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Thursday
Sep222011

Teaching Kids That Food Is Not The Enemy

 

 

  A few days ago, teen actress and singer Demi Lavato was on the Ellen Degeneres Show. She was talking about her struggle with Anorexia, Bulimia, cutting and all around self-loathing. She spoke of the impact being bullied had on her. She also touched on how some people in her life did not have her best interest in mind, but only that of their own. Her family and close friends kept telling her that she needed to get help. Her handlers, those who were making money off of her, told her otherwise. She eventually went into a drastic downward spiral that she almost did not come out of.

 

 Later that day, I had a talk with my Gracie Girl who is eight. I told her that there was a 19-year-old girl on the show talking about how people in school were really mean to her and made her think she was fat so she stopped eating and when she did eat, she would make herself throw up. I explained to her that it made Demi  really, really sick and she almost died because of it. I told her about the damage it does to your body when you deprive yourself of food and how making yourself throw up does a ton of harm to your body. I let her ask as many questions as she needed to. She wanted to know if I knew anyone who had eating disorders. I do know some who did, who do, and who died because of it.

 

 The reason I felt it was so important to bring such a big thing like this to my little girl is that these issues are starting with kids younger and younger. I remember going to the drug store with my best friend and buying Dexatrim and water pills when I was ELEVEN! One of our friend’s aunts knew & just told us not to take the water pills when we were on our period. WHAT?! The fact that the clerk sold it to us is infuriating! Yeah, so some people in your life have no clue. But there are people whose voices you need to listen to. I remember feeling fat because a boy at school told me I was. I had never viewed myself that way until he said it. I remember hating that I loved to eat. So, I would eat and then take diet pills, hoping the food wouldn’t stick to my thighs.

 

 The other reason I had to tell Grace was because I don’t want her to have a bad relationship with food. She has multiple food allergies (gluten, dairy, soy, peanuts, egg whites & cod fish). I don’t want her to resent food. I want her to embrace the joy of researching and learning about new foods and alternatives to things she had to give up. It’s not always just about bullying when someone has food issues. I think food addiction is the worst to have to recover from. If you are addicted to drugs, you can detox and hopefully never touch them again. If you want to quit smoking, there are tons of resources to help you never light up again. If you are addicted to food, be it not eating enough, purging what you have eaten or binging on a regular basis, you cannot just stop. We have to eat. You can’t go cold turkey off of food. You can’t wean yourself off of it. We need it to thrive. So there is a battle every time you put food to your mouth. You have to convince yourself each time, I deserve this. I need this. It is OK for me to enjoy this. It is not OK for me to allow this to kill me.

 

 I think every parent has the responsibility to talk to their kids about eating disorders. We sit our kids down and address all kinds of topics; drugs, alcohol, illegal activity, bullying. All of these things are important to issues that kids need to hear from us about, but I think eating disorders are often left out. I think a lot of parents think it won’t happen to their kids. Or they don’t know how to deal with it if it does, so ignoring it will make it go away. Wouldn’t it be nice if that really worked!? I found this article that I think is very helpful. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/when-parents-are-partners/201105/crisis-manual-parents-how-talk-your-kids-about-food-and-weight

Monday
Aug222011

Feeding The Nations

Wow, I can't believe it's been almost 2 months since we've posted! Have you had a busy summer? The little chickities at this nest have been fluttering around trying to keep house. Heather, Sierra and Donna apologize for neglecting our perch but better that we not neglect our families and our development of our wonderful Nesting Pillows..Right? Oh, my.

 

We are back on track and SO thankful for our perch writers who are also very busy juggling family, friends and business!

 

Today's post is from Holly at Integrative Mom~ Feeding The Nations

 

Since I did not wean my toddler during pregnancy, I was really wondering what would transpire upon the arrival of our new baby.  So here I am, exactly 17 days into tandem nursing a newborn and a 2 year old.  I have learned a lot, and there are already things I wish I could go back and change.

 I was just planning on "going with the flow" and seeing what happened.  My 2 year old was down to nursing once or twice a day, and even though I had read that he might want to nurse as often as the newborn, I didn't expect it.  Nor did I have a plan for what to do if he tried.

One of the reasons I didn't try to wean my 2 year old before the birth of my baby was because tandem nursing is supposed to cut down on jealousy and stress in the toddler.  The day I gave birth and for a couple of days after I feel it created more stress as I didn't have a clear idea beforehand of what I was going to do.  When my 2 year old tried to nurse in the hours after my baby was born, i tried to discourage him.  Much of my hesitation was wondering what others would think (friends, family, the nurses and doctors in the hospital etc.) And so I tried to stop my toddler and distract him which only led to frustration on everyone's part.  

Once I decided that if it doesn't bother me, it shouldn't bother anyone else and let my toddler nurse when he asked for it, everything settled down. I was visited by.a lactation consultant in the hospital who had tandem nursed until her older child was four and a half and she gave me some great tips and some really cool facts.  

For instance, my older son had a pretty bad cough the day my son was born, and I was worried about letting him nurse because of the transfer of germs. She reassured me by saying that nursing my toddler is actually the best thing I can do, because the virus in his saliva enters my body and then my milk ducts create antibodies to it that will then be passed on to my newborn to protect him from it. How cool is that?

And most everyone's main concern is whether or not I have enough milk for both of them.  Well, I’ll put it this way- I joked  yesterday that  maybe I should see if there’s anyone else in my neighborhood who needs to be breastfed.  I have enough milk to feed the nations. My newborn has been happy since day one because he didn't need to wait very long for his milk to come in and only lost 4 percent of his body weight in the hospital. By 5 days old he had already gained a third of that back and at his two week check-up, the one where they want to make sure he’s gained back his birth weight, he had gained 3 pounds since birth!  I’d say I have enough milk.

I’m not sure how long I’ll be doing this, but for now it is working for us.The adventure continues...

 

 


Monday
Jun272011

Welcome this sweet baby into the world!

Holly from Integrative Mom is a writer here at the perch. We love having Holly as a part of our team and welcome her new little boy into this world.

Hollys' two handsome boys with their Nesting Pillow!

I think her new little one is going to be a writer..as soon as he arrived, Holly "birthed" more amazing blog posts..nothing like " a little inspiration". Hollys' blog Integrative Mom is the best place to visit for natural parenting! Here is her latest post "Labor and Childbirth"

 

Sunday
Jun122011

Fabric of Freedom Gala

Blessed Nest is excited to bring you an update from the International Princess Project.....more on IPP coming soon!

The Mission of International Princess Project: Establish self-sustaining enterprises and partnership with indigenous organizations that provide for physical, emotional and spiritual needs of women formerly enslaved in prostitution; AND advocate for women enslaved in prostitution around the world.

Thursday
Jun022011

“I’m a really good sharer, Mommy" Extended breastfeeding

 Today's post written by Blessed Nest Perch writer Holly at IntegrativeMom.com

Holly at Integrative Mom

When picturing my life as a mother, I had always planned to practice extended breastfeeding. I really hoped my son would nurse until age 2, and then gradually wean on his own. That was my hope and from my experience thus far, it was wishful thinking!

One scenario I had not planned on was becoming pregnant for the second time while still breastfeeding my first. I’m not sure why it hadn’t occurred to me, but it just hadn’t. Well, here we are. I’m currently 37 weeks into my second pregnancy, AKA full term, and I still have a breastfeeding two year old. I was assured by my OB that it was perfectly safe to continue nursing throughout my pregnancy. She reminded me that people in third world countries do it all the time and this is often the best nutrition these children receive during their lives. “But remember, we don’t live in a third word country, so it’s no longer nutritionally necessary to breastfeed your toddler. You just need to decide it you’re willing to tandem nurse a newborn and a three year old. If so, I usually advise my patients to give each child one breast, that way you know your newborn is getting an adequate milk supply.”

Whoa! I am so happy I found an open minded holistic ob/gyn, but even this was “out there” for me.

So then I consulted La Leche League who told me that many children will gradually taper off of breastfeeding as the taste of the milk changes due to hormones, and then is replaced with colostrum during the 4th or 5th month of pregnancy.

We were seeing signs of hope as my son totally quit nursing during the day, but then he also quit taking naps (since this was his main way of falling asleep). Once again, something I was not prepared for! He continued to nurse in the evening, then got used to the new taste and reinstated his daytime nursing. He also recently told me that he’s going to nurse on one side while the baby nurses on the other. “I’m a really good sharer, Mommy.”

Where will this journey take us? I don’t know, but I have learned one thing so far in my career as a mother- never say never. I’m certain you will find yourself doing and saying things you could not even fathom pre-child. As for me, I have anywhere from zero to three weeks to either make changes, or to just go with the flow and see what happens.

Since I’ve heard tandem nursing reduces any jealousy or behavioral problems the toddler might experience and creates a quicker bond between the siblings, I’m pretty sure if you see me in a few weeks I’ll have my hands very, very full.