A Safe Space to Unpack Motherhood, mental health & milk
Mommy. Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC). Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW). Therapist. Entrepreneur. On a personal mission to normalize breast / chestfeeding. I write about motherhood, mental health and milk. She / Her / Hers.
“Don’t pick up your baby too much because it will spoil them.”
“Feeding your newborn too much spoils them.”
“Let them cry it out. It will teach them how to self-soothe.”
“Breastfeeding your baby will keep them attached to you and they won’t like anyone else.”
“You don’t have to respond every time your baby cries.”
How many of the above statements have you heard? To spoil or not to spoil is the million dollar question. Many people have varying opinions and usually their input is well intended. Initially I was receptive to unsolicited “wisdom” from others because I was a first-time mom. Over time I grew annoyed because my thought process is rooted in the understanding of human development. The above statements negate science, human development and an infant’s cognitive ability. Contrary to popular belief; it is impossible to spoil an infant. Here’s why.
We are half way through the month of May and I cannot let the month pass without acknowledging Mental Health Awareness Month. I am happy that an entire month is dedicated to highlighting the importance of mental health. In my world mental health is placed onto a pedestal on a daily basis. I will continue to speak about it and its importance to overall health every opportunity afforded to me.
March is National Social Work Month! I am 11 years into my social work journey. I wasn’t always a social worker. In my previous life I was a Packaging Engineer. Packaging was a major that I stumbled upon while attending a week long summer camp at Michigan State University (Go Green! Go White!) while in high school. During that week I met two individuals that would help me to make the transition to college two years later. One person was a MSU student and we would exchange several handwritten letters via mail (long before cellphones, social media and texting existed) where she would answer all of my questions related to college. The other person was the director of the summer camp. She held a Ph.D and I recalled being in awe at her education and her willingness to mentor me upon my arrival at MSU. I am still in contact with both of them some twenty-five plus years later.
Lesson 1: Connections, friendships and human interactions have meaning. Positive life long connections are a necessity and help to bring light to everyday situations.
On February 11, 2020 I posted my first blog post introducing myself. A blog was on the to-do list for ages and I recall being extremely proud of taking the step. Those who know me know that I have always loved reading and writing. My high school English teacher (we are still in contact) taught me how to write a properly cited research paper. I credit my parents for my love of reading because our home was always full of books! The library is one of my favorite places and I hope to visit again in 2023! We’ll see what the future holds.
So much taking place in the world which gives me a variety of topics to write about. Today I am choosing to practice exactly what I preached in my April 1, 2020 Emotional Self-Care post. I am making the deliberate choice to control my self-care narrative.
Today is January 16, 2021 and I am nine days away from having a four year old. The time has flown by quickly and it feels like we were just discharged from the hospital. Her birthday, January 25, also represents the fourth year of our breastfeeding journey 🎉🏆!!! We had challenges immediately following birth and I would have had unpleasant words for anyone on January 25, 2017 had they told me that I’d still be nursing my daughter four years later. To utter such words would have been the ultimate form of disrespect resulting in the end of a relationship! At that point in time we lived life in three-hour increments and it was asking too much of me to even focus on the next day.
The holiday season can bring on a variety of emotions. November marks the start of events that seem to keep rolling throughout December and into the New Year. The end of the year is compromised of work potlucks, increased family and friend obligations and festive gatherings that seem to last forever. Fast forward to 2020 and those colorful festivities of yesteryear have been replaced with more life altering challenges than we can count.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020 is a day that many have anticipated. So much has taken place in the last few days and waiting on the outcome feels like an eternity. No surprise that it has stretched well beyond Tuesday. COVID-19 has impacted life itself and the election is no exception. If you are like me you are glued to the television and switching between news channels. For many the end result is a matter of life or death and the luxury of checking out is not an option. Families and communities have and still are being ravished by COVID-19. The pandemic didn’t mysteriously disappear this week despite minimal news coverage! Trust me when I say that the pandemic hits you differently when you have the experience of watching the funeral of someone you know via Facebook live. Recall that children still remain in cages, violence is incited nonchalantly and white supremacy is readily condoned. Human lives are at stake and I refuse to take it lightly.
While pregnant I read every book I could get my hands on that was related to birth. I am an avid reader so reading books was the norm. The internet and social media spaces catering to birth and breast / chestfeeding were was also my go-to sources. I was armed with information and the text made breast / chestfeeding look easy. Certainly I thought I had it covered between the detailed descriptions, footnotes, the diagrams and links to further reading. I was the expectant mother that clicked on the links within the links to see what else I could discover.
This week marks Black Breastfeeding Week! Revive. Restore. Reclaim! is the theme for 2020. In my June “Breathe, Thrive and Grow” post I wrote that I planned to tackle the systemic racism and implicit bias connected to Black breast / chestfeeding parents during my Black Breastfeeding Week post. As I began writing I decided that this post would take a different turn because I do not have the mental capacity to discuss systemic racism. Instead I want to detail my personal thoughts on the 2020 theme and ways that each word can be put into action.
UPDATE September 1, 2020 — The Peace, Love & Breastmilk Monthly Subscription Box is available. Please click on the links below! 💙
I am eagerly preparing to launch the Peace, Love & BreastmilkMonthly Subscription Box on September 1, 2020!! 🎉✨🎁 The time has flown by and it’s hard to believe that it is weeks away! The idea written on scrap paper in March 2020 will soon become reality. I am excited!