Loving Mama: Essays on Natural Parenting and Motherhood

Overview

For ages, women around the world have practiced what we now call "attachment parenting": childbearing and rearing styles that reinforce the tender bond between a mother and her child. As instinctive as pregnancy itself, natural parenting can reduce labor pain, prevent health problems in newborns, and help make the first few years of your baby's life joyful and rewarding for both of you.

In these collected essays, more than forty amazing women come together to share research, ...

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Overview

For ages, women around the world have practiced what we now call "attachment parenting": childbearing and rearing styles that reinforce the tender bond between a mother and her child. As instinctive as pregnancy itself, natural parenting can reduce labor pain, prevent health problems in newborns, and help make the first few years of your baby's life joyful and rewarding for both of you.

In these collected essays, more than forty amazing women come together to share research, insights, and personal experiences on attachment parenting, homebirth, breastfeeding, medical circumcision, co-sleeping, and baby wearing. Contributors include well-known motherhood authors Rachel Gathercole, Jan Hunt, and Sarah Buckley, MD, whose articles have informed and educated audiences worldwide. These mothers' stories underscore the growing significance of attachment parenting in our highly medicalized birth culture, and offer a look at the natural alternatives.


About the editor

Tiffany Palisi is the proud mother of John Henry who, at two and a half years old, loves co-sleeping, nursing, and riding in the sling. She functions as a NOCIRC (National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers) center and loves educating people on natural attachment parenting.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781587362774
  • Publisher: Wheatmark, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2004
  • Pages: 276
  • Product dimensions: 5.56 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Read an Excerpt

True Love and the Right Accessories by Sue Landsman

When we were expecting our first child, likely a boy, we did the whole traditional expecting thing-the nursery painted butter yellow with a jungle wallpaper border, the crib set up nicely with the light blue and stars sheet pattern, ready and waiting for the baby. Then he came and our new world began, completely unlike what we had expected. From day one, he slept in our bed, along with our seventy-pound dog, our arms splayed out beside him like the cutest totem pole. The bassinet remained full of laundry. Soon, after learning to nurse lying down, I wouldn't even remember in the morning when and how often I'd nursed him at night. I woke up to smiles, warm little feet tucked next to my legs, and the heavenly smell of warm, milky baby skin. Three months later, we walked into the nursery, and noticed an odd, oily, oval black spot at one end of the crib. Apparently the cat had been enjoying it. The bassinet was now completely submerged in laundry. The swing and the bouncy seat went unappreciated-like the cats, our son was a connoisseur of human warmth, and just wanted to be on someone all the time. I bought a sling and carried him around everywhere. He slept with us until he was about a year and a half old, when my husband started getting tired of the family bed idea.

Then my husband slept with him in another room, while I slept alone with the dog.

After the second child, a daughter, our baby items got better use. The crib helped prop things up in the basement, and my son spent many happy hours teaching his toys how to vibrate in the bouncy seat. My $14-a-pair natural-wool breast pads became the crucial prop in the "let's see how long the cat can keep this on his back" game. I bought two more slings. She slept with us for about a year. Then my husband slept with both kids in another room while I slept alone with the dog.

With the third child, we truly learned the meaning of "kangaroo care." Now, with no actual baby items other than diapers anywhere in the house, the baby is just a slightly-higher-bulge-than-before in the fleece pouch in front of Mommy. I always know when he needs to nurse, because as soon as he makes a sound my daughter will shriek, "Baby's crying! He needs ingie!" Oddly, she's not at all interested in nursing or tending to her dolls, but she simply must carry around the "nipple cream," because it comes in that fab purple container and fits in her tiny purses. I've bought two more slings and lent one to a friend. This baby will sleep with us, undoubtedly, until he joins the somewhat puzzling "everyone-except-Mommy" bed and I resume my intimate relationship with the dog.

As the children get bigger, it's becoming harder to both feel and convey the adoration that the close body warmth and endless kisses of their early years made so easy. I miss the days when we just rocked together, or all I had to do was tilt my face down to kiss their little heads. We would grin foolishly at each other, in our own little world, sharing a secret that all the moms and babies separated by strollers and hallways were missing out on.

Now I find myself focusing less on this simple giving than on how well they're meeting my behavioral expectations, or how close they are to pissing me off to the point of screaming at them. Their arms and legs have gotten long and lanky, and their bodies and minds move quicker than mine. It's hard to remember they're still little. We spend too much time at odds with each other, frustration and bad feelings stuck in the air like the scent of old fish. Sometimes I think we just need to crawl back into bed together, quiet and still, until we can once again pay attention to what nourished us both when they were babies. That is, after all, how I wanted to parent. The best thing we can give our children is trust-trust that they won't take advantage of us, that they won't go bad from too much love, that we can live together in a place where we can give freely and have our needs met without asking.

But of course, nobody notices when things go right. Love, properly, is like air-sweet and invisible. As long as nobody poops in the bed.

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2004

    Get this book!

    This book is a must for all moms, new and old! It is a tender reminder to follow your instinct as a mom. The book also lends support for moms who need support in following their instincts, and not the popular 'parenting ' advice.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2004

    Pure indulgence for mothers!

    I've read loads of books on natural parenting and I think that this one is my favorites. I was pointed to this book by my doula, a woman who wrote for the book. It is so fabulous - like a slice of parenting heaven. I especially like the section on breastfeeding - it shows such a range. Some moms talked about why they breastfed, others about how it benefitted the whole family. The best, though, is the essay from a woman who breastfed her adopted baby. I've read some of her articles in The Wise Mom, and this one is my favorite of all of hers. I also enjoyed reading all of the essays by Abigail Dotson. I read about her nurse-in in our newspaper here in California last year. So good to hear more from her about her experiences.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2004

    LOVING MAMA makes mothering wonderful

    After reading LOVING MAMA cover to cover, including the advanced praise, foreward, and introduction, I want more! This book is filled with essays written by mothers from all around the country - actually, the world - that offer their personal parenting journey through their own eyes. Lots of great pieces from LLL leaders, too! When will LOVING MAMA II be coming out? I can't wait!

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