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For new moms: letter to your future self

I have been following Sarah Rudell Beach's "Left Brain Buddha" site for a while now. It's perfect for me because I aspire to mindfulness but too often find my left brain running the show. Sarah's most recent post, "Dear Exhausted, Struggling Mama...," is a great read for parents of children of any age, but especially … Continue reading For new moms: letter to your future self

Letters from camp.

This so beautifully captures the essence of parenting, especially: “It is a child’s job to explore. It is a parent’s job to provide safe boundaries for child exploration, to give limits that provide a sense of security, not restriction. It’s rather an impossible assignment, parenting. I’d offer that, for those of us who choose it, parenting is also the last stage of our own growing up, the ultimate test of independence in the context of full interdependence.”

jenny's lark

letter from camp Letter from camp, 2012

From the moment we master basic locomotive skills, we humans begin to pursue our independence and separate from our parents. It is as natural and ordinary and miraculous a process as any other in the animal kingdom – which is not to say that it is easy, for either child or parent.

No matter how many books, lectures, blogs or parenting classes contribute to decisions, the art of parenting is largely trial and error. No child-specific manual pops out with the baby. Some babies require extensive physical comfort while others will easily self-soothe. Some toddlers will cling and others climb. Some children will be content sitting in a corner, stacking blocks, while others will strip naked and run out the front door at the first opportunity. The work of growing up is hard; the work of parenting is even harder.

It is a child’s job to…

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Three beauties and a redefinition

I’m quite sure how I feel about reblogging my own blog post, but this one seems to have resonance for both of my professions. — Audrey

audrey kalman

Thanks to August McLaughlin for hosting her Third Annual “Beauty of a Woman” Blogfest, which prompted this post. Visit her blog starting February 27 to read all the entries.

Beauty of a Woman Blogfest

The Beauty of the Known

It has always seemed to me that people I care about are more attractive to me than strangers.

Looking for confirmation of this, I found a couple of interesting videos. One was titled “How to Make People Think You’re More Attractive Than You Really Are.” Leaving aside the issue of how one assesses one’s own looks, I was interested to find that instead of talking about plastic surgery or makeup, it recommends such things as standing up straight, making eye contact, and smiling.

It seems that the idea of a known person appearing more attractive applies even to oneself, as the video below shows. Four ordinary women received professional makeovers and posed for…

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Benefits of Breastfeeding vs. Risks of Formula Feeding

"Women do not fail to breastfeed. Health professionals, health agencies and governments fail to educate and support women who want to breastfeed." I've been teaching breastfeeding for about nine years. For most of that time, I've started my class off by asking participants, "What are some of the benefits of breastfeeding you've heard about? Just … Continue reading Benefits of Breastfeeding vs. Risks of Formula Feeding

Rude at Birth? Moms don’t have to apologize!

Well said, Julie!

Deliver! Books

Today I went to visit a client who had an amazing birth last week, and she did something that many women do: She apologized for not being very nice during her labor.

Let me paint the picture. This was her second baby and she was hoping to have a vaginal birth after a previous C-section, so she was already pretty stressed. Her labor was progressing quickly, though, and she stepped out of the car like only a woman in transition does – like she was walking gingerly through a minefield.

We quickly got her set up in the delivery room. Her contractions were now 3 minutes apart and strong. She handled all of that wonderfully. But she didn’t have enough left to say ‘please’ or couch her requests in niceties. I would have described manner her as honest and efficient. She was getting it done.

And then the apology. I…

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Best birth partner

Three simple–though not necessarily easy!–tips for supporting a partner during labor.

Deliver! Books

Over the years, I have seen so many loving partners at births. But loving doesn’t always translate into supportive.

Many partners are unprepared for the realities of an average labor: the lack of sleep; the stress of the hospital; watching the woman you love going through intense emotional and physical strain. And often these partners’ natural inclination is to want to fix it all, to make it go away.

Of course, that isn’t possible, or even preferable.

Instead, there are some simple things that birth partners can do to offer real support when it is most needed. Even though they’re easy to describe, actually doing these things can be a challenge. But they’re worth trying, because they make all difference. Here are three:

  • Pay attention. Over the many hours that a typical birth will take, this can be one of the hardest things to do. But try to watch…

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Letting go without giving up

A fellow doula called this week to ask for some advice about a client. As she told me the story, I couldn't help but remember that I have heard this same story, or some equally sad variation of it, many times before. It goes something like this: The story A woman has a baby. It … Continue reading Letting go without giving up

“Why do you need a class about that?”

My teenage son, who has grown up listening to me talking about birth and helping moms with breastfeeding on the phone, asked a great question the other day when I told him I was on my way to teach a breastfeeding class. "Why do you need to teach a class about that? I think it … Continue reading “Why do you need a class about that?”