Abortion Doulas

Check out this powerful piece about being an abortion Doula, written by Alex Ronan.  I’ve been following The Doula Project since March- when it came to my attention during a postpartum doula training. The work, care and dedication the organization gives is amazingly powerful both emotionally and politically. The Doula Project calls into questions conservative and liberal politics and emotional theory surrounding abortion.

Some birth doulas were reluctant to consider the needs of women terminating pregnancies as at all similar to their patients carrying them to term. And many pro-choice doulas, doctors, and nonprofits were unwilling to acknowledge how difficult and painful many women find abortion. To some on the left, drawing any more attention to the messiness of the procedure and the decisions surrounding it would mean potentially undermining the work of the political movement.

 

Baby (and mother) Friendly Hospital Initiative

The Baby-Friendly hospital initiative was created in 1991, and now spans across many countries. If you’re expecting a child, and aim to have a more humanistic, breastfeeding friendly experience look up what, if any hospitals in your area are Baby-Friendly. Unfortunately the U.S., is lacking in these hospitals, especially in low-income marginalized communities.

Baby-Friendly hospitals must follow a 10 step program, ensuring best practices in terms of breastfeeding initiation and support. Among other practices here are a few most important steps taken to support the mother and baby Mothers are encouraged to do Skin-to-Skin, placing baby immediately after birth, or as soon as possible on mothers chest. Pacifiers and other soothers are not to be used. Formula is not provided, or encouraged unless specifically requested by the mother. And mothers and babies are encouraged to room-in together, so as to assure breastfeeding on demand.

The Baby-friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) was launched by WHO and UNICEF in 1991, following the Innocenti Declaration of 1990. The initiative is a global effort to implement practices that protect, promote and support breastfeeding.

To help in the implementation of the initiative, different tools and materials were developed, field-tested and provided, including a course for maternity staff, a self-appraisal tool and an external assessment tool. Additional tools were developed afterwards, such as monitoring and reassessment tools. Since its launching BFHI has grown, with more than 152 countries around the world implementing the initiative. The initiative has measurable and proven impact, increasing the likelihood of babies being exclusively breastfed for the first six months. -WHO site

Breastfeeding and CLC Training.

Last week I attended the much anticipated, Lactation Counselor training through Healthy Children’s Project. I grew up in a household where breastfeeding was the norm. Being the youngest I never witnessed my mom breastfeed in person, but thanks to the hundreds of home-movies taken during my infancy, and early toddler years, I have seen the effortlessness that breastfeeding was for my mom.

I never thought much about these glimpses I had into breastfeeding, until I took the CLC training. In the training I realized, not necessarily for the first time, how lucky I am to have seen breastfeeding, not only through home-movies, but also in person, via my moms many friends- some of whom she met at La Leche League. These women openly fed their babies in front of all the children, their own and their friends kin. I realize now, again not for the first time that many children, boys and girls never see breastfeeding, either because their moms, and moms friends didn’t breastfeed, or because breastfeeding was done behind closed doors. Seeing my mom and her friends’ breastfeed normalized breastfeeding for all of us older children. But, what it didn’t do was prepare me for the difficulties so many women face when they decide to breastfeed.

The video that comes to mind is of my first birthday. My mom is on the floor and I’m crawling around, and then I’m on her lap, where I simply reach up, and with little adjustment on my moms part, begin to breastfeed. There is no change on her expression; she continues to talk to her friends. This is what I saw, and without the CLC training I wouldn’t know that breastfeeding can be hard, and that women can face a myriad of challenges.

…Now I just have to wait 8 long weeks to find out if I passed the CLC exam.

For those of you looking for breastfeeding support contact your local La Leche League, WIC, Mother’s group, and ask your doctor, (If he/she is pro breastfeeding!)

5 Myths About Gay Parents I’d Like to Wipe Out Forever

jerry-mahoney.com

FamilySelfieIf there’s one point I’ve tried to make over and over on this blog, it’s that being a gay dad is awesome. People are almost uniformly nice and welcoming. Our kids feel like rock stars. Life is great.

Every once in a while, though, I hear someone make an offhand remark about LGBTQ parents that makes me cringe. And it’s not always the usual culprits. Sometimes, we’re our own worst enemies, and it’s gay people themselves (usually childless ones) who make unfair generalizations about those of us who do have kids.

So, in honor of Mombian’s 9th annual Blogging for LGBTQ Families Day (you can see my post from last year here), I want to address some sentiments I’ve encountered as a gay dad, from both gay and straight people, which I find incredibly wrong-headed and which I’d like to dispel once and for all.

2014familyday403MYTH #1:…

View original post 1,582 more words

How to Give a Bottle

images-1Giving a breastfed baby a bottle can excruciatingly painful for both you and the baby.  Here are some tips, for bottle feeding either formula or breastmilk.

1.  The bottle does matter. You decide on glass or plastic.  The important part of finding a good bottle is finding one that doesn’t leak! Leaking bottles are ineffective, messy and wasteful of good pumped milk.  Dr. Brown’s bottle are my favorite, I’ve tried a variety of other bottles including, Evenflo, Avent, Playtex, etc., Playtex bottles are the worst, they leak horribly.

2. Size Matters, kind of: If the bottle you’re getting comes with different nipple sizes make sure to get the appropriate one for your baby. Infants should have a size one, this part refers to the hole of the nipple, and how easily the milk will flow out.

Unknown

Flow can also be most effectively regulated by the adult giving the bottle.  Consider the base and actual protruding nipple size.  You might want to try to match the bottle nipple to that of the mothers nipple.  If the baby is used to a small nipple from mom, a huge nipple from the bottle will likely gag your baby.

3. Baby Position: Baby can be in varying positions but most commonly in the cradle hold.  The difference being that the baby should be seated up a little more rather than lying in the traditional cradle hold.  With bottle babies naturally take in more air, its best for them to be more upright.

For the first few feedings it might be best to turn the baby away from your chest, just slightly so she doesn’t try to root, which will only frustrate her.

Try: Cradle hold, baby upright at 45 degree angle, and slightly turned away from the chest.

4. Don’t shove the bottle in her mouth.  Tickle your babies lips with the nipple of the bottle, and when she opens her mouth only put part of the nipple in. She will suck in the rest of the nipple when she is ready-let her guide herself, she knows what she’s doing!

5. Bottle Angle.  Contrary to popular belief, avoid turning the bottle straight down so the milk fills up the whole nipple. This causes milk to poor out of the nipple which is likely to frustrate your baby because she is getting more than she can swallow. Keep the bottle basically horizontal (depending on how full it is) so that only half of the nipple fills with milk. This way your baby has to work a little for the milk she gets. This is especially important if your baby is also breastfeeding because getting milk from the breast can be more work for her than getting it from a free flowing silicone nipple.It’s important to keep her sucking consistent so she doesn’t lose her sucking technique and doesn’t begin to prefer bottle over breast (unlikely scenario). The horizontal angle also helps to prevents milk from pouring out of her mouth and from her gagging.

 

Link

The Overprotected Kid

The Overprotected Kid

The Overprotected Kid by Hanna Rosin looks at the history of playgrounds, and how regulation and safety guidelines have possibly made recent generations “less emotionally expressive, less energetic, less talkative and verbally expressive, less humorous, less imaginative, less unconventional, less lively and passionate, less perceptive, less apt to connect seemingly irrelevant things, less synthesizing, and less likely to see things from a different angle.”

 

“[Lady Marjory Allen] wanted to design playgrounds with loose parts that kids could move around and manipulate, to create their own makeshift structures. But more important, she wanted to encourage a “free and permissive atmosphere” with as little adult supervision as possible. The idea was that kids should face what to them seem like “really dangerous risks” and then conquer them alone. That, she said, is what builds self-confidence and courage.

 

The playgrounds were novel, but they were in tune with the cultural expectations of London in the aftermath of World War II. Children who might grow up to fight wars were not shielded from danger; they were expected to meet it with assertiveness and even bravado. Today, these playgrounds are so out of sync with affluent and middle-class parenting norms that when I showed fellow parents back home a video of kids crouched in the dark lighting fires, the most common sentence I heard from them was “This is insane.” (Working-class parents hold at least some of the same ideals, but are generally less controlling—out of necessity, and maybe greater respect for toughness.) That might explain why there are so few adventure playgrounds left around the world, and why a newly established one, such as the Land, feels like an act of defiance.”

I Love You Through and Through: A+

Unknown-2I Love You Through and Through, written by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak is a lovely, sweet book that everyone should own.  It’s simply about unconditional love, e.g.,  “I love your happy side, I love your sad side.”