PDX Birth Magazine!

Well, if you haven’t seen this beautiful magazine in our office or in other providers’ offices, you really need to! Jen Berryman, photographer extraordinaire, has produced one of the loveliest magazines for all things related to birth. She combines her doula work with photography and wanted to give the Portland community something that not only looked amazing but really captured all different families’ stories surrounding their birth. She includes articles from new parents as well as a couple other providers. And, yours truly, is in there! Jen was the photographer for a past client’s birth last year so we were able to use some stunning pics from that homebirth mixed with me doing what I do so often… answering all the questions folks want to know!

So, head over to her website to check out my article. And if you need some photos of your family, you have an amazing photographer to reach out to! Stay tuned for her next issue with some more answers from Portland Natural Birth.

Lactation News!

Well friends, the time came to step up my game as a midwife!  I love attending births and providing care to all our sweet families in those precious days during the postpartum period. I already spent time with all families making sure they had a good latch, gave them pointers on different nursing positions and gave them a quick run down of how their milk was made and why their breasts seemed fuller at different parts of the day.  I’ve always loved helping with nursing.  Not only is breastmilk AMAZING but it provides such an untouchable bond when families have the right support.  postpartum breastfeeding baby

So, I decided to further my education and learn more about breastfeeding.  After many months studying and learning more than I thought possible, I sat and passed the IBLCE (the international exam for certified lactation consultants) in October 2016!  I am now an IBCLC which means I am certified as an international lactation consultant which is the highest certification for this specialty.

What does this mean for Portland Natural Birth now?  Well, its an additional service, as needed for clients that may not have birthed with us or used other services but need some lactation support.  But, honestly, more than an extra service, its more help I can give to my own midwifery clients.  I’m really excited about spending a little extra time on prenatal education during our visits.  I’m happy to provide additional information and problem solve during the prenatal period on any possible problems or issues we may face.  And I’m happy knowing that I can save my clients an extra trip to another care provider while we snuggle in at home during their normal postpartum visit and troubleshoot whats going on.  Another perk as an IBCLC is that I can make direct referrals if necessary (specifically for a frenotomy, or tongue tie revision).

So, sit back and relax Portland families:  your homebirth midwife is now your lactation consultant as well!

Mothering During the Holidays

Mothering during the holidays
Mothering during the holidays

Are the holidays stressful for you as a mother? Are you overlooking your regular self-care routine? Forgetting to drink enough water? Feeling depressed about these gray and rainy days?

Yup, welcome to the club. But that’s not to say there isn’t anything you can do about the stress and frustration of being a caretaker during the holiday season.

Movement and Exercise

If you have a regular movement or exercise plan, stick with it. Even if it feels forced. Even if you don’t want to. Even if you’d rather drink a bit more at the holiday party or stay in bed a little extra. I write this as I try to talk myself into skipping tomorrow’s yoga class – I’ve got work to get done, shopping to finish and it won’t hurt if I take a short break from yoga, right?

But the reality is that I’ll be stressed tomorrow if I don’t go to yoga and I know that if I skip one day, I’m likely to skip a second and then a third class. So really, I need to just commit myself to attending tomorrow’s yoga and stop thinking about all the things I can get done if I don’t go. During the holidays the most important thing is that my family is healthy and happy. And they won’t be if I’m miserable and stressed because I didn’t stick with my regular movement practice.

Your goal this holiday season: At least 3 sessions of movement per week for 25 – 45 minutes each time. Movement can be anything purposeful that increases your heart rate and gets your body active. Think an intentional walk around your neighborhood (bonus if you can absorb some vitamin D and get out in the sunshine), biking to the grocery store, a dance class, a winter gardening session. Really, the possibilities are endless.

Oh, and drink lots of water, especially on the days you exercise (or drink too much at the holiday party). A good quantity of water is about half an ounce to one full ounce for every pound you weigh, on a daily basis.

Holiday Traditions

Alright, now on to your holiday traditions. Reflect on which customs make you happy and which ones kind of

Mothering and the holidays
Mothering and the holidays

get on your nerves. Give yourself permission to let go of the traditions that cause you and your family additional stress. While stringing popcorn looks beautiful and brings warm memories of your Grandma, if your reality is that it creates a mess, everyone ends up fighting, and it’s you that unhappily finishes the popcorn string, that’s a good tradition to stop. What about eating popcorn and listening to music instead?

Here you have two very different ways you can offer yourself self-care and stress management during the holiday season. These powerful steps can help make parenting a little more fun and hopefully a little more easy.

Oh, and don’t forget to treat yourself to a holiday massage! Your body, mind, and holiday spirit will thank you for all the love and care you’re showing.