…Contemplating the Core Elements of a Modern Breastfeeding Lifestyle
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Breastfeeding Success and Gratitude: Priceless

Almost Wordless Wednesday…

I am digitizing over 25+ years of memories.  Today I came across one of my favorite thank-you cards.   The layers of meaning were not lost upon this mother, or me, her lactation consultant.   Tongue-in-cheek, but so powerful.  Her cups, her breasts and both of our hearts runneth over.

There are so  many challenges that face modern breastfeeding mothers; quality lactation support can make such a profound difference.

Your successes are what keep us going.  We are here to assist you.  Getting “feed”-back from families is priceless for those of us who have dedicated our lives to protecting and supporting breastfeeding!

Your positive stories and comments are welcome here.  And…

Don’t forget to let your IBCLC know she/he made a difference for you!

February 22, 2012   No Comments

Conscious Breastfeeding: Being in The Moment

Maggie left a comment on the post/podcast The Law of Simplicity sharing her journey of becoming a breastfeeding mother.  She has been relishing the simplicity, but also expressed most eloquently her experience of …

“Being in the Moment”…a key fundamental of the Conscious Breastfeeding approach.

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Indeed, at almost every prenatal class that I teach, there are expectant mothers who are concerned about weaning before they have even begun breastfeeding. Having heard the “rules” and stories from other mothers, they are anxious about entering into an intense breastfeeding relationship which will to take up much of their waking day. They are looking for an exit strategy before they have even seen how their own experience will unfold.

Too often in the early days of breastfeeding mothers will fret that they cannot maintain the initial patterns “forever”. I remind them that their breastfeeding relationship will evolve. It is dynamic. Being pro-active rather than reactive, it will be optimized over time. This does not happen in the past or future but rather very much in the present…taking in the details of each Conscious Breastfeeding Connection.

I have been thinking about this idea of “Being in the Moment”

…this “Being in the Moment” with your breastfeeding baby. The intention and attention, the hallmarks of Conscious Breastfeeding, allow each time you breastfeed to be special. It is different from the one done a few hours earlier and will be different from the next.

Being present, in the moment, is mindfulness and is a simple, yet powerful form of meditation. Just notice the rhythmic jaw movements of your baby. The breathing and swallowing are synchronized and at the same time there is complete stillness in the rest of his or her body. The cadence of breastfeeding is like the pulse of a beating heart. Allow your awareness to follow this rhythm of your baby’s breastfeeding. Observe the patterns. Be in the moment. You are meditating without effort. The calm that descends upon you will be restorative and connects you to yourself and your baby on a very deep level.

Jon Kabat-Zinn in his book, Wherever You Go There You Are  Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life says, “I like to think of mindfulness simply as the art of Conscious Living.”

What better way to begin than in the sublime moments you share with your baby as a Conscious Breastfeeding mother?

August 26, 2010   No Comments

The Tao of Conscious Breastfeeding

The ba gua above is often used to depict the Tao and its pursuit.  This lactation consultant sees a breastfeeding baby in its center.  In reality, it is the yin-yang symbol which represents the duality of opposites, male and female energies, inherent in the natural order of the universe.

According to wikipedia, the word Tao is most often defined as a path or way, but can also be defined as to guide or lead.  Thus it perfectly describes the ongoing process of how a new mother learns to breastfeed and teaches it to her baby…the Tao of Conscious Breastfeeding.

There are several basic learning styles: audio, visual and kinesthetic.  To climb the conscious competence ladder and gain mastery of the skill of breastfeeding will take differing amounts of time for each nursing couple.  Finding the right combination of learning styles will help them to reach competence much faster.

Babies are sensational beings. They learn through repetition. They are hard-wired at birth with basic reflexes which assist them to adapt and thrive outside the womb. They draw conclusions on a primal level from what happens when they do certain things; if it is associated with a pleasing outcome they will repeat the action to get the same result.  It is quite Pavlovian.  Over time they begin to gravitate toward a learning style that may be preferred as they mature.

Adults have the ability to analyze more information and understand more complex causal relationships. They are capable of establishing new neural pathways at any time by intentionally repeating new behaviors which will replace those that no longer serve them.

A Chinese Proverb reminds us:

I hear and I forget.
I see and I remember.
I do and I understand

What is your learning style?  How has it impacted your breastfeeding journey?

As a Conscious Breastfeeding mother, you will be teaching your baby to breastfeed and ultimately establish rhythms in all areas of his/her life.  You can draw on these insights to assist your child to develop the muscles of learning which he/she will be using throughout life.

The Tao of Conscious Breastfeeding is a truly foundational experience.

August 25, 2010   No Comments

Breastfeeding in Public: Eye Candy or Not?

This summer the pedestrian mall between Herald Square and Times Square in New York City is home to a unique art installation, Sidewalk Catwalk, promoting the fashion district.

The mannequin below was designed by Kenneth Cole.  Its tongue in cheek message made me think of the topic du jour…Breastfeeding in Public.

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Lily O’Brien’s Chocolate Cafe near Bryant Park is just a few blocks away from the “eye candy” above.   A New York mother claims in a law suit filed this week  that she was harassed there last summer while breastfeeding her 5 month old infant.

In the past 24+ hours her story has been trotted out on all the local media. Read more here.

Cathal Queally, the Irish candy man proprietor of Lily O’Brien’s Chocolate Cafe, told the local NBC interviewer that it was a misunderstanding.   He said he grew up with sisters and was surrounded by breastfeeding women. He added that the target audience for his confections are mothers and children.  Indeed, there were signs welcoming breastfeeding mothers on his store front window.

It is Breastfeeding Awareness Month so any buzz on breastfeeding gets traction.  The comments on the blogs, news articles online and those solicited from New Yorkers on the street were mixed.

A cynical analysis might be that the entire episode is being “milked” for all it is worth by the parties involved.  On the whole. the impact of this publicity seems positive.

The media news blitz is educating the public about the law allowing mothers to breastfeed anywhere, rallying other breastfeeding mothers to have confidence to openly breastfeed and publicizing an establishment now very openly declaring that they are breastfeeding friendly.

I still find it quite amazing that breastfeeding in public ruffles so many feathers.   Breasts are mammary glands perfectly designed to feed human babies.  Their function as eye candy is contextual.

We have lost touch with the naked truth.  As the Kenneth Cole mannequin reminds us…Underneath it all you are all naked.

Human bodies are works of art in their own right.  When a mother breastfeeds her baby that stark beauty is expanded into a very sweet and tender tableau…

Eye candy in the eyes of the beholder.  What do you think?

August 17, 2010   3 Comments