Baby Steps Blog

What Your Labor Nurse Wish You Knew About Inductions

Published April 5, 2016

One of my most memorable evenings at Lamaze class went like this. It was the fifth night of a six week series – so everyone was very pregnant. We were discussing Interventions – everything from IV medications to epidurals to emergency cesareans.  Nationwide, one in four women are induced.  To start the discussion, I turned to a mom who was due in ten days – and it was almost Christmas. “So Jane, you go for your appointment tomorrow and the doctor says she would like to induce you on Wednesday. What do you say?” Without missing a beat, Jane replied, “What time do you want me there?” We all laughed – but truthfully...

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Little Nursing Persons…and When to Wean

Published December 30, 2015

Nearly half of Vermont babies are still nursing at one year. Does that surprise you? We actually have the best one-year breastfeeding rate in the United States.  Several years ago we did a feeding survey at The Birthing Center, and nearly one quarter of the moms in the survey said they wanted to feed “at least until age two or whenever the baby decides to stop.” There are plenty of good reasons to continue breastfeeding. Immunities continue to help toddlers stay healthy Immunizations “take” really well Can help to strengthen relationship at a time when the push/pull of the mom/child relationship is a challenge De-stresso...

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Creating Your Postpartum Plan

Published September 18, 2015

You’ve probably heard about Birth Plans. But have you ever considered a Postpartum Plan? There are a lot of things you can’t know about new parenthood until you get there…especially considering that when you ask people what it’s like they mostly just answer “Just you wait!” and don’t give you any good information. Here’s some things to do as you’re waiting those last weeks for your baby to come. (And did you know – the last four weeks are sometimes called the period of Pregnancy Miseries? Who knew you could actually look forward to going into labor!) List some ways you will get informed about what it’s really l...

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Nurturing Your Pregnant Self

Published June 22, 2015

There’s lots of info out there about taking good care of yourself and your unborn baby during pregnancy. Most of that info focuses on physical things. But one of the secrets of pregnancy is, YOU ARE BEING TRANSFORMED INTO A MOTHER. People don’t like to talk about that. Don’t get so focused on labor and birth that you forget this incredibly important fact. Pregnancy is a time of opportunity: Give yourself permission to be good to yourself and be amazed at the growth that will come. Find a pregnancy mentor – an experienced mother whom you respect, that will answer questions and encourage you to grow. Learn to say NO. If you ...

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The Breast Feeding Quiz Part 11

Published March 20, 2015

1. Engorgement is normal on day three. Cut back on fluids to help it. True          False 2. It’s a good idea to stay away from pacifiers and artificial nipples at first. True          False 3. Going back to work?? The best thing you can do to get ready is to freeze plenty of milk. True          False 4. Some women just cannot breastfeed. True          False 5. Breast milk is a complete food, but you will need to give the baby vitamin D drops. True          False 6. A baby is never allergic to its mom’s milk. True          False 7. Breastfeeding ti...

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The Breast Feeding Quiz Part 1

Published February 11, 2015

Choose the one best answer for each question. 1. A breastfed baby needs to eat every 3-4 hours; this gives the mother’s breasts time to fill up. True              False 2. Advantages of breastfeeding include less crying, fewer ear infections, vaccinations “take” better, decreased chance of heart disease for mom. True              False 3. Low milk supply tends to run in families, so if your mom or sister didn’t have enough milk, neither will you. True              False 4. Sore nipples are a normal part of breastfeeding. True              False 5. Breastfee...

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A House Built for a Family

Published November 21, 2014

Why, oh why do you have to be pregnant for nine months? It’s such a long time! Yet every one of those days is important for your baby. His brain will grow, his lungs will mature. She will have eyelashes and she will be able to breastfeed wonderfully. They will even sleep some at night! All these things, your baby will grow into during those first nine months. And then there’s us. We change in those nine months too. We give up smoking. We think about the way we eat, and improve – knowing that what we are putting into our bodies is growing our baby. Keep him healthy and safe. We make plans for postpartum. We plan and scheme to get a...

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Flu Shots and Mom

Published November 7, 2014

Did you know that most moms-to-be here in the United States get flu shots? (Well, last year it was 52%. But that’s still most!)  Over the years we’ve fielded lots of questions about pregnancy, babies and flu shots in The Birthing Center. Here’s our top three questions with the answers we are happy to give. Is the flu shot safe to get during pregnancy? It’s not just safe – it will help you be safer. Even though you might think pregnancy would be a time when your body would have super defenses against illness, that’s not the way it works. A mom’s immune system is actually depressed while she is pregnant, so you are less abl...

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Breastfeeding and Sustainability: Goal Seven of the Millennial Development Goals

Published September 3, 2014

I live in the town of Rockingham, Vermont – and we’ve been taking care of our own weekly trash for as long as I can remember. (Sometimes I would look longingly at the trash cans waiting on Fridays in Westminster.) From time to time we would hire a service – but usually we just recycle. And I’m such a nut about no-Styrofoam-cloth-napkins-cloth diapers-etc that we just don’t have much trash. So it was a real surprise when we took on a formula-fed-paper-diapered baby for a week. I couldn’t believe the trash! Ecologist Sandra Steingraber, in  Americans Who Tell the Truth notes that “family routines are inextricably connected ...

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Five ways Breastfeeding Improves Mom’s Health

Published July 28, 2014

We’ve been taking a look at how to change the world through the simple act of breastfeeding your baby. (Let me never be accused of small dreams!) We’ve thought about global hunger, education for kids, promoting gender equality. There’s a wonderful secret, though, about breastfeeding. It’s good for babies, good for the environment – but it’s also good for us moms. (And Millennium Development Goals #5 is, Improve Maternal Health.)

Breastfeeding moms are happy moms. Some of the most amazing research in the past decade has to do with the role of inflammation and health. We are even learning ...

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