Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Birth Doulas Recommended by Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine

Today, in my CLC training, we were talking about how we can, as lactation counselors, support exclusive breastfeeding while mothers are in the hospitals after they have had their babies. One of the ways, is for mothers to hire a birth doula. Studies have shown that the frequency of exclusive breastfeeding at one month was higher if mothers had a doula in labor. Having a doula at your birth can lower your chance of the use of labor medications and c-sections, which can be a barrier to breastfeeding.

This is what the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine recommends about doulas in protocol #15:

"Continuous support in labor, ideally by a trained doula, reduces the need for pharmacologic pain management in labor, decreases instrumented delivery and Cesarean section, and leads to improved breastfeeding outcomes both in the immediate postpartum period and several weeks after birth."

On a side note: Separation of mother and baby in the first 1-2 hours after birth has a more profound negative effect on breastfeeding than medication. So, if you do use labor medication or have a c-section, be sure to have lots and lots of skin-to-skin after your baby is delivered.

Skin-to-skin is one of the most powerful steps in influencing breastfeeding outcomes.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Doulas Saving You Money

In a recent study done by University of Minnesota, it was found that women on Medicaid who hired a trained doula were 40% less likely to have a c-section birth. Which means that doulas may be able to save the government, and more importantly the taxpayer, money. To read more about this study click here:

Glad to be a part of providing better and more affordable care!

DONA "famous"

So, it's been about two months since I have actually been a certified birth doula, but now it's official. I made the newsletter (at the bottom under newly certified) and the DONA website. It is cool and weird to see my name in such an "official" capacity. I worked really hard and it was all worth it!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Certified Lactation Counselor

In little over two weeks, I will attend a week long training in an attempt to earn my Certified Lactation Counselor certification (there is a big test at the end). The Healthy Children's Center for Breastfeeding offers this 5 day workshop to train CLCs to help women achieve success with breastfeeding. They offer these training all over the country and last year the closest one to where I live was offered over 4 hours away. But this year, they are offering this class in my hometown of Chambersburg, PA (Listed as Gettysburg but the conference is actually in Chambersburg). The hotel where it will be held is 10 minutes away from my parents' house. I can't believe it! I have a place to stay and I know the town so well. I am very excited and thrilled that it is so close.

I am pretty passionate about breastfeeding. Besides having almost an unlimited number of benefits for mother and baby, breastfeeding is something that can be very empowering or discouraging for women. When we adopted our first son, I put my body under a lactation protocol and tried to breastfeed. I realize now that I didn't set myself up for success. I was embarrassed that it didn't happen naturally and I didn't get the help I needed. I read tons on adoptive breastfeeding, but not one book on the art of breastfeeding. I was defeated and sad. I didn't even attempt to breastfeed my second son. I never want another women to feel like that. I want to help women have success and feel empowered in their breastfeeding expereince.

So, wish me luck in getting my CLC. I hope it will bless other women. Even if I can help one mom, it will be worth it!