Posts Tagged ‘support’

Honoring parents with angel babies

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

yellow butterflyThe loss of a baby is heart wrenching.  As today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, I want to take a moment to honor those parents who have angel babies. Most people cannot even imagine being in their shoes for an instant, yet alone having to live a day-to-day existence without the baby they continue to love.

The loss of a baby touches so many people in profound and long lasting ways. No two individuals grieve in exactly the same manner. The mother may grieve differently from the father. Children who were expecting their sibling to come home from the hospital experience their own grief as well. Even grandparents and close friends may be deeply affected. The ripple effects from the loss of a baby are widely felt.

The March of Dimes is committed to preventing premature birth, birth defects and infant mortality. It is our hope that through continued research, we will have a positive impact on the lives of all babies so that fewer families will ever know the pain of losing a child.

If you or someone you know has lost a baby, we hope that our online community, Share Your Story will be a place of comfort and support to you. There, you will find other parents who have walked in your shoes and can relate to you in ways that other people cannot. Log on to “talk” with other parents who will understand your grief. We also have bereavement materials available free of charge. Simply send a request to AskUs@marchofdimes.org and we will mail them out to you.

Please know that the March of Dimes is thinking of you today and every day.

Breastfeeding myths debunked – part 2

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

mom breastfeeding1. Your baby needs water too.

False: Supplementing with water is not recommended for babies. Breast milk or formula contains all the water a baby needs and will keep your baby hydrated even in hot, dry climates.

2. You don’t produce enough milk.

Often False: The amount of milk you produce depends on a number of factors, including how often you feed and how your baby sucks at the breast. You can check if your baby is getting enough to eat by the amount of wet or soiled diapers in a day. The American Academy of Pediatrics tells moms to “expect 3-5 urines and 3-4 stools per day by 3-5 days of age; 4-6 urines and 3-6 stools per 5-7 days of age.” Your baby’s health care provider will check if your baby is gaining weight at his well-baby visits.

3. Breastfeeding is easy

False: Breastfeeding can be very challenging. Many moms face sore, cracked and bleeding nipples. It can hurt when you try to feed your baby. It’s important that when you start to feel pain or discomfort you seek help from a lactation counselor or support group. Many times the soreness can be relieved if the latch or position is changed. Some moms are able to breastfeed right away and others experience discomfort for months. Breastfeeding is learning a new skill; it takes lots of practice, time and patience.

4. Breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS

True: Breastfeeding can reduce the risks associated with sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Feed your baby only breast milk for at least 6 months. Continue breastfeeding your baby until at least her first birthday. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says “Breastfeed as much and as long as you can. Studies show that breastfeeding your baby can help reduce the risk of SIDS.”

5. My baby should always breastfeed from both breasts

Not always true: Babies, especially newborns may have periods of preferring only one breast. Your baby may cry, become fussy or refuse to feed on one breast. If your baby is getting enough milk and you are not having any other trouble, it is fine for your baby to feed from only one breast. If you are having problems with your milk supply, or experience engorgement or pain, there are tips to get your baby back on both breasts.  For example try starting your baby on the preferred breast, and then slide him over to other side without changing the position of his body. To learn more, ask a lactation specialist.

Did you have an assumption about breastfeeding that was false? Or did someone give you advice that helped? We’d love to hear from you.

Check out the first 5 breastfeeding myths from last week.

Breastfeeding myths debunked

Monday, June 9th, 2014

woman breastfeedingWhether you are currently breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed in the future, there are many myths that could lead you toward or away from breastfeeding.

1. Breastfeeding will ruin my breasts.

False: breastfeeding does not affect the shape of your breasts. Your breasts may become engorged while breastfeeding, but your breasts will return to their usual shape once you have weaned feedings. Aging and gravity are the culprits of changing breast shape!

2. Breastfeeding will make my nipples sore.

True and False: Breastfeeding may make your nipples sore, but there are things you can do to prevent or solve the soreness. Sore nipples may happen when the baby is not latched on properly. You can seek help and support from a lactation counselor or support group.

3. Breastfeeding may help you lose your baby weight.

True! Breastfeeding burns extra calories (up to 500 a day), helping you return to your pre-pregnancy weight in a gradual and healthy way.  Remember pregnancy weight was not gained overnight so it will not disappear quickly. It is important to maintain a healthy diet and to wait until you feel ready and for your health care provider’s OK to purposely lose weight.

4. You must drink milk to make milk.

False: You do not need to drink milk to make milk. However it is important for you to maintain a healthy diet of vegetables, fruits, grains, proteins and water. These are the only nutrients you need to produce milk. If you are concerned about getting enough calcium, you can drink milk or eat non-dairy foods that contain calcium such as dark green vegetables or nuts.

5. My milk isn’t good enough.

False: Breast is still best. Breast milk composition changes within the feeding, within the day and over the course of lactation, but breast milk has higher amounts of nutrients than other foods or supplements, including formula. Your breast milk can help protect your baby from things like diarrhea and infections, and help brain development.

These are the first 5 myths debunked. Stay tuned next week for more.

Did you have an assumption about breastfeeding that was false? Or did someone give you advice that helped? We’d love to hear from you.

Remembering September 11th

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

This is not an easy day for any of us. I was just contacted by a former co-worker reminding me of that morning we spent together seven years ago. I know of three people who lost there lives that day. My brother is doing his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.  My brother-in-law was supposed to start a new job in Tower 1, but was asked to attend an orientation off-site that day. My husband, a medical student at the time, waited in an uptown hospital for patients that would never come. The Peace Corps office was down there. It was 1997 when I had my interview. I’m sad it’s not there anymore.  That night unable to sleep, I walked down to the shore of the Hudson River from my Bronx apartment. I looked south to the very changed Manhattan sky line and sobbed. Things would never be the same again.

To all of the families, mothers and children who were affected by this horrible tragedy, you’re in our thoughts and prayers today and always.

For information and support, please visit http://www.911families.org

Discover breastfeeding support during pregnancy

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

If you’re expecting and planning to nurse your baby, now’s the perfect time to compile a list of phone numbers of friends and family members who have nursed their babies. Breastfeeding is a natural skill, but it is also a learned skilled. Surround yourself with people who support your decision to breastfeed.

My friend who just had the twins is nursing both her babies. She started to work with a lactation consultant a couple of months before she delivered. For additional support she’s been in touch with La Leche League International (847-519-7730) and International Lactation Consultant Association (919-861-5577).

In conjunction with the start of the Olympics this week, World Breastfeeding Week 2008 calls for greater support for mothers in achieving the gold standard of infant feeding. Awareness raising activities are taking place in 120 countries world wide. For more information on the theme, exciting events & materials for download, please visit: www.worldbreastfeedingweek.org

 

When you’re emotionally ready

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

The emotional aspects of parenting can be a real challenge for first time moms and dads.  Before you get pregnant it’s important for you and your partner to discuss your reasons for wanting a baby.  Here’s an easy exercise to help get the conversation started. Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Ask yourself why you feel the way you do.

• I think I will be a good parent.

• I like being around children.

• I want to have a baby now.

• I have what it takes to help a child feel loved and wanted.

• I can accept the lifestyle changes that come with starting a family i.e. financial demands, less free time and sleep and more stress.

• My partner and I have a good relationship.

• I would not harm a child physically or emotionally.

• I have support from family and friends.

• I make healthy decisions for myself.

Can you think of any other helpful statements that we can add to this list? What else should a couple take into consideration before having a baby?

The stress of being a single parent

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Having been a single parent for a number of years, I can say with some authority that it’s hard, I mean really hard. But it’s also great. I have a closeness with my kids that I might never have had otherwise. But back to hard… Whether you are a single parent by choice, divorce, or your spouse is in the military on the other side of the planet, it’s a very tough job.

Day-to-day responsibilities are relentless. All decisions are made by you alone, often with nobody with whom to even bounce around ideas. And when the kids get a little older, they become experts at pushing your buttons with style. Here are some tips for dealing with trying times:

  • Continue to take good care of yourself, eating as well as you did during pregnancy, drinking plenty of fluids, getting enough rest and physical exercise
  • Ask for and accept help from family members and friends. It makes them feel good, too.
  • Avoid cabin fever by getting out of the house each day, even if just for a walk.
  • Set clear boundaries with relatives and children. Be flexible, but loosey goosey all the time gets confusing and tires you out. You’re the parent, you set the rules.
  • Stick to a schedule when you can. Even babies benefit from a regular routine. Eating and sleeping times will change a lot during the first year and adapting to the baby’s schedule will make life easier for you both. Bedtime can be a fun and cuddly time for you both, but when it’s time for the lights to go out, stick to your guns – you’ll both benefit from the sleep and down time.
  • Keep up your friendships and outside activities. Get a parent or sitter to watch the baby one night a week, or take the baby with you to a friend’s house for dinner or meet for lunch.
  • Carve out a little time each day just for you, even if it’s just ten minutes. Read a book, find a quiet place to listen to your favorite music or relax in a bubble bath by candle light. Ahhhhhhh.
  • Accept a little clutter. For those of us who are neatniks, this may take some practice. But the fact of the matter is getting enough rest and spending quality time with your children is more important than a spotless home right now.
  • Talk about your feelings (including sadness, frustration and anger) with someone you trust. You can join a local or on-line support group for parents, too.
  • Make friends with other parents (did you keep in touch with the women you met in your childbirth education classes?).

What other suggestions do you have?