Breastfeeding is too often depicted as something romantic and simple. For me that was far from the truth. With Miss Moo I had supply issues and wasn't given any real support during my hospital stay. I delivered on a Thursday afternoon and never saw a lactation consultant. She was born during the H1N1 panic and every type of drop-in care and support group was cancelled during her first 6 months of life. Visits to lactation consultants were costly after the first free visit and insurance wouldn't pay. She lost weight. We both cried. Our pediatrician sternly pointed at formula. Drew and I, being first time parents, conceded. And I cried some more. Moo began formula with what little breast milk I could provide and gained weight. By the next peds visit I was told she was TOO heavy. I felt embarrassed as I stood in the office. As I walked to the car I felt angry.
I began slipping into a terrible PPD because I couldn't feed my child and was filling her full of food that was now, seemingly, making her heavy. I decided enough was enough. I stopped feeding her formula and we took a nursing vacation. I nursed her every 2-3 hours from 2 months until 6 months when she began taking solids more easily and drank water willingly. I admitted I needed help with my depression and saw my Midwifes. And I began educating myself.
Moo's First meal - rice cereal with banana.
With Miss Roo we did things entirely differently. I was educated before becoming pregnant with her but after we knew she was cooking I read everything I could on herbs, supplements, foods, and depression. A friend from college mentioned placenta encapsulation. I had run across it in some research while I was nursing Moo but decided to do additional research now that I would actually have a placenta to use. I talked with my Midwife and we decided to use that as an additional preventative measure. When Roo arrive my house was well stocked with Fenugreek, Blessed Thistle, Gaia Herbs Lactate Support, Mother's Milk tea, and placenta pills. When I prepare, I PREPARE.
Whether it was my planning, my supplements, my placenta, or my willpower doesn't truly matter. What matters is that it worked. Roo was a healthy breast milk baby. She made it a few weeks into her sixth month before she sampled food. This time we ignored what all the pediatricians and baby experts tell us to feed our children. We were (and still are) in the process of cleaning up our diet. We were replacing low fat, manipulated unhealthy food with real, organic, good fat, whole fat foods. We began this process shortly before we married but seem to layer our deck with life events one on top of another. So this evolution has been slow but consistent.
Where Moo had rice cereal, Roo had avacado and banana. Where Moo had jarred organic food, Roo had the food that we were eating. She sampled fruit, veggies, dairy and meat.
Roo's first meal - whole milk yogurt with banana.
And she LOVED it.
This kid can EAT. Moo has always been a fabulous eater, but Roo puts her to shame. She is a carnivore. She loves pork and beef especially. She would eat bananas until they came out her ears, as Nana would say. She eats the rainbow daily and with fervor. At most meals she cleans her plate and her sister's and then moves on to mine. She has never turned down a food that we have preparedfor her.
The girls enjoying a carpet picnic for "brunch":
Local, free range eggs, GFCF bacon, GF pancakes
with real maple syrup, organic OJ, and some local fruit
(missing from the picture because it is always consumed first.)
I know that I am not a doctor, nutritionist, or scientist, but I CAN tell you that eating real food works for developing a great love of real food in children and a healthy weight in both children and adults. I was trying desperately to lose my baby weight from both girls. Nothing was working. I was staying heavy even breastfeeding and counting calories. After a few months, I decided I was only going to eat good fats from meat, dairy, nuts and fruit as well as remove gluten and eat more veggies. I was not going to count calories or read the fat grams in the food I was eating. The results have been amazing.
I'm not runway ready, but I'm better. I've lost weight, inches, sizes, and pain in my back and legs.
Real food. That's where it's at.
Interested? Here's some books and films I love:
Wheat Belly by William Davis, M.D. - http://www.wheatbellyblog.com/buy-the-book/
Real Food and Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck - http://www.ninaplanck.com/books.html
The Coconut Oil Miracle by Bruce Fife, C.N., N.D. - http://www.amazon.com/Coconut-Miracle-Previously-published-Healing/dp/1583332049
Ingredients - http://www.ingredientsfilm.com/
Fresh - http://www.freshthemovie.com/
Food, Inc. - http://www.takepart.com/foodinc
Food Matters - http://www.foodmatters.tv/#
Fork Over Knives - http://www.forksoverknives.com/
Fat Head - http://www.fathead-movie.com/