The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Although it proved a bit challenging to get started with my first daughter, I recall my days of breastfeeding quite fondly. And not just because I found it incredibly relaxing and a beautiful way to bond with each of my two daughters. It also had the added benefit of filling out my silhouette. Specifically, the middle of the upper half of my silhouette.

BOOBS! I finally had some!

This may be total overshare, but after being a card-carrying member of the I.B.T.C. for nigh on two decades, I was delighted to progress from perky to a perfect 36C when my milk came in. See, unlike many women, I didn’t gain much in the bustline while pregnant. I received my bounty afterward.

Now, while that measurement might not seem a big deal to some readers (especially women who were already nicely endowed and who swelled to uncomfortable Pamela-esque proportions during breastfeeding), for me it was an added bonus to an already wonderful experience.

And yes, I know, breast augmentation controversy, breast vs bottle controversy, etc., etc., etc.

I’m just sayin’ that I enjoyed those 18 months as a sort-of full-figured woman. As un-PC as it may be, I admit that I did feel different, and in a good way. And no, I didn’t feel less attractive when I resumed my regular shape. But I did miss the “enhanced” me — just a little.

Of course, I imagine that there are not a few men out there who appreciate the natural benefits this form of nourishment provides their progeny and their partners. Which brings me to today’s poem.

Because you can never have too many limericks about breastfeeding. Am I right?

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The Benefits of Breastfeeding

Although many new moms may contest
Either viewpoint re: “Bottle or Breast?”
Most new dads will attest
That a milk-enhanced chest
Leaves no question: Indeed, breast is best.

©2010 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

Almighty Epidural

quilt image, colorful quilt
I’m not here to stir up (or stirrup, as the case may be…) controversy about epidurals during childbirth.

We all know that every woman is different and every labor is different. I was lucky enough to have a choice in planning my birth experience, although — wouldn’t ya know — things didn’t turn out quite the way I’d planned.

With both my deliveries, I endured several hours of labor before I was deemed eligible for pain relief. During my first daughter’s birth, it proved a hinderance. During my second daughter’s birth, it served its purpose well.

Still…to medicate or not to medicate? That, indeed, is the question.

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ALMIGHTY EPIDURAL

Many of my friends
hold fast the belief
that pharmacological relief
during labor
isn’t needed.

Their advice I heeded,
but in the end
the reassuring thought
of enduring with naught
but Lamaze
gave me

pregnant

pause.

And so…
the spinal shot?

I got.

.

©2009 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz

Mothering: Buy the Book

When I first joined the illustrious ranks of The Motherhood Club a dozen years ago, the guidebooks for moms must have numbered in the quadruple digits. Books for dad? Five, maybe six.

Sure, dads as a group have stepped up their participation in parenting as we’ve evolved over the past few decades. But I believe that – for better or worse – the mainstream mindset still holds that most things parental are the domain of The Mom.

The books and blogs written by, for and about mothers still outnumber the books and blogs by, for and about fathers – by about a zillion to one.

And when was the last time you heard the term “working dad”?

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Mothering: Buy the Book

You’ll find shelves of books that tell Mom
what to eat when she’s expecting,
and a few more just to tell her
how to outfit baby’s room.

There are books galore to give Mom
helpful, step-by-step instructions
for the many ways to make sure baby’s
peaceful in her womb.

There are books that recommend to Mom
the best way to give birth,
and as many more to help restore
the body she once knew.

There are countless books to help Mom
feed by breast or by the bottle,
and to help her get her baby
sleeping soundly all night through.

There are scores of books to help Mom
choose a preschool or a nanny,
and as many books that teach Mom
how to discipline and praise.

There are books on
how to feed
and
how to teach
and
how to nurture
so she’ll have the sweetest baby
any Mom could ever raise.

Those who seek maternal guidance,
rest assured it’s there for you–
with these books, you’ll be the best Mom
any child has ever had.

As you shop the shelves of bookstores, though,
you may just stop to wonder,
where exactly they are keeping
all the how-to books for Dad…

©2010 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz