Abby Block, CD(DONA), CBC

Doula & Breastfeeding Support ~ Serving Brooklyn & NYC

breastfeeding

Mothering The Mother: Postpartum Support for Women

Abby BlockComment

During prenatal sessions with my doula clients, I always make a point to discuss postpartum plans. In the way in which every woman usually has some sort of birth preferences (hospital birth, home birth, birthing center birth, midwife, doctor or OB, natural birth, epidural birth, and so forth...) it is important to develop some ideas around what the plan is for postpartum care. 

Some of the questions I encourage my pregnant couples to ask themselves are: what is our sleeping arrangement and what are our beliefs in infant sleep? Where is our healthy food coming from? Who's around if we need support? Would we like a postpartum doula? How much time can we take off? Who is in charge of feeding? Who is in charge of feeding? Who will do the laundry and the chores?

Mothering the Mother: New Mothers Need a Focused Period of Rest and Recovery

An excerpt:

The postpartum period is considered to be the roughly six-week period when a woman recovers from the magnitude of pregnancy and birth. It is also the wild, messy, tender, achy, exhilarating time when a woman begins the process of shedding one way of being for an entirely new identity. It is a fleeting, essential moment, a powerful pause before the full initiation of the next chapter of her life. But in a society that encourages a new mother to "bounce back," right after birth, a woman is pushed to do the opposite of resting and recovering; she is encouraged to get back to a version of her body and her life that is gone forever. She has been forever transformed by the profound act of making another human being and requires care and attention before hurtling forward.

What to expect with your baby's weight after birth

Abby BlockComment

This is an excellent article, with very wise advice on baby's weight loss within a the first couple of weeks of life. If you have concerns or questions about your newborn's weight loss and milk intake, you are of course advised to seek support from a Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor (CBC), or a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC). Any of these lactation professionals should be able to support you or point you in the right direction.

An excerpt is below and the full article can be read here.

"This weight loss has nothing whatsoever to do with breastfeeding and milk intake.  In fact, the authors suggest that if clinicians want to use weight loss as a gauge of milk intake, they calculate baby’s weight loss not from birth weight, but from their weight at 24 hours.  According to their findings, this could neutralize the effect of the mother’s IV fluids on newborn weight loss.

This is one more reason weight loss alone should not be used to determine when newborns need formula supplements.   The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine put this well in one of its protocols: “Weight loss in the range of 8-10% may be within normal limits….If all else is going well and the physical exam is normal, it is an indication for careful assessment and possible breastfeeding assistance.”

Postpartum & Breastfeeding Nutrition For the New Mother

Abby BlockComment

Postpartum nutrition! Many women aren't aware that for breastfeeding a newborn (or older baby), that often women need to eat more than they did when when they were pregnant! Of course, quality is important as well, as it's not just about getting enough calories.  The amount a breastfeeding mother should eat also depends on level of exercise, overall caloric needs, and other variables, or course. The best rule of thumb is to eat to your hunger, being mindful of making healthy choices whenever possible. Through recent research, we know that a mother's varied diet will encourage her child to enjoy a wide palette of flavors - all the more encouraging to eat well while breastfeeding! Check out the links below for more info on postpartum eating and nourishing the new mother:

Recovery From Childbirth: Postpartum Foods

Do Breastfeeding Mothers Need Extra Food or Fluids?

Nourishing the New Mom

Maternal Nutrition During Breastfeeding

Tongue Tie and the Newborn Baby

Abby BlockComment

Since I have been training to become a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor, I've been thinking about and learning a great deal about breastfeeding - more than I had ever imagined. Something that comes up quire frequently with many new mothers is the challenge of breastfeeding. At a certain point, once you begin to hear of so many stories of difficulty breastfeeding, and depending on how much detail you hear in these stories - you may start to hear of tongue ties, lip ties, and the procedures done in attempt to remedy these situations. Why, if breastfeeding is supposed to be so natural and necessary for the survival of our species, are so many humans struggling with it? There are MANU reasons. One of the many possible reasons might be folic acid vs. folate. Read on in this article to learn more...

Tongue Tie and Breastfeeding, By Dr. Wilson

Breastfeeding & What to Eat

Abby BlockComment

Spice it up!! I don't think these findings are at all surprising, in fact they seem pretty intuitive. But why not have a little research on it?! It's just one more reason to breastfeed.

Here's an excerpt from the article from the NYT, which you can read in full here:

"The variety of flavors that you eat during pregnancy go into your blood and then into the amniotic fluid, which the baby is constantly drinking, in utero, and the flavors that you eat while nursing cross from the blood vessels that supply the mammary glands into the breast milk. So instead of restricting the maternal diet, there’s now good evidence that by eating a wide variety of healthy and tasty foods during these periods, we are actually doing our babies a major favor.

“Breast-fed babies are generally easier to feed later because they’ve had this kind of variety experience of different flavors from their very first stages of life, whereas a formula-fed baby has a uniform experience,” said Lucy Cooke, a psychologist specializing in children’s nutrition, who is a senior research associate at University College London. “The absolute key thing is repeated exposure to a variety of different flavors as soon as you can possibly manage; that is a great thing for food acceptance.” "

Midwife Thinking: Birth From the Baby's Perspective

Abby BlockComment

Such a fascinating article! Excerpt below, and definitely head over here to read the article from Midwife Thinking in its entirety, as well as watch the videos.

Here are the bullet points from the article on treating a newborn with respect:

"A humane approach to welcoming a baby to the world

Whilst in some cases it is not possible, I believe that we should aim for all babies to have the opportunity to:

  • Make their own way through their mother’s body and into the world (ie. no unnecessary pulling).
  • For their first touch to be from the hands of a person who loves them (mother, father, family member, friend).
  • To be held immediately by their mother skin-to-skin.
  • To be sustained by their placenta until the placenta stops functioning (ie. leaving the cord intact).
  • To be left in peace to find their mother’s nipple and latch on.
  • To be treated gently and with dignity and respect during any ‘checks’ that their mother chooses to have done."

Breastfeeding: Do Older Babies Need Night Feeding?

Abby BlockComment

I have the honor of witnessing my clients give birth as they become mothers in an instant, and then visiting them several days after their baby is born. I love being able to answer newborn questions, to process their birth with them, and to answer newborn care and breastfeeding questions. Many of my clients prefer to go as holistic or natural as possible with caring for their baby in the early days, and even beyond. By the time my clients have "older" babies, I'm long gone! I thought this article would be a great help for parents who are attempting to breastfeed in the most "natural" way possible. This article is by Nancy Mohrbacher, breastfeeding expert.

"Has somebody told you that your baby doesn’t need to breastfeed at night past a certain age?  This age often varies by advisor. However, science tells us that in many cases, this simply isn’t true.

Why? Babies and mothers are different and these differences affect baby’s need for night feedings. Some babies really do need to breastfeed at night, at six months, eight months, and beyond.  This is in part because if their mother has a small “breast storage capacity” and tries to sleep train her baby, her milk production will slow, along with her baby’s growth. To find out what this means and if this applies to you, you need to know the basics of how milk production works."

Read the rest of the article here.

A MUST-READ article on Breastfeeding, by Nancy Mohrbacher, from Mothering Magazine

Abby BlockComment

An excellent article on Natural Breastfeeding. A must-read!!

This article from Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA was featured in Holistic Parenting magazine, Issue 9 (May/June 2015).  Nancy is a wealth of knowledge and a light to many breastfeeding mothers!

During the more than 30 years I’ve been helping breastfeeding families, it’s been thrilling to see the rise in U.S. breastfeeding rates. In the early 1980s, only about 50% of American women breastfed even once. Now nearly 80% of new mothers breastfeed.

But this picture is still far from rosy. The sad truth is that most women today are not meeting their breastfeeding goals. Three recent studies shed some light on the issues. Here’s what they found...
Read the rest of the article here.

 

http://www.mothering.com/articles/natural-breastfeeding/