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Sweet Pea Births

Chandler, Arizona

Sweet Pea Births

...celebrating every swee​t pea their birth

Blog

Q&A with SPB: Crying It Out

Posted on November 24, 2015 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (429)
It is so tempting to an exhausted parent...putting their Sweet Pea in a crib and closing the door to let them cry it out so that they can all get some sleep.  We encourage our students to nurture instead of ignore their infant's cry in class, and in today's VLOG we share why we suggest our students find other options:

What We Know About Crying It Out

This video was reported and taken down from YouTube today.  In it, I present information as we do in class: here is some information, here are some options. We trust that our students/readers/viewers are responsible adults that will make the best decision for their family. It is crazy that instead of engaging in a conversation about Crying It Out, someone in the Thought Police decided it was better for this information to be stuffed away into cyberspace.  I hope you can see it, and that the information in the video and the blog gives you a viewpoint to consider before you choose one way or another.

Posted by Sweet Pea Births on Tuesday, November 24, 2015























Here is the presentation we share in class:

For more reading on biological infant sleep patterns:
"Normal, Human Infant Sleep"  via
 Psychology Today http://bit.ly/QkH2Dr


Links to explore:
•Co-sleeping resource: Dr. McKenna http://cosleeping.nd.edu/

•Dr. Sears’ Website: http://www.askdrsears.com/

•Dr. Jay Gordon’s Sleep Information for Night Weaning AFTER ONE YEAR: http://drjaygordon.com/attachment/sleeppattern.html




Disclaimer: 
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: convenient to Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThe material included in this video is for informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The viewer should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog and video contain information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained in this video and on our blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 







Birth News

Posted on January 10, 2014 at 6:31 PM Comments comments (0)
Happy New Year!!  Wishing all of our readers many blessings as you welcome the new year.  I trust your holidays were wonderful and that you are looking forward to all the promise of a fresh slate.

These are probably going to keep being evening editions - thank you for your patience as we ramp up posting again in the New Year.  I am really placing a high value on being Peaceful Mama for my kiddos, which means that being on the computer is taking a back seat to homeschooling and teaching classes this season.  

I will be back in full swing soon - until then, please do not hesitate to contact me via email (krystyna{at}sweetpeabirths{dot}com) if you have any pressing questions about pregnancy, natural birth or breastfeeding!

Birth News
 
FERTILITY
NOTE: Please read this with a grain of salt - we have had students have beautiful, term babies even though they used IVF to attain pregnancy.  Simply shared as a tool for discussion with your care providers as you weigh the benefits and the risks.

IVF Pregnancies Are More Likely To Result In Stillbirth, Preterm Birth, Low Birthweight, Or Neonatal Death

Couples struggling with infertility often turn to assisted reproductive therapy in an effort to start the family of their dreams. A study out of the University of Adelaide’s Robinson Institute found that pregnancies conceived with assistance such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) are more likely to end in stillbirth, preterm birth, low birth weight, or neonatal death, compared with natural pregnancies.

"More research is now urgently needed into longer term follow-up of those who have experienced comprehensive perinatal disadvantage," said lead researcher Professor Michael Davies from the University of Adelaide's Robinson Institute. "Our studies also need to be expanded to include more recent years of treatment, as the technology has been undergoing continual innovation, which may influence the associated risks."

Medical Daily http://bit.ly/19V24Sc

PREGNANCY
NOTE:I am by no means suggesting that you *should* go get a flu shot – again, I am simply offering this as information to discuss with your care provider.  See what Dr. Sears has to say about the flu shot during pregnancy HERE and HERE 

Flu shots in pregnancy protect babies from being born too soon, Canadian studies show

Pregnant women who are vaccinated against the flu are significantly less likely to deliver premature or low-birth-weight babies compared to unvaccinated expectant mothers, new Canadian research finds.

Based on more than 12,000 women in Nova Scotia who gave birth in the immediate aftermath of the H1N1 flu pandemic, the study adds to mounting evidence that the flu can have “really detrimental effects for both mothers and their babies,” said first author Alexandra Legge, a fourth-year medical student at Dalhousie University in Halifax.

Ottowa Citizen http://bit.ly/1gqKeoL


BIRTH
Premature 'Water Breaking' During Pregnancy Linked to Bacteria

High levels of bacteria are associated with water breaking 
prematurely in pregnant women, a new study indicates.

Researchers arrived at their findings by analyzing samples of amniotic sacs (fetal membranes) from 48 women after they gave birth. The report is published in the Jan. 8 online issue of the journal PLoS One.

Nearly one-third of early deliveries are associated with premature rupture of fetal membranes, and it's important to learn more about why this happens, the researchers noted.

WebMD http://bit.ly/1d31rF3

POSTPARTUM

Is Placenta Encapsulation the Answer to Postpartum Depression?

It's a sad reality that a lot of moms are familiar with postpartum depression. For anyone that has suffered from this type of clinical depression, you know the impact it can have on both the lives of the individual suffering, and those around her. There have been studies upon studies to find a way to eradicate the symptoms; some have been proven helpful and others not so much. But what if you knew of something that could eradicate all the above? Something so simple, natural and readily available. Would you give it a try? What if that particular “something” just happened to be encapsulating your placenta and eating it? Ew. But what if it really worked?

Not only does it work, but it does much more than combat the “baby blues.” January Jones, Kim Kardashian, Tia Mowry-Hardrict and Tamara Mowry-Housely all rave about their experiences with encapsulation. Before you allow your stomach to churn, put down your lunch for a few moments and take a few moments to learn more about placenta encapsulation and postpartum depression.

Mommy Noire http://bit.ly/1gqI3By

BABY

New causes of diabetes in babies discovered

Scientists have found two new genetic causes of neonatal diabetes - a form of diabetes that occurs in the first 6 months of life. 

The research by the University of Exeter Medical School provides further insights on how the insulin-producing beta cells are formed in the pancreas. 

The team discovered that mutations in two specific genes which are important for development of the pancreas can cause the disease. 

Business Standard http://bit.ly/1a3eaX5

'Kangaroo Care' May Have Lasting Benefits for Human Babies 
 
At age 10, the children who had received maternal contact as infants slept better, showed better hormonal response to stress, had a more mature functioning of their nervous system and displayed better thinking skills.

LiveScience http://bit.ly/1gpnkyc

Preemies who cry a lot may have problems later on

Premature babies who cry a lot may be more likely than other preemies to have behaviour problems by the time they reach preschool, a new study suggests.

Experts said the reasons for the finding are not certain, and no one knows whether "interventions" to soothe preemies' crying would ward off behaviour issues later.

"In many ways, this study raises more questions than it answers," said Dr Andrew Adesman, chief of developmental and behavioural paediatrics at Steven & Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Centre in New Hyde Park, New York.

Health24 http://bit.ly/1iWKgZG

Doctors report uptick in number of babies with RSV, a respiratory virus, this flu season

For older children and adults, RSV is usually like a cold. Since there isn't a good vaccine against it, Dr. Starke says parents of babies should act fast if their baby has trouble breathing.

"You notice their chest going in and out, they're breathing rapidly, those kids need to be seen right away," he said.

Dr. Starke says there's no treatment for RSV, so parents may want to be extra cautious about taking their babies out in public during this RSV epidemic.

abc13.com http://bit.ly/1gqJ8cC

BREASTFEEDING
Study Links Breastfeeding to Lower Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis

The latest study documented in the journal Rheumatology, was conducted on more than 7,000 older Chinese women. It revealed that breastfeeding was strongly related to a reduced risk of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Mothers who breastfed, their risk of rheumatoid arthritis came down by almost half compared to those who never breastfed.

There were studies conducted prior to this that focused on the association between breastfeeding and RA, but the results produced were mixed.  It is a well known fact that breastfeeding benefits infants. But there has been growing evidence that breastfeeding has a positive impact on the health of the mothers too. This latest cross sectional study examined the association between breastfeeding and RA and also on the intake of oral contraceptives.

Science World Report http://bit.ly/1iWMTKQ


Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.




Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson

Keeping Sweet Pea Healthy 2012

Posted on December 11, 2012 at 3:30 AM Comments comments (0)
December is here and it’s time for my yearly PSA on protecting your baby from respiratory viruses.  When there is a newborn in the house, everyone wants to come over to meet the baby!!  They are pretty hard to resist.

Bruss and I are big advocates for our children, especially the youngest members of our family, during cold and flu season.  Our Night Owl had a life-threatening experience with RSV when he was three months old, and that has made us painfully aware just how fragile our sweet peas can be. 

We have three sweet peas from our Fall 2012 class that we have not met yet because we have been passing around a cold for the last month at the Bowman House.  Otter finally succumbed yesterday, and in her, this cold manifested as croup.  A sobering reminder that an infant’s health is so much more important than our selfish desire to see the babies – I shudder to think what would have happened if we had seen those babies over the past weekend when the virus was active with no symptoms yet.

You can click HERE to read last year’s PSA with a list of precautions you can take to minimize your sweet pea’s exposure to germs.  I list 5 concrete steps to Keep Sweet Pea Healthy in that post.  In a nutshell, limit exposure and practice good hand washing.

This year, I want to take some time this year to share polite ways to insist that people who are not healthy keep their germs to themselves and away from your children.  It is unfortunate that people really do not understand how devastating their “little cold”, sniffle or runny nose can be to a child with small airways and an evolving immune system.

THE Announcement
Here is wording you can work into the text of an announcement via email or social media:
We respectfully request that you keep our child’s health in mind when planning your visit with us. As much as we are excited to introduce [Sweet Pea] to our closest friends and family, we also need your help in keeping him/her healthy.  If you are feeling unwell, or have been exposed to a fever within the last 24 hours, we ask that you reschedule your visit.  We will understand if you choose not to come due to illness and will look forward to seeing you when you are in full health.

People Want to Meet Sweet Pea
Here is a polite way to screen people when you talk to them on the phone and they want to come for a visit.  The reason I suggest asking people to wait a couple of days from the call is because a person can be contagious before the symptoms of infection are obvious.
Q: When can we come see you?
A:  We are resting and recovering right now.  As long as you are in full health, we would be happy to see you in a couple of days.  We completely understand if that day arrives and you need to reschedule if you are not feeling well.  As much as we want you to meet [Sweet Pea], keeping him/her healthy is our first priority.

How about if you are planning a gathering with a mixed bag of guests and an infant is going to be in attendance?
You can either mention your position on attending in full health when people RSVP, or you can send out an email a few days before the event to the guests that combines the ideas listed above:
We are so excited to celebrate with you on [date, time].  Since we have infants in attendance, their health is our priority.  If you are feeling unwell, or have been exposed to a fever within the last 24 hours, we ask that you refrain from attending.  We will understand if you choose not to come due to illness and will look forward to celebrating [occasion] with you when you are in full health.

I hope that these sample phrases give you some ideas to tactfully ask your family and friends to put your child’s health needs first.  As for my favorite public request, this is still my favorite for the times when you need and/or want to get out of the house:

Sign for Car Seat or Carrier
Sign for Car Seat or Carrier
www.healthylittleones.com
 You can purchase your own boy or girl themed card HERE http://www.healthylittleones.com/OnTheGo.html

The unfortunate reality is that someone may take offense – and that is too bad for them if they put their needs ahead of your child’s needs.  Health is something we all take for granted until we are faced with the harsh reality of how fragile life really is.  Your baby is counting on you to be their voice until they find theirs.  It is hard to regret putting their needs first when you consider the alternative.


RSV
RSV
Day 4: By this time, some of Night Owl's tubes had already been taken out.
RSV
RSV
Nurses working to straighten the remaining lines
RSV
RSV
Unhooked and still sedated

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson



















So speak up and advocate for your children.  We wish you the best and a healthy season this year!




Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Silicone Necklaces for Teething

Posted on November 20, 2012 at 2:56 PM Comments comments (1)
It’s amazing how the “can’t live without” products end up being the little ones.  I recently had a friend call me, looking for the “wow” gift she could purchase as a baby shower gift.  I laughed out loud because my favorite, go-to gift is a “wow” gift – just not the way she was thinking of.
She asked me which one baby product I could not live without, and it’s THIS ONE.  As a matter of fact, I had just pulled it to the front of our bathroom closet the day she called in preparation for the cold and flu season.

We just found another “mama must-have” in our book.  Nursing “Otter”, who is an active one-year old is a challenge.  So is wearing said teething one-year old in a baby carrier.  Either her hands, or her gums and hands, want to stay busy.  Before we started using a silicone necklace, my breasts and my face were bearing the brunt of her busy-ness.

Here is a picture of the adorable owl pendant I bought recently:

I opted for the less-expensive silicone pendant to “try out” the product.  As most of us are doing our best to be pennywise these days, it did not make sense to purchase a full-circle beaded necklace just in case Otter was not going to be entertained by my new purchase. I have had it for over a week now and it is still a winner!!

The soft pendant keeps Otter’s hands busy when she is nursing.
When I am babywearing her, her gums are satisfied when she wants to chew on something.  She also finds it engaging in her own hands.  She can spend ten minutes (IMO, a long attention span in the realm of one-year olds) putting it on over her head and then taking it off again.  It was just enough time for me to take in a presentation at an event we attended.

The storeowner’s concern about the full-circle beaded necklaces was in regards to her customers with long hair.  She herself sports long locks, so before she placed an order, she purchased one necklace from the vendor and wore it on the plane when she was on the way home from the trade show.  She was traveling home with her children, one of whom is still a nursling.  Add the potential aggravation of a hair-pinching necklace to that trip…and she was pleasantly surprised to discover that the individually tied beads DID NOT pinch her long hair.  The texture and novelty of the necklace kept her nursling entertained when he was not breastfeeding.  She placed a full order for the store when she got home!

The last question I had before I bought wholeheartedly into the silicone jewelry was, “Is it safe?”  If you have read our recent posts, you know I have had a Toxin Epiphany Moment.

As both of these products are “Made in China”, I was relieved to read this on the product sites:
“Jellystone Designs has regular independent toxicity testing.”

From Chewbeads:
“Chewbeads are sent to an independent US material testing lab to ensure that they meet or exceed all current and upcoming standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.cpsc.gov). The tests prove that both the materials and the design of the product are completely safe for your baby while under adult supervision.”

Given the shaky history of Chinese manufacturing (read THIS NYT article), I am feeling hopeful about companies that claim to have their products tested on a regular basis.  I have sent emails asking the companies to define what “regular” means to them, and once I get that, I will update this post.

As to be expected, there is conflicting information out on the Internet.  You might want to read THIS *pro* article and THIS *con* article, for starters.  I must put on my Bradley Method® teacher’s hat and remind our students and readers that it is up to you to decide what is safe for your family and make the choice that you feel comfortable with.

The final deciding factor for me?  Thank goodness my favorite research site is back up and running!  Silicone oil rates a “0” on the EWG toxicity scale.  YEAH!!

Keep in mind that the primary purpose of this jewelry is to comfort a teething baby by giving them something to chew on.  After reading that silicone has the potential to break down over time, and that perhaps the chemicals that are used to make the silicone leach out, I think that we will be replacing them as recommended as per the Jellystone designs recommendation HERE:
“For continuous use as a chewing/sucking substitute, we recommend to discard after 6 months, or if any irregularities occur.”

Jellystone Designs
Jellystone Designs
Jellystone Designs
Jellystone Designs
Choices in Chewbeads
Chewbeads
Chewbeads
Chewbeads
Chewbeads
Chewbeads
So our family has found another “mama’s favorite”.  In the grand scheme of baby shower gifts, it is small in size.  What a perfect time to pull out the age old quote, “Great things come in small packages!”

If I had to come up with a marketing campaign, I would call these products wearable baubles that are the perfect mix of fashion and function.  I have posted a picture gallery so you can see some of the options that are available.  These are from the inventory at the store where we teach our lessons, Modern Mommy Boutique.

Puma wants me to buy the silicone bracelet three-pack, and I am going to think about which color I want for a full necklace.  We are planning to make our purchases on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday.  If you are local and want to take advantage of the great deals, see the bottom of this post.

I hope you enjoy looking at the options from the product gallery, and here is the lowdown on the products as per their websites:
Some info from the Jellystone Designs website:
  • Jellystone Designs jewellery is free from BPA, Phthalates and PVC with a fabulous soft-feel and texture. Our practical jewellery products are suitable for modern women with (or without) children.
  • The necklace range includes BPA-free large, chunky pendants and necklaces secured with practical break-away clasps. Our custom-designed clasps separate easily when tugged or snagged.
  • These silicone jewellery pieces not only look great, but also are a non-toxic alternative to regular costume jewellery.

0Some info from the Chewbeads website:
  • Beads are made with 100% silicone (similar to pacifiers & nipples)
  • Soft on babies gums and emerging teeth
  • Easily cleaned with dish soap & water, also dishwasher safe!
  • No BPA, PVC, Phthalates, Cadmium, or Lead
  • Necklaces have a breakaway clasp for added safety
  • Necklaces are a great sensory tool to help your baby focus while nursing
  • Bracelets are a colorful reminder of which side you've just nursed

Are you ready to try out one of these necklaces?  And, do you live in the Phoenix, Arizona area?

If so, you can come pick one out at Modern Mommy Boutique and take advantage of these shopping specials at the end of November, 2012:

Black Friday, November 23, 2012
  • From 8 am to 12 pm 25% off entire store

Small Business Saturday, November 24, 2012
  • From 8 am to 12 pm: Buy 1 get 1 half off ANY Kicky Pants, 25% off any diaper bag, 25% off all bras, 15% off all other items in store
  • From 12 pm to 6 pm: 15% off entire store

Modern Mommy Boutique
3355 W. Chandler Blvd, Suite 3
Chandler, AZ 85526
480-857-7187

LINK LIST
Jellystone designs
Site http://www.jellystonedesigns.com/index.php
FAQ http://www.jellystonedesigns.com/index.php/faq

Chewbeads
Site http://www.chewbeads.com/index2.php
FAQ http://www.chewbeads.com/faq.php

NYTimes Article on Chinese manufacturing and recalls
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/02/business/02toy.html

Article for silicone’s safety
http://guide.thesoftlanding.com/faq-what-is-silicone/

Article arguing against safety
http://www.safbaby.com/is-silicone-in-baby-products-and-bakeware-really-safe

EWG Skin Deep Database
http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/ingredient/705931/SILICONE_OIL/


Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, Payson


One Size Does Not Fit All

Posted on April 6, 2012 at 12:14 PM Comments comments (3)
Hello, students and friends…Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all.
 
Here is a picture of our kiddos taken in time to share for the holidays…some days, I still cannot believe we are parents to four children!

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale
©2012 Marriott Photography
 
Which brings me to today’s topic – one size fits all parenting.  I saw a picture on Facebook that raised my red flag radar.  As an advocate of natural birth and attachment parenting, I love seeing things that reinforce my beliefs.  At the same time, I am concerned when people take those beliefs too far and attribute authority that stretches the truth.
 
Here is the claim I question – my issue is with the front of the card (top half of the picture):
The things listed on the top half of the card may be true and I do not endorse the ideas ascribed to the Ezzos or Babywise.  In fairness, I did some poking around because while I wanted to believe it, I was incredulous that a professional organization would single out one singular set of ideas to be harmful.  Maybe one pediatrician – but all of the “powers that be” agreed?  Does it sound realistic to you that a group made up of doctors could agree on any one thing in regards to parenting? 
 
I found the article that was published against the Babywise principles, of particular concern is the concept of Parent-Directed Feeding (PDF).  Yes, it was in the AAP News.  Fact check: the article is in the commentary section.  I also found a pediatrician who published in favor of those principles.  Surprise! It’s the co-author of On Becoming Babywise – he justifies his positions.  To balance it all out, I share three links from the “official” AAP in regards to breastfeeding practices – all the links are below today’s post.

My ire with the top half of the card is due in one part to the leap it takes in justifying their opinion on how parents should "parent".  A commentary in a journal does not represent the whole organization.  Secondly, based on the anecdotal experiences of  our students: “one size fits all” parenting is unrealistic.  Just because it is “peaceful” doesn’t make it fundamentally right for all families; just as being found in a published book doesn’t make ideas fundamentally correct and unquestionable.
 
I can support the second half of the card.  As a believer in baby-led feeding, I absolutely nurse and have nursed our children when they show the initial signs of hunger, and these are outlined in the AAP Breastfeeding Policy statement, ©2003, Rev 2005:
  • Rooting
  • Fist to mouth
  • Early Arousal
 
The AAP recommended breastfeeding practice specifically states that, "Crying is a late hunger sign". If you have been reading my posts, you know I am not a fan of crying it out, either.  I propose that neither PDF or crying it out follows the signals put in place by Mother Nature for a mother to respond to her baby.  And as Dr. Bradley used to say, “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature”.  But – but – but – these beliefs and choices work for me. 

As an instructor of The Bradley Method®, I advocate for natural birth, and as an extension, other natural living choices.  However, I am a firm believer that whatever the situation or topic, it’s up to every family to choose what is right for them.  Our mantra to every parent is to make the decisions that lead to a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome - at birth and beyond.

I have the luxury of living for my children since I have a phenomenal support system.  Nursing and wearing my children in a carrier, as they need to be and want to be, works for me.  My husband bought into the concept of exclusively breastfeeding thanks to our first Bradley Method® instructors presentation on the advantages of breastfeeding; he has always helped in the ways he can to support our choice to breastfeed.  We also noticed that our babies, when close to me, are much happier when awake and sleep longer when they are against my chest.  Bruss’ work affords us a housekeeper so I can focus on the children’s needs and not our home.  We have lots of other help from family and friends – so living to breastfeed and wear our children works for me.

While I am happy to hear that other moms can live for their babies like I do, I know that this doesn’t work for everyone.  And that is okay!  Each family needs to work out a system that works for their parameters.

For example... what about the family that has to do chores?  Or the mom whose husband doesn’t help to make the breastfeeding relationship an easy one?  Or maybe the people around mom are unsympathetic to the trials and tribulations of the bf learning curve - even with subsequent children, each relationship is unique.  Consider the mom who has to or wants to work outside of the home.  These moms may have to make different choices.  If a mom needs to choose her sanity or her sleep, some kind of schedule is a survival mechanism for her. 
 
I cannot support Ezzo’s assertion that a baby’s night feedings are trained out after 8 weeks of age.  However, as Dr. Bucknam points out, a mom that is sleep-deprived needs to sleep in the interest of her long-term health.  From my email exchanges with Dr. Christina Smillie, I have learned that the respectful quantifier is “appropriate developmental age…so here goes:
  • A mom that needs her sleep might consider working with her baby to sleep longer when baby is at an appropriate developmental age.  This allows mom to rest so she can function as mom and milk-supplier at home, and still fulfill her duties to her work outside of the home.
 
So parents – I ask you to trust your instincts.  A child that receives love, food and sleep is likely to thrive.  What works for you when it comes to feeding you child, or in regards to other childhood topics?  Have you researched your choice so that you know the pros and cons?  Are you comfortable with that decision or do you need to research some more? You are the final arbiter between what works for your family – you get to choose what the best approach is for you. 
 
No one else knows your baby and your situation like you do.  When it comes to “experts” telling you what to do, I offer the La Leche League idea: Treat it as a buffet – put the ideas you like or what you think might work for you on your plate, and leave the rest of the ideas on the table.
 
How have you negotiated the sleep-feeding cycle with your child(ren)?  
 
Link List:
The card designer is quoting this article published in the Commentary section of Vol. 14 No. 4 April 1, 1998, pp. 21:
and another blog post on the subject:
 
And here is the position paper written refuting the claim that all pediatricians are opposed to Babywise written by the co-author of On Becoming Babywise:
 
What the AAP Statement organization actually says:

 
Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

 

Some Postpartum Strategies

Posted on November 18, 2011 at 3:09 PM Comments comments (28)
On Tuesday I posted some ideas to avoid birth trauma, mental anguish and physical distress during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding.  It is by no means a complete list, however it’s a good starting point for thought and action. 
 
As a general rule, the fewer interventions you have during your birth, the easier your breastfeeding relationship will be to establish.  This leads to a mom who recovers from her birth experience feeling competent in her abilities to nourish her child.  If mom is physically well and mentally well after her birth experience, she is less likely to have postpartum depression, which has been known for years as the “baby blues”. 
 
So what do you do after baby arrives and you are adjusting to life with a newborn? 

The best way to figure out what works for you is to embrace two ideas:
1.  Baby has three needs that need to be met: (s)he wants to be fed, clean & dry and loved.
2.  Mom has three needs, too: she needs to be rested, fed and loved.
 
Ask yourself what has to happen so your needs can be met, and make you fully available to meet the needs of your baby.  As adults, we all have different ideas of what being loved means.  Can you write a postpartum plan that makes you feel loved and nurtured?
 
Here are some ideas that I have learned, heard shared at Birth Circle and from moms in our classes. 
 
Encapsulate your placenta
This is at the top of my list because we just had the easiest postpartum ever.  If you are feeling well emotionally, everything else that comes with the postpartum period is so much easier to handle.
 
We had our placenta encapsulated using the traditional Chinese method.  The theory is that the body is in a warm state when a woman is pregnant, and cold when she is not.  By taking the placenta pills on a daily basis and weaning yourself down over the weeks following the baby’s birth-day, the body gently transitions back to a cold state. 
 
I will write more about our experience is another post.  For your info today, here are the benefits listed on our encapsulator’s website: increase a mother’s energy levels postpartum, help to regulate hormones (especially thyroid), increase milk supply, reduce pain and expedite healing.  Who wouldn’t want these benefits?  My only regret is that we don’t have more of these “happy pills”.  I wish we had done this with our other births.
 
Ask for help
This is a hard one for many of us.  We take pride in being self-sufficient and getting things done, so “admitting” that we can’t do it all is a big step on our journey.  How big is your list of things you get done every day and/or week?  Evaluate it with the “Drop-Delegate-Do” approach.  What are the things that you can let go for a few weeks?  What are things that you can delegate?  What is left that you need to do?
 
Once you have that list pared down to what you need to do, look at it again.  Who can do that list for you for at least the first week, if not two, after your baby is born?  As I mentioned earlier, sleep and rest are the two biggest gifts you can give yourself after your baby is born.  Your body heals when you are sleeping.  Your mind resets when you are sleeping.  All your systems function better when you allow yourself to recover, and birth is an athletic event – for some of us, the most demanding event in which we will ever participate.
 
This idea is much harder to grasp with your first child.  It’s hard to believe that having a baby is going to have as big an impact on our bodies and our lives as we hear it will.  There is so much unknown: what will I feel, how tired can I really be, will I be in pain, will I be a good mother? These anxieties, on top of feeling immensely uncomfortable at the end of pregnancy, may lead to sleepless nights even before baby arrives.  As I hope you can see, making sleep a priority after baby arrives is a key to setting yourself up for a better postpartum period.
 
Here is the advice I share with our students who are neat-freaks like me.  I suggest that they figure out which one room their well-being rests with – which dirty room sends you “over the edge”?  Make keeping that room clean the priority.  My husband and my mom were great at keeping our kitchen clean, and that made it easier for me to let go of the mess in the rest of the house.  After a couple of weeks, you can start keeping your house again with some of your pre-pregnancy vigor without sacrificing sleep and your sanity.

Another area in which you should ask for help is with any breastfeeding concerns or challenges.  Unless you saw someone breastfeeding on a regular basis and learned how they did it, there is a low probability that a breastfeeding class here or there, or reading online or a book will give you the answers you need.  Peer-to-peer help or paid help are both available.  Get help!  Debbie Gillespie, IBCLC, RLC has some very informative posts on our blog - but your best bet is to see her or another warm, informed body in person!!
 
A postpartum doula is a great option if you don’t have family or friends available to help you rest and recover after the baby arrives.  The ideal situation would allow both mom and dad time to sleep and enjoy their new baby while other people take care of them.  Your baby is only a newborn once!
 
Food glorious food
Food is paramount on the list of things that make postpartum easier.  Mom needs to eat to recover and to nourish baby, Dad needs to eat to stay happy and have the energy to take care of mom and baby, and if there are other children in the family, they need to be fed, too.
 
Meals:
(1) Consider making double portions of your meals when you are two weeks out from your estimated due date.  Freeze the extras – make sure you date and label the food because it looks different when it’s frozen!  You can also have a cooking day and make big batches of one-dish meals to be frozen.  It is easier to defrost if you freeze it in portion size and/or prepare it in containers that can go from freezer to oven (conventional or microwave might make a difference as you do you planning).

(2)  Meals make great baby gifts!  You can have a sign up sheet at your baby shower, or maybe your church or a dear friend will organize meals after the baby arrives.  The folks who sign up can be organized via on-line methods these days.  This was one of the most cherished gifts we received as we adjusted to being and feeding a family of six.

(3)  Prepare a list of your favorite take out places and make sure you have extra copies.  One of our moms shared this idea in class – she gave a copy to her husband and he would call orders in for dinner on the way home from work.  If you don’t think your partner knows what you would like, also include your order next to the name, address and phone number for your favorite take-out restaurants.  Some of them even deliver – score!
 
Breastfeeding:
Bradley Method® students who keep up with their nutrition tracking are very aware of what they eat on a daily basis.  We suggest that our students keep on tracking, or at least stay aware of their intake for a minimum of four weeks after baby arrives.  If the baby is going to have any reaction to what you eat, it’s easier to figure out what to take out if you are keeping track.  One of our moms offered this information:  If it’s an allergy, it takes time for the body to show signs since it’s an immune response.  It it’s a reaction, its usually immediate and you’ll know within 24 hours if your baby’s gut didn’t like what you ate. 
 
An allergy to a food is something you would have to cut out of your diet long-term – baby’s skin can be an indicator if there is a rash or irritation that doesn’t go away, another sign I have heard anecdotally is blood and/or mucus in the stool.  A reaction indicates food you need to take out for a little while and try again later when you are willing to risk the side effects: vomiting, fussiness, more gas than normal are signs that your baby wasn’t ready for what you ate and you can try again later.
 
Another breastfeeding or feeding older sibling tip is to have snack food readily available and packed in serving sizes.  Carrot sticks, cheese sticks, nuts, granola, protein snack bars are all good ideas for food that will nourish without sending your sugar (or your children’s) spiking before a crash.  For a more complete list, check out my post on labor food ideas – the same foods will work postpartum.
 
My crunchy friends are really good about packing these snacks in reusable containers.  Personally, I sacrifice a little environment during the postpartum period to save time and water doing dishes, and we pack food in snack size bags so that the kids can throw the bag out when they are done.  Dad can spend about an hour once a week stocking the snack shelf and once you are feeling up to it, you can take over and do it as long as you feel a need for nursing snacks.
 
The underlying idea is to make them grab-and-go so that you can eat a little something every time you nurse to keep your nutrition where it needs to be to nourish your growing child.  Nursing is a great appetite builder, as hunger is a great mood downer – so do what you can to stay fed between meals.
 
I am going to have to wrap up here today.  Part of my postpartum plan is to sleep at night so that I am “Happy Mommy” during the day – none of us like seeing “Cranky Mommy” – she is no fun!!  Which means that I am no longer carving writing time out of my sleeping hours and I have four kiddos clamoring for attention at lunchtime.  I have left lots of idea room for our readers – please fill in the rest of this list:
 
If you are a new mommy, what are the questions you have that I didn’t address in todays or Tuesdays post?
 
If you are already a mommy, what are postpartum tips do you have to share?

Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Keeping Sweet Pea Healthy

Posted on November 11, 2011 at 4:57 AM Comments comments (0)
RSV experience
RSV experience
This is on day four of hospitalization - many of the tubes had already come out.
RSV experience
RSV experience
This is on day four of hospitalization - many of the tubes had already come out.
RSV experience
RSV experience
Checking out all the meds and straightening out the lines.
RSV experience
RSV experience
Day 5 - Breathing is stabilized and now we just need oxygen to keep the levels up in his body.
As we enter cold and flu season, I am compelled to write about RSV and some protective measures you can take to protect infants from this vicious virus.  Bruss and I are big advocates for our children, especially the youngest members of our family, during cold and flu season.  Our Night Owl had a life-threatening experience with RSV when he was three months old, and that has made us painfully aware just how fragile our sweet peas can be. 

(Picture notes: Night Owl made a more rapid recovery than most children - he was only intubated four days.   We credit that to the fact he was covered in prayer across the country, and he got breast milk in his feeding tube!)
 
When someone with a cold coughs or sneezes, they spread droplets of cold germs on nearby surfaces.  Those germs can live for hours.  If they are near us, the germs can fall on our skin or clothing.  If they were in a space before us, we unknowingly touch the infected surfaces and then infect ourselves with the same cold virus.  While these viruses are around throughout the year, they thrive in the chilly, dry air of winter.  The critical mass makes the amount of people showing symptoms of a cold or a flu infection more noticeable during the winter months.
 
“RSV” stands for respiratory syncytial virus, a common, easily spread virus.  It causes excessive fluid build up in the lungs.  It is not devastating to an older child or an adult because they have the capacity for a strong sneeze, and the ability to blow their nose to clear the congestion. 
 
An infant lacks both of these mechanisms to clear the fluid from their lungs.  Therefore, the fluid builds up and the breathing gets more and more labored.  As we found out, higher altitudes add additional stress to the lungs and cause them to fail faster.  What we believed to be a simple cold turned out to be RSV.  Our son’s right lung collapsed and he spent four days at Phoenix Children’s Hospital fighting for his life.
 
If you have had a baby within the last year, please take this information to heart.  Do not be afraid to tell people they cannot touch or hold your baby if you haven’t seen them wash their hands before asking or reaching for your child.  Be courageous for your child – you are the only one who can speak for them when they do not have words to protect themselves.  You can help them get through this season in good health with some simple precautions. For some communication ideas to use with family or friends, READ THIS.
 
RSV Disease Symptoms to watch for:
     -    Coughing or wheezing that does not stop
     -    Fast breathing or gasping for breath
     -    Spread-out nostrils and/or caved-in chest when trying to breathe
     -    A bluish color around the mouth or fingernails
     -    A fever: in infants under 3 months of age, a fever greater than
          100.4 deg F rectal is cause for concern
 
If you see your baby exhibiting any of these symptoms, get them to the pediatrician's office or to a care facility right away.  A swab test can be done to determine whether your baby has been infected with RSV.  Early treatment can head off the worst effects of this disease and shorten your hospital stay, if not avoid it altogether.
 
Precautions we learned the hard way:
Wash your hands thoroughly before touching your baby and ask others to do the same.  This is especially important if you have been out in public touching shopping carts or other high-touch surfaces (handrails, ATM's, refrigerator handles, doorknobs, computer keyboards, telephone handsets).  I included some tips for hand washing from WebMD at the end of this post.  Don’t have access to a sink before unloading your groceries or after handling cash?  Have hand sanitizer readily available – attach a bottle to your diaper bag or keep some sanitizing wipes in your car that you can use before touching your baby.
 
Do not let anyone smoke in your home, or near your baby.  Second-hand smoke irritates the lining of the lungs; specifically, it has been found to damage the surfactant that makes breathing possible. (See Link 2)  Damaging that lining on top of dangerous germs makes for a sick baby who can’t breathe well.
 
Wash your baby’s toys, clothes an bedding often.  In order to effectively kill germs, the water temperature needs to be between 140 – 150 degrees F.  Most people don’t turn their water heaters up that high, and even if they do, that water temperature is hard on fabrics.  If you can, use bleach with your detergent when you wash clothing and bedding.  If you prefer not to use bleach on fabrics, you can run a cycle with hot water and bleach to clean your washing machine after washing 3-5 loads of laundry.  This will kill the germs in the machine and theoretically you have cleaner clothes since you aren’t washing germy items in a germy machine.
 
Keep your baby away from people with colds, crowds and young children.  Keeping away from a person with a cold seems pretty obvious.  However, when that person with a cold is the loving relative who came all the way to see the baby, it is harder to say no.  Head off the uncomfortable situation by making it very clear that people need to be healthy when they come visit your baby.  We let people know that if they have been exposed to a person with a fever or have had a fever themselves in the 24 hours before coming to visit, we would appreciate seeing them another time. 
 
Crowds and young children follow from that idea.  It is impossible to know who has been exposed to what and when that exposure happened in both situations, so the best choice is to avoid them altogether.  As the respiratory therapist at Phoenix Children’s told us, “Don’t go to church or [insert big box store name here] during flu season” since people will go to both places whether they are sick or healthy, and both places are frequented by young children. Between poor hygiene habits and exposure to germs through toy and space sharing with other children, these kiddos are walking germ factories during cold and flu season.
 
My favorite way to kindly ask people to keep their hands off comes in the form of a sign from Healthy Little Ones.  Click here to see what this mom-preneur has to offer.
 
Change your clothes and wash your hands when real life interferes.  You will have to venture out to the grocery store at some point this season, and some of us still do our holiday shopping in high-traffic areas.  When you do have to go out, take precautions when you come home.  If possible, arrange for another parent or caregiver to stay with your baby when you need to go out.  Anybody who goes out should change all their clothes when they come back from shopping.  Here is the way it goes down at our house: once we get home, we strip in the laundry room and get the clothes into the washer.  Then we wash our hands and put on clean clothes.  It makes for extra laundry; however, we have been fairly fortunate in avoiding nasty colds the last couple of years.
 
I hope these ideas help you avoid any emergency room visits and/or hospital stays.  We wish you and your sweet pea good health this season.
 
Do you have any cold-prevention tips to share with us? Please help us add to our list by leaving a comment below.
 
 
From WebMD:
Washing your hands for cold prevention
  1. Wet your hands with water, then apply soap. CDC guidelines advise using a plain,
    non-antimicrobial soap (no antiseptic ingredients).
  2. Rub your hands together vigorously for 15-30 seconds. Wash the wrists, between the fingers, and under the fingernails. When you have time, use a nailbrush, as bacteria often hide under the nails.
  3. Rinse your hands thoroughly and dry with a clean towel in a public restroom, shut the faucet off with a paper towel.
  4. Try to push the door open with your shoulder, or use another paper towel to turn the knob.
 
What if you are not near a sink?
Keep an alcohol-based sanitizer for hands if a sink is unavailable. Rub your hands until they are dry.  The alcohol in the gel kills the germs on your hands.
 
Reference and Related Links:
(1) RSV Information
 
(2) Second hand smoke research
 
(3) Tips on washing your clothes and cleaning your washing machine
 
(4) WebMD on Handwashing
 
Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 


 

Newborn jaundice

Posted on November 8, 2011 at 2:58 PM Comments comments (58)
We are back from our babymoon!  It has been a wonderful five weeks of enjoying our baby instead of doing all of the regular day-to-day activities.  I didn’t do any blog writing or homeschooling through this time…we are slowly getting back to our routine.  We have continued on with our class series and all of our students have seen our baby grow into her 12-pound, 1-ounce weight and 24 inch length in the last five weeks.  Breast-milk is nature’s perfect food!!
 
Which brings me to one of the topics that we covered briefly at the end of class last night.  One of our Coaches asked if we are going to spend some time talking about jaundice.  The topic of jaundice has actually affected the care and breastfeeding relationship of three students in the last six months, up from absolutely none since we started teaching.
 
As with many things involving pregnancy, labor and newborn care, it is imperative that parents do their research and know where they stand before they arrive at the hospital.  Although complications from jaundice are rare, true complications lead to irreversible neurological damage to the child.  Because treatment is available and the damage is preventable, charges of substandard care or neglect are plausible.  Thus hospitals and pediatricians are pro-active and aggressive in their treatment of jaundice.

I have to ask myself why I am seeing red instead of yellow when it comes to jaundice treatment.  Answer: because pro-active and aggressive care that is not truly medically necessary can separate babies from the nurturing breast of their mother and the loving arms of their parents.  This can have a long-term and possibly negative effect on the breastfeeding relationship and family bonding.
 
“Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that is created as the body gets rid of old red blood cells. The liver helps break down bilirubin so that it can be removed from the body in the stool.”  (See Link 1 below)
Bilirubin in and of itself is beneficial to the body.  It is a bacteriostatic agent, meaning that it stops bacteria from reproducing.  This is a good thing in a newborn’s body – we want bacterial growth to be inhibited in our precious babies, especially if they are exposed to hospital germs.  It is also an anti-oxidant that inhibits the growth of free radicals in the body.  Free radicals cause damage or death to a cell, so inhibiting their growth is again, a good thing.
 
The condition known as jaundice is diagnosed because the skin, and maybe the sclera (the “white of your eyes”), look yellow-tinged.  An excess of bilirubin causes the condition.  It takes a few days for the body to process bilirubin effectively, however, as the newborn gets their systems “on-line”, the liver becomes efficient at processing the bilirubin and the yellowish pigment of the skin and eyes goes away.
 
Jaundice can be considered pathologic or physiologic.  The distinction in diagnosing which type of jaundice your baby has is determined by when the jaundice is noted in the newborn. 
 
Pathologic jaundice, which occurs within 24 hours of a child’s birth, needs to be treated immediately to avoid the neurological injury called “kernicterus”.  Kernicterus happens when an accumulation of bilirubin in certain brain regions causes irreversible damage to those areas.  It manifests as various neurological deficits, seizures, abnormal reflexes and abnormal eye movements.
 
Physiologic jaundice, which occurs on or around the second or third day after birth, is not generally considered dangerous and occurs in almost all newborns.  In the case of physiologic jaundice, the bilirubin levels never rise to the point of causing permanent injury to the child.  The bilirubin functions, as it should: ridding the body of bacteria and free radicals, and eliminating them through the baby’s stools.
 
There are two ways to treat jaundice.  If bilirubin levels are on what your pediatrician considers a safe increase, phototherapy may be the treatment of choice.  If the bilirubin reading is borderline dangerous or at dangerous levels, a blood transfusion is the quickest way to reduce bilirubin levels; and more than one may be indicated.
 
As I read up on jaundice in preparation for writing today’s post, I was so glad to read that many medical professionals agree that there is NO REASON TO STOP BREASTFEEDING your baby.  I put it in caps because I feel it is important for parents to know they are supported in their right and their desire to breastfeed their child.  Breastfeeding is not the same as supplementing with breast-milk in a bottle, or substituting with inferior formula products.
 
Since this is not a medical blog, I am going to add in some vocabulary words that you may want to add to your list of “things to research”, and listen for them as your baby is evaluated for jaundice. I will close with an excerpt from a site that delineates when parents should be concerned, and with some suggested links to serve as a starting point for additional reading.
 
Exchange transfusion – used to rapidly remove bilirubin from circulation
 
Hyperbilirubinemia - increased levels of bilirubin in the extracellular fluid
 
Intensive phototherapy – uses blue light for treatment of jaundice – can be an “incubator” or a blanket (note: you could hold your baby on your lap if you use a blanket)
 
Phototherapy – standard treatment for jaundice: at home, daily exposure to indirect sunlight; in a hospital setting, most commonly uses fluorescent white light 
 
TSB – total serum bilirubin
 
Transcutaneous – noninvasive techniques for measuring bilirubin levels
 
Note:
If the bilirubin concentration is found to be greater than 10 mg/dL in a pre-term infant, or greater than 18 mg/dL in a term infant, additional testing will be done.  Here is a list of what those additional tests might be: Hct, blood smear, reticulocyte (red blood cell) count, direct Coombs’ test, G6PD test, TSB and direct serum bilirubin concentrations, and blood type and Rh group of infant and mother.
 
When you are evaluating what course of testing or treatment to follow for jaundice, remember the following assessment tool.  I included some sample questions for this situation.

“BAR”
B – Benefits:  What are the benefits of this test over the other available tests?
A – Alternatives: Are there any alternative tests we could consider if we feel this is too invasive or the risks are too great?
R – Risks:  What are the risks or side effects of the test you are recommending?  How do you do this test?  What else will you do - or can we expect to happen - to our child if we agree to this test?
 
Excerpts from “The Merck Manual” (See Link 4 below):
Red flags: The following findings are of particular concern:
  • Jaundice in the first day of life
  • TSB > 18 mg/dL
  • Rate of rise of TSB > 0.2 mg/dL/h (> 3.4 μmol/L/h) or > 5 mg/dL/day
  • Conjugated bilirubin concentration > 1 mg/dL (> 17 μmol/L) if TSB is < 5 mg/dL or > 20% of TSB (suggests neonatal cholestasis)
  • Jaundice after 2 wk of age
  • Lethargy, irritability, respiratory distress

Pathologic hyperbilirubinemia in term infants is diagnosed if
  • Jaundice appears in the first 24 h, after the first week of life, or lasts > 2 wk
  • Total serum bilirubin (TSB) rises by > 5 mg/dL/day
  • TSB is > 18 mg/dL
  • Infant shows symptoms or signs of a serious illness

Some of the most common pathologic causes are
  • Immune and nonimmune hemolytic anemia
  • G6PD deficiency
  • Hematoma resorption
  • Sepsis
  • Hypothyroidism
 
Links for additional reading:
 (1) US National Library of Medicine
 
(2) U of Iowa Info – with a CHART to help with evaluation of severity of jaundice
 
(3) Pediatrician’s Info – IN SUPPORT of breastfeeding
 
(4) The Merck Manual – Jaundice

Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
 
Now enrolling for our
Winter Series
December 5, 2011 to
February 20, 2012
 
For more information or to register, please call us at
602-684-6567
or email us at [email protected]
 

Off to a Good Start with your Newborn

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 2:06 PM Comments comments (1)
Bradley Method(R) classes cover postpartum care - post by Jacqueline Norris, a Bradley(r) momWe are still on our babymoon - thank you to Jacqueline Norris, CD, PCD for writing today's post about postpartum care and the work of a postpartum doula.  To learn more about Jacqueline, please see the end of today's post.

A baby is born -  helpless, frail, precious, captivating, demanding, amazing.  Even if not initially, soon enough most parents find themselves awed at this tiny little miracle. They want to do the best they can to care for this needy little person who demands so much of their attention and care.
 
For many parents, this is an intimidating and overwhelming time.  When they leave the hospital or the midwife goes home from the birth, they find themselves facing an overwhelming challenge.  How do you care for a newborn?
 
When my first baby was born, I was living overseas in an apartment building in Istanbul.  As my belly grew I was often asked, “Who will come help you when your baby is born?” “No one, I will take care of him,” I said.  “Your mother won't come? Your mother-in-law won't come?,” they would ask me in disbelief.  “Then who will take care of your baby?“  “I will,” I'd insist. “You can't,” neighbors would tell me.  “Of course I can,” I'd say.  At the time I was annoyed and hurt by their judgment and lack of confidence in me.  I've since come to appreciate that they were not judging me but simply concerned for me: these women understood that a woman needs to be cared for and nurtured so she can nurture her baby.
 
In Turkey, as in many cultures, a woman is cared for by her family for the first six weeks after her baby is born.  Special foods and drinks are prepared to help her recover from childbirth and develop a good milk supply.
 
While I didn't have family to care for me in this way, a Turkish friend of mine insisted on doing all my grocery shopping for the first 6 weeks.  We received meals from Turkish and non-Turkish friends alike. Determined to be culturally sensitive, I tried to follow the Turkish custom of staying home for the first 40 days, but being cooped up indoors for so long felt claustrophobic to me! So, with my baby in a sling, we'd venture out together on a daily walk for fresh air, exercise and a change of surroundings.
 
I was also fortunate that growing up I had lots of experience caring for babies.  I started babysitting at age 12 and by the time my husband and I started our family in our mid 20's, I had cared for numerous babies and children, including a 3-week-old baby and her 2-year-old brother when I was 13 years old.
 
In Istanbul I lived in a community where I had many opportunities to observe women interacting with their babies, often singing to them or telling them rhymes and stories.  Babies and children were welcome everywhere.  Weddings and celebrations were noisy gatherings where whole families attended including the youngest members. If parents were having difficulty calming a fussy baby, there always seemed to be another set of arms eager to comfort the little one.
 
Unsolicited advice also abounded.  And while there were those who I learned from by their positive examples, there were also those who were concerned I'd “spoil” my newborn: “Don't hold him so much.  Don't rock him, he'll get used to it.”  I'd laugh and tell them, “He already is used to it. He was rocked and held constantly for 9 months while he was inside of me.”
 
Books were an invaluable source of wisdom and help to me. I read every book I could get me hands on about pregnancy, birth and child rearing.  Dr. Bradley’s book helped me with childbirth.  La Leche was invaluable concerning breastfeeding and Dr. Sears spoke to my heart concerning child rearing.  Yet, even with so much to help me in my parenting, I often wished someone would come off of those pages and enter my world so I would not feel alone in many of my parenting choices.
 
Postpartum "Good Start" Tips
In the United States, couples face these same challenges as they care for their newborn. Some women are fortunate to have a family member who is able to come help out. But for many couples, family members live too far away or they work and are not available to help.
 
Being part of a support network can be a great blessing to a new mom.  Often church groups or mom's clubs provide meals for the family as well as a place for moms to connect with other moms.  La Leche League groups can be a great source of up-to-date information on breastfeeding.  Many hospitals also offer breastfeeding support groups where moms can learn and network with other breastfeeding moms.
 
A daily walk can be a wonderful thing for moms and babies alike, as well as for other family members. It's always a wonder to me how simply stepping outdoors can often calm a fussy baby. They seem to love the fresh air and change of environment.  With baby in a carrier, mother and baby can interact with each other.  The baby can see his mom's face, be comforted by her nearness and enjoy seeing surroundings together with her. He loves the sound of his mom's voice, the same voice he's been listening to while in the womb.
 
There are a wealth of excellent books and websites to learn from.  However, be careful – some people who call themselves experts in the field are unqualified for such a title. Be sure that the information you receive is appropriate for your baby's developmental stage. Beware of programs that encourage a rigid schedule or letting a baby “cry it out.” Crying is your baby's way of communicating a need he has.  (Click here for my list of book recommendations.)
 
A postpartum doula is a great resource in a Bradley student's postpartum care planA postpartum doula can also be a tremendous help at this time.  She works in the home and offers nurturing support to the mother and family, helping family members to know how to support her at this crucial time and encouraging tired dads as well.  She can educate the family on local resources, care of a newborn, as well as help in practical ways so parents can get much needed rest and bond with their newborn.
 
Parents do need to be supported in the postpartum period.  By taking advantage of available resources to meet your family's needs, the postpartum period can be an enjoyable time of getting to know your new family member rather than merely struggling through a haze of sleeplessness and uncertainty in caring for your precious newborn.
 
Krystyna’s Note:
The work that a postpartum doula does for a family will vary, as each family’s needs are individual to their situation.  Spending the money to have someone help with laundry, meal preparation and other light housework is well worth it when you consider how short the snuggly newborn period really is. 
 
If you have never cared for a newborn and/or if you are nervous about any aspect of newborn care, a postpartum doula can teach you the ins and outs of caring for your new family member.  When they are Certified Breastfeeding Counselors, such as Jacqueline, they can offer support to get breastfeeding off to a great start.  Some postpartum doulas are even available to work overnight.
 
The precious first days are much more enjoyable when you feel nurtured and supported – do what you need to do to set yourself up for success!  Communicate your needs when you interview and hire a postpartum doula.  An ideal care plan allows you to rest and recover so you can be at your best for your new baby. 
 
About the author:
Jacqueline Norris, CD, PCD offers birth and postpartum doula servicesJacqueline Norris, CD(DONA), PCD(DONA), Certified Birth & Postpartum Doula, Certified Breastfeeding Counselor
Currently living in Mesa Arizona with my husband and 4 children, I am happy to support families throughout the east valley. All of my children were born while living overseas, two in the hospital, two at home. Like all women, I will always carry the memory of my birth experience with each of them. I want women to be supported in this important time they will always remember, wherever and however they choose to give birth. I am awed at the design of the human body to give birth naturally. When properly supported birth can be both a joyful and empowering experience. I believe this is significant for the joys and challenges that lay ahead in parenting.

To contact Jacqueline, please call her at 480-433-7007 or email her at [email protected] To learn more about her birth or postpartum doula services, you can visit her website at www.sweetblessingsdoula.com.
 
Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Now Enrolling for our
Winter Series

December 5, 2011 through February 21, 2012

Monday evenings @ 6:30 pm

Call us at
602-684-6567
or email us at
for more information
 

No, my milk did not go bad!

Posted on October 25, 2011 at 1:22 PM Comments comments (31)
Bradley Method(R) classes offered in Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek and San Tan Valley
We are officially on our babymoon.  Thank you to today's writer, Tina Lebedies, AAHCC for allowing us a little more time to enjoy our sweet baby girl who is growing and changing already!!  Tina is an Affiliated Bradley Method® Instructor who teaches her classes in the Queen Creek and San Tan Valley area of Metro Phoenix.
 
 
I want to share this story with you because I believe it is a common problem, and with awareness and proper education it can be overcome with little to no medical or non-natural interventions.

My second child, Erik, was born at home on Christmas Eve. He was a big healthy boy weighing in at 9 lbs, 4 oz. and was 21 in. long. After joining the world he nursed like a champ for at least a solid hour. He was the best Christmas present I had ever received!

Everything was going well until his 1 week birthday. My husband was changing his diaper and yelled for me to come and look. He had bloody, mucousy stool in his diaper. We of course panicked and I called our midwife/naturopathic doctor immediately. Thankfully, she was able to come over within the hour. She was initially thinking it was uric salt crystals (which is common and will go away on its own) but as soon as she saw the diaper her hunch was that Erik was allergic to dairy.

She instructed us to keep our 1 week pediatrician visit and go from there. The pediatrician cancelled his appointments for the day so we were sent to urgent care. So off to urgent care we went! After an unpleasant exam, the urgent care provider diagnosed that the blood was most likely from an anal fissure; and they said that a dairy allergy was possible, but not likely. We were told that if he had any more bloody stools to go to the ER. Well, sure enough, a week or so goes by and he has 2 bloody diapers in one night. So off we went to the ER. They did the same unpleasant exams and came up with the same answers as urgent care and we were instructed to follow up with the pediatrician. The pediatrician saw no reason why he should disagree with the two previous diagnoses but thinks we should see a pediatric GI specialist, just to be safe.

Erik was now 6-8 weeks old and we are finally seeing the specialist. They immediately tell us that he is allergic to dairy and will need to switch to a prescription formula and that he needs to be on Zantac. I quickly told them that I don’t do formula and that was not an option for us. I asked them, “How do I need to change my diet? What do I need to do? I will do whatever it takes.” We passed on the Zantac, and of course the formula too.

I was now eating dairy-free and desperately hoping that my sweet little guy would stop screaming constantly and would never have a bloody diaper again. Well, a week went by and Erik was still screaming but the diapers were good. Our very intuitive midwife, who diagnosed this allergy from the start, gave me a lesson on eating dairy-free. Dairy-free I was not! Dairy and it’s byproducts can be added to everything! I quickly learned how to read labels and to cook with substitutions. Did you know that some seasonings have dairy in them? Some breading on fish or chicken does, and some do not. Some bread does, and some does not. I had to be constantly on my toes. If I accidently messed up I would pay for it the next day by having a screaming, inconsolable baby. I also learned that it was just cow dairy that Erik was allergic too. That meant that I could have eggs and all egg products like mayonnaise and such.

Erik did get better but he still cried and screamed way more than he should. After trying many different homeopathic remedies we decided to go for the Zantac. We were told that it would help heal the lining of his digestive tract as the dairy had made it raw. (Being born during the holidays didn’t give this poor kiddo a chance! We ate so many rich, creamy dairy foods.) After a few hours of his first dose he was a new baby. I hated to give him medicine at such a young age but I felt that it was the best option at this point. I continued to eat dairy-free and to exclusively breastfeed.

At one of the specialist follow-up visits the doctor explained that as he grew and gained weight, his dose of Zantac would not work anymore. I simply just needed to call the office and ask for a stronger dose. The doctor was very pleased with my exclusively breastfed baby. He was growing like a weed and was doing great!

Well, sure enough, one day the Zantac stopped working so I called the office to request a new dose of medicine. A nurse called me back and said that my milk had gone bad and that I would have to switch to formula immediately! I knew my milk had not gone bad; and I wanted to scream that at her, but I remained calm. After a very frustrating phone call Erik had his new dose and life was back to our “normal”.

I bring this part of the story up, to point out that if there is an allergy or a complication with breastfeeding that we are quickly told to begin formula. This frustrates me to no end. The benefits of breastfeeding are huge and vastly outweigh formula. Thankfully, I was educated on breastfeeding and knew better, but not everyone does. I hope sharing my story will help others to stay strong, to ask questions, and to keep breastfeeding.

Many people ask me how I survived eating dairy-free. Yes, it was challenging; but for my baby I was willing to do anything. My willpower was much stronger for him than it would have been for me. Erik is now 21 months and has completely outgrown his dairy allergy. We are still going strong with the breastfeeding. He was on the Zantac for only a few months while his system healed and matured.  I was dairy-free for just under 1 year.

How did I know when he outgrew his allergy? The only way that can be determined is by trial and error and that is not always so fun. The naturopath suggested that we try dairy at every milestone. At six and nine months I ate a small amount of dairy and we had a very fussy baby the next day. Just before his 1 birthday I tried it again and the following day nothing happened. I couldn’t believe it! I added more and more dairy in my diet and he was completely fine! He continued to be happy and I sure was, too.

At his last visit with the specialist we were told that we could wean him off the Zantac. He had no signs of needing it but I was so scared. I got up my courage and began the weaning process. He handled it with no problem and was completely off of it after 2 weeks. He is healthy and can eat more than his 4 yr old brother most days. He loves cheese, yogurt, and milk. You would never guess that he had such a rough little start.
 
Did you discover your baby had a food allergy (or allergies) when you were breastfeeding?  How did you manage it (them)?

About the author:
Tina Lebedies, AAHCC is an Affiliated Bradley Method® Instructor who teaches her classes in the Queen Creek and San Tan Valley area of Metro Phoenix. To contact Tina directly for more information on managing a dairy allergy in your nursling, or about her upcoming Bradley Method® class series that start on 11/29/11 and 02/04/12, you can call her at 480-272-7086; or visit her website at www.welcomingbirthnaturally.com

Disclaimer: 
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.

Now Enrolling for our Winter Series
December 5, 2011 through February 20, 2012
Limited enrollment - one space left

For more information or to register, please
call us at
602-684-6567
or email us at






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