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I am a group person. Let me just put that out there right up front. You may find it hard to believe but I was a very shy child. Not until fourth grade when I cracked a joke and most of the class laughed did I feel any level of confidence. Until that moment I was a loner, hiding behind Mama’s legs then using my baby sister as a shield.

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 In sixth grade Mama took us to Ala-teen, a support group for teenagers with alcoholic loved ones. I joined the theatre. When I moved to New York I joined a Buddhist cult – for only a day and half but I still joined! When I became a mom I joined La Leche League. When I wanted to lose weight I joined Weight Watchers.  I lead various breastfeeding support groups. I belong to the B & N 5 – a writing group.  

Last spring I was talking to my friend Amy, she and her husband own a fantastic café in the East Village , ciao for now. Amy and I often talk about parenting – we both have three children. I whined a bit about Phoebe graduating high school and starting her freshman year of college. We both welled up with tears lamenting the passing of time. I mentioned my changing body, peri-menopause, aging, all the changes we women experience. “We need a support group for that!” we nearly sang in unison. Amy immediately offered up her café  as a spot for our group. I let the idea simmer for a couple of days. I had also mentioned to the B & N 5 that I wanted to teach a writing class. An idea gelled. Writing Through Transitions! I search the web and found a woman on the west coast had written an e-book and was doing workshops by that name, so much for original ideas.

I bought and read her book. It was good but she is a therapist and her approach was different.

My background is more in peer-to-peer support.  My new group would be for women, we would talk and write about all of these changes, these transitions. I have creative strategies for managing the group and divining memories from the past while being able to express oneself and to be heard.  A few of us gathered last fall to workshop the idea at ciao for now. I saw what worked and what I needed to change. So now, beginning March 20 we launch the official Women Words & Transitions workshop at Lila Wellness.

If you are a woman of any age in or around New York City I hope you will consider joining me in this creative, self-exploration journey. You need not be a writer just a woman.  I can help you explore the many changes in your body, mind, relationships and more.

I plan to offer weekend long workshops for those who cannot commit to weekly meetings. Let me know if you are interested!

 

There are many things that can make or break the transition into breastfeeding. Breastfeeding in the beginning is time consuming and that is good. It is good because it creates the opportunity for mom to rest and heal from birth. It is also a time to study your baby.  It is time to get to know each other.

With this in mind there are a few things you can plan.

Create nursing stations in your home.

While still pregnant, notice where you like to spend time in your home. Many new parents build a beautiful nursery but you do not have to stay there for every feeding.

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Your baby does not care what the room looks like. Your baby expects to be close to mom and to have her milk available.

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Your nursing station can include:

~water for you to drink

~snacks for you

~a cloth diaper for spit ups

~diapers and wipes

~phone

~book

~TV remote control

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Nursing stations can be in:

~living room

~bedroom

~nursery

~den

Accept help!

For some of us it is hard to give direction. People want to help. They appreciate the guidance. They cannot read your mind as you sit there thinking “I sure am thirsty, I wish someone would bring me a glass of water” or “I cannot stand to look at that dust bunny another minute, I wish someone would clean it up.” Tell the people what you need and what you want.

When people ask what you need for your new baby tell them you need his food source fed – that is you! Have them make a meal.

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Limit your visitors to those who will help you. This is a special time and you want to be able to be yourself and be comfortable. You have a new member of the family and this little pod needs to bond and sort out their new roles as moms, dads, siblings.

 

 Take a breastfeeding class. A good class will give you the basics on what it looks like to nurse, on how to know that your baby is or is not getting enough and when and where to look for help.

Avoid early supplementing, unless medically indicated. If you need to supplement the best food for your baby is your milk. In the first couple of days you have a thick, nutritiously dense milk called colostrum.

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This is the perfect food for your baby. You can literally express some onto a spoon in these first days and spoon feed your baby. If it is medically indicated to supplement then you need to use a rental grade pump. Many moms buy pumps but they are not all created equal.

 

Find your community.

These days there are so many resources for new parents. Be sure and find one where you can meet other parents face-to-face.

~You can attend a La Leche League Meeting

~Find your local community center with parenting groups

~Find your local on-line community

Know where to find help.

A few good resources:

http://www.llli.org/

http://kellymom.com/

http://www.breastfeedingmadesimple.com/

http://www.isisonline.org.uk/