May is Mental Health Awareness Month

What does this have to do with breastfeeding you may ask? A lot as it turns out! 1 in 5 women can have a postpartum complication called Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorder (PMAD’s). More women experience PMAD’s than gestational diabetes, hypertension and preeclampsia COMBINED! What is it? A specific form of mood disorder associated with the period after delivery. Although, some women can realize that symptoms may have started during pregnancy. Symptoms can include: – Sadness and crying after the first two weeks postpartum or feelings of fear or anxiety that you just can’t shake. – It can also take the form of thoughts that you can’t get rid of about cleanliness or safety of your infant. – It can present as obsessive behaviors eg. hand washing over and over. – Some women even experience unexplained anger at their children. – In its most severe form, it can result in thoughts of harming yourself or your child. – If you are having these thoughts or behaviors, you need to seek the care of a health care professional. How can you tell if you may be affected? Try asking yourself these questions after baby arrives: Have you felt extra sad, anxious or worried? Are you able to sleep when baby sleeps? Do you find yourself crying a lot? Are you having thoughts that scare you? How are you coping with the stresses of motherhood? Still not sure…..there is a quick 10 question self quiz called the Edinburgh Scale that can help. Fill it out, score it and most important of all, ask for support. It can be found at: http://www.fresno.ucsf.edu/pediatrics/downloads/edinburghscale.pdf Where do you find...

Family Dinner Giveaway from Galley!

Galley Foods has designed a family style dinner option (examples below!) with busy parents in mind to help put something they could still be proud of on the table on nights where they are too busy to cook themselves. These meals will feed 4 adults, so some families are able to stretch them into two full dinner meals. Comment on Facebook and tag a friend who might be interested in family-style dinners to be entered to win a Spaghetti & Meatballs Dinner for...

For Parents of Children with Special Needs | A Day in the Life with Autism

Welcome to our new segment geared towards parents of children with various developmental or medical needs. This will be an open forum to discuss issues or just share stories of your experience and hope for children with special needs. One of the children from daycare is having a four year old birthday party, and our son is invited. We are happy to celebrate the boy’s fourth birthday, as we’ve known him ever since he was a baby. He’s one of our son’s best friends. We’ve seen them grow up together, learn together, and play together. They were always at the same skill level until our son developed Autism at two years old. Now we watch as his friend advances in his learning, has meaningful friendships, develops advanced vocabulary and expresses his emotions. I love watching other children grow up. They are amazing creatures to watch as they learn. We are teaching our son that when he gets hurt, it’s ok to say “ouch, that hurts.” Just getting the words out is a challenge. He’s doing really well at spelling and writing his letters and numbers, but I’m not sure he gets the concept that you put them together to form a word. I’m pleased that his daycare is teaching him the alphabet before Kindergarten. This will give him extra time to learn before it starts counting in school. I hope he can keep up with the class and that the other students are nice to him. That’s why I try to have him join all activities that we are invited to attend. To show the students that he may...

Book Review | The Whole Brain Child

The Whole Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel, MD and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD Reviewed by Amelia Lytton I highly recommend this book. I was able to put the strategies to use as soon as I started to read it, and I really appreciated the very practical lay out of the book. It is also fairly short, which is helpful when you are a parent of a young child who can take up much of your time. The goal of this book is to “teach you how to use your everyday interactions as opportunities to help you and the children you care for both survive and thrive.” The strategies offered by this book are not just for use by parents, but any “significant caregiver” in a child’s life. The book focuses on introducing parents or caregivers to the “Whole Brain Perspective” toward parenting. The Whole Brain Approach is based on the latest neurological science studies. The authors introduce some scientific terms but in a very pragmatic and easily understandable way. The terms are there but the concept behind the words are very clear and can be easily communicated to your child at various ages. Using the Whole Brain Approach, the authors break down the four quadrants of the brain: Upper, Lower, Right, and Left; and discuss how to effectively integrate them to help your child become “happier and calmer”. This book is geared for parents with children from birth to preteen (teen agers are handled in a separate book). The authors provide numerous easy-to-understand examples of each of the strategies...

Ever Had a “Bad Mother” Day?

Have you ever found yourself having one of THOSE days? You know, one of those “I’m SUCH a BAD mother” days. Well, I’m having one today. It’s one of those days where, for whatever reason, my buttons are easily pushed. I’ve lost my temper more than once, I’ve yelled a little too loud or a few too many times. Maybe I’ve threatened, bribed, criticized, or judged the kids using words or phrases that I promised myself I would NEVER use. Maybe I even held my child’s arm a little too roughly, or patted a bottom with too much strength. Maybe my anger crept out and, in my two seconds of solitude, I feel down, really bummed-out; judging myself for getting it all wrong. Maybe I even broke down and cried, saying “I just can’t do this anymore.” Maybe. Maybe. Maybe. WHY? I wonder. Why do I feel like this? Why have I been so sh*t with my kids all day? And deep down in that moment of solitude I know the reason. One day it is because I am tired. I was up all night with a sleepless baby, or a sick child. Another day I argued with my partner and am living the hang-over of that argument. The next day I am anxious about going back to work or managing work demands on top of everything else. Some days it may simply be about a grey, rainy day without any adult company or support around, and kids bouncing off walls. The reasons can be endless but ultimately they are about one thing, and one thing only. Because there...

On the Right Path: One Mom’s Experience with Autism

<img class="aligncenter wp-image-1602" src="http://breastfeedingcenter cialis andorre acheter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/onrightpath_CB.jpg” alt=”onrightpath_CB” width=”660″ height=”438″ srcset=”http://breastfeedingcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/onrightpath_CB.jpg 877w, http://breastfeedingcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/onrightpath_CB-300×199.jpg 300w, http://breastfeedingcenter.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/onrightpath_CB-510×338.jpg 510w” sizes=”(max-width: 660px) 100vw, 660px” /> I received an email about local T-ball tryouts last week from my son’s preschool. My husband played T-ball for years when he was a child, and I know he dreams that our 4 year old son will follow in his footsteps. However I believe that children are their own individuals and as much as their parents want them to do something, it does not always happen. I have learned to accept my child as he is, and I understand that he has to carve out his own path in life. He may not want to go out and play T-ball; he may prefer to stay indoors and play with his cars, planes, trucks, and trains. He plays with them a lot, for hours on end by himself. When he was younger, I used to think it was really cute that he was so obsessed with his toys. I noticed other children would play with the toys for a couple of minutes and then move on to something else. He didn’t make a mess with his toys like the other boys; he took out just one at a time. While I appreciated his cleanliness, I started to wonder why my child was not acting like his friends. No one ever told me directly that my son was different. My husband and I noticed little signs and started to wonder what was changing in our son and, more importantly, how to stop it from occurring. When our son was a...

Mothering for Two: Reflections On Nursing While Pregnant

Disclaimer: I am writing as a mother who is in a constant state of learning. I offer my story because it’s important that we acknowledge that there are many stories reflecting the innumerable mothering experiences amongst us all. Some of these stories are similar, some are different. Deciding whether or not to nurse while pregnant is every mother’s deeply personal decision. I am not speaking as an expert in maternal and pediatric health, or as a trained lactation consultant. I am not recommending that you make any of the choices I made because I am not living your story, and I am not the mother of your children. I am speaking from the heart. I am writing about my journey of tapping into the intuitive, radiant awareness that we mothers inevitably cultivate in the work of nurturing our children. This then, is just part of my story. Shortly after my son turned one year old, we discovered I was pregnant with our second child. At the time, I was still exclusively breastfeeding 99.99% of the time. I didn’t pump and we didn’t use bottles or cups. He had occasionally tasted some fruits—banana, mango, plum—but the majority of all his food came from my left and right breasts. We also nursed throughout the night, and I could count on one finger the number of times I had been away from him for more than 5 hours. In our family, breastfeeding had become an essential way of life. My wardrobe, my grocery lists, my bedsharing process, my plans for outings with family and friends, my use of baby carriers instead of...

Lessons Learned by Second Time Moms

by Amelia Lytton We reached out to second time moms and asked them “What would they say to the new mom?” This is the advice they gave. We broke it up into four different sections: Advice on Equipment, Advice on Baby Care, Advice on Self Care, and General Philosophies. Here is what they had to say: Advice on Equipment My biggest problem in beginning to feed my baby was the pain of sitting upright after delivery.  The second time around, I started using my boppy pillow as a donut pillow, which made the biggest difference.  I could sit as long as I needed to.  I wish I had known to request a donut pillow in the hospital the first time around. Rent a hospital grade breast pump when you leave the hospital after having baby.  If by chance you have trouble breastfeeding, you will be prepared.  This will also allow you to start pumping early on and let your husband feed a bottle to baby, and let you start storing milk for a night or when you go back to work.  The pump you buy yourself is not as strong or as good as a hospital grade pump.  It is worth the cost to rent it for the first few months. In that same regard, if you have trouble breastfeeding, another option is to pump.  It’s not widely discussed, but some moms exclusively pump breast milk if they have trouble breastfeeding. Advice on Baby Care You can start sleep training (if you choose to) at 5 ½ months. Babies are resilient. Get out of the house.  Don’t be afraid...
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