Thursday, June 13, 2013

Full Term breastfeeding on Huff Post Live

Breastfeeding is not new. Neither is full term (aka extended) breastfeeding. Even breastfeeding publicly is not new..... it just went on vacation for a little bit. You see, breastfeeding became a bear in the winter.... you didn't see it but you KNEW it was there.... it was hibernating if you will. Here, let me show you what I mean.

Here is a Mummie breastfeeding in the Victorian Era. Clearly this is not a recent photo and she was not hiding (or hibernating.)

At some point in our history breastfeeding became taboo. A hidden subject that not many women practiced. By the 1950's only 20% of women breastfed their children. So fast forward to present day and women are once again back in the Victorian Era mindset. We know breastfeeding is HIGHLY beneficial to both Mummie and baby. We have the scientific facts to back us up. We also know the longer we breastfeed the better the turn out for everyone. 

Which brings me to my post today. Earlier this week I received an email from Nancy Redd, host on Huff Post Live. (Hi Nancy! You ROCK!!!!) She wanted to do a segment about breastfeeding PAST infancy and breastfeeding older children. She came across my post about breastfeeding a three year old and asked me if I would like to be part of the segment. 
(WHO would turn down Nancy Redd?! I mean really! It was a no brainer.) Within MINUTES of her email I wrote back "UMMMMM YEAH!!!"

So last night Nancy and I along with three child professionals; Jennifer Andersen, Dr. Jay Gordon and 
Jennifer Powell-Lunder . (Notice a theme? I was surrounded by professionals. Two doctors, a known author and me... a Mummie. That was awesome!)

The segment was amazing and I found every breastfeeding Mummies DREAM pediatrician

After the segment was over I was so proud of what I was apart of. To help show the world that breastfeeding older children is NOT bad or even "wrong." That there is NO age limit or expiration date on breastmilk. The whole panel WAS pro breastfeeding. However, one panelist was for an age limit. She believed breastfeeding is wonderful.... but up to a certain age. Jennifer Powell-Lunder was suggesting that at school age, children can be made fun of by their peers, if they find out they are still breastfeeding. She was defending her stance..... BUT offered NO age limit that she felt was "correct" and "appropriate" to end the breastfeeding journey. (You can see for yourself what I am talking about.) That was my only issue with her comments. If you believe there should be an age cut off.... then say what your age cut off is..... She did not have an answer for that. And that did not sit well with me.

I had such a BLAST doing this breastfeeding segment. Please hop on over to Nancy Redd and tell her THANK YOU for supporting breastfeeding (HINT HINT... she was a breastfeeding Mummie too!!!!!)

Rock YOUR breastfeeding journies, Mummies. Never let anyone tell you how your journey should end or WHEN it should end. Follow your heart and your Nummie Lover. YOU know what is best for your family, not the person next to you in line. 


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Bitybean carrier review

I have always been a baby wearin', breastfeeding, pro children/pro mummie kinda Mummie. (Well I have been those things since becoming a Mummie.... but you get the drift.) When Pooker was born, I knew I was going to breastfeed... but that was about all I knew!  I didn't know much about carriers and I thought they were all the same. When Pooker had horrible Silent Reflux I went out a bought a carrier at Walmart. She was so little you could not even see her in it! We used it for 7 months (I even faced her outward.... EEEEEKERS!) and she really did not complain. Then when I was pregnant with Kit Kat, I read about home made ringslings and fell in love! I even tried it on our fur baby (AKA Mackinac, our Westie. He wasn't too impressed.) I loved that cute sling! But once Kit Kat got too big to sit in it, I stopped wearing her. You see, I started reading up on the Do's and Dont's of baby wearing and learned what I had done with Pooker was ALL WRONG! (How she managed to survive in that carrier was beyond me... okay I am being dramatic. It was not THAT bad..... maybe.)

** I will share the baby wearing knowledge in a bit... keep reading.**

But as they say "When you learn better..... you do better." So a learning I did go! I discovered you can baby wear a toddler and even a pre k schooler! I learned that the "HOLD ME... NOW... ALL OF THE TIME" little ones (AKA Kit Kat) can break a Mummie's arm, no matter how little SHE really is (not really break my arm... but it has gone numb many MANY times!) Seriously, the thought of going on a family vacation with a "stranger danger, crowd fearing, my legs can't walk 28 pound, 3 year old" was SCARY! But we decided to try it.... and I decided to have some back up! 

You see, I contacted Bitybean and asked if they would save my arms! They said "YES"  and sent me one of their carriers right away! I was so excited when I got my Bitybean in the mail.... I will FULLY admit I expected a bigger box. My initial reaction was "THIS is the carrier?! The box is so small!" But GREAT things come in small packages, my dear Mummie friends! 

(Thanks Pooker for helping show off the box size. Couldn't have done it without you.... Kit Kat was being camera shy!)

First, let me tell you about Bitybean
Founded in 2012 (YUPP! A new company!!!) Doug Hartwell started Bitybean because of his daughter... (start the awwww's now! A daddy created something for his daughter!) He wanted a carrier that could be easily folded and stored away when not in use. But shucks! He could not find one! So he brought together product design experts who combined user-centric design philosophy, state-of-the-art fabrics and hardware, and optimized design to create a totally different child carrier. (Talk about gettin' it done! Way to go Dad!)
When it was all said in done, they had created an 8 ounce carrier that is completely compressible into a pouch the size of a child’s water bottle, and can still carry up to 40 pounds of awesome kid'ness! Bitybean has already won a few awards along the way! They have the 2012 Innovation award given to them by Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association! 

Okay... now I will get to the photos!
(Here she is in all of her glory! I introduce the newest member of our family, "Beanie." Yeah, I named her.)

I took Beanie out of her mesh carrying bag (Which I thought "there is NO way I am gonna get her back in THAT!...." Oh but I did.... and it was WAY too easy! Of course I have photos for that! Keep readin'!)

I laid her out to check her out. Here is the inside, all mesh like and such. Which was awesome! 

Here is her front. The LIGHT WEIGHT of the Bitybean was a shock to me. Felt very VERY light.

Cool little pocket on the front which closes with a velcro top.

We still had 2 weeks until our vacation, but I HAD to try Beanie out. Kit Kat has never been carried on a back... so she was too nervous at first. So I did what any Mummie would do.... I carried my 28 pound 3 year old front style.... in a store. (Oh yes I did!)

I decided to practice storing Beanie. Come to find out... practice is NOT needed!
Simply fold in half (long ways), tightly roll up 
and put into mesh bag! TADA! (NOT KIDDING.. that easy!)

Then Daddy got home. I showed him (maybe I was jumping up and down with excitement... maybe I wasn't.... okay I was.) His first reaction was "Can I try it?" UMMMM YEAH YOU CAN! (I apologize now.... He doesn't know I am including this photo. LOVE YA BABE!)

Carrying Kit Kat around was FUN. She said she was comfy and the straps did not dig in our shoulders. But at this time we were only using it for 10 minutes TOPS. What would it be like on vacation? Well you are about to find out! Equipped with my awesome Bitybean, we headed off to the most magical place on earth, Disney World! 

Our first day Kit Kat started her "HOLD ME... HOOOOOLLLLLD MEEEEEEE!!!!" I took out my Beanie and away we went! But this time I decided to try the back hold. With the help of my (oh so very awesome and handsome) husband we got Beanie all ready to go. We thought what better place to take photos than in front of Cinderella's castle.... A perfect place for a princess!

(No... I did not mean to match Beanie... just kinda happened that way. But I do like it!)

Kit Kat was very comfy here. She kept hitting me with her magic wand and turning me into a frog. Gee thanks KK!

(Her leg looks "weird" here.... but she was trying to push off so she could see the bottom of the castle....)

"Look Mommy! a buuuuug!"

Peek a boo daddy!

I held Kit Kat in Beanie for a good 45 minutes before she wanted to get down. We saw The Fairy God Mother and she wanted to say hi. I have to say I was THRILLED with the Bitybean! I have a history of back pain, but I felt great during and after I carried her. The straps never hurt me and the carrier distributes the weight of the child, so it felt as if I was holding an infant on my back. The only thing that took some time getting used to was the waist strap. I have NEVER used a strap, so having one on my waist was a bit odd. But I got used to it. 

All in all I LOVE my Beanie. I have actually used it a few times since we got home. I have even cooked while using it:
(Peek a boo Kit Kat!) 

My Bitybean Pros:
LOW cost! Start at $54.00
Light weight
Does not dig into shoulders
Meets ALL BCIA (Baby Carrier Industry Alliance) requirements
Promotes PROPER posture for child (Knee to knee support)... NOT a crotch dangler.
Recommends NO forward facing carrying (A BIG plus!)
Will carry front and back 
Folding and storage is EASY!
Can be used in the water and is washable
Can be used WHILE breastfeeding!
For ALL adult members to use (and big sisters too.....)

The only con I have:
For a "new" buckle style carrying Mummie... the waist strap took some time getting used to
Kit Kat saying "Mommy wear me!" and "No!!! I don't want to get out of Beanie!"


Thank you Bitybean!

As promised... here are the Baby wearing info!
Thanks to Growing Up Naturally In Home Child Care for the help on the chart about hip positioning.

and read up on a great do's and don'ts of baby wearing article.

Carry On Mummies (pun intended) and ROCK YOUR BREASTFEEDING JOURNEY!