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A Baby What? Demystifying Baby Planning

Posted on December 21st, 2013 by | 2 views

This is an article that was originally posted on the IABPP website maternityinstitute.com 

We are thrilled to be collaborating with Natural Baby Pros in the education and support of families worldwide as they enter the world of parenthood. This article was written by our Amanda Hammond, a regular contributor on the IABPP site. Please feel free to share your experience of baby planners or why you wish you knew about a  baby planner when you had your baby after you read this article. 

Mothers are amazing beings.  From the time we see that extra line on our pregnancy test to the miraculous act of giving birth, the sleepless nights of feeding to the daily chasing around of a toddler…. We are tough.  We are strong because we have to be.  Society expects us to do all of this, be the perfect wife and keep a spotless house too.  And man do we try!  But you know what?  Sometimes we need HELP!!!!!

When I was pregnant, things went relatively smoothly.  I knew the basics of being a mom.  I was prepared to cuddle, change diapers, breastfeed and dress him in cute clothes.  My husband Chris and I began our nursery design at about 5 months along and starting filling the dresser with tiny onesies and socks soon after.  Attending natural child birth class was something we did for a few hours each Sunday.  Get this: We even had backpacks prepared for the hospital a month early- “birthing bags,” as our Bradley coach called them.

 The night my water broke, I felt we were ready.  Birth plan and backpacks in hand, we flew out the door.  The labor was long and because I wanted a natural birth (no epidural), it was pretty intense.  I had back labor and it took several hours to get to the pushing process.  My pushes were unproductive due to the placement and size of my little one’s head.  After all that work, I ended up with a C-section.  I would find out in a few weeks why I was in an unusual amount of pain as I began recovering from the surgery.  In the meantime my son and I developed a strong bond through breastfeeding.  Of course, he lost weight as all babies do the first week of nursing so we were told to supplement with formula.  I felt helpless already- like I couldn’t properly nourish my child the way nature intended me to.

Lucky for us, he was good at switching from breast to bottle, avoiding any nipple confusion. 

We went home and were just beginning to get into the rhythm of being a family when my chills started… and the dizziness.  Something was wrong, I told Chris.  After talking to the doctor a few times, I went to the ER where they sampled my blood and got my fever under control. 

Two days later I got a call from the on-call OB-Gyn.  “Amanda, you have a pretty severe infection in your blood.  You need to come to the hospital right away. “ 

And I remained there for 5 days, each day asking if this were the day I could go home.  My son and husband were there most of the time which helped.  But being hospitalized was such a strain on our new family.  With my little one spending a large amount of time in a sterile hospital bassinet at my bedside and my husband sick to death of being in the hospital, we weren’t exactly thriving. When I was finally able to go home, I brought an IV pole with me.  Two weeks of “infusion therapy” ensued.  I was attached to an IV for 6 hours a day.  I can vividly recall the night I was throwing up into a bowl in one arm while trying to take care of my son with the other. 

Thankfully our birth doula called the church we had been attending for about a month prior to our birth.  The church community arranged to drop off a meal a day for two weeks.  That was a tremendous help.  It was both touching and humbling to have strangers helping and praying for us, but it was SO necessary! 

If I had enlisted the services of a baby planner, this is a plan of service she might have tailored for my situation.

-Create a “mommy plan” which is a detailed self-care plan for mom.  This would have included rotating shifts of “help” for the first two weeks of bringing the baby home.  By “help” I mean newborn care, cleaning and meal preparation done by family members or hired professionals.   It is very important for moms to stay relaxed in order to nurse and to have reserved energy for newborn crying jags.  In my case, I would have needed a more extensive plan.  This would have also included an at home visit from a massage therapist here and there and a plan to ensure that my daily self care was given priority.

-Provide referral to the right lactation consultant.  I struggled with feeding my son and couldn’t at many points because of medications and his digestive troubles.  By the time I could have reestablished this wonderful method of feeding and bonding with my baby, I was just too wiped out to try any nursing tips.  My confidence that I could nurse effectively had smoldered as well.  A lactation consultant could have been just the ticket in my situation but I didn’t know anything about them or where to find one.

-Provide referral to a postpartum doula for help with house work, baby care, mommy care and new family dynamics. Seriously- I could have reaped the benefits of a postpartum doula.  You should have seen the laundry piles and our kitchen for the first month of parenthood.  Yikes.

-Educate on baby wearing (baby wraps and carriers).  By the time I tried to introduce this to Dominic, he was already a few months old and hated it.  If I would have done it right away, I think he would have loved the comfort of a Moby wrap.

-Education on home safety beyond simple childproofing.  I could have used education and guidance on selecting safe cleaning and skin care products.  Turns out many big manufacturers make baby lotions that are quite toxic and up until recently I owned some. 

- Happiest Baby on the Block training.  My son was colicky.  This was just an extra strain on our newly developing family.  It added a lot of stress and he was miserable.  By the time I discovered this method of baby soothing, we’d all been suffering for about 3 months.

-Education on signs of postpartum depression, colic and possible referral to a family counselor.  I was too busy to have time to address it, much less acknowledge it.  I know I felt helpless, confused and trapped on several occasions.  The love and duty I felt overpowered the negative emotions and am thankful for that but my husband and I felt desperate at many points during the first six months of our son’s life. 

When I step back and read my story from a neutral perspective it is very clear what I needed but at the time I couldn’t tell you if I’d showered that day.   Enter the baby planner.  It is our job to make sure you do not feel like my husband and I did as new parents.  Become a new family is a process that should be relished.  Though it is a rollercoaster ride at the beginning, it is important that this not be a traumatic experience.   You and your baby deserve to see the best of each other.  Baby planners help make that happen.  A well known saying comes to mind here.  “It takes a village to raise a child.”

 

Amanda

Amanda is ta graudate of the IABPP Baby Planner Certification program via the IMI and he owner of Ready or Not – A Baby Planning Service. She is in love with her toddler and her husband and derives much of her writing inspiration from her family experiences.  Being a mother of a formerly fussy baby, Amanda is very excited to share her story and contribute the Fussy Baby Site’s blog. To learn more about Amanda and what she does to help pregnant and new parents, please check out her website atwww.readyornotbabyplanning.com.

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