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Tag Archives: Newborn

Dear 3rd trimester Momma

by Heidi

WE UNDERSTAND:

It’s hard looking down and seeing what once was ankles, are now unrecognizable and have been consumed by these thick puffy cankles. Those sexy little sling back sandals you bought to match your dress are now impossible to fit, you might as well try and place a whole cow into a single sausage casing.

WE UNDERSTAND:

That you are tossing and turning each night trying to get to a good night’s rest. Sleep has become a foreign concept, and if another person comments on how tired you look, you may just burst into tears. Don’t they know that you now have a worn out path where your new hardwood floor once was because you have been pacing back and forth all night long. Pregnancy insomnia is such a struggle.

WE UNDERSTAND:

That there is nothing glamorous about the end of pregnancy. There is no shame in wearing those adult diapers or thick panty liners you are trying to hide under your jeans! Can’t be caught unprepared for a miscalculated sneeze or cough accident or better yet, JUST INCASE your water breaks in public? No one wants to be THAT pregnant lady.

WE UNDERSTAND:

That you are wanting to hide away in your home. If you receive one more text you or call you asking if baby is born yet, you will take a sledge hammer to your phone! And if another stranger (or friend) comments how huge you look, they may be unapologetically drowned in an unholy dose of pregnancy hormone rage that can’t be tamed.

WE UNDERSTAND:

The spilt juice on the floor will most likely be there tomorrow. After all bending, down to clean it may mean you’re on the floor for an extended amount of time, so you want to plan your day around cleaning that spill so you can be prepared to clean the baseboards, cupboards and fridge while your down there.

WE UNDERSTAND:

Waddling is no longer left to the penguins.

WE UNDERSTAND:

A crowded room is now your nemesis. No one likes sweat dripping down their back. Even if you had flashing lights and a wide load sign above your head, there is no way you’d be able to squeeze through the crowd, the classic “turn sideways, hold your breath and slide through” technique is no longer your friend. You either strategically find a space to spend your time (one that’s equally close to the food and beverages as it is to the bathroom but still in the cross breeze of the open windows), or your just ram your big O’ baby belly into people (making them feel as though it was they’re fault they bumped you) as you make your way across the room.

WE UNDERSTAND:

It’s frustrating waiting to see if every Braxton hicks you feel is going to be “THE REAL DEAL” this time, or that you have inspected that toilet paper you wiped to see JUST MAYBE you lost your mucus plug or had your bloody show.

WE UNDERSTAND:

All these things listed above will only be a faint memory the moment your babe is placed on your chest for the very first time.  Those sling back sandals you never really liked anyways. Lack of sleep was just building up your endurance for all those late night feeds. Those adult diapers and panty liners, just gave you extra cushion when you sat on a hard chair, that’s the real reason you wore them. You’d never ACTUALLY take a sledge hammer to your phone, after all how else would you be able to baby spam all your friends and family?  Your fridge and floors has never been cleaner since being pregnant.  Who ever said you waddled was jealous of your pregnancy swagger!  Crowded rooms just gave you an excuses to get out of those non-essential events that where going to bore you anyways. And really, inspecting your toilet paper after ever use of the bathroom just gave you something to do to pass the time.

 

Heidi, Owner, Yellow Bird Birth Inc.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Prenatal Classes

5 Benefits of Delayed Cord Clamping

by Heidi

What is Delayed Cord Clamping?

Delayed cord clamping is a birth practice where the umbilical cord is not clamped or cut beyond 30 seconds of baby’s delivery. Many times, the cord will be clamped and cut after the umbilical cord has stopped pulsating or after the placenta has been delivered.

Here are some benefits to this birth practice!

 

1. The Placenta Contains a Third of Baby’s Blood

Research shows that when we delay clamping the umbilical cord, the baby will receive up to 30% more of the fetal-placental blood volume than it would have with immediate cord clamping.

 

2. Baby Receives an Increase of Oxygen

A full count of red blood cells provides the increase of oxygen to baby for the transition to life outside of the womb. Not only is baby receiving extra oxygen but he also receives the millions of stem cells and immune cells that are inside the umbilical cord.

 

3. Prevention of Iron Deficiency/ Anemia

The American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists state that waiting just 3 minutes may prevent iron deficiency (anemia) during the first year of baby’s life. Babies receive a huge influx of iron-rich red blood cells when the umbilical cord can continue pulsating. What’s interesting is that, Mom’s breast milk has been shown to be low in iron levels. Research has shown that this extra increase of iron storage lasts in baby up to 4-6 months which is about the time that iron-rich foods are being introduced.

 

4. Benefits for Preemies

Of course, some preemies need to be rushed to NICU or receive immediate medical attention right after delivery. But for infants born before 37 weeks, the Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Canada state that, cord clamping should be delayed by at least a minute after birth to reduce the need for transfusion and the potential for bleeding in the brain. It’s also been shown that preemies have fewer heart problems, better blood pressure, and less anemia.

 

5. Uninterrupted Cuddles

Last but not least! Delayed cord clamping promotes bonding between Mom and baby just by the fact that they are still attached to each other and forced to cuddle and get to know each other. Those first minutes of skin to skin between Mom and baby release several different hormones that create the everlasting love and bond that is so important. These first cuddles also encourage early breastfeeding!

 

If delayed cord clamping is something you choose to do at your birth make sure to tell your birth team (partner, doula, sister, etc.) and have it written down in your birth plan. Those first moments after delivery can be fast-paced and it’s always good to have someone on your team remember to tell your care provider your wishes in case you can’t.

There are always risks to any birth practice and it’s always a great idea to talk the benefits and risks out with your care provider to decide what is the right choice for you and your baby.

Researching decisions like this can have a big positive impact on your birth and baby!

 

With Love,
Brenna

Birth Doula & Prenatal Instructor
Yellow Bird Birth Doula

Stressed Spelled Backwards is Desserts

by Heidi

We all have those mile long lists of things that need to get done before baby arrives, you know the one, it includes painting the nursery, making sure all the shelves are secured to the wall and cleaning supplies are out of reach of small children, stocking the freezer with ready-made meals, buying the newest and greatest baby gadget on the market, and packing the hospital bags.  Often we can get consumed by the ever growing list, causing unnecessary stress and anxiety. We forget to take a deep breath, relax, and indulge in some self-care. For those of you who know me personally, know that I’m currently 28 weeks pregnant with my third and am currently in the midst of buying and moving to a bigger home around the same time baby is due; the stress and anxiety going through my brain is ridiculous. The irony of this blog post is definitely not lost on me, I’ve been actually laughing at myself as I wrote this. So how can we as pregnant women de-stress and relax? It’s not like we can grab that glass of wine anymore..

 

Breathing Exercises

Its amazing how deep intentional breathes can relax your body and allow the stress and anxiety to melt away. The best part is, breathing exercises can be done at any time or anywhere. When taking those deep through the nose breaths, you are increasing blood flow, improving posture, calming your nervous system (reducing the fight or flight response), and pausing in the midst of chaos to become focused and grounded. Bonus is, if you can learn to take deep intentional breathes while pregnant, it will become second nature and will help when you are riding those long waves of contractions when it’s time for labour, WIN- WIN!  Here is a very easy Breathing Technique I have been using called the 4-7-8 Method.

Get Outside and Exercise

Sunshine and Vitamin D is essential. The more fresh air you take in the more “clean” oxygen you are taking in which increases the serotonin (the happy hormone) you inhale, the happier you become. Going for a walk or any sort of exercise helps get those muscles moving, blood pumping, and help decrease any discomfort you are feeling such as backaches, relieves stress, and builds up stamina that is needed for the labour and delivery of your little on. Fresh air also gives you more energy and a clearer mind. After spending a few minutes outside you may notice an extra pep in your step and ready to take on the task at hand that was bogging you down a few minutes before.  Being able to get outside may not always be possible when we need it the most, so opening a window and taking some deep breaths while standing beside it is a great compromise.

 

Take a Bath

This one is my favourite. While it’s recommended not to take a bath that’s hot enough to raise our body temperatures to 102.2 degrees for longer than 10 minutes, a bath is a great way to wash all the anxiety and stress away. Turn the lights off, light some candles, play some of your favourite music, read a book or watch a movie, pour yourself some bubbly (bubble bath that is), and just relax back. Turn your mind off! Ignore the doorbell, and your phone. Soak in the ambiance, romance yourself. If you have any other children, this may be difficult, but I have had great success using this technique after mine have gone to bed for the night. My husband knows I needs a “mommy time out” and he is “mom duty” for the next hour or so!  

 

Be Productive

Sometimes getting down on all fours and scrubbing those stubborn stains off the baseboards or making some delicious backed goods (after all stressed spelled backwards is desserts) can be the best way for a person to work through their stress and anxiety. Bonus is if you’re in the late stages of your pregnancy as it’s said that being down on all fours can help shift baby into a great position for birth. It’s amazing how therapeutic scrubbing a floor or pounding down some risen dough is, for me at least, it’s when I do my best thinking, and am able to more often than not work out a solution for what is causing me to be stressed out or anxious. 

 

Remember Rome wasn’t built in a day, so why does the nursery have to be Pinterest perfect? Self-care is so important in any stage of life. If you can learn a way that works best for you to de-stress now, it will become a lifelong skill you can fall back on for the years to come. Pregnancy can be an overwhelming time for many women, but it also is a beautiful time to reflect and start bonding with your unborn child. So don’t let stress and anxiety control your pregnancy, take some time to enjoy the dessert 😉

 

Heidi, Client Care Specialist , Yellow Bird Birth Inc.

Professional Doula Services | Placenta Encapsulation | Surrogacy Support | Prenatal Classes | Business Support

Birth For Parents

by Heidi

Labor and birth can be an uncomfortable and oftentimes unpredictable experience. Becoming educated on the options available to you can make the process seem less scary. The support of a labor doula can bring you reassurance, comfort, and an endless source of information when you need it most.

Doulas focus on providing relevant information, hands on comfort and non-judgmental support throughout your pregnancy, labor and birth.

Hiring the supportive services of a doula will allow you to feel supported and confident, every step of the way. 

Yellow Bird Birth

Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!

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Why I’m Hiring A Birth Photographer, Finally..

by Heidi

Why I’m hiring a Birth Photographer, Finally…

So this is my 3rd pregnancy/birth.  It’s coming up fast next month and we’re planning a home birth this time around.  Midwives, doula, family, the whole works will be there in our home.  Now why can’t one of these people simply grab a camera and take some photos during my labour? Sounds like it would be easy enough, especially with technology these days even on our cell phones!

I want to capture those very special once in a lifetime moments of my baby entering the world as I’m sure you do as well. But after my other two births I realized that I shouldn’t leave it up to an amateur. While my family and friends tried their best and grabbed my camera out of my labour bag to snap some pics, they mostly turned out blurry and grainy.  Strange angles and poor lighting.  I loved that they also wanted to save these memories for me but I shouldn’t have to put that responsibility on their shoulders.

So this time I’m hiring a… BIRTH PHOTOGRAPHER!

I want a professional, practiced and trained in low lighting (because let’s get real, most babies come at night) with high quality equipment.  It makes a difference! If you’ve ever been to a birth with a photographer you will be amazing by how sneaky and quiet they are,  they creep around the room finding the best angles and making sure to capture all the special moments of your strength bringing your baby into the world. It takes skills to do this! Trust me… you want someone who knows birth and understands the phases of labour so they can be one step ahead at all times.

I wish I had realized all this the first two times around but for my 3rd birth I am ecstatic that I can look back in years to come and see my strength, struggles and how my birth team surrounded me to bring my baby earth side.

I want photos of my mom holding my hand.

My husband whispering loving words to me while I lean on him.

My sisters boiling water in the kitchen to make tea.

How our living room looked with a birth pool set up and twinkle lights surrounding us.

My midwife calmly watching with assurance of my ability to birth.

These are important to me, I want to remember these things and I can’t wait to share them with you!

Also, my very favorite local birth photographer is Dori Marie Photography.  She was kind enough to share her work with us and I highly recommend this sweet woman! I know you will LOVE her.

www.dorimariephotography.com

Yellow Bird Birth Services

Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!

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Birth Out Loud: In The Philippines Pt. 1

by Heidi

Birth

Two births (First in Philippines, second in Canada) and midwifery clinic in a rural village.

“I went back to work when he was 4 weeks old and started attending births, mostly doing prenatals in our midwifery clinic in the rural Philippines.  I watched one birth with him on my back and quickly asked if I could take a couple more months off because it was still too fresh. But he was on my back constantly while I did prenatals and did postpartum and then I started attending births when he was 4 months old, catching again. It was a whole different experience and it was still very fresh even though it had been a couple months.  I found my empathy for these women was through the roof and it definitely changed how I practiced midwifery. Once you have been through birth you’re like.. oh yes, I get it, I understand what you are feeling.

One month we had 39 births at the clinic where I attended at least half of those. Sometimes as an assistor, sometimes a charter or primary. It would get intense.  It’s different when you have a kid as he was still nursing. My husband would bring him in and I would quickly nurse him between contractions if I was the primary in the birth room. Sometimes it would be 20 hours of birth before I would get to see my 4 month old again so there was definitely an aspect of sacrificing time with my son in order to do it but my husband was awesome.  He filled in, took up all the slack that I was giving in the mothering aspect.

Having my newborn around the clinic was awesome.  It was a big family, all the midwives there were family so there was always someone there to play with him. Someone to hold him, even at 2am because he was a night owl. Especially if I was in a birth then I could always hear him in the hallway which was the hardest part for me.  Being in an intense birth and it’s so emotional, then hearing him cry and knowing I couldn’t go to him because I had a responsibility in the birth and I had to be a midwife first before I could be a mother.  That was hard and something I didn’t expect.”

 

Yellow Bird Birth Series

Fraser Valley’s Premier Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth and postpartum!

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Car Seat Safety Part 2: Choosing A Seat

by Heidi

Where to start when choosing a car seat for your baby

Choosing a car seat for your baby-on-the-way doesn’t seem like too difficult a task…until you walk into a store, or start searching online and see all the options. And then how do you choose? Maybe a friend or relative has had a baby recently so you ask them what they have. Maybe you just decide to find one in a colour you like. Some people like to pick a stroller first and then see what car seat is compatible with that stroller. These are helpful starting points, but it can get more complicated than that.

Every vehicle, baby and adult comes in all shapes & sizes, and families have budget that vary as well. This can create some challenges. Are there other children, pets or adults that travel in the vehicle too? Is there a possibility of baby being pre-term or low birth weight? As a car seat tech, we take all these things into consideration when making suggestions.

woman choosing child car seat for newborn baby in shop supermarket

Things to keep in mind when shopping for an infant only car seat (Some convertible car seats may be used from birth, but I would talk to a certified tech or do some extra research before taking that route. It’s just as safe as using an infant only seat, provided the seat fits your newborn and is able to be installed at the required newborn angle in your vehicle):

-Weight & Height limits. Infant seats in Canada generally fall into the range from 4-35lbs and have a maximum height limit of between 29-32” (74-81cm). Most infant only car seats have upper weight limits of 22, 30, 32 or 35lbs.

Most of us are more familiar with weights of babies & children. We focus on that number and it is important, but the majority of kids will outgrow their car seats by height before they ever reach the weight limit. If you are trying to decide between a 30 or 35lb version of a seat, and you & your partner are tall, I would opt for the one with the higher height limit as opposed to being fixated on the weight. To give you some perspective, the 50th percentile girl will reach 30lbs around age 3. My 16 month old nephew is a big boy at 30lbs, and lands above the 97th percentile on the growth chart. On the other hand, many babies will put on weight fast in the first few months and can be 22lbs by 4 months of age, and you might not be ready to start using a convertible (RF & FF seat that remains installed in the vehicle). Babies generally slow down their weight gain, so don’t panic that your child is going to outgrow the infant seat soon if your baby is 15lbs at 8 weeks!

-Lowest Harness Slot. This might be one of the most important things to look for. There are several seats we do not recommend because they do not fit an average newborn at all.

The box says it fits from 5lbs, so why won’t a 7lb baby fit? Because the harness straps must be AT or BELOW the baby’s shoulders and if the lowest harness slot isn’t low enough, the baby is too small for the seat. All the infant seats on our recommended list have low enough slots to accommodate even small babies because they all have low enough harness slots or positions. How to check: when you are at a store that has infant seats on display, look at the distance from the crease of the seat (where baby’s bum would be), to the lowest slot. Compare a few seats. You may notice some have a much greater distance. A long torso baby may fit just fine in these seats, but that’s a gamble. If you are at risk of preterm or low birth weight babies, this is especially important. Currently, all seats that start at 4lbs also have low harness slots to accommodate small babies.

-Fit to Vehicle.

Some seats are more narrow than others. Some are shorter front to back. If you have other people or child seats in your vehicle or if the front to back (leg room) situation is short, these are very important factors.

Some bases have built in lock offs that make install the base securely easier than with the seat-belt alone, if lower anchors (UAS) are not available in that seating position. All bases have UAS hooks included although some seating positons (mostly the centre seat) do not allow borrowing the anchors from the outer seating positions so require a seatbelt install. Some vehicles do not have UAS (any vehicle made after 2001 will have at least two seating positions with UAS), so seatbelt install is required. Do not use both UAS AND seatbelt together. It’s one or the other, not both. They are equally safe as long as the install is correct. Always read your manual to see what is permitted for your specific seat.

Vehicles come with all sorts of slopes on their 2nd row seats. Some bases are adjustable while others require the use of a tightly rolled towel or pool noodle segments to achieve a proper newborn recline. Having the seat installed at the proper recline is very important as it helps keep a newborns airway clear.

-Ease of Use.

Can this seat be installed easily in most vehicles? Does the handle require a specific locked position when driving that is going to be an issue? Can this seat be installed baseless easily when we ride in other vehicles other than our primary car? Is this seat heavy, even when empty and going to be an issue to carry around when a larger baby is in it? These are all great question and a friendly CRST would be happy to answer these questions for you!

Contacting a car seat tech can help you narrow your search to specific seats that meet your needs, are best suited for your vehicle and fit your budget. There are some fantastic seats on the low end of the budget scale, so you don’t always have to pay big bucks on a seat that you may use for under a year.

More expensive seat might not necessarily mean they are safer, but have certain features that make use easier or may fit your vehicle better.

Need help? Have questions?

Find a nationally certified CRST (Child Restraint Systems Technician) near you here!

Find a tech

A great resource is our friends over at Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs. They keep an up-to-date compilation of recommended Canadian car seats. If you don’t see the seat you’ve been eyeing on this list, there’s likely a good reason it’s missing. : http://vicarseattechs.com/our-favourite-seats/infant-seats/

-https://www.facebook.com/groups/FraserValleyCarSeatSafety/

Janice Kampman, CRST

I’m a Fraser Valley based car seat technician, passionate about child passenger safety. I have 4 young kids and usually 5 car seats installed in my van. I love working with people to figure out a 3-across that works for their vehicle, testing fit of car seats in clients vehicles (with my vast collection of seats!) and advising people of what seat would work best for their situation. You can contact me here:

[email protected]

Fraser Valley’s Primer Doula Group providing everything you need for your BEST birth!

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

Car Seat Safety Part 1: First Ride

by Heidi

Car Seat Safety Part 1: First Ride

It’s a moment that can make parenthood real. Your new baby has been in the safe confines of amniotic fluid, and more recently, surrounded by the safe walls of home or hospital. Now your baby is on their first car ride, and you realize that there are thousands of people in cars & trucks zooming past you that don’t even realize, and shockingly don’t even care, that you have a precious new baby in the back seat!

You might nervously sit in the front seat and wonder how your baby is doing so far away and alone in the back seat. You might be sitting right.there.beside her. Your chauffeur may be extra careful to signal well in advance, drive slightly more defensively and maybe slower than normal. This is the first drive of many.

Feelings of concerns for your baby’s safety are justified. Crashes happen. People are still texting, drinking, being distracted and making mistakes behind the wheel. Tires blow, unsecured loads fall off, and drivers fall asleep. Our newer vehicles have so many safety features built in, that we don’t even realize they are there until we need them. Airbags are hidden all over the interior and crumple zones are designed to protect the occupants. We all know about the seatbelt, and that it is extremely effective in reducing injury & death. But seatbelts are designed for the average sized adult man, and many of the airbags too (this is the main reason children under 13 should NOT be in the front passenger seat).

So how do we protect our new, tiny baby today and in the years ahead? The answer is both simple and complicated. Simple: Use a child restraint that fits your child and is installed and used correctly every time. Complicated: How do we know what fits my child? What seat fits in my car? Are expensive seats better? How DO I install my child’s seat correctly? When do we move to the next stage?

There are stats all over saying up to 90% of child restraints are installed incorrectly, so asking a friend that is already a parent, might not give you the correct advice. One infant seat that worked great for your 9lb 22.5” niece might not be the best choice for your 5.5lb 18” bundle of joy. So who can you turn to for advice?

A nationally certified Child Restraint System’s Techician (CRST…or car seat tech), is there to help! Some chose to become techs to complement their day jobs while others of us are just parents wanting to make a difference in our communities. We are passionate about Child Passenger Safety and helping parents & caregivers keep their children safe. Most of us are volunteers and are not compensated by anyone.

What does a car seat tech do?

-We recommend seats! Just because it’s a Rear Facing Only infant carrier, or it says ‘Starting at 5lbs!’, doesn’t mean it will fit a newborn well. We take into account your specific vehicle (make/model/year), if you or your partner is tall or short, whether or not you have other passengers riding along in the back seats and your budget when suggesting a seat.

-We meet with you in person. Go over your vehicle & car seat manuals. We check your install for tightness and correct recline angle. Show you how to install your seat using UAS (lower anchors) or seatbelt. We will show you how to adjust the seat to fit your baby and go over other do’s & don’ts of the infant car seat. Answer any question you have, and if we don’t have the answer we will ask our tech friends if they have the answer! Finally, we will get you to install the seat so you are confident you can do it yourself correctly!

-We explain the best practices for child passenger safety. Most medical associations recommend rear facing until the minimum age of 2, or preferably longer. Ask us why the overwhelming evidence proves this saves lives and significantly reduces injury.

Need help? Have questions?

Find a nationally certified CRST (Child Restraint Systems Technician) near you here!

Find a tech

A great resource is our friends over at Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs. They keep an up-to-date compilation of recommended Canadian car seats. If you don’t see the seat you’ve been eyeing on this list, there’s likely a good reason it’s missing.

Infant Seats

https://www.facebook.com/groups/FraserValleyCarSeatSafety/

Janice Kampman, CRST

I’m a Fraser Valley based car seat technician, passionate about child passenger safety. I have 4 young kids and usually 5 car seats installed in my van. I love working with people to figure out a 3-across that works for their vehicle, testing fit of car seats in clients vehicles (with my vast collection of seats!) and advising people of what seat would work best for their situation. You can contact me here:

[email protected]

Yellow Bird Birth

Doula | Placenta Encapsulation | Birth Pool Rentals in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford and Chilliwack

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The Crazy of Tandem Nursing

by Heidi

The Crazy of Tandem Nursing

Happy World Breastfeeding Week!!! I would love to share with you my adventure in breastfeeding, more specifically, what tandem nursing has looked like in my life and in my children’s.

I always knew I wanted to breastfeed. I was encouraged by an amazing network of experienced mamas who supported me and my choice to breastfeed my first, even before I had her. Our nursing relationship started within the first hour of her birth and besides the first two weeks of constantly being latched (and the discomfort that came with that), our relationship grew and progressed very positively. I only once didn’t have enough milk, and that’s because I didn’t pump enough before leaving on an anniversary trip with my husband. But my sisters, who thankfully were also both breastfeeding their babies, shared some milk they had stored up and I had an amazing weekend away.

I had the goal of nursing to two years old, but that was more of a milestone than an end date.

Fast forward to having a nursing toddler and being pregnant with my son. I didn’t realize it, but my milk supply pretty much dried up. I had never heard the term “dry nursing” until recently, but that is what my daughter was doing. I was a bit sore and had to set boundaries and cut feedings short now and then because I was uncomfortable, but I still enjoyed nursing throughout my pregnancy and wasn’t ready to give it up.

Breast feeding two sisters twin baby girls at same time.

When my son was born, my colostrum came in, then my milk came back with full force…..ouch! The first month of tandem nursing was tough. The first few weeks after birth are generally no walk in the park, but adjusting to life with two nursing children left me exhausted and an emotional mess. My daughter started acting like her two year old self, tantruming daily, demanding my milk and attention constantly. I felt guilty every time I had to tell her to wait for milkies or cuddles. My son was pretty easy and loved sleeping on his own, what a blessing that was, and he always was the priority to feed, change, and sleep! But I was in a constant state of planning the next feeds and naps and meals for my daughter and I, stressing about the crying fits…from all three of us!

Then I had an epiphany. I realized if I stopped nursing my daughter that day, she would be completely fine. If I ended our nursing relationship, that would be 100% okay for both of us. We had 2 amazing years, and she is a well adjusted, securely attached, and healthy 2 year old who knows she is loved and cared for! There would be no negatives (besides the initial emotions) for either of us, there actually would be some positives for me! So I decided I would stop nursing her, and be okay with it, whenever I chose.

Terms like Extended Breastfeeding, Child Led Weaning, and Tandem Nursing filled my Facebook newsfeed daily, and I used to feel like I wasn’t a good enough mom unless I made those things happen. But I got real with myself and my family needs. My daughter didn’t NEED to be breastfeeding and I didn’t NEED to nurse her. We would be okay.

Suddenly the pressure was off. I gave myself the space and the control of our nursing relationship. I set some boundaries, I only nurse at bedtimes and wake ups (4 times a day), and sometimes less or more depending on our happenings of the day. Nursing her became then enjoyable again, a special mommy-only time that I treasure. I believe Child Led Weaning can be a beautiful thing, and I plan to continue nursing as long as it works for both of us (and my family as a whole). But it is okay to be done, feel like it is no longer a good thing, or even need to cut down on the number of feeds. It is OKAY! And Good! And as a mother, I will give myself that space for a healthy relationship with my child, whether that means nursing or not.

Breastfeeding two little sisters twin girls at same time

Mother’s discontinue breastfeeding for many reasons. We will all come to a point where we no longer are nursing, and there needs to be healthy talk about those times of transitions. They can be emotional, stressful, confusing, and physically difficult (your hormones might go crazy!). We hope that your time nursing ends in a joyful, peaceful way that benefits both mother and child. If you are struggling with your breastfeeding journey, please contact us. We have amazing Lactation Consultants and trusted support resources for breastfeeding moms, lets make breastfeeding work for you and your baby!

-Jaclyn

Doula and Placenta Encapsulation Specialist in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford and Chilliwack

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Why I Had a Hard Time Sleeping.

by Heidi

The first time I noticed it was when I got in an argument with my husband. I packed up my son in the car and drove to a beach an hour away. It had been a small fight over something silly but I made it into a much larger emotional deal and took off. I needed some time to take my shoes off and walk in the sand with my little boy.

The second time I noticed it was driving home on the highway and realized I would be driving over a bridge and that I should plan out exactly what should happen in case it collapsed and I needed to get my son out of his infant car seat. I calculated the time it would take and exactly how I would maneuver over the seats and out the window before we would lose air. My heart pumped faster as I drove across.

This started to become a daily occurrence and each time I would get a little scarier and over the top. Planning how I could escape if there was a fire and how I would get my child out, or if we were in a store I would take notice of the exits and the best escape routes. I’m an emotional person in the first place but being 6 months postpartum with hormones flying, I thought this was normal. That each mother felt like this for their children. I started exercising and that seemed to help keep my anxiety down but then I went through my second pregnancy and it started again. My family and friends didn’t know about this since I thought it was normal and couldn’t quite explain my thoughts.

The worst day. My husband was away for a week, my son was 2.5 years and my daughter was 5 months old. I tucked the little ones into bed and turned on a movie to wind down for the evening. I did my usual checking out the window but turned off the lights and relaxed. After my show was done I went into my bed, closed my eyes and tried to fall asleep.

I heard a noise, jumped out of bed and checked out the front window. It must have been the neighborhood cat which I logically knew but my mind wouldn’t calm. I checked every window in our home, every one of them. Then I walked around and turned on the lights in each room. I peaked in to check that my children were sleeping soundly in their beds. My heart was racing and nothing was helping. The house was lit up, no reason to be scared. Logically, no reason to be scared. But I was paralyzed.

I laid there stiff in my bed. Under the covers scared to move in case I would miss a noise from outside, wanting to pack up my children and run to my vehicle so we could drive to my mom’s. It was safe there and she would protect me. Only 10 minutes away but I couldn’t fathom leaving my front door. I was scared to walk from the house to the truck so I was stuck. In my bed awake until 3:30am waiting for something to happen to me.

This was post-partum anxiety.

This continued to happen, week after week I would have at least one or two nights of no sleep, staying up until early in the morning.  Until the sky started to get light again.

Being open about my fears has been key. I try to talk them out loud when they begin and make sure I am understanding the difference between normal and anxiety. I often would wake my husband up during the night to discuss it and get it out in the open. However, the most help has still been exercising. When you see photos of me hiking way up on a mountain cliff, it’s not because I am trying to be competitive (even though I love doing that too), it’s facing my fears and pushing my body to limits that I never thought so that I can take back the control of being scared and anxious. I know who I am more than I have my whole life now.

While I don’t mean to make women worried with these stories, I want to make it known that post-partum anxiety is much more common than you may figure. Women are dealing with these same fears all over the country right now. If this is you, please know there is help and we can point you in the right direction to resources. I tried to reach out to my midwife at 6 months post-partum and no one returned my messages. I don’t want this to be you. Postpartum anxiety is real, serious and there is help.

-Amanda

Doula and Prenatal Fitness Instructor in the Fraser Valley, including Abbotsford and Chilliwack

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