Baby Steps Blog

Transformed Into A Mother

Published April 2, 2013

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 don’t ...

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How a Mother Learns to Love

Published March 19, 2013

It’s a cultural belief that a mother will fall in love with her baby immediately when she sees that new little person. It sure didn’t happen for me with my first baby. Now, looking back through the lens of all the education and research and studying and work with new moms that I’ve done since that first baby made her appearance (thank you Phoebe, I’m sorry I thought of you as my little froggie), I know that I am not alone. There are examples I can think of, right off the top of my head. A mother was looking forward to having a girl, and when her first baby was a boy she was totally blown out of the water. She didn’t eve...

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Pacifiers – A Real Hot Topic

Published March 11, 2013

Pacifiers are a real hot-button issue, like so many other topics when it comes to parenting. Are they a gift from the angels, or a tool of the devil? Is it better to use a pacifier or encourage a baby to suck their own thumb? What about breastfeeding and pacifiers? SIDS and pacifiers? It’s all so confusing! And most of us have an opinion. Usually one of the following: You will never catch my kid with a pacifier. You will never catch my kid sucking their thumb Don’t let that baby use you as a pacifier Here’s what the World Health Organization says about pacifiers for breastfed newborns in the hospital: GUIDELINE: Health ...

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Waterbirth Planning

Published February 26, 2013

Today we are going to look at waterbirth – still an option for labor as well as the birth itself, here at BMH. Here are some things to think about as you plan. Prepare Your Mind Sounds funny, but the first thing to do is think about why you have decided to have a waterbirth. Is it something you are doing for yourself, or because someone expects you to? Are you strongly drawn to the idea of labor and birth in water? Can you see yourself in that tub, feeling comfortable, strong and confident? It is best to let go of rigid expectations about birth, and stay flexible. Plan and prepare for the waterbirth you want, but allow yourself the lux...

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How A Baby Learns to Love

Published February 12, 2013

…in order to develop normally, a child requires progressively more complex joint activity with one or more adults who have an irrational emotional relationship with the child. Somebody’s got to be crazy about that kid. That’s number one. First, last, and always. (Urie Bronfenbrenner, a founder of Head Start) The “serve and return” interaction between parent and baby – in which young children naturally reach out for interaction through babbling, facial expressions, and gestures and adults respond with the same kind of vocalizing and gesturing back at them – builds and strengthens brain architecture and creates a relationship i...

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Pain Relief for Natural Birth

Published January 2, 2013

Positive Birthing Techniques

When you hear the words natural birth do you think, “Oh what a martyr”? Or maybe you just wonder why any sane person would put themselves through the pain of childbirth. Yet women give birth without pain relief all around the world every day – some by choice, some because there’s no other choice. And then there’s things like Orgasmic Birth – really? Could that be true? Women’s bodies know how to give birth. To deal with the intensity of labor, women need support of many kinds. Here at the Birthing Center, we have lots of women who choose to use a...

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Know Your Body…Dealing with Tension and Pain

Published December 27, 2012

You would think, after years of teaching Lamaze classes, that I would be the Queen of Relaxation. I haven’t achieved jellyfish status yet – guess that’s a good thing! – and after a long weekend at home over the holidays, I actually started to notice some bad body habits that I could use as signals to relax. Whether you’re pregnant (why use up energy in your body during labor? Let your uterus use that energy to make the labor shorter!) or coping with the joys and challenges of a new baby, here’s some things to think about. You don’t have time to think about stress and how it’s affecting your body? Take a moment to breathe...

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Winter Safety for Babies

Published December 12, 2012

Dressing Children for Winter Newborn babies need to be protected from the elements. Dress them in several layers of light clothing to keep them warm. Avoid overheating. The rule of thumb for older babies and young children is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same situation. Blankets, quilts, pillows, sheepskins and other loose bedding may contribute to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and should be kept out of an infant's sleeping environment. Warm footed pajamas are preferred. If a blanket must be used to keep a sleeping infant warm, it should be tucked in around the crib mattress so th...

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Travel with Baby: The Airplane Adventure

Published December 4, 2012

Is travel in your holiday future? Take the plunge! First, a confession. I love to travel. Bus, train, plane, car – sign me up, I’m ready. There was no way I was going to stop going places just because I had kids. So I consider myself a bit of an expert – and now my grandchildren come visit from Alaska! There’s no better feeling in the world than seeing a five year old flying down the corridor at Logan with his eyes and arms wide open, screaming with joy to see you, and yelling, “Noni! We had an adventure!” (That’s after the fourteen hour trip.) How do you do it, and what are some things that help? Here goes! Prepare for t...

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Preventing Preterm Birth

Published November 27, 2012

In the United States, one out of eight babies is born prematurely. We talked last time about the challenges of being born early, and the importance of keeping babies inside as long as possible. The March of Dimes 2012 Report Card came out, and Vermont was one of only four states to get at “A”. (Our rate of premature babies was 8.8% - up slightly from last year’s 8.4%, but below the 2020 goal of 9.6%.) How do you keep a baby inside for as long as possible? There’s been a lot of research in this area lately, and here are some of the things we know. Smoking cigarettes is definitely a risk factor. Even “moderate” smoking (1 –...

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