BabyLove Featured Family: Heather, Brandon, Baby F, and Brother B

Johnson FF

April is coming to a close, but there’s still time for us to introduce our Featured Family for the month of April.  We’ve been so honored to know this family since the night they took our Elimination Class, right through the birth of their second child.  We’re starting today with Heather, and we will hear from her husband later this week.  Enjoy!

  • So far, what has been your biggest joy in becoming a mother again?

Getting the chance to enjoy the little things. Knowing that my baby is going to grow so quickly and that I get to enjoy every moment, even the tough ones! I never thought I would be so overjoyed to have a baby girl!!!

  • What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced since your baby was born?

The long crying spells and breastfeeding. I thought with our first that he cried often because he was overtired and I was sure I had it all figured out this time around…Boy was I wrong!:) She has many crying spells and I do think it has to do with being overtired and trouble falling into a sleep state. I’m still unsure of why she is crying often, but I just always try to soothe her and I wear her most of the time. Breastfeeding was also tough because Finnley had trouble latching on. I thought the second time would be a breeze after breastfeeding my son for a year. It sure is different nursing a newborn! It is tough, but SO worth it! Giving up was never an option for me though, so I just worked through it. It only took 3 weeks for us to get the hang of it!

  • Where and how have you found support for yourself when you’ve needed it?

I’ve gotten a lot of support from other moms. Moms I met from the first time around and during this pregnancy. It’s nice to have Mama Cafe to go to every week- I make that a priority! I’ve gotten a lot of help from Veronica and Brittany! – from breastfeeding help to babywearing tips! I find that I am just one of those people that needs to vent my complaints and difficulties to relieve stress:). My parents are also around to help when my husband works late. It is nice that my husband will change/rock Finnley when I’m done feeding her. I don’t feel as bad asking this time around:) Just because I’m not working does not mean I don’t need sleep!

  • Did you feel that your childbirth classes prepared you for this birth? How so?

Very much so! I felt much more empowered to have a natural birth, which was what I wanted. I felt I learned a TON about the process of labor and birth and the effects of interventions- even after going to a class the first time around!

  • What is one thing you think all parents should know before the birth of their baby?

It is more life changing than most people think. It is so incredible… you can’t believe you made this perfect little being. But there’s also the tough part. Waking up all hours of the night is a lot more difficult than it sounds, but it only lasts for a short period of time in the grand scheme of things. Be prepared to ask people for help! Other cultures have people helping them with everything for weeks after the birth of a baby- you don’t have to do everything and be super parents!!!! When family comes over to hold your baby, take a nap! Whenever you can, SLEEP! :) Cuddle your baby as much as you can, each phase passes so fast!

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Buying Baby Items at Garage Sales

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Image credit: Mark Turnauckas via Flickr (used under Creative Commons)

Update 5/15/14: This is from last year, and I’ve already seen more used car seats that I would like to see. Why, people?!??!? 

One other disturbing trend I’ve found out about is that some kids’ consignment sales are claiming that the used car seats that they sell are “certified” to be safe. There is no such legitimate designation. PLEASE don’t think that those seats are a good choice. OK. So read on:

Now that the sun is out, the snow is mostly melted, temps are rising, it’s finally time for garage sale season.  Garage sales are a great way to save money on items for you baby or child, for sure!  There are some things you should keep in mind when out shopping to make sure that you’re saving money, not wasting it.

  • Don’t buy car seats at garage sales- I don’t know what else to say.  It’s pretty straightforward.  This is the ONE absolutely, completely necessary baby item you’ll need, but also the most critical to your child’s life.  Save money on everything else, but not this.
  • Make sure the item you’re buying wasn’t recalled- When you are out and about, it’s impossible to keep in mind all of the strollers, high chairs, and other baby items that have been recalled over the years.  There are a couple of ways to check on the status of an item if you have your smart phone with you.  Recall.gov keeps track of every recall issued.  They have a mobile app that you can download (though it looks like it’s only for Android phones), but they also have a mobile site that you can access easily on the go. Find more info on their website.
  • Be realistic on your ability to properly clean a product- I’ve been a mom for almost 8 years, and some things are just really hard to clean.  If it’s fabric, make sure that you can remove it completely, otherwise you’re just stuck spot-treating any dirt.  And plastic seems like it would be easy to clean, but some things have too many corners to clean. If it’s totally grungy, just pass on it.
  • Avoid drop-side cribs- Drop side cribs have (mostly) been illegal to sell or resell for a little while.  If they have been repaired and the drop side is in a locked, fixed position, then they are fine (because the recall has been fixed). Again, check out the info above to make sure the recall has been repaired.
  • Avoid stains- Is this obvious? Maybe.  I’ve seen so many pins, been told so many things to try on stubborn stains, but the truth is, baby stains are hard to get out.  There will be more onesies. Pass on stained clothes, no matter how cute.
  • Make sure the cloth diapers will work- Before buying used cloth diapers, ask if they used diaper cream, what kind of detergent they used, and, perhaps most importantly, why they stopped using them.  If their baby just grew out of them, that’s fine.  But if they stopped using them because the diapers leaked, you might want to pass.  You can try stripping the diapers, but that’s not guaranteed to work.

Happy spring and enjoy the garage sale hunt!

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

BabyLove: More FAQs answered!

More FAQs

Questions, questions, and more questions!  We’ve been asked a few more questions recently, so we thought we would take another chance for a quick blog post to answer them for everyone.  We’re always to answer more questions if you leave them in the comments, too!

Is Mama Cafe only for moms who are breastfeeding?  What about moms who are bottle feeding?

When we first opened, we had a goal of having a free community support group for breastfeeding mothers where they could come and get their pressing questions answered, meet other moms, as well as other unexpectedly wonderful things.  Part of the reason for the was to support the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, which calls for community breastfeeding groups to exist.  The other reason was that we knew that there was a huge need for weekly consistent support for breastfeeding.

While we don’t have any policies for not allowing breastfeeding moms in the group, we do have a focus on supporting breastfeeding.  That’s the main emphasis of the group, so we help moms understand the normal process of breastfeeding and encourage them to find ways to meet their breastfeeding goals. Right now, because of the amount of time we already spend every week on everything else, we don’t have any time right now to add another group that’s a more broad new mom group. We do have plans for other groups in the future, but we think doing one free support group a week is doing pretty good.

Can I join an existing Lamaze series part way through?  Is there a way to make up for the other classes?

Whenever families have to miss classes, we do our very best to have a couple of options for other dates that they can attend.  Usually, we can offer 2 different dates, which is pretty great!  And for families that might need to jump in to the middle of a series, they are completely welcome to finish a series and then start the next series to get the rest of the material.  The only trick is that we need to manually add them into the series, so it’s necessary to call or email to register mid-series.

Do you allow nursing students to sit in on your class? How about certifying doulas?

Absolutely!  As long as I have been teaching, I have had nursing students sit in on my hospital classes.  We do restrict the number of people observing any one class to just one, so we do ask student nurses (and doulas) to be respectful, show up on time, and participate in class appropriately.  There is a small materials fee that covers the cost of printing, snacks, etc.  And we do ask that students remember that they are there representing their college or doula program, so poor behavior reflects poorly not only in our eyes, but the parents’ eyes as well.

Anything else you want to know?  Leave your questions in the comments below, and we’ll reply!

Warmly,

Veronica

 

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Four reasons to rethink pacifiers

Pacifiers are such a tricky issue.  Many babies are given pacifiers while still in the hospital.  Tired, frustrated parents unprepared to have realistic expectations of newborn needs turn to pacifiers out of frustration.  Doctors, nurses, and midwives, perhaps lacking the time, energy, or skill to help breastfeeding moms, suggest pacifiers to mothers who actually need breastfeeding counseling.   And while most people downplay the role that pacifiers have in creating “nipple confusion”, the truth is that there are some other very important things to consider when making the decision to use a pacifier.

1) Babies are weaned from the breast earlier

There are multiple studies that have found a link between pacifier use and early weaning.  You can find one here, and here, and here.  Although many of the studies don’t point directly to a reason why this might be true, one theory is that mothers who use pacifiers are more likely to already be having breastfeeding issues, and turn to pacifiers out of frustration.  One large issue that I see with pacifiers is that they can allow parents to miss early hunger cues, or use pacifiers to “hold off” baby from feeding for a period of time.  When early hunger cues are missed, the only sign that baby is hungry can be crying, and it is very difficult to initiate breastfeeding with a crying baby. (Well, it’s hard for any of us to eat while crying, and babies are no different.) Also, when parents use pacifiers in an attempt to space out feedings, not only does baby not get enough breastmilk, but mom’s supply will be negatively affected by not providing baby enough of an opportunity to nurse.  Both of these scenarios can lead to frustrated parents, who then might wean before they originally intended to.

2) Pacifiers use is linked to more ear infections

This study found that children under the age of two were almost three times more likely to have ear infections. Another study found that when older babies are using pacifiers while in child care, they are much more likely to develop recurring ear infections.  All of these things are very significant.  Ear infections are no fun, we all know that.  And since the AAP guidelines for treating ear infections have been changed to avoiding antibiotic use, prevention is something to consider.

3) Pacifiers are likely to be contaminated with yeast 

Among other things. This study found that 44% of the pacifiers they examined had candida bacteria, and the children who had those pacifiers had oral yeast infections.  And since some of the most popular treatments for yeast infections have been called into question for their safety, preventing thrush is an important thing to consider when advising parents on pacifier use.

4) Pacifiers cause long-term dental issues

Many studies have found links between pacifiers and dental caries, as well as decay. Additionally, pacifiers cause the teeth to grow outward and the roof of the mouth to be raised, which makes it much more likely that the child will need to have orthodontic care later in life to correct teeth issues.

Now, let me be clear:  I’m not saying that pacifiers shouldn’t ever be used. However, I find parents can use them without thinking about the long-term possibilities of frequent pacifier use.  Additionally, as is true with things like nipple shields, they are no substitute for parent education and breastfeeding support done by someone with appropriate skills to help moms with breastfeeding.

The comments are open, but are moderated, as always.  I know this can be a heated topic, so please keep all comment evidence-based.

Warmly,

 

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Self-care is just REALLY hard

Last week, while chatting with a newly-made friend on twitter, she admitted that she’s starting to get a little burned out as a mother.  I asked her about what she’s doing for self-care, and she gave the usual answer we all probably would give if asked: Not enough.  The barriers for not taking the time to take care of ourselves as mothers are universal: the kids come first, not enough time, not enough family members to assist with child care, not enough money, not enough energy…..

Ugh.

I’m right there with all of you, completely.  I’m awful at self-care.  My stress level is always high, I’ve always got more to do than hours in the day, and juggling the kids and their activities and needs during their waking hours is about as much as I can manage.  Right now, though I have two saving graces: First, I’ve started working with a health coach to bring down my stress level, and she keeps me accountable.  Second, I am blessed with a husband who is supportive of me taking the time I need (when I can find it) to take care of myself.  But even with that, it’s still hard.  Here are some things I can suggest to help with it:

1) Start small- My one goal is to read a novel for 20-30 minutes every day.  I can manage that. To make it even more stress-free, I found some books in the dollar section at the local thrift store. The sad truth is, I can not be trusted with library books.  I always end up with fines. So, rather than stress about fines, cheap books I can keep are my best option.

2) Make it part of the routine-  I am a person who thinks that having a routine is essential for my sanity and the kids’ sanity.  It was essential when I was a working mom because without it, it would have been to easy to always be late for work.  Now that both kids are in some amount of school, it’s essential to make sure they are on time and I keep my sanity. Sneaking in that small block of decompression is critical.  And, just like everything else, repetition is the key to creating a habit.  The tricky part, though, is avoiding the temptation to stray from the commitment   Like right now?  I should be doing my “me-time”; instead, I’m blogging about it.

3) Connecting with others- Networking has become my main source of social interaction outside of classes.  That can be fine, but sometimes it ends up being 2 hours of behaving like a walking, talking commercial. (Not always, but sometimes.) Finding other women to connect with is a goal in 2013.  More specifically, women who have other interests outside of mine–because being in the echo chamber of the birth world has it’s limits.  But, mamas? Be brave. Branch out. You’ll be surprised how so many other moms are aching for that connection.

4) Slow down- There are a million things to do on any given day.  There are events, concerts, sporting events, museums to visit, so many play groups and events, TWO zoos–and oh my goodness it’s just too much.  Yes, there are a lot of things you COULD do, but there has to be a risk/benefit calculation.  There’s a fine line between doing stuff just for the sake of being busy and doing, and doing so much that it becomes stressful for you, for your kids, and it becomes draining, not invigorating.   And you know what?  You don’t suck as a parent if you can’t make it to everything or be everywhere.  Slow down. Just let your kids have some down time, too.  You will all feel better.  It will involve saying no, which I get is hard to say, but being a parent means drawing lines sometimes. But sometimes…

5) Say Yes- And here, I am calling all fellow introverts.  If you are like me and just would rather stay home rather than accept an invitation where you might not know everyone else there, it’s totally OK to have those feelings.  Maybe the last thing you went to was no fun.  But you know what?  If you can, be brave and accept that invite.  You might still want to hide in the bathroom some of all of the time, but even that tiny bit of effort is you trying to take care of you.  For that, you get a gold star.

So, BabyLove families– any of this ring true? Thoughts? Need a place for that self- care? Come hang with me on April 27th for our Craft Night. It’s looking like it’ll be loads of fun!

Warmly,

Veronica

 

 

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Introducing: The Birth Communication Workshop

Birth Communication Workshop

Earlier last week, we sent out a survey asking families who had taken our classes for their opinions on various aspects of our classes.  We did allow room for them to tell us what other classes they wished we had.  Some of the suggestions are still being considered, but one suggestion we thought was so fantastic that we got it on the schedule right away.  So, we are pleased to announce that we will now be holding a Birth Communications Workshop on Saturday afternoons, held every other month on the same days as our Labor Skills Intensive Workshop.

The class description reads:

Filling out a birth plan online isn’t the the only thing you need to do to get the birth you want. So, although you can’t plan exactly how your birth will go, you can be prepared to communicate effectively and respectfully with your care provider. We will have time during this workshop to start on a well-written, clear, and effective birth plan. We will also discuss the variety of scenarios that might require extra communication, such as preterm birth, NICU stays, planned cesareans, and hospital transfers for home births. We will also talk about what to do if your care provider is not open to your specific birth preferences.  Class fee includes all materials and handouts and covers the attendance of the mother and one support person (which can be a husband, partner, family member, or friend). If you wish to bring a laptop with you to write your birth plan on, that is encouraged as well.

While it’s true that we do cover birth plans and Informed Consent/ Refusal in our Lamaze classes, we recognize that there are families who wish to have more help in getting prepared to communicate with the doctors or midwives, and get more understanding on how best to communicate with their various caregivers.  Our goal is to help families get the information they need to make decisions and to find their own voices, not to tell them what they should do (which is true of all of our classes).  And when very unexpected circumstances arise, they will be prepared to work with professionals and be involved in the decision-making process, which is a good life skill in general.

 

We’ve decided to go ahead and launch the first date on April 20th.  For the full list of dates and to register, visit the registration section of our website.  Sign up soon!

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Mama Cafe: More than just breastfeeding help

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When we were first in the planning stages of opening BabyLove, Brittany and I were adamant that we needed to have a free breastfeeding support group as part of what we did.  Thus, Mama Cafe was born.  Every week, without fail (well, except that one time we had a snow storm), we fire up the coffee pot, arrange the chairs, put out toys, and wait at our desks to see who will show up.  Truthfully, I’m always a little apprehensive. What if nobody shows up?  What if someone has a question that we can’t help with?  Did I make this coffee too strong?  But even on those weeks that I’m tired, or stressed out, or completely distracted, I am always so thankful to see the mothers and small beings that show up, sometimes every week for months in a row.

One thing I am starting to notice more and more is that moms are starting to form really great friendships with each other.  We have moms who took Lamaze classes together who then come back with their babies and continue the journey as mothers together.  Our experienced mothers are happy to give advice and share thoughts with the new moms. When a family has to miss, we really notice that they are gone.  And so while we know that the time and day might not work for everyone, we are glad that we are able to serve the moms that we can.

Another thing that I’m starting to notice more and more is that it seems like the brand new moms who come learn a lot about breastfeeding just by being around the moms who have gotten past those first few hurdles.  There’s a good reason for this:  we are actually hardwired to learn the process by watching others do it.  Ideally, too, these moms will watch what others are doing before the baby is born.  And while a really great breastfeeding class can lay a good foundation, peer support on a regular basis combined with professional assistance to troubleshoot bigger problems does make a really big difference.  Thankfully, with Mama Cafe, moms are getting both peer support and professional help.

But what I really wanted to write about is that Brittany and I are so thankful to see everyone who comes to Mama Cafe, and we are TRULY thankful that you trust us, you support us, you come to our other classes, you bring your friends, and that you appreciate what we do.  I’ll let you in on a little secret:  there are people who have thought, in the past, that we were crazy for not charging for Mama Cafe, or didn’t get why we would have a weekly group.  Well, oh well. This morning’s, busy, buzzing group of moms proved to me that we’re doing something right.  And if you are a mom who hasn’t been sure if you should join us Tuesday mornings, you absolutely should.  The trip out of the house will do you so much good!

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

In the news: the Fairview merger

Update 4/12/13: Well, the deal is dead for now.  It’s still interesting to compare health systems. 

This afternoon, hearings at the Minnesota State Capital will be held to discuss the proposal for the Fairview system to be bought by Sanford Health.   The University of Minnesota has also proposed to buy the Farview system.  Now, this is a very complicated issue, involving tax dollars, income brought into (or out of) the state, and the jobs of the various employees of the organizations.  However, I was curious how the cesarean rates for the various organizations compared.  So, below you will find a chart that I made after looking up the information on the various rates.  To gather the data, I used Cesareanrates.com and Theunnecessarian.com.

A couple of notes:  Red Wing’s hospital was taken over in 2012 by the Mayo Clinic, but the numbers at that hospital are significant enough and during the same time period, so I wanted to include them.  Also, since the University of Minnesota is proposing a takeover of the Fairview system as well, I highlighted the numbers at the U of M Fairview hospital.  Additionally, the MN Community Measurement 2012 Health Care Quality Report contains both clinic-level and system-level information on primary cesarean rates on pages 192-200.  More information can be found in that report to compare the different systems. And finally, I did not take into account VBAC access, but that would be another interesting piece of information to compare.

The following tables were compiled from publicly- disclosed numbers.  I did not alter the numbers in any way, shape, or form.  If anyone with experience in doing any statistical magic on these numbers wants to step up and do some analysis, let me know!

-Veronica

Fairview
Hospital Cesarean Rate 2011 (Cesarean Rate 2010) Total Births 2011(Total Births 2010)
Burnsville Ridges 33.1% (31.5%) 2575 (2562)
Edina Southdale 34.2% (33%) 3012 (3058)
Hibbing 31.2% (28.1%) 343 (345)
Princeton 35.7% (32.8%) 446 (512)
Red Wing* 36.1% (34%) 321 (259)
Minneapolis- University of Minnesota 32.4% (32.1%) 2259 (2312)
Wyoming 26.5% (26.7%) 695 (805)
*Red Wing is now under the control of the Mayo Clinic
Sanford
Hospital Cesarean Rate 2011 (Cesarean Rate 2010) Total Births 2011(Total Births 2010)
Bemiji 29.2% (33.9%) 959 (951)
Canby 25% (34.6%) 32 (26)
Luverne 41.2% (27.6%) 114 (105)
Thief River Falls 19.9% (32.9%) 272 (277)
Worthington 28.4% (28.1%) 359 (384)
Chamberlain, SD 31% 71
USD, South Dakota 28.5% 3060
Vermillion, SD 37% 100
Fargo, ND 27.1% 2270
Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

Pass on these pins

Bad pins

I like Pinterest.  I have messy boards, and I don’t pin everything in my life, but I have fun looking for new things to sew or new foods to make.  I do run our BabyLove Pinterest page, too, which means that I often spend a ton of time looking for baby-related pins.  But there are days where I see pins that make me cringe, worried, or just plain upset that they keep getting pinned.  I’ve collected a few, and I’ll tell you why you need to pass on these pins.  And please note, I am not trying to make fun of or shame anyone.  But, as is true with many things in parenting, just because others do it doesn’t mean it’s safe.

The SIDS Traps

It all started with this froggy sleeping bag for babies.  It turns out that the actual bag isn’t for sale (because it’s a HUGE suffocation risk), but I keep seeing it pinned with a note of trying to make it.  Please, no.

Then there’s this Nap Nanny, which I keep seeing pinned, despite the fact that it was recalled last year.  Ah, Pinterest.  Where bad ideas never die. And this awful idea was labeled as a “DIY Nap Nanny”…..We’re talking a baby here, not a puppy. Babies need firm surfaces.

And finally, if I see one more tricked out nursery complete with heavy blankets and crib bumpers, I just don’t know what I’m going to do.  Yes, they are pretty, but blankets and crib bumpers and dangerous to use while your baby is in the crib.  So save some money and just say no.

The Car Seat Covers

No, I’m not talking about the blankets you can put over your seat to keep baby warm.  Those are ok.  I’m talking about all the pins I see with patterns, tutorials, and even actual replacement covers for sale that you’re supposed to use instead of the cloth on the seat.  Why is this a bad idea?  Well, for one, once you take off the old cover, it’s very possible you can break the seat in the process.  Also, if you look at the pin I linked to above, it’s quite clear that the cover is loose and the holes for the straps are in bad spots.  What really makes me upset is when I see pins encouraging mothers to buy old seats from garage sales and recover them.  All that’s doing is making an unsafe seat even more unsafe. Please, please, please use a safe seat.

The Sleep Training/ Cry It Out

Before you yell at me, let me just remind you that the AAP is very clear on the dangers of sleep training and cry it out for newborns.  It doesn’t matter what these pins say– following through with the advice can be dangerous for your baby.  How’s that saying go?  The nights are long but the years are short.  Hang in there.  You might be tired, but this isn’t the answer.

There are lots of fun, helpful pins out there, but the bad ones are out there, too.  Have you noticed anything I have missed?  What keeps getting passed around like a bad rumor?

Oh, and for good, safe, vetted pins, follow us on Pinterest!

Warmly,

Veronica

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.

7 Things to Do While Nursing Your Baby

While Nursing

Here’s a not-so-well kept secret:  Brand new babies need to eat.  Some babies breastfeed quite frequently.  Some babies take awhile to nurse. That’s fine.  There’s no way to predict it and no way to really change it, so it’s best to go with the flow.

So, that leaves time mom is sitting on the couch, or in the rocker, or lying in bed with a baby who is eating, right?  To some moms, this is a bad thing– it’s “unproductive time”.  I challenge you to look at it differently: It’s productive time!  So here are some things you can actually do while you feed your baby:

1) Watch a TV show- It doesn’t matter if you have straight TV, cable, Roku, Netflix, DVDs, whatever, find a TV show and start watching.  With my first, it was Felicity.  With my second, it was Gilmore Girls.  A mom at Mama Cafe has been binge-watching The West Wing. Fine!  Great!  When else in your life will you ever have an excuse to do such a thing?  Answer?  Never.  So go for it!

2) Catch up on phone calls- I work from home in the afternoons.  The phones roll over from the office, so if I get a work-related call, it can be tricky; my kids are older, very talkative, and LOUD.  But back in the day when they were babies, if the phone rang and they got fussy– I’d just start nursing.  Or, if I was settling in for a feeding, I’d grab the phone, my to-do list, and start calling people. Win all around!

3) Read to older siblings- Siblings can feel left out when a new baby comes.  So, while the baby is busy being fed, find a book (or a game) that you can read to the sibling(s).  Everyone’s needs are met.  Done!

4) Baby grooming- OK, so you might think this is crazy (until you have kids are you find yourself doing just this), but while babies are nursing is a GREAT time to pick out eye crusties, ear wax, and even–wait for it- trim fingernails by tearing them with your teeth. Yep.  I said it.

5) Social media- Tweeting and Facebook extensively while breastfeeding is totally acceptable.

6) Be at Mama Cafe- Even if you don’t have a question, being with other moms is very important as your life changes.  If you do have questions, we’re happy to help, and our other moms certainly have wisdom to share.  And if you have to pee, we’re happy to hold your baby so you can go to the bathroom all by yourself.  And trust us, as moms,  it’s a rare moment to get to go without someone else bugging you. So Mama Cafe.  Tuesdays.  Be there.

7) Walk around- Once you have breastfeeding figured out and your baby is a little older, you can find carriers that work well with breastfeeding.  I’ll never forget the time my sister was visiting with my small nephew and we were out at the mall and he got hungry.  She just adjusted her Ergo, opened up her tank top, and zipped her light sweater around herself and the baby and we just kept walking.  Nobody could see anything, her baby was happy, and she could keep going and safely feed her baby.

If I missed any good ideas, leave it in the comments below!

-Veronica

 

 

Veronica Jacobsen, BA, CD(DONA), CLC, CPST, LCCE, FACCE

DONA-Certified Birth Doula, Certified Lactation Counselor, Child Passenger Safety Technician, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators

Opening BabyLove in September of 2011 has allowed me to build a space where all families can come to get good information in a caring, welcoming environment. I have found that not only do I love teaching more than ever, but I also really love running a business. Hopefully my passion for every aspect of BabyLove shines through.
I live in Richfield with my husband, and I am a mother of a two great children. When I can steal a few free moments, I love to go on adventures with my family, cook, garden, thrift, can, and craft.