Apr 18

From the Nanny Files

By Anna

meandkBefore becoming a postpartum doula, I spent many years as a nanny; and while being a nanny is hard work, it’s nothing compared with the demands of 24/7 parenting.

Several years ago, I was grocery shopping with my younger charge while her big sister was at school, and we were enjoying the shopping trip~ talking about the contents of all the intriguing bulk jars, smelling things as we put them in containers.

After we’d finished, a woman approached us in the parking lot and said, “You seem like such a wonderful mother.  I wish I could be like that with my children in the grocery store.”

Relief washed over her face when I replied, “Thank you. But I’m her nanny, not her mother.  I get to go home and rest at the end of the day.”

We’re so hard on ourselves, and it’s so easy to make assumptions about the interactions we see all around us, positive or negative, day in and day out.  Parents work hard, and any one “bad” moment or day doesn’t make you a bad mom or dad.  Let’s be gentler with ourselves, and with others.  Everyone is doing the best they can in any given moment, and we can only do better with grace and support!

Apr 16

Swimming During Pregnancy

By Intern

Written By Sasha Aurand, IU Student Volunteer

swimStaying active during pregnancy can help with many aspects from just getting out of the house to helping to maintain a healthy weight-gain. Moderate, regular exercise is correlated with improved maternal well being. Exercise is great for building stamina needed for labor and delivery.

One of the safest forms of exercise for women who are expecting is aquatic exercise and swimming. It provides a cool environment, with no balls, bats or equipment needed! You can work out minus the sweating and feel light as a feather because of the buoyancy all while supporting your joints and realigning your spine!

The benefits from staying active in the water during pregnancy include:

Physiological: Control of body weight, less back pain, less pelvic pain, a reduction in postpartum depression, a reduction on body pressure, a reduction in risk for gestational diabetes, less need for pain medicine, relaxation, help to turn a breach baby, better sleep, reduced overall discomfort, and even feeling less bloated.

Psychological: benefits like improved well being, satisfaction, self-confidence, and feeling better equipped to handle the stress of pregnancy

First- trimester tips: Swimming for around 30 minutes, a few days a week in the mornings can help with morning sickness and nausea and provide you with lasting energy for the rest of the day! Freestyle stroke or front crawl can be good for a higher intensity workout- keeping your back and legs comfortable.

Second-trimester tips: Swimming on your back won’t be impaired because of the buoyancy and is a great way to relax and be active. Things don’t need to be much different than during trimester one!

Third- trimester tips: Breaststroke might be most useful in this trimester because it lengthens the chest muscles and shortens the back muscles, two areas that typically become misaligned as your body changes during pregnancy.

Snorkels may be used throughout all trimesters to relieve pressure on the neck from bobbing.

Remember to talk to your doctor or midwife about his or her recommendations and to workout at a comfortable pace for you and baby!

Apr 14

Affordable Care Act and Breast Pumps

By MaryAnn Martin, IBCLC

breast pumpsThe new health care law requires most health insurance plans to provide breastfeeding equipment and counseling for pregnant and nursing women.  Here are the most common questions we see regarding the Affordable Care Act and Breast Pumps:

1. Do I need a breast pump?

2. What type or brand should I choose?

3. How do I get one through my insurance company?

Here are some quick answers and places to look for more detailed information.

1. Although quality breast pumps can certainly be essential pieces of equipment for some breastfeeding families, you may not need a breast pump!  If you plan to breastfeed and don’t plan to be separated from your baby for more than a few hours every now and again, you probably don’t need to express milk, or would be able to hand express or use a small manual pump.  Just because you are breastfeeding, does not mean you will need a breast pump.

If you will be separated from your baby for work, school, or other reasons for more than a few hours at a time, on a frequent or daily basis, or plan to exclusively pump, then having a good quality breast pump becomes a necessity (unless you prefer hand expression, which some women do).  You need to regularly remove milk from your breasts to maintain your milk production level in the absence of the baby, to have milk to leave with your baby for feedings, and to avoid plugged ducts/mastitis.

2.  Basic guidelines for choosing a reliable, effective breast pump:

Choose a pump that allows different size breast shields/flanges so you can get the best fit for your breasts.  We provide postpartum pump fittings at BABS by appointment.  This is not something that can be done prenatally.

Choose a pump that is made by a company that focuses on pumps (i.e. not a toy, baby food, or formula company).  Our government does not require pumps to have any standards for function, which unfortunately means that there are pumps on the market that do not provide sufficient suction or produce enough suction cycles per minute…they won’t work well enough to maintain a woman’s milk supply.

3. Each person’s insurance coverage varies as to what pump(s) they qualify for, but once you know your own particular coverage, you can obtain that pump from any Durable Medical Equipment (DME) supplier.  Sometimes you can upgrade to a better quality pump by spending some of your own money, if your insurance only covers a substandard pump.

If you are eligible for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC), you may qualify for a free breast pump. Learn more about WIC Breastfeeding Support and find out if you are eligible for the WIC program.

Here are some reliable sources of information on the Affordable Care Act as it pertains to preventative health care coverage and obtaining a breast pump.

 

General info…

What are my breastfeeding benefits?

Breastfeeding and the Health Care Law

Here is some language in a script form to use with insurers from the National Women’s Law Center to determine if an insurer is grandfathered or not.

This is how to handle things if an insurer is trying to charge more for preventive women’s health care.  Breast pumps are included in this category.

 

Tips from pump companies:

What does my insurance company cover?

 

Here at BABS we have affordable classes and consultations for parents who are planning to return to work/school or exclusively pump.  We look forward to sharing information and helping you come up with plans and a pump that will work best for your family.

Apr 11

New Lactation Room Needs Furniture!

By Ann Marie Neeley, IBCLC

If you’ve been by BABS lately, you’ve noticed some BIG changes!  We’ve built a new office up front, where our executive director, Georg’ann Cattelona and her assistant, Joy Jones, will reside.  The addition of this space, leaves their old office, off of our large programming space, empty to become our primary lactation room.  All of this shifting gives us more private space for lactation appointments (we can have two at once!) and more space for our expanding BloomingFamilies programs.

We can’t wait to paint and move into the new space!  Expansion is fun, but it sure is pricey.  This is where we are hoping you will come in and save the day.  We need comfortable, practical (easy to clean) furniture for the new lactation room.  Our resident design expert, Joy, has planned a beautiful and comfortable room for new families and we need your help to make it a reality.  Please consider purchasing an item off of our wish list.  Or, consider purchasing something with a group of friends.  Or, call, mail, or stop by with a donation specifically designated for lactation room furniture.  You will be helping countless families receive the support that they so need and deserve.

Below is our wish list in order of priority.  We would love to get everything on the list, but we really need the loveseat most of all.  Thank you for your support of BABS as we grow to serve more families in our community!

Loveseat

Loveseat for mothers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dresser

For the scale, changing pad, and storage

Full Size Couch

Couch for partners and other support people

chair

Accent chair for lactation consultant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storage Ottoman

Storage ottoman in black

lamp

We need two of these, please!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you plan on purchasing something for our new room, please call 812-337-8121 or email info@bloomingtonbirth.org and let us know so we can check it off our list!  Thank you.

 

Apr 10

Mother’s Day Children’s Portraits

By Joy

facebook and enews poster for photo fundraiser

Express Children’s Portraits is collaborating with Bloomington Area Birth Services to offer a Mother’s Day event to support BABS programming. Families can participate by booking a session to have beautiful, professional images taken of their children as a Mother’s Day gift for grandma or mom.

When is the event? Saturday, May 3rd from 10 am — 6 pm.

How do I sign up? Book your session through the Express website or call Daniel Pickett directly at 812.336.6000 to pay by phone. There are a limited number of sessions on this date and the sign up with close as soon as the slots are filled.

How much time should I plan for? You should arrive at least 5 minutes before your scheduled session (possibly more with a younger child that needs more time to adjust to a new environment) and plan to be at the studio for 1 hour or less, which includes taking your pictures and ordering the images you want to keep.

How much does it cost to book a session? Each session costs $20 and will last about 20 minutes. If you have more than one child, you can add a second child to the session for just $10. If you have three or more children its best to book two separate back-to-back sessions to allow enough time.

 How does this support BABS programming? Each session fee will be donated to BABS to support BABS programming.

How much do pictures cost? Digital high-resolution files will be sold for $10 per image. Immediately following your child’s session you will be able to review, select and purchase the images you wish to own. Purchases must be completed on the day of the event and can be paid for using cash, credit/debit card or check.

How do I get my pictures? Your pictures will be delivered digitally. You will be sent a link to download the high resolution files, which you can then print or share online as you wish.

What are the age ranges of children for this event? Express Children’s Portraits is designed for ages 6 months (or able to sit without support) through 12 years.

Can I get family portraits on the day of this event? Express portraits are only for individual children or groups siblings (or friends/cousins,etc.). Adults are not photographed at these events. Daniel would love to take your family’s portraits, though, so if you would like to have family portraits, please contact Daniel Pickett about booking a family session, which has a different process and pricing structure.

Where is the studio located? 101 W Kirkwood Ave. Suite 113 (Fountain Square Mall).

 

Apr 9

Let It Go.

By Amy

I have children, so it’s a given I’ve heard “Let It Go” belted out from their bedroom, the shower, the backseat of our mother-lovin’ minivan. We’ve watched (and rewatched) the movie Frozen, read the novelization, and searched You-Tube for clips. And yet it was just today that it hit me just how similar motherhood is to Elsa’s (the protagonist) journey to acceptance and understanding of her powers and abilities.

As mothers, we hold incredible strength, power, and privilege. Raising a child means giving the better part of yourself, even when you’re tired, angry or feeling at a loss for what to do. It doesn’t mean perfection, mind you, but rather the ability to pull from your resources to do the best you can with what you have at any given moment. It’s hard and it’s exhausting. Mothering tests your patience, your ability to stay calm and be the grown-up in the situation in light of tantrums and testing of boundaries. One minute you may be rolling your eyes at the antics of your little one, but the moment your child needs you in this real, honest way, you step up. As mothers, we hold this power to either help the matter or make it worse. We can either listen, brush away the tears, and help our child find relief with our loving support, OR we can tell them there’s no reason to be upset, stop crying, go away. That power of our role is not lost on me, particularly when I can see just how much my own behaviors affect my child.

And talk about privilege! When you become a parent, you know you’re the one responsible for this child in so many ways. This sweet babe looks to you for his food, warmth, safety. As the years pass, your role changes as he is able to be accountable for some of his basic needs. But you still have this incredible responsibility to give your child all he needs and if you’re unable to provide something, then you problem-solve to figure that out. And after eighteen to however many years, your child heads off into the world to figure out his path, his own journey. Your child will experience his own challenges and joys, all the while you’ve had the privilege of supporting his first chapter, his childhood. It’s hard and full of its own difficulties, but ultimately it’s a gift to be someone’s mother. Right?

So, thinking back to “Let It Go”, I was struck by the lines:
“It’s time to see what I can do
To test the limits and break through
No right, no wrong, no rules for me
I’m free…”

I don’t know about you, but I let myself get swept up with unrealistic expectations. I get caught up with comparing myself to this mom and that mom, and it drives me crazy! I start to feel down on my parenting abilities and everything else related to caring for kids and a household. All of that strength, power and privilege that comes with mothering gets pushed to the side and I’m suddenly feeling like my worth has dwindled to nothing. I DON’T feel strong or powerful in my role as mother. I feel weak and alone and worn down.

Have you ever felt that way? You wish that something in your journey had worked out better or that you had “succeeded” with something that went down differently than you had hoped. And then suddenly it’s not about breastfeeding or your birth experience or how well you keep your cool when your child has lost it in aisle 4. No, now it’s about how you see yourself as mother and caregiver and role model. And this feeds into every aspect of your life, and everything feels so much bigger than before.

My personal journey brings me to this place every now and again, but a lot less often than before I had sought support from a therapist and felt comfortable talking with friends about my troubles in my mothering experiences. I really do feel like I’m seeing “what I can do…test(ing) the limits and break(ing) through (the mold I thought I had to fill).” I realize there is “no right, no wrong, no rules for (my journey).” I have to figure out my own path, and with feedback from my children, I can see what works, what doesn’t.

And that’s why I love this song; it reminds me that I am strong! I can stomp my foot to the ground and belt out “here I stand, and here I’ll stay…”, knowing that I’m coming into my power as mother and woman. And while it’s scary and full of unknowns, it’s also quite amazing. I will stand, strong and knowing I’m powerful and in control of how I see myself.

Apr 7

Good News about Nurse & Chat!

By Ann Marie Neeley, IBCLC

nurse and chat groupWe hold a breastfeeding group called Nurse & Chat every second and fourth Wednesday at BABS and they are two of my favorite days of the month.  I love the format of Nurse & Chat – it’s a casual drop-in group with no real structure – free flowing, if you will (milk pun intended!).  Expectant and nursing mothers come with questions, concerns, and stories.  They are here to be in the company of other mothers and receive the highest quality breastfeeding support.  Let’s face it; if you have a new baby, you are nursing all day long.  Come do it with other people!

This group is for everyone, whether or not nursing is going well, and for every age of nursling – newborn all the way to preschooler (or beyond).  You don’t need to stop coming as your baby gets older – support is important every step of the way.

We generally have about 20 mothers and babies attend every Nurse & Chat.  We are very proud to offer breastfeeding support in this format, at no cost to families, and plan to continue it for years to come.

I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that BABS incurs costs everyday that we are open.  Like any other business, we have rent, utilities, payroll, and taxes to pay each month.  One of our biggest challenges as a small, non-profit organization is finding ways to fund our free programming.  Did you know it costs BABS $300-$400, depending on staffing, to hold each Nurse & Chat?

I’m happy to report that we have come up with a way to help cover some of our costs for running Nurse & Chat!  We are grateful that we live and work in Bloomington, one of the most family-friendly, and breastfeeding-friendly communities around.  As such, people want to help you reach your breastfeeding goals and want to support BABS as we support you and your family.

SPINEANDSPORTS_LONG_LOGOWe are proud to announce the first sponsor of Nurse & Chat is Dr. Amanda Smith DC, MS of Indiana Spine and Sports Inc.  Dr. Mandy Smith is an expert in musculoskeletal care and treats all activity levels as well as all ages.  She specializes in working with athletes, women with pregnancy-related pain, and pediatrics, and is full body certified in Active Release Technique.

Dr. Smith was born and raised in Washington, Indiana and attended Indiana State University, receiving a bachelor’s degree in Life Science.  Dr. Smith then attended chiropractic school at Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis Missouri, completing both a Doctorate in Chiropractic and also a Master’s in Sports Science and Rehabilitation.  Dr. Smith enjoys an active lifestyle and can be found running or hiking on various trails.

Personally, my favorite thing about Dr. Smith is that she supports breastfeeding in our community.  Thank you, Dr. Smith, for caring about new families, and for sponsoring Nurse & Chat!  Head over to Facebook, like her page, and show her some love for supporting BABS.

If you or your business would like to sponsor Nurse & Chat, please contact our office to learn more by emailing info@bloomingtonbirth.org or calling 812-337-8121.  Sponsorships range in price from $150-$400.

 

Apr 4

Calling All Superheros! It is not too late!

By Joy

Calling All Superheroes!Join us for a fun, unique, and interactive celebration of our birth community heroes and our own superpowers!
April 5, 2014, 6-9pm, Deer Park Manor

Cocktail attire, with costumes and accessories encouraged!

Heavy hors d’ouvres and open bar!

Door prizes, silent auction, and bidding frenzy!

Photo booth and games!

Visit http://bloomingtonbirth.org/more/events-2/2014gala/ to get your tickets before they sell out!

Check out our Live Auction Packages and get ready to bid:
Live Auction Package #1
This is a craft beer package worthy of the envy of Duff the Beer-man. Try your hand a brewing your own beer with a complete brew makers kit. Enjoy a case of assorted beer from the local brew-masters at Cutters Brewery as well as a sampling of BBC beers and appetizers for you and 5 of your drinkn’ buds at Lennie’s Restaurant & Brew Pub.
Photo: Live Auction Package #1<br /><br /><br />
This is a craft beer package worthy of the envy of Duff the Beer-man.  Try your hand a brewing your own beer with a complete brew makers kit. Enjoy a case of assorted beer from the local brew-masters at Cutters Brewery as well as a sampling of BBC beers and appetizers for you and 5 of your drinkn’ buds at Lennie’s Restaurant & Brew Pub.
Live Auction Package #2
Don’t be a Lone Ranger! Bring your trusty side-kicks along for a visit to Louisville, KY! Enjoy four reserved field seats at the Louisville Slugger Baseball Field, then experience an overnight stay at the comfortable Drury Inn and Suites. Follow up with six seats at the lovely twin spires horse racing track at historic Churchill Downs. (FYI, Wonderlab Memberships offer a discount at the Kentucky Science Center in Louisville.)
Photo: Live Auction Package #2<br /><br /><br />
Don’t be a Lone Ranger! Bring your trusty side-kicks along for a visit to Louisville, KY! Enjoy four reserved field seats at the Louisville Slugger Baseball Field, then experience an overnight stay at the comfortable Drury Inn and Suites. Follow up with six seats at the lovely twin spires horse racing track at historic Churchill Downs. (FYI, Wonderlab Memberships offer a discount at the Kentucky Science Center in Louisville.)
Auction Package #3
This gift basket concocted by the Greek god of wine and festivity includes 12 bottles of our favorite assorted wines, one for each month of the year! Generously put together by the BABS Gala Committee and Board of Directors!
Photo: Auction Package #3<br /><br /><br />
This gift basket concocted by the Greek god of wine and festivity includes 12 bottles of our favorite assorted wines, one for each month of the year! Generously put together by the BABS Gala Committee and Board of Directors!
Auction package #5
This package is for any warrior princess ready to relax with Pangea Organics body lotion, handcream, face scrub, lip balm, cuticle cream, foaming handsoap, and shaving soap. Cozy up the kitchen space with a sweet ceramic …See More
Photo: Auction package #5<br /><br /><br />
This package is for any warrior princess ready to relax with Pangea Organics body lotion, handcream, face scrub, lip balm, cuticle cream, foaming handsoap, and shaving soap. Cozy up the kitchen space with a sweet ceramic shortbread pan, tin of Bolder Breakfast Tea, and a jar of New York aster honey.  Release your tension with a 5-class yoga pass and 60 minute massage,. Finally, enjoy a little personal grooming with a hair cut and manicure.
Auction Package #6
This package is for the die-hard Comic Lover! Enjoy sorting through 55 vintage Action Comic books.
Photo: Auction Package #6<br /><br /><br />
This package is for the die-hard Comic Lover! Enjoy sorting through 55 vintage Action Comic books.
Live Auction Package #7
You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry, but you’ll LOVE this package! Enjoy an overnight stay at the French Lick Springs Hotel! Send the kiddies off to Splash around at the indoor water-park while the grownups Smash a round of golf for two on the Donald Ross Course.
Photo: Live Auction Package #7<br /><br /><br />
You wouldn't like him when he’s angry, but your LOVE this package! Enjoy an overnight stay at the French Lick Springs Hotel! Send the kiddies off to Splash around at the indoor water-park while the grownups Smash a round of golf for two on the Donald Ross Course.
Auction Package #8
In brightest day, and blackest night, the Green Toddler will enjoy this earth friendly package including a Kickee Pants bamboo blanket, organic Apple Park duck toy, TGN bamboo race car, Safe Sporter canister, food-based We-Can-Do veggie crayons, and a Good Earth organic fairy doll. Lets not forget the toddler’s trusty sick-kick-parent sporting a JPLizzy quilted black diaper bag!
Photo: Auction Package #8<br /><br /><br />
In brightest day, and blackest night, the Green Toddler will enjoy this earth friendly package including a Kickee Pants bamboo blanket, organic Apple Park duck toy, TGN bamboo race car, Safe Sporter canister, food-based We-Can-Do veggie crayons, and a Good Earth organic fairy doll. Lets not forget the toddler’s trusty sick-kick-parent sporting a JPLizzy quilted black diaper bag!
Auction Package #9
Head up, up, and away to Cincinnati! Kick back at the Westin Cincinnati Hotel, and then strut over to the Great American Ball Park where there isn’t a bad seat in the house!
Photo: Auction Package #9<br /><br /><br />
Head up, up, and away to Cincinnati! Kick back at the Westin Cincinnati Hotel, and then strut over to the Great American Ball Park where there isn't a bad seat in the house!
Auction Package #10
She’s a hero and everyone knows it! Celebrate motherhood with this gift basket filled with  hand-made taggie blanket, bandana bib, breast pads, baby quilt, and hand-painted name letters (to be created after you win!). Also, Vitamin D infant drops and lullaby CDs by Voces Novae and Kid Kazooey. Mom will look awesome while keeping baby happy in a lovely turquoise Chewbeads teething necklace or Teething Bling pendant. She can relax with Earthmama tea, a 60-minute massage, and an 8-class exercise pass for pre- and postpartum yoga at BABS. Even Supermom needs a side-kick supporter, so this basket also includes house-cleaning and a gift certificate for either home-delivered meals by Nourish or birth doula support.
Photo: Auction Package #10<br /><br /><br />
She’s a hero and everyone knows it! Celebrate motherhood with<br /><br /><br />
this gift basket filled with hand-made taggie blanket, bandana bib,<br /><br /><br />
breast pads, baby quilt, and hand-painted name letters (to be<br /><br /><br />
created after you win!). Also, Vitamin D infant drops and lullaby CDs<br /><br /><br />
by Voces Novae and Kid Kazooey. Mom will look awesome while<br /><br /><br />
keeping baby happy in a lovely turquoise Chewbeads teething<br /><br /><br />
necklace or Teething Bling pendant. She can relax with<br /><br /><br />
Earthmama tea, a 60-minute massage, and an 8-class exercise pass<br /><br /><br />
for pre- and postpartum yoga at BABS. Even Supermom needs a<br /><br /><br />
side-kick supporter, so this basket also includes house-cleaning and a<br /><br /><br />
gift certificate for either home-delivered meals by Nourish or birth<br /><br /><br />
doula support.
Auction Package #11
Have no fear, the mystery prize is here! Bid-away and be the one to find out what’s inside. You won’t be disappointed.
Photo: Auction Package #11<br /><br /><br />
Have no fear, the mystery prize is here! Bid-away and be the one to<br /><br /><br />
find out what’s inside. You won’t be disappointed.
Apr 2

Blankets for BABS!

By Joy

photo 1Long-time BABS supporter Martha Nord has been working for the past year to create a number of play quilts to raise money for BABS.  She has generously spent her time and resources on these beautiful quilts for your little ones, and anyone who knows Martha knows how much love went into each and every one.

Visit the BABS Boutique to purchase a one-of-a-kind play quilt as a gift for your own baby or to give to a friend! If you don’t see what you are looking for Martha is also willing to make one just for you with your choice of colors and fabrics (just give your name, email, and phone number to BABS and Martha will contact you). Each play quilt is $45 and all proceeds go directly to support BABS programming. Thank you!

photo

 

photo 3

 

Mar 29

Community-Based Doulas – Wraparound Support for the Families Who Need It the Most

By Molly Mendota

I am getting more and more excited as the countdown to the new BABS BloomingFamilies Community-Based Doula Training begins!  We have been doing community assessments since last fall, and recruiting women from low-income communities in Bloomington and the surrounding areas to be trained as Community-Based Doulas in the HealthConnect One model.  Community-Based Doulas are women from the communities they serve, working with their peers in a role that expands and intensifies the role of a traditional birth or postpartum doula into a combination doula, breastfeeding peer counselor, and community health worker.  These programs, replicated all across the country, have incredible success in achieving great birth and breastfeeding outcomes, and healthy, happy mamas, babies, and families.  We are interviewing trainees over the next couple of weeks, and the training will begin in May.

Here’s an article about the amazing work Community-Based Doulas do:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/12/community-doulas-changing-how-low-income-moms-give-birth_n_3894995.html

And a link to the HealthConnect One website for more on Community-Based Doulas:  http://www.healthconnectone.org/pages/home/1.php

It’s good, good work, and I’m feeling lucky to be involved.