What a great book! It’s academic, for sure, and not for the casual reader, but it’s a great, perceptive look at so many issues surrounding breastfeeding in our culture. Hausman considers the famous pro-breastfeeding ad campaign of a few years ago, which focused on the risks of not breasftfeeding rather than the advantages of breastfeeding, and which garnered such a critical response; she addresses the way that breastfeeding features in media reports about AIDS and West Nile virus; and she offers perceptive, feminist-based criticism of how our society in general marginalizes breastfeeding because it is actually threatening to what she identifies as our underlying cultural values. Really just a smart, thoughtful, and interesting read!
By the time I was 36 weeks pregnant and my son was three years and three months old, Marcus seemed to have forgotten entirely how to latch and suck. He still asked to wa-wa every couple days, but he just couldn’t figure it out. Stubborn little boy, though–when asked, he said yes, he’s still drinking milk there, even though I knew he wasn’t.
My husband had recently started teasing/nagging him about nursing, in part because Marcus said, looking at a picture from Halloween, “That’s my friend G——–. He likes milk.”
Robert asked, “Really? Don’t you like milk?”
Marcus said, “No, I like water, but I get milk from Mommy’s wa-was, and I like that milk.”
Then a couple weeks later my husband was trying to convince Marcus to eat a pudding-like dessert, and he said, “Here, this tastes like milk–like Mommy’s milk,” in an attempt to sell it to him.
Marcus looked at him skeptically, then ran over to me, climbed into my lap, asked to nurse, “latched” on (not really, though), and then popped off and said, “Nope! Mommy’s milk is better!”
My husband rolled his eyes and threw in the towel. He claims I’ve “spoiled” our son for “regular” milk.
So, this is all to say that while Marcus might no longer really be nursing–as in actually getting milk at the breast–he is still very attached to the idea of it.
I’m 41 weeks pregnant. When I’m out and about and strangers ask me, “When are you due?” and I say, “Last week,” they look terribly shocked. Am I not supposed to leave my house until I have the baby? Clearly, activity is good for my body, and just as clearly, things need to get done–three-year-olds need to get dropped off at preschool, groceries need to be bought, etc. It’s not a bad combination–I stay active and busy and things keep functioning. When this baby is ready, she’ll come out, trust me.
A lot of people don’t think that way, though. I have a large number of friends who were induced at 42, 41, or even 40 weeks exactly for no specific medical concern other than the simple fact of being “post-dates,” and who said/say things like, “Oh, my body just doesn’t know how to go into labor.” Well, that’s possible, but very, very unlikely. The vast, vast, majority of the time, your body will go into labor, and your baby will come out on his/her own.
I have a lovely, caring midwife who came to the house at 40.5 weeks and then again about five days later. She checks up on me by text/email, and tells me to call or text if I have any questions, any different symptoms/sensations, any concerns, any labor signs, etc., but she is not pressuring me at all. The rest of the world? Uh, yeah, not so much.
I’m 41 weeks pregnant. Here’s an incredibly simple webpage (I didn’t make it up, but it’s a gem) that answers the question that comes at me from all directions these days:
I sort of thought that, well, I’ve done this all already, it’s somewhat anticlimactic, etc., about this (my second) pregnancy. But of course that’s not true at all–everything is different, in part just because the context is (I have a preschooler now, I’m working full time right up until the end of my pregnancy this time) and in part because of the randomness involved in pregnancy.
With my son I had an anterior placenta and felt very muffled movement even toward the end, but my placenta is definitely not anterior this time, and the movement difference is astounding.
This baby was also breech for about two weeks in the 33-35 week period, so I got to use some of the advice at SpinningBabies which I’d only read about, not had reason to implement, with my son. So, this time around, I bought an ironing board specifically to do the breech tilt against the couch, even though my husband laughed at me; I had acupuncture done; I went to a chiropractor trained in the Webster technique; I listened to the Hypnobabies track to flip a breech baby, and by 35 weeks my baby was back head-down, indeed. It was actually an amazing experience–I had never tried acupuncture or chiro before, and this pregnancy I was so busy it had been hard to find time to explicitly talk to and bond with this baby until I gave myself the assignment of needing to in order to encourage baby to flip around.
I also had professional maternity portraits done and henna belly art, at a blessingway–more new experiences for me.
I love that there are special things about this pregnancy, now, and that this baby will forever be associated, for me, with all these new experiences. I don’t know what his/her birth will be like, but even though it will be another homebirth with the same midwife, I know it won’t be exactly the same as my son’s birth, and that’s okay. Different. . . is good? Wow, never thought I’d say that.
How is it so comfortable? I sit for half an hour in the morning at a cafe on campus, check my email, get some papers in order for the day, file away any small recently-graded assignments, and have a mug of steamed milk, but oh my, that cafe chair kills me–my feet feel heavy and leaden for several hours afterward!
I come home from school, sit on my birth ball/yoga ball for half an hour to get organized while my son has a snack, before I make dinner, and wow, I feel the difference!
I used the ball in my first pregnancy, but now that I’m a tad bit busier in my third trimester with this pregnancy, boy do I appreciate it all the more.
My son is three years and three months old. He’s still nursing, nominally, even though my milk is, as far as I can tell, entirely gone. If there’s colostrum there already, he doesn’t seem to notice it. Basically, he’ll ask to nurse every 1-3 days these days–this has actually been the pattern for the past 4-5 weeks, so he’s been pretty stable now for awhile–and latch on, but with a confused look on his face. He sort of stays still on the breast for a few seconds, then comes off and tries again to get back on, and then almost seems as though he can’t quite remember what to do. He gives a few sucks, and maybe stays there latched on for another 5-10 seconds because he unlatches and seems satisfied and finished. It’s a super gentle step toward weaning, I guess–I’ve even stopped wearing nursing shirts every single day because he is almost certain not to ask to nurse unless I’m putting him to bed or comforting him on my lap at home after a head bump or tantrum, etc. It’s funny–I don’t know if he’ll keep this up for another four weeks (i.e., until my new baby arrives and milk comes back) or if he’ll wean entirely before then, or what. It’s like one of those universe clocks, sort of–such a slow, slow process, with almost imperceptible steps. Whatever happens, I’m really glad he’s in control of it.