When I started this website and blog months ago it was to promote and write about Postpartum Doulas. While I still think Postpartum doulas are needed and a valuable thing for any new mom, I have found that I have more of a passion for helping with breastfeeding. So I am working on making changes to the website and blog, updating my new look with a new logo and putting finishing touches on the services that I will be offering soon. I hope you will come back and check it out in the coming weeks. I am working on writing my own curriculum for teaching breastfeeding classes and classes to support moms who are returning to work and want to exclusively breastfeed and need to pump.
I have a new appreciation for what birth doulas do. It takes a lot of stamina, strength and patience to walk alongside a mama in labor. I have been on the other side many times but today was my first time being on the helping side. I just watched my newest granddaughter come into the world. I am exhausted. So a big shout out to the birth doulas out there. And of course a big shout out to all you mamas doing this birth thing.
This was shared on my Doula Facebook Group page and I thought it was a wonderful thing to share here….
In the hustle of the room I peered over at my friend bent over in pain. Baby had just been born and everyone was surrounding the miracle that happened before our eyes and naturally everyone was in awe of him. But I was especially in awe of her. I saw you, mama. I saw the pain in your eyes and in your face and in your body. Because this is now a new season called postpartum. We tend to forget our mamas when babies are around. We ask how baby is, what does baby need, can we hold the baby, can we buy this for the baby but… what about mama? Let us not forget the hard work she endured to carry this child AND the hard road ahead to mother and heal and feed and rest and parent her other children also. What do mamas really need? Meals dropped off, someone to watch baby so they can shower, solid child care for her other children, house cleaners to stop by and help out. Heating pads and coffee and comfy PJs. Maybe fast food. Or a friend to fold laundry. Maybe a new movie to watch or your Netflix login. Let’s not forget the mamas. It’s just so easy to because women are incredibly strong and seem to have it all together but they need the support and the extra hands more than ever entering into that fourth trimester.
Copied from Alex Michelle photography
Babies are so amazing! Our Creator knew what He was doing when He created us! Did you know that baby will crawl up mom’s abdomen to find the breast within minutes of being born? To watch an amazing video of a baby doing the Breast Crawl watch the video below.
Also here is a great page to visit if you want to know about the breast crawl and the benefits…
You may end up getting tired of my posts on babywearing, but you guys I am so excited to share this with you all. There are so many products out there designed to hold your baby while you get things done but I love the fact that babywearing is timeless and completely cross-cultural. We love to think we have it all together and have come so far from the past or more simple cultures but in that area we can learn from them.
If you read my post on babywearing you already know some, definitely not all, of the benefits. There are many great things about it. But there are so many different types of carriers, how can you know which one to choose? Well, some people choose to have a couple for different activities. As far as types of baby carriers, there is quite the gamut. Long cloth types such as slings seem to have been the norm way back when but then along came a more molded type of soft front carrier. In theory this one should have been easier to use but for me I always had issues with what to do with my newborn until his or her little legs were able to spread wide enough to straddle the leg holes. Next I tried the stretchy wraps that you wrap around yourself while feeling like a Jedi from Star Wars. I loved it once I got it on and found that it was useful for all ages and stages but I never quite mastered the wrapping of it.
As I was searching the “Neverland” of Pinterest on this issue, I discovered that some of the top brands such as the Maya wrap and Moby are now making a sling type carrier. I guess the old things die hard. Check out these beautiful slings…
If you are unsure about which type to buy since they are a bit pricey (but worth every penny), ask friends to try out theirs or see if your area has a babywearing library. Here in the Portland Metro area check out….
A good ‘ole Pinterest search will bring up lots of information on babywearing, including tutorials on how to use them.
Leave me a comment and tell me your babywearing experience and what carrier you used and prefer!
After having 12 babies over the span of 28 years of marriage, one would think the idea of babywearing would be old hat to me. But I can honestly say that it was something I only dabbled in. However, through my Postpartum Doula training with Birth Arts International, I have come to learn amazing things about babywearing; things I wish I could go back and do over with my own children.
Other cultures wear their babies while doing daily tasks, whereas here in the U.S. we wheel them where we want to go and often park them there, be it in a stroller or infant seat. But Infant Development Specialists, who study cultural practices of babycare around the world, found that babies who are carried in a variety of sling and front carriers are more content than babies kept in cribs, strollers, car seats and infant seats.
Dr. William Sears and his wife, Martha, were encouraged to study the beneficial effects of babywearing in 1985. In all their years of studying and observing babywearing and different styles of baby carriers, they came to the conclusion that what mothers in other cultures use- a sling type carrier- works the best.
But what are some of the benefits to babywearing? With practice, mom will be able to breastfeed while baby is in the sling. It helps organize problem suckers. Tense babies and babies who arch their backs while breastfeeding often breastfeed much better in the sling as it helps them to relax.
Babywearing also helps mom to care for older children. Mom has two hands free to play or read with them and that makes for a more relaxed mom.
Babywearing has medical benefits too. Dr. Nils Bergman, a South African pediatrician, uses the power of skin to skin to improve the survival of preemies in Zimbabwe from 10% to 50% by using skin to skin or Kangaroo Care. He says that a mother’s body is a newborn’s habitat and that removing a baby from the natural habitat triggers instincts that can be counter productive to breastfeeding. When a newborn is in the right habitat (touching his mother), his brain responds by triggering the program for growth, stress levels decrease, his gut begins to process food, and his heart rate and breathing normalize.
“Failure to thrive” babies benefit from babywearing. Motion has a calming effect on infants. Energy needed for growth is not wasted in crying and close proximity to the breast promotes frequent feedings.
Babywearing reduces crying and colic and enhances learning. It enhances parent-infant bonding and allows fathers to play a vital role in infant care, thereby giving mom a chance to rest. Postpartum depression is less common in babywearing moms, possibly from frequent hormonal stimulation, which has been shown to have a tranquilizing effect on mother.
Along with all of these benefits, babywearing makes life easier for parents and does good things for baby too.
Article written by Kelly Menne, mom to many, and Postpartum Doula, and Certified Breastfeeding Specialist.