Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My Thoughts on Parenting

As mentioned in my previous post, we're living in an age of what's best and "what's best" seems to be shoved down parents' throat from numerous sources. A lot of time this advice is out of date, inaccurate  and just plain unwanted.

We're obsessed with putting a label on everything and micro analyzing it to the point where everyone goes crazy and nothing seems right. Parenting seems to be another victim. So here's my theory of what parenting style is best.

Are you ready for it?

INSTINCT....GUT......INTUITION whatever you want to call it.

Before science and technology......before research....before studies, mothers mothered and fathers fathered. Things just worked. Maybe not all the time but most of the time they did.

Every parent is their own person. As much as people may think otherwise, a baby is their own person too. To negate how a relationship goes between two individuals the same way all the time is ridiculous. I believe a mother naturally knows what is right for her child when it comes to comforting, bed time, teaching. etc. Of course it's always good to listen to others with experience but in the end, a mother has to follow her gut. It's why she has it.

Like all parenting styles, there is a fault to this one.

Women are so deaf to that inner voice of intuition their rendered incapable it seems of mothering the way she should. Modern day has taught us to trust doctors and science before we trust our body. We rely so heavily on the latest research that we forget to rely on ourselves.

Even if you're not deaf, outside voices drown out your own to the point where you can't hear it at all or you can't hear it well.

I've gone through some trying times with in-laws and parents and doctors and nurses and studies.....

I thrown up my hands and decided to take them as suggestions and to just do what I feel is right for my baby and what's right for me.

I breastfeed. I wear my baby. I go to her the minute I hear her cry. I hold her until she's asleep. I feed on demand. I sing and read so she can hear my voice. When she's awake and alert, I spend every minute with her. I do skin to skin.

All these things feel right. When I'm told not to go to her when she cries, I still go because I cant fight the urge to try and comfort her. When I'm told not to rock her to sleep, I still do. I don't do it because I want to, I just do it with out realizing. So why fight my body and mind's instinct. I say follow it. We are all still animals and we need to learn how to listen to the knowledge buried deep within our beings.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Cloth vs. Sposies

First an update on weeks three and four. Baby and I are thriving. Iyana is gaining more than what the doctors require (go pescavegan milk). 

My fave go to foods to keep baby and me healthy:

  • lentils
  • whole grains
  • beans, beans, and more beans.....beans of all kinds
  • fruit smoothies
My appetite honestly hasnt been great and I do tend to forget to eat but when I do eat, I make sure to pack it with lots of nutrition.

Now on to the topic at hand. With everything regarding parenting and what's best there are a lot of opinions. One thing I'm starting to find is that research, doctors, parents, in-laws, etc don't seems to agree on the same thing. So I won't sit here and tell you what IS better but what I THINK is better. 

First off, I've chosen to use cloth diapers over disposables. I'm currently using a hybrid system as I'm still trying to get into the swing of things but cloth is my intended route. They are easier on the pocket and environment and they put less chemicals on my angel baby's bum. These were the main reasons to go this route. Once I started cloth diapering I found many more reasons to prefer it.

The first two weeks after having Iyana, I used disposables exclusively because I couldn't make the trek up and down the stairs to so my own laundry let alone diapers. 


  • Using disposables in the first two weeks allowed me to avoid meconium stains on my cloth diapers.
  • Slightly (only slightly) more convenient.
  • More travel friendly
  • Have a little groove for umbilical cord in NB sizes.

  • More blowouts.
  • Tough to find a barnd that didn't irritate skin.
  • Heavy diapers sometimes broke, getting jellies all over baby's bum (research shows these jellies can be cancerous).
  • More waste.
Then once I was able to tackle my stairs, I started cloth at about two weeks. 


  • Almost no blowouts (only one so far and that's because hubby didn't put it on well)
  • NO chemicals. 
  • Poop rarely reaches the baby's genitals. With disposables, my baby's privates were always covered in poop.
  • Saves a lot of money.
  • Less waste.

  • There are a couple extra steps that can sometimes be tedious.
  • Gives the baby a big bum.
  • Takes extra care to maintain maximum absorbency.
  • Too many types to chose from and it can be confusing.

After using both, I love my cloth diapers. Why spend money and hurt the environment (it takes a diaper 500 years to START decomposing) for a little extra convenience? When it comes down to what's best for baby, there really isn't much difference. That's my unbiased opinion. Other than the jellies (which can be avoided by making sure to change baby often) there really isn't much about a disposable that's bad for the baby. 

Oh! and an added bonus: cloth goes well with the hippy image :P 

Diapers I'm using:

These are prefolds.

I use Snappies to secure them.

And I use a waterproof cover similar to this one. 


So you see, there aren't ancient artifacts that I dug out of the ground. Cloth has gone modern and I think every parent should at least consider them. 

Monday, October 8, 2012

First Two Weeks and Booby Traps

The first two weeks home with Iyana weren't easy but they weren't the hell everyone warns you about either. Every baby is different though so I guess I'm just lucky. In general, everything is well. I'm healing, baby is healthy and gaining, and no one has had a nervous breakdown....yet.

The topic I would like to touch on is Booby Traps. As a paranoid first time mom, I did a lot of research on breastfeeding. I plan to breastfeed at least until my baby is a year old and was worried about low supply or my milk "drying up." The fact that my mother couldn't breastfeed for too long only fueled my fears.

Through research, I discovered that only a small percentage of women actually have supply problems and that it's not a common issue. So why do so many women claim to have supply issues? Why do so many women need to supplement with formula? Asking these questions led me to the term booby trap. Witty isn't it?

What does Booby Trap mean?

When a mother has been booby trapped, it usually means she had been given false advice/information by health care professionals or other, what are supposed to be, reliable sources. By following the false advice/information, the mother interferes with the body's natural process of creating milk based on supply and demand.

Common Booby Traps

  1. Your baby is not gaining weight. In the first few days, it's normal for babies to  lose weight. 
  2. You're not producing enough milk. Until your milk comes in, your breasts produce colostrum  Colostrum is not produced in large amounts where you could literally squirt it out but it's extremely important for your baby. It gives your baby antibodies to help fight infections. During the first few days, your baby stimulates milk production. Milk does not come in until the third to fifth day.
  3. Something goes wrong? The answer is always formula. And it shouldn't be. There are other routes to follow before resorting to formula. 
Through stories and my own experience, Booby Traps aren't as simple as the few I listed above. Even though breastfeeding is widely supported and even recommended by doctors, they throw us into a pit of quicksand and ultimately lay the blame on us.

It's not your fault!!!!

If you can't breastfeed, it's not your fault. Everyone likes to lay the blame on us and our bodies when really, it's not the case. Even with all of the research I had done, and my awareness of booby trapping, I almost fell victim to one myself.

My Booby Trap Story

Before I continue, I'd like to say I escaped this trap out of pure luck.

I delivered Iyana with a midwife, so I gave birth and went home the same day. Midwives go to your house on day 1, 3, and 5 of your baby's life to check up on mom and baby. On the first visit, my midwife found a large bruise on Iyana's head. She had gotten it from birth. My midwife said it was normal but still had to be monitored. She sent me to my doctor's clinic so they could check up on it. 

The doctor did a routine check up as well. Iyana was weighed and had lost 200g. The doctor wasnt concerned. I had to return to the clinic a few days after that so they could monitor the bruise. This time I saw a nurse practitioner (if you've read my earlier posts, you'll know who I'm talking about when I saw it was 'that' nurse practitioner). 

**Side note: she was a lot nicer this time around....sort of.

So they did another check up, bruise was fine but Iyana had lost more weight. The nurse practitioner warned me that if her weight wasn't up by the next visit, I'd have to supplement with formula. I was feeding on demand as I heard this was best. On Iyana's schedule, she was eating every three to four hours and sometimes five. The nurse said that was definitely not enough for a newborn and said I considering the amount of weight lost, I need to amp up the feedings to every 2 hours. Keep in mind, my milk came in late the day before, so I wasn't really given a chance at all.

So I went home and my husband kept on pushing to follow the nurses advice because he knew how against supplementing I was. The next couple of days were hell. No matter what I did, short of torture my poor baby, Iyana wouldn't wake up every two hours. I tried changing her diaper, leaving lights on, lifting her up, wiping her face with a cold cloth. I felt like a monster bothering her so much. 

When she would wake up, she would wake up crying. I would give her my breast and she'd take it then fall asleep after a minute. We were both miserable and tired. I was frustrated because I felt guilty for bothering her and I felt that if I would let her be, she would wake up with in three hours and feed well. With the waking up nonsense, she was barely eating because she was so tired. SO, instead of her eating more, she was eating less. My breasts were engorged because she wasn't eating so I was even more uncomfortable.

Luckily, the next visit, Iyana had reached her birth weight and passed it. The nurse didn't expect it because she seemed surprised when the other nurse came back with the numbers. 

In hind sight here's what upsets me. Why would I need to supplement when the problem wasn't my supply but the fact that my baby wouldn't wake up. If a sleeping baby wont wake up for the breast, why would she wake up for formula? This was a major booby trap.

A quick search of Booby Trap + Breastfeeding will give you a host of sources for more information.

Also a site I liked ----> http://www.bestforbabes.org/

My Advice:

Don't doubt yourself or your baby. 

Go to a real Lactation Consultant before resorting to formula.

Join sites (my preference http://www.babycenter.ca/) where you can find support from other moms. This helped me stay confident in my body. You'd be surprised how many moms are willing to share their experiences and insight on breastfeeding and other prenatal/parenting topics. They have a group for breastfeeding. Stick to that for breastfeeding advice as it's pro-breastfeeding. 

Follow reputable blogs such as Alpha Parent that promote a more natural approach to parenting. 

Stay away from breastfeeding advice on formula websites. Think: Why would they promote breastfeeding when it's their #1 competitor? 

The internet brings you so many resources to your fingertips. You just need to be smart and find the good ones.

There is so much information out there and I wish I could write it all out but this post is long enough as it is. If you have any questions, feel free to ask and if I can, I'll answer them.