Providing Professional Doula Services to Families in Greenwich, Westchester and NYC

Breast Feeding

Of course St. Patrick's Day is a celebration of rich Irish heritage, but it's also one of the nation's biggest celebrations of beer, wine and spirits. 

If you're breastfeeding you might not be raising your glass to a cheers just yet. 

There's a lot of conversation surrounding an occasional drink while breastfeeding, and we're setting out to give you some facts and resources that can help you decide to have that St. Patrick's Day beverage or not. Drinking while breastfeeding is mostly up to the discretion of the mother, while others prefer to shy away from alcohol completely, but medical professionals generally advise women to avoid alcohol for the first 3 months postpartum. 

The Scoop on the Breastmilk Cocktail

The same amount of alcohol that enters your blood stream while drinking can also make it's way to your breastmilk. While the amount of alcohol present in breastmilk is a relatively small, your baby's liver isn't mature enough to process it as well as you can. When babies consume alcohol, it can affect their sleeping and eating patterns. Babies who regularly consume alcohol often eat less and sleep more sporadically, making them fussy and can experience some...Read more

As doulas we are so fortunate to have the ability to develop relationships with the birth industry's leading professionals. 

Linda LeMon is an outstanding IBCLC and childbirth educator in Westchester and we had the opportunity to interview her to help answer some of the questions we hear most often from mothers as they begin their breastfeeding journey. Babies don't come with instruction manuals (and neither do breasts!) so it can be challenging for a new mom to navigate breastfeeding for the first time. 

After interviewing Linda, we were able to come up with a list for families to reference while they're getting started. 

How long should I breastfeed on each side once my milk comes in?

Linda LeMon: Nurse when baby shows his or her feeding cues (stirring, rooting, hands in mouth)–don’t wait until baby is crying. Allow baby unlimited time at your ...Read more

Weaning can be a nightmare! 

There are a ton of tips and tricks for moms out there that want to wean their babies of breastfeeding, however it's up to the individual to choose what's best. Some methods take a little longer, and every mother and childs weaning experience is unique to them. 

Weaning doesn't end the bond between a baby and its mother, it just the begins a new chapter.

Wondering more about weaning and how to wean your baby off of breast milk

The American Pregnancy Association reccommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months to one year and slowly introducing solids in addition to breast milk around the 6 month mark. Weaning off the breast might be sooner or later depending on your preferences and parenting style, there's no pressure, you get to decide what's best. YOU and only YOU! 

How can I tell if my baby is...Read more

Hudson Valley Hospital 

presents....

The Big Latch-ON

The Big Latch-On is an annual event where breastfeeding women come together at registered locations all over the world to latch their child on at a set time. Mothers and children everywhere are latched for one minute all at once and are counted by witnesses. The numbers are calculated to see if each year the amount of partcipants beats the number of participants from the previous year.

The Big Latch On is dedicated to offering communities the opportunity to provide ongoing breastfeeding promotion as well as support.

...Read more

You gave birth!

You did it!

You really did it!

She’s beautiful. She’s finally here. You are absolutely blown away by the experience and this perfect little baby that has been placed on your chest. Your partner cries, you cry, you have never been more filled with love and excitement in your entire life when suddenly your doctor says… “ok, I need you to give me a little push”.

You follow his or her direction and you bear down.

You feel that second life force move through your body.

It takes on the shape of your anatomy and with one long and laborious push, your placenta is here.

Your placenta. The organ that your magnificent body grew to nourish and grow your baby. The placenta that at about 8 weeks into your pregnancy took over the management of your hormones and kept you emotionally balanced (well, for the most part any way).

It’s fascinating and your provider asks you, “do you want to see your placenta?” You hesitate but you know it is too incredible of an opportunity to pass up and you take a glimpse of it. Wow…

What happens next can change your next 6 weeks of life dramatically. You have 2 choices (in most hospitals)

·      Disregard it as medical waste

·      Take it home with you

If you choose the first option, like many women do and disregard it, you will never know the “could haves”. It will be red bagged and discarded and you will not know whether it could have impacted your...Read more

 

We were madly in love and I had just birthed our baby about a week and a half prior. The oxytocin was flowing like crazy and our new little family was blissfully bonding.

I remember my husband sitting with me while I was breastfeeding. He would stare lovingly at our little girl and I, while she and I tried to figure out the intimacy and awkwardness of early breastfeeding. He would stroke her feet, chuckle at her tiny gulping sounds and offer her his finger for her tight fisted grip.

Although he knew that I was the only one who could offer our daughter nourishment, there was a part of him that wanted to share in that closeness. He wanted to feed our baby. He was so cautious of not interfering with our process, but he really wanted to feed our baby.

One summer afternoon, when our daughter was barely 2 weeks old, she was ready to nurse. I took her into the bedroom where I could stretch out and be more comfortable. My husband followed me into the bedroom. Before I could get settled, he took off his shirt and sat on the bed with his back against the headboard. He opened his legs and asked me to sit in front of him with the baby in my arms and my back to him.

I laid the baby on the bed in front of me and I took off my top, exposing my breasts to nurse her. He asked me to lean back against him. He reached his left arm around me and supported our baby and he nestled his chin on my left shoulder. As he brought his right arm around me, he...Read more

 

The baby (2-16 or so, weeks old) is sleeping.

She is in your room with you in a bassinette, it is 11pm, you are exhausted and ready for as much sleep as she will let you get!

Your brush your teeth and your head hits the pillow hard! You are expecting a good 2.5 hours and you need it badly!

Your eyes quickly close to the hum of your sweet bundle’s breath and you're there. Your body and mind are finally at rest. You are in recovery mode. I mean you might even have a dream, you’re so asleep and then… she sighs and moves (a tiny bit). You’re up! All the way up! You’re standing over her, ready for action… she is asleep. It is 11:23pm, you get back into bed.

OK… You are filled with gratitude for that sweet little girl and you are back to sleep. Ahhhh…

You don’t know how you are able to hear her move her mouth but somehow from a full on sleep, her tongue moves off of the roof of her mouth and her pucker wakes you like a 5 alarm fire! You bolt out of bed. You are standing over that bassinette staring at a …sleeping baby! You make your way back to bed. It is 11:41pm. You drift off to sleep with thoughts about whether or not your husband needs a hearing check…

At 11:57, she is screaming! At least you thought so, because in the .2 seconds it took you to whip the covers off and RUN 1 step to her bedside… she fell back to sleep.

You chug some water, rub your face and let you weak and exhausted body melt back into bed. You pull...Read more

 

Breasts are a crazy thing and breastfeeding, as normal as they say it is, can be equally crazy (at least, in the beginning). Just the realization that our breasts have the ability to PRODUCE MILK, is mind blowing when we stop to think about it!

As a Doula, I have wrapped my hands around many a breast!

I have stimulated the nipples of women to help kick start uterine contractions.

I have stimulated nipples to augment labor and to help slow bleeding post delivery.

I have hand-expressed colostrum to entice a newborn to latch and I have initiated sprays of milk out of the breasts of my clients in evidence and validation that they ARE providing nourishment to their children.

So why are we so weird about our breasts? OK, maybe the question should be, why am I so weird about MY breasts and maybe, just maybe, there are one or two other women who can identify with me.

I always have been weird about them. I just never liked them. I have gained and lost weight enough times that the integrity of my breast tissue seems to have melted…. or so it seems to me.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not shy or modest or anything like that. I mean if I liked them, I would flaunt them. You might even see me on the back of a Harley Davidson, topless at some bike rally in South Dakota or something. I simply don’t like them.

However, these bad boys have served me (and my husband and children) well! I know the feel of a good push up...Read more

 

I am a Doula. That is my profession, my career.  It is my job, NOT my lifestyle. I clean my house with bleach (not cleaning products that are safe for human consumption) and I was devastated (but now recovering) from Hostess’ announcement to go out of business. I drive a gas guzzlin’ SUV and patchouli oil gives me a migraine!

All professions come with stereotypes. Accountants are called nerds, Firemen are sexy, used car salesmen are deceitful and you know what they say about those hot librarians! However, I, and the staff at Northeast Doulas does not meet the stereotypical description of Doulas. Instead, we are professional, articulate, well trained, certified support Doulas.

I do not encourage any certain birth philosophy or parenting style. I have no agenda. I simply want for my client, what she wants for herself. I support her completely free of judgment, knowing that I may be the only woman on Earth NOT judging her.

Somewhere down the road, the definition of the word Doula became cloudy. For many, it has taken on a connotation that implies crunchy, granola, natural un-medicated, un-intervened birth along with exclusive breastfeeding and attachment parenting.

Today, I set the record straight!

The word Doula, is a Greek word and it is defined as a woman servant. A woman who serves another woman. The capacity that we use it in is a woman serving another woman through pregnancy, birth and the postpartum...Read more

The short answer is YES!

Your milk comes in stages, three to be exact.  The first stage is colostrum, next is transitional milk and finally mature milk. 

For many women the first sign of pregnancy is sore breasts.  The soreness comes when the milk glands start doing their job early in the first trimester. Most woman start producing colostrum in their second trimester, although for some, colostrum may begin to appear just after birth. 

Transitional milk is high-protein breast milk. A woman will start producing this about three to six days after the birth of the baby. This will happen by the baby stimulating the breast, regularly, at least every two to three hours. A woman will typically see an increase in the amount of milk she is producing, as well as a heavy-ness and increase in the size of her breast. 

The mature milk contains more fat and less protein.  You can expect that to start about 10 to 15 days after the birth. 

This initial two weeks of breastfeeding can be extremely challenging for both mom and baby.

Flat or inverted nipples can be one of those challenges. A flat or inverted nipple doesn’t mean that you won't be able to successfully breastfeed! It just means that you may need some extra support from a lactation consultant, or a postpartum doula. Engorgement is also a common challenge during the first two weeks. This is due to extra blood and lymph fluids in the breast tissue. Things to look out for are...Read more

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