Baby Steps Blog

Go The Full 40

Published November 8, 2012

Do you like November?? It’s the month I was married, so I look forward to the grays and lavenders outside, and the sense that we are winding down the stress on the inside. Foliage just always seems so busy – as if I’m trying to get everything done that I meant to do during the summer. I need a little sit-around-and-snuggle time! I’ve been finishing up sewing projects, putting away the porch rockers. And of course now I’m starting to think about the holidays. So my few days of inner peace and calm may disappear pretty quickly. Where is this all leading? November is also Prematurity Awareness Month, so I want to talk about stayi...

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I Just Got My Flu Shot

Published October 24, 2012

I just got my flu shot. The cart comes around at the hospital, I roll up my sleeve, and it’s done. Working with pregnant moms, new moms and babies all the time – I like to do my part to keep everyone healthy. Flu shots aren’t perfect, but they are the best we can do right now – and I like to do my best too! Are you pregnant? Or do you have a baby? Or do you love a baby and hang around with a baby? I hope you will get your flu shot too. I remember how surprised I was to discover that pregnant women have depressed immune systems. What??!! I was eating well, sleeping lots (well, at least during the first two trimesters!), and the pregn...

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What to bring to the hospital

Published October 9, 2012

What to bring to the hospital Remember – you could walk in and have a baby without having any of this stuff! But many moms like to get packed when they’re about eight months pregnant. Keep the bags where you can grab them quick! FOR LABOR Eyeglasses, if you wear them. Most people wear their contacts, but if you had a cesarean you’d need to take them out, and you’d want to be able to see your baby. Toiletries: Pack a few personal items, such as a toothbrush and toothpaste, lip balm, deodorant, a brush and comb, makeup, and a hair band or barrettes. We’ve got soap, lotion, and shampoo – but I bet your shampoo is nicer than ours! Something to wear during...

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Newborn Screening

Published September 18, 2012

Newborn Screening Sometimes it seems like we’re awfully mean to our babies. They are warm, cozy, drifting lazily in a world where they are fed and held 24 hours a day – and even hugged on a regular basis (that’s what those Braxton-Hicks feel like to them!). Suddenly they’re in a big, dry, cold world – thank heavens we can hold them as much as we want, although they’d like us to continue with the twenty four hour regimen! It can be a big bad world we live in, though. Mother Nature is not always kind. So I’m glad that there are a few things that are mean in the moment, that make a big difference in the health of our babies. ...

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We are not meant to mother alone

Published September 11, 2012

We are not meant to mother alone Here’s a shout-out to my friend Susan Lanterman, who took me under her wing when I was a bewildered new mom. Susan had three kids – and she had breastfed the first one for a whole six months, longer than anyone I knew! He was so cute and smart. It seemed like she didn’t sweat the small stuff, and she loved those kids to pieces and wanted to do what was right. She was just the right mentor for me in those early days. Soon we were running a mom’s get-together, and later I became a La Leche League (LLL) Leader. I learned so much about mothers and babies and group process! One of the most importa...

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Loving Environment II

Published August 28, 2012

Loving Environment II This is part two from last weeks blog posting Falling in Love: The New Family Breastfeeding mothers are often accused of being fanatics (or worse). They are often bewildered over the accusations. Another phrase you sometimes hear is “overly attached.” Why do breastfeeding moms seem so addicted to their babies? Kerstin Uvnas-Moberg, a Swedish physician and researcher, noticed personality changes when she was nursing her babies: she felt calmer, more open, and more empathetic. She decided to embark upon a series of experiments to see whether the oxytocin that works so powerfully to help with breastfeeding was al...

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Falling in Love: The New Family

Published August 21, 2012

Falling in Love: The New Family I love working in the Birthing Center. I wake up in the morning looking forward to work, and when I’m at home or away, I’m thinking about how to do my job better. I know – I’m really lucky! Sometimes people say, “Oh you are so lucky! You get to hold babies all the time!” Well – no. In fact, I try NOT to hold babies all the time. And you can’t be effective working with babies unless you are ready to hold new moms and new dads too. What does a new family need most? An environment that leads to love. We learn best about people and relationships when we are using the right side of our brai...

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Just Another Way to Fight? When Breastfeeding Doesn’t Work

Published August 7, 2012

Just Another Way to Fight? When Breastfeeding Doesn’t Work I’ve been helping women breastfeed for over twenty five years. I love watching mothers learn to read their baby’s cues, and help them figure out how fun and easy it can be to breastfeed. Here in Vermont and New Hampshire, most babies begin their lives breastfeeding. (In 2007- the latest data available - 86% of Vermont babies began their lives breastfeeding, at 6 months 58% were still breastfed. In New Hampshire the numbers were 78% and 50%.) Fun and easy? Well, maybe – when the baby is about two months old. But I hate it when everything seems to go wrong, especially when I...

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Don’t Stop Now!

Published July 31, 2012

Breastfeeding your baby? Congratulations! You’ve made a great choice for yourself and your baby. But does it feel that way, today? Breastfeeding may be perfectly natural, but that doesn’t mean it’s always just naturally perfect. Many moms find that the first weeks of nursing a baby are a real challenge. After all, you’re both learning a totally new skill. The question is, how do you hang in there until the honeymoon? (more…)...

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Postpartum III – Misery and Moms

Published July 17, 2012

Postpartum III - Misery and Moms Are you struggling with feelings of failure, fear, or depression? Get help! It’s not only for you that you are getting help, but also for your baby. Scandinavian researchers who worked with depressed moms and their babies published their results in 2001, finding that there were differences in the baby’s brain wave patterns, an increased risk for social difficulties, and they described babies as “more likely to have an insecure attachment, or a secure attachment with restricted joy.” Dr. Cheryl Tatano Beck, a nurse researcher at Yale New Haven, described moms in her research in a “spiraling down...

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