This is the time of year when we hear the ringing of bells among the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping. As I have discussed before, shopping with the kids in tow can be an adventure. I think it's that way for most parents. My mother, however, was a master at getting her kids to behave while out in public.
Every year, I am reminded of my mother's greatness when it came to getting her kids to shape up. It was a cold, December evening, and my mother needed to stop by the store on the way home. My sister and I bickered about everything: who got to sit in the front seat, who got to walk next to Mom, who got to push the cart, etc. Then we heard the ringing of bells and saw the red kettle. Curious, I asked my mother what the bells were about. Without hesitation and with a straight face, she said, "That's where you drop off kids who are misbehaving."
My eyes widened and I tightened my grip on mother's arm. My sister and I didn't make a peep. My mother had no issues from either of us and was able to complete her shopping in heavenly peace.
One of your very first parenting tasks might be selecting a doctor for your unborn child. I suggest you interview at least 2, and choose the one that you feel most comfortable with. Below is a list of interview questions to ask.
What are your hours? What happens if my baby is sick after hours/weekend? Is there a 24-hour nurse's line? Is there a fee to use the 24-hour service?
Are you open on weekends?
Do you offer same-day sick appointments?
Do you have hospital privileges? If so, which hospitals?
What are your views on antibiotic use? Vaccinations? Breastfeeding beyond 1 year? Co-sleeping?
Do you have a lactation consultant on staff?
Are there separate waiting rooms for sick and well children?
Questions to ask yourself:
How did the staff treat you?
Were they receptive to doing an interview?
Did the doctor roll his/her eyes at any of your interview questions?
Were you rushed?
MINE-R-T Doula Company’s highest priority continues to be the physical and emotional safety of our clients and doulas. In response to the threats imposed by the coronavirus, many hospitals have implemented strict visitor restrictions that limit the number of support people permitted to attend births with their patients. MINE-R-T Doula Company is committed to supporting our clients and doulas as we all navigate these difficult times.
MINE-R-T Doula Company
Kali grew up in rural India. When he goes to school, he is embarrassed because he's different from the other kids. Their fathers have jobs like postman and bus driver. His father is a snake catcher. This is a good story about not fitting in. It's OK to be different!
Kali and the Rat Snake is written by Zai Whitaker and illustrated by Srividya Natarajan
Rainy days like today make me think of when my kids were little. They would wait until the rain was steady and then run outside to splash in puddles, make mud pies and catch raindrops on their tongues. When they came in, I would wrap them in towels. Then we would proceed to the kitchen for a fun treat. This was my way of creating a tradition of nutrition and fun.
We would use cookie cutters to cut shapes into toasted bread. Then we would spread peanut butter on the stars, hearts, squares and circles, talking about all the fun designs we could create. Finally, the kids would decorate the shapes with dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins, cherries or apricots.
Heading into the kitchen was always an adventure and my kids enjoyed discovering new foods and flavors that I hope will last a lifetime. The creations weren’t always perfect, but there were plenty of perfect moments along the way.
Shortly after an egg is fertilized, the placenta begins to grow and attach to the uterine wall. It delivers nutrients, elminates waste and sustains your baby's life until your baby is safely delivered into your arms. It is truly an incredible organ! Some cultures even consider this organ to be sacred.
During the birth planning process, our doulas discuss your options and preferences for your placenta. One option is to consume your placenta after delivery. There are many ways for ingesting the placenta. Some practitioners mix frozen pieces into a smoothie for consumption. Some people cook and ingest their placentas. Our placenta encapsulation specialists prepare and encapsulate the placenta into pills. There is not enough science to support or oppose the consumption of the placenta. We have anecdotal evidence that reports some of the benefits of placenta consumption include: stabilization of mood and anxiety during the initial postpartum period, increased energy, lactation promotion, increased iron absorption, improved sleep, decrease postpartum hair loss, improved overall mood. Like most supplements, results will vary among individuals. Our placenta encapsulation specialists will pick up your placenta, prepare it, and deliver it to you in pill form.
If consuming your placenta is not your cup of tea, there are other options for your placenta as well. Some cultures believe that the placenta is a gift that should be returned to the earth after delivery. Life is intertwined with death. As your baby is born, the placenta begins to die. Its job is complete. Our doula will help you honor your placenta by assisting with finding a suitable burial location. You can learn what I did with my baby's placenta here.
Placenta art, lotus birth, and allowing the birth facility to incinerate and dispose of the placenta with other medical waste are also options. Our team does not judge your choices. Our goal is to make sure you understand all of your options so that you are capable of making informed decisions about your care.
I thought I would share my personal adventure in tandem nursing during Black Breastfeeding Week 2020. Tandem nursing is when you breastfeed siblings of two different ages. It started when I found myself pregnant with my second child while still nursing my 2-year-old. What?!?! Breastfeeding a toddler? With teeth? Yes, extended breastfeeding is common and recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. There are many benefits to breastfeeding beyond 12 months: increased immune system function, added nutritional benefits, improved brain development, and lower anxiety. Additionally, nothing heals a boo-boo or stops a temper tantrum in its tracks like a mouthful of boob! Also, keep in mind that toddlers don’t nurse nearly as often as infants. Our nursing sessions were primarily before naps and before bedtime, about 3-4 times a day.
When I found myself pregnant while my not-quite-2-year-old was still breastfeeding, neither of us were ready to discontinue our breastfeeding relationship. I continued to safely breastfeed throughout pregnancy. What was that like?
Oftentimes, nurslings are the first to know when you are pregnant. The taste of your milk changes, becoming slightly salty. Some toddlers do not like the new flavor and will refuse to nurse. My toddler did not let a little funny-tasting milk stop her. She continued to nurse throughout my first trimester. As we approached my second trimester, my milk production began to decrease and eventually disappeared altogether. This is common during pregnancy. About 70% of women report decreased milk production during pregnancy. Still, my toddler persisted. This was the most difficult part for me. Dry nursing felt like nails on a chalkboard. Sometimes it was painful. But my toddler strongly desired to soothe herself with suckling, and breastfeeding interaction was still cordial. We worked through this challenge together. I agreed to allow her to continue to breastfeed but in limited increments. I would set a timer for 3 minutes. I would explain that she can have some milk but only for a little while because it hurt Mommy. She was very careful. Sometimes she was upset when the timer beeped and I would cuddle her instead of nursing for a few minutes. Then allow her to nurse again if she was still awake in 10 minutes. It was difficult for both of us.
During the third trimester, my daughter would nurse and feel her sister moving in my growing belly. She would smile and rub my belly while nursing. We would talk about how when the baby came, she would need to share milk with her new sister. When the baby was born, they both nursed together in the hospital bed with me. I was amazed at how big my toddler looked compared to my 6-pound newborn! My toddler was so happy to meet her new sister. Even better, my milk was back! It was like a kid on Christmas Morning when she latched on and milk came out again! She was so happy to have the gift of her mother’s milk! The oldest stroked the baby’s head as they nursed together. As months passed, they would hold hands and exchange glances. They shared this experience for a while until one day, my milk tasted salty again!
Kira Kimble is a doula trainer, certified doula and doula mentor. She is the owner of MINE-R-T Doula Company in Charlotte, NC