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The Insanely Simple Tool for a Resilient New Mamahood

by Lindsay K. Germain, Certified Postpartum Doula
(originally published by BirthWays in spring of 2014)

When you welcome your new baby into your home, you’ll find that time tends to shift in mysterious ways. Especially in the early days, chores that used to take an hour might start to take four hours, or even a few days.

Your time will be more precious, and likely more stretched, than ever before.

Unlike adults, who sleep for a long stretch at night, newborns tend to sleep in short naps and aren’t yet able to consolidate their sleep.

In a sea of short naps and night and day feedings, it can be a real challenge to get good, nourishing food into your body.

It’s hard to have patience for fussiness, nap strikes, and other challenges of early parenting if you’re tired and hungry. The more you can get good, small meals and snacks throughout the day, the more resilient you’ll feel.

path on bridgeIt’s easy to go hungry when you’re holding, feeding, and caring for your wide-awake baby. If you skip meals, it’s much harder to take care of yourself and feel good about your baby. Breastfeeding mamas need to eat an extra 200 to 500 calories per day.

Lots of moms figure out ways to get quick, nourishing bites when they need to refuel.

If you plan just one thing to make your postpartum transition feel smoother, set up a way to have convenient meals and snacks.

Eating small meals throughout the day helps stabilize your mood and energy. You can use a baby carrier to keep your hands free to snack.

Here are my favorite tools for mamas to help make meals easy:

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Supporting Attachment During the Transition to a New Childcare Arrangement

By Lindsay K. Germain

[Originally published by BirthWays.org in 2011] 

When Ella and her mom arrived for the first day of their art class for three-year-olds, Ella seemed like a quiet, shy little girl. The other children worked and played together while their parents were away, while Ella sat in her mother’s lap, quietly avoiding the other children.

On their third day in the group, I gently suggested her mom could take an hour for herself while Ella was with us; I was confident Ella would do well.

baby dad handNervous about leaving Ella alone, particularly in light of her apparent shyness, her mother decided to say goodbye and wait outside the room where she could hear how Ella was doing.

Though Ella had never before been away from her family, she began to interact with the other children, and turned out to be anything but shy. She appeared confident, focused and self-directed; with a little encouragement she was easily able to ask for what she needed and play with the other children. Soon enough, Ella’s mother was dropping her off and taking some much-needed time for herself during class.

Sending your little one into another’s care for the first time is a monumental experience. This first separation can bring up nervousness, doubt, mistrust, and grief for even the most even-keeled parents.

The process can be quite trying, but can also provide an opportunity for growth where you can examine your feelings and reaffirm your love to your child. Your child has an opportunity to master separating from you in a secure and confident way that keeps your attachment strong. In this article, we’ll explore some ways you can help your child make this transition with confidence and ease.

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More Talking to Babies Helps Their Brains

Baby newborn holding handBabies are born with the capacity to learn, communicate, and connect. They develop pre-langauge skills from a very early age.

New research shows that talking to babies before they can speak is key to developing a rich vocabulary later in life (Neergard, AP). There are some surprising insights in the full article, which you can read here.

Source: Lauran Neergaard, AP