Toddler Colds Are Awful..a Modern Mommy Rebellion

Our dear daughter was a breastfed baby, which saved us a lot in the sickness department. When she did get sick, it never lasted long  – 3 days tops. Now that she is 3 years old and officially a member of the daycare community, some bugs are seemingly harder to kick than others. Exhibit A: 6 days of coughing, runny nose, stuffy nose, crabbiness, lack of appetite and holding of ears.

Being a modern Mommy, I followed the new rule to not medicate. So, my husband and I regretfully tried the saline drops, used the bulb, made the tea and gave tons of hugs. We even gave her this all natural cough syrup that had honey in it to soothe her aching chest. To that effect, I caught the bug and it turned into bronchitis (sickness in pregnancy to be discussed in a future entry). Finally, after 6 days of watching her cute little face look sicker and sicker, I had enough. Luckily, I have a team of parents to gripe to (thanks Facebook!) and they gave me some options on how to relieve my child’s cold symptoms and not risk overdose.

We purchased Pedicare and it worked like a charm. We gave her half the dose (1 tsp) and sent her off to bed. The next morning she woke up looking normal again and without the cough. She still has a runny nose, but I think I will give her another dose tonight…just to take the edge off.

Is that judgement I see in your eyes as you read this? Too bad! As miserable as I felt being sick, it was amplified by watching my little one suffer and hearing that chesty cough. I couldn’t take it anymore and neither should you! I say to the FDA: do some real studies and come up with some real solutions on how to treat our children under the age of 4. It isn’t fair! Don’t just tell parents that it will go away in a few days. Don’t have pediatricians turn us away and tell us to use our vaporizers!

And besides, our parents gave us Dimetap, Tylenol and all that stuff and yet we are here to tell the story.

Sometimes too much prevention is just that…TOO MUCH!


Don’t Give In: Battling Childhood Obesity Before It Even Starts

Young mothers today fight a battle with older mothers, grandmothers and old wives tales on a variety of topics. In my case, the most hotly debated issue was whether to give my young daughter food early. The reasons I was given were all of course in “her best interest.” “She’s hungry,” “She’ll sleep longer at night.” “You started food early.”

Somehow I just could rationalize letting my child chew on a chicken bone…sorry!

Perhaps my reluctance to feed Syd early was the right decision. In a study published by researchers from Children’s Hospital in Boston and Harvard University, infants that were introduced to solids before 4 months were linked to a sixfold increase in becoming obese by the child’s third birthday. And according to the survey, the link was proven true for infants who were never breast-fed or were weaned before then.

Consider my hypothesis. Most breastfeeding/nursing mothers that I know tend to fight the transition to solid foods the most because it’s really the first introduction to processed foods. These mothers end up delaying the process for as long as humanely possible. For example, I know that we waited to start our daughter on cereal until she was six months old and continued to provide her breast milk until she was 10 months old.

In another study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), which followed low-income black mothers, found that first time mothers started their kids on solids earlier because they felt their children were being fussy and needed more food.  In this case, the babies were receiving an additional 100 calories per day. If I am reading the study correctly, it sounds like they are saying that those extra calories add up and overweight babies turn into overweight adults.

Keep in mind that other reasons for not starting solids early include avoiding the development of food allergies. According to the, “Your baby’s intestinal tract is not as fully developed during the first few months and introducing solids at this time can be too much to handle.”

I don’t know about you…but I am sticking to my instincts on this one.  Avoid the urge to feed your child solids early!

Breastfeeding Taboo in Black Community

It appears that I am among a small statistic. When I got pregnant with my daughter, it was without a doubt that I would nurse her.  Granted I was interested because I was born lactose intolerant and my mother tried every formula alive to provide me some with sustenance to no avail. I researched the topic and the benefits made sense to me: it’s cheap, creates an unbreakable bond and offered my daughter more nutritional value than formula ever could.  To be honest, the benefits are limitless.

And yet, only 19% of African American mothers continue to nurse their babies after six months.

I couldn’t help but wonder why, It seems that many women, both young and old believe that breastfeeding isn’t normal and that it will take too much time out of their schedules.  I remember a few women noted that I wouldn’t be able to do anything because I had the baby “latched to me.” While I can’t dispute the time factor, I will say that like anything else, nursing requires a strong commitment from the Mom and baby.  If you really want it, you will do what it takes to make it work.

That means:

Breastfeeding has benefits for the entire family

Seeking the Proper Help

There are so many organizations and nurses out there that will offer their help. While I was in the hospital, the lactation specialist visited our room twice and once we got home, I used the Lansinoh helpline quite a few times before I got the hang of things. Other resources include the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,Office on Women’s Health , which can also be reached at 1-800-994-9662. 

Purchasing the Equipment

Before you have your baby, decide what type of pump you are going to use. Whatever brand you use, I recommend purchasing the dual breast pump.  That way, you can eliminate the amount of time you need to pump. I have heard that Medela is the best.

Setting a Schedule

I have blogged about this before, but it s really necessary to make a pumping/nursing schedule so that eliminate the opportunity for mastitis to develop and plain ole leakage.

Remembering the Point of It All and Stick with It

I know that it will cause/force you to be more organized, but just focused Mamas!  The benefits are limitless and you will be thankful that you took the time now to get your little one on the right path of wellness.

Beyond PAW: Updated Breastfeeding Tricks of the Trade

I never ever and I do mean EVER thought I would say this, but I love pumping at work.  My previous job didn’t allow much privacy, but at my new job, I am now pumping in the comfort of the Executive lounge, where I can lock the door and put up my feet.  Since I am only pumping twice a day, I take the opportunity to pump 30 minutes at a time which allows for about 3 letdowns. I usually end up with over 12 ounces at the end of the workday, which I’m not sure whether that’s too low or not.

Ahh, the joy of knowing that the little one can continue to drink liquid goal yet another day!  Since I wasn’t one of those all knowing Mommies who stockpiled milk in the beginning, every day is a challenge to make sure that my little girl has all of the nutrients she needs.  And while I continue to kick myself for being such an idiot for not doing this, life goes on ….

This means I get the opportunity of pumping at home before I go to sleep at night and before I go to work in the morning.  That way I know for sure she isn’t going to run out of milk during the day and can rest a little easier during the day. 

While I have posted tricks of the trade before, I thought I should add a few extra tips…

REST!  Ok, I know I mentioned before how tired I am, but everything I have read about breastfeeding says that we need to rest in order to be able to produce. (kinda of makes sound like cows, but I will leave it alone.)

Stay Hydrated-A little water never hurt anyone.  It hasn’t been exactly proven, but for me I have been able to produce more milk when I am drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day.

A few tricks I would like to try:

Power Pumping-From what I understand if you pump for 10 minutes, take a break and then pump again, you should be able to produce more milk then if you are pumping for 30 minutes straight.  I am going to try this technique and share my results.  Hopefully, it works.

Oatmeal-Some say this is an old wives tale, but some Moms stand by it. If anyone has tried this, please let me know so that I can avoid forcing myself to eat oatmeal.

The Real Deal Behind PAW (Pumping at Work)

Any Workin’ Mama that’s nursing their little one will tell you that pumping at work isn’t the greatest thing in the world to do. Don’t get me wrong, I would never stop breastfeeding my daughter, but because of the dedication that pumping at work demands, women need to be realistic and know their options.

I thought I was prepared. I have a decent dual-electric breast pump that operated by both cord and batteries. I have a nursing wrap that fits over me quite nicely. Nothing could spoil my zeal to continue to feed my daughter breast milk. Until I met where I would be spending my thirty-minute breaks…the bathroom. While many articles on the subject will say how unsanitary it is to pump in the bathroom, many Workin’ Mamas are left with no choice. In defense of my job, our floor plan is too open for me to pump in an office, if there was one available. So, three times a day, while I am doing mommy duty in one stall, women come in and out of the bathroom listening to the melodic sounds of my Lansinoh breast pump…and I get the opportunity to listen to them doing number 1…and 2. I’m not going to sugar coat it. It’s disgusting. One lady actually had the audacity to spray Lysol over the stall while I was still pumping!

It’s important for Workin’ Mamas to be prepared for challenges on the job if they want to continue to nurse their child after they return to work. Here are a few points to ponder before you return from maternity leave:

Decide your commitment on the matter

Are you really dedicated to breastfeeding? I have many friends who have either mixed their breast milk with formula or weaned their child off of breastfeeding because of their hectic work schedules. If you don’t think you will have time for 2-3 thirty minute breaks, perhaps you should look to other options for feeding your little one.

Talk to your boss before you return to work

There’s no disappointment in the world that can compare to making assumptions about a situation that don’t pan out. If you have decided you are committed and have the time to continue to breastfeed, talk to your boss about the location of where you will be doing the deed. That way if you are left with being in the public bathroom you can begin to adjust before you even cross the threshold of being back at work.

Be prepared for the smells

There are some people (and I am not faulting you for it) who will use the bathroom for their own purposes whether you are in there or not. Be prepared for it by focusing on the job at hand and picking your break times wisely. Try to use the bathroom to pump during off-peak times. In my limited experience, I have noticed that the after lunch crowd is the worst and have avoided many an experience by changing my pumping time for noon to 11:30am.

No one ever said that motherhood was easy, but if you are dedicated to continuing to breastfeed, I strongly encourage you to think about the pros and cons of pumping at work.

To purchase the Lansinoh breast pump, check out the Workin’ Mama store at Amazon.