The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.
Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy
These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.
No one ever asks the cat if she has enough milk... she is feeding four and everyone assumes she has plenty (which she does).
She is not asked incredulously, "The kittens sleep with you at night and nurse in your bed? How will they EVER learn to sleep on their own?!!" (Note: all adult cats I have known sleep just fine, and so were apparently never harmed by family bedding!)
It has never been suggested that she use kitten formula, and people would be shocked and perhaps upset if I gave her kittens a bottle when the mother is still available, healthy, and producing milk.
No one has ever suggested that the kittens be given water or juice...everyone knows that their mother's milk has all of liquid they need.
It has never been insinuated that Sabre is using her nursing kittens just to satisfy her own "perverse" needs.... nor is it considered sexual or at all suggestive for her to be breastfeeding.
She has not yet been asked "When will you wean those kittens? Aren't they getting too old for this?"
It is perfectly acceptable for her to nurse her babies wherever she is, in front of ANYONE, including male cats and other kittens.
Everyone knows that she wants to be with her babies almost all of the time, and they accept this as natural... she has not been encouraged to "get away for a while."
She does not feel compelled to hide the fact that she is breastfeeding her kittens due to shame or embarrassment from her mate, family, or the media.... or because "all the modern mother cats are using formula."
She is confident and secure in her mothering, and follows her instincts without doubting herself. Sabre doesn't care what anyone else thinks of her mothering techniques.
Sabre never lets a kitten "cry it out," and most people would consider her a bad mother if she did so. If it were suggested, even by her vet, she would still not try it.
No one questions the fact that we pamper the new mother, and allow her time to recover and spend time with her kittens before encouraging her to go back to mousing and other duties.
Everyone expects her to be nursing, rather than suggesting it as an "alternative" for hippy earth mother cats.
She is not trying to lose the weight from her pregnancy, and no one is suggesting that she diet and quit breastfeeding in order to do so.
Her vet assumes she is nursing, and all of the growth charts in her office would reflect this!
Almost everyone comments upon how content she is with her nursing kittens as she snuggles them close, rather than concentrating upon how tied down she must feel.
It will be completely acceptable for her to still be nursing her kittens even when they are "toddlers" old enough to walk, meow, and play.
If I were to give the kittens solids at this point, people would wonder why and would point out that "Mother cats make all the food their babies need until they are at least three weeks old."
So far, cans of kitten milk replacer have not shown up on my doorstep, nor do I expect them to!
On the can of kitten milk replacer I have remaining from finding two abandoned kittens earlier in the year, it says: "If at all possible, allow the kittens to get AT LEAST their first few feedings from the mother, which provides important protection from disease." This is more than human mothers are sometimes encouraged to do after the baby's birth!
At the birth of kittens, what is the first thing that the human attendant does after checking to see that the kitten is breathing? He or she encourages the kitten to nurse, and it is almost unheard of to try to separate the mother and babies for any length of time. If only the same emphasis and importance could be placed upon a baby's first feeding of colostrum at mother's warm and safe breast in the hospital! And even more so.... if it could only be as accepted for a human mother to use the tender love and nurturing of breastfeeding without making her doubt her abilities to nurse her baby!!! If only, if only!
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