New Mothers, Depression Sleep and breastfeeding

Check out this article that refers to how breastfeeding can actually promote better sleep with new moms, and help prevent post partum depression — contrary to what many people believe!

 

http://www.ibreastfeeding.com/content/newsletter/nighttime-breastfeeding-and-maternal-mental-health

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Breastfeeding protects from SIDS

A recent meta analysis shows that exclusive breastfeeding protects infants from SIDS. This is a benefit of breastfeeding that many new parents are unaware of. In my most recent class I taught to expecting parents nobody had heard of this. Check out the actual article in the Journal Pediatrics: http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/06/08/peds.2010-3000

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Space still available for October/November prenatal and breastfeeding classes at Mothering with Heart

Sign up now for informative, evidence-based, small and personal prenatal classes led by experienced doulas. Conveniently located for Vancouver, Burnaby and New Westminster. Our small class size makes connecting with other expecting parents easy and fun. We can tailor our classes to meet your individual needs.
Classes include a complementary manual of resources and important easy to refer to information.
Check out : http://www.motheringwithheart.org

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Breastfeeding mothers and the mama bear effect: new study in Psychological Science

A new study published in the  September issue of the journal Psychological Science, tested whether human mothers who lactate react in similar ways to other lactacting mammals — that is that they can be more aggressive in protecting their offspring.  Three cohorts were tested– breastfeeding mothers, mothers who formula feed and women who are not mothers.  Breastfeeding mothers were the most aggressive (the agression was not to protect their infants per se but the researchers posit that the increased aggressiveness serves a biological purpose to protect offspring in the event that they are threatened)  In addition , breastfeeding mothers also had the lowest blood pressures…  So there is a biological basis for the mother bear instinct after all! And breastfeeding not only is protective and beneficial for babies but has added health benefits for mom!

For more information about the study, go to http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2032540/Breast-feeding-mothers-likely-aggressively-protect-babies.html

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Skin to skin without interruption and unmedicated labour leads to smoother transition to breastfeeding

Take a look at this amazing video which summarizes a  landmark study by Dr. Lennart Righard, which divided newborn babies into 4 groups:

unmedicated births and unseparated from their mothers ( even for routine weight and newborn procedures, until after the first attachment)

unmedicated births and separated after birth

medicated and unseparated and

medicated and separated.

The babies that were born without interventions and without separation all were able to crawl unassisted up their mother’s abdomen, find the breast and self attach.  Those that were born with medication and separated for routine procedures had much more difficulty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzQWv5ZWtIM

You will be amazed at the baby’s competence at finding what they are looking for and self attaching!

Babies retain the reflexes for breastfeeding for many weeks/months . So even if you and your baby have a rocky start there are many ways to help mom and baby to breastfeed.  Having lots of skin to skin contact between mom and baby and practicing baby led breastfeeding are helpful methods for babies who are learning to breastfeed.  Contact a certified lactaction consultant,  a La Leche League Leader or an experienced doula for support.

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Northern Quebec Inuit Communities Transitioning to Birth Closer to Home

I lived for 6 months in Puvirnituq, Quebec and am happy to learn that more and more mothers and children are able to stay in their communities to give birth.  When I lived there there was a birthing centre at the hospital in Puvirnituq and there were two midwives who worked with the hospital physicians. Since then 3 other birthing centres have been opened in Inukjuak,  Salluit and Kuujjuq.   The initiative to bring birth closer to home has received world wide recognition fro the health promoting practices.  And women are no longer being forced to choose their culture over their health care.  (It was standard practice for many years to evacuate pregnant women in their last month of pregnancy to a southern hospital).  The pregnant women were often socially isolated and without family or social support.

Read this article for more in-depth anaylysis of the health outcomes , the cultural benefits and why this is a model that is being promoted.

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/mobile/iphone/story.html?id=3888724

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The science of fathering: research shows that father’s hormonal levels increase during pregnancy, birth and postpartum

So I meant to have this up for father’s day. Better late than never. And besides every day can be considered father’s or mother’s day especially in the early weeks and months where your focus is almost exclusively on your newborn!

So a happy belated father’s day to all those devoted, caring dads out there! Fathers and their partners will be equally interested in reading this article that talks about the chemical and hormonal changes that occur in fathers/partners during pregnancy and in the early postpartum period. Fascinating research that shows that father’s oxytocin levels rise if they are present at the birth of their baby and in the early weeks when  they have  skin to skin contact with their baby.  Oxytocin, which is also known as the “love” hormone , is key in establishing attachment.  Read this link for more details.

http://givingbirthwithconfidence.org/2011/06/the-science-of-father-love/

 

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