12 Days of Postpartum Care

12 Days of Postpartum Support and Education 

 

for the Holidays

Gift certificates for Postpartum support

 

Looking for the perfect gift for PARENTS-TO-BE this holiday season?

Going from Me to We, means transitions are coming

Look no further

HIRE an in-home MOTHER-BABY-FAMILY RN expert and you will be the TALK of the HOLIDAYS

Feel Free to sing along

 

 

On the first day home from delivery, my After Baby Consultant gave to me:

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Being a grandparent in 2017

Grandparents:how times have changed

Last Sunday was National Grandparents Day and I read a statistic that was shocking to me: “Grandparents lead 37% of all U.S. households in this country — that’s 44 million households nationwide.”  Grandparents play a vital role in families and should have a day to be celebrated by those who love them.  Grandparents

A little history about Grandparents Day.  A woman named Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade of West Virginia started pursuing her goal to honor the importance of Grandparents in 1970 but it did not become a holiday until President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day in 1979. Her three main purposes for creating National Grandparents Day were to:

  1. Honor grandparents.
  2. Give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children’s children.
  3. Help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.

Parenting Practices

Parenting practices have changed tremendously over the past 20 to 50 years as guidelines and recommendations have further developed.  As a result, these changes have contributed to many communication issues between parents and grandparents. Sometimes, feelings get hurt and misinformation is handed out leading to frustrated and overwhelmed parents. What can we do to help smooth this out for all generations? Educate Educate Educate.

I love including grandparents in family and newborn care. By learning how grandparents parented their own children and dispelling myths with evidence based research, it is easier to help them see how times have changed and how they can best support their grandchildren. My goal is to bring families closer together and allow everyone to peacefully celebrate the newest family member.  The three biggest topics I discuss with grandparents are: sleeping, breastfeeding and spoiling, however I am knowledgeable about plenty of other topics.

Sleeping

Prior to 1992 when the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) introduced placing babies on their sides or backs to sleep, most babies slept on their tummies.  In 1994, the Back to Sleep education campaign was introduced to share research stating that it is best for babies to sleep on their backs to reduce the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome). 1996 brought the AAP revision of their recommendations again to add that babies be placed to sleep on their backs on a firm surface with no soft bedding. In 2000, the Back to Sleep campaign revised its message again to include that bed sharing may be “considered hazardous under certain situations.”  Yes, there have been several revisions since 2000 but the current recommendation is still BACK TO SLEEP and sleeping in their parent’s room, not same bed, for at least the first 4-6 months!

Breastfeeding

Did you know that the infants grandmother has the most influential impact on whether the mom exclusively breastfeeds? Yes, this is true! Grandma’s, it is ok if you did not nurse, you can still support your daughter or daughter in law.  Take advantage of this amazing opportunity to boost the new mother’s breastfeeding confidence. Moms with newborns want and need your support! Do not let lack of breastfeeding knowledge and/or experience influence how you provide support.

Ways to help breastfeeding moms: offer to go to a breastfeeding class with them. Read about the numerous benefits of breastfeeding. Bring pillows for support, food for nourishment and water for hydration. Research evidence based websites together if they are struggling (kellymom.com).  Keep moms company when they sit down to nurse. Offer to burp baby in between breasts. Snuggle babies between feeds so mom gets a little break, but encourage her to feed on demand, not on a schedule.  Reassure her that she has enough milk for her baby and she does not need to supplement (unless the lactation consultant/pediatrician is concerned).  Build up moms confidence and help her trust her instincts, ask for help when needed and together you can get through the initial challenges of breastfeeding.

Spoiling

Last but certainly not least is that holding your baby all the time will spoil them.  This is not the case! Study after study show how crucial touch is for your baby’s growing development. Babies are completely incapable of being manipulative, therefore unable to “be spoiled” by being held all the time. Meeting your babies’ needs by quickly responding, snuggling, singing and talking to them immediately builds trust, safety and security for your infant.

Research shows that holding your babies results in less crying and more contented babies. Who doesn’t want that?  Therefore grandparents, encourage your family to hand the baby over to you for cuddle time. Share with the newest member how their parents were as babies.  If you are comfortable, ask to wear the baby. Keep the baby close. Holding and responding to your grand baby’s cry’s is meeting their basic needs.  You will have plenty of time to SPOIL them later in life.

Some things haven’t changed much

Disposable diapers are pretty much the same but definitely more absorbent. Most have newborn cutouts for the umbilical cord and lines that change color when baby is wet.  Cloth diapers are making a comeback and are much easier to use these days with buttons instead of diaper pins.  Swaddling blankets are made bigger and therefore easier to swaddle.  Sleep sacks are pretty common and have made swaddling a breeze for parents and grandparents alike.

It is hard to keep up with the constant changes in the world of moms, babies and families. As a grandparent-to-be or a veteran grandparent, ASK first how you can help and then support the parent’s decisions.   One of my many roles as a professional RN/Doula/Lactation Educator is to inform and educate.  I discuss the current recommendations and guidelines as to the WHY. Then it becomes the parents job to think about and apply what they believe will be the best decision for their family.

“I do not hold grandparents to be glorified babysitters but rather as parents’ surrogates who bring love, a continuance of generational values, and a sense of the child’s worth to the integrity of the family…”                  Marian McQuade

Baby’s arrival: Topics to discuss before baby arrives Part 2

Baby’s arrival is coming soon….Baby's arrival

Moms and dads transition to their roles as parents in different ways. Responsibilities, lifestyle adjustments, and financial difficulties can ALL add to the challenges that new parents face.

There are many important topics to discuss before baby’s arrival, so take the time and make these conversations happen now. I find the topics listed below to be super helpful for partners to start their parenting discussions.

Be there for each other (teamwork)

Babies do NOT come with instruction manuals, so working together to find solutions to problems that arise is important. Yes, if mom is breastfeeding, dad can help burping, changing diapers and calming. Dad can also do one of the night feedings with expressed breast milk so mom can get some extra shuteye. Life is always better when you have someone else to depend on. Do not be afraid to ask each other for help and be willing to “be ok” if the other partner does something a tad differently than you!

Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success-Unknown.

Create a general plan for who will handle what responsibilities.

Talk about this NOW and often as hurt feelings arise very easily over this. Do both parents work?  Is one staying home? If one parent is home, are they responsible for doing all the housework, cooking and taking care of the baby? Who does the grocery shopping and running errands? If both parents are working, who picks up and drops off at daycare or the sitters? Who gets alone time for self-care first and how often? Again, refer to TEAMWORK, talk and work together to make it work. It is NOT always easy, but soon you will figure out what works best for your family.

Assumptions are the termites of relationships-Henry Winkler.

Discuss finances

This is always a touchy topic – having kids can be expensive. The average cost to raise a child is $233k and families can expect to spend between $12,350 and nearly $14,000 a year, on average, to raise a child. It might be a good time to set a budget or at least talk about what finances will be like. Make a list of things that you can back on. Are you going to need childcare? In home with a nanny or daycare? What happens if one partner cuts back to part time?

Beware of little expenses; a small leak will sink a great ship-Benjamin Franklin

Discuss jobs and career

Does your current job offer maternity and/or paternity leave? How long does each partner get and what portion of your income is paid? What will finances look like if one parent does not go back to work? Is that even an option? It is hard for a parent to say, “Yes, I am going back to work after my leave” before the baby is even here. Things change. Careful and creative planning comes into play if one parent decides not to go back to because they love being home with the baby. Can you come up with a compromise?

Everyone here has the sense that right now is one of those moments when we are influencing the future-Steve Jobs.

Discuss how this will impact your family

It took two of you to make the baby, so that means you will have a minimum of two sets of grandparents who are equally excited about the new grandchild.  Everyone has advice to give, some helpful and some not. Talk to your family BEFORE the baby is here, set some ground rules and make sure they respect your parenting style(s) even if they do not agree.  Ask yourselves, how do you split time between families? Whose house do you spend holidays at? Remember to stand up for your partner if a family member is being hurtful! This is YOUR baby not theirs.

Family is like music, some high notes, some low notes, but always a beautiful song-Unknown

Discuss your parenting philosophies

This is when you go back and think about your individual upbringings. What did you like? Dislike? Is there something fun that you remember about a friend’s family that you wished your family did? What have you seen watching other families? Children? Are you opposed to certain philosophies? Co-sleeping? Attachment parenting? Cry it out? Do you have the same faith? Do you celebrate certain holidays? Traditions?

The Golden Rule of Parenting; do unto your children as you wish your parents had done unto you-Louise Hart

Discuss the impact on your sex life

It is advised to abstain from sex for six weeks or until your doctor or midwife has cleared you. Hormones and libido change after childbirth, sleep deprivation always puts a damper on things and mom may be “touched out” from holding, nursing, soothing or being slept on all day. If the birth was traumatic, mom may be hesitant. Talk about ways to connect without being intimate (snuggle on the couch, hold hands, watch movies, shower together and make time to talk and check in every day). Be patient! Do not forget about birth control, there are plenty of options to try.

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain-Dolly Parton

Plan strategies for self-care

Discuss what you like to do individually and together and then make time for it to happen. When one partner is taking their time, let them have it undisturbed if possible. It is easy to lose your sense of self once the baby arrives and you will feel better when you take the time to care for yourself. It could be: taking a bath, exercising, getting your hair, nails or feet done, hitting golf balls, shooting baskets, crocheting, doing crossword puzzles, draw, paint, journal, take photos, going for a walk around the block, reading a book, playing a video game, unplugging from social media or just going into another room for a few minutes to clear your head.  A short break allows for your mind and body to rejuvenate.

The relationship with yourself sets the tone for every other relationship you have-Jane Travis

BEFORE your baby arrives, schedule a time to talk with me. I will help start the conversations about these important topics and help you set realistic expectations. Baby’s arrival brings about so many changes, get a jump start on these topics today and keep your relationship on the same page.

Disclaimer-I am not taking on the role of a counselor or therapist, I am just suggesting topics to talk about before the baby arrives.

Do I really need life insurance when I need a bigger house and a roomier car?

With all the preparations that come with baby’s arrival, buying life insurance is probably not on your priority list. Maybe it should be?  

LIfe insurance Agent

The end of your pregnancy is nearing and you are excited for your baby’s arrival. You are prepared for the delivery, the nursery is decorated and your bag is packed. Daydreaming about what life will be like with your new son/daughter is happening more frequently. You lay on the couch, flip on the t.v. and see images of children that make you cry. Instinctively you reach down and gently rub your belly, you feel your baby stir inside you. Instant relief. However, the “what if’s” creep up in your mind and you begin thinking about your child and the future…Are you prepared for the “just in case?” Read more

How to talk about potential parenting issues before baby arrives? Part 1

Pregnancy Tips for Parenting Discussions

How to start talking about parenting with your partner before the baby arrives

Part 1

Parenting
Postpartum RN-After Baby Consultant-Breastfeeding-Parenting-Home Safety-Consulting in Tucson

With all the excitement that surrounds your pregnancy; doctors’ appointments, picking out names, creating a registry, setting up the nursery, taking childbirth classes or reading books it is no wonder that parents forget to talk about HOW their lives will be affected after their baby arrives. Parenting starts before the baby arrives.

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How do I get my baby to burp?

How do I get my baby to burp?

Welcome to parenting, the best and most exhausting job ever.  The first few weeks are filled with sleepless nights, feeding, changing diapers, crying, feeding, changing diapers, crying, feeding………..oh and don’t forget about burping in between and after each feed.

A common statement I hear a lot working with families is, “Colleen, I can’t get my baby to burp, what can I do?”  My response is simple, some babies do not always need to burp and some burp automatically without having to burp them. Every baby is different but it is always best to try it and try a few different positions.  It is very common for babies to swallow air when they begin to feed and even more so if they are crying before or during a feed. Read more

WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?

Tis the season for THANKFULNESS!  

thankful
Be thankful!

In a time when we should all be counting our blessings, we tend to wonder WHAT to be thankful for and HOW to be thankful. Tempers are short, lines are longer, drivers forget how to drive, weather is brutal, sleep is disturbed, school projects, parties and end of the year activities fill up our calendars and self-care goes right out the window.

When you are feeling stressed, stop, take a time out, go outside, breath in the fresh air, think about something that makes you smile and give someone a HUG (releases oxytocin)

 

Parenting is a 24/7 365 day commitment with no time off and vacations, holidays and THANK YOU’s are often scarce. It is HARD and some days are harder than others. Holidays make life a little more interesting: kids get overstimulated by all the activity, noise, candy and lights and there seem to be scrooges everywhere.

This season can be hard for some people, me included, but just remember that you are not alone and no matter what, you have something to be grateful for.   You woke up today! Read more

Introducing…Tucson Bump2Baby…Welcome to your VILLAGE

Tucson Bump2Baby

Are you pregnant?

Want to be living a healthier lifestyle?

Curious about labor and delivery and want to be better informed?

Interested in having some additional support during labor and delivery?

Concerned you don’t know enough about taking care of a newborn?

Recently had a baby?

Struggling with breastfeeding?

Want more sleep?

Worried about postpartum depression or anxiety?

Have to go back to work?

Nervous that your home isn’t baby-proofed?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, we can help! You are not alone. Pregnancy and parenting bring on a WHOLE LIST of new questions and concerns, joy and happiness, as well as fears and anxieties about doing everything right. Whether this is your first, second, fifth, or your SURPRISE baby, we have you covered. Read more

Day dreaming and traveling. Where Would I Go? What Would I Do?

Adventures in traveling
Adventures in traveling

 

Being a new mom is hard and staring at the same four walls can get tiresome day after day.  It can also be lonely.  Even though your days may be full of feeds, diaper changes, snuggles, naps, feeds, diaper changes, burping, housework, errands and when lucky, a shower,  sometimes you may need to just lose yourself in the moment and re-charge. Read more

Unique Gifts for the Entire Family: From the Baby’s Perspective

Unique baby shower gift

I am so excited to finally be earth side and looking forward to meeting all of you eventually, but what would be really cool is if you could love on my family for me as they adjust to my being home.  I am sure that I will look cute in all the adorable outfits and I will try to use all the other gifts, BUT if you are looking for a unique gift for my mom and dad, sibling, family or ME, here is what I propose: Read more