Breathing is regulated by the autonomic nervous system and is subconscious. Breathing and our breath are things that we mostly take for granted. So, why am I writing a blog post about breath?
What is the role of your Doula in supporting your breastfeeding relationship?
I was reading a Facebook post recently about a mother's first birth/breastfeeding experience. She made a comment similar to, "I did everything right. I hired a doula, had a natural unmedicated birth, etc. and still had breastfeeding issues." I thought to myself...what do mothers expect from their doulas in regards to breastfeeding support?
Doulas are Childbirth Professionals which doesn't actually mean that they are Breastfeeding Professionals. In San Antonio I am currently the only Doula that is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Many of my fellow Doulas have made the effort to obtain additional breastfeeding education which is something I applaud them for and support them in doing. I love being a resource for my fellow Doulas who come to me asking which programs I recommend or ask for guidance on their road to becoming more breastfeeding proficient.
Two weekends ago my business partner Ginger and I taught a class to a group of newly trained Doulas on Breastfeeding. We loved working with these new Doulas and we loved putting together the class. Here is some of what we shared with those Doulas regarding the Role of the Doula in regards to Breastfeeding:
At your prenatal visits your Doula should...
At your birth your Doula should....
At your postpartum visits your Doula should....
What your Doula should NOT do....
Make sure that your Doula is covering the topics that we suggested and that they are not working outside of their Scope of Practice. Working with babies is a delicate thing. A newborn baby can start to go downhill pretty quickly if they are having issues with milk transfer or if you are having issues with your milk supply. You should always consult with your Health Care Provider as well as with an IBCLC when you are experiencing breastfeeding difficulties.
On October 8th, 2014, The MILC Group was so honored to be a sponsor of a special mothers-only day at French & Michigan Gallery. The exhibition we were there to enjoy....Supply and Demand by Sarah Sudhoff.
From the French & Michigan website, "Turning to the politics of breastfeeding, Sudhoff pulls from her inability to produce enough milk for her then-young son as inspiration for documented performances, milk typologies, self-portraits, and sculpture. The milk serves as subject and metaphor for feelings of loss and failure experienced by so many mothers, while highlighting the way in which breastfeeding is highly medicalized and undeniably personal in contemporary American culture."
Thank you to all the mothers who came out with and without their babies. We would also like to thank Celeste Wackenhut who has so beautifully curated this exhibit and brought us into the project and Elizabeth Pearson who is the most amazing chef we know and provided the delicious treats we enjoyed that morning. Most of all thank you to Sarah Sudhoff for this beautiful work!
Supply and Demand by Sarah Sudhoff
French & Michigan
115 Michigan Ave.
San Antonio, TX 78201
We have all seen or heard lots of great reasons to breastfeed our children. The MILC Group wanted to provide five more reasons that are a little less "traditional." These are brought to you by Tina whose son just started college in Olympia, Washington.
We are sure you didn't need more reasons to breastfeed but we wanted to let you know that all the effort you mamas are putting in today WILL pay off in the future!
Starting childcare and going back to work may be an emotionally challenging time for parents and baby. Here are some tips that can help families and caregivers make this transition:
1. Parents might consider spending time at the childcare center before they return to work or school in order to let their baby get comfortable with their new surroundings.
2. Parents may also consider returning to work on a graduated schedule, or working shorter weeks at first.
3. Parents might leave something that smells like mother; for example, some parents may leave a T-shirt mom may have slept in.
4. Baby may cluster feed in the evening or wake more often to feed at night; during the first few weeks in childcare, it is normal for breastfed babies to choose to not feed during the day while in childcare.
5. Getting a daily update on baby’s activities to include diapers and feeding can make parents feel more connected with their child’s day.
6. Parents may find that wearing or holding their babies often in the evening helps reestablish the emotional connection.
7. Mothers may plan to breastfeed at the childcare facility when dropping off and picking up to ease the transition.
~Tina & Ginger