A new Wonderful Resource for Breastfeeding

Even though breastfeeding is often referred to as the “most natural thing in the world,” rarely does it come so naturally. Which is why lactation consultants are the fairy godmothers to breastfeeding. However, I came across this web resource through a recent Science and Sensibility post and wanted to share with you. Breastfeeding Basics is a website owned by Anne Smith, a mother of 6 and an IBCLC with over 20 years lactation experience. Through her website you can find helpful answers to many breastfeeding issues, including a lengthy article on breastfeeding and different forms of birth control, and introducing bottles and pacifiers to baby. Outside of your local lactation consultant, for an easy online reference, I highly recommend you check out Breastfeeding Basics for yourself.

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Greater Rights for TN Breastfeeding Moms: Your Action Needed

Thanks to the hard work of a few individuals and organizations, a State Bill, introduced by State Senator Mike Faulk, is set to eliminate the age restriction on the current breastfeeding bill (currently at 12 months). Here, an article by The Tennessean about the bill in general and a video clip about the benefits of breastfeeding.

What you can do: until the bill goes up before the health committee (probably later this February or March), contact your local state legislator and ask them to support SB0083. After the bill goes before the health committee members, we then need to contact those members directly. Stay tuned.

POST EDIT 2/9/2011: This bill needs positive support ASAP. Contact Senator Faulk’s office at (615) 741-2061 and tell him you support SBSB0083.

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Client Reviews

As part of a way to better let you know who I am and how I work with clients, I have added a review section for your pleasure! Check back over the next few days, I have a little stash to share! First, some words from P.

Going into my first pregnancy with a lot of questions and anxiety, I was amazed by how helpful and supportive Annie was. She spent significant time with us preparing for labor and delivery, then assisted me with pain management and comfort measures while also giving my husband rest during the very long process. With her help, I was able to make educated decisions regarding interventions and medical processes even when facing the unexpected. I can’t imagine going through such a pivotal experience without the help of a doula, and truly look forward to Annie attending the births of my future children.

-P

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Breastfeeding Accoutrements: Need or No-Need?

I love this article, “Breast Pumps, Nipple Shields, Hooter Hiders … Oh My!” from Kimmelin Hull on Science and Sensibility’s blog. As a nursing mother, I made much use of my nursing cover, and in fact will make them for friends who are driven to breastfeed but would rather nurse in a bathroom or in their car rather than in a public space due to modesty issues. In fact, my own breastfeeding pro of a sister (four breastfeed babes with a fifth on the way) had to walk me through public nursing when my little dude was two months old. We were both nursing babies at the time, and we were doing some after Christmas shopping in a very busy mall. It came time to feed both babies and I began to frantically look around for a hidden, secluded spot (a perfect time to get into our TN breastfeeding laws, but I won’t). She sat down on a circular bench in the middle of the mall, pulled out her nursing cover and her baby, and subsequently her breast, and began to feed. I took my place by her, babe in arm, and followed suit. It took my sister’s know-how and no-nonsense attitude to get me here. Never can enough be sad about having a sister who has gone before you in marriage, childbirth, or breastfeeding. I think there is particular stigma regarding breastfeeding here in the ‘south,’ and I feel that if a nursing cover can give a mom the confidence she needs to feed her baby, then have at it! Yet, I fully acknowledge that there is a point in which breastfeeding ‘accessories’ overwhelm what can become (after baby has established effective suck and mother’s supply is meeting demand) the simple process of breastfeeding. Read the article linked above.

For example, an expectant mother purchases a breastpump because, well, everyone knows that if you’re planning on breastfeeding you’re going to need a pump. After baby arrives mom cannot stand not knowing (this mom knew one way- measuring ounces) how much milk her baby is getting. So mom begins to pump and then feed baby bottles for every single feeding. Perhaps a consult with a lactation consultant could have let this mom know that the BEST way to know how much a baby is getting is by baby’s output: wet and poopy diapers. So, back to mom, this pump then bottle feed arrangement doesn’t sound so terrible (besides adding a middle man and taking more time to nourish baby), until, mom’s supply is going down because the pump doesn’t put as much demand on the breast as baby does. Remember, supply=demand. Then perhaps mom develops mastitis because no matter how great the pump, it just doesn’t drain a breast like a baby does. So what happens to this breastfed, then bottlefed with breastmilk baby? He becomes a formula fed baby. Who won? Perhaps the breastpump manufacturer? Which also happens manufactures bottles?

DO NOT GET ME WRONG. I believe that many of our accessories have a happy place somewhere in the breastfeeding continuum, including, especially, breastpumps. But as part of the flock to fill that retail need to be able to buy something that is the counterpart to our formula fed friends, do we purchase these accessories? Do ill-informed, though well-meaning, friends, family members, or dare I say childbirth educators or lactation consultants lead us down the rosy retail breastfeeding path?

Just as in childbirth and parenting choices, only you are looking out for what is best for your family. Evaluate what is on the market, consider what your goals are for feeding your child, and make your best decisions with carefully weighed research and advice.

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Ricki Lake hosts A Roast of the Farm Midwives

This year as part of MANA’s (Midwives Alliance of North America) conference Ricki Lake is coming to host a fundraiser! What could be more fun than a roast of the farm midwives? Come join yours truly, tons of birth professionals and active citizens at the Cool Springs Marriott on October 15, 7-9 pm. Tickets are only $20 in advance!

For tickets, visit here.

This event is a fundraiser for the Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery, the country’s only grant-making nonprofit organization dedicated to midwifery causes.

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A diversion: delve into this babe’s dreams

Laundry Day

Visit this Finnish mom and copywriter’s blog to see more of her daughter Mila’s dreams! I don’t like to divert the blog too far from birth, but Adele’s blog is too precious for this creative to ignore.

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Fun Bags?! Indeed.

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Local Midwives get a Nod

Voice of America has a new article by Mike Osborne, featuring two of our local midwives: Mary Anne Richardson, a CPM (the article incorrectly states), and Mavis Schorn, a Nurse Midwife (the article states she is a doctor, she is not). The article, “Welcome Home, Baby“doesn’t completely explore the differences between nurse midwives and certified professional midwives, but does show that many women are choosing midwives, for hospital and out of hospital births. Both Schorn and Richardson are in the Middle Tennessee area, and both lovingly serve local women.

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In honor of National Breastfeeding Week

Of course, National Breastleaking is a flashier title, but of course not as politically correct or official sounding.

And so, as a small tribute to the monumental art of breastfeeding we have new research to encourage weary moms through breastfeeding: BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS GET MORE SLEEP. Often doctors and families trying to keep postpartum mood disorders at bay encourage breastfeeding mothers to not nurse at night or to formula feed at night, or to completely switch to formula feeding. The thought is that sleep deprivation is a risk factor to postpartum depression. And so, if we can get this new mother any more sleep, let’s do it. And the best way is to stop nursing at night, by hook or by crook. So this is where the research is so important. It proves that breastfeeding moms get more sleep than their formula or mixed feeding counterparts.

Yes, this has been a loosely written, non factually based article. I encourage you to go to science&sensibility.org to read the factually sound, well-researched article Nighttime Breastfeeding and Maternal Mental Health.

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ACOG’s new VBAC guidelines: more options for more women

Good, no, great news for moms who have undergone a c section! ACOG has a new stance on trial of labor after c section and VBAC. ACOG’s new policy states that not only are women with low-transverse incisions with one previous c section potential candidates, but also mothers who have had two previous c sections, mothers carrying twins, and women with scar of unknown location. To read the press release from ACOG go here.

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