For seven years, I ran a monthly in-person breastfeeding support group and a Facebook breastfeeding support group. In that time, I answered hundreds of phone calls and emails from new moms.
The questions many moms had definitely pertained to things related to breastfeeding, like whether their baby had a good latch or if they were making enough milk. But they were also concerned about things all new mommies are concerned about, whether they are breastfeeding or not.
They wanted to know whether it was normal for their newborn to only to nap well if they were sleeping directly on their mom or dad. They wanted to know why their three-month old was still waking up at all hours of the night. They wanted to know why their two-month-old only took cat naps. They wanted to know why their 12-month-old still woke up in the middle of the night.
(click to read on scarymommy.com)
If your parents and/or your partner’s parents are still alive, chances are you’re having conversations about what happens after the birth of your baby. And when parents are becoming grandparents for the first time, the intensity is generally heightened. Complex shifts are underway as children become parents and parents become grandparents. As you birth yourself into parenthood, huge tectonic shifts occur in the bedrock of your relationship with your parents. Your relationship with each other has developed over years and decades—solidifying your roles as parent and child. They are used to being the parent with all that that involves, including decision-making rights over parenting styles.
(Click link at top to read this great piece by Britta Bushnell on mindbodygreen.com)
Pregnancy and childbirth bring a lot of changes to a mother’s life. This goes without saying. Your body changes. Your family increases by one. Your brain changes. Your heart changes.
I found, that with these changes, something else happened: people felt like they could comment on my body.
I know. Pregnant women are beautiful. And there is something so exciting about a woman on the verge of becoming a new mother. I find myself smiling at pregnant moms or moms with newborns. And I enjoyed being smiled at when it was me with the large belly or the wee baby in a sling.
The reaction is automatic. I want to say: “You look GREAT!”
Some better things to say would be: “How are you feeling?” “You seem so happy/calm/excited!” “How about this weather?” Even “That’s a cute shirt.
I also felt beautiful when I was pregnant. And in many ways I loved hearing “You look great.” But it also somewhat diminished how I felt. I felt vital and strong and happy and nervous. I loved my taut belly and my growing breasts. I secretly hated the stretch marks that took my once smooth, white belly and zigged it through with dark purple.
And people did say I looked great. And one family member good-naturedly told me my butt was getting big. (Which actually really hurt my feelings, despite the fact that I enjoyed my bigger butt.) But comments on butts aside, I liked hearing how good I looked.
But the postpartum period is problematic. Look at how we treat celebrities. We all marvel at how quickly they get their “pre-baby bodies back.” No one needs to say that it is unrealistic to expect anyone to present with washboard abs mere weeks after delivering. And even if I know intellectually that that is an impossible standard and that surely no small amount of photoshopping or working out or dieting or styling helped achieve that enviable postpartum look, it doesn’t change the fact that women’s bodies are routinely objectified.
(click link at the top to read blog on mothering.com)
The holidays are almost here. The next months will be filled with twinkling lights, delicious food and the gathering of friends and family. This is a joyous time, but it can be a stressful one, too. If someone in your life has recently become a parent, they likely have a few extra concerns on their minds. From keeping the baby healthy to figuring out their new normal, they have a lot going on.
I know you love them and want the absolute best for them and the baby. It’s just that sometimes when there’s a new baby, it’s hard to remember what we should or shouldn’t do; because #allthesnuggles
(Click link at top to read the post on mother.ly)
As it turns out, I am closer to an endurance athlete than I ever imagined. That’s not my opinion, that’s what six researchers found in a study published by Duke University that focused on finding a limit to human endurance. Apparently and shockingly, pregnant and lactating women live in the limit zone. What the what?!?
(Click link above to read the article)
The third stage of labor is everything that happens after the baby is born, the part of childbirth that doesn’t make it to the movies. The delivery of the placenta, the most taboo part of childbirth, encompasses the third stage of labor.
Compared to the rest of labor, the third stage of labor is the shortest and easiest of all the stages. Labor is over, your baby has arrived, and now everything is over. Or is it?
(Click link at top to read on motherrising.com)
Before I had my daughter, I wasn’t particularly interested in mother’s milk. Now I’m literally awake at night thinking about it.
To produce breast milk, mothers melt their own body fat. Are you with me? We literally dissolve parts of ourselves, starting with gluteal-femoral fat, aka our butts, and turn it into liquid to feed our babies.
Before and after giving birth to my daughter 10 months ago, I was inundated with urgent directives from well-meaning, very insistent health practitioners, parenting book authors, mommy bloggers, journalists, and opinionated strangers that “breast is best.” The message was clear: In order to be a good mom, I had to breast-feed.
But breast-feeding is more than being a good mom. And breast milk is much more than food: It’s potent medicine and, simultaneously, a powerful medium of communication between mothers and their babies. It’s astonishing. And it should be—the recipe for mother’s milk is one that female bodies have been developing for 300 million years
(Click link above to read this great article by Angela Garbes)