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I just love people who can't see any possibility in between making nasty faces/comments at a breastfeeding mom and worshipping her as an Earth Mother Goddess.

How about ignoring us, just as you presumably would a bottlefeeding mom?

When I breastfeed in public, I do so as discreetly as possible without inconveniencing myself or my baby - in other words, no retreating to the bathroom, no blankets over the head, but I'm not going to strip off my shirt or anything. I'm not doing this in an attempt to elevate myself in your esteem or militantly promote breastfeeding or anything like that - I'm trying to feed my kid.

Please recognize that I'm attempting to do the best thing for everyone involved, you included (lowering health insurance premiums, better for the environment), and that it isn't necessarily easy. All I want in return is for you to keep any misguided negative feelings to yourself.

Oh, and if you aren't going to let me bring my chapstick on a plane, I'm not going to buy your damn overpriced tickets. Even if you do let me bring on breastmilk. So there.
ocelot: (Default)
I was reading through one of those free local parenting magazines, and found an ad for Arbonne International makeup proclaiming "Look younger than your daughter".

This is a magazine aimed at parents with school age or younger children.

That's just creepy.

I can't help feeling that the attitudes behind that are related to things like this.
ocelot: (Default)
Mmm...tempting...

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:
Lindsay Hoppe
http://breastfeedingisnormal.org
lindsayhoppe@breastfeedingisnormal.org
707-539-1825


'Lactivists' Plan Protest at Blogging Company Headquaters

Wednesday, May 31, 2006 - Women on the popular blog site LiveJournal.com are calling foul at the company’s decision to brand images of breastfeeding as ‘inappropriate'. Users of the site have urged LiveJournal’s parent company Six Apart to address their concerns and reevaluate the policy. The company refuses to consider modifying their policy and continues to suspend users whose default icons were deemed inappropriate, even though SixApart has asked the letter writing campaign to cease. Over one thousand complaints about LiveJournal's policy were sent by users of the site and supporters. LiveJournal stated a clarified rule, mothers are still reporting major inconsistencies in its application. A nurse in is planned to take place at Six Apart’s US Headquarters, located at 548 4th Street, San Francisco, CA. The event is planned for 12 pm on Monday, June 5th. The activists encourage nursing mothers and supporters to join in the protest.

Userpics are small icons (pictures) no more than 100 by 100 pixels. They are used to represent Livejournal.com members throughout the site. LiveJournal allows users to define one of these icons as "default icon" -- a setting that automatically plugs the icon into the user's public profile. These default icons were originally not permitted to be ‘sexually explicit or graphically violent.’ When asked for claification, LiveJournal changed its FAQ section to state nudity and continued to suspend users with breastfeeding icons.

Claimed Live Journal Abuse Staffer 'Erin' in a post on the site, "That's really a matter for the FCC to decide. The standard for the FCC is that bottle nipples are a-okay." These statements, however, are false. The FCC does not consider the act of breastfeeding on television to fall under the definitions of indecency or obscenity and therefore would be appropriate for any television programs or movies. Nursing photos not showing visible areola are considered acceptable on LiveJournal. Whether or not areola is visible is dependant on a number of factors, including skin tone of the mother and physical changes undergone during pregnancy.

Breastfeeding is exempt from nudity laws throughout the United States, but more notably in California where the SixApart offices are located. Advocates are urging LiveJournal to adopt the same national criteria." "It is regrettable that LiveJournal has chosen to target breastfeeding mothers instead of standing up for the protection provided them by law." says Carrie Patterson, Executive Director of ProMom.org, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness and public acceptance of breastfeeding. Advocates state that the feeling that breastfeeding should be hidden only fosters the idea that the natural act of nourishing a child is scandalous.

Breastfeeding bloggers who have refused to change their default icon have been suspended from the site. These users, as well as others questioning the policy, have been treated poorly by the site’s volunteer abuse team, something that is not unusual according to other bloggers on the site. For more information on the Nurse In, please contact Lindsay Hoppe: lindsayhoppe@breastfeedingisnormal.org
ocelot: (Default)
My worries about the doctor were pointless. Our scale is indeed inaccurate - off by at least 3 lbs, which makes a huge difference when 3 lbs is about 10% of your body weight, you know?

The care was much like we received from Sutter when I was pregnant (same facility, different department) - he was friendly, told us his opinion but didn't lecture, and was generally in and out as fast as possible. Leif didn't even get undressed.

I admit that I do find this a bit disconcerting, and it's one of the reasons I'd consider going with a homebirth midwife rather than Sutter next time. They're very nice and all, but it always leaves me feeling that something was missing.

He did say one interesting thing - when we expressed that we didn't want Leif to get the chicken pox vaccine*, he said that he felt it was mainly for the convenience of the parents, anyways. Wow. He wasn't anti-vaccination, mind you - he was pretty strongly in favor of the polio and pertussis vaccines, for instance. But that's an interesting take on it, especially to hear from a doctor.

Leif just stuck a band-aid on my scabby knee (bike crash the other day). I could melt :)

* Even for people generally in favor of vaccination, the chicken pox vaccine is often a different story. It has an unknown lifespan, and chicken pox infection in adults is generally much more serious than it is for children. I'd rather he get lifelong immunity by getting it naturally than risk a more serious infection later, especially given that serious chicken pox complications are rare in healthy kids.
ocelot: (Default)
The trip to Davis went pretty well. Leif slept 3 of the 4 flights. The other flight (second half of the flight to Sacramento) was pretty bad - we were stuck on the runway at O'Hare for about an hour before taking off (Big surprise. I don't think I've ever had a flight out of O'Hare that wasn't stuck on the runway for an hour) and Leif got a little antsy during the last hour and a half or so. Then he fell asleep as we were landing. Go figure.

The Whole Earth Festival was pretty amazing. I've never been all that into it before, but it's an entirely different experience when you're a parent who's been living in Virginia for a year. Moms lie around in the grass breastfeeding their babies. Most of the babies are held a lot of the time, even if the parents brought strollers. Many wear cloth diapers.

Such a strange contrast to here.

I guess that's what happens when the entire hippy population of the Bay Area and Sacramento Valley descends on an area the size of a city block.

Leif wasn't feeling very well a lot of the time. He had a pretty miserable time on Friday, developed a bit of a fever, and then ended up being constipated most of the weekend (yes, we were trying to keep him hydrated). Poor guy. I feel bad about dragging him around everywhere like we did, but I doubt that staying at our host's house would have been any better for him.

Despite all that, my family still thought he was the most good-natured baby ever. It really makes me wonder about other babies when people tell us how wonderfully behaved he is when he's at his worst.

Pictures will be up when I get around to it.

This past week has basically sucked. It's been oppressively hot, and Leif's sleep schedule is all thrown off from jet lag. Yesterday I had a really weird sickness - headache and nausea for a few hours, and then it went away. At first I thought it was caffeine withdrawal, then the nausea hit, and I thought it was the flu. And then it went away. It wasn't dehydration, but could have been heat related.

Leif may have had a bit of it, too. He was awfully fussy, and wanted to be held constantly. It's just so much fun trying to take care of a fussy baby when you're sick yourself.

I haven't heard anything of the infamous 17-year cicadas, which I suppose I should count as a blessing. I'm guessing that this area has been torn up within the last 17 years, so we don't have many. Leif and I may go down by the creek later and see if I can find any.
ocelot: (Default)
I recently bought the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It wasn't my first choice of sleep books, but the local bookstores seem to always be sold out of The No-Cry Sleep Solution (and it's always checked out of the library), and I wanted to get something. I've seen it recommended along with No-Cry Sleep, so I went ahead and got it when we were at the bookstore this weekend.

Reading the amazon.com reviews (I haven't had a chance to read the whole thing yet), it seems the author advocates crying it out - leaving the baby to cry in their crib until they go to sleep, regardless of how long it takes. In fact, he's apparently pretty extreme in this camp.

I don't regret getting the book. The author is a sleep researcher, and I believe that his information about sleep cycles and infant sleep needs is probably sound. From what I've read, it jives with what I've observed with Leif. But he's a sleep researcher, not an expert on children's emotional needs, and getting children to sleep well is his top priority. He does provide suggestions that don't involve crying, and admits that they work, but seems to focus mostly on the quick and dirty solution of uncontrolled crying.

Anyways, the main reason I'm writing about this is because of the lack of logic I see. The reviews spout "Many babies cry through diaper changes, do we stop changing their diapers? Do we not give them vaccinations because they don't like shots? Do we let them play with dangerous things because they cry when we take them away?" like a mantra.

If babies cry during diaper changes, we get it over with as soon as possible and comfort the baby. If you have to give them vaccinations, you comfort them during and afterwards. If you take away a dangerous toy, you generally try to distract them with something more appropriate. In all these cases, you respond to the crying in some way, teaching them that bad stuff happens, but you're their for them and can appreciate the discomfort of their situation.

This is very different than leaving a young baby to cry, for hours if necessary, until they fall asleep, even if they cry to the point of throwing up, and not even cleaning them up until after they fall asleep for fear of reinforcing the crying! This teaches the child that their parent is *not* there for them.

Furthermore, it doesn't really differentiate between protest crying and desperation crying. Crying for five minutes before falling asleep may simply be the baby saying "Waah waah, I'm tired but I don't want fun time to end." That's a similar category to changing a diaper despite crying or taking something dangerous away from the baby. Crying for hours on end, to the point of throwing up, goes beyond that.

The most disturbing part is that this isn't something the reviewers are coming up with on their own - they're basically quoting directly from the book. The author is the one perpetuating this flawed logic.

I'll write a review along these lines at some point after I've read the entire book and can provide more comment on the content beyond that.
ocelot: (Default)
Most of you have heard of Godwin's Law: "As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one." There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress. Godwin's Law thus practically guarantees the existence of an upper bound on thread length in those groups.

The parent corollary: as a discussion gets longer, the probability of one parent accusing another of spending too much time online and not enough time with their kids as a result of the discussion approaches one.

Edit: This has nothing to do with me and/or [livejournal.com profile] koyote, but with a post I saw elsewhere (and similar discussions I've seen elsewhere). I'm not linking to it because I feel no need to draw further drama to the post in question.
ocelot: (broccoli)
From [livejournal.com profile] livyanne:

(Note: I said I was bad at picking favorites... don't ask me about favorites (or otherwise require me to make a binary choice) unless you're willing to settle for a list and/or excessively long explanations :)

1. If you could change one moment in your life, which would it be and how would you change it?
I can think of several moments that I'd equally like to change (stopping at the red light or otherwise avoiding the car accident being probably the biggest, and the one I feel most comfortable sharing in a public forum). But those big, life changing things have led me to where I am today - had I avoided the car accident, it's entirely possible that [livejournal.com profile] koyote and I wouldn't have met, or at least that our relationship wouldn't have developed as it did. Or I could have ended up in a worse, more life-destroying accident. So I'm inclined to not second-guess fate.

If I had to choose one thing - I'd respond to my mom when she looked in on me to see if I was awake one night in fifth grade. Our cat had been hit by a car. I pretended to be asleep, and she decided just to let me sleep, and told my brother and I the next day after school. I had problems with lack of closure for a while, since I never got a chance to see her again, and, well, I would have liked the chance. However, it's small enough that it probably wouldn't change the entire course of my life, though you never know for sure.

But even then, perhaps going through will end up determining how I respond to a similar situation as a parent.

Interestingly, this is different from my usual answer in the "What would I do if I could go back in time and change on thing" game (which I used to play a lot), which is to take better control of my education in high school. Go into Oxford earlier (I really regret not getting into it in 9th grade, for reasons both social and academic), take community college classes, find some form of alternative schooling, whatever. I just wish I'd figured out before my Junior year that what I wanted to do was my choice, not the guidance counselor's.

I don't know why this isn't still my answer. I guess because, as much as there are parts of my life I'm not happy with, I wouldn't want to give up the good parts for an unknown, different life, and any change worth making would most likely change where I currently am so dramatically that my life would be completely different. Better to work on changing the things I'm unhappy with in the present (which I do need to work harder on).

2. What is your biggest fear about the arrival of [livejournal.com profile] lemurbaby?
One biggest fear? :)

That I won't develop the mommy-feeling that I'm supposed to get, or otherwise have some sort of serious personal failing as a parent, and that we'll consequently all end up miserable for the rest of our lives.

The other big things I fear seem to be divided into two categories - acts of God (like baby dying) which, while terrible, aren't really a personal failing on my part, and things like having a really disappointing birth, which just aren't all that important in the long run when I think about them more.

This leads to the question of why I consider personal failing to be the worst thing in the world, above dead babies by Act of God. I don't know. I'll have to think about that.

3. Have you guys picked a name yet?
Not really. We have some ideas about girls names that we agree on, and can't really agree on a boy's name. We're planning to wait until after s/he is born and see if that helps at all, unless we come up with something perfect before then.

Do not fear, the baby will have a name some reasonable length of time after birth. If s/he ends up being a boy, and I can't come up with anything I like better, I'll go with what [livejournal.com profile] koyote decides.

4. If you could wish one quality for [livejournal.com profile] lemurbaby what would it be?

That's a hard one. Any quality I can think of seems like a two-edged sword when not combined with other qualities. So I'll say satisfaction with his/her life/self, as long as s/he has a reasonable conscience.

5. If you had to give up one sense for the rest of your life, which would it be, and why?
Sight. It is, to a large extent, the most useful sense, and therefore the hardest to adjust to if it went away. But I get much more pleasure out of my other senses. There are alternatives for reading, computer usage, etc. which provide the same (or similar) mental experience. There aren't other ways to taste yummy things, be touched, or hear good music. I would miss seeing neat things, but I don't think I'm generally very visually oriented, so it would be the lesser loss.

I'd choose smell, if losing it didn't diminish my sense of taste. Good smells are generally the least intense pleasant sensation for me, while bad smells can be one of the most unbearable.

Anyone else? I don't promise to respond in any sort of timely manner, but I will respond in one way or another eventually.
ocelot: (ninjaofhappiness)
Since every single person who has commented on my cloth diaper post both on-journal and off has suggested a diaper service, I'll go ahead and respond with a post instead of to each person individually :)

We are looking into it, especially during the month before we move - the laundry room here is coin operated, often too crowded, and just far enough away to be annoying. Laundry has, in the past year and a half, changed from one of my more tolerable chores to a source of never-ending torture. I think I just might go insane trying to do cloth diapers here along with everything else that comes with being a new mother and moving.

When we move, a washing machine is one of my top priorities :)

We're also looking into elimination communication. Sounds like it's at least worth a try. That's unlikely to cut down on the diaper laundry short term, but, if it works, it would in the long run.

(And if you tell me I'm naive or crazy, I'm just not going to listen to you. So there :)
ocelot: (broccoli)
*fidget* LJ not working right...

In 10th grade, my AP Bio teacher encouraged me not to bother taking the AP test since I was doing poorly in the class. I didn't take it that year, but took it a year later and got 4 out of 5 - better than most of the people who had taken the class last year. This with very little study. (His testing methods were poor - he gave the same test year after year, so most of the class just memorized and regurgitated previous tests. I certainly could have studied harder and done better on his tests, but even without that, I tend to have better than average long-term recall of things that weren't well-learned in the first place).

When I quit college, I was told that if I left, I'd never go back. Well, if things go right, I'll be graduating with honors this semester. So there.

People are telling me similar about parenting choices, like cloth diapering. They say I'll give up on it after a short while.

Well, perhaps I will, but isn't it better to go into it thinking that I can do it, rather than giving up before I try? Plenty of people manage it - it's obviously not impossible.

What does it hurt to try? If it doesn't work out, I have a bunch of cloth diapers that can't be used for their original intended purpse. I can resell them on ebay (yes, as bad as it sounds, there is apparently a huge market for used cloth diapers!), or use them as burp rags, or backup if I run out of disposables, or any number of other things.

I'm going into parenthood with ideals. If they end up not working out, I know the basics of other parenting methods, and know where to find more information if I need it. I'm not going to beat myself up over it - it's not my fault if information given to me was incorrect. So don't tell me beforehand that it's pointless. Just because you think something can't be done doesn't mean it's true.

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