"Ask me for strength and I will lend not only my hand, but also my heart."
~ Unknown

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Edema: Swelling of the Extremities During Pregnancy

Cankles... One of those "lovely" words mamas use to describe swelling in their legs (or other extremities) that may occur during pregnancy, most noticeably in the third trimester.  What is the reason for the swelling and what can you do to find some relief? 

Swelling (Edema) may be due to:
  • Pressure of the growing uterus on the rectum
  • Extra blood flow during pregnancy
  • Growing uterus puts pressure on pelvic veins, slowing down circulation
  • Excessive water retention
Some comfort measures:
  • Stay cool
  • Apply cool compresses to affected areas
  • Elevate feet
  • Wear support stockings
  • Exercise
  • Eat properly, avoid sodium and salty foods

**Keep in mind that severe swelling can also be a symptom of preeclampsia, a life-threatening condition.**

When to seek medical attention:
  • Severe or persistent headache or any visual disturbance (such as double vision or seeing spots)
  • Severe pain in the middle of your belly or on the right side of your belly under your ribs
  • Unusual bruising or bleeding
  • Excessive swelling or weight gain, swelling of the face

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

An Interview with Kaitlin Young, Birth Doula

We sat down with the newest doula in our practice for a brief interview so that you, our clients and friends, could learn more about her and why we feel she is such an amazing part of our team!

Tell us a little about your life aside from being a doula.
I am a stay-at-home mother of an awesome little boy and am also engaged and set to be married next year! I enjoy going to the gym and for walks and taking Zephran to the park as well. My son was born 5 weeks early with a cleft in his soft palate so he wasn't able to breastfeed directly so I pump for him, that used to take up a lot of my time before but now I don't have to pump as much!
Why did you decide to become a doula?
I decided to become a Doula after the birth of my son and realizing I couldn't have had a natural birth without the help of my Doula. They helped me learn A LOT about birth and parenting as well as to be informed on my decisions and what was in my best interest as well as my babies best interest. I realized the importance of being an informed mom to be as well as the importance of good labour support.
What do you think is the most important part of your job? 
I think the most important part of my job is to always be available and supportive, not everyone will want to do things the way I have but every woman still deserves the support and birth SHE wants. I feel another important part of my job is to help woman and families prepare for labour and parenthood and give them all the information they want and need!
How do you see your role as a doula?
I see my role as a rock metaphorically speaking. I am there to stay strong and grounded when sometimes mom and others cannot. I am there to help keep my clients grounded, to help them stay calm and centered and to aid them with coping with labour. I am also there to speak up for them when they cannot do so themselves and to offer them any information they require
What do you think the partner's role should be during labour?
I think a partners' role should also be supportive, we as doulas are there to help the partners help their labouring moms, I also think that we are there to help partners speak up for their wives/SO. We as doulas can teach partners certain massage techniques to use as well as have them help us get Mom into different positions. Some partners want to be very hands on while others don't feel as comfortable doing so!
What are the main skills and abilities you bring to a birth?
I can offer many skills and abilities to a labouring mom and her family. Firstly I am there for undivided and unconditional support. I can also offer many different massage techniques to help with contractions as well as different positions to help with speeding up labour as well. Not only do I offer physical support but also emotional support. There will be times that the mom does not think she can do it and I will be there for reassurance. I am able to stay calm and organized in chaotic situations. Also, after birth I am there to help establish breastfeeding between mom and baby. I feel that I can help many different moms in their journey through pregnancy, labour and early motherhood!

    Thursday, July 14, 2011

    Breastfeeding Mothers ~ La Leche League Canada

    Breast isn't "best," it is the way babies are born to be fed.  Nursing is more than feeding, it is nurturing.

    Video courtesy La Leche League Canada

    Monday, July 4, 2011

    World Milksharing Week ~ September 24-30, 2011

    News Release

    Global Facebook milksharing network launches WORLD MILKSHARING WEEK 2011

    Human Milk 4 Human Babies Global Network is ecstatic to announce the launch of the inaugural World Milksharing Week, to be held September 24 – 30, 2011, at hundreds of locations around the globe.

    The incredible sense of community that is created among donor and recipient families who partake in milksharing is to be celebrated. Dani Arnold-McKenney, who has been an administrator of the milksharing Facebook page in southwestern Ontario, Canada, since the global network started last October, says, "It's a myth that we are all about anonymous milk drops in parking lots. Our donors and recipients support each other and learn from each other. We've had milk recipients rebuild their own milk supplies and turn around and become donors. I have seen milksharing friendships grow and watched bonds of motherhood bloom between mothers who didn't know each other a mere few weeks before."

    Emma Kwasnica, founder of Human Milk 4 Human Babies Global Network, says "Breast milk is not a scarce commodity, it's a free-flowing resource. With the advance of social media, women who are willing to share their breastmilk can now easily connect with families who need milk for their children. We at HM4HB are thrilled to see women and families asserting their autonomy to do what is healthy, normal and ecological. Families are making informed choices to share breastmilk and babies everywhere are thriving as a result."

    World Milksharing Week is to be held annually during the last week of September. There are a vast number of events your community can organize: hosting online discussions, a picnic in the park, an informational gathering at your work place, or a celebration at a favourite milksharing-supportive locale. 

    Individuals and groups who wish to host an event this year can register at www.worldmilksharingweek.org. All who encourage milksharing and who support donor and recipient families are invited to participate.

    HM4HB has a presence in 54 countries around the world. There are 130 Facebook community pages and over 20,000 community page members. These virtual communities are run by 300 hardworking, multicultural administrators who lovingly and graciously volunteer their time to keep HM4HB continually focused on its mission, vision and values. 

    Media Contact:
    Emma Kwasnica
    (514) 656-1560 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            (514) 656-1560      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

    Do you have a milksharing story? We'd love to hear it! Post it as a commment or email wombtocradle@gmail.com. We may ask you to guest post! We're planning to organize a local celebration in the Medicine Hat area and can also use your help. Contact us to volunteer!