Before I had my first baby, I had heard the word “doula” thrown around. I’ll be honest that I jumped to some assumptions, and decided without almost any knowledge that a doula wasn’t for me in particular. I knew I was going to have my baby by C-section, for reasons I won’t get into, and I really thought that doulas were basically birth coaches.
It’s only now that I’m immersed in the world of trying to be supportive to other new mothers that I’m kicking myself for not looking into getting help from a postpartum doula, just to have some female community and support for the craziness. So I asked my new friend Emily Skyrm to guest blog about why she loves being a postpartum doula. Emily is the co-founder of Baby Caravan, in NYC, and spends a lot of time supporting new mothers who are heading back to work. My kind of girl. So without further ado…here’s Emily!
As new mothers we come across so many people who consider themselves “experts.” The sleep experts, lactation experts, expert postpartum chefs…the list goes on and on. It’s gotten to a point now that there are so many “experts” in this field that woman are finding it harder and harder to actually trust themselves.
Continue reading Why the Hell Didn’t I Get a Pospartum Doula?
I’m so excited to be blogging over on The Bump, one of the largest online communities for expecting and new moms. My latest: http://blog.thebump.com/2015/05/27/working-mom-breastfeeding-goals/
***4/16/15 BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Express Medals TOTALLY gets it and just sent me a 10% off code to share. Really, no excuses left. http://expressmedals.refr.cc/4SLV364 ***
You guys all know I wrote a book that is coming out in September, because, well, I talk about it a lot. Sorry; I’m super excited. Anyway, this is relevant today because as part of that process, I submitted my book to the Axiom Business Book Awards. I had no idea if it was a big deal or if they would even consider a book about pumping breastmilk to be a “business book,” but I figured, what the hell.
A couple of weeks ago, I was contacted by the folks at Axiom to tell me that Work. Pump. Repeat. had won the silver in the women’s business books category. I was pretty excited, especially since this Axiom thing looks legit. Winners in other categories include Walter Isaacson (the guy who wrote the big Steve Jobs bio) and motivational speaker Tony Robbins. I didn’t think much of it beyond that, though, probably because someone peed or spilled yogurt on me at that moment. And then…
…a big white package arrived in the mail. It included a certificate from Axiom (I am SURE I will remember where I put that thing…crap…) AND a huge silver medal on a blue ribbon. YOU GUYS, THE MEDAL HAS LATIN WORDS ON IT. It’s kinda heavy. This is a LEGIT medal. Also, apparently “laurus lego erudito” means “success through knowledge.”
I decided on the spot that it had been WAY too long since I’d had my own medal. Like, middle-school-too-long, and that was for making a scale model of a Medieval castle (I had a LOT of friends in middle school). So now my medal lives on my desk, and when I’m having a particularly crappy work day – or, alternately, when I’m having a great day and just did something awesome – I wear my medal.
Continue reading Sometimes You Just Gotta Wear a Medal at Your Desk
I have written a lot here (want proof? see posts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) about that loud little subset of pro-breastfeeding people (other mothers, lactation professionals, people in the media, etc) who cross the line from “supportive” to “judgy.” But I also keep saying that the majority of pro-breastfeeding people are normal, kind people who have no desire to make you feel like shit.
I want to introduce you to one of those people. Lina Martin is a certified breastfeeding counselor and doula who Just. Gets. It. For a little restoration of your faith in humanity, read on to hear what she has to say about her approach to supporting women – especially working mothers – and their varied experiences with breastfeeding.
Continue reading Meet a lactation counselor who TOTALLY gets it
Last year, I wrote a post about being kicked out of a so-called breastfeeding support group on Facebook for asking for advice on gently weaning my 13-month-old daughter. It was a sad experience – one that really depressed me about the state of the breastfeeding wars, and about how even our attempts to re-create the village of maternal support can go horribly wrong.
Well, fast-forward almost a year (my baby girl is turning TWO next month!). I discovered this weird spam-esque inbox on my personal facebook account. (If you’re curious, go to your Facebook inbox and look for a tab called “Other”. That’s where messages from people who are not your FB friends end up.) It was a year-old message from a stranger, all about the Great Getting My Ass Kicked Out of a Breastfeeding Group on Facebook. And this message made me SO happy, I just had to share it. This total stranger came and found me on the internet to tell me she supported me and had my back and is part of my village. Oh my God, yes. THIS IS MOTHERHOOD. THIS IS SISTERHOOD. You have to read it.
Continue reading Taking Back the Village
NOTE: This is a work-in-progress looooong post that I’m considering as a new first chapter for my book (www.workpumprepeat.com) . I’m posting it here in the spirit of crowd-sourcing. This topic is SO difficult to navigate, and there is no clear answer to what is “good” or “bad” messanging about breastfeeding, for women who are struggling with it. I would really love and appreciate feedback – including critical feedback – about whether this hits the mark, or is way off, or is somewhere in between. THANK YOU!!
You’ve noticed, haven’t you, how it seems like everyone has something to say about breastfeeding?
- You should do it, for a specific length of time (which varies depending on the particular bully), and you’re a narcissist and unfit mother if you don’t do it.
- Also, you definitely shouldn’t do it in public, or in a way that interferes with your job in the slightest, or in a manner that asks for any sacrifice, patience, or even just tolerance from any other person on the planet. Otherwise you’re trampy and entitled and a drain on society.
- You shouldn’t supplement breastmilk with anything, no matter how hellish your emotional or mental state is, or how demanding your job is. Definitely give only breastmilk until your kid is a year old.
- Once your kid turns one, you must stop breastfeeding immediately, so as not to be an incestuous weirdo. And if you breastfeed beyond when the kid can “ask for it,” you should do prison time.
- You shouldn’t drink alcohol or caffeine. Also you should only eat organic whole foods; otherwise you’re poisoning your baby.
- Oh, also: you have to really, really enjoy it, otherwise you’re a broken un-woman who is missing out on the greatest gift of her entire life.
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of how the hell to make milk while doing your job, we need to talk a bit about the people and messages you will encounter on this journey of trying to breastfeed and work.
Throughout this book, you will read stories about amazing people who make life easier, saner, less scary, and more welcoming for working women who are breastfeeding. And you’ll read about bullies and jerks in all shapes and stripes, who will try to shame, intimidate, intrude, pressure, and judge.
Continue reading The Minefield: Bullies, Best Friends, and Well-Intentioned Messengers
Looking to stay up-to-date on publication, book tour, and other news for my book, Work. Pump. Repeat: How to Survive Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work?
Look no further: Join me at www.workpumprepeat.com, where you can sign up for email updates on the book, find book tour dates when they’re posted, and more!
I’m lucky this week to have guest written for Thrive Momma, a support service and community for new moms making the erggghhhhhhhh painful and crazy transition back to work.
Have you ever said something like this?
– I work so I can set an example for my daughter.
– I exercise because I need energy to play with my children.
– I go on dates with my spouse because I want my kids to see a healthy relationship.
On being allowed to want things just because WE want them:
It’s the tail end of #ISupportYou week, and I wanted to share what I think is the best video ever made about motherhood for our generation. I never cease to sob a little when it gets to the “Now I tell you love each other as I have loved you” part.
LOVE YOU, MAMAS OF EVERY STRIPE!
My book for working, breastfeeding women is in pre-publication! Here’s what Midwest Book Review has to say about it:
…a solid advice guide that should be on the shelves of any woman who enjoys a career and who wants to return to it while continuing to nurture her child: a guide very highly recommended for its exceptional focus and well-rounded discussion of the realities of the venture.
Check out details at www.workpumprepeat.com. You can sign up there to receive updates, and be the first to know when some cool stuff happens:
- Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for self-publication. Super affordable rewards for backers include e-books and signed paperbacks.
- News and press related to the book.
- Publication and availability to purchase on all major e-book readers, and in paperback form from Amazon.com.