Community is What You Make of It

Welcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of The Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is about baby friendly communities. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 18th through the 31st! 


I do not plan on having any future babies in a hospital. Of course, if there are any complications, I will gladly birth in a hospital. Assuming my pregnancy is healthy and complication-free, I plan on birthing my baby about 3 yards from where I’m sitting.

When I was pregnant, I specifically chose to birth in the only hospital in Utah that is Baby-friendly certified (and over 45 minutes away). It’s not that I was against homebirth, but I decided that it just wasn’t for me. I was living in my in-laws’ basement and that simply did not feel like my home to me. I knew that women decided to have birth at home because that is where they felt comfortable, but I felt like I would wake them up, get their house dirty, etc. Even with my decision to birth in a hospital, I did not want to go there too early. I was very afraid of the procedures they may do or the higher risk of c-section. I spent many hours researching all of the things I needed to put on my birth plan and my husband and I took a Bradley Method class so that he would be prepared to be my advocate.

Then I gave birth in my bathroom.

Of course, the ambulance took me to the closest hospital. I spent all of our time in that hospital hating it. We spent only a day and a half in that hospital—partially because I was trying to get out the door the second they brought me in. We spent that whole time working against the system and being handed formula samples. I am very grateful that I was so stubbornly determined to breastfeed, because in that kind of environment that’s what it takes to succeed. That is why I’ve chosen to not put myself in that situation again.

After leaving the hospital, I immediately surrounded myself with my new, baby friendly community. I have spend the last 16 months attempting to make every possible connection in the attachment parenting world. I go to La Leche League in two (formerly three) different counties. I spend way too much time reading other moms’ blogs and Twitter. Of course, I also use my blog to try to inform other parents—because the system works against us making educated decisions.

Community is really what you make of it. Of course, you can’t change the cards that you’re dealt, but you can make an active decision to surround yourself with the parts of your community that are baby friendly. Sometimes it may be tough to separate yourself from the places or people who are baby friendly, but it’s worth it. If someone or something does anything besides making breastfeeding easier for you, they aren’t worth it.


 Here are more posts by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

6 thoughts on “Community is What You Make of It

  1. I believe that our local hospital was designated as baby-friendly for awhile but lost its status when management changed hands. Sad. Having the choice to home birth helps make a community baby-friendly too I think.

  2. Oh boy, I really….really….REALLY wanted to give birth the only birthing center in the country (I’m in Croatia) but the place is 3 hours away. I would’ve needed to basically move to Zagreb for the last month which was neither possible nor practical. I decided to give birth at our local hospital. Eh well. At least I was close to home…I was in the hospital for 3 days and I think I had a little PTSD after the maternity ward experience – what a nut house!

    I had lots of reticence about birthing in that hospital but in the end, it was the only reasonable possibility.

    PS: you’re actually not the first person that I’ve heard who birthed in the bathroom – I’m sure you’ve talked to others as well since you’re so active in this community. I think the deeper you delve into this milieu, you pretty much hear it all right? Were you unassisted, too?

  3. I had N in a “Baby-Friendly” hospital. It was much, MUCH better than the hospital I had the twins at – both gave breastfeeding support and pushed BFing rather than formula feeding. However, when I had Nolan it was by emergency c-section (truely nessecery, he had a cord prolapse) and then they took the baby to the nursery for over FOUR hours and refused to bring him to me to nurse. I’m still livid and he is 8 months old!

  4. Clearly I need to read your birth story! I don’t know how I missed it.

    I was planning a homebirth and ended up in a hospital. It was purportedly baby-friendly, but I still left there with a bag full of formula and a heap of misinformation. I also would like a homebirth next time.

    I really need to work on finding more real-life community, because most of mine is online. Although I like the online part, a lot!

  5. How awesome that you gave birth in your bathroom! Love it. I would also love to read your birth story!

    I also found the Internet to be a huge benefit in getting breastfeeding established. I doubt that without it I would have lasted very long at all.

  6. I had my son at a “baby friendly” hospital. I hated every moment of it and we had to stay more than a day because my son developed a bad case of jaundice.

    No lactation consultant came to see us until we were about to leave despite our latch and feeding problems. They had formula that they brought in despite saying they were supposed to. However I will credit them for giving me a syringe with a tube to attach so that he would still breastfeed but get the liquids he wasn’t getting (he was also dehydrated). They also used the formula to dot around my nipples to help encourage his latch.

    Then when I left I followed up with a lactation consultant that knew about my problems. She watched me once, said everything looked fine, weighed my son and said he had eaten enough, and sent me on my way. Our breastfeeding relationship continued to fail and ended on day 6. He was dehydrated, his jaundice had gotten worse, and was feeding around the clock but falling asleep on the breast and waking up if I moved him off only to latch on again, then fall asleep.

    I attribute part of our failing at BF to that hospital. I hope to have a homebirth, but our insurance doesn’t cover it. I don’t think there is a good birthing center near us either. I’ll just have to really make sure to stand up for what I want and have my husband advocate on my part. He’ll actually be there this time, last time he was at a training (he’s in the army).

    Anyways, I’m just saying not all “baby friendly” hospitals are baby friendly.

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