One on One….Done

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First, I know I’ve been pretty lucky over the last 6 years to have the chance to stay at home with my kids during most weekdays.  I have worked a variety of schedules, full time, part time, nights, and weekends, since my daughter was born almost 8 years ago.  Before my son was born 4 1/2 years ago, I had many days where I got loads of one on one time with my daughter.  Once she started kindergarten, it was my son’s turn to have mommy to himself. And now, I have exactly 6 days of this left.

I mean, he’s been in preschool for the last 2 years.  He’s been coming with me to BabyLove since we opened our doors in 2011.  He has sat in on meetings, come along for tours of properties, sat through car seat classes; most of the time, he’s done really well.  Lunches have been just the two of us for 3 years.  Since he needed to eat, that usually meant that I also made myself lunch.  We’ve gone on errands, play dates, visited my grandmother…just the two of us.  He helps me fold laundry.  Hopefully, once I publish this blog post, he’ll help me clean the toy room.

When I first found out that I was going to have a son, I had no clue how I’d end up relating to him.  I grew up with two sisters, no brothers.  Little boys were foreign to me.  But my own little boy has been really good at showing me the ropes.  We have our groove, our routine, and once summer vacation starts, that era will be over.  Both he and his sister will be home for the summer break, God help me, and then he will be off to kindergarten in September.

Look, I know I will still have chances to spend time with him and just him, just as I have had chances to do so with his sister.  And I know that he is beyond ready to go off to school full time in the Fall (hello, the crazy boy can read and knows how to do simple addition in his head).  I also know that BabyLove, my “third child”, will benefit from my free-er time.  It’s just sad, you know?

However, just as has happened with his sister, I am excited to watch both of them grow and thrive in their new school next year.  I am looking forward to the new adventures.  I am looking forward to being able to go different places with them.  I am looking forward to seeing how much both kids will grow.  As much as I am sad that this is one of my last remaining afternoons with just my sweet little boy, nothing in life is permanent.  I will relish (most of) the time I have left with him.  I don’t have much of a choice otherwise, do I? =)

Oh, but I do have a question:  Who is going to make sure I don’t forget to eat lunch once both of my kids are in school? That I am worried about.

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.

Breastfeeding Resources Every Mom Needs

Breastfeeding resources

Have you tried looking for breastfeeding information online?  It’s hard, isn’t it?  It seems like there are so many opinions out there; how do you sort through all of them?  The answer?  You can’t.  Well, not really.  But if you know the right places to go to get accurate information, your life will be easier.  So, here are my go-to resources, and the reasons why I love them.

Going old-school: the best books

Don’t gasp.  There are some long-worshiped books missing. I don’t like them either because they are hard to use, only based on option, or flat out wrong. So here they are, ranked in order of my favorite to least favorite:

1) Breastfeeding Made SimpleI love this book because it follows my breastfeeding philosphy:  why make breastfeeding harder for moms?  The answers it gives are common sense, and better yet, help moms tap into their babies’ abilities.

2) A Nursing Mother’s CompanionAnother great book that’s easy to use.  At 2 AM, you don’t need to be hunting through a bunch of pages for ideas of what to try.  Here it’s all laid out in step by step instructions of what to try.

3) The Breastfeeding Answer Book- Dr. Jack Newman is another top researcher, so his book is pretty good in having accurate info.  It’s just not the easiest to use, IMHO.

Online resources

This is where moms get into trouble.  It’s a rabbit hole, I tell ya.  Don’t go on message boards, don’t hunt a million places…stick to these 3, ok? Your sanity thanks you in advance.

1) KellyMom.com- It’s my go-to online resource because it’s accurate, simple, and, now that most of the old broken links are fixed, a treasure trove of great info on all sorts of things, from the normal to the obscure.

2) BreastFeeding Inc- This is Dr. Newman’s online resource for his research.  You can get information in a variety of languages, too.

3) The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine- This is the best place to go to for accurate, evidence-based protocols, especially if you are finding your baby’s physician isn’t supporting breastfeeding.  It’s great for things like jaundice, too.

Apps for breastfeeding and medication

There’s so much bad information out there on what’s safe to take while breastfeeding, and what wasn’t safe to take while pregnant is usually safe to take while breastfeeding.  Here are two apps that you can download so you have the information at your fingertips, just in case.

1) The InfantRisk appThere’s also a phone line to call during the day, Monday through Friday, but the app is always available   Yes, it’s a little spendy, but it supports ongoing research and it’s very easy to use and very thorough.  And heads up, the info is not available on the website.

2) LactmedWhile Lactmed is free, it’s not as user-friendly as the InfantRisk app.  It can take a little bit of deciphering to determine if a medication is safe, but if you’re talking with a doctor or pharmacist, they’ll understand what they are reading.

Hopefully all of these things are useful.  Do you have anything that you love that I might have missed?  Let me know below!

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.

Car Seat Recycling Event!

Big news!

Do you have old, outdated, unused, or broken car seats sitting around?  You know that they shouldn’t be used any more, but you’re reluctant to throw them away.

Well, we can help.

Flier for drop off event 6-30-13-page-001

Working with the Recycling Association of Minnesota’s ReSeat program, we’re excited to announce that we will be holding a recycling event on June 30th from 10am-2pm.  Bring by your old seats to the BabyLove studio, and we’ll be collecting them so that they can be recycled by the ReSeat program.   ReSeat does charge a $10 fee to cover the cost of disassembling the seat.

Help us spread the word!  Please feel free to print off and share the flier below.

Flier for drop off event 6-30-13

(Also, we would love some help with this event.  Please call, email, or tell us in person if you’re interested in helping staff this event.  We’re not making a profit at all, so any extra hands would be HUGELY appreciated!)

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.

Dinner and a Date Giveaway!

Update 5/30: We’ve changed a couple of things.  You can take a picture of our windows in the BabyLove parking lot and post them on social media.  That does count.  Also, in order for us to keep track, we need you to tag us in the photo/ in the shared post.  And finally, we want to thank the Highland Grill for their awesome donation!

Summer is almost here, and we want to give away a date night to one lucky BabyLove family!  One lucky winner, drawn from random, will get a $40 gift card to Highland Grill and a $25 Gift Card to the Highland Mann Theater.

To enter, you must:

1) Find one of our vehicles around town and snap a picture of the super-cool window sticker:

919986_417120561718156_1962686710_oIt does not count if you take a picture of our cars either in the BabyLove parking lot or at our homes.  Post the picture to our Facebook page or on twitter with a comment of where you took our picture. Make sure you tag us in the post.  This will count as one entry.

2) Share this blog post on your Facebook page or on twitter, and tag us in the post (on twitter @BabyLoveMN). This can count as one entry as well.

Up to two entries are allowed per person.  We will select the winner from all eligible entries received on or before June 21st.  We will draw at 9AM on June, 22nd, 2013.

 

Good luck!

 

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.

Tongue Tie: A True Story

 

tongue tie blog post

 

Yep, this really happened to me.  I struggled and struggled with breastfeeding, but nobody could tell me why it was so hard and my daughter seemed “fussy”.  Finally, when she was 6 years old, I looked in her mouth and….she had a lip tie.  All of the people I went to for help could have noticed it…if they had the proper education on the importance of screening for tongue and lip ties.  Left untreated, tongue and lip ties can cause painful latching, difficulty latching, slow weight gain, sleep apnea, colic, speech issues, tooth decay, and misaligned teeth.  Find out more information here.

And if you are told that it’s normal, don’t buy it. IT’S NOT.

That’s my story!  The good news is we’re finally going to get it fixed.  I cringe to ask, but– do you have a story like this?

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.

5 Reasons to be Wary of Hospital-Sanctioned Classes

Hospital childbirth education

Before I start, a small disclaimer:  I started my career as a childbirth educator, and continued to teach in hospitals until 2 years ago. I was honored to teach with some amazing educators, and I do know there are still a handful of programs in Minnesota (and by a handful, I mean 5) where the classes are taught, for the most part, by caring, qualified childbirth educators and nurses who truly have a passion for teaching and are willing to stand up for evidence-based curriculum.  However, they are the overwhelming exception, and not the rule. So before I go any further,  I want to acknowledge the educators and program directors who still believe in providing quality classes to parents in hospital settings. You women rock.

Teaching in a hospital can be a tricky proposition.  Even the best-run programs face various pressures from many sides that all have an effect on the quality of classes. The realities of maternity care in the US are coming together to create a difficult climate for evidence-based prenatal education.  Sadly, attendance in childbirth classes has dropped dramatically in the last 15 years, and I’m sure bad classes are part of the issue. So, while you might think the best choice for prenatal education for a hospital birth is to attend the hospital-sanctioned childbirth classes, here are some reasons you need to think again:

1) The classes are just too big

I find it shocking to hear how many people who go to attend childbirth classes sanctioned by their hospital do so in an auditorium or in a room with 15-20+ other families.  Lamaze limits the number of families that can attend a Lamaze series to 12 for a very good reason: big classes make it impossible to have a positive, interactive class that allows enough time for classes.  Also? Classes that big are run in lecture format, and that’s just boring.

2) Information is restricted

Even when I taught for wonderful programs, it was inevitable:  Certain topics are off-limits, despite the fact that there might be piles of evidence and official policy statements to back up the information.  In the best cases, small facts might be forbidden.  More often, though, entire topics are left out of the curriculum.  Like what? Well, anesthesiologists might not allow educators to talk about the risks to an epidural, OBs might not want VBACs mentioned, or educators might not be allowed to even discuss Cytotec or Cervadil. When waterbirth is offered at a hospital but not all practitioners support it, educators might not be allowed to discuss waterbirth, lest the glaring differences in personal practice styles come to light. To help with conformity, you’ll find that:

3) Classes are nothing more than a bunch of Power Point slides and videos

As Chief OBs, program directors, company owners,  and hospital administration have increasingly wanted strict control over class content, power points have become the preferred tool to make sure educators don’t stray from party line. It’s also the best way to cram a HUGE amount of information in a ridiculously small amount of time.  Want to fit everything about pregnancy, labor, birth, and postpartum into 4 hours? To do this you MUST just sit families down, start up the slides, and start reading to them, and not allow time for interaction.  No wonder so many people think childbirth classes are worthless.  You don’t need to pay someone to read to you.

4) Opinions trump evidence

Again, most of my colleagues at the hospitals I taught at really wanted to provide information to parents so the parents could make their own choices.  However, I did have colleagues who were L&D nurses who only were interested in telling moms how to be compliant patients.  Their goal was getting moms ready to be an easy, perfect patient.  (Honestly, I’ve seen independent classes that have the goal of compliance as an undercurrent, as well. Those classes are bad, too.)  Instead of telling moms about options, mothers are simply told what they will do when they give birth. And, as overwhelming evidence is showing, routine protocols that involve high rates of interventions end up with worse outcomes for mother and baby.

5) The Fear Factor

First, there needs to be a distinction made between explaining the risks versus benefits of a procedure and flat out trying to make parents fearful.  I’ve sat in on classes as colleagues have spent 10 minutes recounting the horrors of cord prolapses in excruciating detail.  I’ve heard them describe unmedicated vaginal births in such colorful terms it would even make me want twilight sleep.  And this commentary published last year by a local radio reporter is stunningly depressing.  But fear is a motivator, but also highly manipulative.  (Although, I do know some childbirth methods use fear-mongering to convince mothers to have unmedicated births too, but that that’s another post for another day.)

As I was working on this post, a mother who had taken both our classes AND her hospital’s classes commented on a Facebook post of ours.  Any mom who has taken both sees a difference, but her quote is perfect:

I’m so glad we took our classes at BabyLove. We also took one at the hospital, and let’s just say they told us a whole different story. Because of the classes we took with BabyLove, we were empowered and knew that we could have a completely natural complication-free birth (and did).

Again, there are still some good hospital classes around, but it’s time that we all realize that the majority of hospital classes (both run in-house and contracted out) are a waste of time at best and damaging at worst.  No matter what families desire, at the end of the day, we at BabyLove believe that every family deserves to have prenatal education that is evidence-based, can speak to a variety of choices,  positive, and encouraging.

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.

BabyLove Featured Family, Part 2: Heather, Brandon, Baby F, and Brother B

Johnson FF

Today we bring you the second half of this family’s thoughts on adding baby number 2 into the mix.  Brandon was so kind to share his thoughts; if you missed Heather’s thoughts on Monday, make sure to check them out here.  

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

It has been a lot of fun to see our 2 year old son interact with his new sister and watch him embrace the big brother role. It was really exciting and surprising for Heather and I to find out that it was a girl this time around!

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

Sleep:) It has been challenging to adjust to two little ones who don’t always want to sleep. In addition, I try to help out Heather during the nightly feedings/changes and still get enough sleep to make it through the workday at the office. Our main focus is to maintain our son’s nightly routine and so far that has been a success.

  • How has your relationship with your wife changed since the birth of your 2nd child?

Our daughter’s birth has helped us communicate better and has helped us to cherish all these moments – our son is 2 already and the past few years can seem like a blur at times… We try to spend as much family time (reading books, playing with toys, going for a walk, etc.) as possible on weekends and after work on weekdays. We have found that Boston seems to have adjusted well to his new sister and I think a big part of that came from Heather and I continuing our family meals (when possible) and him seeing us both interacting with him similarly to when it was only the three of us.

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

Absolutely, the classes were a great refresher for us. In addition, we learned a lot about water birth – something that we had planned to do for the second birth but had not done for the first. The classes also helped us realize the things that happened at our first birth that we really wanted or really didn’t want to happen at the second.

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

Everyone will give you advice or use the ‘we did it this way and it worked out ok’ lines, but trust your instincts. We have done things (elimination communication, water birth, co-sleeping, etc.) that our parents, family, and/or friends have disagreed with or questioned us about, but having done a lot of research and seeing the positive results with Boston we feel confident that we are doing what’s best for our family. Knowledge is key, so research and don’t just assume that a ‘fact’ is accurate – there are many different parenting styles and a lot of ‘misinformation’ online and in the media. Lastly, remember at the end of the day that you and your spouse are on the ‘same team’ and striving for the same goal(s) – lack of sleep and other stressors can cause frustration between you and your spouse, but keep your focus on what’s really important and how you can communicate and work together to be the best parents that you can be!

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.