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?
In the coming months, I’m teaming up with some of my favorite breastfeeding brands, plus my favorite bloggers, to offer some amazing giveaways to help any working mom-to-be face down her breastfeeding + working demons with more confidence.
Check out the amazing stuff, worth more than $530, that you can win:
This thing is awesome. It includes a double electric Ardo breastpump that is so quiet you won’t even have to lie on conference calls, a Nurse Purse pump bag, UpSpring fenugreek + blessed thistle supplements, a SimpleWishes Supermom bra and nursing cover/scraf, a set of Pumpin’ Pal flanges, Lansinoh breastmilk storage bags and breast pads, Ardo microwave steam-clean bags, and a Milk It Kit filled with do-not-disturb door signs and milk labels. And oh yeah – a signed copy of my book. More details on this gear on my website.
So what are you waiting for? The giveaway runs 8/31/15 to 9/3/15, and the winner will be announced on the GroVia Diaper facebook chat night – hosted by yours truly – which runs 9-10 pm eastern time on 9/3/15 on GroVia’s facebook page.
Check it out, share, and enter:
GroVia + Work. Pump. Repeat. working & breastfeeding giveaway
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
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 wonderful friend Ellie Stoneley, a popular blogger based in the UK (and a Bruce Springsteen fanatic, which won this Jersey girl’s heart straight off), wrote a piece this week that has gotten love from both HuffPo and UNICEF. In essence, Ellie notes a recent study that found that PPD “is more than double in women who planned to breastfeed and then were unable to, whereas the women who planned to breastfeed and then did are 50% less likely to be affected.”
Ellie goes on to talk about how essential it proved to be that she prepared for breastfeeding, through classes and reading, before the birth of her lovely little sprite Hope, and how important postpartum support was. She advocates strongly that every woman, in every country, have ready access to ongoing support in the early weeks and months of her baby’s life, because, let’s all say it together: BREASTFEEDING MIGHT BE NATURAL, BUT IT AIN’T EASY.
Ellie’s piece resonated with me on a lot of levels, and I am so proud of her for advocating for something that ALL women and babies, of all socio-economic levels, everywhere, need and deserve. But it also got me thinking that something continues to be missing from this conversation. (I can say this, knowing that Ellie will have my back!)
Continue reading Does breastfeeding protect you from postpartum depression?
I recently asked my Facebook community this question: “What’s the ONE thing you wish you’d known before going back to work while breastfeeding?”
…and the answers poured out. These ladies have been through the war, and they have really useful advice…
- Double check you have all your parts.
- Target sells Medela pump parts. If you get to work and realize you’ve left your parts at home, don’t freak out. Target can save the day! (So can Babies R Us)
- Bring separate pumping sets for each time you pump…i had a clean bag of parts and a dirty bag when done… Made it so much faster while there but made for alot of dishes once home!!! (Jessica’s note: after each pumping session, I prefer to throw the pump parts in a large, slider-top Ziploc, and throw the bag in the fridge. It’s cold when you start up the next time, but it’s sanitary and fast!)
- Pack extra of those white membranes (they are like socks in the dryer)
- Stash a box of breastmilk bags at work, so if/when you forget bottles to store milk, you are covered. Also just keep a few extra bottles.
- Microwave sterilizer bags.
- Buy a pump for home and leave the giant rig at work. Less forgetting.
- Don’t forget the bottle caps!! And if you do, just leave the shields on the bottles and you’ll be fine!
- No matter how many signs you have on the door, someone is walking in, so bring your hooter hider.
- Change of clothes in filing cabinet. (for leaks / spills)
- Make sure to have a hands free bra so you can multitask and work while pumping!! (Jessica’s note: I have found that the flanges/horns fit fine tucked into the cups of a regular bra, and I can still work – aka check Facebook – while I pump.)
…tricks to keep you on time and on target:
- Set an alarm to remind you to pump every 3 hours.
- Pack snacks in the pumping bag.
- Pack it all up the night before.
- Start building up a big freezer stash way in advance (Jessica’s note: more on how to do that here)
…and a loving reminder from a mom who’s been there, with the mom guilt:
- You may not be able to be with your baby but pumping might allow you to feel connected and present and contributory.
What’s YOUR #1 piece of advice for back-to-work?
P.S. Want more? From flying with a pump to talking about your breasts with the person who signs your paychecks, my new book, Work. Pump. Repeat: The New Mom’s Survival Guide to Breastfeeding and Going Back to Work, comes out September 8, 2015. You can pre-order now, via: