Wednesday, July 30, 2008
It is important that we do our best to help make breastfeeding work for you and your baby. In order to help you Nurse successfully and comfortably, Corky & Wendy have put together a list of 10 items they believe every Mother should have.
Corky & Wendy's Top 10
While raising Juliana, my 23-year-old, our kitchen culture made up an important part of family life. Sure, all that good food didnʼt hurt, but the interactions of planning, cooking, and eating (or not eating, in some cases) made for lively conversation, too.
Lately, baby Isabella's nine-year-old sister Sophia has been wearing the sous-chef hat in my kitchen. Whether it’s the delicate task of stuffing goat cheese into squash blossoms, or the muscular work of squishing avocados for guacamole, she's game.
That's why – when making a caesar salad together – Sophia surprised me by her reaction to the idea of eating anchovies. She had been working on the olive-bread parmesan croutons while I made the dressing. Sophia watched as I opened a tin of anchovies and cut them into tiny pieces to mix with the lemon juice, garlic, and other ingredients.
"Dinggg!" The toaster-oven signaled the croutons were crisp enough for the first ritual of caesar salad: dipping the sharp, salty, crunchy croutons into the rich, tangy dressing – before everything gets diluted with lettuce.
Sophia, though, didn't want to dip. Why not? "I might get an anchovy on it."
And then, with complete obliviousness, I said, "But the flavors are all mixed together. You won't even be able to tell."
"Yes, I will."
"Just try dipping, and if a piece of anchovy gets on the crouton, your mom will eat it, and you can try again."
"Okay." Sophia dipped the crouton gingerly. "Mmmm," and she nodded her head. She was being polite.
With another feeble attempt at persuasion-through-pseudo-science, I explained the chemistry of caesar salad dressing, tossing in the concept of "anchovy-as-catalyst." I paused for a moment. "You haven't really learned about catalysts yet in 4th grade, have you, Sophia? No? I see."
Shortly afterward, as we all sat down for dinner, Sophia did more picking than eating her salad.
Driving to work the next morning, I replayed the prior evening's events. I recalled pulling the anchovies out of the tin and saying, “Sophia, see at all the little bones on the anchovy? It’s like little hairs on the fish.” And as I looked around the kitchen I finally saw the elephant that had been standing there the entire time. I got it at last: Anchovies are gross. Every kid knows that. But sometimes adults forget – or bury – what they knew as kids. And how could Sophia trust my instincts if I couldn't acknowledge the most obvious thing in the world, that anchovies – hairy and dripping with oil as they are pulled from their tin – are just plain disgusting.
When I saw her that evening, I shared my realization of the true nature of anchovies. She liked that and gave me a wide smile.
We haven’t yet tried the caesar salad again, but we have had another science conversation. The other night, we were all watching "Planet of the Apes", and one of the plot points is that the astronauts’ ship travels at near the speed of light, which causes the astronauts to age only a few years, while leaving Earth 2,000 years in the past. Sophia asked, "How does that happen?"
I went to the kitchen and pulled out my barbeque tongs to illustrate time dilation...
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
All three of my kids were born between 38 and 40 weeks gestation with only the influence of Mother Nature. I know that birth falls on a bell curve between 38 and 42 weeks with only 10% of babies born exactly on their due date. My daughter Colleen was one of that 10%, but now she awaits her own baby’s birth – she is 41 weeks today. I'm in Starnberg Germany (near Munich) waiting. I arrived at 38 5/7 weeks fearing I'd be too late, and wanting so much to be here to support her birth process, see my first grandbaby born, and mother Colleen during her early post partum days. After 25 plus years of helping countless women with birth and breastfeeding, how could I be anywhere else? But as the days tick by and my return date to the states is creeping closer, I'm getting panicky. The thought of leaving my girl here without my help is killing me. Now I know how all the Grandmas I've encountered through the years feel as they fly “back home.” I'm convinced this is not the intended way. Are we ever supposed to be so far from family? I'm trying to remain thankful for my many blessings but I’m truly torn apart by this…families belong together.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Throughout the ages, parents have worn their babies by adapting simple pieces of cloth, animal skins, woven baskets, and swaddle boards. Thirty years ago, Dr. William Sears coined the term “Attachment Parenting”, an intuitive style of baby care, that encourages wearing the baby. Today, families have rediscovered the sustaining secret of babywearing and its enormous benefits.
Fact: “...Babies do NOT lie quietly in their cribs. Babies must be picked up, calmed, played with, fed and put to sleep!...” Dr. William Sears
A baby that is worn three hours a day cries less and learns more. The baby is awake but contented and is able to learn from his surroundings in a calm, aware manner. This state is known as “QUIET ALERTNESS”. The baby experiences less stress, which decreases the production of cortisol (stress hormone). The baby sees what the parent sees, hears the parent's heartbeat, breathing, and voice. He feels the parent’s movements and quickly learns to recognize the difference between father and mother. There is a symbiotic experience as the mother becomes more confident and intuitively knows her baby's cues. As a parent responds to a baby’s needs, the baby learns trust, knowing that his needs will be met and his language understood. This results in a successful “Whole Parent-Child Communication Network.”
To a baby touch equals love. Touch is necessary for human development. Mild forms of sensory deprivation can come from the constant use of the car seat, bouncy chair, and stroller.
“...The easiest and quickest way to induce depression and alienation an infant or a child is not to touch it, hold it, or carry it on your body…” James W. Prescott, PhD
Babywearing is such a simple solution to many problems that occur in an everyday routine.
Here is a list of benefits of babywearing:
- Mother has hands free while offering security to the baby
- Mother can breastfeed discreetly
- Increases the production of prolactin, which increases milk supply
- Reduces back pain that occurs carrying a car seat
- Slings facilitate mother-baby eye contact
- Mother becomes finely attuned to baby’s cues
- A sling is a protective barrier from a stranger’s unwanted touch
- Babywearing is fun
- Father and baby have a stronger bond
- Baby sleeps better
- Baby cries less
- Baby learns more
- Baby is sick less
- Reduces colic and reflux because of the upright position
- Baby is less anxious
- Baby thrives
- Baby is happy, contented and well behaved
- Babywearing decreases flat head syndrome
- Baby wearing is an easy transition from the womb
- Lowers risk of SIDS
The Pump Station and Nurtury™ offers a free sling clinic every week to teach new parents the art of babywearing. For more information, visit the following links:
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
by Corky Harvey MS, RN, IBCLC, Co-Founder
Every week in our New Mother Support groups someone asks for tips on air travel with their breastfed baby. So here is a list of ideas that should make your trip easier. I hope this will also help my daughter Colleen when she travels home from Germany during the Christmas holidays with my soon-to-be-born grandbaby.
- Make reservations early and book a window seat for yourself. It is easier to breastfeed when you can turn your back to the crowd and get the baby latched on, then sit back and relax.
- If traveling with another person, request an aisle and window seat. If the flight is not full, you may get the whole row and if not, the person assigned the middle seat will happily take the aisle. You might try flying at lower volume times of the day/week. However, in the current travel climate there may be no such thing.
- Take your Car Seat and your “Snap and Go” stroller right up to the plane and then gate check the stroller – it's waiting for you as you disembark. If there is an available seat you can take your car seat on the place with you. If not they will gate-check it too. If you don't have a gate-check bag, take large, heavy-duty bags and some masking tape. Covering the car seat and the stroller will protect them while in the cargo area.
- Take your sling/baby carrier. This is great for walking through the airport, keeping your baby secure while flying, and calming a fussy baby on the plane – walking and bouncing. I just read the TSA website which states that babies need to be removed from carriers and strollers while going through the security checkpoint. www.tsa.gov/
- A backpack diaper bag will keep your hands available for the baby.
- In your carry-on pack an extra shirt for yourself and enough diapers/clothes for the baby to make it through a “blowout” or two. Be prepared for a delay or even and unexpected overnight stay.
- Pack one diaper and several wipes in a Ziploc bag (do a bunch). When you need to change the baby just grab a baggy, make the change and use the Ziploc for the dirty diaper.
- Buy disposable changing pads and throw them away after each use. This helps to protect the baby from the environment.
- Check the TSA website and take a copy of the rules with you – you may need it at security. Currently you may take breastmilk through security (when traveling with or without the baby) in larger quantities than three ounces and in a separate bag from other gels and liquids. You must declare that you have the milk and are encouraged to carry on only what is needed until you reach your destination. Any other milk that you want to take, can be packed in large Ziplocs, surrounded by ice cubes or blue ice and placed in the bags you plan to check.
- Take your Bebe au Lait. This terrific cover-up allows mom and baby to see each other and nurse discreetly. Also try a Nursing tank top and layers; the tank makes nursing so easy while keeping your midsection covered. The tank is beloved by most of our clients.
- Planes are flying “germ bags” so take a few antibacterial wipes in a baggy and wipe down the arms of your seat and the tray table and don't forget your hand sanitizer – use it frequently.
- Try to nurse your baby or offer a few sips of breast milk by bottle when you are taking off and landing. Getting the baby to swallow helps reduce pressure in the ears. If the baby is sleeping, don’t wake him.
- Put drops of breast milk in eyes and nose repeatedly before and during the trip. This may help reduce the risk of the baby getting sick. It works like an antibiotic/antiviral –Good Stuff.
- Ask for help: Getting your luggage through security, into the overheads, etc. can be a hassle. People feel good about themselves when they help others, so let 'um help.
ENJOY YOUR TRIP