The Lonely Terror of Postpartum Anxiety

https://www.thecut.com/2017/08/the-lonely-terror-of-postpartum-anxiety.html

(click link to read this really important piece on thecut.com)

I’m lying awake, gazing at the gentle rise and fall of my 3-month-old’s chest. He’s a delicate infant, constantly surprising me with his smallness, like his sister did when she was born four years earlier. In recent weeks, my son has begun stretching out the number of minutes between nursing sessions. He can go for two hours without eating now, or two and a half if I’m lucky. This means I have more of a chance to sleep, at least in short spurts. But every time I drift off, I jolt awake in a sweaty panic.

I am on high alert all the time these days. I tell myself that this panicky feeling is normal — I have a new(ish) baby, after all. But it doesn’t feel normal. I have constant visions of my son suffocating in the night. I think of waking up to his cold body. I spend nights imagining a thousand unlikely, tragic things that could happen to him.

HERE’S HOW TO HELP A NEW MOTHER (ESPECIALLY WHEN SHE DOESN’T ASK)

http://raisedgood.com/how-to-help-new-mother-especially-when-doesnt-ask/

As a new mother, I had a knack for giving the impression that I didn’t need help.

My village lives on the other side of the globe, so it was borne out of necessity, but I wonder if it was more than that. As new (or not so new) mothers, I wonder if we feel as though we’re letting ourselves down if we show that we’re vulnerable. Are we falling short if we admit that we simply can’t do this alone?

That we have one hairy leg because our survival strategies have devolved into shaving one leg one day, and the other the next. And we forgot the second leg…for a week. That we eat breakfast for dinner on a semi-regular basis. And that if one more well-meaning person tells us (as if we’ve forgotten) that we really need to take care of ourselves, we’ll scream.

Because, before becoming mothers we were used to feeling productive. To meeting deadlines. To getting the job done and feeling like a valued team member.

But motherhood shatters that reality. And although it’s bittersweet, thank goodness it does. It softens us. Slows us down. Stops the treadmill of a results driven society, forcing us to reassess what we truly value in this one short life of ours. As parents, we need to redefine success in the context of a journey, with a destination we will never see.

(click to read on raisedgood.com)

The Neonatal ICU Gets a Makeover

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-neonatal-icu-gets-a-makeover-1498443000

Hospitals are taking premature infants out of isolated incubators and into rooms where they can have close contact with their parents.

Hospitals are rethinking the way they care for premature babies.

The traditional neonatal intensive-care unit puts preterm babies—those born before 37 weeks—into incubators in a room with six to eight other infants. But hospitals are starting to realize that premature infants benefit from close physical contact with their parents.

One of the latest NICUs, in Beacon Children’s Hospital of South Bend, Ind., was designed around this idea. There, families can stay together for weeks or months in private rooms that facilitate skin-to-skin contact—also known as kangaroo care—between parent and baby.

(click to read on WSJ.com)

Group B Strep and Placenta Encapsulation Safety

https://placentaassociation.com/group-b-strep-placenta-encapsulation-safety-gbs/

The CDC released a case study on a newborn who had a recurrent GBS infection after the mother had her placenta encapsulated. It has left a lot of people asking…

Can my placenta capsules make my baby sick?

The short answer is: probably not. A well-trained placenta arts specialist will make sure that your placenta is prepared safely for consumption, unfortunately, it seems that this specialist may not have done so. The placenta and the birth should have been assessed to see if it was fit for consumption and then the placenta should have been properly prepared. A maternal or infant infection at or immediately after delivery indicates that an active infection was present. The mother should have been counseled against encapsulation initially. The second major issue, in this case, is that proper food safety protocols may not have been followed. This likely led to the capsules containing GBS bacteria and potentially causing reinfection.

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

4 HUGE BENEFITS OF AN UNDISTURBED FIRST HOUR AFTER BIRTH

http://www.collective-evolution.com/2017/05/02/4-huge-benefits-of-an-undisturbed-first-hour-after-birth/

The first hours after a baby is welcomed into the world may have short- and long-term consequences. Evidence has shown that newborns who are placed skin to skin with their mothers immediately after birth have better  respiratory, temperature, and glucose stability, and significantly less crying that stipulates less stress.

“Because the first hour after birth is so momentous, we have named it ‘The Sacred Hour’ at our hospital,” explains Raylene Phillips, MD.

(click link at top to read the rest of the article on collective-evolution.com)

Planning for Postpartum: Help is Not a Luxury

http://www.mothering.com/articles/planning-for-postpartum-help-is-not-a-luxury/

The idea of a couple growing a family in isolation is new to human society. What we need, in the absence of our families and tribal support systems, is postpartum doulas.

Each of my postpartum experiences was different. For one I was largely dazed and happy, for another I felt upset and overwhelmed, and during one I was losing touch with reality. What they had in common was that I felt unanchored. Adrift. Lost in a sea of beautiful dreams and haunting nightmares that I felt obliged to keep to myself.

Surely this is just how it is. You struggle on, alone. Your triumphs are yours alone. Your grief and anger is yours alone. If you felt you could share, no one could understand anyway. Motherhood is a box.

For many of us, this is how it feels to enter into motherhood for the first or fifth time. You go to your box, sort yourself out, and occasionally over the next few months you’ll venture a peek outside, save up for a short staycation. But mostly, you are the box. You need the box and boy does the box need you.

Or not.

 

(click link above to read the entire article on mothering.com)