Posts tagged breastfeeding
The Story Behind Morskap- A Postpartum Health Site
 
woman looking out.jpg
 

By guest blogger Yana, creator of Morskap, A Postpartum Health Site. You can find out more by visiting morskap.com

In the course of incubating a new human, I discovered a sea of helpful (though not ideal) resources on how to become pregnant, surviving pregnancy and labor, and taking care of a new human who is limited to a binary means of communication (to cry, or not to cry, that is the question). What I felt missing was a resource specifically focused on postpartum recovery.

Having gone through the biggest bodily and emotional change of my life, I had lots of questions:

  • How long before I heal given my mode of delivery?

  • What exercise can I do in the meantime?

  • What special postpartum exercises (kegels?) should I do and when? Are there helpful equipment for that?

  • Which things will never go back to normal?

  • What’s the most flattering and comfortable clothes to cover this beast in?

  • Is it normal to feel [choose your own adventure]? Is it normal to still feel that? How about now?

  • OMG breastfeeding! So painful and everyone talks about it as if it’s wonderful and beautiful. Can I skip it? Is it taboo to even ask?

  • How do you best split parenting responsibilities with my partner?

  • What are some things to think about when going back to work?

  • What emotions to expect around all of the above issues?

Some of these questions I’ve talked with other moms about, but I found that the answers varied based on things like preexisting health, how each pregnancy and labor went, the personality of the mom, her partner, and the baby. I live in a city where women often don’t have children until they feel like they are in a good place in their careers. So my network of moms wasn’t large enough to cover each possible scenario. Some things I just wasn’t comfortable discussing in person. In the beginning, I didn’t feel like talking with anyone. I felt like I didn’t have the time to do it. Searching for answers online seemed like a good idea, but it turned out to be too time consuming. There was sooo much noise!

So I created a consolidated resource for questions around being a new mom: morskap.com. This resource explains why new moms may be sweating a lot at night, why running may not be a great idea if experiencing pelvic pressure, and lots of other things that I and some of my friends were curious about after birth. I thought that it may be helpful to other moms that don’t have the time or inclination to search for the best answers. New moms are grappling with caring for a little one, possibly trying to go back to work, and generally staying optimistic (remember: every fifth mom suffers from postpartum depression!).

Hope you find Morskap helpful and feel free to reach out to me at yana@morskap.com if you have feedback.

5 Mommy Must-Do's After Having a Baby
 
Mommy must do's after baby
 

Here in the United States, we are enamored with pregnant women. There are salves, creams, workouts, massages, drinks, foods and a whole slew of other products all geared towards the pregnant woman. Pregnancy and a pregnant woman's self care is a $266.6 million dollar industry. As it should be. There should be a ton of products and services available to make a pregnant woman's life easier and more comfortable, because despite the images of glowing pregnant women we are fed in magazines and in the media, pregnancy can be really, really hard and uncomfortable.

And then. Then you have the baby.

And this all goes away.

It seems that in our society, when a woman has a baby, she is left a little bit to fend for herself. The next industry is all about baby- nursing pillows, nursing cookies, bottles, swings and other devices, but there really isn't an industry that is focused on a postpartum woman's self care. Sure, she gets a 6 week checkup, but that number is arbitrary and often is the ONLY stop on the self care train for a postpartum woman. 

This gap is one of the HUGE reasons why Duo Diary was created. A new mom shouldn't have to fend for herself after bringing a child into the world, whether through birth or adoption. Bringing home a baby is a massive upheaval physically and mentally. At Duo Diary, we aim to help this transition be a little bit easier by encouraging new moms to take care of themselves. We also recognize a few areas of care that can help a new mother immensely in those early weeks and months. In fact, a Duo Diary can be a great compliment to some of these services. 

The catch? These all cost money. A lot of money. And are not covered by most insurance. Which is why most moms -even those that can afford it - don't splurge on services like this. In our view, these should be a given, not a special treat for those that can afford it. (Heck, most new moms probably don't even know these things exist!). But the below services can really help a new mom get on the right track with her health. So if you are looking for a unique shower gift, consider gifting one of these services (along with, of course, a year's supply of Duo Diary!) 

1. A Postpartum Doula

Postpartum Doulas help new mothers with the transition into motherhood by supporting a new mother with things like breastfeeding, bonding with baby, help and guidance with the new baby, and many even offer light housekeeping and will run errands. You can find a postpartum doula in your area (if available) here

2. An IBCLC

Breastfeeding is really, really hard. It can be a massive struggle for many women, physically and emotionally. An International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC) can help a new mom navigate this process by teaching them techniques, checking latches and looking for tongue ties or other potential issues, and providing support in helping a new mom succeed at breastfeeding. Find one here.

3. A PostPartum Exercise Program

A new mom has very specific changes that have occurred to her body that also need to be healed properly- jumping right into a 'regular' exercise program as soon as you get the clearance to exercise just isn't a good idea as it can exacerbate conditions that may have arisen during pregnancy and labor, and don't address the structural changes that occur to a woman's body. There are quite a few exercise programs out there that are geared specifically to postpartum women and healing issues like pelvic floor function and diastasis recti. Mutu System, Restore Your Core, The Tummy Team, Hab It, and Fit2B are all programs dedicated to helping a postpartum mom heal. You can contact these companies about purchasing a gift program for a new mom. 

4. Moms Groups

Moms groups can help with the transition into motherhood by giving a new mom a safe place where she can discuss concerns, experiences, learn, and connect with other women having the same shared experience. This is especially vital and helpful for new moms that don't live near family. Many moms groups are offered at your local 'pumping and feeding' store, churches, hospitals, schools, or other places. Here's a great article on what they entail and how to find one.

5. A Pelvic Floor Specialist

Let's get real, your pelvic floor takes a beating during pregnancy and labor, and it is also one of the most important structures for your daily function. News flash: leaking and peeing when you sneeze or exercise are NOT NORMAL and CAN BE FIXED. Easily. Enter the pelvic floor physical therapist. A pelvic floor physical therapist helps 'retrain' your pelvic floor to function properly and can often address issues that affect other areas (like your hips or diastasis). You can find one here, or refer to this article

What services do you wish you'd known about when you had a baby?

This blog pro­vides gen­eral infor­ma­tion and dis­cus­sion about med­i­cine, health and related sub­jects.  The words and other con­tent pro­vided in this blog, and in any linked mate­ri­als, are not intended and should not be con­strued as med­ical advice. If the reader or any other per­son has a med­ical con­cern, he or she should con­sult with an appropriately-licensed physi­cian or other health care worker.

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This Woman is Bad.Ass.

Aside from this woman apparently being made of steel (strapping a 3 year old to your back while 35 weeks pregnant!? My joints hurt just thinking about it), one of the things that stuck out to me was this quote, given that she works in a male-dominated field. Kudos to those working with her who made her feel supported.

"“Fortunately, I currently work in an environment where everyone has been supportive and understanding of my roles.'"

3 Tips For Making a Smooth Transition From Breastfeeding to Pumping When Returning to Work
How to pump at work

Guest blog post by Elizabeth Peters

Maternity leave has been wonderful and you have enjoyed having precious weeks to bond with your baby, but it’s inevitable that you will have to return to work soon. Preparing to return to work after maternity leave can be a stressful time. To add to the stress of worrying about having to leave the baby in childcare or with relatives, moms who choose to breastfeed exclusively also have the worry of making the transition from feeding at the breast to pumping into bottles to deal with when they return to work. While dealing with this change can be stressful, there are things you can do to prepare in advance that will make the transition a much smoother one.

Make the Transition to Pumping Before You Return to Work

Try not to wait until the day you return to work to begin pumping and offering your baby a bottle for the first time. As with most transitions there is bound to be a few bumps along the way and it will be much less stressful to get any kinks worked out while you are still relaxed at home rather than when you are also dealing with the stress at work. A good rule of thumb is to begin making the transition two weeks before you return to work so that your baby has become comfortable feeding from a bottle and you have had time to familiarize yourself with pumping. The transition will be much easier if you have both had a chance to get used to it ahead of time.

Start a Routine Pumping Schedule

When you start pumping at home, think about what times you will have available for pumping throughout your work day and try to pump at those times in the couple of weeks before you return to work so that your body gets on a routine. Make sure to stick to the routine on the weekends too, it is important to stay on schedule seven days a week to keep your milk supply ready to be expressed at the times you need it to be. Sticking to a schedule will help ensure that you get the most out of your pumping sessions when you go back to work.

Talk to Your Boss About Your Plan to Pump as Early as Possible

Showing up for your first day at work with a pump on hand and springing it on your boss that you will need breaks for pumping throughout the day isn’t a good idea. Let your boss know before you return to work what your plan is and what your needs will be. The thought of having this conversation can make some women uncomfortable, but know that the law is on your side here. The “Break Time For Nursing Mothers” law requires employers to provide new mothers reasonable breaks to express milk for the entire year following birth and that they must make available a place, that is not a bathroom, that is shielded from co-workers where this can be done. This means that you have the right to be able to pump at work, and you should inform your employer of your needs ahead of time so they can in turn make a plan to accommodate you. Giving them some advance notice will make things go smoother for everyone.

Pumping while working can take some work, but with proper preparation and determination it can be a smooth and successful endeavor.

Elizabeth Peters is a freelance writer who specializes in the parenting/family niche. When she is not writing for clients she can be found blogging about parenting on her own blog at TheMommyVortex.com. She currently resides in Alabama with her husband and two young children. Connect with her on Twitter: @themommyvortex

Interested in guest posting? Duo Diary is a great way to reach new moms! Contact us at info@duodiary.com

Breastfeeding in Public: 5 Steps to Nursing With Confidence While on the Go
Breastfeeding on the go

By Elizabeth Peters

While the decision whether to formula feed or breastfeed is a mother’s personal choice, it is estimated that 75% of new moms choose to breastfeed their newborns, with many making the choice to breastfeed exclusively. But breastfeeding exclusively comes with its own sets of issues, one of which is that you are your baby’s one and only source of food, meaning you have to be available for a feeding whenever your baby needs one, even when that time may not always be the most convenient for you – such as when you are out in public. Many women cringe at the thought of nursing in public, with strangers around, and that is understandable - but locking yourself at home for four months to avoid having to breastfeed in public isn’t healthy for you, either. The fact is, nursing mothers are going to find themselves in situations where they have to be in public with their baby during feeding time, but nursing in public doesn’t have to be a scary experience. First, know that you have the legal right to nurse in public, by law, and that nursing mothers are exempt from indecent exposure laws. Most states have laws that give nursing women the right to nurse in public at any place that the mother and child have the right to be, which covers most all public places. You can see a full explanation of the breastfeeding laws surrounding your state online here. Even with the protection of the law behind them, many women find themselves cringing at the thought of nursing in public for the first time. If the thought of breastfeeding in public has you coming down with a case of the jitters, follow these five simple steps to becoming able to breastfeed in public with confidence.

Pick a Spot in Advance

When breastfeeding in public, odds are you will be somewhere that you are familiar with or frequent often, such as the coffee shop where you meet up with friends, or the grocery store where you buy your groceries. To make your feeding experience more comfortable, and to ease your mind, when you are at these places look around and decide where you would be most comfortable feeding, such as a booth in the back, a bench tucked into a corner of the store, or a dressing room in your favorite department store. Knowing in advance that you have a comfortable spot available for nursing will help ease your mind about going to those places with your baby when you may need to feed.

Dress for Success

Dressing in clothing that provides easy access for feedings with minimal exposure can go a long way toward making you feel more confident during public feedings. Button up and wrap around shirts work well for this, or you can purchase nursing blouses made with hidden built-in flaps made specifically for breastfeeding.

Use a Mirror

If you are nervous about exposing too much skin while breastfeeding in public, practice breastfeeding your baby in your selected blouse while standing in front of a mirror so you can see firsthand how exposed you will, or won’t, be. Practice different positions until you find one that you are comfortable using in public. Seeing firsthand what the public around you will be seeing can go a long way in easing your nervousness about public feedings.

Bring a Blanket

Baby blankets work great as a covering to shield your feeding baby from the view of passerby. Carry one in your diaper bag and lay it across your shoulders and over your baby’s head when breastfeeding in public.

Stick to Your Feeding Schedule

Don’t deny feeding your baby in public at his scheduled feeding time just because you’re too nervous or you are busy at that moment. The hungrier your baby becomes, the more fussy and loud he will get, which will not only draw a lot of attention when you finally do stop to feed him, and it will also make the experience much more stressful than it needs to be for both of you. It is best to find a quiet, semi-secluded spot and feed him at the right time when you will both be calm and relaxed.

Remember that practice makes perfect. Breastfeeding in public may seem scary at first, but follow these steps and after completing a few public feedings you will be breastfeeding in public like a pro!

Elizabeth Peters is a freelance writer who specializes in the parenting/family niche. When she is not writing for clients she can be found blogging about parenting on her own blog at TheMommyVortex.com. She currently resides in Alabama with her husband and two young children. Connect with her on Twitter: @themommyvortex

Interested in guest posting? Duo Diary is a great way to reach new moms! Contact us at info@duodiary.com

 

Pssst.... Breastfeeding is Hard!!

I recently stumbled upon an older HuffPo article, but wanted to share as the message is still ever so true. It is a common misconception that breastfeeding is easy (or "free"), which can leave a bad taste in the mouths of moms who struggle or have struggled with it. Maybe breastfeeding was once easier when women lived in close proximity and shared in the knowledge of new motherhood and breastfeeding, but nowadays a new mom is mostly sent home with little or no instructions. So, in the interest of self-educating what the real deal is with breastfeeding, I give you:

10 Things I Learned The Hard Way About Breastfeeding

(via Huffington Post Parents)

We'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic. What did you learn the hard way about breastfeeding?