I LOVE that skin to skin is becoming so well-known and practiced in our society! As a midwife using, homebirthing mom, I have known nothing other than skin to skin after birth. I learned of the benefits through our natural childbirth classes we took while pregnant with our first baby. However, there are so many women who do not know what skin to skin is, and prefer their little one be cleaned and swaddled before being held. This blog is for them. By the end, my hopes are for birthing mothers everywhere to lose their modesty, strip down, and welcome their vernix-covered newborns to their chests!
More hospitals are becoming “Baby Friendly” (Yes, that is an actual title a hospital can acquire) and implementing skin to skin immediately after birth. A good lactation consultant will also voice the benefits of keeping your newborn skin to skin as often as possible to help with nursing. The truth is there are so many benefits of utilizing skin to skin throughout your child’s infancy. Continue reading
Pregnancy is a journey of growth for mother and baby. You live the healthiest lifestyle possible during those nine months to yield the healthiest possible outcome: a sweet and strong baby. That, however, is where most books and classes end. For some reason, there is no manual on what comes next. No one sends you home with a “How-To” handout on being the best parent for your child. While that is okay, you will find your way as the weeks turn to months and the rhythm of routine settles. The problem is that our society has gone against mother’s intuition and has set expectations for these babies who have just entered the world. For example, sleeping through the night in their own room from just weeks old, or using every new shiny contraption to hold baby so parents don’t have to… or the best: not picking up a crying child for fear of spoiling them.
Please. Please. Please. Ignore the comments and advice. Trust your gut. A mother’s body instinctually provides what is known as a fourth trimester for both itself and baby. The fourth trimester is a period of time after pregnancy has ended and when motherhood begins. It is a smooth transition to the world for baby and a time of healing for the mother. Continue reading
I need to preface this blog with the caveat that every woman is different. There is ABSOLUTELY no wrong way or time to announce your pregnancy. Shout it from the roof tops, or keep it to yourself until baby arrives. Whatever you decide, just make sure that you are happy and feel supported and loved. Pregnancy is a beautiful journey. A journey that you can take with whomever you choose.
There is something about finding out that you are pregnant that makes you the worst secret keeper. From the moment that test is positive, something comes over you and you have to hold your hand over your mouth to keep from screaming through the bathroom door. Let’s be real, quite a few women go this route. I woke my husband up (NOT quietly) at 4:00am to confirm the reading of the faintest second line known to mankind with our first baby (which he politely labeled the “maybe test” before falling back asleep). Once the initial “MUST TELL SOMEONE” urge fades, you can take a moment and start thinking of actual fabulous ways to spread the word.
It starts with two pink lines, a plus sign, or even a digital test reading “pregnant.” The emotions then begin to rollercoaster their way into your life: Excitement, Fear, Anxiety, Doubt, Panic, Joy.
After reality sets in, remind yourself that you only have 40 weeks with this little being inside of you. (More like 41-42 weeks on average, but who’s really counting?) It’s time to figure out what will change, how life will be different, and what you can do to help and prepare for this baby.
Good news, I’ve done this a few times! I’m currently pregnant with baby #4 (Pregnancy #5, we had a heartbreaking loss that I do not want to dismiss). I’ve combined my wealth of knowledge with the cold hard science, and a bit of natural-minded research to bring you the breakdown of pregnancy over 40 weeks. Continue reading