A Must See: Bottled Up! The Film

From Piece of My Heart Productions, “Bottled UP! is a documentary exposé about Breastfeeding in America. Our mission is to restore the Phenomenon of the Nursing Mother to the cultural landscape of America.”

Listen to Dr. Jay Gordon and mothers, even Minnie Driver and Alanis Morissette speak.

(If there are any viewing issues, watch online here at the film’s website.)

“This film shows how women can reclaim their birthright and restore the nursing mother archetype. More than a breastfeeding promotion film, this is a film by, for, and about women. It is about the knowledge that inherently resides in every woman, how to access that knowledge and how to trust what we already know. It is a film that will inspire women to say, “I can do that!” “I want to do that!”

How does this documentary trailer make you feel?


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Child Sexual Abuse: Warning Signs & Getting Help

Sexual abuse: No one wants it to happen to their children. But it happens. Every day. Rather than live in fear, learn the signs of grooming and keep a close eye on your child, adults they may be left alone with, and their judge their interactions and behavior.

If you’re having a hard time reading the poster, this in the grooming info from http://www.parenting.org/article/victim-grooming-protect-your-child-sexual-predators

Grooming is a process that typically consists of the following steps:

  1. Building Trust and Breaking Down Child’s Defenses
    • Pretend to share common interests, backgrounds, experiences, etc.
    • Give gifts as tokens of friendship.
    • Play games.
    • Give rides.
    • Provide access to valuable items, privileges, or activities typically unavailable or off limits.
    • Flatter and make child feel special and somehow indebted.
    • Offer a sympathetic and understanding ear (i.e., “No one understands you like I do”; “I am here for you”; “I know what that’s like”, etc.)
  2. Reassuring to the Family
    • Strike up relationships with parents (single parent families are prime targets).
    • Attempt to gain trust or take advantage of the trust of the child’s parents or care-providers.
    • Behave in exemplary ways to alleviate concerns or possible suspicions.
  3. Gradual Erosion of Boundaries
    • Inappropriate escalating physical contact, such as:
      • hugging or touching non threatening areas of body (i.e., hand holding, rubbing back, caressing hair, etc.)
      • pretending to accidentally touch or brush up against child
      • positioning self in close proximity to child (i.e., sleep in the same bed)
      • engage child in non-sexual inappropriate behaviors (i.e., drinking alcohol)
      • touching and fondling inappropriate areas of the body
  4. Construct Secrecy with Child
    • Make child fearful that he or she will be in trouble if their activities together are discovered.
    • Tell child that touching between them is good; their relationship is special.
    • Tell child there will be consequences if they report behavior (i.e., “We no longer can be friends”, “Your family will hate you”, etc.).
  5. Working to Secure Compliance
    • Escalate intrusiveness of sexual behaviors over time.
    • Manipulate child into performing or permitting desired sex act.
    • Threaten to harm child or some person important to child if they do not comply

More information: Child Sexual Abuse: 6 Stages of Grooming – Oprah

Check out www.childwelfare.gov 

If your child speaks out or you are suspicious, report any signs of child sexual abuse to the authorities and stop or limit interaction with the suspect.

Call the ChildHelp USA National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-422-4453.

More information on reporting.


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Becoming an Orphan

There is one certainty in life. No one can avoid death. We read about it or see it on TV every day almost and think about loved ones that have already past. But every time someone in your family passes away, it hits hard. I mean, at least for me. Today was one of those days. I found out that I have lost my father. It wasn’t a surprise but it wasn’t expected. Does that make sense? I was not prepared mentally even though I saw it coming. Now, his death combined with my mother’s sudden passing less than three years ago, well, I can tell I am going to be emotionally a mess for a while. I am still a mess from my mother even though I seem quite stable and don’t break down in tears in front of strangers. Please forgive me if I need some time to grieve and not blog about my usual things. I am still processing and trying to grasp on to what happened and memories of my father. How am I handling it? I guess I am an orphan. Does the word still apply when I am over a certain age? I still feel young though and angry that they are both gone.

Here is my father holding my first baby a mere three days after the passing of his wife in 2010. The second photo is of me and my mother and brothers as children. I thought my mother was the most beautiful woman in the world. I loved her smile.

When putting it in context, I should be thankful that I had them for so long, that I had both of them growing up, but to me it still seems a bit unfair. I am still a child. I want to scream, “This is NOT FAIR!” I should have had another couple decades or more to learn from them, fall on them for guidance, have them be a part of my life and share their granddaughters with them. But death is just how the world works I guess. My children will just have to make due with their grandparents from the other side of the family. Thankfully, they are loving and healthy and should be around for a while.

While I am still numb to the news, advice on life comes to mind. Appreciate who you have in your life and love them like there is no tomorrow. And take as many photos and videos as you can. You will never regret having too many, just not enough.

This photo is the only photo I have of myself and my parents from the last decade. This was the morning I flew from my home state of Texas to California for college in January of 2004.

Have you lost a parent or two? How did you cope after you had children? How do you tell your children about it? How do you teach them about the grandparents that they never knew?


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Sweet Links…Breastfeeding portraits, siblings, toddlers, donor milk needed in CA, Shakira enjoys nursing, NIP Incident

Happy Tuesday!

Where did this last weekend go? I don’t even remember what we did. We certainly didn’t watch football. We just can’t get into that sport. I played high school basketball and never dated a football jock so I didn’t care to watch games. Did you watch the Superbowl?

I did capture a sweet moment one morning though. As we were listening to music and watching the kiddos giggle up a storm doing play-pretend, my older child pretended to nurse her little sister. Of course my little one is totally game for pretending to have milk. Big sister says, “Come here, baby sister. Drink your milk! Ok, ok. That’s enough milk for now! (What I say when I’m feeling done.) Then she says, “Come back. Have some more milk!” So they do it again, giggling, and rolling around. Siblings are the best.

They usually just do pretend nursing with dolls but this is the second time they’ve done it with each other so I had to take a photo and share. Something only a parent of breastfeeding children would think is funny, probably. Do your kiddos do this?

How is your week starting off? I just realized tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of the International Facebook Nurse-in 2012. Here is my post on the event. Here is a photo of me and my girls enjoying nursing with pride in the sun at the headquarters in Menlo Park, CA.

Thank you again for organizing this event last year, Emma of FB! Stop harassing Emma Kwasnica over her breastfeeding pics and Jodine Chase of Human Milk News.

On to my sweet links…Pasted below are the stories and photos I have seen going around this past week in case you missed my recent Facebook posts or you don’t an account.


<3 Paala


Here is a beautiful strong mama, the Breastfeeding Chef. Shared by Beautiful Breastfeeding this week.


Are there any Orange County, CA mamas in willing to donate milk for an older child in need? “I am trying to reach out to local moms ( Im in Orange County Ca) to see if anyone would be willing to pump for my 4 year old Son, he has a medical condition that has gone undiagnosed by 3 different specialists for 3 years now. basically he has no immune system so every time he gets sick he ends up with pneumonia and has to be in the hospital and he is unable to absorb nutrients and fats from his foods so he is emaciated and behind in development. I was planning on pumping for him when I had my daughter but every time I try to pump my nipples crack and I end up with mastitis. My heart is broken because I really thought I was finally going to be able to help him. Does anyone in my area have extra milk they could donate? Thank you Izzys Mama. This is Izzy:”

Any other messages of advice or support would be welcomed ♥ Please contact RefreshMe to donate.


Speaking of California parents, this one is for SF Bay Area parents.Have you heard about the Discover & Go program through your library? Visit museums & more for free just by having a library card. I know Berkeley and Oakland have it because I am signed up for both. Check it out!


This just in: A 214-year-old law in Paris told women they couldn’t dress as men – couldn’t wear pants, has finally been revoked. Sure, I know it has been ignored for a long time but still, why it was ever put into law baffles me. Women have been dealing with crap like this for centuries.

Don’t wear that. Cover up.

When will we be allowed the same topless rights as men in all states? Then breastfeeding in public incidents would NEVER happen.

Just sayin’.

More good reads:

I also saw this article abour extended breastfeeding, also called full-term or natural-term breastfeeding in Breastfeeding Magazine and had to share.

“Extended breastfeeding is simply nursing a child past Western society’s ‘normal’ expectations.To some people this is past six weeks. For some it means six months. For others it means nursing a toddler. We don’t understand why people think that the same milk that at one point provided all of your sweeties needs for food and drink (not to mention all sorts of other benefits) no longer has value after 6, 9 or 12 months? That is, in fact, simply a common myth. Breast milk contains valuable vitamins, calcium and antibodies for as long as it is made.”

Read more in Breastfeeding Magazine.


I have seen this quote before but I just saw it again on an Alphamom Q&A that I just read about abusive an grandparent. It was touching because, well, my father is a dangerous influence on myself and my children. Long story short, he is a hopeless alcoholic. He has been in and out of rehabs and ERs and found nearly dead a half dozen times in the last couple of years (and my whole childhood). I have wondered if I should keep trying to keep our relationship open, keep flying in to Texas as often as I can to visit with my girls. But he doesn’t remember our visits and puts my children in danger and it is mentally abusive to me, clearly, because I put up with it and keep hoping he’ll change. When is enough enough?

Do you have a mother or father that you’ve had to cut off from your new family? Do you give them a new shot every 5 years or is it just goodbye forever?


Did you see that story a few weeks back that I posted a link to a FB note? About the mom who was yelled at and shamed in a San Diego court for breastfeeding her baby? Here is more on the story.

- On January 8, 2013, Rebecca Garcia was breastfeeding her 8 month old son in one of the courtrooms at the Chula Vista Courthouse. When her son started to fuss, the bailiff, Deputy Chung, approached Rebecca and asked what she was doing. When Rebecca said she was breastfeeding, Deputy Chung stated loudly, in front of the entire courtroom, “You should be ashamed of yourself, it’s inappropriate, you need to leave and go outside, do that somewhere else private, and it is illegal to breastfeed in court!”

And more…

Deputy Chung followed Rebecca out of the courtroom and continued to harass her for breastfeeding in the courtroom, making many disparaging comments, including his opinion that she should be ashamed of herself. At one point, Rebecca attempted to leave Deputy Chung’s presence, and Deputy Chung went so far as to physically block her way out of the cubicle so that he could continue the harassment. Finally, even when Rebecca exited the cubicle, Deputy Chung followed her to say a few more disparaging comments, finishing with, “I don’t know what kind of world you live in, but it’s not okay to breastfeed in public.”

Following this incident, Rebecca filed a complaint with Deputy Chung’s supervisor. The supervisor informed Rebecca that she would speak with Deputy Chung, but not to expect a phone call describing the resolution or any form of apology. Click to read more here.

How sad is it that someone thought this mistreatment of a mother was acceptable? That the judge didn’t immediately kick him out?


Photo shared by WHAT WE SEEE in April of 2012

I am a little late seeing this but it made me smile so I had to share. “European Member of Parliament, Licia Ronzulli (an MEP from Italy), took her seven-week old daughter, Victoria, to work at the European Parliament in Strasbourg. [It was not a 'Take-Your-Child-to-Work' event.] She kept her baby carefully cradled against her in a wrap and occasionally leant to kiss her on the forehead. This photo was taken as she voted on proposals to improve women’s employment rights and was broadcast and published in newspapers around the world.”

This mother and child have been photographed breastfeeding and a couple years later, the toddler voting with her mother.

OK, that is enough for today.

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Something I am always proud of: Tandem Nursing

I just realized yesterday I am in the same place as I was last year when I wrote this confession. Because I still hate to fold laundry, there a few piles around the house that need attention, along with other messes. I am yet again over a month behind on writing our Christmas thank you cards to friends and family. I am still sleep deprived. No, my children do not sleep through the night. The older one wakes to use the potty a couple times and to snuggle after waking from a bad dream and the other is still a milk monster.I slept in four different places last night, going to wherever a child needed me or hiding in another bed to try and catch a few moments of uninterrupted sleep. Bedtime the night before, well, I wasn’t proud of my end-of-day mommy meltdown. Right after I bragged to my husband about how I had such a wonderful day out and about with the girls that a stranger asked me if I was a teacher because I was so good with my kids, I lost my cool and patience.

Despite the many things I wish I could be doing better, at least I always have something to feel proud of. I can meet both of my children’s needs completely at the same time. They can also bond with each other at the same time too.

What are you proud of?



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