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Another Great Reason to Breastfeed Your Baby

Most people would not think that a movement as subtle as Breastfeeding, and the specific tongue action used a dozen or so minutes-at-a-time, throughout the day when you were an infant, would have an impact on the health of an adult, but it does.
The workings of an infant’s mouth while feeding at the breast are different from the workings of an infant’s mouth while feeding from a bottle. In the end, the task of getting milk is accomplished whether baby is fed from the breast, or has pumped breast milk, from a bottle, the process of milking the breast is important to the ideal formation of the jaw and face bones, and to set up motor patterns of the facial muscles. This ends up affecting other processes like breathing and swallowing, as well as the space available for tooth formation and eruption within the mouth.
Breastfeeding is a human movement that results in a particular bone strength which the body will call on in the future.

The Nutricious Plancenta

I write this post in response to the recent dialogues taking place around the topic of the Placenta.
January 26, 2016 there was an article in Metrolife newspaper in their Health section titled: “Would you take placenta pills?”
I have had some postpartum clients who have taken these pills with many positive results. Women now are reporting boosts in energy,and increases in milk-production, and decreases in post-partum depression.

Many women have reasons to fear the possibility of postpartum depression, either theyve experinced it in past postpartum periods, or there is a family history.
Capsules are made from the woman’s own placenta, its dried and ground into a powder hen put into capsules and ingested.
In centuries passed, women also used placenta in a hearty stew to consume after she has given birth (Births were done at home before the 20th Century) or they have used it in their gardens, providing nitrients to the soil and tree roots.

Doulas and midwives have understood the benefits of ingesting your own, safely prepared placenta. It feeds your baby and provides a nutrient rich environment for human life to grow. Surely, it can benefit the mother.
Critics worry about possible health risks of the growing trend, yet companies such as Toronto Family Doulas rolled out its production of Placenta Encapsulation in March 2016.

I have known a few doulas and the midwives at Lucinda Birth Centre, here in Edmonton, Alberta to provide the service for their clients immediately after your baby is born.

April 1, 2016 Jamie Oliver released a recipe on Instagram, and Facebook of Placenta Pie. He posted “It’s Delicious and super Nutritious and placenta is defiantly the most under used source of protein ethical sustainable and the great news is even Vegans and vegetarians can enjoy it…” and went on to give a website for 100 recipes!

Humans are the only mammals that no longer consume their baby’s placenta. The word placenta comes from the Roman word for cake!

The human placenta can be consumed to decrease postpartum haemmorage, and hormones that promote uterine contractions, helping to shrink the uterus to its original size. It contains hormones that boost breastmilk production, and help prevent Postpartum Depression. And provides a nutricious, protein rich meal (stew or capsules)which help to replenish the energy expended during labour.

Why you need a doula at your first birth

Recently I met a young, attractive woman who was preparing to enter her last few months of her pregnancy. She was very healthy and fit and was confident, ready to face the unknown of her impending birth experience. While we talked I mentioned I was a doula. She later said she felt that she might have a doula attend a later birth
“but not her first!”

I know that most people when faced with the birth of their children, especially their first baby, will have little to no idea as to their rights and privileges in a hospital setting. New parents feel vulnerable as they enter into labour. Doulas are experienced birthing professionals that have either previously had a birthing mother or couple in the same hospital as you will attend, or will have asked you where you plan your birth and then will have researched the hospital rules and procedures.

As a certified doula (DONA) it is a part of my job to ensure new parents feel secure, assured of their many decisions before, during and after your birthing experience.
I work with women and their partners before labour begins to educate them about their rights, and what to expect at every stage of labour, as well as fulfil your desires of the birth you would like to have and strategies to deal with pain and comfort measures unique to your needs.
Doulas work to support your birth partner to support you and work as a team member, with your care-providers, at your birth setting, to ensure your unique birthing experience. I provide a birthing attitude that is warm, flexible and empathetic to meet the individual needs of you, your partner, and that of yours together, as a new parental unit Doulas can also provide support to you continuously throughout the labour and birth process, so your partner can have breaks, now and then, or have the space and time to assist you. Doulas also provide guidance to partners allowing them to participate at their own comfort level. Making the experience better for them as well as for the mother. We help a mother and her partner to crete an ideal atmosphere for their birth experience at home, a birthing centre or at the hospital.

Now while I understand this is a very intimate time for a couple, I do also know this first-time experience should be attended by a birth doula who can assist the soon-to-be parents so that the experience is all it can be. A beautiful, challenging but team-building, cohesive, loving, miraculous experience.

To get this kind of birth you owe yourself and your marriage or partnership, to have a professional there, experienced in knowing your rights and assisting you with comfort techniques and birthing methods learned by attending many births, and to assist you with breastfeeding after your baby is born.

Childbirth is a key experience that a woman will remember all her life. Wouldn’t you want the emotional support, objective point of view, and the information you need to make fully informed decisions before, during and after your baby’s birth?

Why should children do yoga?

There are many benefits for children doing yoga. It assists their neuromuscular systems to develop; encourages the midline crossing motion which encouraging  motor development on both sides of the body and brain. It develops a stronger, more flexible body. Yoga improves balance, body awareness and coordination. It helps to improve and develop core-strength which is essential for good posture and body-alignment. It aids in improving digestion, elimination, and circulation. Yoga can also strengthen the immune system and relaxes the body, promoting better sleep.

Children’s yoga calms and clears the mind, bringing us into the present moment. It helps teach mindfulness through various breathing and stillness practices. It relieves tension, stress and anxiety; increases concentration, focus, and attention span; it promotes thinking and memory. It also stimulates auditory processing and responsiveness, improving the ability to be less reactive. And improves the ability to be more mindful of thought, words, and actions. It expands imagination and creativity and balances energy (high or low).

Yoga is extremely beneficial for children’s development from a young age right up to teen years.

Birth doulas

A doula  meets with you early in your pregnancy to determine if she is a good match for your needs and desires of the professional you wish to work with, to achieve your most positive birthing experience. If you hire this doula she should present you with a contract listing her obligations to you and as her clients, yours to her. She should also show you a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

She should outline how her fee structure works and you will agree on a price. Most birth doulas charge between $600-$1200.

She will be interviewed and hired independently by you and your birthing partner to assist you both; meet your needs when you call her there, to your side, until a few hours after your baby is born and you have begun to successfully breastfeed.

You have entrusted  your care, to this woman during one of the most memorable moments of your life, make sure she is someone you feel safe and very comfortable with. This is one of the most vulnerable times in couples lives so choose wisely.

Get to know her during your visits. Ask as many questions as you may have. She should be open and forthcoming.

She should also meet with you, and at the very least, contact you, throughout your pregnancy, two or more times to assist you both in preparation and education surrounding childbearing and breastfeeding, as well as what to expect during postpartum.

You can get a list of questions to ask a doula at  the Doulas of North America (DONA) website:

Postpartum doulas

A postpartum Doula supports the new mother and her family after a birth. She may help by doing light housework such as vacuuming, meal preparation, bottle preparation, assisting with newborn baby care such as breastfeeding, or bathing, burping, or soothing  the baby; allowing the mother to rest, bathe,or shower, and also with appointments outside the home, walking the baby, changing the baby, feeding the baby, caring for the baby overnight, caring for siblings while mom and new baby have time together, or making referrals to community services. There has been much research in the field of postpartum depression and the positive effects of postpartum (and birth) support, with decreases in the incidence of postpartum depression or a faster diagnosis and supports put in-place with  professional support.