(Photo by Meg Wintory)

 

“There is power that comes to women when they give birth. They don’t ask for it, it simply invades them. Accumulates like clouds on the horizon and passes through, carrying the child with it.”

-Sheryl Feldman

 

 

 

 

Breastfeeding vs Formula: The social pressure on new mothers to breastfeed can, at times, be psychologically unhealthy.

https://medium.com/@alexandrasacks/breastfeeding-vs-formula-6b4f09652488

Whether it’s with breast milk, formula, or a combination of both, every mother and baby needs to figure out the feeding choices that work best for them.

These days, our culture sends a strong message about the benefits of breastfeeding. Many moms feel proud when breastfeeding is going well — like they have passed their first important test of motherhood with flying colors. That being said, not every woman can or wants to breastfeed, and it’s my opinion that the outcomes for babies who are formula fed may be academic, but in real life are imperceptible. Breastfeeding is not nature’s way of testing your abilities as a mother, and formula feeding is certainly not any indication of failure or insufficiency.

Whether it’s with breast milk, formula, or a combination of both, every mother and baby needs to figure out the feeding choices that work best for them. Though some find that it comes easily, most women say that breastfeeding involves a learning curve. It can take days or weeks for you and your baby to find your way.

The majority of women admit to me that, even when it works, breastfeeding is also really hard.

(click link at the top to continue reading on medium.com)

 

 

It is now legal to breastfeed in public in all 50 states. Just now. In 2018.

https://www.upworthy.com/it-is-now-legal-to-breastfeed-in-public-in-all-50-states-just-now-in-2018

 

Idaho and Utah recently joined the party, meaning that parents in every state can legally breastfeed in public.

Over the years, stories of people who have been asked to leave restaurants or other public places because someone complained about the way they fed their babies have made headlines, prompting outcry from advocates and providing fodder for debate among the masses.

Prior to states passing laws, there was little recourse for parents in such incidents. In fact, breastfeeders could be cited and fined for public indecency if a law enforcement officer responded to a complaint in some situations.

These laws were not passed without controversy — in fact, Utah’s almost didn’t make it past committee.

Utah’s Breastfeeding Protection Act passed the House Business and Labor Committee by the narrowest of margins in February, with a 6-5 vote in favor. Sponsored by Rep. Justin Fawson, the bill states that breastfeeding is legal “in any place of public accommodation.” The original bill also clarified that it didn’t matter whether the breast was covered or uncovered.

(click to read the entire article on upworthy.com)

YOU CAN NOW DOULA YOUR ENTIRE LIFE, FROM BIRTH TO DEATH

https://www.wellandgood.com/good-advice/what-is-a-doula/

For a growing contingent of moms-to-be, doulas have become just as essential to the childbirth experience as taking omega-3s and getting down with hip-opening yoga squats. There’s a good reason for that—studies have shown that by enlisting the help of these trained pregnancy pros, mothers are more likely to deliver healthy-weight babies and successfully breastfeed, while being half as likely to experience birth complications.

So what, exactly, does a doula do? “A doula provides a constant presence of emotional support, education, advocacy, cheerleading, and hands-on guidance for expectant mothers and couples as they approach and enter into the birth process,” explains Well+Good Council member and Mama Glow founder Latham Thomas, who says client Rebecca Minkoff refers to her as “a producer for your birth.” And if that sounds like the kind of ally you could use outside the delivery room—say, when it comes to your side-hustle or your dating life—many modern doulas are ready and willing to assist with that, too.

(click link at top to read the entire post on wellandgood.com)

Kombucha During Pregnancy: What You Need to Know

https://www.mamanatural.com/kombucha-during-pregnancy/

You love the tangy, effervescent zip of kombucha, but now that you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you’re having second thoughts about your habit. Is kombucha during pregnancy safe? Can it offer a pregnant mama any extra benefits?

(click to read about it on mamanatural.com)

 

 

 

Why doctors are so bad at predicting pregnancy due dates

https://www.vox.com/2018/6/9/17435322/pregnancy-due-date-test-premature-birth

Only 4 percent of women give birth on their estimated delivery date. That’s because of the natural variation in how long it takes a baby to grow and because of our limited ability to predict due dates.

Medicine, it turns out, is surprisingly bad at measuring the precise age of a fetus or how far along a woman is into her pregnancy.

Having concrete information about a baby’s “gestational age” wouldn’t just help moms plan their pregnancies. It would also help doctors better determine whether a fetus is developing as it should, and what extra care may be needed for safer births. Doctors also have no way of accurately predicting whether a baby might arrive too early — a leading cause of infant death globally.

(Click link at top to read on vox.com)

A Doula’s Call For A ‘Culture Of Consent’ During Childbirth

http://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2018/05/11/doula-culture-of-consent

I gave birth seven years ago in a Boston-area hospital where I generally consider the care to be excellent. I arrived near the end of my labor, my cervix almost fully  dilated. After an hour of moving freely around my hospital room, my midwife and labor nurse said, “It’s time for you to get into bed now.” And then they said, “Let’s have you get onto your back.”

Even though I had read the medical research that found that lying supine carries risks to a fetus — which is why pregnant women are advised not to sleep on their backs — I behaved like any woman in the suggestible state of labor: I did what I was told, though it went against my instincts and my preference.

(click link at top to read the blog post on wbur.org)

Early-morning births are genetically programmed

https://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21741136-small-hours-provided-evolutionary-advantage-early-morning-births-are

 

“THE notion that nothing good happens after midnight does not seem to apply to times of birth. Around the world the peak hours for vaginal births that have not been induced by drugs fall between 1am and 7am; the numbers then dwindle throughout the rest of the day. This has led many scientists to believe that giving birth during the early morning offers some sort of evolutionary advantage, perhaps gained long ago when hunter-gatherer mothers and their infants would benefit from having their group reunited during the small hours to help with care and to defend them against any predators.

The problem with this theory is that almost all the information on the timing of human births comes from modern, urban settings, such as clinics and hospitals, which could produce artificial conditions that skew the variation in timings. Not so, it turns out. As Carlye Chaney of Yale University shows in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology, early-morning births are common to communities with both modern and traditional lifestyles.”

(click link at top to read this fascinating article on economist.com)