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Archive for July, 2011

Do you remember what it was like to be a new mom?

I remember staring at his little feet for hours ( thinking, wow- I grew those! and  goodness are they cute!), sleepless nights, baby’s first smile and endless amounts of  laundry…

Those first few months can be the most wonderful experience with all the fascinating  things your little baby brings. After the glitter settles, the in-laws leave, and the  stocked freezer is dwindling some moms ( and dads!) can find parenthood isolating.

Think back to that time and think about what you really needed or wanted. Someone  to talk to and share all the awesome poop stories with? The crying to stop and for  baby to sleep? Help feeding your baby? Time with your spouse or partner? We all need  help throughout parenthood- as the saying is true- it really does take a village to raise  a child.

Here is a starter list of things you can do for your friends, or even that mom at Trader Joes you see struggling with her newborn and toddler:

1) Bring over some yummy food or snacks– Make some lasagna, veggie soup, or a big hearty salad. Bring a bag of snacks: almonds, cheese and crackers, or smoothies. anything that could be a quick pseudo meal for momma or papa.  Don’t have time to cook? Drop over takeout from her favorite place. She’ll be glad you did!

2)  Offer her resources: Tell her where the mommy party is at: Do you come to New Mom’s Group? If you do, you know how valuable it is to hear that no-one’s-baby-is-sleeping-through-the-night-at-3-months-old and  yes you are wearing the same shirt as yesterday.  Have a favorite class or place to visit with your little one? Tell your friend or even a random stranger about it. It’ll be your good deed of the day and it will make theirs.

3) Offer to baby sit: Many moms are reluctant to leave their new precious cargo with a sitter they don’t know, but would be more apt to go our for that post pregnancy glass o’ wine with the hubs if you were on duty. They may return from their date after only 30 minutes and may call every 5, but you remember what that was like don’t you? 

4) Do a load of laundry: I will NEVER forget my aunt coming over after my son was born for an hour. She did a load of laundry and it meant the world. I had to choke back tears of thankfulness to have one load in the wash and one folded ready to be put away. It’s amazing what clean clothes can do.

5) Writer Ann Douglas is responsible for our last piece of advice which is wonderful and true: “Help her to feel that she is part of a chain of women that spans from generation to generation. This is her time to receive. She will have plenty of time to give. For now she should just relax and accept the love and gifts from other women. That will be your greatest gift to your friend.”

There are dozens more things you can do for your friend or a stranger- what say you? Did someone do something above and beyond after your child came into your life? Please share!

 

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A few people emailed me after a recent enewsletter where the following article appeared, so I thought I’d add it to our blog.  Feel free to mail a link to this article to anyone you know who is expecting a baby!

As a childbirth educator, birth doula and mother, I’m frequently asked many questions about birth.  I have plenty of answers, but I can’t say which ideas and suggestions you’ll like or take, since everyone is different and everyone’s birth is different.  I do know for sure, though, that there are four keys to opening the proverbial door to an amazing birth.  Yes, I said “amazing”.  I’ve witnessed it and heard it from parents–those who LOVE their birth experience.  It’s true:  parents who feel informed, respected and supported are much more satisfied with their birth experience than those who weren’t.  So how do you get informed, get respect and feel supported?  Let me count the ways…

  • Take a thorough, fun and high-quality childbirth class.  A great class provides you with all the information you need to decide what you want for your birth and the care of your baby so you can have productive and intelligent conversations with your care providers.  A top-notch class focuses on you and your partner’s needs and desires.  A fa-anta-astic class should make you feel more relaxed about becoming parents and feel empowered to make decisions that feel right for you and your baby.  And hey, it should be fun!  You’re having a baby–it can’t all be serious–this should be a fun time in your life!  The classes at Mothers & Company do everything stated above and are small, comfortable, fun, interactive, thorough and customized to ensure you get what you need. And we’re here for you after class via phone and email to keep supporting you even after your baby is born!  Why not start with the best when all you want for your baby is the best?
  • Choose the right care provider for you.   Interview a few.  Find a care provider that fits your personality, has the medical background you feel most comfortable with in relation to your level of health and who catches babies in your preferred birthplace.  Do you like spending a lot of time getting to know your provider or are you a no-frills kind of person that likes to get in there and get out quickly?  The right answer is your honest answer.  And what are your wishes for your birth?  You should like and trust your care provider and feel comfortable discussing your wishes with him or her.  Are you interested in natural childbirth (no medications) or planning an epidural?  Find a provider that has a track record of supporting families in the kind of birth you seek (when medically possible, of course).  Feel free to email us for recommendations of care providers of all kinds (obstetrician, family physician, hospital midwife, birth center midwife, homebirth midwife, lactation consultant, chiropractor, acupuncturist and others).  Do you love your care provider?  Tell them to come to our Meet the Doulas and Care Providers event so we can get to know them and refer to them, too!
  • Hire a doula.  Ideally, you’ll have your partner with you or someone else who cares for you on an emotional level.  And of course, if your mother, your best friend, your aunt or your sister are people who you know will make you feel more supported, then yes, invite them!  But a doula is a wonderful option as an addition to your supporters.  She is a woman trained and experienced in birth who provides you with information and emotional and physical support before, during and after birth.  She supports you and your partner continuously.  She knows what you want and helps you feel supported no matter what happens.  Research has shown time and time again that it’s continuous support in labor that makes a huge difference.  If that support person has skills and knows how things work at your birthplace, then bonus, it makes more of a difference!  Check out the Doula tab of this blog to learn more about why every woman (and her partner deserves a doula).  And don’t forget about the option of a postpartum doula, too.  Come to our Meet the Doulas and Care Providers events or contact us for recommendations!
  • Trust that your body rocks and that your baby is smart!  So much of labor and birth is mental.  The more you can work on your mind to reach a point where you can believe that billions of women have given birth before you because birth works, the better off you’ll be trusting that your baby can be born easily, too.  And babies are smart: they know how to get out.  That’s what babies do–they come out.  The more you can do to make your body and mind healthy, the more satisfying and better your birth will be.   Getting quality prenatal care with a care provider you like and trust, doing prenatal yoga (we have classes on Wednesdays) taking long walks, eating healthy foods, immersing yourself in a high-quality childbirth class, visiting a chiropractor who is expeMoCo Logo leaves parentingrienced in working with moms and children, having good supporters around you cheering you on, receiving prenatal massages and perhaps even acupuncture and other bodywork like reiki–all of these help increase your physical and mental health and prepare you well for an amazing birth.  And who doesn’t want that?

What all of us here at Mothers and Company wish for you is an easy pregnancy, amazing birth and smooth transition to parenthood.  And whether it ends up being easy or not, we’re here for YOU.

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Swimming is a wonderful activity to do with your child at any age. It can increase learning ability later in life and enhance fine motor development. Frequent swimming can help your child form a healthy relationship with water early on. It is important to keep in mind safety this summer when taking our little ones out to pools, lakes and oceans. Here are a few tips compiled from the American Academy of Pediatrics The Injury Prevention Program and  our swim instructor Holly Johnson for Mothers & Company: 

• Never leave children alone in or near the pool or spa, even for a moment. (AAP)

• Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children and parents a false sense of security. (Source: http://www.aap.org/ family/tipppool.htm)

• If you are interested in using the foam bubbles we have used in MoCo swim class they can be purchased on SwimOutlet.com or your local YMCA. Keep in mind MOST public pools and lakes will not allow these, or any other swim aids. They are best suited for personal pools.  Bubbles provide important core and back support for young swimmers unlike floaties that hold just arms ( Holly Johnson) Remember that they are not a substitute for parental supervision.

• Keeping the AAP guidelines in mind, life vests should NOT be used as swim aids for children in a pool as they provide a false sense of security. The best place for your child (if they cannot swim on their own) is in the arms of a parent or caregiver in the water. ( Swim Instructor, Holly Johnson Mothers & Company) Also, life jackets and life preservers should never be substitutes for adult supervision. (AAP)

• Life jackets are designed to turn most people who are unconscious in the water from the face- down position to an upright and slightly backward position. This jacket helps the person to stay in that position for a long time. It is to be used in open water and oceans.( AAP)

• Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult – preferably one who knows how to swim and perform CPR – should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.” (Source: http://www.aap.org/family/tipppool.htm)

• Children should wear life jackets at all times when on boats. (Source: http://www.aap.org/ family/tipppool.htm)

• Children ages 1 to 4 may be at a lower risk of drowning if they have had some formal swimming instruction. However, there is no evidence that swimming lessons or water survival skills courses can prevent drowning in babies younger than 1 year of age. (Source: http:// http://www.aap.org/family/tipppool.htm)

• Blow-up water wings, toys, rafts and air mattresses should not be used as life jackets or personal flotation devices.Adults should wear life jackets for their own protection, and to set a good example. (Source: http://www.aap.org/family/tipppool.htm) Swim suits with built in flotation should also be avoided. ( Holly Johnson)

• The decision to enroll a 1- to 4-year-old child in swimming lessons should be made by the parent and based on the child’s developmental readiness, but swim programs should never be seen as “drown proofing” a child of any age. (Source: http://www.aap.org/family/ tipppool.htm)

• Large inflatable above-ground pools have become increasingly popular for backyard use. Children may fall in if they lean against the soft side of an inflatable pool. Although such pools are often exempt from local pool fencing requirements, it is essential that they be surrounded by an appropriate fence just as a permanent pool would be so that children cannot gain unsupervised access. (Source: http://www.aap.org/family/tipppool.htm)

• Remove all toys from the pool after use so children aren’t tempted to reach for them. (AAP)

We still have room in our upcoming swim classes for our last summer session starting July 9th! If you cannot commit to weekly lessons do take advantage of our Midday Open Swim to keep your child swimming during the week. 

 

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