Bedsharing controversy

Anti bedshaing video demystified. bedsharing is great when safe

I’m sure that by now, you have all seen the “shocking” video by Bothell Police Department – the one which discourages parents from co-sleeping. While I totally understand why the enthusiasts of evolutionary parenting, attachment parenting, gentle parenting and others are so unhappy with this video, I would like to convince you there are positives of it, you just need to look at it differently.And don’t hate me just yet. I’ve been bed sharing with Z for past 26 months, I know all the pros, I know the risks, and as such I do not even consider myself as a target audience for this video.

This video is not idiotic (an epithet commonly linked to it). It is also not perfect, but this is not the reason to consider it useless.

Bed sharing is safe when parents are responsible, educated and care deeply. It’s only safe when parents are aware of the risks, anticipate and prepare. It is only then that it can be pleasure and provide all the benefits.

Bed sharing by parents who drink alcohol, do drugs, smoke cigarettes, take anti depressants or sleeping pills, or are simply careless IS DANGEROUS. The chance for those people to change overnight and provide their children with safe sleeping environment in their bed is nearly impossible! For those, safe environment should be translated into: alone, on the back, in the crib. So, I do hope THEY will see this video, I hope it will put some sense into them. I hope they will watch this video and that it will stop them from bed sharing. 

This video is not aimed at parents who read about evolutionary or any other parenting.If you’re a frequent reader of those websites, blogs, books. If you’re well aware of when bed sharing is no safe then this video is not for you. Before we go hysterical and criticize everyone everywhere let’s have a minute for reflection.

Of course, in the perfect world a perfect video would not send that message, it would explain how bed sharing is beneficial for parents and the baby and how to do it safe. So, if you are willing to make the world closer to perfect, record your own video, explain the bed sharing, make sure it goes viral and we will all clap our hands! Just remember that you take responsibility for all those who will only take an element of your advise and still risk their babies lives.

On the other hand, if that video has left you scared and messed up your plans to co-sleep with your child, please read more on Evolutionary Parenting blog: do’s and don’ts or risks versus realities.

Breastfeed in public – yes and but

The fight for women’s right to breastfeed in public is very needed. But lately, I feel, it’s getting off the track, it’s loosing logic and is placed in the wrong context. Does it feel frantic only to me? Are there really no limits to public breastfeeding? How important breastfeeding is?
I am, with all my heart, a true supporter of breastfeeding (but it’s not my religion, nor would I ever shame any formula feeding mama). I’ve been breastfeeding Z. for 27 months now, that includes nursing in public places. I do support the right of women to breastfeed in public, to nursing breaks at work. I don’t like covers, although I understand that some women feel more comfortable using them. I love separate feeding rooms for babies and see no shame in using them and can’t understand how they can be seen as a pressure tool to keep boobs out of the public sight.
Many blogs and websites support breastfeeding. Some of them were founded to fight specifically for the women’s right to breastfeed in public. It is a noble goal. So many parts of the world need that fight!
I will never agree with a situation when a nursing mother is asked to leave, go to a toilet or cover herself.
Never, unless… Have you ever seen a woman nursing from above her shirt, or with both boobs out or almost topless, or sitting with the boob out long after the baby is fed? These are my “but” situations. I understand why these women are asked to cover or leave. I understand why people are bothered.
I’m not a prude. It doesn’t really bother me that much. I just know and understand how it may make some other people feel uncomfortable. Expecting people to accept nude nursing in public won’t get the revolution anywhere. It won’t win any fight. Show the world it can be done comfortably for you and the baby without making others feel awkward – this is how to win, how to gain those people’s trust, respect. This is how to normalize breastfeeding.
“Breastfeeding is not sexual” – the most common argument. I agree. It isn’t. But breasts are. We don’t have separate pair for breastfeeding and separate for sexual purpose – and it seems to be a problem nowadays.
Please, don’t try do “desexualize” boobs. Denying that breasts have sexual implications is naive. I mean, doesn’t your partner love your breasts? Don’t you like your boobs? They’re not even a tiny element provoking the arousal for both of you? Seriously? Beautiful, round, soft boobs! I, at least, love mine and will never deny them their sexual attributes! This is also why I don’t go around naked showing them to everyone.

Seriously?!

Breasts are sexual. This is why breastfeeding in public is difficult. This is how our society evolved. This is why magazines with topless women on the covers are usually in separate sections of the shop or are covered. Sex is a private matter. Of course it is used in mass media to sell everything but we also accept it only to a limit. When the line is crossed people oppose.
A breastfeeding mother is a member of the society like everyone else. A society is a complex organism, built with different structures and organs. It will work well only when each member, each part plays within the rules. Don’t call me bad names just yet. I’m not saying breastfeeding mothers have to go to the toilet, leave, cover, stay at home. I just want to say that breastfeeding in public may be done in a way that will make baby’s stomach full, mom happy and nobody will be bothered.
“My right to swing my fist ends where your nose begins”. If you want to nurse in public just think what to wear. you don’t need a cover, although there’s nothing wrong with using it if both you and your child are comfortable that way. Simply, breastfeed from under your shirt or whatever kind of top that you wear. And if you’re using a nursing top, please don’t let the boob hang out for long moments as if you’re trying to show off your “nursing skill”. It’s just so weird. The need of showing the naked breast just for the sake of showing it is so so weird!
Breasts don’t shock me, they don’t bother me but I just understand that other people have their rights and there is a way to respect others without compromising the right to nurse in pubic or my baby’s right to be fed.
So, keep on boobin’ mamas!!
Just remember there are people around you

Diversity in mothersland

Why do we need mommy friends? Why do we need to have few very close but meet whole lot more? Who do we need exactly?

We need someone who will always understand, who will always approve. But we also need a mum friend, who will shake her head and disapprove. We need to meet a totally chaotic, disorganized mum. We need to meet a mum who knows a lot. In that new friend circle, we need a mum who is  organized, a master of a daily routine. We need friends who eat crap and mum’s who should obtain a degree in eco-organic baby gear. We need them all. We need a cio friend and a co-sleeping mum friend. We need to know a mum who formula feeds from early on and a mum who breastfeeds a 3 year old. You will need a mum who knew nothing about kids and you need to know that mum who can cite research studies in the middle of the night. We need to meet with a mum who disciplines and a mum who lets her bundle-of-joy do whatever. A mum who lets her kid watch TV all day and a mum whose 2 year old has never seen a screen. We need a mum-friend who’s fixated on intellectual development and a mum who believes in movement more than in brain, and another one who will convince us that both are equally important. We need a mum who can DIY magic and a mum who knows every answer to introducing solids. We need a working mum and a SAHM and a WAHM. We should welcome in our entourage a doubtless mum and a mum full of doubts. A mum who doesn’t want number two and a mum expecting her third.

Embrace them all!

They are all equally great mothers!

You will love them and hate them, depending on the day, weather and phase of your cycle but you will cherish knowing them, need them and laugh with them more than you can imagine.

We need to know each other. None of us has all the answers, whereas each one of us has one element of the puzzle. You may think you have it all figured it out but one conversation with a friend may open your eyes and widen your horizon to different options.

Meeting all different types of mum will quickly teach you to respect mothers, not to judge mothers. Never. (Unless they are really harming they kids but would such a mum be your friend in the first place?).

So, if you’re a mum to be or a fresh mum and you still believe your single or childless friends will be enough – reconsider. You will have hundreds of questions, thousand of doubts (no matter how assured you feel now) and countless moments in which only a mother will be able to understand.

Let’s embrace diversity in mothersland!