MAYD to Birth: At Your Doorstep

Promoting gentle, empowering mother journies…

Announcing the co-endorsement of Birth Network National (BNN) and ImprovingBirth.org

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To all our supporters with a passion for moms and babies:
We are SO EXCITED to announce the co-endorsement of Birth Network National (BNN) and ImprovingBirth.org (IB.org)!  These two major advocacy organizations bring together thousands of mothers across the U.S. advocating for safer, evidence-based, more respectful birth practices!  We are pleased to publicly endorse each others’ missions and efforts.
Like us, ImprovingBirth.org is a non-profit, consumer advocacy group with supporters all over the country.  Their mission is to bring evidence-based care and humanity to childbirth, and their #1 goal right now is a public awareness campaign about the need for better birth practices, culminating in an annual national rally that takes this message to the streets.  The 2013 Rally to Improve Birth will take place this Labor Day, with rallies in every state with over 150 cities participating–a giant “advertising campaign” for better maternity care that’s expected to be attended by

well over 

1

0

,000 women and their families, birth workers, and care providers in a single day.


We love what IB.org does.  Awareness and advocacy are important parts of spurring a change.  And we feel like our organizations complement each other very well.  Even more important, we see that by partnering on action items, events, and awareness campaigns, we can really amplify each others’ messages–reaching more and more of the public who so desperately need to know that maternity can be better, and how to get that better care.

We encourage you to find a local ImprovingBirth.org rally near you.  If you are not close to one of their over 150+ rally locations, start your own!  
Both BNN and IB.org recognize the value of partnerships.  Every birth organization out there has the potential to be a part of a massive movement–a diverse quilt of a movement, centered around one common goal: better, safer, more respectful care for moms and babies.  We hope that this co-endorsement inspires others to do the same!  We are all in this for the long haul.
Alone, we are candles in the wind.  Working together, we can be a forest fire.
Now, let’s change birth in America!
— The Leadership of Birth Network National

His Name is Jackson

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Has a month gone by? So much has happened and my head is swimming with Creole. Was it just yesterday that a woman who gave birth at the hospital asked me to name her baby? She was one of our first timers, 20 years old. Pushing was hard for her and she was definitely not liking it. After helping with a 10th timer and a stillbirth, I was ready to sit her birth out and let Ami have her day. Somehow, however, I found myself in the middle of things. Her name is Sylvan and the student assigned to her was definitely not one of our strongest. When Ami and I come up against a student who needs extra help, we double-team her on a birth. We let the student listen to heart tones, which she definitely needed practice with. I delivered the baby after about an hour and half of pushing. The mother finally smiled after the baby was born. This, in and of itself, is unusual. But, she was happy that her son was born, healthy and strong. I asked her what his name was and she said, “You name him.” I would normally protest in humility, and yet with her, I felt it as a request that honored that we had accomplished the birth together. Jack came to mind, and then, Jack-son. So many boys here are named Benson, Wilson, Gampson, Jameson. I figured she would like Jackson better than Jack. I wrote it on a piece of paper for her so that she wouldn’t forget.
These moments of connection arise as a surprise. I mostly feel somewhat detached in the labor ward; partly because of the stench and mess, partly because of the language, partly because of the overload of sensory stimulation. I might collapse under the weight of any one of these factors. Keeping myself detached helps me to survive the 6 hour shift. And yet, birth has an incredible power to force connection. I can’t help trying to reach deeper into the laboring woman, trying to find a place to see each other eye to eye. Sylvan saw me as someone who took the time to help her in her most desperate travail. She honored this connection by having me name her son. So, he is named Jackson.
Before I left my shift for the day, I threw together all my little sundries in a ziplock: 2 coconut almond bars, a pen, a packet of wipes, an opened travel pack of panty liners. I wanted to give something back to Sylvan, too, to honor her. I wanted to give her anything I had. She has nothing. She smiled when I gave her the gift and in Kreyol, I told her I was happy to meet her.
Yesterday we went to the Matron’s Graduation. You can see Dina’s new YouTube video about the Matron’s here. I was told by Genette that Nadene wanted me to speak at the graduation. Later, I was also told that the students had chosen me as their “Godmother.” This is an honorary title given to someone who will bless them with well wishes as they embark on their new lives. I felt honored and doubtful that it had anything to do with me particularly. I was curious how I had been chosen and I finally found out when we reached the graduation. They had simply said, “How about one of the volunteers?” Since I was already a speaker at the graduation, I was a shoe-in. During the ceremony, I got to sit next to the ex-Mayor of Hinche who was chosen as the Godfather. We were the dignitaries at the event along with a representative from the Ministry of Health.
It was a wonderful graduation, with lots of singing and short skits to represent the work of the matrons. The ceremony was very African in style: drumming, dress and presentation all reminded me of a time when I travelled to Cameroon and saw the officiating at the opening ceremony for a new road.
This graduation of the matrons is significant. This is the second class of traditional birth attendants who have gone through a 20-week course on birthing that includes cleanliness, safety and mostly, danger signs of pregnancy. They take their role very seriously. I couldn’t hold back the tears as they sang and danced their commitment to saving the lives of mothers and babies.
Today we went to Miss Genette’s mother’s house. Genette is the young, clinical director of the Midwives for Haiti program. She was inspired to become a midwife by watching her mother work as a matron. She started helping her mother at births at 17 years old. We visited where Genette grew up, saw her one-room school house and her church. She grew up andeyo, or in the countryside. It is so inspiring to see her humble beginnings and to realize how far she has come.
While we were there, Genette’s niece made me the godmother for her new baby, Leika. I was honored and welcomed into Genette’s family. I am grateful for community and family, here and at home.

Birth is empowering!

Booby Traps Series: Jury duty is sometimes a trial for nursing moms.

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In 2008, Maryland mother Elizabeth Jett was called for jury duty.  At the time she was breastfeeding her baby boy, Henry, who was less than 12 weeks old. Jett asked the judge to postpone her service until the summer because … Continue reading

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Want to End the Breastfeeding Booby Traps®? We’re Putting the Power in Your Hands!

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Are you fed up watching friends, family members and total strangers be sabotaged, harassed, and misinformed when it comes to infant feeding?   Are you sick of a health care system that doesn’t require its professionals to possess even basic … Continue reading

The post Want to End the Breastfeeding Booby Traps®? We’re Putting the Power in Your Hands! appeared first on Best for Babes.

Booby Traps Series: “When are you going to stop doing that?” and others things moms fear hearing from their providers when nursing past infancy.

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After overcoming the many barriers to breastfeeding in the early weeks and months of breastfeeding, many women are understandably proud to continue nursing  into toddlerhood and beyond.* But instead of a fist bump and words of encouragement, some moms instead … Continue reading

The post Booby Traps Series: “When are you going to stop doing that?” and others things moms fear hearing from their providers when nursing past infancy. appeared first on Best for Babes.

The Breastfeeding Cause Needs a Documentary . . . NOW

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Every major public health crisis seems to get a turn at being the subject of a documentary. This time, it’s breastfeeding’s chance.  The breastfeeding cause needs a documentary similar to “The Business of Being Born” or “Food, Inc” to advance … Continue reading

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Booby Traps Series: “If we lived on an island where nobody else cared what we did…” How stigma hinders nursing past infancy.

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In Mothering Your Nursing Toddler, author Norma Jane Bumgarner describes the reasons why mothers feel they can’t breastfeed past infancy,* even though they (and presumably their children) would like to: “What other people think bothers me too much.” “Nursing is … Continue reading

The post Booby Traps Series: “If we lived on an island where nobody else cared what we did…” How stigma hinders nursing past infancy. appeared first on Best for Babes.

ACOG Launches Initiative to Increase Breast-feeding – Medscape

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ACOG Launches Initiative to Increase Breast-feeding
Medscape
Breast-feeding initiation is lower among black women (58.9%) and women in the Special Supplemental Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC; 66.1%) than among the general population (76.9%). Women younger than 20 years are also less likely to 

Is Kate Middleton Breastfeeding? One Major Clue – The Stir

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Is Kate Middleton Breastfeeding? One Major Clue - The Stir



The Stir
Is Kate Middleton Breastfeeding? One Major Clue
The Stir
Kate Middleton The world is obsessed with the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy and birth. It's like we wanna know everything! Every tiny tidbit. Now that we all know the baby's name, George Alexander Louis, and the baby's weight, a hefty 8 pounds, 

Got Milk? Breastfeeding May Prevent ADHD, Study Says. – Patheos (blog)

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Got Milk? Breastfeeding May Prevent ADHD, Study Says.
Patheos (blog)
In addition to describing their breastfeeding habits during the first year of their child's life, parents answered a detailed questionnaire on medical and demographic data that might also have an impact on the development of ADHD, including marital