Elderberry To The Rescue- How We Fight Off Fall and Winter Germs

mwt-elderberry

What is Elderberry and why it’s a mandatory staple in our house for the fall and winter months?

Elderberry is one of the most common herbs used for seasonal wellness.

Used for colds and flu primarily, they contain: organic pigments, tannin, amino acids, carotenoids, flavonoids, sugar, rutin, viburnic acid,vitaman A and B and a large amount of vitamin C.

They are also mildly laxative, a diuretic, and diaphoretic.

Flavonoids, including quercetin, are believed to account for the therapeutic actions of the elderberry flowers and berries.

According to test tube studies these flavonoids include anthocyanins that are powerful antioxidants and protect cells against damage.

Elderberries also have a really pleasant taste, are safe for kiddos and for pregnant or nursing mamas as well.

Every fall/winter we make a simple elderberry syrup to take daily

1-2TBS/day for prevention, every few hours to treat illness -roughly 1-3 tsp. for kids 2 and up.

((Though with my daughter she received it as young as 1 year.))

elderberry-syrup-recipe

Syrup Ingredients:

 * ⅔- 1 c. of dried elderberries
*3-4 c. water ( some recipes use apple cider instead!)
*2 tbs ginger
*½ tsp black pepper
*1 tsp cinnamon
*1 tbs licorice
*½ tsp. Cloves
*½ tsp nutmeg(optional)

 Place all herbs in a pot.

Add water.

Bring to a boil.

Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

Turn off heat.

Strain herbs using a mesh strainer and/or cheese cloth.

Combine the liquid with raw honey

(depending on how sweet you like your syrup use 1:1 ratio or ½:1 ratio.

So 1 cup of honey to 1 cup of syrup or 1 c. of honey to 2 c. syrup) or anywhere in between.

Other recipes use closer to 1 c. honey to 3 c. liquid decoction (the boiled liquid from roots/berries).

Stir.

Pour into glass jar or amber bottle.

Store in fridge for a month or so.

Make sure to label with dates for optimal freshness!

We have also loved turning our Elderberry Syrup into Gummy Snacks.

(great as a daily treat, or to munch on when your feeling under the weather)

elderberry-gummies-recipe

Gummy Ingredients:

 * Silicone Molds Or A Glass Pan
( you can cut them into squares once gelled)
*Beef Gelatin Powder
*2 Cups of Liquid

Mix 1 c. of cold syrup with 3 TBS gelatin.

Heat the other cup of syrup and then add to the mixture.

Whisk.

Pour into molds and put in the fridge for an hour or two. Voila!

New Mamas – Don’t Take Your Prenatal

mama wellness tip postpartum vitamin

You’ve probably been told to keep taking your prenatal vitamin postpartum.  But did you know that breastfeeding mamas have very different needs than a pregnant mama?  Everybody’s worried about your nutrition prenatally, but a lot less worry about nutrition for postpartum mothers unless there’s a concern about food allergies for newborns. I think it’s a lot more important than that!  Paying attention to our nutrients and nourishment postpartum can help prevent postpartum depression and increase longterm reproductive health.

In fact, the amount of milk a new mom produces in the first 4 months is roughly equivalent to the same amount of energy she used the entire pregnancy creating a human being!  That’s crazy.  It was a surprising statistic to me.  Your prenatal vitamin might not cut it.  You’ll also need to increase the amount of food you eat, and choose foods that are healing for the first 6-12 weeks.

Things to focus on with your diet and supplementation:

  • Extra B vitamins: especially B6 for seratonin and melatonin production.
  • Organic kelp: Supports your thyroid – which decreases function usually around month 4 postpartum (why some women have hair loss).  A healthy thyroid keeps your metabolism going well and wards off mood swings.  The iodine in kelp helps to support brain development in baby.
  • Vitamin C and copper : both good for development.
  • A small amount of fermented foods: to help metabolism and digestion.  Not too much though – they can produce gas which is particularly uncomfortable if you’ve had a surgical birth.
  • Bone broths: If you’re not a vegetarian the minerals found in bone broths are irreplaceable to healing postpartum.  Stock your freezer now and have a few sips or bowls of soup made with it each day.
  • Avoid sugar:  You’re gonna want it.  You’re tired and exerting more energy now with your new little one nursing and possibly an older child or a few of them.  But just say no!  Having sugar postpartum can lead to that crash feeling, increased anxiety and feelings of depression.
  • Fish oils: Especially in the interest of warding off baby blues and keeping your immune system up, add in the fish oils.  I really think Fermented Cod Liver Oil is the way to go – the fermentation process maintains the most nutrients and it’s sourced really well.
  • Herbs:  There are too many to list here!  A good one to start with is chamomile, as it aids with after birth pains and induces a feeling of calm or even sleepiness in some.

One supplement I recommend often (and it’s a newer one) is New Chapter PostNatal.  They ferment they’re whole food sources and add in supportive herbs. You might also encapsulate your placenta, drink a little beer for hops and possibly lactation teas.  I could go on and on!

Need your New Mama Guided Meditation?  Click here.

Ready to find hormonal balance and wellness postpartum?  Click here to schedule your Blissful Mam Breakthrough Session now!

Everyone has advice for fussy babies. Could this be the real cause of colic?

I picked up a copy of “The Happiest Baby on the Block” at a thrift store the other day.  I actually hadn’t read it, though talked with many parents who had found it beneficial.  I like that it emphasizes carrying, cuddling and not leaving baby to “cry-it-out”, especially before 6 months old.  I do wish it focused a little bit more on the individual child, and the individual parent-child relationship.  

causes of colic

Reading through this sparked my curiosity about the term “colic”.  The mayo clinic defines colic in the following way:

 Colic is often defined as crying more than three hours a day, three days a week for more than three weeks in an otherwise well-fed, healthy baby. What is most important for the diagnosis is sustained crying in an otherwise healthy baby for a regular period of the day lasting for several weeks.”

My mother says that I was colicky, both my sister and I, in fact.  And that the pain of that cry, coupled with the pain of the “spinal headache” she was left with after her epidural was nearly unbearable.  I can only imagine! Though I have no “scientific” proof of this, I have often suspected that my potentially unnecessary cesarean delivery, surgery at 6 weeks, and almost exclusive formula feeding (first dairy based and then soy based) had a lot to do with health problems I suffered during childhood. (Childhood asthma, allergies, and incorrectly diagnosed IBS).  

While reading this popular book I decided to explore and see if there is any current research that supported my theory. Here’s what I discovered:

Turns out that colicky babies are more likely to:
– be premies
– be born via cesarean
– have less than 10 hours of cuddling a day

Here’s why I think the first two are actually symptoms of the same problem: healthy gut flora! Scientists are finally realizing that the human body is most bacteria (called the microbiome”).  Everything from weight issues to disease are found to be connected to the amount of healthy bacteria in our bodies- something that has been previously ignored for a large part in the medical community, since antibiotics were hailed as the solution for every ache, bruise or sniffle. 

Turns out my theory actually has been examined.  2009 study found that babies with colic have more intestinal inflammation and the colic was resolved with probiotic treatment! 

So what do the first two things correlated with colic have to do with gut flora? 

1. Premature babies are more often born via cesarean or to a sick mama (more likely to have had antibiotics during pregnancy or labor).  They is also a newer theory that premature babies have been born to a mama who had an imbalance of healthy bacteria and transferred the bacteria to the fetus, stimulating labor to begin prematurely. Read about it here.

2. It is unclear whether bacteria are acquired during pregnancy or through the birth canal.  There seems to be some evidence for both theories, perhaps we acquire our bacteria both ways.  Either way, studies show that cesarean babies have lower amounts of healthy gut flora.  In fact, it is shown to disrupt their intestinal flora for 6 months after birth!  

So what to do for a colicky baby? (These are just some ideas, by no means a substitute for personal advice for your specific baby)

1. Get a good infant probiotic.  If you did have a cesarean in particular, or received antibiotics during labor for GBS or other infection, baby is at a much higher risk for not only colic, but thrush, and generally lower immunity.  (When we wipe out the harmful bacteria we also wipe out the good!) Replacing with a high quality infant probiotic will help!

2. Breastfeed.  Breastmilk has naturally occurring pro and pre-biotics.   These help your baby not only acquire immunity but a strong digestive system.  Breastfed babies have lower rates of allergies and illness. If you are breastfeeding, eat lots of home fermented foods!  These foods have incredibly high amounts of naturally occurring probiotics: Kombucha (homemade or store bought, as long as it’s labeled “raw”), homemade sauerkraut (store bought has been heat treated killing all bacteria), plain yogurt or kefir.  Check out the book The Art of Fermentation, or Nourishing Traditions for ways to get started. 

3. Get the book “The Happiest Baby on the Block“. Learn about “the 5s” for soothing baby.  Especially during the first 6 months of life avoid the “cry it out method” that has been shown to impair neurological development because of the incredible increase in stress  hormones in the baby’s body.  (I know there are a million theories about how to best get a baby to sleep well and often, and I’m not saying 100% of the time anything works for 100% of kids, I’m just saying, avoiding this method as a habit.  Being as consistent in your quick response to babies at this age as possible has positive effects on their stress level and therefore development.  I’m not talking about getting your two year old out of time out because they’re crying- that’s a discipline situation – newborns and infants cannot and should not be disciplined.) 

4. Spend lots of time cuddling, swaddling and baby wearing. This study (St James-Roberts I, Alvarez M, Csipke E, et al. 2006. Infant crying and sleeping in London, Copenhagen and when parents adopt a proximal form of care. Pediatrics 117:e1146-55 ) was cited in an article about colic stating that babies with less than 10 hours of cuddling a day were more prone to colic.  However, I’ve been unable to find this actual study. Anecdotal evidence supports that babies in baby carriers or arms of a caregiver most of the day tend to have less colic (perhaps because the care giver is more likely to be aware of baby’s needs more quickly due to proximity.) 

Give yourself a break! Parenting is hard, babies are all different, and there is no black and white, easy answer to any of it.  It’s all a relationship between each individual child and their individual care givers.  But hopefully this has enlightened you a bit and maybe added some tools to your toolbox.  Happy mothering!

Need more help with this?  Feeling overwhelmed?  Schedule your Blissful Mama Breakthrough Session now by clicking here.

According to this textbook, a champagne toast is good for big babies.

I spent some time this afternoon reading through Holistic Midwifery. I always learn something new and fascinating in that textbook!  Lately I have become really fascinated with the postpartum period.  And by “postpartum” I mean 1 second-ish to around 1 year-ish. I’m not sure why I’ve become so concerned with this period.  But I do feel that the more I work with birth the more I see the need for focus on the postpartum, and most women in the US get nothing near the care they deserve and need postpartum. 

 
We’ve got way way too many mamas in the US having difficulty with breastfeeding, postpartum depression, or worse, postpartum psychosis.  The beginning is the birth process, absolutely.  When we tell mamas that all they have to do is schedule their delivery, show up, have baby, go home and voila! motherhood!  We do them an injustice.  Birth doesn’t fit into a formula and neither does the postpartum period, the time when you and your child will go through just as many changes as you did during the previous 10 months.  
 
One great way to help the postpartum go smoother is to take home (or keep if you’re delivering at home) your placenta and have someone dehydrate and/or encapsulate it for you. I know, even I had a hard time with this one at first too.  I thought this was too hippy, even for me.  BUT the more I’ve read the more I realize how beneficial it can be!  For a list of benefits, check this post.  
 
Here are some bad-ass mama recipes I found today: 
alochol breast milk
Mother’s Milk Bavarian Drink:
1 bottle of beer with a high hops content
1 bottle of good quality malt beer
1 tsp placenta powder
1 16oz glass
 
“Place 1 tsp of placenta powder in the tankard.  Add the first beer (the one with the high hops content), and then add malt beer until the glass if half full.  It will froth, filling the rest of the tankard.  This drink is good for treating depression, to increase milk production and to fortify thin women.”
 
 
alochol breast milk
Mother’s Milk Vineyard Drink:
1 pinch of placenta powder
1 glass of champagne
 
“Add a pinch of placenta powder to a champagne glass, and then fill the glass two-thirds full with champagne.  The drink will sparkle. This is indicated to bring on early milk production.  If this drink is taken two hours after a waterbirth, it will bring the mature milk after five hours.  Early onset of mature milk production can be important for large babies, for particularly small babies, in cases of multiple birth and in cases of maternal gallbladder problems.”
 
 
 
Sounds good to me!
 

SuperBoobs

Did you know that breastfeeding can help immunize your child?  Studies have shown that breastfed babies possess higher antibodies to certain diseases than formula fed babies.  This can mean that they possess a natural immunity to certain diseases and/or any vaccinations they may be given will be more effective!  Here are a few studies that demonstrate this:

asthma

active immune response to  Haemophilus influenzaetype b vaccine

lowers the risk for hospital admission as a result of infections among infants

provides pain relief during vaccinations

greater maturity in the development of the immune system of breast-fed infants

Neonatal Immunization against Respiratory Viruses

Evidence that breast milk helps neutralize HIV

Mamas and Babies and Scales

I’ve been hearing this same thing a lot lately.  I mean A LOT.  The thing I’m hearing is that “the baby isn’t gaining enough weight, you must formula feed.” It seems that so many OBs would have us believe that the babies are too big to come out and too small to survive without formula.  Hmmm….

What I am NOT doing in this post:

  • attempting to determine for you personally whether formula is in the best interest of you and your child  
  • determine whether you caregiver is correct 
  • make a diagnosis for your child
  • make you feel bad for choosing or being forced to formula feed
  • in anyway blame mothers if they were unable to breastfeed and wanted to
  • (Here is a great explanation about why when I am promoting breastfeeding because of it’s obvious overwhelming benefits, I am NOT at all condemning mothers who choose otherwise.  Why I argue in defense of breastfeeding mothers is because I actually see them targeted more than formula-feeding mothers. )
What I AM doing:
  • providing some additional info you may not have received from your OB
  • giving you some questions to consider when making the choice about adding in or switching to formula
  • sharing some stories
Why? 
Well, as I said, I’ve been hearing this a lot lately.  A friend of mine told me that with each of her two children, and with each of her mother’s 6 children the OB told her the same thing.  A recent client of mine had her OB tell her this, and in fact, call family services because she refused to start formula feeding based on their assessment 48 hours after birth.  This is not ok with me.  I also refuse to believe that this many infants are somehow failing to get the genetic coding that allows them to feed and gain weight the way we were designed to.  
There are definitely circumstances when I know formula is the necessary choice for the mother.  I also know that there are several things that can occur during birth that can really interfere with breastfeeding success: cesarean, taking baby away right after birth, circumcision, giving baby sugar water etc.  There are also cases that the choice is taken from us- like a recent nanny client of mine who sadly was undergoing many MRIs and X-rays and treatment due to a recent discovery of thyroid cancer and therefore was forced to stop breast-feeding her twins at 6 weeks and it devastated her.  I have another friend who , due to financial circumstances had to return to work because her husband was unemployed.  The stress of trying to pump in an unfriendly environment and return home to a fussy baby was just too much for her, and formula eased her stress about the whole thing.  There are lots of circumstances.  But I really don’t think this “the baby isn’t gaining weight fast enough” can be true all the time. 

This Dr. has a lot to say on the subject.  Check out his website here.
This was my favorite academic article on the topic: World Review of Nutrition and Dietetics; Breastfeeding Kinetics.  Incredibly Comprehensive compared to the rest of the literature.  I encourage you to take a look at it, especially if you feel that my points aren’t well supported or are misinformed

Many Hospital procedures interfere with the physiological practices of establishing milk production…” 

Things I have learned about this recently:
  • Babies who are formula fed gain weight faster due to the high amount of sugars in formula, much more than naturally occurs in colostrum or breast milk. 
  • Because of this, more does not always equal better. Gaining weight just for the sake of gaining weight should not be a goal, and has actually been identified as a contributing factor in childhood obesity. 
  • The scale used to measure baby weight gain  is not specific for breastfed babies.  This doesn’t make sense to me.  The CDC’s website says that breastfed babies and formula fed babies show different weight gains and their weights look very different at various ages. Since most Americans do not breastfeed exclusively or for very long, I’m not convinced these scales are accurate enough to not only suggest but threaten that mothers add formula to their feeding schedule.  It doesn’t seem to judge them both by the same scale or by averages.
  • We do no support breast feeding moms very well.   Handing out formula as marketing in hospitals should not be allowed. As evidenced by the negative response to the Times article about attachment parenting and prolonged breastfeeding, American culture is not very encouraging of breast-feeding mothers. (Hence the average American B.feeding time of 3 months) teaching mothers about the importance of breastfeeding (immunity, neurological function, metabolic function etc)should happen more often. 
  • The following hospital procedures can interfere with successful breastfeeding: 
    • Newborn procedures performed before baby has been allowed to breastfeed (most will feed within 20 minutes or so after birth if left on mothers chest)
    • Circumcision. (especially very close to birth.  the trauma of surgery and the common practice of giving sugar water to sooth them can interfere with the developing feeding cycle)
    • Epidural. (there is some debate about why this is true.  Some say because the baby is lethargic from side effects of the epidural. Others say because the artificial blocking of pain interferes with the mother’s natural response of endorphins and natural opiates and therefore the infant doesn’t receive those either)
    • Immunizations.  There is some evidence that causing painful experiences to occur, and taking mother from child immediately or within the first couple hours after birth can interfere with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding itself actually increases your child’s immunity drastically, and there has been research that breastfeeding (I believe it’s for longer than 6 months, but I’ll have to fact check that one) can cause immunity.  The one study I can recall was for the rotavirus.  (But there are many more things they have found breast milk to immunize against.  Feel free to email me for all the nerdy academic articles!)
    • NICU.  Infants who are taken to the NICU after birth have a harder time establishing breastfeeding. 
 (I am of course not suggesting these are the only factors. There are of course many other factors such as maternal illness and community support. Studies have shown socioeconomic status, race, age and education also factor in.)
In conclusion, what I believe, as with every other aspect of birth and parenting, you deserve all the information.  Ask questions.  Stand up for your right to parent your child the way you see fit.  And trust your motherly intuition.  That’s what it’s there for!
THIS is some more information on breastfeeding with some extra resources for you if you want to, are, or are curious about breastfeeding. 

Just Your Average Boob

As a new mom, there are about 467,249 decisions you need to make.  I know, it seems like too many.  To make matters worse there is conflicting information from so many people- your grandmother thinks you should swaddle but your baby doesn’t seem to like it, your best friend says co-sleep, your doctor says no way etc etc etc. One of the very first decisions you should make, even before you give birth is whether or not to breastfeed- because you will need to be prepared.

Unfortunately, there is a residual message to American women that breastfeeding is hard and not really that necessary.  Beginning with hospital policy from decades ago and capitalized on by formula companies, this still exists.
Obviously, there are good reasons why breast feeding may be impossible for you (for e.g., adoption or illness), and I by no means want any new mother or mother-to-be to feel guilt or add to her frustration over the situation.  I sympathize, truly.  What I do want to do is to give some pointers- directly from Ina May- on how TO BE successful.  To try and  dispel some of the fear and mystery, and explain why it really is so good.  

Let’s start with benefits for mom:
  • quicker weight loss
  • faster postpartum healing
  • typically longer time before menstruation begins again, and for mothers who exclusively breastfeed a 2% chance of conception (a contraceptive tool)
  • Mothers who breastfeed are reportedly calmer parents at 6 months
  • increased bonding with  newborn, especially skin to skin
  • decreased risk of breast and ovarian cancer
  • decreased risk of hemorrhage (the oxytocin causes efficient uterine contractions)
  • decreased risk of osteoporosis (stronger bones after they wean)
Benefits for the infant: 
  • essential bonding time, especially skin to skin contact with mother
  • drastically increased immunity against a host of diseases (eczema, asthma, severe allergies including food, celiac, appendicitis, cancer or severe liver for starters)
  • lessened chance of the following: diarrhea, constipation,  ear infections, respiratory illnesses, pneumonia, meningitis, botulism, and urinary tract infections
  • less likely to succumb to SIDS
  • increased oxytocin for baby as well (=calm, quieter, happier baby)
  • milked babies have increased tolerance for pain 
  • breastmilk is organic, with living organisms not present in synthetic milks (for a list of formula ingredients click here)
  • helps prevent later life obesity
  • higher degree of visual and intellectual development
  • respond better to vaccines for polio, tetanus, whooping cough, diphtheria and better able to make antibodies compared to formula fed babies
Sooooo if you’ve decided to breastfeed there are several things you can do to increase your chances of it going smoothly and you succeeding in breastfeeding as long as you plan to.  
While you’ve still got a bun in the oven:
  1. Take a class! talk to other successfully breast feeding mamas
  2. Find out the rooming-in policy wherever you’re delivering.  Many hospitals, unfortunately still take baby away for most of the first 24 hours or at night.  This can disrupt the eating schedule and the ease of learning to breastfeed on the baby’s cues before they have to resort to crying or screaming. 
  3. Don’t roughen or toughen nipples ahead of time- this can cause them to loose the natural lubrication they create.  Sexual play with nipples is a great way to practice and do keep them dry (i.e. cotton bras that take moisture away from skin instead of keeping it there- this is essential during breastfeeding as well)
  4. Check nipple shape.  There are a few women with “flat nipples”.  You can work with the nipple ahead of time to try and create a more erect part for the baby to insert in his mouth.  Check out this website for a Nipple Enhancer.  It just draws the nipple out with suction basically. 
  5. Buy a sling.  Keeping your baby close to you all the time will increase your chances of breastfeeding at the first cues of hunger instead of having to wait for her to cry.  It also helps with development (close continual contact is essential for newborns). I have a Moby.  Check this website for baby wearing options. 
  6. Create a good nursing spot. Set up a comfortable place where you feel supported and can sit for a good 45 minutes comfortably.  This will increase your satisfaction with breastfeeding and your ability to be successful by keeping you relaxed. 
  7. Eat lots of protein.  A good diet, high in plants and lots of protein throughout your pregnancy will help ensure not only a healthy baby who is delivered at full term and able to suckle well, but you will be healthy enough to heal well and produce milk in abundance. 
  8. Choose your birth practices!  See below:
During your birth these factors have been shown to increase your chances of successfully breastfeeding:
  1. Hire a doula. Yes, this is a plug for me and doulas everywhere, but statistics show that mothers who hire doulas have way  better chances of avoiding interventions, cesarean, and breastfeeding successfully. 
  2. Avoid interventions. While there may be legitimate reasons during your birth for internvetions, especially if you’re a high risk pregnancy, avoiding them will increase your chances of breastfeeding according to the numbers.  Make sure you do your research, ask way too many questions  of your care providers and doula and find out what interventions (if any) need to be done.  And be clear on those decisions. 
  3. Move in labor.  Not only will this reduce your pain and length of labor- it will also help reduce the chance of fetal distress.  With room to move freely the baby has more room to move through the pelvis- this has the great effect of increasing your chances of successfully breastfeeding.  
  4. Avoid an epidural.  Many women suffer from fevers with an epidural, and since there is no way to differentiate between a fever from infection and a fever from the epidural. This requires that your newborn be evaluated, separated from you for prolonged periods of time (and certainly not allowed the first hour with you which is crucial), and potentially subjected to painful testing. 
  5. Avoid tranquilizers. Drugs like demarol or other calming agents especially close to delivery may cause the baby to be very limp- limp babies don’t exhibit the same rooting and suckling reflexes right away as alert babies do. (Babies actually release a small amount of adrenalin in labor right before birth to make them alert at delivery.)
  6. Hold that baby! The first hour after birth seems to be the most important.  Mother and baby are experiencing  a flood of specific hormones aimed at bonding and breastfeeding. This is the immediate reward for the hard work of labor.  Being able to spend this crucial time with your infant will definitely help you breastfeed.  Many babies (especially in an unmedicated birth) will root for the breast and feed right away!
  7. Delayed cord clamping. This practice will not only allow your baby to have all of her blood out of the placenta and in her body, but it will require she be on your chest immediately after birth.  It only takes a few minutes for the cord to stop pulsing blood from the placenta (about 1/3 of the infants blood!) back into the newborn.  
  8. Be a kangaroo. Skin-to-skin contact will aid in baby’s development and ability to breastfeed.  Premie babies that were treated with “kangaroo care” (or skin to skin contact for long periods of time) had much better vital signs, faster healing, and better chance of breastfeeding. 
  9. Avoid or delay circumcision. Because this is a painful and traumatic procedure for your newborn- the increase in fear and pain may cause him to not be able to breastfeed  for awhile – and therefore causing difficulty.  Especially since most hospital stays are so brief now they typically do the circumcision just hours after birth.  This can wreak havoc with your feeding and bonding.  If you plan to circumcise try to delay as long as possible for come back a week later for the procedure.  More on this topic here.
  10. Avoid or delay immunizations. Having baby taken away from you for immunizations can disrupt your very new breast-feeding cycle.  The pain of immunization can cause the baby to be too upset to nurse for awhile.  Hepatitis B needs to be given if the mother tests positive, otherwise all other immunizations can wait till two months.  So why not wait?
  11. Room in and feed on demand. Why should you room in with baby? This was a policy developed in a time period when most women were under heavy anesthesia and tranquilizers and too sedated to hold baby right away.  Since this is no longer the case, there’s no reason to be separate from baby unless there is distress and/or you need to be closed up post-surgery. 
                                      
Benefits of rooming in (taken directly from Ina May’s Guide to Breast Feeding)

  • Milk production is likely to begin earlier.
  • Your breasts are less likely to become engorged. 
  • Your baby is likely to have a faster weight gain. * The milk you give after midnight has a higher fat content*
  • Your baby will be less likely to get jaundiced because of quicker availably of your colostrum and milk.
  • Your baby is less likely to get an infection.
  • Your baby will be more content and cry less.  She knows the difference between you and nurses. 
  • Your self-confidence will be enhanced. 
  • You will develop a stronger attachment to him by caring for him from the very beginning. 
  • You will get better rest because skin-to-skin contact with baby stimulates stress-reducing hormones. 
  • You are less likely to experience postpartum depression. 
For more on this read:
Help with Breastfeeding:


And ask your care provider- midwife, doula, nurses.  They will have more local information for you about who can come to your house and help.  Postpartum doulas can help with this as well!  Happy feeding!  
Resources:
I relied on Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding because her resource list is extensive.  If you have any questions about it shoot me an email or get the book!
                                            

Snaps for Nipples. Genius.

I love this blog.  And they recently had a wonderful post about this doll.  So for Christmas, ifs you have little ones (or know someone who does!) consider this wonderful, true to life doll.  She births, nurses, and carries her baby in a baby carrier.  Wish I had seen this before I bought all my gifts this year.  Definitely for next year!

Here’s the Website:  MamAmor Dolls

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