Baby Steps Blog

The Day I Became a Mother

Published April 16, 2012

The day I became a mother, my life changed forever. Now, that is the most ridiculous sentence to start with. But it is also most profound. Because, if we are lucky, the births of our babies can give us great gifts, as we learn truths about ourselves. I started teaching Lamaze classes in 1986. I had what I felt was a simple goal for my classes. Instead of telling horror stories about birth, women who took my classes would tell stories of triumph. They would be the heroines of their own birthing stories. Well, here it is 20 years later. And guess what – word on the street is that birth is – well – let me tell you about MY birth…!...

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Mohrbacher’s Magic Number

Published April 10, 2012

Mohrbacher’s Magic Number If a multinational company developed a product that was a nutritionally balanced and delicious food, a wonder drug that both prevented and treated disease, cost almost nothing to produce and could be delivered in quantities controlled by the consumers’ needs, the very announcement of their find would send their shares rocketing to the top of the stock market. The scientists who developed the product would win prizes and the wealth and influence of everyone involved would increase dramatically. Women have been producing such a miraculous substance, breast milk, since the beginning of human existence… – Gabr...

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Secure With Duct Tape

Published April 3, 2012

Secure With Duct Tape I took pregnancy as a reading assignment. Back in “the old days” – my oldest daughter is 30 - it was hard to find a decent book on pregnancy and birth that didn’t assume you’d have a “Knock ‘Em Out, Drag “Em Out” childbirth. Barnes & Noble in Boston had two books in the birth section! (Of course, I bought them both.) So I was very excited when I found a book by Tracy Hotchner entitled The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth. It’s now out of print – and heaven only knows if I would still love it so much – but I still remember the best advice I ev...

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Happy Diabetes Alert Day!

Published March 27, 2012

Happy Diabetes Alert Day! Happy Diabetes Alert Day! (It’s today, Tuesday, March 27.) Well – maybe it’s silly to make such a wish. But it’s not silly to be alert to the increasing diabetes rates here in the United States. For many women, the first time we think seriously about our blood sugar levels is when we get tested for gestational diabetes at our OB/GYN office between 24-28 weeks of pregnancy. This is one test our moms (and certainly our grandmothers) may ask about – regular screening for all pregnant moms began about 25 years ago. No needle sticks here – the test involves drinkin...

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Vermont Breastfeeding Decision makes National News

Published March 20, 2012

Vermont Breastfeeding Decision makes National News Emily Gillette was nursing her little one to sleep before the plane took off. The flight attendant told her to cover up – and wasn’t nice about it. When Emily tried to explain that her toddler didn’t like to be covered up, Emily felt the exchange was getting threatening. She decided to walk off the plane rather than be escorted off – and soon the Vermont Human Rights Commission was helping Emily talk to the airlines. Last week, Emily’s civil case was decided in their favor, just as the Human Rights Commission case was settled in favor of n...

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To be a Mother is to be….Guilty?

Published March 13, 2012

To be a Mother is to be….Guilty? Belinda Whipple Worth, a therapist from the Anna Marsh Clinic at the Brattleboro Retreat, recently joined us at New Moms Network at BMH. We had an interesting time talking about the guilt that comes with being a new mother – and we were all relieved that we could laugh at ourselves and with each other about our changes and challenges. Do you recognize yourself here? We are not being judgmental, just telling you how we have grown and changed, and where we need to do more growing and changing. To work or not to work “I feel guilty that I need to go back to work and leave my baby. Then I feel guilty abou...

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Changes in Parenting

Published March 6, 2012

Changes in Parenting Always Remember: We are living in a society that can easily share research-based information. Our families learned from their relatives, plus the experts of the day, many of whom had their own axes to grind. 1. Starting solids In 1900 – babies started solids at one year In 1950 – babies started solids at three weeks or younger In 2007 – AAP and the WHO recommend starting solids at six months to decrease the chance of food allergies and sensitivities. If solids are started much sooner, the food passes through the digestive tract unchanged. Studies show babies don’t sleep any better with early solids. 2...

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Getting Ready for a New Baby Checklist

Published February 28, 2012

Getting Ready for a New Baby Checklist   Plan care for “the big kids” Arrange for a friend or relative to come to your house Or, the kids may go somewhere for a “special” overnight Let your childcare provider or your child’s teacher know if a new person may appear to pick up your child Talk to your child about your plans. Tell a story: “One day, Melody was at school. And who came to meet her at the van? It was Aunt Laura! Not Mom! Mommy went to the hospital so our new baby could come out.” Play “What If” (good for 4-5 years and up): “What if you woke up one morning and Aunt Laura was t...

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A New Baby is Coming to Your House

Published February 20, 2012

A New Baby is Coming to Your House A new baby is coming to your house? Congratulations! As an oldest child myself, anticipating a new baby made me feel happy and sad all at the same time – how would this change my precious daughter’s life? Here are some suggestions that helped guide our transitions from only child to big sister. Worked again when our third child was born! As with any advice, remember to read, discuss, listen – and then choose things that will work best for your family. Every big brother and big sister is unique; each situation is a “special situation”. It’s not always easy to integrate a new child into a famil...

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How A Baby Learns To Love

Published February 14, 2012

How A Baby Learns To Love I was lucky enough to fall in love with my first baby, even before she was born. I knew that she loved to get up early in the morning, just like me. She was pretty mellow – I actually got scared one day that she wasn’t kicking me enough, and went to the hospital to make sure she was okay. (She was!) Even today, she definitely knows how to chill! Science says that even before our babies are born, they are learning about life. In the womb, babies sense and respond to the environment of the womb. The world is a golden place with reassuring sounds, from the gentle whoosh of the placenta to the voices of mom, dad,...

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