Here are a few of my favorite things:
My Brest friend pillow:
Yes, there are lots of breastfeeding pillows on the market. Not all pillows work well for all mothers. I find that My Brest Friend works well for a nice amount of woman.
The adjustable strap with a release clip that is silent so you don’t wake up a sleeping baby when you want to remove the pillow. I like the firm, flatt front cushion. When you strap on the pillow, you have this nice firm surface and it stays put. There is no gap between you and your baby, which is what I find, happens a lot with other pillows. It wraps around your body, you can make it nice and snug and it provides good back support, which is also something that is sorely missing with many pillows.
I love any kind of slings and wraps and front and back structured carriers. It is one of my favorite ways for moms and dads and caregivers to spend quality time with their baby particularly when holding them for an extended period of time.
You will notice that many babies love to be held,,, even when they are well fed and burped and with a fresh diaper. They will still fuss when you put them down. Why? Because they have had a steady supply of rocking and soothing sounds of mom’s heartbeat in utero. Now on the outside, they crave touch, smell, rhythm, rocking, soothing voice, just the right temperature and babywearing provides all this for baby. On the adult side of things, it can be pretty tiring on your back and neck and arm muscles to hold a baby, without support for long periods of time. Wrap your baby around you and you have solved many problems.
Boba wrap is one of my faves for first time moms. It looks complicated, but it is easy to figure out. After about the 10th practice session, you will be good at it. So, don’t be scared when you look at this long piece of material and think: how am I going to figure this out? I love the Boba Wrap particularly for newbies at babywearing. You can wear a baby from 5 to 30 pounds in the Boba Wrap. It is nice and comfy for mom and baby, rolls up in a bunch, very portable and it is priced right with some really nice solid colors. You don’t want to spend too much money or be too complicated with first time moms.
Skin to Skin(STS): This is a fabulous way to love, nurture and connect with newborns and anyone can do it and it cost nothing. Premature babies greatly benefit with Kangaroo care where their parents wear their babies for several hours each day. Research has shown that when you tuck a baby in skin to skin, upright, they respond really well. Their breathing is better regulated, it improves oxygen levels, they sleep better, gain weight quicker, cry less, quicker to go home. We now have numerous well researched studies that show how beneficial the practice of STS is to health premature babies, which is why many hospitals encourage parents to spend time with their babies STS. Your baby does not have to have been born early to benefit from skin to skin. Previous it was thought that only premature babies benefited from STS, but now the research backs up what parents have intuitively know for years. STS contact for healthy newborns is beneficial to their physical and emotional regular at the time of birth. For millions of years mothers have kept their babies safely tucked in with them after birth. It is only in the last 100 years or so that mothers and babies have been separated.
When I teach Breastfeeding classes, I am like a pain in the tush as parents have to hear me say some of the same things over and over. One of them is,,, keep the baby with the mommy, keep the baby with the mommy. If there is no medical reason to separate mom and baby, just don’t. Your baby is born, tuck your baby in with you and keep nice and warm with blanket wrapped around both of you. This helps to regulate their breathing, temperature, sleep, and helps that baby is right there when he/she begins to cue for breastfeeding. Bathing and clothing and putting on hats and swaddling babies and passing them around to family members does not help with early breastfeeding… so this is why STS is one of my favorite things. And if mom is unable to provide STS, then Dad or another close family member can.
Books for Breastfeeding: I have quite a few favorites and will talk about some of the others in future shows. I am choosing these first two as they are my favorites for helping moms prepare for a good start with breastfeeding. They cover a lot, in an easy to read fashion, without being technical and too many pages. I want you to be able to pick up a book and not be overwhelmed.
Breastfeeding Made Simple – Nancy Mohrbacher – Great book, practical advise on getting started with breastfeeding, easy to read and does cover some of the not so popular challenges that mothers have in the early days and on through weaning problems.
The Ultimate Book of Breastfeeding Answers – by Dr. Jack Newman and Teresa Pitman – I list this as one of my favorite books because it is filled with practical advise about breastfeeding and provides solutions for common problems that may arise for the new mother. One of the reasons I like this book is because it does not just tell you what you should do, it explains the reason behind the advice. There are lots of misinformation and myths circulating out there in cyberspace and Dr. Jack Newman spends time making sure the reader understands what is true and what you need to pay attention to and what you should ignore. Of course, one might say that I am plugging these two books because they have said yes to being a guest on my show. Perhaps, but it is really the other way around. It is because I love their books and respect their work so highly, that I reached out to them and asked them to be a guest. Don’t worry, I will let you know when their shows are going to be released.
Mother Support Groups: If you know me, you will know that I am a huge fan of Mothers Support Groups. Mothering is one of the hardest things most of us will ever do in our lives. I have asked mothers all over the world, who are in many different professions, and no matter how hard their paying job is, they will all say that Mothering is one of the most important jobs they will ever do in their lifetime and it is one of the most hardest jobs they will ever do in their lifetime. Mothers groups provides support, information, friendship and a safe place to go and talk about your stuff.
On a National level, listeners of All About Breastfeeding already know that Mom-mentum is my favorite organization that offers Mothers groups. You have heard me talk about Mom-mentum on many of my shows. My mission is to help support this organization and help them grow more Mother Centers around the country. On a local level, with a little bit of research you can find a mothers group that best fits your needs. Breastfeeding mothers groups meet regularly with La Leche League and in your local hospital or birthing centers. Groups like Mom-mentum that are mother centered, not only for Breastfeeding mothers, can often be found in your community as well. Check out your local library and hospital for what they offer.
Online Virtual Breastfeeding Mothers Group, I have the perfect solution for moms who cannot make it out of the house to attend a group. Perhaps you live in an area where you just cannot find a group., or realistically it is just too far to drive, or you just want the convenience of not having to leave the house, you can join the All About Breastfeeding Online Virtual Breastfeeding Mothers Group, which is specifically for pregnant woman who are planning on breastfeeding and mothers who are in the early months of breastfeeding. Detailed information can be found at allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/support
PSI – Postpartum Support International was founded in 1987 by Jane Honikman in Santa Barbara, CA. The purpose of the organization is to increase awareness among public and professional communities about the emotional changes that women experience during pregnancy and postpartum. This organization and their volunteers really cares about the emotional health of all mothers and have systems and information in place so that you can get the help you need. PSI has volunteer coordinators all over the US and 36 other countries. There is a free helpline, a membership directory, and lots of resources and education.
This organization provides help during your pregnancy months and your postpartum period. They let you know you are not alone and they take action to help you, get the help you need if you feel like you are in a state of crisis. I have facilitated several hundred mothers groups and am currently interviewing moms in this podcast. If you are a steady listener, you will note that one of the most common themes mothers express are the very strong feelings and emotions they go through during the post partum period, which is not just a few weeks after the birth, but up to a whole year later.
Some it is feelings of sadness, lots of crying, some depression and others it is major anxiety, wanting to not eat or having problems sleeping and it is interfering with their joy of new motherhood and some moms have expressed the extreme side of post partum depression which has caused them extreme highs and lows and the need for medical intervention. Most talk about not getting help because either they or their partner of family member had no idea what was g oing on, or they secretly knew, but did not address it with anyone because of the perceived stigma surrounding this. I want you to know that you are not alone and there is help.
Happier, a podcast by Gretchin Rubin : I first got turned on to Gretchen Rubin when I read her book, The Happiness Project. It is a great book and one I found very helpful. The beginning was a good read, just getting into her mindset about how and why she even wrote a book about Happiness was fascinating to me. When I found out that she had a podcast also, I was thrilled. She co-hosts it with her sister Elizabeth and every show I pick up little tidbits of useful information and on top of that, they make me laugh. Their latest episode a the time of this podcast is: You can’t make me and neither can I. If this intrigues you, be sure to check out their show.