The Winter Baby

The Winter Baby

Oh- the weather outside is frightful, but the Winter Baby is so delightful!

That’s right, we’re going to be talking about Winter Babies! What is a Winter Baby? Well, it’s simply a baby born in the midst of the cold winter months! Some parents may become a bit worried about having a baby during the colder months of the year, so we wanted to ease some of those concerns by highlighting the pros of having a Winter Baby.

Snow days

Snowing? No need to worry! You can stay in with your baby and enjoy watching the snow fall while cuddling up with your little one! Throw on a movie or a show to binge and get comfy with your bundle of joy.

Baby will be ready to go out on Spring adventures

By the time Spring comes around, your baby will be more interactive and ready for Spring and Summer adventures with the family.

Holidays and sense of togetherness

The holidays are the staple of the winter season, and you’ll have an amazing gift to share the season with. Click here to read our blogpost on setting holiday boundaries with your family!

Pajama Season> Bathing Suit Season

After giving birth, you probably want to cuddle up in your pajamas and fluffy blankets. This is what winter is all about! We think pajama season is a hundred times better than swimsuit season!

Comfort food

Who doesn’t love food? Winter time is known for turkey, stuffing, mac n’ cheese, and all types of desserts (are you drooling yet?). There’s something about a plate of food, a cup of hot chocolate, and cuddles from a newborn that can bring a feeling of happiness to anyone.

Did you have a Winter Baby? If so, what are some of your favorite things about having your baby during the cooler months? Tell us on our Facebook! Also, check out our tips on surviving winter with a newborn to make sure you’re prepared for cold and flu season.

Emotions and Breastfeeding by Julie Bindeman, Psy-D

Emotions and Breastfeeding
Julie Bindeman, Psy-D

How you choose to feed your baby is an intensely personal decision for a family to make. Considerations to take into account might be financial, available social support, mental health status, along with countless other factors. This is often a decision that is made during pregnancy and is an idealized one: meaning that before it can be experienced, goals and ideas are created with the subtle (and overlooked) expectation that falling short of this created ideal is the equivalent to failing your baby or being a failure as a mother.

Breastfeeding can seem like an enigma: the milk is expected to be there and to be plentiful to satiate a growing newborn’s needs. Because of the perceived lack of specific information while nursing, (for example, breasts don’t have ounce demarcations), it makes sense that some women will feel anxious about whether or not they are providing enough milk for their baby. Often, reassurance can be provided for this fear by consulting with a trained lactation consultant or even a weight check at your pediatricians where you weigh the baby, then feed the baby, followed by a second weigh in. (This is a common way to get a fairly good estimate of what your baby has consumed in a single feeding).

For some women, this reassurance does little to mitigate the fear and anxiety that comes up around breastfeeding. Despite the initial relief that their baby is growing as expected (or even surpassing expectations), a cycle of doubt becomes perpetuated once the weigh in has passed. Typically, this is where a trained mental health professional (or lactation consultant) might become suspicious about whether the anxiety is truly connected to the breastfeeding, or if it where (pardon the pun) it has latched onto. Given that nursing has an intrinsic level of doubt (as mentioned earlier), it is normal that a new mother would be concerned about her supply initially. However, once breastfeeding has been established and is comfortable for the pair, the lingering concern that the baby isn’t getting enough tends to be linked to anxiety that has taken root with nursing rather than an actual problem with feeding.

I often see new moms in my office who have decided to stop nursing as a way to combat the anxiety on their own: the thought being, “if I know how much my baby is getting, I won’t worry that he or she is starving.” What becomes surprising to these moms is that their anxious feelings do not abate, and rather, they start to mourn what often is a premature end to breastfeeding. The anxiety is transient and takes on another form—perhaps about how the baby sleeps, whether the baby is breathing, is the baby safe with his or her care provider, or fears about going back to work.

Anxiety that occurs postpartum is surprisingly common and is on the rise—currently, it is more frequently diagnosed than its cousin, Post-partum depression. It is estimated that 1 in 7 new moms will suffer from anxiety within the first year of having a baby, compared with the nearly 1 in 10 who might experience post-partum depression within the same time period. Either warrants immediate help—often which is conversation based—that can lead to feeling better.

Lactation Consultant, Nurse Practitioner Meets “Hope TV Channel” For Her First Appearance…….gulp

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So, why is this news for breastfeeding women? Well, because I got to decide what’s important and television worthy………but I’m really not sure whether I made the right decision or not. Let me tell you the story in Readers Digest version.

A call comes out by lactation circle email that they need an IBCLC to appear on Hope TV to educate women on lactation. I chomp at the bit. Not only because I want to teach as many women as possible about lactation, but because I hear the words “hair and makeup.” As a busy lactation consultant and nurse practitioner, I rarely have time for anything like that and so agree to be interviewed (and get a complimentary mini-makeover).

Fast forward to the host calling me to discuss what SHE thinks nursing women need to know to keep them breastfeeding……..gut flora. “Seriously?” I say….Do you think women really care about gut flora? I think they’d rather get some pragmatic advice on nursing positions or making sure they don’t swaddle during the day and avoid pacifiers (at least for the first 40 days)…..or how about SLEEP? Hmmmm, the show’s host says (who herself is an OB/GYN).

OK, I get there EARLY because of Washington rush hour traffic and get led to a beautiful dressing room where the makeup artist comes to get me. Since I had a “mini makeover” in mind, I came looking like someone who just got “shot out of a cannon.” My after work look…..you all know it! The makeup artist asks me what look I was going for……I said “20 years younger and really smart.” She actually brought out a type of bowl and began mixing up spackle…..At that point, I was looking around for the sanding block. OK, so she “touched me up” a bit…..Now onto the hair……WAIT…..ONLY MAKEUP???? ARE YOU KIDDING ME?……but they said “HAIR”…..I was sure of it….Yikes! Thank heavens they had hot rollers right there. Unfortunately, the hot rollers had been HEATING UP ALL DAY and with the first roller (and in my haste and PANIC), I burned the flesh on my forehead into a small tattoo resembling the state of California.

OK….got it together and now headed for the STAGE….Meet up with my “co-star” Dr. R, a terrific guy (and neonatologist) whom I had never met before. We become fast friends like hostages in a bank hold-up…..We agree to “help each other out” should the need arise or should one of us happen to be struck by the “fight or flight” adrenaline blast and bolt…..OK…..we’re solid. Two minutes to air time and the host of the show tells us there’s been a change of questioning based on my earlier conversation with her about how I’m not too fond of teaching women about gut flora when there’s a heck of a lot more interesting AND IMPORTANT information out there to help support breastfeeding. Dr. R looks at me aghast while I mutter something about “Well, who thought she’d actually listen to me?” The questions have been changed, one minute to air time and……one more thing…..WE’RE NOT TO LOOK AT EACH OTHER OR TALK TO EACH OTHER DURING THE COURSE OF THE SHOW”…….and……We’re live in 5-4-3-2-1!

I’m sure the link will be on the website if you want to see how I did. She asked me to bring my first book but …..what the heck…..I brought all three…….she wasn’t exactly happy with that move but with a chunk of skin missing on my forehead, I figured she owed me the free press.

It was actually FUN……I may go back for a show on weaning…..that is, if my forehead ever heals. Here’s the link http://gohealthy.hopetv.org/video?id=2086277494001

Now here’s my question to all you breastfeeders out there. What do you want me to write about? What do you want to hear about on TV shows? Help me understand your needs and I’ll write my best suggestions in content for this website. Thanks.

TIME; The most precious commodity of all!

Most mothers have been stressed when they have a new baby. I DO, absolutely remember how tiring it is to be a mother and especially when you’re a breastfeeding mother. I decided to write about time this week because in the midst of working with a new breastfeeding mother of a six day old, she flat-out told me that this “breastfeeding thing is taking way too much of my time.” I was left flabbergasted and flap-jawed. What I wanted to say and what I did say were two very different things. What I wanted to say was “Well, what were you expecting?……Did you think you were going to drop the baby in the umbrella stand in the way in and out of your front door?” What I actually said is “Tell me how I can help you.” She went on to explain that this every two hour hunger thing was beginning to grate on her nerves. I went on to explain that babies had tummies the size of golf balls and that breastmilk was a “perfect food” that made it digest and move through the stomach very rapidly. I quoted how each DROP of colostrum had 3 million cells (the majority being immune cells). Breastfeeding is as much nurturing as nourishing (hoping the old adage would help). I also described cluster feeding as being analogous to a camel getting ready to cross the desert…….feed, feed, feed and then you get the big sleep (maybe 4-5 hours max). In my first book “Start Here; Breastfeeding and Infant Care with Humor and Common Sense” I tried to call the hours between 6-10PM the “arsenic hours,” but the publisher opted for something safer. I guess that “every hour on the hour” cluster thing is what put this new mother “over the edge.”
So, here are some suggestions I’ve come up with to help you save time during your busy breastfeeding days. If you have an exceptionally sleepy baby (or just have need to get the show on the road once in awhile), I find that you can feed on one side while you simultaneously pump on the other…..Tarzan Pumping (at least that’s what I call it). That trick alone can save you up to a half hour per feeding and maximize your milk supply. Your body will react as it you’re feeding twins (because both sides are going at the same time) and perhaps even increase supply a bit. It will also expedite your feeding and have your baby feel as though a bigger, stronger twin was on the other breast helping him or her out. Now you’ll want to feed that milk to your baby at some point (perhaps during cluster feeding time), as when I previously instructed another mom to do this, she was giddy with her new frozen stash; problem was the baby hadn’t gained any weight in a week …… duhhhh; I should have been more clear with my instructions but thought is was pretty self-evident.
To accomplish this TARZAN PUMPING , I like the hands free pumping bra by Simple Wishes because it has a zipper that unzips from the bottom up (in fact, you can add the panel and make it have two zippers), giving lots of flexibility (can get one breast out for baby while the other is snug in the bra. If you’ve already purchased the “other” less flexible hands free bra (that zips from the top down), then you can try turning it upside down so the zipper goes the opposite way.
Anyone who tells you to sleep when the baby sleeps probably doesn’t shower, do laundry, use the bathroom, open the mail or eat; I never understood that suggestion. I mean, that’s the only time you have to do ANYTING, isn’t it?
Also, ALLOWING others to do things for you will help put time back in your day. You shouldn’t feel as though you’re not a good mother if you don’t do everything and do it well (do as I say, not as I do/did). I remember 28 years ago how I came creeping out of my house to get the mail and was spotted by my neighbor. She promptly sent her “nanny” over to my house with instructions to “help that poor woman out.” Problem is that I wouldn’t let the well-meaning nanny in. As I look back on it, I was afraid that I’d be found out; that I’d be “exposed” and my neighbor would know how I wasn’t really holding things together as a mother “should.” In my experience, many mothers feel that same way. They’re overwhelmed but think that they’re the only mother experiencing that. I’m here to tell you that MOST mothers feel overwhelmed in the beginning and if they tell you otherwise, I’d be wary.
So when I heard this mother complaining about time, as I think more about it, I’m suspicious there might be something else going on. Is she depressed? Is she lonely and needs to get out of the house for companionship, does she simply have cabin-fever, or are her expectations that “out-of-whack” with reality and how much time infants take out of a mothers day? What do you think?