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What is Mindful Mothering?

As a young mother, I was always looking for balance. I thought that balance was something I could create, should create, in my home and believed it to be within my control. Over the years I’ve learned that the only thing I can control is myself, and I’m not always successful at that. That’s why I’ve been so attracted to meditation and mindfulness, practices that help me to keep an inner balance Meditation and mindfulness are not the same, though they compliment one another. I had a note on my bulletin board for years that said, “Meditate” and I could never find the 10... read more

Does it Hurt?

Issue 156 – September/October 2009 It’s safe to say that the No. 1 worry for most pregnant women is pain during labor. Secretly, you ask yourself, “Will I be able to handle it?” But it’s hard to know if you’ll be able to handle something you’ve never experienced before, especially when the cultural messages about birth in the US do not inspire confidence. It’s understandable that you might be afraid of the unknown, but your experience of pain in labor may be more within your control than you realize. The amount of pain you feel during labor is affected by your... read more

Breastfeeding Champion Lawrence Gartner

Dr. Lawrence Gartner is best known for his studies of the relationship between breastfeeding and newborn jaundice and has published more than 200 papers on this subject and other aspects of breastfeeding. Through 40 years of infant and animal studies, Gartner has demonstrated that prolonged physiologic jaundice in the breastfed infant is a normal and regularly occurring phenomenon. Known as breastmilk jaundice, this condition provides protection for the newborn through the antioxidant effect of bilirubin. Gartner has also demonstrated that the breastfed baby who... read more

Balancing Work and Family Life

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer ignited a conversation about maternity leave in the US when she announced that while she will be taking a few weeks of maternity leave, she will be working throughout them. I can only imagine the pressure that Mayer is under, but nonetheless, she unwittingly gives women the false impression that life with a newborn is easier than it is. And, her point of view is dismissive, not only of family leave, but also of the complexity of family life. But then, she hasn’t had her baby yet. And, like most US women, she probably doesn’t believe she has... read more

Am I Pregnant?

What are the early signs of pregnancy? Thousands of women come to Mothering.com every day to ask this question. BREAST CHANGES One of the first things many women notice when they become pregnant is breast changes. Breasts can be sore, swollen, or heavy feeling. Nipples can be tingly and tender, which you will notice especially if you are breastfeeding when you become pregnant. Extra B-vitamins can help with this breast tenderness. CHANGES IN THE CERVIX I remember going to the doctor when I was pregnant with my third and he could tell I was pregnant because my cervix... read more

Midwife Attended Births On The Rise

Boston midwife, Makeda Kamara, CNM, and myself at the 2010 ICTC Conference Midwife-attended births are at an all-time high in the US. In 2009, Certified Nurse Midwives (CNMs) attended 11.8% of vaginal births. Overall, midwives attended 8.1% of all births in the US in 2009. Between 1989 and 2002, midwife-attended births more than doubled in the US and have grown steadily since. Midwife-attended births have better outcomes. When the Cochrane Library reviewed 11 scientific trials involving 12,276 women, no difference was found between midwife-attended hospital births and... read more

Breastfeeding Champion: La Leche League

During International Breastfeeding Week I want to highlight the Mothering Living Treasures who are Breastfeeding Champions. Where else to begin but with the organization that started it all: La Leche League (LLL). In July, 1956, two young mothers breastfed their babies under a tree at a church picnic. Other mothers at the pincic came up to them to express their disappointments about unsuccessful breastfeeding. The two women realized that the difficulties they, too, had experienced were not unique, and they committed themselves to helping others who wanted to nurse... read more

Free-Range Play

    Someone once told me that mammals learn through play. When children run and play they are also learning. They are using their creativity, developing their self-confidence, building resiliency, increasing physical prowess; learning how to work in groups, to share, negotiate, and resolve conflicts; and honing self-advocacy skills. Play is the work of children and it is through un-structured, self-directed play that children learn to make decisions, and to identify their interests and passions. Play comes natural to children. Sometimes, if children have been watching... read more

No Nestle' in Newark

  Corey Booker, mayor of Newark, signed an agreement in February to partner with Nestle’, one of the four most boycotted companies in the world. Nestle donated $100,000 to Let’s Move! Newark, an initiative to fight obesity and promote breastfeeding. If you consider it a conflict of interest that Newark is partnering with a manufacturer whose products cause obesity and compete with breastfeeding, have no fear. In an email to Time reporter, Bonnie Rochman, Christina Lawrence, head of corporate affairs for Nestle’ Infant Nutrition, said, “The program is unbranded and no... read more

Help for ADHD

When I was in my twenties, I taught at a special education school and one of my young students was on Ritalin. As her teacher, I was responsible for reminding her to take the drug during the day. It bothered me to give her the drug as I am a supporter of the natural way and I presumed, in my youthful arrogance, that she didn’t really need the Ritalin, that I knew better than my student’s parents what was best for her. Today we are still debating the ethics of prescribing drugs like Ritalin to children. On Sunday, October 16th, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued... read more

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