Monday, October 31, 2011

Breastfeeding in Public

This past week a "nurse-in" was held at the Bridgeport Village shopping mall here in Oregon after a security guard told two mothers who were breastfeeding their babies that they needed to move to a private nursing room and not nurse in public. KGW News Channel 8 online writes, "the security guard told (them) to cover up, or go somewhere else to nurse." The two moms were seating next to a children’s play area, where I assume they had kids playing. The two moms quickly defended their legal right to nurse in public, as is their right in the State of Oregon.  The management of the mall quickly apologized to the women and stated that it is not their policy to prevent mother’s from nursing their children in any location within their shopping area and that the security officer was in the wrong…more or less.

KGW online also held a poll asking readers what they thought about public breastfeeding and these were the results as of 10/31/11 @ 5:00pm.

Do you think breast-feeding in public is inappropriate?
35% 853
65% 1564
Total Votes: 2417

Are you surprised to see that 65% of readers do not believe that public breastfeeding is inappropriate? I find these statistics very refreshing!  That is 1564 people who understand that breastfeeding is not a ‘dirty’ deed, a shameful act, a sexual or necessarily a non-modest exposure of the body. Thankfully awareness of the needs to protect a woman’s right to feed her child through nursing wherever and whenever her child is hungry is growing!

Many moms opt to nurse discreetly. Meaning, they use nursing garments or cover-ups to provide a bit of privacy. There are so many products out there to assist with this. There is Hooter Hiders, the The Bebe Au Lait and the Breast Friend Nursing covers, and a slew of Boutique creations and sewing patterns to make your own.  Breastfeeding in public has become so easy  and convenient! For me, this is the way to go. While I do not have issue with women who choose not to nurse discreetly, I feel by doing so it is showing respect for people around you who are uncomfortable. And while their discomfort may be due to their own insecurities and issues of misunderstanding about nursing, for me, it still makes sense to try to ease what could be a stressful situation by taking a simple step to reduce the discomfort of these people. So, yes I will and do nurse in public, but I do what I can to reduce exposure.

For women who do opt to nurse openly (meaning exposing their breasts), I think it is important for them to consider their setting at the time. While they have a legal right to nurse openly anywhere, that doesn’t mean that they should necessarily always choose to do so. I think some woman nurse in all locations impartially just to make a point. And while I am glad they are standing up for their rights, I also feel that our rights are not given to us with the intention that we might use them to make others feel displaced. Am I making sense? Modesty goes a long way!

I have heard arguments that women should nurse in bathrooms, or in empty rooms or just away from all other people….all of which sound like hiding to me. First, bathrooms: nasty, smelly, germ ridden bathrooms. Would you as an adult want to eat there? Then why should you expect an innocent little baby to have to eat in the bathroom? Furthermore, very, very few bathrooms have a place to sit other than the toilet seat. Let's say you’re out to dinner, your baby starts to cry out of hunger and your dinner guests suggest you feed the baby in another room. Hmmm. Meanwhile, your drinks arrive, then your main course, your food is getting cold, and you are still trying to feed a fickle baby who is having difficulty latching on. Finally, you finish nursing, return to your table to find your meal is cold and everyone is just waiting on you to eat. Why was this mom just made to miss out on what could have been a normal dinner with family and friends? Because she had to feed her child or because some people at the table had some serious insecurity issues? We treat the mom and baby as though they were temporarily plagued with leprosy.

Anyway, I am glad these events take place because they help bring more awareness to the value of breastfeeding, and nursing in public. In the end, moms who nurse in public are nourishing their child in the best way they possibly can. We should be thanking them!  The more we see women nursing in public, the more accepted it will be. Women should not be embarrased using their breast for their God given purpose. I think somewhere in time people forgot the the breast was actually designed for something non-sexual. As a society we need to develop a much deeper appreciation for this God given gift and encourage moms to nurse wherever and whenever and never make them feel as though they need to hide when doing so.

KGW Article:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Healthier Baby Food, Made By Mom

Baby E is almost 5 months now! Hard to believe, but true. Out of curiosity I tried to feed her a little of the freshly pureed squash I had just finished before freezing it. She was cranky and hungry and I thought to myself that it might not be the right time to try solids. Baby E made it clear right away how wrong I was! She loved the squash!!! She devoured the squash! What a thrill to watch your baby eat for the first time!

My plan had been to start feeding her in a month, but now I am thinking, based on her reaction, she's ready for solids now. Lucky girl, I just finished preparing two trays of pureed baby food from scratch. I decided to start making my own baby food this time around after reading about exposing babies to processed food early in their lives and how that process flavor helps develop their pallet ...or lack thereof.  Many people in the know stress the importance of allowing our babies pallets to develop with food as fresh and natural as possible with the hopes that they will be more inclined to make life long choices for healthier, fresher foods instead of process foods.

All this aside, it just makes me feel better to make my baby's food. I know exactly what went into it; there is no question as to preservatives, over processing...yada, yada, yada. I know this isn't for everyone. Let's face it, it does take a little time to do. But if you can spare 30-60 minutes every week, you can easily make your baby's food too. It's super easy!!!

I started with freshly picked apples I got from a farm that does not use pesticides. I peeled, cored and chopped these and placed them into a pot with a steamer tray, and a little water. I steamed them for about 20-25 minutes, then placed them into my food processor finely pureed them with some breast milk and some of the fluid from the pot I just steamed them in. Cooled and poured into my food storage tray and placed it in the freezer. That's it! Done!

This process was so easy I decided to go ahead and process an Acorn squash I had as well. I peeled the squash, cut it into quarters and removed all the seeds and pulp from the center. I baked the squash for about 55 minutes at 350 degrees in the oven. At this point I still was not happy with the softness of the squash and chose to take an additional step and chop and steam the squash for about 10 - 15 minutes longer.. Perfect! I then pureed this, added some breast milk, powdered formula, and liquid from the steaming pot. Oh, sweet perfection!!

So that was it...the squash was done, cooled and ready to go in the freezer and my little Baby E started to fuss. I crossed my fingers and spooned a little of the heavenly orange concoction into her sweet little mouth. To my, and her delight, she LOVED it! She ate way more than I thought she would and filled that empty little belly of hers! Best of all, I feel so good about what went into her little body! All natural and healthy! Yeah!

Doesn't that look yummy? It is...yes, I tried it! Can't feed it to the baby unless I know it taste good first! I plan on coming up with new recipes as time goes on, so stay tuned!! :-)

Friday, October 14, 2011

So Easy DIY Clutch Purse

I am a small purse kind of girl. Why, you ask. Because if I carry anything bigger than a wallet I fill it up with receipts, wrappers and anything else that fits in it that I don't feel like carrying! Can you relate?

Due to this all too common habit we women have, the clutch purse has become an excellent choice to lug around our necessities. Just as with my diaper bag ( I took my time finding the "perfect" pattern. I settled on one I found at ( I loved this patter because it filled every need I had in a purse; a place for my credit and bank cards, a place for cash and change, a place for business cards, and my tiny lip gloss and even a place for my cell phone. Yes, it fits all that in a little clutch! The pattern did not call for one, but I added a strap for added convenience.

It took me a total of about 5 hours to make this clutch. That's it. And it was SUPER easy. If I can do it, so can you!! Definitely use medium to heavy weight interfacing as often as possible to add strength!!

And here's another. Sold this one already!

The Amazing "Lucky Baby" Diaper Bag

After months of searching for the perfect diaper bag I finally found it on the shoulder of another mom during a visit to the zoo. It was a convertible diaper bag with a shoulder strap and two backpack straps. So cool! I had never thought of making a diaper bag with backpack straps! As much weight as these things can be loaded down with idea made sense to me. So I quickly asked the mom where she got the bag. She said she got it a Nordstom Rack. I then went home to find this amazing bag online...only to be very disappointed with the big price tag!! But, at least now I knew what I wanted! So, then began my search for "the pattern"!!! It didn't take long before I cam across the Wired Up Design website and "The Lucky Baby" diaper bag pattern. Perfect!!!

Now the big question was what fabric to use. I finally settled on a Joel Dewberry fabric in his Aviary 2 design. A feminine fabric that wasn't too girly that my husband would be embarrassed to carry! It worked out perfectly!

I just love this bag!