After nursing A for 374 days I took a moment to reflect on our journey...
Breastfeeding was an incredible, emotional, and bonding experience.
Breastfeeding was hard, anxiety-provoking, and painful.
I learned more about myself and motherhood from breastfeeding than I thought possible. I also learned about grace and compassion. Spending time with other women throughout this journey has taught me there is no one way to feed your baby. If we approach each other with kindness and understanding we can support each other no matter what individual journeys look like.
Having something objective to refer to when you are concerned about your little one can be immensely helpful in alleviating anxiety and unnecessary worry. Even as a Family Nurse Practitioner and practicing pediatric nurse, I can get caught up in how miserable my baby looks when she has a fever. I then easily let my mind escape to unlikely worse-case scenarios. I hope this guide can help prevent that from happening to you! Please feel free to reach out to me with any follow up questions. And, as always, don't hesitate to call your pediatrician if you are EVER concerned about your baby! This guide is not meant to replace their expertise.
Make sure to join our Facebook group to download a copy of the guide below!
When my daughter was 8 weeks old, a friend of mine announced she was going dairy free after her baby was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy. I remember thinking, “HOLY SH*T I LOVE CHEESE, I DON’T KNOW IF I COULD EVER DO THAT!” Well, exactly 2 weeks later my little one was also diagnosed with a milk protein allergy, and I was faced with a tough decision: do I switch her to a hypoallergenic formula, or do I eat dairy free and continue breastfeeding? Breastfeeding was going well for us, and I had the resources available to eat dairy-free, so I decided to give it a go and see how it went. Here we are, 5 months later, still dairy free. And when I say dairy free, I mean anything with whey or casein, those pesky little milk proteins. Being dairy free does not mean avoiding just milk, cheese, ice cream, and yogurt…did you know even most wines have casein?! This was going to be a long ride…
Now, my husband and I LOVE food. We LOVE eating out. And I didn’t want to sacrifice that part of our life. I remember spending hours researching allergy-friendly restaurants, perusing Yelp, Google, websites like “godairyfree.org”, and Facebook groups like “dairy-free breastfeeding” for recommended safe menu items and restaurants. I thought I’d come on here to share what I’ve learned about eating out while dairy-free in the Boston area, and perhaps help another local mama who is also navigating this challenging dietary restriction. I’ve met a lot of you, and I know you’re out there!
Almond milk ain’t bad, guys. But once I tried the amazing goodness that is OATLY OAT MILK….. OMGGGGGGG. It’s so good, and I’m never going back. Check out the map on their website to find one close to you: https://oatfinder.oatly.com/
My personal favorite places that sell latte’s made with Oat milk are:
CHAIN RESTAURANTS: (because we all have those days)
I have spent more time eating on the Cambridge/Somerville/Medford side of "the river," so my recommendations are pretty heavy in that area. However, I will continue to add and edit other options as I try them out!
There ya go! I could type so much more, but this is a good starting point. Let me know in the comments below if you have stumbled across a great dairy-free restaurant in the Boston area!
And, as always, double and triple check with the servers and restaurants directly that the menu options I have listed are indeed dairy-free. Things always change and it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Until next time,
<3 Kathryn of MVB
No matter how “prepared” you are for having a baby, there will be times when you feel overwhelmed. There will be times when you feel deliriously sleep deprived. And there will be times when strangers give you side-eye for your infant screaming bloody murder on your first solo target run (yea, we’ve been there). I am so sorry. No one wants to feel helpless and alone. And you never deserve to feel unsupported and judged. EVER.
That’s where we come in. My Village Boston is here to be your social support and your parental guidance. We schedule casual meetups for moms of young children in the greater Boston area. And we provide evidence-based information to help moms navigate the most common roadblocks in raising a baby and young toddler. Historically, this is how children were raised: with the collective friendship and guidance of your very own village.
My Village Boston strives to create a warm, welcoming, non-judgemental and inclusive community. We want to be your mom friends, first and foremost! But if you are having trouble with sleep, want to know how to introduce solids, are looking for sensory play ideas, or are worried about adjusting to daycare, we are also here to listen and provide evidence-based guidance.
I wish so badly we could promise “solutions” to everything uncomfortable you face as a parent, but despite what most mom bloggers, sleep trainers, and parenting books might tout, quick fixes rarely exist. As someone with anxiety, I need to remind myself this ALL the time. If I don’t, I become obsessed with searching high and low for a magic schedule for her to #gotheftosleep.
What IS helpful in alleviating the anxiety of new motherhood is accepting that it’s going to be hard at times, and that does not mean you have failed. What is equally as helpful is finding friends to support you through it all.
The good news is, My Village Boston is here for you! And there ARE evidence-based things you can do to make every day more manageable.
So come grab a drink with us, complain about the bags under your eyes, let us watch your kid while you go to the bathroom alone (who knew this would become such a luxury), and laugh at the comedic timing your baby had when she had not one but two giant blow outs in the airplane bathroom (oh, was that just me?). Ask other mamas questions. Share your wisdom and helpful hints. Create your village.
We can't wait to meet you!
<3 Kathryn of MVB