Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Life Updates and my thoughts about AP

It's been a while since my last post. Life is busy! We moved, the house is finally organized and clean. I've been working L&D and I'm loving it! Next week I start my NICU job Per Diem.

My baby is growing so fast, every time I look at her I take a million mental pictures and try to make notes to myself to enjoy every moment. I love her more than I ever imagined. And although I've been working a lot I am still pumping at work and breastfeeding at home.

A couple weeks ago there was a lot of talk and controversy about the cover of TIME magazine, which showed a mom breast feeding an almost four-year-old boy. The cover was meant to sell magazines, so they put the boy up on a chair, to make him look taller and the mom is defiantly looking straight at the camera. The headline read: "Are you mom enough" and talked about the "extreme" Attachment Parenting theory by Dr. William Sears. I didn't really like the cover, but it was nice to bring extended breastfeeding and other subjects to the media.

That same week I went to Palm Springs to hear Dr. Bill Sears talk about Attachment Parenting at a Conference. I practice AP and I am a working mom. AP is not hard, it's not extreme, it's just a natural, "gut feeling" way to raise your child. We sleep together, we breastfeed, we use baby carriers a lot. I was raised like that and I believe it makes the child more secure, confident, smart and independent!

Even though I practice AP, I totally respect any parenting style. The kid is yours, your job is to research, study and decide what is the best way to raise your baby. The way you believe will result in a productive, hard working, sensitive and empathetic adult. Your baby, your call. Give your child your very best!

To finish this post, I'll put a Youtube video of my baby. She'll be 8 months old tomorrow. This is what she learned since last month:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nomadic Life

Aiai! Moving again. My poor baby is only seven months old and she moved three times. She was born in Palm Desert, moved to Oceanside, then to Indio and now Beaumont. The first move we had Anton's mom help, the second one my parents were here to help and this time we are by ourselves and have a baby. I hope some friends show up for some packing or at least to babysit while I pack and carry. We have to be out of here by the end of the month. And because we're moving only about 40 minutes away we can move a little bit everyday other than  packing a big truck and doing it in one day like it was last time. 

The problem is my work schedule, I work a lot!!! And Anton stays with the baby. It's impossible to move and look after Melanie at the same time. So we really need help! My house is already a big mess, so I hope I can keep calm and not stress out too much in the process. 

Wish me luck :)

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Today I received an e mail from IBLCE saying that I qualify to take the exam. It will be in July and it's going to be computer based test. On top of that I started my new job last week. I had Hospital orientation and yesterday I had my first Basic Fetal Monitoring class. I loved the course and can't wait to start orientation in the unit. For two weeks I'll be working five days a week, eight hours day shift in Antepartum (or NST Clinic) and after that I'll go back to my regular schedule.

Working five days a week is so hard for me. I love being a nurse and one of the reasons have to be the schedule. Working 3 days a week,  12 hour shift is so good! You always have four days to spend with your family. Sometimes you can work six days straight and then be off for a whole week! You get to have a little vacation without spending your "paid time off".

And of course, I have a 6 month old baby that I have to take care of when I get home. Dad stays all day with her, and he wants some time for himself when I get home. All of that means it's going to be a challenge to find time to study. But I really want to pass this exam, so I'll try my best!

I started to be interested and learn about breastfeeding in Nursing School. I had my Internship in the NICU. The Hospital (Hospital Universitario Regional Norte do Parana) has a Milk Bank, where moms that have oversupply go there and donate their milk. The milk is pasteurized and fed to the sick newborns and babies that are in the NICU and Peds. The milk is not fed by bottles either. They use a small plastic coffee cups to feed the babies. During the whole hospitalization time, breastfeeding importance is stressed to the parents babies and sometimes the moms even receive free medicine to increase their supply.

That's me in the NICU in Brazil!

When I moved to USA and got a NICU job I was really impressed with the amount of formula fed to the babies. And here pretty much all the moms have access to a breast pump. It didn't make sense... Looking at   statistics you can tell that many moms leave the hospital exclusively breastfeeding. That number drops at 3 months and drops again at 6 months and the number of moms that breastfeed until 1 year of age are very low.

I think there are many reasons why moms stop breastfeeding. Many moms are not very educated and aware of all the choices they have for the delivery of their baby. They trust the doctors and nurses decisions blindly. It would help if moms read more and had more support to find out about many options of giving birth. That way, no matter what they decide, they would feel more empowered and in control.

Nurses that are more educated in breastfeeding versus formula feeding and that know how to encourage, teach and support mothers to exclusively breastfeed in the Post Partum period would help. More Lactation Consultants in the Hospitals and referring all the moms to breastfeeding clinics for a follow-up would be so important. Guaranteeing access of working/student moms to breast pumps, pumping stations and to breaks to pump during their shift. Stop the nonsense of criticizing and harassing moms for breastfeeding in public. Educating everyone about formula feeding and how that affects the development of a child, all the risks and that formula should be used only in exceptional cases.

Breastfeeding moms (specially those encountering issues, problems, rocks on their road)  need support, family, friends and specially other nursing moms to talk to, feel supported, feel like their doing their best and to keep trying!

Thinking about all of that, in 2010 I had the opportunity to take a course called "Grow our own - Lactation Consultant and IBCLC prep course", it was offered by WIC Riverside, CA and the teacher was Christy Hendricks. She is an IBCLC and a Doula. You can find out more about her and the courses she teaches here:

I learned so much and met so many amazing people taking this course... That is my class!

Here I am with my Certificate at my graduation. I was pregnant!

There is a conference coming up too:

I have to check my work schedule, but I really want to go. I went last year and it was really good!

That's me with Dr. Bob Sears last year...

So I graduated as a Lactation Consultant last year and now I have to take my IBCLC exam :) Love it!!!

So... this is my journey with Breastfeeding so far. I hope I have some good news after i take my test! I'll let you all know.



Sunday, March 25, 2012

My baby is 6 months old!

Melanie turned 6 months old yesterday. To celebrate it and make this special date memorable, we had a photo session with Jen from Apples of Gold Photography. It went so well! Unfortunately, dad Anton was sick with some stomach bug and couldn't participate... so Only Mel and I took pics : /

My photographer posted some sneak peaks on Facebook yesterday and I couldn't be happier with the results... take a look and tell me what you think!

I can't wait to see the rest of the pictures!

Before I go, I would like to with my dear friend Bruna Happy Birthday!!! I miss you girl! Hope you have a very special day :)

I hope you liked it,

See you soon


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Baby Wearing


I'm back. I didn't make a video this time, but Melanie ate a banana. I cut it in sticks with the skin on (after washing it really well, of course). She did really well and she loves bananas!!! Last night we went to a restaurant to celebrate a friend's birthday and I gave her a piece of broccoli. The piece was big, so she enjoyed sucking on it. But as she sucked and the broccoli started to fall apart, a big piece got loose and she tried to swallow it. She gagged, which I know is normal in baby led weaning, but it was scary, so I fished out the piece from her mouth and saved her life! haha No, seriously, my husband got a little freaked out too, so I'm going to stick with softer stuff, like potatoes, squash, bananas, avocados, etc. I will try a piece of egg yolk someday, like a quarter of it. Don't feed your LO the egg whites until they're one, because it's allergenic, OK?

Now let's talk about Baby Wearing, after all that's the title of the post! Before I ever thought about getting pregnant, I remember seeing some people wearing slings and Baby Bjorns. But I had never heard about baby wearing and its benefits until I started my Lactation Consultant Course. I'll talk more about this course in another post... There, I heard about Dr. Sears  and Attachment Parenting for the first time. I love to read, so I read a bunch of books about AP, baby sleep, vaccines, etc. I really agreed with most of what AP stands for and I knew that I would practice it when I had a baby. Funny enough, I got pregnant while in the course. There was a new mom in my class that wore a beautiful baby pink sling wearing her cute baby girl, and she inspired me on wearing my baby too.

Baby wearing have many benefits: babies develop better, increase their sense of security and trust, promotes attachment, is economical, you can get things done around the house, etc. You can read more about the reasons and how to choose a sling here.

Before I had Melanie a friend from work gave me a Moby Wrap. She said her baby was too big and heavy for it and she didn't feel good back support. She gave me to try and maybe I would have more luck with it. Well I did! Melanie really like it. I think the wrap gives really good back and shoulder support and the fabric ir organic and very soft. The only think I don't like about it is the size. The Moby Wrap is just a giant strip of fabric. It took me many times of Youtube training to get it right, but you get used to it. When I'm going to use it though, I put it at home and drive with it on, because I don't like that fabric touching the floor of somewhere else that is not my house when I am putting the wrap on.

Before I had the baby, I wanted a carrier Baby Bjorn style, but I had heard that Baby Bjorn and carriers alike are not good for the infant's legs, because with it, the legs are hanging down and the pressure is all on the baby;s crotch, which put's stress on their spine. So I talked to my Doula and she told me about the Ergo Baby Carrier. You can tell it's ergonomic by the name... I got an infant insert for when she was little, but now she can use it without it. The only thing I don't like about it is that you can't face forward the baby, and Melanie really enjoys being carried face forward. I guess I can carry her on my back (piggy back style), but I haven't tried it yet.

In this picture, she was nursing and you can't even tell!

Besides those I have a Maya Sling and a baby K'tan.

The Maya Sling is beautiful, but I couldn't get used to it yet. The ring touches her face many times and it bothers me. The fabric rubs on her neck sometimes too...

I am not a really big fan of the baby K'tan... I feel it's too loose or something... I don't have pictures wearing it.

I think wearing your baby is so much easier than a stroller. And the babies like to be close to mommy (or daddy... they can wear the baby too).

I hope you liked this post. Don't forget to leave a comment so I know you've been visiting me :)

See you soon,


Sunday, March 18, 2012

2nd food: Avocado!

Hi guys!

Today I was off at work so I was planning to cook sweet potatoes for Melanie again. But I received a call late in the afternoon asking me if I wanted to pick up a shift. Who doesn't need a little extra money, right? I accepted and I didn't have time to cook. Oh well... I decided to feed her Avocado! No cooking necessary and according to, avocado contains 13 vitamins that the body absolutely needs: vitamins A, C, D, E, K and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12 and folate). And it's a really good source of good fat! 

In Brazil we eat avocado with sugar and in smoothies. But when I came to USA and I started having avocados in salads and sandwiches I loved it too! And as close to Mexico as I am, I really enjoy guacamole!

I know avocado is slippery and hard to get a grip of, but at the same time I didn't want to spoon feed her. For that reason I tried a mesh feeder. She loved the avocado, but she had a hard time with her motor skills handling the mesh feeder and she got kind of frustrated. So I tried just cutting a strip of the fruit with the skin and giving it to her, and that went better in the beginning. But as she ate it, the slippery mess started again.

Although today's feeding didn't go as well as I planned, I am glad that she liked the avocado. She didn't make any faces and the really gummed the mesh feeder. Now, giving a feedback to myself... I have to be more patient and keep my hands out of the situation. I think I am intervening too much... anxious person, you know?
After years of being a nanny, baby sitter, feeding other parent's babies with a spoon, it's hard to keep my hands to myself and let Melanie lead the way. 

After all this mess, I went to work and daddy stayed home in charge of the clean-up ;)

I hope you enjoyed it!

See you next time,


First post and Mel's first food: Sweet Potato!

Hi Guys,

So this is my first post! Yay! So much has been happening in my life lately, I thought it would be cool to keep track of things. It will be nice to look back at it later on... I hope this blog brings me some positive friendships, input and discussions about things that I like and practice, such as AP, breastfeeding, gentle parenting, etc. 

OK, another important thing is that I am Brazilian and English is not my first and most fluent language. So if I write something stupid or some absurd, let me know and I'll correct it! No hard feelings, I promise!

Today was a very important day for my husband and I: We gave Melanie her first solid food. We are trying to do "Baby Led Weaning", which I prefer to call "Baby Led Solids". That consists basically of not spoon feeding you baby and no pureed food. She has to grab the food by herself and feed herself. I know that it sounds like excuses of a lazy momma, but it is actually very beneficial to them. I read the book "Baby Led Weaning" by Gill Rapley, I read a lot about it online, forums and even watched other moms practicing it on Youtube. 

We chose sweet potatoes to be her fist food. Reasons: Sweet potatoes are sweet like breast milk, and according to this website they are an excellent source of vitamin A (from beta-carotene) and a very good source of Vit C and magnesium. They also contain vitamin B6, potassium, iron, copper and fiber. 

Keep in mind that by introducing solids to Melanie, we don't plan on reducing her breast milk intake at all!
So that's how it went:  

I cut the potato in strips leaving the skin and baked them for 20 minutes 
at 350 degrees. They were well cooked, but they were kind of hard for someone with no teeth to eat. 
I researched some other ways to cook it. Next time I'll just poke holes on the potato, wrap them in foil and bake them, and only then I'll cut them. We'll see how that goes...

I consider today's experience to be very very positive, though. She grabbed the potato better than I would have thought and she sucked on it until she was able to smash with her gums. When she swallowed some pieces she made a funny face, but she didn't gag at all. She enjoyed playing with it a lot, and she seemed to love the taste while she was sucking on it!

Okay guys! That's it for today. Hope you enjoyed... If you come across my blog, please leave a comment, a question, some feedback please ;)

Bye for now,