Happy 7 Months, Quint!

Has it really been seven whole months since I gave birth already? It’s astonishing how the time just keeps slipping by. We’ve been busy this month as a family and Quint is just moving and grooving these days as well. My middle child turned 3 years old this past weekend. We’ve been enjoying the outdoors here in the Bay Area all month, the lake, the beach, the parks. Quint and I also went to a topless rights celebration in San Francisco a couple of weekends ago as well. I wish we could have made it to the Improving Birth National Rally for Change on Labor Day yesterday but my local rally was an hour away and we spent the day together as a family instead.

[Quint at 7 months: Sitting, crawling, standing]

Quint is such a joy. He smiles all the time and is just a happy 19 pounder, always the center of attention at our house. His sisters give him unlimited kisses and bring him whatever they want him to play with.

He is crawling around from room to room like a real baby now, too. Well, he was a real baby before, but you know what I mean. He goes to get something, plays with it, then crawls off to find something or someone else to interact with. It’s wonderful that he has the mobility now but it means I can’t just sit him down on a blanket anymore. He’s gone! We are thinking about a gate for the stairs now so he doesn’t fall down them before he learns any better. He is very aware of the edge of the bed though and stops before he falls off when he’s awake. He still tunnels in his sleep though and sometimes topples over that 6 inches to the floor. Thank goodness we have our mattress on the floor. He’s still sleeping with me, of course. No crib for this lucky baby! (I used a crib for naps for the first child, my second refused, and we just never set it up and gave it away this time.) He loves waking up, looking around, finding me next to him, and smiling a huge smile while touching my face. It’s too adorable, priceless for words.

He’s a sturdy sitter now, goes from crawling to sitting to crawling without any issues. He spends a lot of his energy standing now, taking little wobbly steps while holding on to something, reaching for goodies on the table to slobber on. And boy does he slobber! He doesn’t have any teeth yet to keep that drool in.

He’s still pretty much exclusively breastfeeding, though we let him gum on carrot sticks and other raw foods we’re eating around him.

I think we’re going to pick up his high chair for him to sit with us at the table and gnaw on things sometime in the next month. He really enjoys tasting different things, feeling the texture in his mouth. He’s becoming a bit distracted during nursing now, always trying to reach for something while latched on, which hurts, or he’s unlatching and crawling off to go do something. I’m usually sitting there in a middle of a big letdown thinking to myself, “Hey! Get back here and focus! I’m dripping milk everywhere and you need to eat, kid!” That actually just happened as I typed that up. And now he wants more because he didn’t drink enough and he’s cranky. So predictable.

As for me and my postpartum self, things are pretty good. I am a little lighter than I’d like to be, weight wise, but I feel healthy and strong. I weigh exactly one hundred pounds (down to the ounce) more than my baby. How odd is that? Also, I am thankful that my hair has finally stopped falling out by the handfuls. I have never shared this photo before but really, this is how much hair I lost. LOOK HOW HUGE AND GROSS/COOL THAT PILE OF MY HAIR IS!

I was pulling out the compostables from my bathroom trash to put in our bin and the pile of hair just kept growing and growing that I decided to take a photo. I really appreciated my lovely, full bodied, healthy hair during pregnancy. I didn’t shed at all and it was wonderful. But I lost so much hair after each baby was born, starting around 3 months and shedding for a few months that it’s a bit annoying. It gets everywhere – in my baby’s fingers and toes, in the shower, on clothes, in our food. Gross! Thank goodness it’s calming down now. I have new hair sprouting that looks pretty funny, inch long stubby tufts in my bangs, but I’m glad it’s coming back.

Okay, that’s enough for today. We are trying to get ready to go to the beach. Have a wonderful rest of your day!

What was your baby up to at 7 months? Did you shed in your postpartum period? 

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or comment below!


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Restaurant in San Francisco kicked breastfeeding mother out for refusing to move

A mother in a private support group for breastfeeding mothers in the San Francisco Bay Area reported a disturbing exchange between a breastfeeding mother and restaurant staff the evening of August 30th during the busy, Saturday evening dinner rush. A nursing mother, who was covered, was asked to leave and refused service at Sapporo-Ya, a Japanese ramen noodle and sushi restaurant in the Pacific Heights district. The witness that made the report said it was horrible to watch and she didn’t know what to do. Clearly, the restaurant didn’t realize it was National Breastfeeding Awareness Month, that mothers shouldn’t be asked to move, cover, or leave, and that kicking a mother out of breastfeeding is unlawful.

I called the restaurant to get their side of the story last night and after a pretty one sided phone call, the manager, I didn’t get her name, hung up on me. She explained that she remembered the mother and the incident, that they asked the breastfeeding mother to move and she refused so they kicked her out, pointing to their “Right to Refuse Service” sign. Unfortunately for them, businesses do not have the right to discriminate against women for breastfeeding and kicking a mother out for refusing to move while feeding her baby is illegal.

This latest nursing in public harassment incident hits a little too close to home, as I live right across the bay, my husband works in the city, and my family lives there. I breastfeed all over SF and have never had an incident. I am frustrated that a mother was kicked out for breastfeeding in my own backyard. I’m going to the driving through this week and I’m thinking about stopping by to have a little chat with management about the laws.

What is the law on breastfeeding in public in California?

What does the law say exactly? California Civil Code § 43.3 allows a mother to breastfeed her child in any location, public or private. When someone harasses a breastfeeding mother in California, in addition to breaking civil code 43.3, they also violate California’s Civil Code section 51, the Unruh Civil Rights Act. Discrimination against a breastfeeding mother is considered sex discrimination under the Unruh Civil Rights Act and is protected and enforced by the law. Sapporo-Ya is looking at a fine for their discrimination.

What do babies eat? And when?

The norm for our species is this: Babies eat human breast milk from their mother’s breast on cue. It really is that simple. Babies do not eat at scheduled times and since breastfed babies process milk faster than formula fed infant, they need to eat more frequently. How long do babies breastfeed? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the about first six months of a baby’s life with no additional food or water or substitutes for the short and long term health of the baby and mother. The AAP, along with the World Health Organization and UNICEF, recommend breastfeeding for at least 12 months and then continuing breastfeeding for as long as mutually desired by mother and baby. The WHO recommends breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.

Why is supporting breastfeeding mothers so important?

Breastfeeding provides a protective effect for the child against respiratory illnesses, ear infections, gastrointestinal diseases, and allergies including asthma, eczema and atopic dermatitis. The rate of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) is reduced by over a third in breastfed babies, and there is a 15 percent to 30 percent reduction in adolescent and adult obesity in breastfed vs. non-breastfed infants. Not to mention the benefits for the mother. It is our basic human right to breastfeed and for our children to have their mother’s milk and comfort. Feeding a baby in a restaurant just makes sense. Everyone else is eating, right?

How can you help?

Sapporo-Ya just needs a little education. Feel free to stop by or call and politely inform them that you heard of their incident and ask that they follow the law.

  • Sapporo-Ya
  • 1581 Webster St #202
  • San Francisco, California 94115
  • Phone:(415) 563-7400

What do you think of Sapporo-Ya’s actions? What is an appropriate response? Have you ever breastfed your child in a restaurant?

Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, or comment below.

 

Related:

Sam’s Club attempts to censor breastfeeding, refuses to print photos

Breastfeeding incident: A mother was told by Sam’s Club that they she could not print photos of her child nursing. Only after getting angry with them did they print the photos, but told her they would not do it again. Here is Jerrika Aiken’s comment on Sam’s Club Facebook page wall last month, during National Breastfeeding Awareness Month:

I reported this incident on August 19th and SheKnows picked up the story and interviewed the mother. Read more about her thoughts about what happened there. Jerrika did respond with this little note about how Sam’s Club has responded to her on my post, “I am in contact with them. Well kinda. I posted on their FB page too where they responded asking for a PM with my contact info, etc but have yet to hear back. We shall see. Thank you all for the support.”

Interview with the local news:

What is the breastfeeding law in Alabama?

Ala. Code § 22-1-13 allows a mother to breastfeed her child in any public or private location. (2006 Ala. Acts, Act 526; HB 351) Many other states in the US specifically state that breastfeeding is not obscene or lewd and mother’s are protected from nudity offenses, public indency charges. Why? Because breastfeeding is necessary to the survival of our species and it’s just a baby eating, a mother comforting and loving her child. The Alabama Department of Health encourages breastfeeding, stating “Research has shown that breast milk is the best food for baby’s first year of life. Breastfeeding provides many health, nutritional, and economical benefits to mother and baby.”

Why is Sam’s mistreatment of Jerrika Aiken a big deal?

The oppression of and discrimination of women for merely breastfeeding their children and wanting to save and share those memories is wrong. Breastfeeding is not indecent or nudity in the eyes if the law. Walmart did the same thing last year to an Alberta mother and had to apologize. If Facebook welcomes breastfeeding photos, so should Sam’s Club.

How can you help?

Tell Sam’s Club that this mistreatment of breastfeeding mothers for wanting to save their memories is unacceptable. Ask what their policy is and if all employees have been notified of this incident and how to react in the future to ensure this doesn’t happen again.

  • Sam’s Club
    Member Service
    2101 S.E. Simple Savings Drive
    Bentonville, AR 72716-0745
  • By email: Click here
  • By telephone: 888-746-7726
  • Twitter @SamsClub
  • Facebook

What do you think of the Sam’s Club employee’s actions? How should corporate respond? 

Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, or comment below.

**Update 9.2.2014 11:02am**

I received this response from Sam’s Club on Twitter.

I hope they did actually send a memo to all of their stores. I have not heard back. What do you think of their response?

Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or comment below!

**2nd Update**

I just heard back from Sam’s on Twitter. “Our Clubs are aware of our policies on the matter and are prepared to follow them. Thanks!”

However, Jerrika also sent me a note that said, “So I NEVER heard from corporate. The SM of the local store called and apologized. She seemed sincere and was appalled that it happened in her store. On the flip side, I’m very disappointed that I never heard anything from corporate. So I feel that they lied when they said they are working with me.”

 

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Breastfeeding mother told to cover up by Tim Hortons employee in Ontario

Another breastfeeding harassment incident has been reported in Canada this week, adding to the two reports from July. A mother wearing her baby while breastfeeding in a Tweed, Ontario coffee shop restaurant chain was told it was store policy to cover-up. Tim Hortons, Canada’s largest fast food service with over 800 US locations, received this report of the incident from Rosemary Roode earlier this week:

“Totally outraged Grandmother here. Just received a call from my daughter who was in the Tweed Ontario Tim Horton’s, breastfeeding her youngest baby (in a carrier I might add) who was approached by a female employee who stated that my daughter is required to cover up if she was going to “Do That Here”….Are you kidding me? When my daughter refused and shared that it was her human right to feed her baby anywhere, the employee responded that she had been asked to make this request by her manager. Upon approaching this male manager my daughter was informed that this was Tim Horton’s head office policy. Again my daughter informed this person of her rights as a mother to breastfeed, the manager then stated that he had thought it best to have a female employee approach her with this request to cover up because “The store is full it is a long weekend and everyone is looking”. I am totally amazed at the total disregard for breast feeding mothers this day and age. Sorry but excuses like “lack of training or educating employees” will not cut it. I hope that this goes viral and other mothers will support my daughter whatever comes of this.”

Tim Hortons Facebook page wall has exploded with criticism from people all over the world voicing their concern for the unlawful mistreatment of a mother and child.

What is the breastfeeding law in Canada?

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms protects a mother’s right to breastfeed breastfeed anywhere, anytime. The Ontario Human Rights Commission has this to say about public breastfeeding: “You have rights as a breastfeeding mother, including the right to breastfeed a child in a public area. No one should prevent you from breastfeeding your child simply because you are in a public area. They should not ask you to “cover up,” disturb you, or ask you to move to another area that is more “discreet.” It is a human rights violation in this province to ask someone to move, stop or cover up while breast feeding. A ”store policy” or personal opinion against breastfeeding mothers and children is discriminatory and unlawful. The mother has every right to contact the human rights commission and register a complaint.

How can you help?

Tim Hortons has made a little bit of effort to apologize on their Facebook page, stating, “We regret that this guest was made to feel uncomfortable. We are looking into this isolated situation, but we can assure you that mothers who choose to breastfeed in our restaurants are welcome to do so. Thank you for your concern.”

Contact the offending location and customer service to respectfully let them know how this incident and their statement makes you feel and how they can ensure this type of mistreatment doesn’t happen again. Clearly, if they had a policy that wasn’t followed, their staff needs retraining. All employees at the 4,592 restaurants in Canada, 807 in the United States and 38 in the Persian Gulf region should be informed of how to properly treat breastfeeding families. A private apology to the woman in question and a public clarification that they do not have a “head office policy” in direct contravention of Ontario law and the human right to publicly breastfeed is necessary to recover from this PR mess.

  • Offending location:
  • Tim Hortons
  • 601 Moira St
  • Tweed, ON, Canada
  • Offending location’s phone: 613-478-2823

What do you think of the Tim Hortons employee’s actions and corporate’s response? 

Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, or comment below.

**Update 9.1.2014 10:16pm**

My FB post to Tim Hortons:

“Clearly, you are aware by now that the public is outraged by your Tweed employee’s actions against a breastfeeding mother and child. This incident is unacceptable. Is it really an isolated incident? How can you ensure this type of mistreatment doesn’t happen again? Please put proper breastfeeding family handling training in your new hire packet and in your employee handbook, send a memo & an international breastfeeding logo window cling to all of 4,592 restaurants in Canada, 807 in the United States and 38 in the Persian Gulf region to show your support for families. Everyone should be informed of how to properly treat breastfeeding families. Offer water with a smile and that’s it. A private apology to the woman in question and a public clarification that you do not have a “head office policy” that breaks Ontario’s law and the human right to publicly breastfeed is also necessary.

I look forward to hearing back from you. You may also want to contact Family Friendly Business to help with staff training and wording on an apology.

Regards,
Paala Secor
Advocate, Mother, Blogger”

I also sent them a message on their website. I will update my post when I receive word back.

 

Related:

New York Old Navy employee tells mom breastfeeding is “unsanitary,” tells her to go to the bathroom – Apologized

An employee at the Old Navy store in the Marketplace Mall in Rochester, NY told a breastfeeding mother that she wasn’t allowed to breastfeed in the fitting room because it was “unsanitary.”

Emily Dewey-Salogar of Avon, New York, explained her side of the incident on social media. “I was told by an associate at Old Navy today that I was not allowed to use their fitting rooms to breast feed my baby due to it being “unsanitary”. The associate went on to tell me that I could use their bathroom. I said, “No, I am not going to use your bathroom.” I told her “Why is feeding my baby unsanitary?” She went to get her manager and I got upset and left.”

N.Y. Civil Rights Law § 79-e (1994) “permits a mother to breastfeed her child in any public or private location” while protecting her from public indecency charges. As for their claims that breast milk isn’t sanitary, the CDC doesn’t consider it a biohazard. ”No special precautions exist for handling expressed human milk, nor does the milk require special labeling. It is not considered a biohazard.” It isn’t treated the same as blood or urine a body fluid for a reason. It’s perfect acceptable for mothers to feed their babies in public.

This isn’t the first time Old Navy has offended the breastfeeding community. They were slammed by breastfeeding advocates in 2010 for creating a onesie for babies that said “Formula powered” on the front. Last year, Old Navy employees called the cops on a mom after she breastfed her 6-week-old baby in the fitting room and accused her of stealing when she was in line to buy her clothes. The police showed up and found her innocent. Perhaps she was taking “too long” in the fitting room and those ultra-vigilant Old Navy employees would have preferred she announce to the store clerks that she was nursing and not stealing. What a family friendly business, right?

I personally just breastfeed in fitting rooms without asking. Heaven help any store clerk if they tell me it’s not sanitary, demand I move to a bathroom, or call the cops on me.

How can you help?

Call them and ask what their breastfeeding policy is and how they plan to move forward in a positive way from this unlawful action against a mother and child.

What do you think of the Old Navy employee’s actions? How should corporate respond? 

Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, or comment below.

**Update 8.29.2014 11:50am**

I received this email from Old Navy this morning regarding their NY employee’s mistreatment of a breastfeeding mother. I give them a thumbs up for finding my email address and sending me a note. I tweeted them yesterday but hadn’t had a chance to email yet.

In case you cannot read it, it says, “Our goal at Old Navy is to make each and every customer feel welcome and comfortable in our stores.

Please know that we fully support breastfeeding Moms and have a clear policy not to interfere in any way. 

We certainly regret this incident, which involved a seasonal store associate who may not have been aware of our policy.  We’ve taken immediate steps to remind our store associates about our policies and have reached out to this customer with our sincerest apologies.”

What do you think of the Old Navy’s response?

 

Related:

Breastfeeding: It’s about more than just the milk.

August is National Breastfeeding Awareness month. I would like people to be aware of the wide range of normal for breastfeeding mothers and children around the world. My version of normal means I triandem breastfeed all three of children, a 6-month-old, a nearly 3-year-old, and my 4-year-old. This afternoon, my middle daughter asked to nurse while we were at the park and of course, I said sure. That is our normal.

She breastfed for a minute or less on each side and then went off about her business, climbing, running, and jumping at the park. There were other parents, grandparents, and children around but I didn’t make a fuss. My child asked so I met her need. No one batted an eye.

Breastfeeding is about more than just the milk, of course. A mother should feel proud of meeting her child’s needs, not closeted or ashamed of nursing an older baby. Breastfeeding past infancy raises many questions in our culture and sometimes instead of reaching out for knowledge, mothers receive negative reactions from the public. People unfamiliar with child-care and real life breastfeeding wonder why would a mother feed her child past six months or a year. They don’t know what the benefits of going longer are, waiting until the child is ready to wean, that there are only positives. It’s understandable. I didn’t know the reason behind letting a toddler-aged child or older breastfeed until I had my own toddler that wasn’t ready to stop. I’ve since been committed to letting each of my three children wean when they’re ready, at their pace, and it’s working wonderfully for us. I don’t have any regrets listening to my children and being there for them, emotionally, physically, nutritionally.

After I made this poster, I thought about the ‪#‎SixWords‬ social media campaign started by the United States Breastfeeding Committee (USBC). My poster only has 7 words but if I had to shorted it I’d say, “It’s about more than the milk.”

What does breastfeeding mean to you? Why are you letting your child wean when they’re ready? If you support breastfeeding like this post or share a 6 word comment on what breastfeeding means to you. ‪#‎NBM14‬ ‪#‎SixWords‬

Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, or comment below.

 

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Green Kale Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

It’s been ages since my last food post, hasn’t it? Well, today we made these nutty, green chocolate cookies and they were a hit. The girls loved making and eating them. Me too! I wish I had really paid attention to amounts to share a proper recipe but I just eye-balled it and they turned out perfect. So, that’s my warning. These amounts are just a rough guess of what I threw together in a bowl while my girls were stirring it all up. Tweak the batter if it looks too this or that, okay?

Kale Chocolate Macadamia Cookies

Makes about 18 cookies

  • 1 banana
  • 2 dragon kale leaves
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
  • 1/4 cup hulled hemp seeds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of coconut palm sugar
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup macadamia nuts
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Place the kale, eggs, and banana in your blender and blend until completely smooth. It took less than a minute in my Vitamix. Then pour the green goodness into a large bowl. Mix (or have your kids stir) in the rest of the ingredients with a spoon. My kids like smaller macadamia chunks so I blended those up a tiny bit before putting them in. If the batter is too liquid, keep adding almond flour and ingredients until it firms up. Stir in the coconut oil last. Spoon moist but firm blobs on a cookie tray (I didn’t grease the pan but maybe you could) and bake for 15 minutes, or until the tips of the cookies turn a little brown and they feel set. Gently scrape them off the pan with your thinnest spatula. I use a metal one and it works great. Let cool for a couple minutes and enjoy!

More details on my ingredients: I used eggs from my hens, they’re medium/small. For chocolate chips, I used Dragoba and they were great. Not too sweet but some people prefer cacao nibs. I use pink Himalayan sea salt for everything these days. I used Red Ape cinnamon and ground fresh nutmeg. Use less sugar, or try honey, or none if you’d like. They’re pretty sweet with the banana and chocolate and would probably taste just fine without any added sugar.

I had zero guilt giving these to my girls and eating them myself. Now it’s your turn. Tell me how your batch turns out. I hope my guesstimates weren’t that far off.

Do you think these look good or gross? Do you bake with kale or spinach? What is your favorite “healthy” cookie recipe? 

Join the conversation on FacebookTwitter, or comment below.

**Update**

I made these again with a few spoon fulls of fresh blackberry jam (that I made with honey) instead of kale to try make them pink/purple. The batter was certainly purple but they are dark pink/purple/brown are they’re done. I cut out most of the sugar because I used jam and I forgot to add cinnamon. They turned out moist and yummy again.

 

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