Googling during pregnancy can be a big bad scary activity. For sanity's sake, I encourage clients to avoid general googling of pregnancy topics at this time, or joining large forums. I do, however, encourage clients to become informed about birth, breastfeeding and parenting. How can you filter all this information? My favourite books and research resources are linked on my site, so that's a great place to start.Read More
I have a dilemma. After all my years as a doula, I'm still trying to discover the best way to help pregnant women have a successful start to breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding classes are great, La Leche League meetings are supportive, our talks over months of pregnancy provide continuity, the breastfeeding books are inspiring, KellyMom and Dr. Jack Newman's videos are linked from my website, and I encourage all my clients to "like" his Facebook page. But one client just nailed the problem on the head in a phone call tonight: "It feels like I'm putting the cart before the horse if I try to think about breastfeeding now! I'm trying to finish up at work! I feel like I'm not prepared to have the baby yet! I have to get the baby born! I can't think about breastfeeding now!" Yes, I know, I'm paraphrasing, but the exclamation marks were certainly there.Read More
As part of my doula service, I provide two prenatal visits, attend my clients' births, then make a postpartum visit to debrief and hug, but that's only the tip of the iceberg.
I encourage my clients to call or email me frequently...for years (yes, I mean that). I'm often on the phone for a few hours each day, answering clients' questions, brainstorming, or providing support and encouragement. I encourage my clients to call me whenever a question arises during pregnancy or postpartum, which is SO much more helpful than asking them to store it up for visits. We're able to work through each concern in the moment.Read More
Hot off the press! In the March 2008 issue of Birth, check out the article "The Baby is Breastfeeding - Not the Mother" by Dr. Lennart Righard. The ending sums it up:
"In natural birth the woman is moving around in upright positions trying to find the most comfortable position and turning to herself to find her own inner strength. Such a woman is not so easy to control! She follows her own impulses and intuitions and her own body’s signals. She relies on nature. The same is valid for breastfeeding. The mother does not know how much her baby is eating, she has to rely on nature. This is the secret of success in the triad of reproduction (coitus, giving birth, and feeding from the breast): rely on nature, relax and let go, and you will be amply rewarded."
Then, take some time to view the WHO/UNICEF Breast Crawl video. Perhaps we all need reminding that instincts work!
This week is shaping up to be “postpartum visit week.” Lots of wee boys (and their tired mums) to visit. I’ve also heard from clients whose babies range in age from three to eight months. We’ve discussed everything from sleep deprivation to “what the poo should look like.”
The major issue this week isn’t (thankfully) breast-feeding. Pretty much everyone is doing well and producing abundant quantities of breast milk. One client is even donating her extra milk to the Children’s Hospital Milk Bank, (604) 875-2345, ext. 7607. Another just phoned to say that, with the help of Renee Hefti-Graham (604-733-6359), her little girl finally latched successfully at six weeks and is doing so well! All the other babies are latching well, gaining weight, sleeping (at times) and peaceful (at times).
What seems to be causing anxiety this week is the overwhelming contradiction between a mother’s instincts and outside influences. Books, family, friends and complete strangers are undermining the mothering instinct for so many of my clients.Read More