From mothering

Curious about infant toilet learning, or EC? Here are some tips to get started…

EC'ing at two months. This is the basic position, essentially assisting them into a squat with your support.

Since I am deep in the mother-baby cocoon these days I thought I would share my EC’ing experiences for curious mamas or papas who might like to give it a try!  The process of being attuned to your child’s elimination patterns is something mothers do everywhere although it is less common in western cultures where disposable diapers are the norm.  Infant toilet learning goes by many names, the least fortunate of which is “Elimination Communication.”  I can’t really say the phrase with a straight face, so I will refer to it here simply as ‘EC’ing.’

I started EC’ing my first born about three weeks after his birth.  One day I held him over the toilet, and he peed.  Boys can be hilarious to EC if you have a sense of humor.  Their pee can shoot unpredictably in just about any direction.  This can make night-time EC’ing trickier in the winter time if you’re not using diapers, but for us it was still worth the added effort.  My son did not poop in a diaper after he was three months old, and by eighteen months he was wearing underwear full-time and independently taking himself to the toilet. Read more

It’s 2010, let’s STOP pitting feminism against breastfeeding!

lucy lawless nursing

Here are two excellent pieces exploring the social and personal dynamics among breastfeeding, feminism, and class: “What does feminism have to do with breastfeeding?” from the Breastfeeding Medicine blog:

“After all, the conventional wisdom is that breastfeeding is a maternal duty that forces women to eschew their career aspirations to fulfill some ideal of motherhood, while feminism is about liberating women from exactly those constraints. Case closed. Or is it?….

Why do we accept that, if a woman devotes all of her time to caring for her family, she does not earn any social security benefits, whereas if she gets a paying job and sends her children to daycare, she and her day care provider earn credits toward financial security in old age?”

And from the International Breastfeeding Journal “Women’s liberation and the rhetoric of ‘choice’ in infant feeding debates:”

“…’choice’ in infant feeding method operates to distinguish women who make “good choices” from those who do not, as if those choices are unconstrained. Infant feeding choices – whether made by “heart” or “head” – are practiced in the context of the social, cultural, and economic forces that structure most people’s daily lives and intimate decisions. It is our responsibility, as feminists, to identify the constraints that reveal the “choice” itself to be not so much a choice but a class privilege, and then to figure out how to challenge the status quo that makes it so.” Read more

Circumcision is no longer the norm –  Oprah talk

Over the last few decades, parent’s and physician’s attitudes towards circumcision have radically changed. Parents are thoughtfully re-considering  what once was a routine, almost unquestioned procedure in the U.S. We’re now finally talking about what it means to permanently surgically alter an unconsenting baby’s body. It’s great to see this human rights issue for boys getting some attention on Oprah.com. An informative, inspiring piece for everyone to read, especially new parents who may be considering circumcising their new baby. Should We Circumcise Our Son? – Oprah.com

“The First Cut Is the Deepest—What About Circumcision?”

Dr. Kellogg believed circumcision—especially when performed without anesthetic—would create a link in the patient’s mind between sex and pain and would make sex less pleasurable and abstinence easier. The anti-circumcision group Circumcision Resource Center agrees that circumcision reduces sexual feeling. They summarize a 2007 study published in the British Journal of Urology International, saying: “Five locations on the uncircumcised penis that are routinely removed at circumcision are significantly more sensitive than the most sensitive location on the circumcised penis.

In 1989, the famous pediatrician and author Dr. Benjamin Spock wrote about circumcision for Redbook magazine. “In the 1940s, I favored circumcision performed within a few days of birth,” he wrote. “My own preference, if I had the good fortune to have another son, would be to leave his little penis alone.