Mama Knows Breast

Andi in the news

Watch Andi on the CBS Early Show: Click here.

Watch Andi on The NBC NIGHTLY NEWS: Click here.

Watch Andi on THE TODAY SHOW: Click here.

How To Get a Spouse To Help With Breastfeeding

Bookmark and Share

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

Breastfeeding Goals

Bookmark and Share

A new day. A new President. New hope, that we’ve entered a new era.
But as President Obama said, it’s up to each and every one of us to bring about change. We can’t wait for government to help us. We can’t wait for someone else to take charge. We have to buckle down, on our own.
And so, my objective, is to help moms feel comfortable breastfeeding anywhere and everywhere. At home. Out in public. That’s my goal, and I’m sharing it as part of this month’s Breastfeeding Bloggers’ Carnival which is about breastfeeding goals.
How will I do this? By posting breastfeeding stories and information as often as possible…as often as my little boys let me get to the computer. So to that end… here is a great public service announcement someone posted on Facebook tonight. Here it is:

Now for the breastfeeding goals posts from the other bloggers:
# Zen Mommy’s 2009 breastfeeding resolutions
# Secrets of Orual’s breastfeeding goals
# Hobo Mama’s breastfeeding resolutions
# Breastfeeding 1-2-3 on the goal of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months
# Blacktating’s breastfeeding goals
# Milk Act’s breastfeeding goals
# Beautiful Letdown’s breastfeeding goals

Product Review– Utterly Yours Breast Pillow and Pregnancy Pillow

Bookmark and Share

This fall I spoke at the Lamaze International annual conference in Kentucky. It was an amazing opportunity to meet people from all over the country who devote their lives to helping women and babies. While I was there, I meet a mom who invented the Utterly Yours Breast Pillow and the Utterly Yours Pregnancy Pillow.
The breast pillow was designed for larger breasted women (or anyone fighting the pull of gravity) who sometimes feel like they have to hold their breast up in order for their baby to feed. You position the pillow under your breast for a little boost. It comes in different sizes.
As for the pregnancy pillow, what woman doesn’t experience some discomfort trying to sleep when she’s pregnant? Personally, I found the pain in my hips excruciating. Well, this pillow gives support to both your back and your stomach, and it folds up into a nice neat box when you aren’t using it. This, too, comes in multiple sizes.
Since my baby days are over, I didn’t have a chance to test these pillows. But my gut tells me they may be worth a try. To see how these products work, watch this video.
This post is part of the monthly Breastfeeding Carnival. This month we’re reviewing breastfeeding products. To see what everyone else is writing about, here are the links:
# Motherwear: Breastfeeding and Pumping CDs.
#Breastfeeding123: Medela Sleep Nursing Bra
#Breastfeeding Mums: The Food of Love
# Babyfingers: Bravado Essential Nursing Tank
# Half Pint Pixie: Gorgeous nursing bras – they do exist!
# Blacktating: More Milk Plus tincture
# Mama’s Magic: Breastfeeding basics (and bling) Nursing product junkie!
#Hobo Mama: Nursing pads

The Winner of the Medela Freestyle Pump

Bookmark and Share

AND A FURTHER UPDATE: To see a comment from Hope, the pump winner, read below. She lives in Malaysia! There are pumping moms around the world!
Hi Andi! Thank you for giving me the chance to participate and win the Medela Freestyle. I was and still am really excited upon hearing the good news. It’s great to know people at Mamaknowsbreast and Medela care about women and their needs as they venture into motherhood. As a reader from Malaysia, I believe your quest in spreading knowledge on the importance of breastfeeding is truly inspiring! I’m sure you’ve touched the hearts of women all around the world. Keep up the great work! Thank you and God bless! :)
UPDATED: Thank you to everyone who left a comment for a chance to win a Medela Freestyle Pump. I loved reading what you had to say! There really is no shortage to pumping stories! And now…drum roll… the winner is Hope. Congratulations! Here’s her comment:

I’m due this coming October and I’ve been reading up on how to provide the best for my baby. My mom exclusively breastfed my brothers and sisters and I, and I’d love to do the same for my baby. The only difference is that my mom didn’t have to go to work, whereas I do. So, I’ve been reading up on breast pumps and I’ve found that Medela is the best in the market! But it’s quite pricey and I don’t know if I can afford it. That’s why I was ecstatic when I found this contest. It’s like a blessing in disguise. A lot of great information and the chance to win a Medela Freestyle Breastpump. It’s the most practical solution because it’s lightweight and compact, yet has everything I would need to include breast pumping in my daily schedule. I’ve also been reading on bpa-free bottles and to know Medela has taken this into account just gives me more confidence in the name itself. I really hope to win so that I can always provide the best for my baby. PS: During our last checkup, we found out our baby’s a boy! :)
Posted by: Hope | June 29, 2008 08:55 PM

Ok, all you pumping mamas…here it is. The latest and greatest pump from our friends at Medela. The Freestyle is Medela’s first hands-free, double-electric pump. Just attach it to your bra and get back to your emailing and phone calls. It’s really small, light-weight and best of all, the Medela bottles are BPA free.

Medela is giving away this pump. So if you’d like a chance to win, leave a comment answering this question: What is your best pumping story? And if you haven’t had a baby yet, why do you need this pump? (The deadline to enter is July 1, 2008).

This post is part of our monthly breastfeeding carnival. To read the other entries about pumping, go here:
* The Motherwear Breastfeeding blog has tips for introducing a bottle to a breastfed baby.
* Raising Baby Bee writes about pumping at work.
* Breastfeeding Mums has some pumping tips.
* Breastfeeding 1-2-3 writes about exclusively pumping for a baby with a cleft palate.
* Hobo Mama writes about donating milk for an adopted baby.
* Adventures of a Breastfeeding Mother shares her pumping tips.
* Mike and Toni’s writes about how a pumping experience turned into a business idea– hands free pumping supports.

Father’s Day Blogging Carnival

Bookmark and Share

Here we are again, planning our next blog carnival. Since Father’s Day is right around the corner, The Booby Brigade has decided to devote the carnival to Dads. So calling all bloggers, moms and dads, send us your submissions.
Here are our guidelines:
Submissions are due, by email, on June 5th.
Entries should be on the very general topic of “Dads”…or as The Bear says, “Da Da.”
Entries do not have to be about breastfeeding. But they should be well-written– grammar counts!
If you’re accepted (we vote), you have to link to the other carnival contributors.
The Carnival will be on June 12th.
As for me, I’m going to have my husband write my post. Hey Dada…

Breastfeeding Advice– Join The March Breast Feeding Carnival

Bookmark and Share

What’s the worst piece of breast feeding advice you’ve ever heard? What’s the best?
Tell me your stories. And, if you run a blog of your own, consider submitting an entry for our next Carnival. Remember, this is the joint post that The Booby Brigade does on a breastfeeding theme. So calling all bloggers, think about the best and worst breastfeeding advice you’ve ever encountered and send us your submissions.
The Rules of the Game:
Submissions are due, by email, on February 26th.
Entries should be on the topic “Good Advice/Bad Advice.”
Entries should be well-written– grammar counts!
If you’re accepted (we vote), you have to link to the other members of the Booby Brigade as part of your post: Breastfeeding123, The Lactivist, The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog and The BreastfeedingMums Blog.
The Carnival will be on March 12th.
Now…I’m going to take my own advice…and crawl into bed. Hmmm…unless there’s something compelling on our TIVO.

Breastfeeding Bloggers’ Carnival– Baby Love

Bookmark and Share

In honor of Valentines Day, the breastfeeding bloggers and I have devoted February’s Carnival to the theme “Baby Love.”
Here’s what we have to say:
Angela of Breastfeeding 123 has tips for welcoming a new baby into the family.
Sinead of Breastfeeding Mums writes about falling in love with her husband as a teenager, and then with each of her three babies.
Jennifer of The Lactivist talks about the crazy things baby love make you do.
Tanya of The Motherwear Blog talks about how breastfeeding helped her deal with the psychological trauma of a difficult birth.
As for me, I have a review of the new book “Babyproofing Your Marriage.” Click here to read my review.
We also have some guest bloggers:
Karen at Cairo Mama writes about falling in love with her newborn.
Melissa at Booby Juice writes about the happiest day (make that days) of her life.
Colleen at My Baby and More writes about maternal longings.
Now, go forth and eat some chocolate. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

Breast Feeding Bloggers’ Carnival For February

Bookmark and Share

Here we are again, planning our next blog carnival. Since you’ll aready find Valentine’s Day candy in the stores, The Booby Brigade has picked the theme “Baby Love” for February. So calling all bloggers, think about what that phrase means to you and send us your submissions.
Here are our guidelines:
Submissions are due, by email, on January 26th.
Entries should be on the topic “Baby Love.”
Entries do not have to be about breastfeeding. But they should be well-written– grammar counts!
If you’re accepted (we vote), you have to link to the other members of the Booby Brigade as part of your post: Breastfeeding123, The Lactivist, The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog and The BreastfeedingMums Blog.
The Carnival will be on February 12th.
As for me, I’m going to go feed my chocolate craving with a bag of Hershey’s Kisses wrapped in silver and red foil.

New Year’s Resolutions– Breast Feeding Bloggers’ Carnival

Bookmark and Share

Greetings 2007! Did you make any resolutions for the New Year? My fellow breast feeding bloggers came up with some of their own. Tanya of The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog writes about ways we can all support breastfeeding moms. Jennifer of The Lactivist has three plans: drinking more water, volunteering and not over-extending herself with too many committments. Sinead of BreastfeedingMums Blog wants to make some big changes around her house, including planning more family time. And Angela of Breastfeeding123 takes on what may be one of the most popular resolutions…getting some exercise. As for our guest bloggers… Natural Mom’s Talk Radio wants to improve the tone of her voice, and Momma’s Angel has big plans for her daughter’s second year.
So what do I have in mind? I’m resolving to get organized. Yes, it will likely prove futile. But at least I can give it a try. Here’s my post, first put up a couple of days ago….
Home, Sweet, Home. Sometimes, it’s messy. Somtimes it’s clean.
If, for instance, you showed up unannounced at 4:00 p.m., here’s what you would find in our apartment. A pile of laundry, cleaned, but unfolded. A hurricane of toys in The Bortski’s bedroom. A tangle of strollers, coats and shoes in the hallway. A “fort” constructed out of blankets, draped over the sofa and coffee table. A semi-circle of pillows around The Bear and his toys, just in case he topples over while playing. A fine layer of crumbs in the kitchen.
On the other hand, if you stopped by about four hours later, you would find the toys stuffed into bins. The living room returned to a semblance of sophistication. The dishwasher and washing machine humming in harmony. Shoes in the shoe rack. Newspapers and magazines neatly stacked. Strollers all in a row.
It’s an ongoing battle, this fight against the natural chaos of daily life. It’s kind of like trying to prevent the incoming tide from destroying a sandcastle. I know it’s futile. And yet, I persist.
I find disorganization distracting. Clutter makes me cranky. Before I sit down to write, I have to spend at least 15 minutes loading and unloading the dishwasher, washing the high chair tray and clearing the path to my desk.
Each day I face-off against rogue sneakers, two overflowing Diaper Dekors, and a migrating Aeron chair.
So I find myself at odds with the “anti- anticlutter” movement described recently in The New York Times article, Saying Yes To Mess.
An anti-anticlutter movement is afoot, one that says yes to mess and urges you to embrace your disorder. Studies are piling up that show that messy desks are the vivid signatures of people with creative, limber minds (who reap higher salaries than those with neat “office landscapes”) and that messy closet owners are probably better parents and nicer and cooler than their tidier counterparts. It’s a movement that confirms what you have known, deep down, all along: really neat people are not avatars of the good life; they are humorless and inflexible prigs, and have way too much time on their hands.
For the record, I’m not one of those “really neat people,” and that’s why my New Year’s resolution is to get organized and de-clutter. And it appears I’m not alone. Getting organized is a pretty common New Year’s resolution. In fact, according to The New York Times article, The National Association of Professional Organizers says January is Get Organized Month.
Here’s my plan. Not only will I continue to beat back the daily mess in our apartment, I’m actually going to take care of the other messes, the ones you can’t see. The ones I never let anyone see because I can hide them behind a door, under a bed or in a drawer.
Here are my top ten missions:
1. Organize my sock drawer. Throw out pre-pregnancy bras that don’t fit.
2. Clean my purse. Throw out old lipsticks, ancient receipts, empty Purell bottle and crumpled nursing pads.
3. Donate unused kids’ toys and clothes to Baby Buggy.
4. Organize the stack of research papers for my book, “Mama Knows Breast” (Quirk Books 2007). Prevent future pile-up of papers by following the OHIO principle– “only handle it once.”
5. Put stack of photographs in an album.
6. Edit together two years worth of family videos. Step one, buy new computer. Step two, learn video editing software.
7. Organize kitchen junk drawer. In other words, move the matches and batteries so The Bortski can’t reach them.
8. Collect stray change and take it to the Coinstar at the supermarket. Donate said change. Bring The Bortski so he can see how the machine works.
9. Figure out a way to curb the sprawl of keys, cell phones, iPod and Blackberry.
10. Do SOMETHING, in fact, DO ANYTHING, about the coat closet.
Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that my husband pitches in. He’s great with trash, recycling, folding laundry and putting things on the top shelf of a closet. I also have a cleaning lady who does the real dirty work once a week.
So why am I setting my sights higher than keeping after the daily mess? Perhaps because I pine for the perfection you find in magazines like Real Simple. I yearn for a Zen like calm even when I open closet doors. I don’t want to have to literally shut out the mess.
But is this really possible? In all honesty, I’m terrible at keeping resolutions. I always seem to be able to stick to my plan for a month or two. But then, things start to slide. Stuff happens to get in the way. There’s a deadline for work. Someone gets sick. I “mess up” and we’re back to square one.
So perhaps, the so called “anti-anticlutter” people don’t have this so wrong after all. What’s so bad about a little mess? I’m busy! Maybe I’ll get my sock drawer organized once, but I’d rather “play trains” than match mismatched socks. Maybe I’ll clean my purse tonight, but I’ll always be too rushed to do anything more than shove a receipt in my bag and push the stroller out of the store before the screaming escalates. Maybe I’ll file my papers this month, but I’d rather sit on the sofa with my husband than take care of this each night.
In fact, if I let some of the daily mess slide, I’d be free work on some other resolutions. I could go to bed at 10:30. Exercise at least three times a week. Start my next book. Have a weekly “date night” with my husband and read more books to The Bortski and Bear.
You know, maybe I should have a new mantra for 2007. “Mess, Sweet, Mess.”

Join Our Breast Feeding Carnival

Bookmark and Share

It’s that time of month again…no, not that time…when The Booby Brigade is starting to think about our blogging carnival. Remember, once a month, four other bloggers and I are banding together to bring you our thoughts on a given topic or idea. For January, we’re writing our New Year’s Resolutions. And once again, we’re calling on other bloggers to join in.
We now have a couple of carnivals under our belt. In Home for The Holidays, I wrote a parody of the poem “‘Twas The Night Before Christmas.” And in Gifts For the Breastfeeding Mother, I wrote and ode to my DVR. So now that we’re getting the hang of this, we’ve got a few guidelines:
Submissions are due, by email, on December 23rd.
Entries should be on the topic “My Parenting Resolutions for 2007.”
Entries do not have to be about breastfeeding. But they should be well-written– grammar counts!
If you’re accepted (we vote), you have to link to the other members of the Booby Brigade as part of your post: Breastfeeding123, The Lactivist, The Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog and The BreastfeedingMums Blog.
The Carnival will be on January 1st.
And by the way, I still haven’t had “that time of the month” yet since I’m breastfeeding. Add that to the list of reasons to breast feed!