My thoughts at this moment: Appreciating my children, my life

[With my toddler at Muir Beach this week]

I’m having one of those “I love my life” moments of appreciation right now. I’m running off to spend another day out and about with my kids. My thoughts on parenting at this moment: Parent how you’d like to be treated. Spend that time with your kids. Laugh with them, run with them, give them more hugs and kisses than you  ever thought you could in one day. Cherish yourself, your children, this beautiful earth, all the love in the world. We only get one life. Let’s live without regrets.

Are you happy with your life, your place in this world? Are you the parent you want to be or working toward it?

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Australian model Erin McNaught shared the beauty of breastfeeding with her 117,000 followers

Australian model Erin McNaught shared her lovely breastfeeding portait with her 117,000 Instagram followers last week.

[Erin McNaught's breastfeeding photo shared on Instagram with the caption "Top: @lornajaneactive Thanks @bertscotty for my chocolate locks xx"

I like how she mentions having her hair done. Did you know lots of ladies breastfeed at the salon? It's true. And who needs a cover? Not Erin! Good for her. Sharing an uncovered breastfeeding photo certainly helps others see that it's normal, acceptable. Why should the child have to breathe recirculated air, feel hot and cramped, not be able to look around like everyone else?

Her snap reminds me of my brelfie from a couple years ago, my little girl photobombing a selfie. I didn't even realize my nursling was in there until I almost sent the snap to my girlfriend, showing off my new scarf.

[My brelfie from 2012]

How similar are those? Love it! Well, I mean, I’m no super model, I didn’t just have my hair done perfectly and let’s be honest, I look a bit tired in comparison, but it’s pretty funny. I love our little babies down there, doing what they do best.

Erin joins a long list of high-profile women who have shared their personal breastfeeding journey with a photo or two to help normalize it with the public. Have you seen the photos shared by Gwen StefaniJaime KingNatalia Vodianova, Giselle Bündchen, Miranda KerrJessie James DeckerEmma Heming WillisPink, and Teresa Palmer? Speaking of Australia, did you know my breastfeeding portrait was shared in Nurture ~ Natural Parenting Magazine?

Breastfeed with pride, ladies!

Do you have a photobombing nursling photo? Share it! 

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Canadian family restaurant, Cora, told breastfeeding mother to cover up

Another breastfeeding incident has been reported in Canada this week: Employees at Cora, a family style breakfast and lunch restaurant in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan told Jennifer Willems to cover up, despite the law being on the mother & child’s side. Just a couple days before, another mother was harassed for breastfeeding in Union Burger.

Jennifer reported the incident on Cora’s facebook page on Monday.

According to Global News, Jennifer Willems was with her nine-year-old daughter, three-year-old son and nine-month-old baby, Dahlia meeting some friends for lunch at Cora restaurant at Preston Crossing in Saskatoon. When Dahlia became hungry and Jennifer began to breastfeed her, her server asked her to cover up. Then restaurant manager asked her to cover up.

“I let her know it was actually a violation of my human rights and Dahlia’s human rights as well,” said Willems. “This went back and forth for at least 10 minutes,” she said in reference to the argument.

Willems is filing a complaint with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission (SHRC) because breastfeeding is protected by law in Canada and has been for the last 41 years.

She posted on Facebook, “I am looking for education, change and acceptance. How I was treated was wrong on so many levels and in so many ways. I would like to try to find a way to ensure that a situation such as this never happens to another family again.”

Watch the interview.

Apparently, the restaurant was founded by a single mother of three and this incident really stings for them. The owner of Cora’s at Preston Crossing has apologized to Jennifer on behalf of the staff and on the Cora Saskatoon Facebook page.

“As one of the owner’s of Cora Preston Crossing, I want to state publicly that we support a woman’s right to breastfeed at our restaurant. Without question, we recognize that breasfeeding is a human right and women should not in anyway feel restricted in exercising this right in any way. It is not just because it’s the law for all businesses… but because it is right.” – Cora Saskatoon.

How does this incident make you feel? What do you think of their apology? Let Cora know – call 450 435-2426 or email info@chezcora.com

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Brelfie of the day: Breastfeeding at Muir Beach

We spent the afternoon at Muir Beach today and of course, seven hours out of the house means my baby needed to nurse at least seven times.

Where did you NIP today?

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Big Latch On drops controversial sponsor Mother’s Milk Cooperative

Good news for those following the Big Latch On - Mother’s Milk Cooperative controversy.

From Jodine Chase’s blog this afternoon:

“The Global Big Latch On has confirmed in private correspondence with Human Milk News that they will be moving forward with the 2015 Big Latch On without the sponsorship of the controversial Mother’s Milk Cooperative.”

I am so thankful to hear this news. Last year’s World Breastfeeding Week event was dampened by the controversy, with many of my friends refusing to participate due to the questionable alliance. I thought the positive message, mama friends meeting up to spend the afternoon together, and the public seeing so many ladies nursing in the open at the same time outweighed the possible negative side, but that was just me.

If you’d like to attend this year’s event or host, contact the BLO and mark your calendars for Friday, July 31st and Saturday, August 1st.

Will you make it this year?

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Breastfeeding past infancy in the news: Study links breastfeeding past 1 with higher IQs, education level, and earnings as adults

I’m happy to share the news of a positive study linking breastfeeding past infancy with the kids growing up to be more intelligent and richer as adults than babies who were breastfed for less than a month.

Read the study: Association between breastfeeding and intelligence, educational attainment, and income at 30 years of age: a prospective birth cohort study from Brazil – Lancet

Findings:

“…participants who were breastfed for 12 months or more had higher IQ scores (difference of 3·76 points, 95% CI 2·20–5·33), more years of education (0·91 years, 0·42–1·40), and higher monthly incomes (341·0 Brazilian reals, 93·8–588·3) than did those who were breastfed for less than 1 month. The results of our mediation analysis suggested that IQ was responsible for 72% of the effect on income.”

The lead author Dr. Bernardo Lessa Horta from the Federal University of Pelotas in Brazil was quoted in Science Daily:

“Our study provides the first evidence that prolonged breastfeeding not only increases intelligence until at least the age of 30 years but also has an impact both at an individual and societal level by improving educational attainment and earning ability. What is unique about this study is the fact that, in the population we studied, breastfeeding was not more common among highly educated, high-income women, but was evenly distributed by social class. Previous studies from developed countries have been criticized for failing to disentangle the effect of breastfeeding from that of socioeconomic advantage, but our work addresses this issue for the first time.”

My poster to share with the news:

[Photo by Nicole diGiorgio of Sweetness and Light. Poster by Paala Secor]

Now, as always, I support all women. I understand that breastfeeding isn’t possible for everyone and making it to 12 months and beyond isn’t always feasible either. But with the overwhelming negativity in the news toward breastfeeding in public and bullies criticizing nursing past infancy, this study’s findings are important to share. I look forward to the day when I don’t hear of anyone being told to wean or being told to cover up, move, or stop breastfeeding in public.

Did you breastfeed past infancy? How do you feel about these new findings?

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The Meredith Vieira Show decides to tell breastfeeding women to cover up while flashing cleavage

The Meredith Vieira Show decided to shame breastfeeding mothers on it’s Friday, March 20th episode.

They covered breastfeeding in public – nursing on a plane specifically.

Screen shot from their website:

[Left to Right: Author of “Let Crazy Be Crazy” Elaine Swann, Editor-in-cheif of “Always A List” Jawn Murray, “The Real Housewives of New York City” star Countess Luann de Lesseps, and Meredith Vieira.]

Watch the segment here or press play below. Skip to the 4 minute mark.

They brought up the United Airlines incident where the flight attendant threw a blanket at a breastfeeding family. Instead of standing up for the mother and her child, having a little common sense about what’s right and what’s not, they decided to tear her down and say women should know better than to go out in public without bringing a nursing cover. It’s a crying shame that the women ganged up on breastfeeding mothers instead of supporting them. Telling women to cover up for the courtesy of others is oppressive, sexist, and unacceptable. And yet, there they sit on national television wearing whatever they want without thinking about how they’re hurting women and children, harming everyone by reinforcing these stigmas against women. The woman in the low cut dress flashing her breasts is all right because she’s not using her breasts for babies, just for getting viewership? And that’s fine. She can wear that dress. But putting down other women for actually using their breasts? That’s not okay. Real etiquette experts should suggest having a little compassion for a mother just doing her best for her child, helping others realize the basic human needs of children trump the squeamish sensibilities of a select few.

My thoughts?

This reminds me of Wendy Williams Show’s incident last year. Sigh…Look, I get it. I used to see breastfeeding and sort of freak out and dart my eyes to look away or even leave the room. We’re just not used to seeing breasts being used to feed and comfort babies and children. But I never told anyone to cover up or told them they were being inappropriate for meeting their child’s needs. When I had my own children, I was really worried about people seeing my boobs. I tried to cover up for the first 2 years but then finally, I stopped hauling a cover around and making myself and my child hot with it and stressing out over nothing. It’s not worth it. People need to see breastfeeding to accept it as normal. If everyone covers up, no one will see it, and everyone will expect all mothers to cover or use bottles, further damaging women, everyone for that matter, in our society. The women on The Meredith Vieira Show really should publicly apologize for their damaging actions and state that they do support women 100% and support breastfeeding. It’s fine to have these opinions, feel uncomfortable seeing breastfeeding, but if they asked a woman to cover up in person, they’d be breaking the law and could face a fine, depending on which state they decided to bully a mother in. And telling the public that they should expect to see breastfeeding covered up or it’s not acceptable? They should get in legal trouble for that.

The public is outraged by this bullying of moms. Here are a few comments on the segment.

How can you help?

Does your state have an enforcement provision? Call your state reps and ask for one.

Contact the Meredith Show and NBC Universal and respectfully give them a few suggestions of how they can make amends.

How does this segment make you feel? How do you think NBC can make amends to the public?

Join the conversation on TwitterFacebook, or comment below!

**UPDATE 3.24.2015**

I heard back from the show on Twitter this morning.

[Twitter]

I asked if they’ve set a date yet and will update when I hear back.

 

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