Sarah on Breastfeeding

Sarah C, is one of our regulars at the store, well loved by all of the team here.  She has kindly shared her experiences starting out with breastfeeding and how the Nappy Shoppe breastfeeding cafe helped her.  See below for more about her.

 Sarah writes:

There are a lot of breastfeeding-related things out, these days. Should you, shouldn’t you? Benefits, health reasons, ability. Should you nurse in public? Should you cover up? Endless women spending countless hours worrying about OTHER PEOPLE’S feelings and beliefs about breastfeeding, when the truth is, it’s hard enough as it is without trying to consider how someone else feels about your boobs.

The thing is, when I was pregnant, I just KNEW I wanted to breastfeed. And, as it goes when one is pregnant, literally EVERYONE ELSE was an expert on the matter. Tips on how to nurse, how long to nurse, when to wean, how to wean, what to eat to help promote lactation, how I would have to be sober for yet ANOTHER year. (Trust me, I knew that one.) But then, I was discouraged by more than a few. “Your boobs are gonna look like pancakes.” “You won’t lose weight until after you’re done lactating.” Like… mind your own tits.

What not one single person told me was, BREASTFEEDING IS HARD. Like, actually physically having a tiny human with superhero suction powers latch on to a super sensitive part of my body that is tender and, up until recently, was kind of just a sex thing. Nobody told me that my nipples would crack, and bleed, and that I would dread the baby’s hunger cues because I knew the pain that was en route. I didn’t think it was normal to cry at every feeding (which, with a newborn, is every two hours. Yeah.) Some nights I would sit on the couch and feed her so my crying wouldn’t wake up my husband. Some nights, the crying woke him up anyway.

Something else I didn’t know was there is help available. My midwife sent me to the Nappy Shoppe to their breastfeeding support group, the Breastfeeding Café. There, I found a group of women who, like me, were new to nursing and were dealing with a lot of the same issues I was.

IT WAS ALL NORMAL.

Yep. Aaaallll normal. I mean, obviously not normal in the sense of being the desired objective, but my struggles were par for the course in new motherhood. The lactation consultants (Cheyenne and Lydia) helped me reposition, rearrange and renew my faith in my ability to breastfeed. Two weeks after my first attendance, I had my first painless night. And the next night, ALSO painless. Sweet Mercy! I can do this!

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I was by no means done with that support group. I stayed until my baby was twice the size of the new nurslings. I stayed until I had every faith and every confidence in our nursing relationship. I stayed, and was welcome. I found a circle of friends, confidants, and cohorts that I still turn to today for all things baby and nursing and motherhood related. We have been going for nine months strong and see no signs of stopping. I can truly say, to any mother beginning her breastfeeding journey, or feeling lost in an existing one, GO GET HELP. You can do this. No matter where you choose to feed your baby, or who tells you you can or can’t, you can do it. It DOES get better.

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Sarah C writes about herself “My name is Sarah Carlock, mama of one Lily Rose, who constantly reminds me of my rookie status as a parent. She teaches me new things every day, which is find by me. I’m a knowledge junkie and a natural parenting enthusiast. I’m a babywearer, a breastfeeder, and aspiring doula. I am also a music lover, coffee fiend, beer drinker and a foodie.  My husband is either really lucky and a saint or has funny taste in women, but together, sometimes we make magic. “

What is a Monatrice?

Planning a Natural Hospital Birth?

Have you Considered a Monatrice?

By Alexandra Wyatt, LM, CPM

bfbhome2If you are planning to birth your child in the hospital, but would like a more natural experience with as few interventions as possible, what things can help you achieve that ideal experience?  Taking a good childbirth education class?  Definitely!  Reading a lot of books and doing research about your options?  For sure!  Hiring a support person to assist you at home and at the hospital?  Yes, have you considered a Monatrice?!

What is a Monatrice?  A Monatrice is typically a Midwife who is practicing as a Doula for moms who are planning for a hospital birth.  She supports the mom in labor both at home, and once at the hospital.

What is the difference between a Monatrice and a Doula?  A Doula is able to provide emotional and physical support during labor and childbirth, as well as information about certain procedures and choices that a mom can make for herself and her baby.  A Monatrice is able to provide these same things, but since she is also a Licensed Midwife, she is trained and fully capable of providing medical support as well.  This could include:

  • Monitoring maternal vital signs (blood pressure, temperature, pulse, etc.)
  • Palpating maternal abdomen to help determine fetal positioning so that different positions can be offered to facilitate fetal rotation and birthing
  • Monitoring fetal heart rate and assessing those tones for variability, accelerations and decelerations (this helps to determine fetal well-being)
  • Vaginal exams to help mom decide when she would like to go to the hospital

What is the benefit of a Monatrice?  For a mother who wants to stay at home as long as possible before heading to the hospital, but who has concerns about wanting to make sure she and her baby are doing well during labor, a Monatrice is the key to merging her desires.  This mother would be able to feel safe staying home during active labor knowing that her baby was doing well (and would probably labor better because of this) and be able to make an informed decision regarding when she would like to go to the hospital.

If I have a supportive partner, do I still need a Monatrice?  Yes!  Your partner should be there to support you and enjoy the birth of your child, without having to worry about everything else.  When partners feel like they have to remember everything they learned/read about childbirth, provide emotional and physical comfort, communicate with your doctor/nurse, take pictures, and know how to satisfy every wish and desire a mother may have…it is easy to understand how childbirth could be exhausting for them too!  The partner should be able to take on whatever roles they would like and just enjoy being in the moment with the mother and their child.  This is where having a Monatrice to step in and help take some of the weight off of the partner’s shoulders can be very beneficial.

bioimageAbout the author, Alexandra Wyatt, LM, CPM: Alexandra is a Licensed Midwife and a Certified Professional Midwife through the state of Texas.  Before becoming a Midwife, she was a Doula for 9 years and is trained in HypnoBirthing, Bradley and Lamaze child-birthing methods.  Alexandra has attended hundreds of births and feels blessed each time she is asked to help welcome a new little one into this world.

If you would like to learn more about how a Monatrice can enhance your birthing experience, please feel free to contact Alexandra.  You can find her online at: www.ButterflyBirths.com or on Facebook under “Butterfly Births Midwifery Services”.