Breastfeeding Today

English: A baby breastfeeding

English: A baby breastfeeding (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Breastfeeding Today is an online magazine and this month they had a lovely article on how to handle criticism for breastfeeding. Its a question and complaint many breastfeeding mothers have, how to handle it when strangers, friends and family make rude comments or give terrible advice, no matter how well intentioned, about your breastfeeding relationship with your baby. I loved the suggestions the article in Breastfeeding Today provides, they are gentle and loving.

Breastfeeding Today

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Questions to Ask Your Midwife

I recently came across a wonderful article listing the questions one should ask one’s midwife. I personally did ask many of these, as I was a very nervous first time mama who didn’t want to end up at a hospital under any circumstances.  My experience with The Birth Place under Jennie Joseph was wonderful and most of these were answered without my even needing to ask.  The answers to these questions are going to depend on different factors which we can go over in future.  However, these will give you things to think about and help you with the interview process.

Original blog here: http://www.growingslower.com/2012/09/47-questions-i-should-have-asked-my.html

Midwife Jennie Joseph

Interview Questions…

Experience

1.   What is your philosophy regarding pregnancy and birth and your role in it?
2.   How many births have you attended?
3.   What percentage of women successfully have a natural birth under your care?
4.   What percentage of women need to transfer to the hospital (if planning a home birth or birth center birth)? What is the typical reason?
5.   What percentage of moms end up with a C-section?
6.   What percentage of moms end up with an epidural?
7.   What percentage of babies are transferred to NICU?
8.   What is the mortality rate for moms? For babies?
9.   Do you have hospital privileges? At what hospitals?
10. If you have children, what were your birth experiences like?
11. How many midwives or obstetricians are on the team? Who are your assistants? Will I get to meet all of them? What is their experience? Can I be sure that you will attend my birth?
12. Do you deliver breech babies naturally? VBACs? Twins?
13. How many births do you attend per month?

Pregnancy & Prenatal Care

14. What usually happens at prenatal appointments? How many? When? How long are they?
15. Are you available by phone or email for questions?
16. What is your philosophy on weight gain, nutrition, prenatal supplements, and exercise?
17. What factors would risk me out of your practice? How will you help me prevent these?
18. What child birth class do you recommend?
19. What prenatal testing to you encourage?
20. What type of gestational diabetes testing do you typically use?
21. Do you recommend ultrasounds? When? How many?
22. Do you typically do vaginal checks during prenatal appointments? When?
23. What happens if I go past my due date? How late can I be and still birth under your care (if a midwife)?
24. What testing do you do for a late baby? Starting at how many weeks?
25. Do you have any concerns about big babies being birthed naturally?

Labor

26. When do you do vaginal checks during labor?
27. What type of monitoring do you do during labor? How often? For how long?
28. Do you routinely use an IV or hep-lock?
29. Are there birth tubs in each room in the birth center? What if one is not available when I’m in labor?
30. Is a water birth available? If not, am I able to push in the tub at all?
31. How long do you recommend I stay in the water at one time? Do I need to get out for monitoring?
32. How many women are under the care of one midwife or doctor at a time? How much will you be with me throughout my labor?
33. Are you comfortable working alongside a doula? Do you have particular doulas you recommend?
34. How long can I labor without induction?
35. When would you recommend induction? Do you use natural induction methods first?
36. How long can I labor without intervention after my water breaks?
37. Who attends a birth? (Students, assistants, nurses, etc.)
38. When do you feel amniotomy is indicated?
39. Can I eat and drink during labor?
40. What’s your process for implementing a family’s birth plan?
41. What positions are available during labor? While pushing?
42. What are reasons you would initiate a transfer to a hospital (if a home birth or birth center birth)?
43. How long do you allow for delivery of the placenta? When do you cut the cord?

Postpartum & Newborn Care

44. What post-partum care do you provide? When? How many appointments? Where?
45. What does newborn care consist of? Under what circumstances would my newborn need to be taken away from me for treatment?
46. Are you comfortable with me declining bathing, vitamin K, heel poke, eye ointment, vaccinations?
47. Can you help me initiate breastfeeding?

What was your experience interviewing midwives and obstetricians? What was the most important question you asked?

Free Places to Take Kids

Recently, one of our members asked a very good question, “Where can I take my child that’s free, besides playgrounds?”  If your toddler or child is anything like mine, they get bored easily and don’t want to stay inside the house all day. Sometimes we get bored of the same playground or the weather doesn’t allow. We got so many great suggestions from our members and readers I decided to make this list.

Free Places to Take Kids:

English: Children's area, Sutton branch

English: Children’s area, Sutton branch (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1)Libraries & Bookstores:
most have story times and other events for kids where its perfectly ok for them to be a little loud and have fun with books or toys. Presentations are common and offer opportunities to learn about different professions like firemen, police officers. These are ideal places to network with other parents too.

2) Nature Walks: hiking, nature trails or walks as they may be known offer great opportunities for little ones to stretch their legs, explore and learn.  Many places will also have playgrounds or other amenities.  Check your local state/national parks for more information or botanical gardens.

Splash Pad #1

Splash Pad #1 (Photo credit: chooyutshing)

3) Splashpads: a favorite during hot months! Many towns have splashpads that are either free or $3 or less. Great for little tots and bigger kids alike. Make sure to go prepared to get wet!

 

 

4) Central Florida parents: We love Downtown Disney! This is another great spot to let kids roam relatively free. The shops, splashpad, live entertainment and plenty of space to walk makes it very kid friendly. If you’re feeling bold, or are a DVC member, you can also visit one of the Disney resorts. I recommend Boardwalk Resort because you can walk on the boardwalk or Animal Kingdom Lodge which allows you to walk and see animals.

Lobby of Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Orland...

Lobby of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Orlando, Florida, USA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5) U-Pick Farms: in Clermont, FL we like to go to Showcase of Citrus and Marks Blueberries. Showcase of Citrus has a playground, sandbox, kittens, farm animals and you can pick from many varieties of citrus fruits. You can also purchase them from the shop along with other local delicacies.  Marks Blueberries has 20 varieties of blueberries and is lots of fun to eat while you pick. The pine trees also offer a nice area for them to walk and get pinecones for crafts.

6) Large stores: This is more of a desperate measures sort of thing, but some how I end up doing it quite a bit. Like with any place, you do have to watch the kids but at stores you have to be extra vigilant. Still, they’re good choices for rainy days, if you don’t want to drive far and are willing to shop very slowly. My boy loves to walk around in Lowes, Target, TJ Maxx, etc. He’s not yet 2, so its all one big playground to him. Malls also offer plenty of space to explore, and if you’re lucky, might even have an indoor play area.

What other places do you take your kids to?

Creative Pregnancy, Birth Announcement, Maternity Photos

Browsing Pinterest can give you so much inspiration for great, creative pregnancy, birth announcement, maternity and gender announcement photos. We found this blog to have some really beautiful ideas and had to share!

Creative Pregnancy and Newborn Photos

I took some photos during my pregnancy, but I admit they weren’t planned or made into something creative or cute. I wish I had! At least I did put more thought into taking photos of my son each month. Every time he turned a month older, we took pictures of him with an owl sticker. I know that for baby number 2 I’ll make sure to plan carefully so we can make really cute memories! Here are a few examples of my baby boy’s monthly photos:

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Did you take creative photos to announce your pregnancy or the gender? How about monthly photographs of baby?

Updates to Nurturing Mothers Network

Nurturing Mothers Network, breastfeeding and attachment parenting support group has been very busy lately.

We have added 2 new leaders to the board of Nurturing Mothers Network and are very excited to have these ladies with us.

Kristin Worischeck, MotherCare LC, is our official Lactation Consultant, we defer to her knowledge and wisdom for anything breastfeeding related.

Candace Box hails from West Virginia originally, but now lives here in Central Florida, and although she is a relatively new member, she’s already won us over with her peaceful parenting style, and her passion for all things health related.

We are proud to have Kristin and Candace on our team! We know they both will bring a wealth of positive energy, helpful information and much more.

We are happy to say that our Central Florida based mommy group has increased in membership, we now have over 160 members in areas such as Orlando, Clermont, Winter Garden, Winter Park, Sanford, Kissimmee, Davenport and more.

Breastfeeding Books List

Breastfeeding and Nutrition Books we recommend for anyone interested in learning more about breastfeeding.

1) Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers ~ This is by far the best ‘how to’ and problem solving book out there for nursing moms ~ I give it to all new mom friends who are planning to breastfeed. Perfect gift for a mom planning to nurse.

2) The Baby Bond: The New Science Behind What’s Really Important When Caring For Your Baby by Dr. Linda Palmer – One of my all-time favorite, wish-every-parent-would-read books. If you are already a breastfeeding mom, this book will come as encouraging and empowering support of all you are giving your little one. If you are contemplating nursing a future baby, this book will give you oodles of research with which to make your decision. [This book used to be titled, “Baby Matters”]

3) Gentle Birth, Gentle Mothering by Dr. Sarah Buckley – This book has an excellent chapter on breastfeeding, but the whole text is outstanding (for topics of BOTH birth and mothering)!

4) Our Babies, Ourselves by Dr. Meredith F. Small – Small’s book is along the same lines as The Continuum Concept: In Search of Happiness Lost but more ‘reader friendly’ for the general population. It is an easy to devour book with words of wisdom that highlight the dramatic impact breastfeeding has on all aspects of babyhood, childhood, and adulthood – not to mention the implications on attachment between mother and her little one. Grounded in biology, anthropology, and related sciences, Small speaks on many other aspects of parenting as well, all of which are connected to the way we feed our young.

5) Take Charge of Your Child’s Health by Dr. George Wootan. A great reference to have on hand for a variety of issues and a superb chapter on breastfeeding as well as great information on exclusive breastfeeding for the optimal duration of time for children’s health.

6) Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Ina May Gaskin – Brand new, hot off the press, and OH-SO-GOOD!! This is a must read for any and all mothers and mothers-to-be. Ina May’s chapter on nipplephobia in North America makes it worth the purchase for that section alone! Absolutely excellent and a fabulous addition to the collection of breastfeeding literature.

7) Natural Family Living – I love the chapter on breastfeeding in this book. It reaffirms women’s mothering instincts and the fact that baby had no other needs than those that can be met by his/her mother’s loving care and warm milk.

8) Birth & Breastfeeding by Dr. Michel Odent – This book is primarily geared toward breastfeeding in the early weeks/months of a child’s life, and especially around the time of birth. All of Dr. Odent’s work is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!! He is such a wise obstetrician (and supporter of midwives).

9) The Politics of Breastfeeding: When Breasts are Bad for Business by Gabrielle Palmer – This book is absolutely essential to understanding the reasons that breastfeeding is vital to the wellbeing of humanity and the hardships faced throughout the world as a result of women not receiving the support, encouragement and empowerment to naturally feed their babies. An eye-opening book that will equip breastfeeding mothers with the knowledge needed to combat trials they face along the way.

10) Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding by Dr. Jack Newman

11) The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding ~ revised/updated 8th edition ~ the ‘classic’ breastfeeding book by La Leche League International

12) The Breastfeeding Mother’s Guide to Making More Milk

13) Having multiples? The book, Mothering Multiples will answer all your breastfeeding questions as well as help out with much more. It is an excellent resource for mothers-to-be of multiples, as well as those working to help multiple moms. Having Twins and More does not focus as much on breastfeeding (although a good section is included) but includes more indepth information on other aspects of multiple pregnancy, birth (including accurate intact care information), and childhood. These 2 books together are the perfect gift for any multiple mom to be. The resources and information in them is unmatched elsewhere.

13) Breastfeeding Older Children – the title is slightly misleading because while this book is an empowering read for sure, it is also full of information pertaining to the reasons why so many children in some developed nations (like the US, Canada and the UK) do not breastfeed for the optimal (and WHO recommended) duration of time. It is a must-read for all lactation consultants and those who work with mother/baby pairs around the time of birth. If you are nursing your older child right now, read this book and know you are far from alone in giving your child the milk designed for him or her.

14) Adventures in Tandem Nursing – some of the most ill-informed advice that I continue to hear OBs give to their newly pregnant clients is that they must stop breastfeeding. This is complete garbage. Tandem Nursing (i.e. nursing more than one child at a time) occurs all the time and it is absolutely normal and natural. You were given two breasts and enough milk making capabilities to sustain multiple lives. If you are going to be pregnant while nursing, or plan to nurse more than 1 child at a time, get this book.

15) Mothering Your Nursing Toddler – don’t let the dated cover photo fool you, this book has timeless gems of information, tips, and knowledge for mothers nursing toddlers today and tomorrow.

16) How Weaning Happens by Diane Bengson – Includes excellent examples of how weaning happens in a variety of situations, with little ones of all different ages. It is an especially good collection of information for mothers nursing an older baby OR if a mother finds herself in a position where she feels she must complete the weaning process. Note: ‘Weaning’ includes the time from the FIRST introduction of a non-breastmilk item until the last drop of breastmilk is consumed. Therefore, for most babies, the time of ‘weaning’ occurs over several years.

17) Baby-led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett – This book is more about the introduction and starting of solid food feeding (i.e. anything that is not breastmilk) rather than weaning in and of itself. As mentioned above, weaning starts when baby receives his/her first non-breastmilk source of food and ends when breastmilk is no longer being consumed. This book is excellent in establishing healthy eating habits for toddlers after their exclusive breastfeeding days. It is one which makes baby-feeding easier on parents, easier on baby, and a more enjoyable, healthy (NATURAL!) experience all around.

My only disagreement with Baby-led Weaning is that lactation/nutritional/health research demonstrates the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding over partial breastfeeding do not begin to diminish until after a baby (born at full term) is 8-12 months old. This means that we’d grant our babies the optimal health they were designed to achieve if they had onlybreastmilk in their diet for the first 8+ months of life, minimum. Then start into baby-led weaning.

When the time comes in your baby’s life that it is in their best interest to begin solids (to transition from exclusivebreastfeeding to partial breastfeeding), I’d also recommend these books in addition to the above Baby-led Weaningtext.

1) Baby Greens

2) Boost Your Child’s Immune System: A Program & Recipes for raising strong, healthy kids

80% of the immune system (keeping your little one healthy) is located in the gut. This is why the things you put into your baby’s mouth truly do matter!

*Reviews on breastfeeding books and opinions are our own

Nurturing Mothers Network

Nurturing Mothers Network is about getting together and connecting locally with moms who share the desire to make informed parenting decisions. We try our best to support Breastfeeding, Natural Births, postpartum, attachment parenting, natural health, healthy eating, co-sleeping, baby-wearing, cloth diapering and much more! Nurturing Mothers Network’s primary focus is on helping mothers meet the needs of their babies and children in a way that is safe and healthy. We are moms helping moms, sharing and learning together. Nurturing Mothers Network has fun get-togethers and supportive events for Breastfeeding, Baby-Wearing, meet and greets, and many more in the Central Florida region! Please come and get connected with us! Even if you’re not into a lot of this, you are welcome to get connected with us.
Nurturing Mothers Network’s Central Florida moms are mainly located in Winter Garden, Ocoee, Clermont, Apopka areas and Orlando, Florida. All are welcome, however most meetings are in the Winter Garden, Ocoee and sometimes Orlando area. Nurturing Mothers Network is working to have more events in Clermont, Florida and other areas so that our moms are able to spend time together without having to make too much of a drive. We want you to find your tribe!

Feel free to explore our Calendar of Events, we have different kinds of events for mothers and their children several times a month. Join our Facebook group for mothering advice, lively discussions and network with mothers who share your interests and concerns.