Hello 2015!

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2014 brought lots of change for me and my family. We made the move from Brooklyn to the burbs, gulp! We did a renovation on our new house and we welcomed baby Archie to the family in July. Now that the holidays are behind us I’m ready to jump back into work and I have some exciting new partnerships to announce.

I will be taking over Rivertown mama’s New Mom Group in January and couldn’t be more excited. This well established and loved group was the baby of Stephanie Hinkaty and I’m so honored that she asked me to begin leading this group for her. Leaving my “mom friends” behind in Brooklyn was one of the hardest parts of moving for me. I was so lucky to have such great women to listen to my joys and struggles as I wandered through those foggy few months (ok, years) of motherhood. I hope that new (and second and third…) time Rivertown moms will find support, friendship, advice and humor in fellow moms and make some friends for life like I did. This group is held on Mondays at 12:30 in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY.

I am also equally excited to be joining the team of talented childbirth educators at Citybirths! Helping woman and their partners be prepared for the birth of their child has got to be one of the most rewarding professions and I’m lucky enough to do it at Citybirth’s cozy studio on the Upper West Side. They also offer newborn care, breastfeeding, new dad bootcamps and CPR among other great new parent resources. One of the few real birth and parenting communities in NYC and I cant wait to join them!

 citybirths studio

New Definition of Term Pregnancy

New Definition of Term Pregnancy

When is your baby “full term”? This is what is addressed in this recent TIME article.

Once upon a time in most cases your baby was born when it was good and ready. But more and more births are being medically induced for non-medical reasons such as a “big baby”, guaranteeing that you deliver with your Doctor and just plain convenience. It was thought that babies born any where between 37-41 weeks would have the same healthy outcomes, but research has shown that those last few weeks really do make a difference. The new guidelines are as follows:

Early Term: Between 37 weeks 0 days and 38 weeks 6 days
Full Term: Between 39 weeks 0 days and 40 weeks 6 days
Late Term: Between 41 weeks 0 days and 41 weeks 6 days
Postterm: Between 42 weeks 0 days and beyond

These guidelines were recently redefined by ACOG and are certainly a step in the right direction. There are, of course, times when medical induction is best for baby. But I tell my students to send up the red flag when Doctors start talking about “how big the baby is” especially before 40 weeks.

Every Mother Counts

My husband Gareth is a Sales’s Manager over at Citizens of Humanity. And while most people know that it’s a very popular denim brand made here in the USA, and not the non-profit it sounds like, they still do a lot of good. The newest installment of their “Just Like You” video series is out and it features Christy Turlington and her women’s health non profit, “Every Mother Counts”. In many places around the world, including parts of the US, pregnancy and childbirth are so much more dangerous than they need to be, and Turlington highlights how many women could be saved with basic midwifery care. She plans to release her next documentary about motherhood, “Every Hour, Every Mile, Every Mother,” another collaboration with Citizens of Humanity, sometime next year and I, for one, can’t wait!

Sit down, have a drink, and enjoy this pregnancy advice.

M_Id_44978_preegnancy_drink-1Recently my friend and Childbirth Education mentor, Ceridwen Morris, wrote a great blog over at babble about how alarmist most pregnancy advice is:  Sit down, have a drink and enjoy this pregnancy advice.

I was told some pretty crazy stuff when I was pregnant including, “don’t eat nuts”?! I have also carried my pregnant friend’s mimosa to the brunch table because, according to her, “all the uptight americans” would judge her and her 7 month pregnant belly (she is Australian). Was she right? Do we just need to relax a little?

Women need protection from formula ads and support to promote breastfeeding

“Nearly all mothers are physically able to breastfeed and will do so if they have accurate information and support,” 

breastfeeding1Great article on the UN’s website today (click above quote) detailing some of the ways woman become discouraged when breastfeeding. So many women often think they “won’t have enough milk”, which is rare with a proper start and support. But from what you see in the formula ads they would have you think it’s common! That is where the support comes in. I’m lucky enough to live in an area where a boob out at the playground or coffee shop is expected and encouraged. But not everyone has their community, co-workers or even family behind them giving them correct information or support. This week is the start of world breastfeeding week, congratulate the next breastfeeding mom you see on giving her baby the world’s most perfect food.

 

What to Read Before you’re Pregnant

What to Read Before you're Pregnant

Some of you have found this page though a friend or facebook, and you may not be pregnant yet. You might not even be thinking about it. This is a great time to start reading about maternity care and childbirth! Seems crazy. Like lurking in the wedding section of Barnes and Noble when you’re not engaged yet. But I’m telling you, start educating yourself now! As part of my childbirth educator training I had to read a ton of amazing books and research papers. Many of them highlight the state of maternity care in the United States, and it’s not pretty. World Health Statistics in 2010 identified 33 countries with lower maternal mortality ratios than the United States, while 37 countries had lower neonatal mortality rates, 40 had lower infant mortality rates, 65 had lower low birthweight rates, and 32 had higher rates of exclusive breastfeeding to at least six months. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development identified 24 high- and middle-income countries with lower cesarean rates in 2007 and just 4 with higher rates. Yikes! When you DO see those two pink lines you want to already be confident in what your body can do and rest easy that you have already found a care provider that will support your birth plan. Can you do this while pregnant? Of course. But why cram for the test the night before? Jennifer Block’s, Pushed, is a great place to start. I finished this book and thought, “How was this not on some sort of required reading list at Simmons (My all-women alma mater)!?” So click on the book, order and put Pushed on your summer reading list!