Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Combating Loneliness One Glass of Wine at a Time

Guest blogger: Laura Sexton

I thought having a baby would keep me from feeling lonely. I would have someone to go to the park with and have dinner with and just chat with. Then I had a baby. I was stuck in the house all day long. I was cleaning, nursing, changing diapers, doing laundry, singing songs, doing tummy time, never sleeping, fighting a baby who won’t sleep, trying to feed myself… the list goes on and on. Nowhere on that list was hanging out with my friends, going to the park, having a dinner out, chatting.

I was having trouble feeding my baby girl and did some online research. A group of women meet at a Breastfeeding Support Group on Tuesdays at The Pump Station & Nurtury® in Hollywood. I had to go.

The first week I was nervous. I had brought a bottle of breast milk with me in case I had to feed my little girl. I didn’t feel comfortable breastfeeding her yet, much less in public. I wasn’t sure if I’d speak up or just sit and learn. One of the first things the leader of the group asked was whether or not we had all gone out together to do something. Maybe Mommy Movies at The Grove or a cup of coffee. No one had.

The following week, a little braver, I left the bottle at home but still quietly prayed my daughter would sleep through class so I wouldn’t have to breastfeed her. Again we were asked if we had gone out. Two women raised their hands.

All of us made our way to the group because we needed support from other breastfeeding moms. We came because we had questions about breastfeeding. We kept coming back to the class because we enjoyed learning more each time and we were starting to see familiar faces that made us feel less alone in the journey. There was that person you knew you’d see and you could ask them about their life already knowing a few details and they would do the same for you. It started to feel like friendship.

As the weeks went by and the friendships developed a couple moms decided to go to coffee after group. As they walked up Vine and came to Sunset a thought occurred, “why not wine?” They were already up near restaurants and the group had just discussed the safety of drinking alcohol while breastfeeding. So they had a glass of wine.

They came to the next group and nonchalantly mentioned wine to a couple moms. After class, away we went; six women pushing strollers up Vine to Sunset and over to Ivar where there is a cute little place called Stella Barra. Now we go there on Tuesdays after group, just in time for happy hour. We sit in a corner where there are some leather couches and chairs. No one bothers us.

Once too shy to breastfeed in the support group I am now empowered by this group of women to feed as I eat (or drink). There is no fear in a group of momma bears. Only once were we approached. An Australian fellow ventured over to us to say that he had been texting his wife about this amazing group of women and he wished she had some friends like that when their baby was smaller. We invited her to join us as we had decided we would all certainly be there the next Tuesday. Even the moms who have aged out of the 0-4 month group come back weekly to partake in a glass of wine or two.

We all need friends. I had no idea how much I needed other Mommies in my life! Here we bond, grow, and learn from each other with a lovely glass of wine in our hands and a baby on the breast.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Pump Station & Nurtury®. Please consult your physician / pediatrician concerning any medical questions you may have.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Top 5 Reasons to Hire a Postpartum Doula

1. It takes a village.
Historically, women of the families have always supported one another through the emotional dynamics of pregnancy and birth. Now, we sometimes live far away or don’t have the traditional family support to lean on. A doula comes into your growing family to share the transitional journey and helps to support you on an emotional, physical and educational level. She can connect you with resources to create your own customized village of professionals and experiences to help your little one’s development get off to a great start. From Mommy-and-Me support groups to specialized referrals, your doula is well-connected to an entire village of baby specialists and can help you anticipate future needs.

2. Every new team needs a coach.
Both you and your baby are learning a new skill. Although breastfeeding is natural, it is a learned skill and good coaching can help to make this experience successful and gentle for you and your babe.  Our postpartum doulas are experienced in lactation education and support.  They can help you establish an effective deep latch – and they can refer you to The Pump Station & Nurtury’s lactation specialists, should you need extra support. Your doula can also educate you on all aspects of breast pump usage and milk storage practices, as well as formula guidelines, sterilization, and bottle feeding options.

3. YOU Deserve a break today – or tonight!
A postpartum doula works 8-12 hour day or overnight shifts with your family beginning the day you bring your baby home up through the first few months of life. Daytime support provides an excellent educational opportunity for hands-on demonstrations in calming or soothing a newborn. Having overnight support helps mom get cumulative sleep during the time period when her prolactin levels are highest, thus giving her optimal benefit in producing breastmilk. Nighttime care also helps keep your family or daytime support team healthy and rested to better support you the next day.  A trained newborn expert, your doula works with you to support your parenting choices and suggest solutions to make you a happier, more efficient parent. They can help establish patterns and routines to help your family track baby’s needs and create balance and rest for all!

4. Because babies should come with a personal instruction manual…but they don’t.
Based on the AAP recommendations and your personal style, your doula will help you establish safe practices with the latest safety-approved standards and products. Doulas stay current on trending baby care topics and pass their knowledge and experience on to your family. Doulas work to customize support for your family, and create a routine that will build healthy practices leading to successful childhood development through nutrition, brain development, and healthy sleep routines.

5. Extra hands=Extra love for baby and the whole family!
Every family needs a spare hand with a new baby in the house! Through their professional experience, a doula can help you understand and respond to your baby’s cues and individual needs which is so helpful as every baby is unique. Doulas assess the family’s needs and will jump in to help with whatever the top priorities are for the moment (which may range from baby care, baby laundry, nursery organization, meal preparation to light household tasks) or just be an empathetic ear to share your story. Extra hands=peace of mind because you know baby is in good hands!

Before Baby Visits
Postpartum Doula Services
Sleep Consultations