monday Night Plans In NYC… I’m Speaking at an Event in Brooklyn

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To all of you expectant moms in New York… I’m speaking at an event in Brooklyn. It’s a breastfeeding basics class run by Baby Bites NYC. I’m doing it jointly with lactation consultant Andrea Syms Brown.
You can still sign up to come at this link.

Breastfeeding Lowers the Risk of Heart Attack, Stroke and Heart Disease

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A new study just published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology has found that breastfeeding is good for your heart. Here’s a quote from the story in US News & World Report:
Women in their 60s who had breast-fed for more than 12 months over their lifespan were nearly 10 percent less likely to develop cardiovascular disease, and significantly less likely to develop heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, researchers report.
“We found that the longer women breast-feed, the lower their risk of heart attacks, strokes or heart disease,” said Dr. Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, an assistant professor of medicine, epidemiology, obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive sciences at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Research on Health Care.

How To Get a Spouse To Help With Breastfeeding

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Welcome to the monthly Breastfeeding Carnival. This April nearly 20 bloggers are bringing you their “How To” Tips for Breastfeeding. At the bottom of this post I have links to the other entries.
As for me, I’m writing about how to get a spouse to pitch in. Sure, your husband, wife or significant other may not be the one who gave birth. And yes, you are the only one lactating. But he or she can still help out.
So what can you do to make breastfeeding a two parent show? In my book, “Mama Knows Breast: A Beginner’s Guide To Breastfeeding,” I actually devote an entire chapter to this topic. I’ve even got my personal Top Ten Breastfeeding Tips for Spouses.
So hand this to your spouse or post it on the refrigerator.
1. Provide words of encouragement and reassurance. Emotional support will make the new mom comfortable and confident about breastfeeding.
2. Make sure the breastfeeding mother has all the supplies she needs for each feeding. Once she’s stuck under the weight of a happily eating baby, it’s not wise for her to get up and rock the boat. Things she might want: a glass of water, burp cloth, telephone and television remote control.
3. Think of a sweet way to surprise the breastfeeding mom. Flowers, a note, a foot rub or perhaps a gift certificate for a spa will make her forget how tired she is.
4. Give the baby a bottle of pumped breast milk so that mom can nap, or even sleep for four hours straight during the night. But before jumping in with that bottle, wait until a few weeks after birth so that mom’s breastfeeding routine and milk supply are well-established. (Take note: if you want to make this a regular part of your routine, you will have to pump later to keep your supply in pace with the baby’s demand).
5. Retrieve the baby when she cries in the middle of the night and take her to mom for a feeding. Once the feeding is over, burp and diaper the baby so that mom can got back to sleep.

6. Help with housework. Babies generate a bottomless pile of dirty clothes, so do a load of laundry.
In addition, do the dishes and clean some bottles.
7. Take care of dinner at least a couple nights a week. If you aren’t Emeril, then order take-out or pick up a pizza on your way home.

8. Offer to write thank-you notes for baby gifts.
At a minimum, make sure there are enough stamps in the house.
9. Ask a breastfeeding mother, “Do you need help with anything while you’re feeding the baby?” Even if she says “No,” she’ll definitely appreciate your concern.
10. Photograph or videotape mom and baby while breastfeeding. Despite all protests, mom will probably be glad to have a photo to look back on.
So there you have it. My tips on how to get your spouse to help. And in case you’re wondering… this list was written with the deepest appreciation to my husband. In fact, we now joke that he’s actually the one breastfeeding these days! The boys (ages 3 and 4), toddle over to his side of the bed in the middle of the night, tell him they can’t sleep, and demand his help. I LOVE IT!
Now here are the other carnival participants. (I’m still adding to the list)
* Motherwear: How to help your baby kick the nipple shield habit.
* Marketing Mama: How to pump successfully at work
* Mama Saga: How to breastfeed (or just look like you know what you’re doing)
* BabyReady: How to get baby to take a bottle
* Strocel: How to get breastfeeding off to a good start
* Baby Carriers Down Under: How to breastfeed hands-free
* Breastfeeding Moms Unite: How to become a breastfeeding support professional
* Blacktating: How to treat a cold while breastfeeding
* Breastfeeding Mums: How to wean a breastfed toddler
* Breastfeeding 1-2-3: How to teach your baby nursing manners
* Zen Mommy: Using YouTube to stop nosey questions!
* Natural Birth and Baby Care: How to improve milk supply through nutrition
* Happy Bambino: How to deal with unsupportive family members
* The Bee in your Bonnet: How to be comfortable around nursing mothers
* MoBleez: How to naturally increase your milk supply – try seaweed
* Milk Act: How to care for a sick nursling
* Maher Family Grows: How to to increase milk supply using supplements
* Tiny Grass: Tandem nursing: How to do it without driving yourself and your nurslings crazy

Help My Blogging Friend and Her Baby Ike

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Kari Anne Roy, the fabulous blogger and author of Haiku Mama, sent her friends an email today that I want to share with you. Her son Ike was born prematurely, and while he was doing well for a while, he’s had some major health problems recently. Right now has a tracheotomy. Kari has been writing about this, with an amazing sense of humor, on her blog Haiku of the Day. She’s also written about her determination to keep breastfeeding Ike through all of this.

Kari’s friends have set up an online auction to help raise money for Ike’s medical care. The bidding starts today.
And here’s the email from Kari:
Hi everybody–
I’m sending this email out to pretty much everyone I know, and people I think I know. If your name has somehow made it onto my list and you don’t know who the heck I am, sorry about that!
I’m writing to let you know that a fabulous group of mamas has set up an online auction for my baby boy, Isaac. I know you all probably know what’s going on with him, but if you want the latest scoop, you can drop by my blog at, or you can visit the Ike-a-saurus site my wonderful friends have set up. You can also read the story in the New York Times (and see our picture!) here: and see a news clip about Ike here:
It feels a little weird sending this email out. The last thing I want to do is seem like we’re begging for money. The real reason I’m sending this is because the community of mamas surrounding Ike, and my family, is tremendous. They have worked for hours and hours setting up this auction, finding some incredible items (a Telluride vacation, a trip to Cancun, a week in Cambridge, a signed Nolan Ryan baseball, gift certificates to tons of different places and for tons of different things…) and I want to make sure they get a great audience for all their hard work. They are truly amazing. I don’t know what we would do without them.
The auction site is here: Bidding starts today. There will also be a live auction counterpart here in Austin on May 2nd at Ruta Maya Coffeehouse. I believe it starts at 7pm. There are more details on the site. Feel free to pass this on to anyone you know who might be interested.
I am just so overwhelmed and humbled by the outpouring of support we have recieved from everyone through all of this. Knowing that our family is surrounded by such love has really kept us from going crazy these past few months (and even before that, all the way through my pregnancy).
Thanks so much to everybody. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
PS. Ike thanks you, too…

San Diego Hospital Encouraging Breast Milk for Premature Babies

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Watch this!!