March is also National Nutrition Month! Check out this important information about how the amazing vitamin D during pregnancy decreases the risk of multiple sclerosis in offspring. It is fascinating how prenatal nutrition affects children later in life. More on that next week!
Watch First Lady Michelle Obama talk fruits and vegetables with Big Bird!
I was blessed with a great birth experience. Unfortunately, too many Black women in America lack the opportunity to experience a desirable birth. Filmmaker Paolo Patruno, follows the amazing midwife, Jennie Joseph and her clients, as they search for equitable birth options for their families, in Childbirth in the Shadow of the American Dream . Watch it! Share it! I am thrilled to see a growing body of evidence demonstrating how increasing numbers of Black mothers are benefitting access to midwives and doulas during childbirth, in baby steps toward birth equity, access, and justice, in America.
Actress Hayden Panttiere and Atomic Kitten star, Natasha Hamilton talk postpartum depression, while this mom talks about much support she needed to finally come to terms with hers, and how her husband used a common quiz to help identify her symptoms. Please be sure to check in with new moms- even the ones who have always had it together- after birth, and again after weaning. Postpartum depression is one of the 6 mental health conditions associated with childbirth, including Perinatal depression, Anxiety, Panic Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Psychosis.
Speaking of stress, there's new information that indicates that survivors of abuse are less likely to begin or sustain breastfeeding. As a lactation counselor, I whenever a woman is having a challenge wrapping her mind around thee idea of nursing her own child, thinking of it as disgusting, or relating it to sex or incest, after a bit more physiologically-based education, I fall back, as I begin to sense a history of abuse. The irony is that many survivors of abuse who have persevered through the early demons, have found that breastfeeding actually helped them begin to heal from the abuse as they turned their shame into power. This is why support around breastfeeding is needed in many areas... including for this mother, who happens to be a physician, whose child's pediatrician missed the warning signs of dehydration, while assuring her that should could produce the milk necessary to sustain her child, a task which she was determined to master. Breastfeeding education and support goes well beyond, "you can do it, Mom!" All providers who touch the mother or baby, would do well to increase his or her knowledge of breastfeeding, and have a lactation professional on-site or on call for mothers in need.
On a lighter note, check out this mom who used a Victoria's Secrets photo to camouflage her feeding her child... as those images were repeatedly reported on Facebook.
So since my breastfeeding photo which showed NOTHING got reported more than FIVE times, I'm posting this. I bet this won't be reported, because you can see this picture in every mall you step into, huge and blown up outside the store. This is not frowned upon, or ever reported, as it is seen everywhere. But a women nurturing and feeding their baby is looked down on. That is completely absurd! Moms, post your breast selfies below. Nurse in public. People who think breastfeeding is nasty, or looked at sexually is a pedophile for even thinking of it in that way! Breastfeeding is natural, it's what our breasts were meant for! In other countries breastfeeding is praised, and welcomed everywhere! In America, people have so much negative things to say about it! I'm done with this stupid nonsense. I can't believe how much backlash my photo got, but more importantly I got tons of support and I thank you all. And again, BREAST IS BEST!
**EDIT: When I said pedophile, I was just hurt and angered someone was reporting my picture. I think anyone who sees breastfeeding as a sexual act, does have something wrong in their head though. And yes, "fed is best" but it has been proven breastmilk is best for babies. But yes as long as a baby is fed all is well! Hope that cleared up some commotion going on! Thanks for the support!
**** Feel free to share this! Make mothers feel more welcome to nurse their babies wherever they please.