Is Breast Really Best?

My honest opinion?? Yes AND No.  We can all admit the incredible health benefits of breastfeeding.  To refresh our mommy memories, according to Web MD - "Breast milk contains antibodies that help your baby fight off viruses and bacteria. Breastfeeding lowers your baby's risk of having asthma or allergies. Plus, babies who are breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months, without any formula, have fewer ear infectionsrespiratory illnesses, and bouts of diarrhea."  But why did my baby end up in the hospital for 72 hours at 2 months fighting off the horrifying illness RSV?  She was exclusively breastfed.  Why did I feel crazy panicked every time I would start to feed her?  Why did I lose sleep at night wondering if she was getting enough nourishment...and why do I still to this day walk around with massive, lumpy, veiny, inappropriately (un)covered tatas??  Well for one, I can tell you that sure breast milk does protect our lil ones from A LOT but that doesn't mean they're immune from EVERYTHING.  And Sonnet ended up in the hospital because we have a snotty, little toddler running around the house spreading germs like wildfire - something breastmilk unfortunately couldn't protect from in our case.  And regarding those nasty feelings of depression, anxiety and homesickness during breastmilk let-down? Well, according to Web MD it's actually a physiological response (not a psychological response) that appears to be tied to a sudden decrease in the brain chemical dopamine.  Sorta like the last time you took ecstasy?  Oh come on, we've all been there.  And the lumpy boobs and lack of sleep - Well, we make those exceptions simply for the good of our children, right?? Right :).  

I have several girlfriends who said hell no to breastfeeding from day one.  They wrapped up their boobs, covered them with cold cabbage (yep, it works to slow down milk production and soothe throbbing breasts) and immediately introduced their babes to the bottle.  There's a ton of judgement from the prying eye of mothers and non-mothers alike.  "Wow she's selfish...can't even feed her baby...lame, lazy, pathetic..." Even if you don't hear it, you know 'they're' thinking it."  But why???  In my opinion, your baby's only as good as mama is and if mama ain't happy then no one is.  And that's when things, as an exclusively breastfeeding mama, got REAL real.  While all my friends were traveling, dining, enjoying time to themselves, I was BREASTFEEDING...morning, noon, night and in between.  Why?  Well the lil one got so attached to the breast (can ya blame her) that she refused to take any sort of bottle.  I tried literally everything from budget to big-ticket...not a damn thing worked.  Gerber, Comotomo, Dr. Browns, Mimijumi, thanks for the gadgets guys but Sonnet wouldn't settle.  Finally and I do mean after a month of pulling out my now grey hair, she got to the point of being hungry enough to take the "OG" of all bottles- The Enfamil Slow-Flow Nipple handed out at the hospital when your babe is delivered Thank Gawd because I was off to Cabo sans kids for a trip to "reconnect" with my hubs. 

Speaking of which, he really hated me by this point.  So did my 3-year old son who, if you're wondering, was breastfed until 11 months.  They both felt totally neglected because I spent an inordinate amount of time huddled up in Sonnet's room hoping and praying she'd have a good feeding.   I spent so many stinkin hours and so much energy miserable, exhausted, suffering from postpartum and the whole time waiting for the days to pass.  I remember saying, "At 3 months this will be so much easier...okay maybe 6 months...oh what the hell it's NEVER getting better.  Maybe I'm just not cut out for breastfeeding this time around." And just like that I woke up one morning and Sonnet was 9 months And I'm STILL breastfeeding! The irony is, just when you feel like you can't handle one more second of it, it actually gets easier, and believe it or not, becomes enjoyable.  I now look at breastfeeding as bonding time with my boo.  Those horrible feelings of anxiety and depression, replaced with relaxation and joy.  

So while I look back on my own first-hand experience with breastfeeding, I'm here to tell you...not as a doctor, or a lactation consultant, but as a mother...nobody other than you has the answer to whether breast is best.  The truth is, it's a very individual, personal decision.  The truth is, don't judge yourself and don't for one second let others judge you because what you'll find is that breast is best, ONLY if it's best for you!




This Article Via -- Nursing mothers rejoice – there may soon be a “breastfeeding” emoji.

The addition of a breastfeeding woman emoji was requested by registered nurse Rachel Lee last month in a proposal she submitted to Unicode, the creator of the emoji keyboard.

“I propose adding an emoji for breastfeeding as a complement to the existing baby bottle emoji, and to complete the set of family emojis,” writes Lee. “The lack of a breastfeeding emoji represents a gap in the Unicode Standard given the prevalence of breastfeeding in cultures around the world, and throughout history.”

She has even submitted an idea for the design, which features a woman holding a baby in a “cradle hold” while the baby feeds from an exposed breast.

Lee is confident her emoji suggestion would be a popular one.

“Three million mothers participate in the activity of breastfeeding in the United States at any given time,” she says. “By comparison, activities such as hockey [which has its own emoji] see 67,230 women participating annually in the United States.”

Breastfeeding occurs at all hours of the the day and night, and text communication is frequently used during these times,” she continues. “This emoji is likely to be used in context for a message such as, ‘Up at 3 a.m. with baby [breastfeeding emoji].'”

Lee also cites an Emojipedia survey that states that “breastfeeding” was one of the top 30 emojis requested in 2016.

There are so many differing opinions when it comes to what you should and more importantly, should not do during pregnancy.  Is sushi actually off-limits for 9 whole months?  And what about dying your hair...I mean it's your head for gawd sake, not your belly that we're coloring here.  So what's the real deal behind all these theories!?  Thanks to Time Magazine, they've put 3  Californian OB/GYNs to the test to give us the true scoop on pregnancy...and more importantly, the long-standing myths that need to be BUSTED!  Here goes, see it's actually not as bad as we thought - if ya don't count the waddling, incessant peeing, lack of sleep and exhaustion.  

Myth #1: Cocoa butter prevents stretch marks. False. In fact using cocoa butter makes women’s skin more sensitive, and some women have allergic reactions to it. Dr. Park treated one woman who came in with bright pink circles on her breasts. She couldn’t figure out why, until the patient copped to using cocoa butter to try to keep her breasts perky.

Myth #2: You can’t fly during your first or last trimester. Nope. False again. You can fly whenever you want. Some airlines won’t let you on the plane in your last trimester, but that has more to do with fears that you’ll go into labor and force the plane to land or spoil the upholstery.

Myth #3: You can’t pet your cat during pregnancy. False. However, you shouldn’t change your cat’s litter box during pregnancy because of the risk of toxoplasmosis from the dookies. And also, because, dammit, you’re growing a human being, and do you have to everything?

Myth #4: You shouldn’t eat smoked salmon while pregnant. False. Salmon is good for mothers-to-be; it’s high in omega-3 fatty acids like DHA, which studies show have a variety of benefits for pregnant women and their fetuses, and salmon is a fresh water fish, so the likelihood of mercury poisoning is low.

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Myth #5: You can’t eat sushi. False. Sushi is permissible except for mackerel, shark, tilefish and swordfish. And don’t eat too much tuna — no more than 12. oz (about two maki, or rolls) per week.

Myth #6: No hot dogs either? False. Hot dogs are also fine to eat, as long as they’re well-cooked.

Myth #7: Pregnant women should keep away from polished furniture. So false. Dr. Bohn once treated a woman who was nervous about sitting on her couch, because of the furniture polish fumes. Sheesh.

Myth #8: Dying your hair is harmful for Baby. Wrong again. False. (Damn, I fell for that one too.)

Myths #9, 10 and 11: You shouldn’t have sex/lift your hands over your head/touch your toes while pregnant: All false (and a little bit weird), unless you have a specific medical condition and your doctor warns you against it.

Myth #12: You shouldn’t take hot baths while pregnant. True, actually. You should avoid saunas, Jacuzzis or anything that raises your body temperature over 102 degrees.

Myth #13: You shouldn’t drink coffee while pregnant. False. Don’t go nuts, but a cup a day won’t hurt junior.

Myth #14: You should abstain from alcohol during pregnancy. True, with a question mark. The American College of Obstetricians, along with all other American health authorities, advise women to stay on the wagon, but at least one big British study recently suggested that two drinks a week during pregnancy might not do harm.

Myth #15: Pregnant women should sleep on their left side. False. That’s going to be hard on the old left hip. Just get whatever sleep you can. The mommy docs also say the myth about expectant moms avoiding back-sleeping is rubbish.

Myth #16: The baby’s position in the womb can tell you its sex. False. Also, the line on the skin stretching below the navel is no clue to whether your baby’s a boy or girl. You just can’t tell from outside the womb. On the upside, if you do try, you’ve got a 50% shot of getting it right.

Myth #17: Walking makes labor go faster. False. It might make you feel better but there’s no activity that’s going to bring on labor, sorry. (Dr. Bohn has treated women who swear by a certain restaurant’s salad in Los Angeles. Also false, as is the old cod liver-oil myth.)

Myth #18: Pregnant women should eat for two. Nu-unh. False. Carrying a baby actually only requires 300 extra calories a day. So technically you should be eating for about one and a fifth. If you do eat for two, you’ll end up with a bigger baby, which reminds the mommy docs of another fable…

Myth #19: A bigger baby is a better baby. False. The average baby weighs about 7.5 lbs. Babies that are much bigger than that are more likely to suffer from diabetes and obesity in later life.

Myth #20: Drinking dark beer helps the milk come in. Nope. False. It might help the mother relax, though, which does help with milk letdown (but it has nothing to do with the barley in the beer). Also, a beer is great for Mom’s mental well-being.

And, finally, going outside when you’re pregnant during an eclipse will not give your baby a cleft palate. But you probably already knew that.

The Only Advice You'll Ever Need For Parenting A Toddler

Life became a bit more complex when little Gibson turned 2.  Like clockwork, it appeared the shift had taken place and the deeply-feared terrible 2's had kicked into high gear.  WTF?!  What happened to our peaceful, playful, happy little angel?!  Hitting, spitting, biting and crying LOTS AND LOTS OF CRYING had replaced all the hugs, kisses and snuggles...literally like that!  Oh dear,  and word on the street was, this shit wouldn't get better for YEARS...Um, are you sure you didn't mean weeks??  

I realized halfway through an already difficult pregnancy with a tantruming 2-year old that patience would wear very, thin very fast.  So what does any struggling mother do in a similar situation??  Turn to the web.  And that's where I found the best advice that's helped us navigate through these eh, unusual times.  

The woman who wrote this article - author, blogger, speak Sheila Gregoire - uses her faith, Christianity in her work.  Funny that a Jewish girl from the valley with less-than favorable feelings about organized religion would find such value in her teachings.  That said, at the core, parents generally want the same thing...a loving, peaceful environment at home....with some sanity sprinkled on top. 

So with that Haute Mommies, we implemented some Sheila's advice here at home with Gibson - setting him up with the trusty ol "Time Out Chair" for 2 minutes (same number as his age) when he acts up, and hand to heart, we've seen dramatic results in literally a week.  The babe's less irritable, more aware and overall, happier.  With that, we pass along this wisdom: Here are 5 Tips For Turning The Terrible Two's Into Terrific Twos (her words not mine :)

1. Keep Your Toddlers to a Schedule/Routine

Institute a schedule or routine so that the children know what to expect, and you are less likely to need much formal discipline.

One of the reasons kids act out is because they are confused or overwhelmed because they don’t understand what is going on. That’s why kids are more likely to act like brats in a new situation meeting all your relatives, for instance. It’s unfamiliar.

On the other hand, most kids thrive with a schedule.

As much as possible, then, stick to one! Up at 7, play until 7:45, then breakfast. Play until 10, then outing. Home for lunch. Do a craft. Take a nap. Etc. etc. And try to make outings have similar themes! Have toys that you only take on outings. Go to the library at the same time on the days that you go. When kids know what to expect, they are far more likely to relax and enjoy it than to get upset and start acting out.


2. Make Allowances For Toddlers

Kids are kids, and often we expect them to be able to behave better than perhaps we should.

When my girls and I used to grocery shop when they were babies and toddlers, I would stick them into the grocery cart and then head immediately to the produce department, where I would buy two bananas. Then I’d go to the checkout and pay for my two little bananas. I’d keep the receipt handy, in my pocket, and I’d let the girls eat the bananas while we shopped. That kept them from fussing or from trying to touch all the food. If they already had food, they were far more likely to enjoy the experience.

It’s unrealistic to expect a 2-year-old to sit calmly in a grocery cart in the middle of all that food for half an hour or 45 minutes while you get a huge shop done.

Buy them a healthy snack at the beginning, and you get away from a lot of trouble.

Similarly, if you’re waiting at a doctor’s office, or at another appointment, it’s unrealistic to expect them to sit calmly there, too. I always kept a few small toys and several books in my bag, and whenever we were out at stuff like that I’d whip them out and keep them occupied. It works well at restaurants, too.

I know it doesn’t look like the first two have much to do with discipline, but I believe that if we aren’t unreasonable with our children, and if we have a routine, kids in general will behave better. Now let’s turn to the times when they don’t behave.

3. Keep Discipline Immediate and Quick.

Kids don’t have long attention spans, and they don’t always understand things when there’s too much time between infraction and punishment.

If they’ve just bitten somebody, then you must respond right then. If my children were at playgroup, for instance, and they did something horribly inappropriate, like biting or throwing a tantrum, we would leave. They were very upset about that, and it often made the tantrum worse, but they had to learn that they couldn’t act that way in that setting.

Kids need to learn that in public there are certain things you can’t do, like screaming, or hitting, or being violent.

If they were, they lost their chance to play.

If you’re going to institute something like this, don’t lecture them or be mad. Just treat it like it’s natural. “It’s too bad we have to leave now, but that’s what happens when you bite. Maybe we’ll be able to come back tomorrow if you decide not to bite again.” Then don’t yell at your kids. You’ve already punished them. Let them understand that it was their choice to leave, since they did the biting. Next time, if they make a different choice, then you can stay.

But it must be immediate.

Don’t dilly dally and wait around and second guess yourself, or you’ve lost the chance. You can always come back another time, and it does help kids learn to control themselves when they see that they lose something important to them.

4. Be Consistent–or You Reinforce the “Terrible Twos”

It’s better NOT to discipline or threaten if you’re not going to follow through in the same way all the time.

If you are going to make it a rule that everyone tries two bites of everything on their plate, for instance, then you have to make them have two bites of everything. You can’t do it one night and not the rest, or you’ll have to start from scratch all over again. They’ll know they can push the limits.

If you’re going to let it go sometimes, but not others, you just confuse kids, and you actually put yourself in a worse situation.

It’s better to have small consequences that you always enforce than some big ones you’re haphazard about, because you just confuse kids about the rules.

So don’t threaten something in anger. Ask yourself, “can I really follow through? Can I follow through like this on another day, too? Is this something I can regularly do?” And if it’s not, don’t do it. When kids feel there’s a CHANCE they can get away with something, they’re more likely to push the limits than if they feel like there are no limits at all, if that makes any sense. It’s better not to do anything than to do it halfway.

With toddlers, choose small things to discipline about. Remove a toy. Have them stand in time out for 3 minutes. Take them out to the car if they’re acting up in a restaurant. Leave a playgroup. As for spanking, you can do this if you want to, but I never recommend it because some people do spank in anger, and that’s dangerous. If you don’t spank in anger, and you’re controlled and calm, then that’s really up to you. I just don’t want to get involved in that decision-making chain of yours!

Let me tell you, though, that some research has shown that spanking is much more effective for boys than for girls. Girls often react badly. Boys often react well. Nevertheless, you know your kids, and you choose what is best for them. (Here are my top 10 discipline ideas that don’t involve spanking).

One more thing:

5. Try Not To Yell

Yelling scares kids and undermines your authority.

Enforce consequences instead in a nice voice. “It’s too bad you can’t play with bunny anymore today, but Mommy warned you, and I have to take it away now.” Yelling creates a horrible environment in the home, and it’s not necessary except in really bad circumstances. Kids are far more likely to accept a consequence when you announce it in a firm but normal voice than if you go off the deep end.


It's incredibly sad but necessary to point out that media violence has become a routine part of the daily lives of American children.  Pediatricians are strongly suggesting that parents, lawmakers and the media should take the steps to change that ASAP.  

Here are the CliffNotes:

The new policy statement, from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), calls on pediatricians to routinely ask about children's "media diet," and for parents to limit the violent content their kids see -- whether on TV, online or in video games.

Video gaming is a particular concern, partly because of the advent of 3D technology that creates a "more immersive experience with violence," said statement author Dr. Dimitri Christakis.

The policy statement points to a "proven scientific connection" between virtual violence and real-life aggression, the doctors say.

Let's say 2 percent of the population behaves more aggressively after being exposed to violent media," Christakis said. "Out of the 20 million people who see the latest violent blockbuster, that's 400,000 additional acts of aggressive behavior."

There is evidence that media images of terrorist attacks and other traumatic events can trigger post-traumatic stress symptoms in some children.

Young children, he said, are not mature enough to process those images, and should simply not see them.

With somewhat older kids -- around age 10 -- it's possible they're seeing these things on their phones or iPads, or have heard about them from friends, Beresin said.

"The news can make the world seem like a very scary place," he said. "With young children, it's better that they not see it all. With older kids, talk about what's happening."