Archive for January, 2010

A Bit More Than a Shadow….

January 14, 2010

Today I had my first day shadowing a lactation consultant. I was looking forward to seeing the consultants in action and to getting an idea of what they do all day.

I anticipated that I would spend the day being a fly on the wall.  I appreciated Gisele and Sonya allowing me to come into their clinic, but assumed that a spectator was all that I would be.

Luckily for me, Gisele and Sonya expected me to do far more than just sit back and watch the action. I was asked to greet the mothers and have them complete the appropriate form. I was shown how to use the scale and had to weigh each baby before and after their nursing session. The youngest baby that I weighed was just three days old!

It was a great afternoon which I think gave me a good idea of what a lactation consultant does during a breastfeeding clinic. Seven mothers (and one father) came in during the two hours with children ranging from three days to 18 months. I was really surprised by the variety of issues that the mothers presented and by the plethora of knowledge and strategies that the consultants offered. I saw a baby with a possible tongue tie. A few mothers were having difficulty getting a good latch with their babies which was causing them physical pain (and not allowing their babies to extract milk efficiently).

The most interesting thing I saw was a supplementary feeding system. A mother was having difficulty getting her milk to flow (letdown) and the baby was getting frustrated. A very thin tube was placed in a bottle of breastmilk and the other end was slid into the babies mouth along the mother’s nipple once she was latched. This way, the breast was still being stimulated to produce milk because of the baby’s sucking, and the baby was getting lots of milk between the tube and the breast. This system ensured there was no concern with moving the baby from bottle to breast (which can sometimes create difficulty getting the baby to go back to the breast).

I look forward to learning more about breastfeeding mothers and babies and how to help them to more thoroughly enjoy the beautiful relationship that nursing offers.

Mr. Bully

January 14, 2010

Tristan is usually the sweetest, most loving little boy. He loves to dance and run around, and he is always asking daddy to tickle him. He likes to make me “coffee” in his kitchen and loves to sit on my lap and show me all that he knows in his books. He usually gets very excited when I tell him that his friends are coming over, especially if it’s Emalea.

I don’t know what has changed, but the past week my son has become a *gasp!* bully!

This morning we had friends over for a playdate and I was worried about how it would turn out from the minute we got up today. I told Tristan that Emalea and Sophie were coming over to play with him. This remark elicited a smile. Then I told him they were going to play in his kitchen with him and I got a resounding “NO!”

I figured that once they got here and started to play,  Tristan would be happy to have his friends over. Nope. It was once the little girls arrived that the pushing started. One of the little girls would try to (God forbid!) play with one of his toys, and he in no uncertain terms let them know that they were HIS toys for HIS exclusive use.

Yipes. Each time there was in incident, I would pick Tristan up and say a firm “NO. We don’t hit.” Each time this was met with tears and frustration. I would put him back down and the cycle would continue.

Now, at only noon, I feel utterly exhausted and drained. I know that developmentally he is still really young and that sharing is a difficult concept. Still, I can’t help but feel badly that it was my little boy acting so spoiled this morning! I want Tristan to be able to enjoy his toys with his friends. And I want to be able to feel that I am a good mommy!

Someone please tell me this is a stage. Someone please tell me that this too shall pass. Having a bully child was not in my plan!

Tristan and Emalea sharing!

My First Call!

January 8, 2010

This afternoon I received an email that confirmed to me that I am finally on the right career path. I often receive questions regarding infancy and breastfeeding from girlfriends with newborns. They know that I am interested in all-things-baby and have done tonnes of reading and of course have experience with my own son. I feel validated to have had a query from a stranger!  My journey continues….

A friend of a friend sent me a message requesting breastfeeding help. She is new mother to a sweet 13 day old boy, and is not finding breastfeeding to be the joy she had hoped it would be. Experiencing difficulty obtaining a correct latch, the mother’s nipples have become increasingly sore. Along with wearing on her body, this frustration is also wearing on her mind. She expressed to me that she felt like “a pathetic mother” for having to substitute with formula because she couldn’t stand the pain.

That statement was heartbreaking to me. It is the fact that so many women feel so badly about themselves and their breastfeeding journey that makes me want to pursue this career. Breastfeeding should not be painful. Babies instinctually know how to nurse, but as mothers, sometimes we need some direction on how to create a proper latch. The latch does not always come easily, and mothers need not feel badly about requiring help. In fact, the simple act of asking for help shows that they only want the best for themselves and their babies!

This frustrated mother asked if I would do a house call and go to help her. Oh, to be able to jump in my car and head over there as a real live certified lactation consultant – what a dream!  In the meantime, I have referred her to someone much more qualified than I. I wish her all the best!


While she is waiting for the lactation consultant to arrive, I suggested a short internet video clip which is great at demonstrating a proper latch. For any moms out there in cyberland looking for a great breastfeeding video, I highly recommend this one:

Another Step Closer

January 5, 2010

I am thankful for some giving lactation consultants in Ottawa who are happy to share their craft with me. Next Wednesday I will be attending a breastfeeding clinic at a local Early Years Centre where I can begin to get  a real idea of the daily life of a lactation consultant. I am so exited to really start experiencing and learning more about this career!

Got Milk?

January 1, 2010

It was Christmas Eve and we were happily enjoying dinner with my parents at their home. Tristan, being the picky eater that he is, asked to get down from his high chair after a mere two bites. I let him down to go play and settled back down to enjoy my own dinner. At one point, he toddled over and signed to me that he wanted milk. Knowing that he probably wanted to nurse but having an interest in actually finishing my own dinner, I handed him my own glass of milk from the table. I always drink milk with dinner so didn’t think twice about handing him my glass. He slurped it back greedily and then looked up at me and grinned.

“Wow, buddy. You were really thirsty!” I remarked.

Then I took a sip out of my glass myself.  When the liquid touched my lips, I almost spat it out.

You see, I always drink milk at dinner. But this was a special dinner. It was Christmas Eve.

“OH MY GOD!” I exclaimed. “I just fed my kid rum and eggnog!!”

The whole table erupted in laughter.  I couldn’t believe I just did that. Me, the mom who so closely monitors her child’s diet just fed her 20 month old RUM!

Yup, mom of the year. Oh well, at least I’ve got a good story to tell him when he’s older!