Once more, I would like to join Authentic Parenting and Baby Dust Diaries in doing a fun Sunday Surf! It's a way to bring you some of the best links I've read this past week.
I really need to (a) get a calendar so I know when Sunday's almost upon me, (b) take better note of what articles I want to include, and (c) update my shared Google Reader recommendations as I read. I will go try to round them up now…
Ok, I'm back!
- I really love "Care package for the new nursing mom" on Inder Loves Folk Art, where she describes a woman's role as (official or unofficial) postpartum doula. It's the role her mother played for her, and the way she now hopes to support her sister. "What I found most helpful was not that my mother "helped" with Joseph — it was that she took care of me, so that I could care for and bond with my baby." Yes! Inder gives a list of ways to offer that support to nursing mamas, like tools to support breastfeeding ergonomics, a comfy sling or wrap, and food to encourage milk supply. Can you think of anything else to add to her list?
- "The Effects of Circumcision on Newborn Boys" at Code Name: Mama: Go learn more about the trauma caused by this unnecessary surgery done, generally in the U.S., within days after birth. Also: Protect Code Name: Mama from the trolls who are violating her comment space. Also: Witness how the delightful and aptly named cosmopolite calls my header image "iconic" and me "babe." Snap! (If I try to give you a specific URL for the comment, it just refreshes to the top of the page, so you'll have to do a find for iconic to see the proof. Thank you, cosmopolite!)
- "Children in public spaces" at Stand and Deliver: When Rixa was called out in the comments on another post for taking her young children to a museum, causes her to muse thoughtfully and eloquently about our societal acceptance of children in public, our responsibilities as parents both to educate our young on how to behave in public and to moderate what situations we put them into, but also our limits as parents to "make" our children behave in a way that pleases all bystanders. This is a topic dear to my heart (link, link, link), and I'm always thankful to find more good writing (link, link!) on the issue.
- Jenna at The Market Goblins has been writing so much good stuff recently. I direct you to:
- "The Rabbi's Rant": The background is an old and very poorly done article by Rabbi Shmuley criticizing breastfeeding's place in a marriage that's once more making the Twitter rounds. The rabbi then tried to clear things up by publishing this retraction, which was not so much an apology as a "No, I'm right, dang it" — witness that he asserts that cosleeping in the "matrimonial bed" is "inappropriate" (which I read as "dirty") and prevents parents from being lovers, which is simply not true. What I love about The Market Goblins response is that she brings up two points the rabbi doesn't seem to care about:
- "My particular concern is that this dialog surrounds the child but does not include him/ her. The problem of the 'mother's obsession with breast-feeding' sounds like a hobby, not like an interactive event. In feeding, the child is the active participant. Shouldn't his/her opinion matter?"
- Jenna also points out the elitist assumptions Rabbi Shmuley makes, such as that every family has access to and can afford formula and clean water, that every family lives in a home with multiple rooms and enough separate beds for each person, and the funds for babysitting and entertainment to have weekly date nights.
- "Whose public space?": This is Jenna's response to Rixa's post where she adds another layer to not judging those who are in public for not acting exactly as you might wish: the aspect of having children with special needs. "For any person, adult or child, that you may encounter, you really don't know. You can't look and determine the chronological age of a kid and therefore what behaviors should be appropriate." See also "An inclusive infant feeding dialog?" where Jenna asks how children and adults who need supplemental feeding in terms of nutrition (i.e., formula) or apparatus be included in the debate between bottle feeding and breastfeeding.
- I love "A Dad's View on Breastfeeding" from Tales of a Kitchen Witch Momma, more precisely, from the Papa, a proud breastfeeding-supportive dad's opinion on Rabbi Shmuley's nonsense. I also love "What New Mothers Need to Know About Breastfeeding," to which you can add your own advice for new breastfeeding mamas in the comments!
- Wonderful thought piece on "What does feminism have to do with breastfeeding?" at Breastfeeding Medicine, via Naomi Bloom Dwyer on The Feminist Breeder Facebook page. "A choice that is not also a right is not really a choice — it’s a privilege. … Central to the symposium is the notion that breastfeeding is not a 'choice.' Breastfeeding is a reproductive right. This is a simple, but remarkably radical, concept. Here’s why: When we frame infant feeding as a choice made by an individual women, we place the entire responsibility for carrying out that choice on the individual woman. Moreover, as Bernice Hausman writes in her essay, 'Women’s liberation and the rhetoric of "choice" in infant feeding debates,' we position the nursing mother as making a consumer decision, rather than exercising a human right. This framework, in turn, weakens legal protections for breastfeeding families. … The result … is that women who have control over their bodies, their time, and their lives — typically highly educated, upper middle class women – can choose to breastfeed, but most mothers – hourly workers, women from families that require two incomes to survive, poor women required by law to go back to work or forfeit their federal aid — cannot. The lack of response by feminists to these workplace inequities makes breastfeeding a 'class-based privilege'…." Yeah, that. I'll stop before I quote the whole article.
- This is from over a year ago, but is so insightful: "Vaginal C-sections: Tearing During Birth" from The Man-Nurse Diaries, via heartsandhandss on Twitter. The title is in reference to nurses' dark humor to refer to routine and severe tearing during vaginal birth. "All I could think was that if the women we saw could labor in whatever position they liked (read: obstetricians and nurses weren't afraid to get down and catch babies in whatever position they're coming, like midwives do), and they could push when they want to push (with eased guidance from a tearing-conscious practitioner, rather than a shouting person who's worried about lawsuits), we would not have seen so many tears."
- Amber Shah writes about "Full Term Breastfeeding" and how very normal it is. (Hear, hear!)
- This landing page at Common Places makes me laugh.
- The Covered Wagon dives into the TMI topic of "Postpartum Sex." I love it when people are frank about this (and, yes, I still have a half-finished draft of my own that I need to get published!), because too often both women and men think mothers "bounce right back" after birth and that sex will immediately be the same. I think the biggest problem is that oft-quoted guideline to wait 6 weeks before resuming — as if that's all it takes! Besides quashing that silly rumor, Sara gives tips on how to (eventually) have comfortable postpartum sex, ending with the crucial maxim, "Be flexible."
- A couple Carnival of Natural Parenting updates: Acacia at Be Present Mama worked out a new game plan for dealing with her son's hitting (in reference to the April Carnival of Natural Parenting) in "A High Score in the Game of Parenting." And Luschka at Diary of a First Child has shared further pictures in "More of What We Do" (in reference to the June CarNatPar).
- I always love seeing people doing "Container Vegetable Gardening," as Kelly at Kelly Naturally is. I think of this as a sort of CarNatPar update as well because she shows the background behind some of her enchanting pictures in that post.
- In my quest for fame and/or infamy, I direct you to some personal links, because I'm like that:
- I'm annoyed with Technorati. Wait, how did I put it at this Get Satisfaction thread? Oh, yes, I'm aggravated. My Technorati authority is dismal, and I believe it is unfairly so (because I originally had it set up for my .blogspot address, and there was no way to change the URL except by creating an entirely separate claim, which I have now done). I'm posting this here (Technorati Technorati Technorati) in the hopes that someone will hear my outcry. I'm awesome, right? Come on, Technorati, let's all believe that together.
- Are you on WordPress? Do you host giveaways? Does your site annoy me by telling me: "You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down"? Well, find out here how to get rid of that annoyance, thanks to a tutorial on 3 Kids and Us.
- The June Carnival of Natural Parenting on Outdoor fun rocked my socks. Actually, it made me take my socks off and put on sandals and go out to the beach! Because that's my way, and because every article was so inspirational in terms of making me want to take me and mine out of doors. Go enjoy tips, experiences, and questions about playing outside with your little ones! Code Name: Mama & I will be posting Facebook status updates to highlight all the entries, so "like" us to be inspired throughout the month.
- Everyone seems to be enjoying seeing me in my jammies, so hop on over to two posts where you can:
- "How to cosleep safely: A tutorial in pictures," written for the API Blog Carnival
- "Benefits of keeping your baby with you after a hospital birth," written for Science & Sensibility's Healthy Birth Blog Carnival. (Stay tuned for the carnivals when they go live!)
- I have two ongoing giveaways: SteamPotVille, by Steve Ouch, a most enjoyable children's book indeed; and a Smart Mom Jewelry Teething Bling necklace from Posh Baby Boutique, perfect for nursing or teething or just looking stylish with a piece of jewelry that's safe for your baby to chew.