Monday, September 22, 2014

Breast Feeding 101

Sometimes life education is the best way to learn a new concept. As for breastfeeding I think the best advice I could give someone is to obtain a doula for their birth. If you have a doula walking by your side through a natural labor; then you have a great jump start for the best possible outcomes for breast feeding success.  The doula can support you before, during and after your labor.

The doula can even support you when your birth ends in c-section, and aid in finding the best latch after surgery. However, when one uses a doula, your rate of a c-section is about 30% lower than the national average. More about the c-section rate in states, counties and countries in a future post.  

Lets talk about newborn breastfeeding.  For starters there are many positions that a baby may want to eat. A baby may prefer the "football hold" or a baby may prefer "laid back breastfeeding" where the mom is reclined.  Or after a c-section a mother laying on her side may be the best position.

As you can see, toddlers get excited over mama's milk, too.  La Leche League is one of the best supporters out there of breastfeeding moms.  The leaders are warm and non-judgemental.  You can nurse in the comfort of other mothers for at least 2 hours, 1 time a week.  Older children are also welcome and can learn just as much about the lifestyle of breastfeeding.

In a recent La Leche League meeting one of the leaders brought up the fact that baby need to nurse on both sides to help develop their brain and physical formations of their skull.  A baby may prefer one nipple more than another because no two nipples are a like.  However, the baby still needs to nurse or mimic nurse from both sides.  Even if you had a breast surgery on one or both breast/nipples, you can still nurse.  Even if you are bottle feeding, switching the sides you hold the baby is important for brain and skull development.

I would also like to point out that adoptive moms can nurse their babies as well.  I recently ran into an adoptive mother at La Leche League.  She was using donated milk with a Medela Starter SNS with container.  The baby was learning how to latch onto her, however, and then drink the donated breast milk with the milk starter. 

There are even stories of mothers whose baby will not latch "properly" due to tongue tie, etc.  I really like the story of this Mom who talks of her various obstacles of breastfeeding. However, she was able to persevere and her baby was able to get the full benefits of mama's milk.  Another Mom's advice for breastfeeding can also be found here.  She nursed eight kids and has one on the way so I think she would have some intuition on breastfeeding.  

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Back To Motherhood

Miss Joanne, from South Africa has gone back home and we are left to pick up the pieces. What an emotional experience to share your precious offspring with another woman. She wore the baby, and mothered in a gentle manner. The kids also had daily excursions around town picking wild mulberries.

Miss Joanne taught me how to cook a lentil bake, make homemade crackers and make vegan milk from pecans.  I am so thankful I was able to go "back to work", have interactions with my co-workers and also get out of the house for a couple months.  I love many aspects of my work, however the first shift hours are not ideal for me at this current time of my life.

This summer was also a whirlwind with trips to Oshkosh WI, Camp Meeting and Camp Au Sable.  I had so much fun singing hymns and kid songs in the van with Miss Joanne.  She brought her guitar along which added accompaniment to her angelic voice. We camped at a State Park in Wisconsin. What a difference traveling makes when you have two extra adults who are ready to help each child get through the day.

I continue to research home school co-ops. My current favorite website for ideas is "Raising Arrows" by Amy Roberts.  I am taking an "eclectic" approach to schooling the kids.  We cook together, read books, sing around the keyboard and do a calender each day.

Book I am currently reading:  "Beyond the Sling" by Mayim Bialik.  

Website I am hoping to join in the next couple months:  Pretty Padded Room
I am a licensed therapist and hope to continue doing therapy through video conferencing.

I also would like to talk more in depth about my nursing journey and where I am currently with tandem nursing.