Chelsea Clinton reveals her one major act of rebellion

By all accounts Chelsea Clinton was has been a dream daughter, but that doesn’t mean Bill and Hillary Clinton weren’t at some point tested by their only child.

During a recent interview for Harper’s Bazaar the new mom conducted with Stella McCartney as the subject, Chelsea confessed to causing a bit of a kerfuffle years ago — but all things consider her best attempt at being rebellious was really no big deal.

The daughter of Linda and Paul McCartney wondered aloud to the former White House resident, “Why didn’t I rebel more?” She then reasoned, “If you have respect for your parents, then it’s quite hard…slight rebellion was going into fashion and not music or photography or something directly related to what my parents did.”

“Mine,” Chelsea Clinton shared in return, “was to declare that I was a vegetarian. It’s kind of sad to say that that was my major act of rebellion.”

(Please, do recall that not only did her vegetarian ways not last into adulthood, but her father later became a vegan!)

Chelsea Clintona Hilary Clinton Chelsea Clinton reveals her one major act of rebellion

I think, somewhat sadly, I may not even be able ‘one-up’ Chelsea Clinton’s rebelliousness.

You see, I too felt a need to try and gain some control in my tween and teen years, and declared one day out of the blue that I no longer ate beef. There was no real reasoning behind the decision that I can recall, but holy moly my stubborn-as-all-get-out personality went into overdrive and I didn’t eat beef in any form for over five years. Five years — for no real reason! In hindsight I can’t decide if I ought to be embarrassed by jumping into such a decision, or proud that I at least I followed through on it.

I don’t even know what else to say other than that I hope if my kids someday put a foot down about something seemingly ridiculous I have the grace as a parent to grant them some room to try out decision-making skills. And also, Chelsea and I for sure kindred spirits.

REX USA/Everett Collection

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Breast cancer survivor judged for not breastfeeding

If there is one thing that has indirectly ruled my life for the past 3.5 years, I’d have to say it is breastfeeding. I breastfed my first child until she was about 2 years and 9 months old. I’m still breastfeeding my 18 month-old. I’ve only had to give formula to one of my children, once.

Let me be very clear when I say this…This works for me and my family, and the only people I’m concerned about when it comes to breastfeeding or formula feeding is myself and my family. No one else. It’s none of my business.

Why is there so much guilt placed on mothers for feeding their babies, regardless of how, or what, they’re feeding? Why is it that we, as mothers, feel as though we need to defend our choices when it comes to nourishing our babies?

What if you’re one of the many women who are physically unable to breastfeed? Why should you have to defend yourself? Emily Wax-Thibodeaux, staff writer for The Washington Post, has had to do just that. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 32. She had chemotherapy, radiation, and surgeries to remove all of her breast tissue. After having two rounds of IVF, she was pregnant. After a fairly easy pregnancy, she gave birth to her son, Lincoln.

thinkstockbottlefeed Breast cancer survivor judged for not breastfeeding

Typical to a hospital birth, the lactation consultants soon arrived. “No thanks, I’m going to formula feed” was not the answer they were looking for. I understand, they’re just doing their job to try and support new moms with breastfeeding, but relentless pressure is not the way to do this. Emily recounted her battle with breast cancer. Instead of understanding, she was met with the reply “just try.”

This mom has had seemingly well-intentioned folk give “breast is best” advice in many different settings. Why do people think this is okay to do? I wouldn’t approach someone eating a pizza and inform them that a salad is best. I’m in no way comparing pizza to formula, but rather pointing out that these statements are both unhelpful.

Can we please, please, stop judging each other based on what we feed our babies? Unless you see someone feeding their newborn Cadbury Creme Eggs and Dr. Pepper, your opinion is irrelevant.

Photo: Flickr/Nerissa’s Ring

Photo: Thinkstock

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Study reveals dangerous baby sleep setting

If you’ve ever let your baby take a nap on the couch, the latest study on safe infant sleep may make you think twice.

Looking at data collected on the sleep-related deaths of 7,934 infants aged 12 months or younger in the US between 2004 and 2012, researchers found that sleeping – and co-sleeping in particular – on the sofa was a considerable risk factor.

“We found that one in eight of (sleep-related) deaths occurred on the sofa and nearly 90 percent to those deaths occurred when an adult was sharing that sofa with the infant,” says study author Dr. Jeffrey Colvin, a pediatrician at Children’s Mercy Hospitals in Kansas City.

The research team also discovered that babies who died while sleeping on the couch were most often found lying on their side and were 90 percent more likely to have suffocated than those who died in cribs or other sleep settings.

Reading these statistics sends a chill up my spine. I almost never co-slept with my babies, and I was very insistent about them being in their cribs come bedtime. In those early weeks, though, when our days were more about survival than they were a schedule, when she would snap awake and start screaming the minute her back touched a mattress, I definitely made exceptions. I still remember the first night home from the hospital, feeling overwhelmed and so tired it actually hurt, lying on the couch with her finally asleep on my chest. I tried so hard to keep my eyelids from falling shut, worried that I’d roll on to her, or accidentally nudge her off the couch. That was one of the longest nights of my life.

The authors of this new study warn that when it comes to safe sleep habits, there should be no exceptions.

“I think the message for parents is that the sofa is an inherently dangerous place for an infant to sleep. It’s a soft sleeping surface with pillows and blankets,” says Dr. Colvin. “An unsafe sleep environment is unsafe whether it’s night or day and whether the adult is awake or asleep.”

Photo: Thinkstock

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I donated my breast milk. You can too.

By Sarah Bay

What happens when, at even a mere little stature, you make more breast milk than you could possibly ever feed your child with? While you attempt to contain your overflowing boob fountain, your “loved” ones exclaim “you could feed an entire maternity ward” — and they expect you not to hit them.

What do you do? You donate it, of course.

Baba was a good eater. And, I apparently, was a good feeder. Little chunk doubled her birth weight in something like three hours. That might be exaggerating only slightly, but one day I looked at her to see the cutest little muffin top growing above her diaper. As a new breast feeder (and soon to be huge advocate for it), I knew I must be doing something right.

Granted, it wasn’t always sunshine and puppy dogs. Girl could eat. And, did she ever. It was exhausting. I couldn’t eat enough to fuel myself. But, it was well worth every minute.

When I returned to work, I started a hate affair with my pump. And, I pumped with another woman from my office who gave birth a few days after I did. Funny how any sense of modesty is gone after having a baby and there’s no hesitation in flashing boobs. Said pumping friend would marvel at how much I would get from each pumping session – upwards of 8 ounces – per side. Twice a day.

You do the math.

Baba consumed three 4 to 6 ounce bottles during the day, leaving me significant leftovers that I froze. Soon husband began commenting, “so…should we buy another freezer?” That got me thinking. Could I use this precious gift that was nourishing my girl so well to benefit other babies that maybe hadn’t gotten so lucky?

I wanted to donate some of this milk. But, I wasn’t sure where to start. I did know that I wanted to donate through a reputable milk bank and not through Craig’s List or the like. Although perfectly healthy, I wanted to be sure that, in no way, did I put any other baby in danger with my milk. I assumed I was in perfect health, and I knew a Milk Bank would do the work for me to ensure that fact.

Turned out there are Milk Banks all over the United States. I googled to find one closest to me. Even if there wasn’t one in my state, they make it really easy for you to donate from wherever you are. There is a National Milk Bank as well — but, I found solace in the fact that my state’s Milk Bank brought milk back to my town. More of an emotional decision, I suppose.

Once I contacted the Milk Bank, they really did the brunt of the dirty work. I had to fill out some forms and have my blood drawn at my local hospital. Cool part: Because of my decision to donate, my hospital became a partner with the Milk Bank and they drew my blood for free! They sent the blood to the bank and when all cleared, I was ready to donate.

Most Milk Banks have pretty strict rules about collection of milk; however, it honestly wasn’t different than what I was doing anyway: wash hands before pumping, clean all pump parts after each pump, store milk of like temperatures only, etc. It wasn’t complicated. They sent me a box and dry ice and I shipped off 230 ounces to arrive the next day.

At the end of the day, the Milk Bank processed and pasteurized the milk making it completely safe for any critically ill or premature babies that desperately needed it.

Call it a “feel good” decision, call it whatever you want. At the end of the day, if I positively impacted the health of one other baby in this country and gave that one baby a fighting chance to get stronger and grow healthy, it was worth every minute with my pump.

funny mom blog 150x150 I donated my breast milk. You can too.Sarah Bay parents a little human (Avery), a big human (husband), two furries and a lot of people that she comes across in the professional world. She is only anticipating having one child, so she only has one chance to get it as right as possible. You can find her blog on being a perfectly imperfect parent, which she co-writes with her bestie, at www.twoparentsimply.blogspot.com.

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Photos: Top, ThinkStock

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Fall fabulousness: Apple cider floats (recipe)

This isn’t really a recipe, per se. It only has two ingredients, but they’re two ingredients I’ve never thought to put together before. I had a few cups of apple cider left and needed to come up with something quickly for a snack when the entire neighborhood ended up at my house after school one day. I had a huge tub of vanilla ice cream and these cute little mason jars…so this idea became a reality in about two minutes.

The kids INHALED these. I know there are healthier snacks, but this was so worth it. It was their idea to sip it through cinnamon stick “straws” after the ice cream had melted. I went heavy on the ice cream, because I didn’t have a ton of cider left.

I think it’s safe to say the kids were very happy with the result.

Looking for more Sweets and Eats for the Whole Family? Find Lindsay at Sugar Mama.

apple cider floats 2 small 436x650 Fall fabulousness: Apple cider floats (recipe)

Apple Cider Floats

4 cups apple cider
4 cups vanilla bean ice cream
cinnamon sticks

Scoop ice cream into cups. Pour apple cider over the top and insert cinnamon stick “straw”. Serve immediately.

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