Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Breastfeeding and Babies' Tummies

Have you ever wondered how much milk you actually have to make to fill a baby's tummy? It might not be as much as you think. This picture really helps a mom understand how small a newborn's stomach really is. Sometimes it is really encouraging to know this when you are struggling with breastfeeding or you feel like you have a low milk supply, that it doesn't take much to fill that little one up. Take it one feeding at a time--you can do it!

A Great Loss for DONA (and Doulas everywhere)

While I was perusing the web (mostly about doula stuff), I came across the announcement that Dr. John H. Kennell, MD had died in August. Dr. Kennell was one of the doctors who conducted controlled research and successfully showed the effects of continuous labor support. He later went on to co-found DONA International. His contribution to the field of doula work is unprecidented. You can read more about Dr. Kennell on the DONA website.

To read more about John H. Kennell:

You can see him in this video:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Spicy Night

Many women who are past their due date become very anxious to have their babies and understandably so. The sleepless nights, swelling, uncomfortable feeling, and just plain wanting to meet their babies really motivates some women to try to induce their labor naturally. If you are "over-due" then you've probably tired everything. Some common techniques to get your labor rolling are walking, nipple stimulation, caster oil, evening primrose oil, sex, eating pineapples, and many many other things. One thing that worked for two of my clients, maybe coincidentally, was eating spicy food. The idea behind spicy food is that is gently irritates your bowels (like castor oil) which may cause uterine contractions since the bowels and reproductive organs are located close together in the body.

This is what happened to a client-friend of mine. She was overdue by about a week and I thought it would be nice to have her and her husband over before she had her baby. It was one last opportunity for us to eat together while they were still "baby-free". As sort of a joke we ordered spicy Thai food. I knew that there is sometimes a correlation between spicy food and starting labor. So we enjoyed each other's company and the food and we parted the night around 8pm with a low expectation that labor would start since she had no other signs that labor was imminent.

I was awoken by my phone a 11pm. Her water had broken and her contractions had started. I couldn't believe that it worked! We were so excited that she was in labor. Later that day she delivered a healthy baby. We joked later about the fact that the spicy food worked. Who knows if it really did, but either way we were grateful for the birth of her baby!

Later she said that that she also had a really good cry right before her water broke. Sometimes just an emotional surrender will trigger labor to start. It is almost as if you give in to your body and accept what is about to happen.

So what is my advice for inducing labor naturally? Spicy food and a good cry! But ultimately it is up to your body and your baby. So if you are past your due date, there is hope. I promise you won't be pregnant forever!