How to Cultivate Your Milk Supply

Breastfeeding is one of the best ways to help your baby grow and protect her from illness. Rarely, there are reasons mothers are unable to lactate (breastfeed). In a future installment we will discuss some of the reasons mothers can not breastfeed, but for the vast majority of families this is the most convenient, healthy, and inexpensive way to feed babies.

The time period during the first three weeks of your baby’s life is the easiest time to establish your milk supply. Feeding “on demand”, when ever baby wishes, sets your supply. Mothers need to drink more water than they ever though possible during this time. Water clears your body homes and medications after birth. It helps your body heal from pregnancy and your delivery. Figure out a way to record how much water you drink in each 24 hour period. Below find some suggestions.

RECORD YOUR WATER INTAKE Write it down, have a gallon size container on the counter filled each day and record how much you drink. Use an app on your phone and add a hash tag # each time you drink a liter or quart. Record your food intake and on that form mark the number of ounces you drink each day. Find a system that works for you and follow through with it for at least a month. Any professional with whom you work, if you are having problems, is going to ask how much water you are dinking.

REST UP – LIVE STRESS FREE A pediatrician with whom I work states emphatically, “The most important part of breastfeeding is a relaxed mother!” This is important. Pregnancy is stressful. You are waiting to meet your little human! You want to do everything perfectly for her. Until she arrives you know so little about her. What will your birth be like? There are a million and one questions surrounding this time in your life. Do what ever you need to in order to make it as stress free as possible. Give yourself the time and space to enjoy these precious moments. They can not be replaced.

SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEACEFUL PEOPLE. The first few weeks after your deliver is a time to heal, relax, establish your milk supply, and get to know you baby. Plan to stay home. Carefully guard your time and energy. Before baby arrives talk extensively with those who will be with you. Talk about whether or not you will receive guests, how meals will be provided, who will be able to hold baby, etc, etc., etc. I encourage you not to receive guests for at least a week. This may sound crazy, but so many new things will be going on in your day to day. Allowing yourself to stabilize before “entertaining” is vital. You will be grateful you did.

ACCEPT HELP WHEN OFFERED. If someone offers to drop by a meal, let them. If someone offers to do your laundry or clean your home, let them. If your older children are invited to visit friends or relatives allow them to enjoy the adventure and you take a nap! This is the time to baby yourself and accept help. Be aware of who you are considering and let them know your need to rest. This isn’t a time to visit, that will come later. Let them know how grateful you are for their kindness and repay them later on. We all need help.

Below find a few of my favorite lactation cookie recipes. These add great nutrients to your diet and help your milk come in. Plus they are tasty!!! Ask a friend to make them for you after baby comes. She will love doing it for you and you will enjoy the treat!!

JUDY

KATRINA’S NO BAKE LACTATION COOKIES!!!!

https://theherbalhealingmama.com/2015/08/08/katrinas-no-bake-lactation- cookies/ 

Recipe generously shared with us from Katrina Spain. 

These cookies are absolutely delicious! They help increase milk supply for the breastfeeding mama & are super easy to make! (No baking required!) 

A note from Katrina about these awesome cookies:These no-bake cookies increased my supply SO MUCH! I was engorged! They can be dairy free if you use non-dairy milk for those of you with allergies or preferences. 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of milk of choice (Regular, Coconut, Almond, Soy, Etc.) 

1/2 cup coconut oil


1 cup sugar (Raw, cane would be the healthiest choice)

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup of raw cacao or cocoa powder 

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal 

1 cup smooth peanut butter

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract Large pinch of salt 

(Some people like to add in flax seeds brewer’s yeast or fenugreek for extra boosting properties.) You can add dried fruit, white or dark chocolate chips, and or your favorite nuts. 

Instructions: 

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. (or grease lightly) Bring the sugar, milk, coconut oil and cocoa to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, then let boil for 1 minute.  Remove from the heat.

Add the oats, peanut butter, vanilla and salt, and stir to combine.  Spoon onto parchment and let cool at room temperature for 30 minutes.

OATMEAL CHOCOLATE CHIP LACTATION COOKIES

Total time. 27mins. Yield: 54. small. cookies/ 41⁄2dozen  Prep 15 min  Bake 12 min,  Preheat oven to 350°.

This recipe is great for mothers who are breastfeeding. It helps to maintain or increase your milk supply. Use more brewers yeast and oatmeal if you want to increase your milk supply. You can add white chocolate chips, shaved coconut, raisins, nuts, dried cranberries, etc. depending upon your preference.

INGREDIENTS
1 cup butter/ butter Crisco
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar  4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons flax seed meal 2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups oats
1 cup chocolate chips
2 -4 tablespoons brewer’s yeast

DIRECTIONS Mix the flaxseed meal and water and let sit for 3-5 minutes. Beat butter and sugars and well. Add eggs and mix well. Add flaxseed mix and vanilla, beat well.

Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt. Add dry ingredients to butter mixture. Stir in oats and chips. Scoop onto greased cookie sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes. Let set for a couple minutes then remove from cookie sheet. Store in airtight container or freeze.

Baby Birth Weight Statistics

https://www.verywellfamily.com/baby-birth-weight-statistics-2633630#:~:text=The%20mean%20or%20average%20birth%20 weight%20in%20the,normal%20range%20for%20a%20full-term% 20newborn.%202%20%EF%BB%BF

The definition of average, normal, small, and large babies

By Vincent Iannelli, MD  Fact checked by Andrea Rice Updated on June 29, 2020

Baby birth weights in the US

The mean or average birth weight in the United States is approximately 7.5 pounds (3,400 grams).1

However, average does not necessarily mean normal. A birth weight between 5.5 pounds (2,500 grams) and up to 10 pounds (4,500 grams) is considered to fall in a normal range for a full-term newborn.2

Newborns that are on the smaller side might be referred to as low birth weight or small for gestational age.3 Babies that are larger are considered to be large for gestational age.4

This article discusses birth weights in America. As you will see, normal birth weights vary drastically. I encourage you to read lots. If you have questions about the birth weight of your newborn talk with friends and relatives about family birth weights and the health of their babies. My belief is you will be more comfortable if you see the wide variation between birth weights even in your own family. Talk with aunties and gramas about their births and the weights of their babies. It will make them feel a part of your excitement and experience. Ask them questions. You do not have to do what they are telling you to do, but you can always say thank you and be kind. This will open the doors for their sharing and help later.

JUDY

The Statistics 

According to a detailed report from the National Center for Heath Statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were 3,853,472 births registered in the United States in 2017.5

In the U.S., state laws require that birth certificates are completed for all births. Federal law mandates the collection and publication of all births and other vital statistics data, which is then compiled by The National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) to provide statistical information from birth certificates.

Here is some information about the birth population gleaned from the data.

Averages

Although babies come in many sizes (from just under 1 pound to more than 16 pounds) data from 2017 revealed that:

  • The average weight at birth was between 6 pounds, 9 ounces (3,000 grams), and 7 pounds, 11 ounces (3,500 grams).6
  • 8.28% of babies were considered to be low birth weight (defined as less than 5.5 pounds or about 2,500 grams).7
  • 1.4% of babies were very low birth weight (less than 3.3 pounds or 1,500 grams).8Martin JA, Hamilton BE, Osterman MJK, Driscoll AK. Births: Final data for 2018. National Vital Statistics Reports. 2019;68(13
  • Roughly 9% of babies were large for gestational age at birth.9
  • The average length of a full-term infant was 20 inches.
  • The normal range for full-term infants was 18 inches to 22 inches.2

Interesting Trends 

Research has shown that kids and adolescents are getting bigger—a trend that is termed the childhood obesity epidemic.11 Based on findings in older children and teems, it would be natural to assume that newborn babies are also getting bigger.

However, statistics show that babies are actually getting smaller.12 It’s unclear as to why, since research has not shown a direct link between lower mean birthweight and an increase in premature babies, nor is there a direct correlation to other independent factors such as more Cesarean births.

While the exact cause of the decline in birth weight is unknown,12 it could be attributed to trends in maternal diet, physical activity, socioeconomic factors, environmental exposures, or even other, unrecorded medical conditions.

Recent Trends in Average Birth Weight

  • 1990: 7 lbs., 9.4 oz (3,441 g)
  • 1995: 7 lbs., 9.17 oz (3,435 g)
  • 2000: 7 lbs., 8.95 oz (3,429 g)
  • 2005: 7 lbs., 7.54 oz (3,389 g)

Terminology 

There are different terms that are used to describe birth weight.13 When babies are born preterm or postdate (overdue), the terms can become a little confusing.

Rather than using absolute weight, the terms that are used to describe gestational age more accurately reflect a baby’s size.

Depending on a baby’s weight at birth and their gestational age, a special growth chart is used to classify infants into one of the following categories.13

Birth weight:

  • Extremely low birth weight (ELBW). Birth weight less than 2 pounds (1,000 grams)14
  • Very low birth weight (VLBW). Birth weight less than 3.4 pounds (1,500 grams)
  • Low birth weight (LBW). Birth weight less than 5 pounds, 8 ounces (2,500 grams)14
  • Normal birth weight. Between 5 pounds, 8 ounces (2,500 grams) and 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams)
  • High birth weight (HBW). Birth weight of more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces (4,000 grams)15

Gestational age:

  • Small for gestational age (SGA). Birth weight less than the 10th percentile for a child born at that gestational age16
  • Appropriate for gestational age (AGA). Birth weight from the 10th percentile to the 90th percentile relative to other babies born at that gestational age17
  • Large for gestational age (LGA). Birth weight greater than the 90th percentile based on gestational age (also called fetal macrosomia)18

The term intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is sometimes used to describe a baby with a birth weight lower than expected for gestational age. However, it is most often used to describe a fetus that is growing less than expected during pregnancy.19

Why Are There Different Classifications? 

Birth weight and gestational age classifications are useful because they often correspond with clinical care and treatment.

Birth weight can predict short and long-term health complications, including chronic disease risk—even among full-term births.20



Many of the terms listed above can be used together. For example, a premature baby could be born with low birth weight (or even extremely low birth weight) but still be at an appropriate weight for their gestational age.

On the other hand, a full-term baby born at 5.5 pounds (2,500 grams) would likely be classified as being both SGA and IUGR.14

Factors Affecting Birth Weight 

There are many different factors used to determine a baby’s birth weight, including age, genetics, and certain lifestyle factors of the mother.

Age 

Young mothers (teens) tend to have smaller babies,21 as do mothers of advanced maternal age (over 35). However, research has also shown a connection between advanced maternal age and high birth weight as well.22https://85cfdd63d256dd8c2453149c88db27b3.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

Genetics 

Genetics also play a role in birth weight. The genetic characteristics of both parents are important. One difference, however, is that the mother’s weight at her own birth has a greater impact than the father’s birth weight.23

Smoking 

Mothers who smoke tend to have smaller babies, as physiological changes related to smoking reduce the nutrients supplied to the baby.24 Exposure to secondhand smoke is also correlated with low birth weight and other complications such as IUGR.25

In 2016, 7.2% of women who gave birth reported smoking during pregnancy.26

Nutrition 

Maternal nutrition can also affect an infant’s birth weight. A mother’s weight gain in pregnancy is influenced by different factors, including her socioeconomic conditions, pregnancy and non-pregnancy related health conditions, and genetics.

Prenatal Care 

A lack of early and regular prenatal care has been associated with lower birth weight babies.27 A lack of prenatal care might result from poor access to health care (for example, options are limited by geographic location), mental health concerns, or socioeconomic conditions.

Overall Maternal (and Paternal) Health 

The health of an infant’s mother and father can also affect a newborn’s birth weight.13

  • Mother’s weight at conception. Women who are heavier when they become pregnant may have larger babies.28
  • Mother’s blood sugar and blood pressure. Having a history of high blood pressure before pregnancy has been associated with smaller babies.29 Having a history of diabetes (preexisting diabetes) is associated with larger-than-normal babies.30
  • Pregnancy complicationsPregnancy-induced hypertension or PIN (high blood pressure during pregnancy) and gestational diabetes (diabetes related to pregnancy) also affect birth weight. PIN is associated with smaller babies and gestational diabetes is linked to large-for-gestational-age babies.31
  • Uterine conditions. Certain hereditary uterine conditions (such as a bicornuate uterus), as well as acquired conditions (fibroids), can result in lower birth weight.32
  • Substance abuse. Alcohol and drug use can also affect the birth weight of a baby, typically leading to smaller birth weights.

Other Factors 

While many factors can be modified, there are some factors that cannot be changed, such as:

  • Sex at birth: Male infants tend to weigh slightly more at birth than female infants.23
  • Birth order: First babies tend to weigh less than subsequent babies.33
  • Multiples: Twins and other multiples are usually smaller than singletons.

Monitoring Newborn Weight Gain 

If your baby is full-term, of normal birth weight, and has no medical conditions, it’s not usually necessary to weigh your baby as long as they are eating well, have wet diapers, and are developing normally.

Your pediatrician will check your newborn’s weight at each well-child visit and let you know if there is any cause for concern.

If your infant is low birth weight, was born prematurely, or your pediatrician has any other concerns, you will likely be asked to make more frequent visits to the clinic for weight checks.

Average weight gain can vary for children who are born with low birth weight or are large for gestational age. For example, premature babies often undergo catch-up growth.Adjusted Age in Premature Infants

If your baby was born early, your pediatrician will explain growth expectations. Otherwise, your baby’s weight gain by age can be monitored using the following guidelines.

Initial Weight Loss 

Babies usually lose weight at first. This weight loss is roughly 5% of body weight in babies who are bottle-feeding and 7 to 10% in babies who are breastfeeding.34

Babies usually regain their birth weight by 10 to 14 days of age.

The First 3 Months 

In the first 3 months of life, babies gain an average of 1.5 to 2 pounds per month35 and grow an average of 2 centimeters (around 1 inch) per month. Your pediatrician will talk about normal growth rates for young children.

Your doctor can also show you where your child is on a growth chart—a graph that compares your baby’s height and weight to other babies of the same age.

4 to 6 Months 

Between the age of 4 months and 6 months, babies put on weight less rapidly at around 1 to 1.25 pounds per month and are growing 1/2 to 1 inch each month.36 By around the 5-month mark, a baby’s birth weight is usually doubled.

6 Months to 1 Year 

Weight gain begins to slow down between 6 months and 9 months of age, with growth in length being roughly 3/8 of an inch (1 centimeter) per month from 6 months to 12 months. Birth weight is usually tripled by around 1 year of age.37Average Infant Growth: Birth to 1 Year

1 to 2 Years 

On average, your baby’s weight will roughly quadruple by the time they are about 2 and a half years old.38 At this age, there are calculations you can use to estimate your child’s adult height.

A Word From Verywell 

The birth weight of babies can vary and will be affected by many factors. A baby’s birth weight does not necessarily predict a child’s adult size. Some very-low-birth-weight babies grow up to be quite tall or large, while large-for-gestational-age babies might be small adults.

Whatever your baby’s birth weight is, your pediatrician will help you understand the growth expectations for your baby. They can use graphs to show you where your child falls in terms of their growth, and how their growth might affect their health.Was this page helpful?Article SourcesMORE INBaby’s First Year Guide

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Does My Baby Have Colic?

New Parents hear the word colic and cringe with good reason. Colic is one of the many digestive (?) ailments affecting many newborns. Those of us the the infant care business deal with all kinds of issues in the first three months of life. These days have been tabled “The fourth Try-mester” for allot of reasons. Digestive ailments seem to be a part fo the first three months of life for almost all babies. Their bodies take that long to acclimate to life outside the womb. Second time parents will remember their first baby had similar issues and they rectified right around three months.

Know there is hope! There is the greatest reality that these issues your newborn suffers (and you too) will disappear soon.

Most likely there will be some issue your baby struggles with until the growth spurt at three months. Around that time almost every thing disappears and life settles down. Much of my job is helping parents understand this dilemma. There are suggestions for treatment, yet even doctors will tell you these treatments do not alleviate all the symptoms and you will still have struggles. Be encouraged, you are almost there!!! Below find an article from WEBMD discussing symptoms and treatments. One of my greatest encouragements is to talk with friends who have newborns. You will learn tons and realize you are not alone in your adventure!!! They will have suggestions for you and you will come to realize these are simply some of the things you will experience along the way.

JUDY

PREGNANCY
BABY
   WEBMD

Colic in Babies

https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/what-is-colic#1

What Is Colic?

Colic is when an infant who isn’t sick or hungry cries for more than 3 hours a day, more than 3 days a week, for more than 3 weeks. The condition is a bit of a mystery, but experts agree on a few things:

  • Colic is likely to start around 2 weeks of age if your infant is full-term, or later if they were born prematurely.
  • It almost always goes away on its own by 3 or 4 months of age.
  • It can happen regardless of your baby’s sex, their birth order, and whether you breast– or bottle-feed.
  • Kids who had colic grow up no differently from those who didn’t.

Colic Causes

Doctors don’t know exactly what causes colic. Some theories about what’s behind it include:

  • A growing digestive system with muscles that often spasm
  •  Gas
  • Hormones that cause belly pain or crankiness
  • A sensitivity to light, noise, etc., or too much stimulation
  • A developing nervous system
  • An early form of childhood migraine
  • Fear, frustration, or excitement

Many health conditions can look like colic. If you’re worried about your baby, your doctor can do a full exam to rule out problems such as:

Colic Symptoms

Infants often show signs of colic at the same time every day, usually in the evening. You might notice that your child cries:

  • With no clear reason (such as hunger or a dirty diaper)
  • Like they’re in pain
  • Along with clenched fists, stiff arms, an arched back, or curled legs
  • While turning bright red

Your child might swallow a lot of air while they’re crying. This can give them gasand make their belly tight or swollen.

Colic Diagnosis

There’s no test for colic. Your baby’s doctor will ask about their symptoms and medical history. The doctor will do a physical exam, focusing on things like:

They might order some tests to rule out other problems.

Colic Treatment

Because there’s no clear cause of colic, there’s no one treatment. Your child’s doctor will recommend some things that might calm them down. Try them one at a time. If one doesn’t work after a few days, try another.

Colic will get better on its own. You may just have to wait for the fussiness to improve when your baby is about 4 months old.

Some steps to soothe your infant include:

  • Make sure they aren’t hungry.
  • If you’re breastfeeding, ask your doctor whether the medications you take or the food you eat might cause irritation or an allergic reaction in your child.
  • Change their body position. Have them sit up or lie down. Hold them while you walk around. Rock them or massage their back.
  • Use a pacifier.
  • Swaddle your baby.
  • Hold them with their bare skin against your own.
  • Use white noise (like a fan, washing machine, or dishwasher) or a recording of a heartbeat.
  • Take them for a car ride.
  • Put them in a swing or vibrating seat.

Parent Self-Care for Colic Stress

A baby with colic can be a challenge. Many parents feel overwhelmed, angry, or resentful toward a cranky child. These feelings don’t make you a bad parent. Remember that you didn’t cause the colic and that it will get better.

 It’s OK to put your baby in a crib or playpen for 10 minutes or so while you leave the room to collect yourself. Ask friends, family, or babysitters for help if you need a break. Lowering your own stress level will help your baby, too.

10 Indicators of Acid Reflux’s Effect on Infants

https://www.healthline.com/health/gerd/recognize-gerd-infants

The diagnosis of Reflux is common these days. I find it more and more often in the families with whom I provide postpartum douse services. Below find the obvious symptoms of this condition. It is important, as parents, to understand any issues your baby may have. I believe strongly in active participation of parents in making choices in medical treatment for their infants. Before you agree to treatment for a particular condition in your baby be sure you are aware of the symptoms and the side affects of any medications that may be prescribed. Ask questions about the long term affects of the condition as opposed to the complications that may result from medication. Talk with your friends and relatives who may have experienced the condition with their infants. If you are inclined, look into homeopathic ways of dealing with the issue at hand. More education can only give you a border foundation from which to make decisions. Do not hesitate to contact those in the field of infant care. Our goal is to provide you and your infant with the best experiences possible as you navigate the adventure of parenthood!!

JUDY


Indicators of Reflux: Infants are more prone to acid reflux because their LES may be weak or underdeveloped. In fact, it’s estimated that more than half of all infants experience acid reflux to some degree.
The condition usually peaks at age 4 months and goes away on its own between 12 and 18 months of age.
It’s rare for an infant’s symptoms to continue past 24 months. If they persist, it may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a more severe condition. While they may vary, the 10 most common signs of acid reflux or GERD in infants include:


1 spitting up and vomiting
2 refusal to eat and difficulty eating or swallowing
3 irritability during feeding
4 wet burps or hiccups
5 failure to gain weight
6 abnormal arching
7 frequent coughing or recurrent pneumonia
8 gagging or choking
9 chest pain or heartburn

10 disturbed sleep


Spitting up and vomiting

Spitting up is normal for infants. However, forceful spit-up may be a symptom of GERD. This is especially true if your infant is older than 12 months and still spitting up forcefully after meals.
Spitting up blood, green or yellow fluid, or a substance that looks like coffee grounds may also signify GERD or other more serious disorders.
Spitting up is normally painless. Your baby should still appear happy and healthy after spitting up. Forceful spitting up or vomiting is more painful and will be followed by crying and fussing.
Refusal to eat and difficulty eating or swallowing
Your infant may refuse to eat if they experience pain during feeding. This pain might be due to the irritation that occurs when the contents of the stomach come back up into their esophagus.
Irritability during feeding


Wet burps or hiccups

A wet burp or wet hiccup is when an infant spits up liquid when they burp or hiccup. This can be a symptom of acid reflux or, less commonly, GERD.


Failure to gain weight

Weight loss or failure to gain weight may occur as a result of excessive vomiting or poor feeding associated with acid reflux or GERD.


Abnormal arching

Infants may arch their body during or after feeding. It’s thought that this may be due to a painful burning sensation caused by the buildup of stomach fluid in the esophagus.
Abnormal arching may be a neurologic problem on its own. However, it can be a symptom of GERD if your baby also spits up or refuses to eat.


Frequent coughing or recurrent pneumonia

Your infant may cough frequently due to acid or food coming up into the back of the throat. The regurgitated food can also be inhaled into the lungs and windpipe, which may lead to chemical or bacterial pneumonia.
Other respiratory problems, such as asthma, can develop as a result of GERD as well.


Gagging or choking

Your baby may gag or choke when stomach contents flow back into their esophagus. The position of your baby’s body during feeding can make it worse.Gravity helps keep the contents of the stomach down. It’s best to keep your infant in an upright position for at least 30 minutes after feeding them to prevent food or milk from coming back up.


Disturbed sleep

GERD and reflux can make it more difficult for your baby to sleep through the night.

Try to feed your baby long before bedtime so stomach contents have a chance to settle fully. There are other ways to help your baby sleep, too.


Takeaway

It’s important to speak with your baby’s doctor or pediatrician if you think your infant has GERD.
The doctor can rule out other conditions or confirm a GERD diagnosis. They can also suggest certain lifestyle changes that may help treat your baby’s GERD or acid reflux.
Last medically reviewed on July 3, 2017

Take It Easy On Yourself!

Our last blog entry discussed the ancient Chinese tradition of confinement for new mothers. Immediately after birth new mommies need time to recover. They need to allow their bodies the luxury of rest, good nourishment and peace. After a difficult or prolonged labor moms need to be babied and cared for. I encourage you to think of this before you deliver. Plan to take several weeks away from your regular life for bonding with your baby. Give yourself the time to get breastfeeding down. Doulas will tell you to give you baby only breastmilk for at least the first three weeks. It takes your body that long to establish a healthy milk supply.

Breastfeeding is designed to help your body return to normal. The contractions you feel in your abdomen when breastfeeding cause your uterus to contract back to it’s pre-delivery size. In addition, hormones released during breastfeeding help your baby and you to bond. These hormones bring euphoria, causing you to literally fall in love with your baby! The hormones released in your breastmilk encourage your baby to trust and depend upon you. Research continues to find new physical benefits for both mother and baby in longterm lactation! I recently read a study showing that women who breastfeed at least a year have lower rates of breast cancer after the age of sixty!

One of the conversations I have with new mommies is the importance of having a few moments just for them each day. I encourage them think about what brings them peace and make sure they enjoy a bit of time each day experiencing it. For you it might be reading your favorite book. taking a walk around the block alone, a phono call with a dear friend, etc. For one mommy I worked with it was planting flowers. Each morning she would put her infant daughter in a wrap and go out in to the backyard and plant rose bushes. This refreshed her and gave her a respite from the chaos of having a new baby in the house. It will not be easy to carve out the time, but it will help you gain a wonderful perspective on your hectic days!

In western society we have lost the understanding that having a baby changes everything in your life. I so appreciate the cultures where this is a consideration. The first few weeks of you baby’s life are precious. They are irretrievable. Taking the time to relax, recuperate, and enjoy your baby allows you to build a firm foundation of confidence and trust in your abilities as a mom. This time is extremely valuable. It is this way each time you deliver a baby.

If you have a Cesarean Section it is even more important that you arrange your schedule to allow yourself to recover. Having a baby takes nine months of energy, emotion, nutrients, and more. If surgery is required at your delivery you will have experienced a major life event. Physically you will have a more complicated time. Immediately after birth you will have to recover from the medications used during surgery. This takes a day or two. I know after my C-Section I had a reaction to the anesthetic used and was incoherent and vomiting for 24 hours. Friends came to visit and I didn’t remember they had been there. It was tough. My Cesarean was after 20 hours of induced labor. In addition to the surgery my body was exhausted and sore from the induction. I remember my newborn was in his bassinet crying and I was in so much pain I could not move to help him. I lay in my bed crying. This was my sixth delivery. No one had warned me. I had small children and a newborn at home and no help. It was a year before I felt normal.

As the years have progressed I have come to appreciate the professionals in the infant care industry. At this point I encourage anyone delivering at a hospital to take a professional with them. The Covid restrictions have recked havoc on birth experiences. Forcing young women to chose between their mothers and their husbands has caused great distress. Having your significant other present is vital, this baby belongs to you both. Sharing in the birth process is beautiful and so important. However, loosing the input for someone who has gone through the process is a huge negative. When you are in labor your body is contracting, your hormones are raging and you are not yourself. The decisions you make regarding your immediate care are suspect. Please take someone with you who has been through the process and is able to help you make tough decisions.

In closing enjoy this wonderful time in you life! Plan ahead so you can find peace and rest in the best way for you. Be willing to part with a few dollars if it streamlines your recovery. You will not regret it.

JUDY

Postpartum Nutrition

Ancient Cultures: How new mom’s were cared for

The options to new mothers for nutrition and wonderful postpartum care are endless!! As my education in postpartum care continues I am becoming more aware of the traditions and benefits of other cultures in caring for new moms.

In serving several Chinese families the things I have leaned in the process have been fascinating. In ancient Chinese culture the month after the birth of a baby was considered to be a time of confinement. New mothers did not leave the house. They did not cook or clean. They rested, healed, and learned to care for their newborns. Relatives cooked a special diet for them, cleaned, washed, and provided all their needs.

The Chinese call it zuo yue zi, which means “to sit a month.” In addition, the mother must also follow a very strict diet. “Confinement meals” are prepared during the month, and postpartum mothers must only eat what is given and nothing else. This age-old tradition dates back to year 960 and is still very commonly practiced in Asia.

This confinement diet can be delivered to your home if you have no-one to prepare it for you. It consists of foods, tea. vegetables and herbs designed to help your body heal and encourage milk production. These dishes look delicious and would be wonderful any time.

Learning about nutrition will benefit you as your baby grows and you seek the best foods for your family. Check out the recipes and selections in the Pentrist link below.

Best Chinese Confinement Recipes