Friday, June 1, 2012

Guest Post: WOMEN WHO BREASTFEED by Lisa Haisha

Each child enters the world with a distinct personality, and should be handled on an individual basis.  Attachment parenting is crucial for some children and detrimental to others. It lies with the parents to understand and respond to the child’s needs appropriately.

In many countries, families live in close quarters and attachment parenting is less of a choice than a necessity.  Some women choose to continue breastfeeding as a way of birth control, or because they cannot afford solid foods for their child.  It’s important to remind ourselves that it is a luxury to determine how much space or closeness we want to maintain with our families.

Effective parenting balances nurturing and teaching healthy boundaries to children.  I’ve had clients who grew up with nothing, and therefore cling to their child as their security blanket.  These parents want to raise their child as the king/queen of the world, always at their child’s side and spending extravagantly to make their lives rich. 

Sometimes relationships between spouses can deteriorate over reduced intimacy and even jealousy over time spent with the child.  Breastfeeding decisions should also be made in conversation with your partner, discussing the effects on your marriage and how those will affect your child in the big picture.  When considering how long to breastfeed, consider what kind of lifestyle you want to live, relationships with your spouse and your friends, etc.

Women who can’t breastfeed also feel the pressure of a society that puts too much emphasis on breastfeeding.  I had a client who was paying to use someone else’s breastmilk for her child.  Every parent wants the best for their child, and in situations where breastfeeding is not possible it is important to be accepting and not treat them as being "less than."

Here are some tips for parents to establish emotional bonds without breastfeeding:
1.    Be “hands-on”!  Don’t outsource the nurturing of your child to a family member, nanny, or daycare center.  Be present in your child’s life as much as possible.  When you’re present, even through your babies’ colicky moments, you begin to fall in love.
2.    The classic exercise that I give to adults is “eye gazing.”  I believe that “eye gazing” with your baby helps you both connect at a deeper level.  The best way times to do this are while singing lullabies before bedtime and while talking with them when you’re feeding them.

Raise your child to be confident and loving.  You can help to expose them to many different ways of life, and allow them to unfold in their own unique way.  Remain empathetic with your children, and don’t push them into accepting one way or another.  It’s their life, not yours.  There’s no right or wrong way, only what is the best for you and your family.

About the Author, Lisa Haisha:

When Lisa isn’t counseling, she dedicates her time to her non-profit, which she created with her husband Lee Aronsohn (creator and producer of Two and Half Men and Big Bang Theory). Her charity, Whispers from Children's Hearts Foundation is an organization that brings desperately needed supplies, support, and life skills to orphanages in some of the most remote, war-torn and impoverished places on the

Soul Blazing
Here is a link to Lisa's website:

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