Thursday, January 31, 2013

Teen mom denied breastfeeding rights

We have heard (too many times) how breastfeeding moms face discrimination and sometimes ridicule, when it comes to breastfeeding in public. As an adult woman, that can be hard enough to handle. I still find myself amazed at the strength of women and what we can do when we are forced into a situation, when we tackle the issue together. The other day I was baffled (yet again) as I read an article.

I came across this article (thanks to one of our Mummies in our closed FB group) and I found myself yanked into the story. Not only was this NEW mom fighting for her rights to breastfeed AND pump for her newborn son... BUT she was fighting for this right to do it IN HIGH SCHOOL!

Please let that sink in.

Meet Jaielyn and her Nummie Lover Adrian.
A young, Delaware mom defies the odds and the stigma of breastfeeding and chooses to give her son the BEST she can. She also decides that she wants to continue her high school education WHILE being a breastfeeding Mummie. Simply amazing, right? Inspiring to say the least. What happens next, though, is shocking.

According to Jennifer Antonik, author of Momma Trauma Blog, Jaielyn Belong a sophomore at Lake Forest High School in Felton Deleware was told by multiple school officials that she should only breastfeed her newborn son before and after school hours. They would not provide a space for her to pump during school hours AND this "recommendation would not change with or without a doctor's note."

Wait... huh? Since when does someone need a doctor's note to breastfeed or pump. And why are these school officials refusing to give this mom a space to breastfeed? It is LAW for ALL places of business and or employers to offer a SUITABLE place for a mother to pump. Now.... I know a school is a place for education, BUT there are employees there as well. IF school employees HAVE to have a place to pump, then this student mom can have a place as well.

According to Momma Trauma, the school's nurse called Betty, Jaielyn's mother, and said that the school would not be able to accommodate Jaielyn's breastmilk storage needs. That they have a refrigerator that is strictly for the use of medications or other purposes. That an electric pump is "noisy" and will "draw attention" to Jaielyn. That her "peers may tease her," that pumping milk is "time consuming" and that they are not even sure that she will be pumping when she says she will be.

WOW. Perhaps a little background on Jaielyn (as a student) might help you make an assessment on her character. According to her mother, Jaielyn is a good student who enjoys reading. She is described as a "book worm" who has OCCASIONALLY gotten in trouble for reading during class. Totally sounds like a lying student who can NOT be trusted, don't you think?  (Did you notice the stench of sarcasm there?) If a mother is going to go through the HASSLE of packing pumping supplies and a breast pump EVERY DAY and lugging it all to school.... I do not think they will LIE and decide to do something else while they are "suppose" to be pumping. I mean, honestly. Hey let's not trust someone because we do not want to help.

I know she is a high school teen mom who got pregnant. I know that was most likely not the BEST thing that has ever happened. But it happened. It DOES happen and that has nothing to do with the mother's character or her ability to do the very best she can. Girls have been getting pregnant in high school for YEARS! I had two friends who got pregnant while I was in high school (DO NOT GAWK  that was not THAT long ago..... Wait.. I can no longer count on two hands how many years ago I graduated... NEVER MIND THAT! Let's get back to the post.)  My point is, as hard as it is.... it happens. This girl is now a Mummie. A Mummie who just wants to do the best she can, for her son, and continue her education. We should be happy she has not given up on herself, we should be happy that she is stepping up and continuing to do her very best.

Since this story has been released, there have been some possible changes. But none of them have been confirmed. I have received an update from Momma Trauma, she has informed me that "The school superintendent said he will be allowing her time and a place to pump, however I am waiting for more information than that." She also told me that he said when Jaielyn gets back to school to give him a call if everything is not as it should be. That "he was surprised at the support she has received so far both locally and globally" (WOOT WOOT TO THAT!) Jennifer also told me that their local community is currently looking into providing a brand new small fridge to accommodate Jaielyn's milk and that of any other student or teacher who needs to pump. The hope is the school will be willing to accept free help with regards to breastfeeding education so that the staff and students there will learn from this. The Superintendent has said that "there  is no shortage of teen moms" at his schools....  but that none of them have brought up breastfeeding accommodations in the past. What a GREAT way to help the community and spread education regarding breastfeeding and the wonderful benefits breastfeeding brings.  

So I do not want to jump the Mummie Wagon too early. But what I hear is very promising and could make for some great changes. I will continue to be in contact with the author of Momma Trauma and I have had email conversations with Jaielyn herself. I am excited to announce that Jaielyn has agreed to do an interview with me, to get her story out, explain her story and keep up updated  on her breastfeeding journey!

If you want to show your support to this awesome Mummie, you can find Jaielyn's support page on Facebook and you can always check us out too. I will be keeping updated on this story as it continues to develop!! PLUS keep an eye out for my interview with Jaielyn!

Rock Your Journey Mummies!!!


Monday, January 28, 2013

A Breastfeeding Journey Celebration

I would like to nominate a day to become a national holiday. I am not really sure how to make this happen, so I am going to start here on Mummie's Nummies. January is a month filled with national holidays. Let's see we have:

National Bath Safety Month
National Blood Donor Month
National Braille Literacy Month
National Hobby Month
Hot Tea Month
National Oatmeal Month
National Soup Month

These holidays are awesome, I mean who doesn't like a good soup? BUT I would like to add to that list. I would like to add a celebration to the month of January, but I would like to go a bit further than that. I would like to add a specific day in January. January 28 to be exact. What is so special about this day? Why would I want to create a holiday on this day? Well you see.... today is the day that I am ALL DRIED UP! No more Nummies, no more lactating. NO MORE BREASTMILK. Yes... after 5 years of breastfeeding, lactating and/or leaking my body has stopped producing the breast-leche! 

As you know, Kit Kat has been nursing once a week for a LONG time now. Since we decided to let her self wean, when she was ready, it has been a process that she has happily been in charge of. My supply has been dipping over time and I knew the day was coming when I could no longer hand squeeze a jet stream of breastmilk in the shower. 

Last week, Kit Kat asked to "eat my nummies." I obliged and was slightly surprised when she was done is 20 seconds. I looked at her and asked "did you even get any?" She simply shrugged and said "nope" and snuggled in to watch some tv. So that got me thinking! Later that morning, in the shower, I did my "squeeze test" and got a few drops... DROPS! No jet stream, no water pistols. Nothing but a couple of drops! Not even a few drops... a couple as in TWO. So I knew our journey was coming to an end. That was the last time she (seriously) asked to "eat" (she has asked a few times since then, but follows her question with a crazy giggle that screams "I'm sooooooo kidding.)

Kit Kat could possibly be our last baby and I was not able to celebrate my breastfeeding journey with Pooker. So I wanted to do something special. I am proud of our journey and I thought it deserved to be celebrated. The thought of a party crossed my mind... but I did not think that would go over well with "The Fam" and what good is a party without party guests? So I decided the next best thing  at a party (besides the cake) are BALLOONS!!! And so The Breastfeeding Journey Celebration plans were born. 

Find a store with easy access to balloons and helium that would also have a good number of little children. (We choose Walmart. We also ran into a bit of an issue here... seems my Walmart was OUT of helium to inflate the balloons... so I had to purchase a $20.00 helium tank kit... Sorry Mr Mummie.... but we are now the proud owners of a helium tank and 75 balloons!)
Grab some Mummie friends and their Nummie Lovers
Marker (To write on Kit Kat's balloon.)
Camera (For the awesome moments that you want to capture. This is a celebration after all!)

What to do:
Write a message on Kit Kat's balloon. Hers said "No more Nummies!" and tie to the cart.
Fill balloons and simply hand them out to any child you see. (It is a good idea to ask the parent first.)  All I said was "Hi! We are passing out balloons and was wondering if we could give him/her one?" No parent said "no" although some were a bit puzzled! But they happily took a balloon from Kit Kat (or me when she decided she was too shy.)
Take photos of the whole celebration. I took photos of my Mummie friends and their Nummie Lovers, but did not take any of the other children. But trust me... they were there! It was a SLOW day at Walmart as it took 45 minutes to pass out 8 balloons!

Are you ready to celebrate with us? Come along for our Breastfeeding Journey Celebration!

(Proud to celebrate our breastfeeding journey.)

(Kit Kat and her 8 balloons we are passing out. You can only see two balloons...but we had 8! She even picked the balloon colors. Her hand is in the balloon bag!)

(Kit Kat found a little girl who NEEDED a balloon. She saw her before I did! "Over there Mommy!")

(Kit Kat grabbed the camera, that was strapped to my neck, and snapped a picture. Seems she wanted me to be part of the celebration too!)

(Our friend "T" chillin' with his Nummie balloon.)

(Our friends "Big C" and "T" celebrating with us!)

(Baby "C" and her Mummie... Baby "C" is the little sister of "Big C." Her smile is the biggest thing about her! And trust me the girl has some BIG ROLLS on her!!!)

(All of our friends who came to celebrate our Breastfeeding Journey... Minus a Mummie... hmm she must have been hiding. We had a blast and are so glad they came along!)

I was asked today if I was sad that we were done breastfeeding. And to be perfectly honest... I am not sad. Our journey ended slowly and peacefully. It was a process that gave me time to prepare for the end and to be honest.... there was no better way to end it. Kit Kat and I rocked our journey for approximately 3 years, 38 months, 1170 days, 167 weeks. We battled Reflux, never ending feedings, negative comments, bite marks and pure exhaustion (just to name a few.) We enjoyed silent moments, silly expressions, irreplaceable bonding, slightly embarrassing shirt grabbing in public, slightly publicly embarrassing toddler comments about "EATING NUMMIES NOW", breastfed toddler antics and endless memories. All great things must come to an end but I am so proud of what we have accomplished, how far we went and how amazing it all was.

 I never thought I would say "Yeah I breastfed my three year old" without a second thought. I never thought that I would feel so proud of myself for a simple act. I never thought breastfeeding would play such a huge part in my role as "Mommy." But I did breastfeed my 3 year old, I am proud and breastfeeding HAS played a huge role. And I would not want it any other way. 

I am honored to have breastfed Kit Kat. I am honored to have breastfed Pooker. I am honored that I was able to breastfeed at all and enjoy the journey that was created. There is just something about watching your baby growing and KNOWING "that is all me doing that!" I feel amazing that I was able to experience that. 

So here is to the past 5 years (total), the amazing journeys and memories that came along with it. Cheers to us (Pooker and Kit Kat) we rocked our journeys the best way we knew how. And we came out on the other end with smiles on our faces, pride in our hearts and a feeling of accomplishment that only we can understand. In the words of my daughters "Rock on Sista friend!!!!"

(Kit Kat)


Rock YOUR journey Mummies. Celebrate the small milestones and the big ones. Be proud of where you are and where you have been, because it is and was an amazing place to be.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Breastmilk or formula

For me... Sometimes a post is like a sneeze.... you feel it coming on and there is nothing you can do to stop it....

This post is a sneeze.

The age old debate... 
Breastmilk or formula. 
Good vs Evil. 
The absolute best vs liquid poison. 
Best mom vs unqualified mom.

WHO REALLY CARES?! I think we need to start a  new debate.
Feeding your baby vs not feeding your baby.

I have read them all: debates that prove breastmilk is superior and debates that prove formula is just as good. 
Studies that show formula feeding moms do more work compared to breastfeeding moms. Studies that show breastfeeding moms love their children more. 

COME ON! Our society is full of judgmental wieners that have nothing better to do than pass negative comments around for what ever reason. Why do we need to pit moms against each other? Why is it not enough that moms love their babies and are doing the very best they can?  Why do we have to put mothers into a breastfeeding category or a formula feeding category?

I read a Huff Post article, written by The Fearless Formula Feeder, yesterday and it really hit me. Why should women be made to feel guilty of how they either choose to or are made to feed their babies? You all know I am ALL for breastfeeding. I would love to see all babies breastfed. I would love to see all mothers feel the emotions of feeding their babies. But this is a dream, a dream that is so far from reality. Not ALL mothers CAN breastfeed, not ALL mothers CHOOSE to breastfeed. Not ALL mothers are ABLE to provide their babies with enough breastmilk. 

I will most likely make some Breastfeeding Advocates a little upset right now... But I kinda like going against the grain and this is MY blog... SOOOO here is BIG breastfeeding SHOCKER--- I do NOT think formula is evil. I do NOT think formula is the end all of breastfeeding. I do NOT write off moms because they either choose not to breastfeed or are unable to breastfeed. (I am not saying all breastfeeding advocates feel that way. But some do.)  I do not like it when people try to guilt trip others into doing something. Trying to FEAR someone into doing anything is not going to help them. If anything it will hurt them in the long run. As human beings, we are our own worst critics. If we fail at something, we never let ourselves forget it. If we are unable to make a goal, one that we set for ourselves, we punish ourselves. WHY OH WHY would we need others to help us with that? We do not. We do not need others passing judgment, labeling us, making us feel guilty over a choice we have made (or not made depending on the situation.)

I am a firm believer in educating and supporting. In most cases, non support is the main reason in not breastfeeding. It IS important to reach out to those mothers, to show them that people are there for them. But it is also important to accept when a mother chooses to formula feed. Not all mothers are able to find breastmilk donors and not all mothers are comfortable with the idea of donated breastmilk. 
Breastfeeding and formula feeding are choices. Choices made with much thought (in most cases.) 

Sure, some women do not "like" the thought of breastfeeding. And as long as they do not judge breastfeeding mothers... then all power to them. I do not like Liver Worst... but I do not judge those who do.

Why do I feel this way?  Why do I not "hate" formula? Because once upon a time we used it! That's right! This breastfeeding Mummie and breastfeeding advocate used formula... You want to know something else? I used it WHILE I was breastfeeding! When Pooker was a month old we gave her two formula bottles a day. With her health problems we found it was easier on her to have a bottle at her two worst feedings of the day. When she had her formula bottle, I pumped and created a great frozen stash. This lasted for 2 months before we were able to give her breastmilk bottles instead. Never in that time frame did my supply ever drop. We used formula for 2 months and my breastmilk supply never changed. Then at 11 months old, one month shy of our breastfeeding goal, I had to stop breastfeeding her due to a high risk pregnancy. We stopped cold turkey and I was a terrible mess. I hated myself, I felt like a failure. Why couldn't I breastfeed while pregnant? Then buying formula in the store was a kick in the a$$. I felt eyes on me, judging me. It was a month of hell before we stopped formula and went to cow's milk.  

Don't even get me started on the judgmental looks I got while breastfeeding in public! It did not matter where I was. Nursing at a store, on a park bench, in my own car. If someone walked by and noticed what I was doing... more times than not I got a stern look. One time some old lady about gave herself whip lash as she walked by me, add the evil eye she gave and I was shaking in my nursing bra (NOT!). I even got a LOUD comment of "Ewww. is she BREASTfeeding?" from a young lady ("lady" used loosely... as half of her booty was hanging out of her shorts) while I breastfed IN MY CAR.

So you see.... we all get comments. We ALL are given negative judgments from others. That is one thing breastfeeding mothers and formula feeding mothers have in common (besides the never ending love we have for our babies... yeah 'cause we have that in common too.)

WHY do we put ourselves through that? I was not a failure. No one is a failure. We do what we can, the best way we know how. We feed our babies when they are hungry. Who gives anyone the right to make us feel bad about how we are feeding our babies? I do not and will not feel guilty about breastfeeding Kit Kat at age 3. I no longer feel I was a failure for giving Pooker formula because I could not breastfeed her to our goal. I am PROUD of how I fed our girls. I am PROUD I made a choice that worked for us. I am PROUD I was able to FEED Pooker formula when my frozen breastmilk stash ran out. I am proud of that because she was STILL EATING. And you should be proud too. Either you did the best you could or you choose a path that was best for your family. 
Either way... own it and be proud of it.

People need to get off of their high horses and stop judging others. 
Breastmilk or formula.  Neither word says anything about loving a child more.  
We are women. We love our babies. We do the best we can with what we got. 
THAT should be enough.
And it IS enough.

Now with ALL of that being said. I AM a breastfeeding advocate. I LOVE supporting women in their breastfeeding journey. I LOVE helping when help is needed. I LOVE being there to watch a Mummie's breastfeeding journey. I support a mother's right to breastfeed her baby anywhere/anytime for how ever long her and her "baby" want. BUT I am also a "Mommyadvocate." Every mother needs and deserves support, regardless of how she feeds her baby. No Mummie should feel they are "left out in the cold" to handle what ever comes up, simply because they went down a different path.

Right here and right now... I would LOVE to see breastfeeding and formula feeding mothers take a stand, hand in hand, one with a bottle and one with a boob! 
We shall not be judged by you. 
We will stand together and we will be strong.

Rock YOUR Journey... no matter what journey you are on!

**ACHHHOOOOOO! Tissue please.**


Monday, January 21, 2013

Helping Hands Milk Bank

There is something about a newborn. After 9 long months (hopefully) of waiting, the chance to hold your little human is a moment no Mummie will ever forget. The first time you see them, hold them, smell them, count their little fingers and toes, run your hand over their feather-like hair. It hits you all at once: The miracle of it all, the sudden and overwhelming feeling of protection. The absolute and undeniable love.

Some Mummies and Daddies do not get to experience that, right away. Sadly, not all babies are born into this world healthy and ready to be loved on. Some babies do not make it to 9 months gestation. Others who do, are still sick. For these sweet little ones, their first home is not in the arms of their parents... but in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.)  For these babies, their stomachs can be so very sensitive and not fully developed. For these babies (in most cases) the best nutrition for them is breastmilk. But, not all of these babies are able to get breastmilk. For what ever reason, what could be the most beneficial food option, is not always available.

I want to introduce you to Helping Hands Milk Bank. This milk bank (operated by Prolacta Bioscience) is a unique integration of two very compelling goals: to collect excess breast milk from qualified donors for premature infants, and simultaneously give back to the community in a significant and meaningful way by financially supporting selected charities based on the amount of donated milk received.

Prolacta is a for-profit company, but they never charge a parent for breast milk. Prolacta's unique fortifier products, available only in the NICU, are treated in the same manner as most products used to provide patient care in the hospital. In most cases medical insurance covers the cost of the products. In other cases hospitals absorb the cost. Prolacta's goal is to support research that can make a difference in the lives of infants through innovative products.

Helping Hands is a virtual milk bank that collects excess breast milk from mothers who have it to spare. All of the milk donated to Helping Hands is processed into a human milk based fortifier for tiny premature babies in NICUs across the country. The fortifier helps reduce the likelihood that these babies will develop dangerous diseases like NEC.

The process is simple. Helping Hands allows busy mothers to register online in about 15 minutes. Helping Hands supplies storage containers and covers all shipping costs & supplies, so there is no cost to the donor. Anyone from across the US can contribute without leaving home. Visit the Helping Hands Milk Bank Web site if you're interested in learning more about breast milk donation

In order to help spread the word Helping Hands Milk Bank is offering a special giveaway to Mummie's Nummies readers. 
This giveaway includes :

An insulated cooler lunch bag, Bamboobies Nursing Pads, Honey Suckle Breast Milk Storage Bags, hand sanitizer, SPF 30 Lipbalm, a Breast Health Basics Sheet AND a $25 Amazon gift card (gift card not pictured.)

Do the Rafflecopter thing (no singing this time... I am giving your voices a rest!)

Good luck and have fun!
(If only Rafflecopter link is visible... click the link to enter...)


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Breast Pumps Covered by Insurance Policy

There has been a little hidden secret among insurance companies. A little secret that you would only know IF you asked about it. Something that was NOT widely mentioned to the public at all. The secret...... a breast pump could be considered a "medical device" by the insurance company, and therefore covered 80%-100% depending on your insurance. The only stipulation? You have to get a "doctor's note" (A letter from your OBGYN) and you HAVE to purchase the breast pump at certain "approved" medical supply companies OR at the hospital where you gave birth.

I took advantage of this little un-known secret, in 2008, when Pooker was born. While we spent a 4 night stay at Children's Health Care of Atlanta, a friend of mine filled me in on the Insurance secret. Sure enough, I called and the nice insurance guy confirmed it.

My next step was to get that note from my OBGYN. Easy as pie! I just called my doctor's office and informed them of what I needed. When Pooker was released from the Children's Hospital, we went to pick it up and headed back to the hospital where I gave birth. The only down side to that was I had to be "re admitted" into the hospital in order to go into Lactation Services! (That was a pain in the nummie makers!)

Once we got all that taken care of, with my doctor's note in hand, I was able to pick ANY breast pump I wanted.... a $450.00 dollar Medela Pump In Style was all mine... at no cost to me.

When we gave birth to Kit Kat we HAD planned on doing the same thing.... we got discharged from the hospital, got my letter form my OBGYN and headed back.... but it seemed there was an INFLUX of people needing to be admitted and the wait was over an hour long. (An hour long wait with a 19 month old and a 3 day old baby..... not FUN.) So we ended up leaving and not getting a pump. (Turned out I didn't need a breast pump with Kit Kat... she HATED expressed breastmilk. Only fresh Nummies for her!)

WELL..... Today I was cleaning out my wallet and what did I find? THREE YEARS LATER.... I found my letter from my OBGYN! I thought it would be great to show you all what your letter MIGHT look like. Keep in mind all doctors have different forms.. but this will give you a great idea on what you might get. (I did modify some information on it.... the whole internet/security/privacy/safety thing and all....)

(Here is the letter.)

(Here is a close up of the reasons for a breast pump. With Pooker we had the first reason. With her health issues... that qualified for "other complication.")

Now, keep in mind this letter was from 2009. Recently (in the United States) a new Health Care Reform has passed, which allows ALL women to get free breast pumps AND lactation support. The Women's Preventive Services states:

Type of Preventive ServiceHHS Guideline for Health Insurance CoverageFrequency
Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling.Comprehensive lactation support and counseling, by a trained provider during pregnancy and/or in the postpartum period, and costs for renting breastfeeding equipment.In conjunction with each birth.

Now from what I have read (and understand) this new preventive care covers a rental breast pump and/or the purchase of a personal electric breast pump. It will also cover the cost of lactation consultant visits! SCORE!

If you have any questions regarding this, I would highly recommend calling your insurance carrier, health department or doctor. A breast pump can be a life saver.... I know it was for us when we had Pooker!

Rock your journey!!!!


Monday, January 7, 2013

Growing Up Naturally turns 1!

I am a big fan of supporting supportive people. When I come across someone who is nonjudgmental and simply an honest person I am all like "Woot woot for you! How can I help you?!" So let me introduce Becky. Becky is one of my "Mummies" and creator of Growing Up Naturally in Home Childcare. Becky is celebrating her 1 year blog-iversary! And like me... she is all about sharing the LOVE. So all month long Growing Up Naturally is having a birthday celebration... complete with prizes.

Growing Up Naturally is a blog about many topics within the parenting sphere and rumor has it she will be doing a giveaway for Mummie's Nummies Breastfeeding Journey in a couple of months! (Shameless plug...)

Below are link to Growing Up Naturally in Home Childcare Blog-iversary Celebration! I will be adding ALL of her events on this post.. so check back often!

Event 4: Trilight Health

Event 5: Copy-Kids DVD

Event 6: Little Jots

Enjoy and GOOD LUCK!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Foto Friday

"Foto" Friday is a play on phrase for Photo Friday. I take a million pictures each week, well maybe not a million...... but A LOT! So I thought it would be nice to share my favorite picture from the week. Each Friday, I will post one picture and each "Foto" will include a small caption. Some pictures will be related to breastfeeding, while others will not. I hope you enjoy "Foto Friday!" Do you like "Foto" Friday? Well come on over to our Facebook page and our Facebook Group "Mummies Nummies Group" and join in! I love seeing your "Fotos."

Today we have a special announcement! One I am so very proud to make! Kit Kat (3 years and 1 month old) is done with her Sassy!!! (aka Paci, aka binky, aka PAIN IN THE BUTT!) We are on day 5 of no Paci at night and she is sleeping all night without waking up to look for it. Of course this whole milestone is all because of Daddy! I could NEVER have gotten away with taking it away from her. But if Daddy does it... well okay then! Great job Daddy! Great job Kit Kat.... of course we still have to bribe her with a Santa Claus candy if she sleeps without her paci... baby steps Mummies.... baby steps!

I give you my Foto Friday!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

December Bash winners

WOW what a fun December Bash we had! Thank you to all of our Mummies who entered and to ALL of our Elves! I hope everyone enjoyed the fun, I sure did!!!!

Here is our list of Elves and the winners too!

Christina B

Becky L

Mrs Joseph


Rhiannon H

Caitlin S

Make sure you check your emails (check your spam folders too if you think you are the winner) and email me back! Winners have 48 hours to email me back or a new winner will be picked! Congrats to all of our winners and have a GREAT New Year!