A Guest Blog Written By:
The wonderfully sweet Jennifer del Sol of Mainstay Doulas & Co
A breastfeeding relationship is hard.
A breastfeeding relationship can also be easy.
It can look like breastfeeding on demand, breastfeeding with supplementing, exclusively pumping, or somewhere in between all of that.
Every breastfeeding relationship looks different, just like every breastfeeding goal can be different. As a Certificated Lactation Educator Counselor, IBCLC candidate, and working with hundreds of moms to find a feeding solution that works best for them, there are a few things Jennifer del Sol has learned along the way when it comes to making your breastfeeding goals.
Your Goals Can Change
Nothing about a breastfeeding goal is set in stone.
You may think while you’re pregnant that you want to breastfeeding until 6 months but then you find breastfeeding after a couple months is easy and works for you, so you change your goal to nine months.
Or maybe breastfeeding through tongue ties and cracked nipples is not how you imagined your breastfeeding relationship and your goal changes to getting through this one last feed before switching to formula.
That is OK and nothing to feel guilty about. You still accomplished something worthy of praise. Your baby is fed.
They Don’t Have to Have a Timeline
A lot of times when we hear a breastfeeding mom describe her goal its sounds something like “3 months until I go back to work”, “6 months until we start solids”, or “1 year because that’s what the American Academy of Pediatrics Recommends” but your goals don’t always have to contain a number.
Your goals can be about just having those moments of bonding time each day or feeling like your providing some immune protection for your baby through your breast milk. One of the most important things to consider when creating your breastfeeding goal is that accomplishing your goal should feel like the right thing to do for your baby AND you.
It Doesn’t Have to be Exclusive.
Your goals don’t have to contain the word “exclusive” anything.
Your breastfeeding goal can be that you only want to breastfeed when you’re not working and supplement with formula while you are working, for example. It doesn’t have to be about exclusive breastfeeding. If you’re pumping for your baby, you can also decide that you only want to pump in the couple times a day you feel like you have a spare moment to pump and supplement with formula the other times your baby is hungry. It also doesn’t have to be about exclusive pumping.
Having the Right Support System Makes Reaching Them Easier
Do you need a cheerleader or do you need someone to say it’s ok if you don’t want to do this? Think about the people in your life and who can embody each of these roles. Sometimes you want might want the cheerleader to get you through those 3am cluster feeds or to help you find the best remedy for sore nipples. At some point, you may also need the person who is going to hold your hand and tell you that you have done an amazing job, its ok if you want to stop.
Your baby will still love you, be healthy, and be fed. Your postpartum doula can fulfill both of those roles for you as she attunes to your differing needs in every feeding.
Reaching Them Feels Really Good
It doesn’t matter if you decided you wanted to breastfeed two times, two days, two months, or two years, when you reach your breastfeeding goal it feels really good. Remember, goals can change so even if you say “I just want to get through this last feeding and then I’m switching to formula” that’s still reaching a goal.
The ultimate goal is always feed the baby.
When your water breaks.
When you dilate.
How far you're dilated.
Your baby's sex.
How long you've been in labor.
When the baby is born.
That "I'm on my way."
Whether you got that epidural.
Where you birth.
Who is at your birth.
We at Special Dilliveries know how important YOUR birth is.
We also know you value your privacy and
know you are excited to share things in your own time.
We will never take either of those things away from you by sharing any details or moments about your birth or us on our social media.
Because it is not our job.
Your birth is not about us.
It is about you, your baby, and whomever else you want to include.
Are we excited for you?
But who knows who is a friend of a friend on FB
and will announce every moment we do on their FB?
Your privates and your birth are 100% private with us!
(There are specific circumstances where we have received written permission
to use images of us while at a birth or postpartum,
but these were shared with legal permission and long after the parent/s have given birth.)
Guest Authored by: The fabulous Sara Skiles of Wichita Doula
It's a cruel twist of irony that during what should be one of the happiest times of your life, you only feel like crying or leaving and never coming back.
Postpartum depression is said to affect 20% of new mothers.
In other words...a lot of moms are suffering. I was one of them. Why isn't it talked about more?
Here are 5 things I know about postpartum depression:
5. It's probably more than 20%.
I know, from personal experience, and from talking to many other moms, that we just plain didn't tell anyone about it. Not our doctors or midwives, not our support systems. If I, being educated in all things postpartum, was too scared and ashamed to admit what I was going through, how many others must be suffering in silence?
4. Depression lies.
It tells you you're not a good enough mom. It tells you everyone would be better off without you. It tells you this is how your life is going to be forever. It tells you not to bother reaching out because there is no help. It's a liar. Don't listen to it.
3. Depression doesn't care who you are.
Postpartum depression doesn't care where you live. It doesn't care how much money you make. It doesn't care how nice your house is or how many friends you have. It doesn't even care if you're generally an upbeat, healthy, happy person. Although lack of support, previous trauma, and unsafe living situations are definitely factors that increase the risk of suffering from postpartum depression, it can happen to anyone, anywhere, anytime.
2. It's not your fault.
Thinking that somehow your postpartum depression must be your fault is one of those nasty lies that this condition tells you. It is something that happens in your body with all of the changes that come with having a child. Nobody chooses to suffer from depression. If anyone suggests that you just “get over it”, you can tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine.
1.There is help for you.
Reach out. It is so scary. But you can do it. There are support groups, therapists, websites, hotlines, and more. www.postpartumprogress.net is a great resource to help you find what you need. Reach out to your postpartum doula as a source of referrals. You can beat this. You owe it to yourself and you deserve to be happy and healthy, ready to wake up each morning and face the day.
GUEST BLOGGER: The fabulous and oh-so sweet, Emily from Doulas of Cincinnati
You know, birthing your baby at home.
Free from wires, beeping equipment and epidurals.
It’s a thing.
Chances are, if you’re considering it, you’ve done your research. You likely already know that home birth is associated with fewer maternal interventions than planned hospital birth, higher breastfeeding success rates and, in some countries, is even encouraged for low-risk pregnancies.
You probably also know that you’ll be in the very small company of only 1% of United States birthers, so while you might know it’s right for you, it’s not like you can poll your besties for advice on how to avoid blood on the carpet.
Friends, I come bearing gifts: five, to be exact.
Five things this two-time homebirther knows about how to have a kickass, stain-free home birth. No statistics (I trust you can find those on your own), just tried and true methods from your temporary bestie.
1. You need lots of hydrogen peroxide.
Listen, no matter how many layers of chux pads or saran wrap or whatever-your-midwife-has-listed-on-her-list-of-stuff-for-you-to-buy you have lying about, if you end up birthing in a space you weren’t planning (squatting against a wall perhaps); you will likely get blood on the carpet.
Hydrogen peroxide takes it right up. And if it doesn’t, or you run out, call my mom. No blood stain is a match for her Bissell carpet cleaner.
2. Invest in nice, white towels.
For my first home birth, I collected all of the rejected, ratty, threadbare towels from friends and family. I was going to toss them after the birth and didn’t want to waste money. Except in all of the pictures after my baby’s birth, I look like a weird, naked bag lady.
Don’t be a weird, naked bag lady.
Get nice towels. White towels that can be bleached are ideal.
Wash them ahead of time in a gentle detergent (like Tide Free and Clear) so you don’t irritate baby’s brand new, sensitive skin.
3. If you have dogs, figure out something else to do with them ahead of time.
For both of my deliveries, I was certain I would kill my dogs.
One was panting and moaning, the other wagged his tail into the wall of my birthing tub multiple times. They obviously knew something was going on, and their nervous behavior only got worse as labor progressed.
Birth is unpredictable, so make a couple of back up plans.
Can you board them? What if it’s the middle of the night on the weekend? How much do your parents love their grand-dogs? Hopefully enough to roll out of bed at 3am.
I’m pulling for you.
4. Keep quality food on hand.
My victory meal after the birth of my first consisted of two peanut butter and apricot preserves sandwiches on stale hamburger buns. I won’t lie, they tasted better than anything I’d ever eaten, but I most definitely did it differently the second time around. Instead, we kept nutritious quick meals on hand. A big club sandwich, pretzels and hummus and cut fruit was so much more nourishing and filling than any PB&AP.
5. Do whatever you have to do to get a tub.
Rent it, buy it, borrow it, sell one of your kidneys for it… just get the tub.
Listen, hot water is your official best friend in labor. Nothing feels better. And, I don’t know if you know this or not, but unless you have a special tank-less water heater or are a huge hospital, hot water can run out.
A cold shower doesn’t feel nearly as good, trust me.
Instead of buying a new water heater,
buy a tub and solve the hot water problem.
Don’t forget to blow it up beforehand to make sure it works well and has no leaks.
So there you have it, five of my favorite tips for a smooth home birth.
But, as your temporary bestie, I feel compelled to let you in on this little secret: even if all of your plans go awry and you run out of hot water anyway, even if you transfer to the hospital, even if you get a huge blood stain on your carpet that you have to step over for 5 months, your birth will be amazing because you’re there, meeting your sweet baby, for the very first time.
It never gets any better than that.
You can see it.
The finish line is right there…
You hit your IPod volume and rock that last Eminem song on your playlist you so meticulously planned just for this Boilermaker Half Marathon.
You're singing along in your head because you certainly can’t breathe to belt those Berzerk lyrics out the way you want to, but it gives you that edge;
that feeling of power!
The sprint begins and you push harder than you ever have.
And then it happens:
You cross THAT line.
The tears swell in your eyes, you look up and see your husband and daughter standing there smiling and yelling, cheering you on. They hand you your water and those skittles that you’ve more than earned.
Finishing a race is an accomplishment many have achieved;
But to some it is so much more than just a run.
It is the culmination of hard work.
Thinking about: the gear, the fuel, the pace, the form, and how it will all play out.
It is so much more.
You can see it.
The finish line is right there… Your doula hits the playlist and that last AC/DC song comes on your meticulously planned birth playlist. You hear everyone singing under their breath because its exactly what you wanted to keep you going; to help you feel that power!
The Highway to Hell’s may seem a bit ironic, but to you they mean the time has come. They remind you of those amazing moments of your teenage years sitting in your old bedroom in Lafayette, just relaxing with your friends.
The push begins and you push harder than you ever have.
And then it happens:
You cross THAT line.
The tears swell up in your eyes.
You look down and see your beautiful baby laying on your chest.
You look up to see your husband and your daughter standing there smiling
and crying tears of pure joy.
Your doula offers you a drink of water, as your midwife delivers your placenta.
Childbirth is an accomplishment many have achieved,
but to some it is so much more than just a birth.
It was planned and prepared for.
You’re homebirth was planned.
Every detail: When to push, how to push, strategic non-hospital childbirth classes, breastfeeding, where to labor, how to labor, your playlist.
Hours of hard work.
You did it!
And you are a
Jessica Anne Dill
Mom of 5, Wife, Doula trainer, Professional Birth and Postpartum Doula, Placenta Specialist, and best friend of coffee and long naps!