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We’ve all heard the phrase "breast is best". We know that breastfeeding has benefits to both baby and mom. Breastmilk is living food that cannot be duplicated. It’s natural and normal and all of that. At this time in our culture, most women are planning on breastfeeding at least some. Sometimes it’s really easy. But sometimes its not. At least at first. Here are some ways to set yourself up for better success.
1). Gain family support. One of the biggest factors in successful breastfeeding is support for you, the mother. Those early days at home can be hard and emotional. You’re adjusting to so many things, recovering from a major physical event, and often not getting much sleep. Without support and middle of the night encouragement, this is the time many moms give up.
(By the way, not breastfeeding at all or choosing to stop is okay if that’s your choice and what you think will be best for you and your family situation. I don’t know your history or your medical needs and neither does anyone else on the street. My breastfeeding goal for you is just like my goal for your birth. I want you to make decisions based on information, knowing that you have choices and to not look back on it with regret.)
Anyway, many in our parents generation did not breastfeed their babies and if they did, may still have outdated ideas about what works. Talk to your husband or partner about breastfeeding. Talk to the other people who will be helping you after baby is born. Talk to them about the research showing why this is an important part of having a baby. Explain that their support in this could make the difference in your breastfeeding relationship.
2). Read a book. Breastfeeding Made Simple by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett and Nancy Mohrbacher or La Leche League’s The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding by Diane Wiessinger and Diana West are both excellent choices.
3). Join a support group. Fortunately here in the Indy area we really have a variety of excellent options. Area hospitals with maternity units also have breastfeeding support groups run by their IBCLCs. Breastfeeding USA and La Leche League both have groups that meet all over the city. On-line there is the Indy Breastfeeding Moms support group on Facebook that provides moms with informed advice 24 hours a day.
4). Take a class. Ask at your chosen birth location about breastfeeding classes. Many hospitals offer them and they can be an excellent source of information. There are also online breastfeeding courses like this one that you can take in your pajamas.
5). Know who to call. Knowing who to call ahead of time if you need help, extra support, or suspect a tongue tie is a good idea. You may never need it but in the midst of that newborn haze, not having to research is golden. Find the name of a local private IBCLC or the number for your hospital’s lactation department. Your birth doula or postpartum doula should be a good resource for this as well.
Breastfeeding is amazing! It’s incredible that your body can grow, birth, and then feed a human! But it’s not always easy at first and sometimes interventions are needed to make it more sustainable. You can breastfeed your baby and you can meet your breastfeeding goals no matter what those are. Information is power!
Having a baby is so exciting! If this is your first baby, it’s not like anything you’ve ever done before. If it’s not your first, this baby’s birth still may not be anything like the first one. Preparing both mentally and physically is important and will make things easier when the time comes! Here are 7 things you can do to be more prepared for the arrival of your new little one:
Preparing both mentally and physically before the birth of your baby will make things easier when the time comes. Get excited! You’re having a baby!
Exercise and movement promoting flexibility can make such a difference in how you feel during pregnancy, how your labor develops, and in your recovery. One of my own favorite forms of exercise during my pregnancies was yoga. My hips always felt better and I could tell I moved better when I was practicing regularly.
While my usual MO for yoga was a video, we have amazing prenatal yoga options here in Indy. Mimi Sosa with YogaGarden is one I wish I’d know about then. She teaches prenatal yoga in Broad Ripple and also at IU North and a mommy and baby yoga class too! You can find more details on her class on her Facebook page.
Mimi is a registered teacher with Yoga Alliance and, according to her bio, studied with Rolf Gates, Paul Grilley, Sean Corn, Shiva Rea, and Tias Little. She is certified in prenatal yoga through Lisa Matkin and Sarah Longacre. She has been teaching prenatal yoga and mommy and baby yoga for the last 15 years and regular yoga classes for 18 years. She’s also a DONA certified doula like me and an all around really great person!
One of the big benefits to taking a prenatal yoga class over staying home in front of your TV, is that you get to meet other new moms-to-be. Having some connections and maybe new friends in the world of motherhood before baby arrives is a good thing. Check out Mimi’s class, the next sessions will be starting mid-February, gain some flexibility, some peace of mind, and maybe some new friends!
There are few things I’ve seen that make as big of a difference in labor and birth as chiropractic care. At one point, after a series of very long births, I considered only taking clients who were being seen by a chiropractor. I didn’t make that change but I do strongly suggest to all my clients that they see one. It makes that much of a difference.
Prenatal-specific chiropractic care during pregnancy helps address all the aches and pains that are considered normal. That low back pain? This will help. Having trouble with your pubic bone? This won’t solve it but it will help. Previous tail bone injury? This may make a big difference for you. Adjustments also help promote balance in the pelvis to provide baby with the most room to move around possible. This in turn encourages baby to move around and more easily move to the best possible position for birth as the time approaches.
In addition, continuing care after your pregnancy can help your body regain its normal balance as you adjust to no longer being pregnant. Your body make a big change in those 9 months of pregnancy and then a pretty quick one at birth. It takes time to heal and recover. Chiropractic care can aid in that recovery.
If you are looking for a chiropractor or would like to speak with one more about the services they offer, we have an abundance of wonderful chiropractors in our community that treat pregnant women. Here are a few that I highly recommend in no particular order:
Shrout Family Chiropractic in Carmel with Dr. Melissa Shrout & Dr. Tracy Reichert. They have a float tank too!
Rangeline Chiropractic in Carmel with Dr. Hilary Hushower
Sacred Spines with Dr. Kristen Hartwell. Her office is located inside Sacred Roots Birth Center on the west side.
Mommy & Me Chiropractic with Dr. Stephanie Muir located on the Southside.
Indy Kids Chiropractic in Castleton with Dr. Kristin Huber
Pala Chiropractic with Dr. Shawn Pala in Noblesville.
Himsel Chiropractic with Dr. Jared Himself in Noblesville.
Chiropractic during your pregnancy can make you more comfortable and shorten your labor. Even if this is something you’ve been skeptical of in the past, I encourage you to try during your pregnancy. Find someone you like. It could make a big difference in your comfort level now and birth later.
Interested in doula services? I'd love to work with you!
First and foremost, know that going past your due date is totally normal! Average first time babies come 8 days after their due date (so a lot come later than that too!) and second babies come an average of 3 days past their due date. Totally normal. It’s even not that unusual for a second baby to come later than the first baby. That’s particularly difficult because you expect things to be similar the second time around. I know this is not what you want to hear. You want to have your baby here and in your arms and for all these pregnancy symptoms to be behind you. But. Sit back. Relax. Your baby will come. Your body knows what to do. You will actually go into labor. I promise. Unless there is a complication, there’s no big rush! Babies come when babies come.
But…there are few things that can help things get rolling or at least give you something to do that might help so you don’t feel quite so frustrated by the waiting game.
These are all options to try that “can” get things moving. These can help increase the hormones in your body that prepare it for labor and bring about birth. Ultimately, until baby is ready and your hormones have reached that necessary peak baby’s not going to come. Be patient and if you have any questions or concerns related to your specific situation always talk to your care provider.
Interested in doula services? I'd love to work with you!
It is unbelievably hot. And some of you are pregnant. I’ve had a summer pregnancy. I thought I was going to die! But there are a few things that can help make it a little more bearable.
1) Water I’m talking more water than you ever knew one person could drink. And then drink some more. Staying hydrated is important all the time in the heat but especially while you are pregnant. Getting dehydrated can lead to early labor, low fluid around the baby, and low milk supply after baby is born. Drink your water!
2) Loose, Stretchy Clothes By the end of pregnancy maternity clothes are not fun anymore. At the beginning it’s pretty fun to have a good excuse to get a whole new wardrobe. By the end, you’ve worn the same few outfits so many times you can’t stand it. But when it’s this hot, there are a few things that can make it a little more bearable. Loose flowing tanks to fit over your every enlarging belly and fold over knit skirts are lifesavers. Not the maxi ones. This is no time for a floor length skirt! The knee length.
3) Anti Chafe Cream I know people have mixed results with these but less chafing is better than needing to wear shorts under those skirts and completely undoing their benefits!
4) Real Sandals Yes, flip flops are easy and everyone loves them but a real sandal that’s made to stay on your foot will help you avoid falls and joint injuries. Since pregnancy affects your balance and all the Relaxin hormone preparing your body for birth makes your joints more prone to injury, flip flops should probably not be your best friend this summer. No one wants to be hobbling around on a sore ankle while trying to care for a new baby.
5) Air Conditioning Yes, this is a given in our climate. But really, when it’s super hot, your best bet is to stay inside. If you can’t stay inside, make sure to take breaks where you can cool off regularly, sit down, and drink some more water. Pools or splash parks can make summer easier for pregnant mamas with other children too. They can play and you can cool off as needed.
Of course today looks like it's going to shape up to be a little cooler than it has been and looking at the forecast, it looks like the temperatures may be more reasonable for the next few weeks. We may find that our hottest days are behind us. At least we can hope! May you find these last days of a summer pregnancy just a little less challenging!
Adina Nelson, CD(DONA)
I am a birth & postpartum doula and chlidbirth educator practicing in North Idaho.
She was there every step of the way for me and my husband...I thank Adina for everything she helped us with. She truly is a special person and we will be forever grateful for her! ~Erin