Originally posted on Breastfeeding Medicine:
When I was a surgical resident, I donated 150 ounces of breastmilk to a woman I’d never met, a woman who had undergone a bilateral mastectomy for cancer. It was an easy decision – I had more than I could use, she had none that she could provide. This experience became a major one in my decision to specialize in breast surgery. The dichotomy of breasts fascinated me. Breasts are highly sexualized, yet the source of comfort and food to babies. Breasts can make life-sustaining milk, and they can develop a cancer in up to 1 in 8 women that can be life-threatening. It is no wonder that society’s relationship with breasts and breastfeeding is complicated.
I have had many patients (too many) in my practice who were young and pre-childbearing, or even pregnant or breastfeeding at the time of diagnosis. Most experience the same terror that Ms. Wax-Thibodeux…
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October 29, 2014
Right outside the Earth School, Tuesday morning October 28, just after 8:30am drop off. I was chatting with another mom and we were startled into silence.
Was it two cars that slammed into each other?
I peered into the street. Oh my god! The young woman splayed out on the intersection of Avenue B and 5th Street had been on a bike. I thought to myself “call 911.” Even if others are calling I will still call. I needed to do something.
I began to shake. The windshield of the mini van was shattered and dented.
Thank God she was wearing a helmet. She was conscious. People gathered around. I spoke to the dispatcher. “It is on Avenue B and 5th street in Manhattan,” I told him.
“Is there an address?”
“Is there an address?” I repeated out loud so others could help.
“There is a big school. The other businesses are closed and their gates are down.”
Sirens are heard in the distance. The thirty-something Asian couple from the van is stunned. Had he sped up to make the light?
One of the dads from school said he saw the women fly through the air.
“He was SPEEDING – GOING TOO FAST,” he said in slow motion staccato.
He saw the impact where I only heard it. I could see the impact on his face. Why am I crying?
The fire department paramedics came. The police came. The ambulance came.
I searched online to see if I could find out how she is. None of us outside the school recognized her.
This morning, Wednesday October 29 as I walked my son to school I noticed a bit of a commotion outside St. Brigid’s church on Avenue B. Could it be a funeral? I saw no hearse. The boy in the green polo shirt and khaki pants, the uniform of St. Brigid’s School, sat on the church steps holding his socked foot, crying.
“What happened?” a passerby asked.
“A cab hit his foot.”
I held tight to Finn’s hand.
After I dropped Finn to his class I passed Donna.
“I am so glad you wear a helmet.” I showed her the image of the smashed minivan windshield I captured with my phone. I heard sirens heading toward St. Brigid’s.
“You need to show that to Carol, she sometimes rides her bike without her helmet.”
I marched to Carol’s class.
“Only because I love you am I showing you this. This is where her head impacted the van. Without a helmet she would be dead. Please, please always wear a helmet.”
“I will,” she promised.
I walked around all day my body tense, my muscles tightened every time I saw a bare head on a bike.
Yesterday I baked Rob a red velvet cake for his birthday – it softened my muscles, it gave me joy.
And then seeing the Catholic boy’s foot stiffened me up again.
We need to have speed bumps. We need crossing guards at every school intersection. We need to ticket speeding drivers.
September 1, 2014
I am so happy to read this, I squirm when people talk about a baby self soothing. I ask patents if their baby is ready to rent their own apartment.
Originally posted on Uncommon Sense:
It figures it would be the latest propaganda about baby sleep that would wake me from my blogging slumber. This time it was news reports of a study by Dr. Marsha Weinraub, a psychologist at Temple University. In an article recently published in Developmental Psychology, she reports on data (collected 20 years ago, oddly enough) from a study which tracked patterns of nighttime sleeping and wakening in babies aged 6 to 36 months. Sleep patterns were recorded at four points in time – 6 months, 15 months, 2 years and 3 years. They found that 30% of the babies were sleeping through every night at age 6 months, while another 29% were waking one or two nights a week. The researchers decided for some reason that 30% and 29% add up to 66%, and that this means that that most babies sleep through the night at six months.
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August 27, 2014
This week marks the second annual Black Breastfeeding Week (learn more here). We asked Kimberly Durdin, IBCLC, SMW, to share with us her reflections on her path to becoming an IBCLC, why we need Black Breastfeeding Week, and how we as IBCLCs can support Black women in our profession.
23 years ago, I was a brand new mom, with a weeks old baby daughter, who I was struggling to breastfeed. In spite of the support my mother (who had breastfed) and my husband, I needed more. I struggled with sore nipples, Caesarian recovery and thoughts of giving up. A new mom friend told me about our local La Leche League group and one day, I stumbled into the monthly meeting with my baby in my arms.
I received the support and help that I needed, and with the help of that leaders encouragement, I came back to more meetings…
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