Baby Steps Blog

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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Gender Equality

Published July 1, 2014

We’ve been taking a look at the World Health Organization’s Millennial Goals and how our own feeding of our babies can help change the world, both locally and globally. This week’s challenge is: Promote gender equality and empower women. I breastfed my baby because I wanted her to have all the wonderful benefits my milk would bring to her. One of my mantras was, “My daughter will know that when she speaks, the world will listen! I’m going to respond to her when she cries and she will never want for love and milk!” I had no idea that what I was doing was a profoundly political act that would change my life and the way I inter...

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Little Nursing Persons: Child-Led Weaning & Mama-Encouraged Weaning

Published June 11, 2014

WEANING There are times of ebb and flow – if you want to wean most easily, do it when the child is LESS interested in nursing. (Makes sense, but sometimes we are just crazy when they want to nurse all the time and WE are ready to wean!) Don’t offer, don’t refuse Think through your own reasons for weaning – and remember it’s a PROCESS not a moment in time Also think through your child’s reasons for nursing. It will guide you in how to offer other things when you don’t want to nurse. (For example – is s/he hungry? Bored? Upset? Don’t offer food if they’re bored…don’t offer a teddy bear if they are hungry.) Sta...

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Achieve Universal Primary Education

Published May 6, 2014

This is Post 2 in a series of posts about the World Breastfeeding Week 2014 theme Breastfeeding: Scoring the Winning Goal for Life. Goal #2 is

Achieve Universal Primary Education

We often think of breastfeeding as a way of providing “optimal nutrition” for our babies, without thinking too much about what a big topic this can be. (And by the way – if we know that breastmilk is the normal food for babies, probably we should say that other things are “suboptimal nutrition”.)

Some Wrong Thinking

When I first star...

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Eradicate Hunger

Published April 28, 2014

We celebrate World Breastfeeding Week (WBW)  every year during the first week of August. But we work on supporting, promoting and protecting breastfeeding every day of the year. The theme for this year’s WBW is Breastfeeding: Scoring the Winning Goal for Life!  Here on Baby Steps we’re going to take a look at the eight United Nations Millennial Development Goals and see how breastfeeding can help to achieve them.

 Goal # 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.

It’s ironic that, during the 1950’s and 1960’s, breastfeeding was something viewed here in t...

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Ten Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety About Birth

Published April 11, 2014

We all grow and change during pregnancy – some of that growth we can see from the outside, as we gain our healthy share of weight to nourish our unborn babies. But lots of the growth and change during pregnancy comes in the way that we see ourselves. After all I am not just me anymore – there’s a baby in there! And then there’s the growth and change that comes when we think about giving birth to our babies. That baby has to make the journey to our arms – and there is no magic crystal ball to tell us what the journey of birth will be like for us. Most women describe their birthing experience as “one of the peak experiences of my...

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Help Mom Feel the Love During Birth

Published February 14, 2014

photo credit: http://sunkissweekend.com Birth can really make or break the start of your journey as a mother. When I got pregnant, I remember how I wondered – what would David do during the labor and birth? We took very traditional, old-fashioned Lamaze classes, and he dutifully wrote down what time each of my contractions started and ended. It kept him busy and gave him something to do – he also rubbed my back and never left my side. I found it was the “never left my side” that was oh-so-important to me. (Seriously, he drank a lot of coffee so there must’ve been at least one other function he needed to leave me for. But I remember him being there every minute!) And...

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