Spoiling Your Baby…True or False?

It’s one of the most common parenting suggestions around. I think every family I have worked with has reported hearing it at least once…maybe from a family member, friend or a provider. Parents look on in fear, their minds racing. “What if it already happened?” They are thinking. “What if I ruined everything?”

Spoiling your baby.

It doesn’t even matter in what context it’s suggested in. Feeding? If you breastfeed too much or too long, you risk spoiling. Nurturing? If you hold your baby too long or too often, you can spoil your baby. Responding? If you pick your baby up when he/she cries, you are spoiling them. Parents are left wondering what they should do, how to avoid this obviously terrible fate of a spoiled baby and how much is really too much. I’m here to set the record straight.

You can’t spoil a baby. Pretty crazy, huh? Truth be told, feeding and nurturing and responding to your baby are necessary in creating security and trust with your baby. Your baby needs you, they depend on you. As newborns, babies aren’t hardwired to manipulate you into picking them up when they cry. Instinctively, babies cry because there is a need to be fulfilled. That need may be feeding or it may be comforting. It’s quite possible that your baby doesn’t even know what he needs, he just knows that he wants his mother or his father, and that is all that matters at that moment.

This week on the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast, the hot topic is spoiling your baby. Want to hear more about that? Check it out here:







Breastfeeding Aversion

Aversion.   It means to dislike something or feel repulsed by something. Those are strong words. What if that something is breastfeeding? The one thing you can absolutely count on to soothe your child. Breastfeeding aversion can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Not everyone experiences this, and unfortunately I don’t think a lot of mothers talk openly about it. It’s really hard to talk about how you absolutely do not want to put the baby to your breast anymore, and you can’t really explain why.

There are ways to deal with breastfeeding aversion (or nursing aversion). You have options, and it isn’t all about weaning the baby. Some mothers aren’t quite ready for that step, either. There are other coping skills you can use to get you through to where you need to be. Maybe it’s a distraction for you, or setting boundaries for yourself and the baby (or toddler).

There are many reasons why researchers think this is happening, but no one really knows for sure. It has been linked to hormones (maybe if pregnant while still breastfeeding or menstruating), lack of sleep, and lack of self-care. Regardless of why you are experiencing it, it can really catch you off guard.

If you think this is something you may have experienced, or may be experiencing, check out this week’s podcast (what the heck…check it out anyway!) Dianne and Abby talk all about breastfeeding aversion, including some ways to combat it. Dianne and Abby will also share some coping skills to help keep you going just when you thought you would need to wean your baby off the breast.


In addition, check out this other really helpful information about breastfeeding aversion.





NIP (Nursing in Public)

Nursing in public. We in the breastfeeding community like to refer to this as NIP. NIP can be quite a hot topic among members of society, and opinions can get pretty heated at times.   Every breastfeeding mama has their own comfort level when it comes to nursing their little one while they are with others. Some say that they are perfectly comfortable anywhere, and with anyone. I have heard others say that if they were with other nursing mothers, they wouldn’t think twice about breastfeeding. However, once out in public where they feel like they may be the objects of someone’s abuse, they would rather go under cover.   We should never make a breastfeeding mother feel as if she can’t feed her baby wherever she happens to be, yet this still happens everyday.

We have all seen those pictures on Facebook and the like- pictures of mom breastfeeding and someone always pipes up with a comment about how inappropriate it is to breastfeed in public where the whole world can see you. First of all, most women are pretty discreet and it can be hard to tell that breastfeeding is actually happening, unless you are really staring at the mother and her baby (which is pretty creepy anyway). Second, if it is legal (and usually is) it is really no one else’s business.   Now that we have cleared that up, let’s talk about it.

There are plenty of ways to breastfeed in public and be comfortable doing it. When it comes right down to it, this is about you and your baby. Does your baby need to eat? Yes. Should other people have an opinion on how that will happen? No. Check out episodes 12 and 13 of the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast. It’s all about nursing in public, how to feel comfortable, best ways to get started, even information about nursing while baby wearing. You’ll be a pro after these 2 episodes. Be sure to tune in for Episode 14 (coming soon!), which is the last in a 3 part NIP series.



Breast and Bottle Feeding

It seems to me that when I ask an expecting mother what her feeding plan is, she always makes sure to specify that she is planning to breastfeed, but wants to give bottles. Some things I hear are: “I want dad to bond too”, “I have to return to work”, and “I might want a break”.   Sometimes I wonder if new mothers think that they will be judged if they give a bottle. Well, judgment does come in all forms, but it certainly will not come from me.

Let’s talk about bottles for a minute. I support families through their breastfeeding journey. The mothers who call on me for help are often in a position where they need to give a bottle, and are concerned about how it might disrupt breastfeeding or how they can make both breast and bottle feeding work together. Some situations I see are mothers who are returning to work and need to introduce bottles for day care, or maybe it’s a premature baby who is getting bottles in the hospital. Whatever the reason, the fact is we don’t want bottles to interfere. To be quite honest, I find bottle feeding a pain. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to breastfeed. How do you know how much milk to give in a bottle? How do you know what kind of bottle to use? Do you heat the milk or not? Too many questions here – I found it much easier to put the baby to breast and be done with it. My first baby did not have many bottles, only during situations where I was not able to be at home at all. I did not work when he was a baby, so we were able to do that. I know that is not the norm. When my twins came along, I had to do more bottle feeding, just because I needed the help. It was always breastmilk, which mean I had to get pump time in as well.   It’s a lot of work.

Mothers are often concerned that babies who are primarily breastfeeding need to have a special bottle. It is not necessarily about the bottle, but about HOW the baby is getting the milk from the bottle. Paced bottle feeding, where the baby is getting milk from the bottle in a slow, paced fashion, is the way to go.

Check out this link about paced bottle feeding if you want to learn more about that.


On this week’s episode of the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast, we talk all about giving bottles and some common situations that might come up. Check it out!




Where is your Self Care?

Self care. Repeat that again…SELF CARE. Taking care of yourself. It’s like I’m speaking a foreign language. Most mothers I meet are not even thinking about self care, let alone practicing it. It is important, and I’ll tell you why.

Burn out is a real thing. When you’re a mom, you aren’t really thinking about how much parenting takes out of you. Sometimes we get into this routine of doing everything for everyone around us. Think about it – maybe you are taking care of a baby. Maybe you have older children and a baby. You have a partner and laundry and 3 meals a day to get into your kids. Oh and maybe you have a dog to look after and groceries to buy and doctor appointments and and and…So where is the time for you?

Self care is not negotiable. It is an integral part of parenting. Unfortunately, it is up to you to make sure that your self care time is part of your routine. This isn’t something that anyone else can do for you. Plan it out if you have to. Put it on the calendar. Even if it is just 30 minutes out of your day that you can call your own, make it happen. Look forward to it. It sounds very cliché, but you really can’t take care of anyone else until you take care of yourself.

So your job right now is to make a list of things that you can do for yourself.   The next step is to put it into practice.

Want to hear more about self care? Check out the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast this week and we will school you on all the ways you can make self care a real part of your life. Once you do, we want to hear about it. Share your ideas!




Breastfeeding – the extended version


What is extended breastfeeding, anyway? How do you determine when you have crossed over from “regular” breastfeeding and into “extended” breastfeeding? I have heard many opinions about this, so let’s get right down to it.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends babies breastfeed for 2 years. The World Health Organization (or WHO) recommends up to age 3.   My point of view is really anything beyond the 2 years that is recommended by the AAP. I breastfed all my kids for over a year and I don’t really consider that extended. Some consider anything over the first year to be extended breastfeeding. However you look at it, it’s beneficial for mom and baby.

Society is pretty vocal with their judgment about this particular topic.   Kind of that no filter, offensive type of judgment. Since I work with breastfeeding mothers, I will celebrate any breastfeeding milestone. I am also a safe place for mothers who are breastfeeding into toddlerhood. Often mothers won’t even tell their family members or their doctor that they are still breastfeeding for fear of the backlash that may come with it.

As with any other aspect of parenting (or really anything else you do in your life), extended breastfeeding is a choice that is made between mother and baby and the family, and doesn’t need the vote of approval from anyone else. If it’s working for you, keep it up.

Week 4 of the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast is all about extended breastfeeding. Interested in hearing more? Check it out here.




Breastfeeding 2?


Have you ever seen someone tandem nurse? It’s somewhat of a unicorn in our society these days. Just knowing someone who has managed this is enough, let alone witness it with your own eyes.

Tandem nursing is when mom is breastfeeding her new baby and still breastfeeding the first baby. This is a pretty amazing thing to be doing, especially when you consider that she is now breastfeeding 2 kids and 2 different stages of development. So let’s put this a different way. I breastfed twins. 2 babies (my claim to fame, by the way). I am really proud that I breastfed twins. I also have a master’s degree. And published a book. But that breastfeeding twins thing – definitely my best work.   However, breastfeeding twins is not tandem nursing. Tandem nursing is a completely different type of talent.

Let’s break it down. Now we have a woman who is breastfeeding a toddler and becomes pregnant. Do you remember what it’s like to be pregnant (if you aren’t pregnant right now, that is)? Do you remember the breast tenderness, the fatigue, the overall feeling of ICK that can take over at times…now imagine breastfeeding a toddler through all of that. And the toddler along with a newborn. It is probably one of the most remarkable things a new mother can do. I celebrate women who do this, because it is certainly not for everyone.   One of the biggest obstacles to tandem nursing and nursing while pregnant is getting past societal norms. The information, or lack thereof, is astounding. Everything from slighting your baby from nutrients to preterm labor – everyone has an opinion about this and most of it is not valid.

This is where I plug the Badass Breastfeeding Podcast. This week we talk about tandem nursing and breastfeeding while pregnant, and all the fun that goes along with it. Want to learn more? Have your own experiences? Tune in, and then feel free to reach out with your stories as well.   Check it out!