As a postpartum doula I have the privilege of being witness to the beginning of a love story that will last a lifetime.
While I help the new mother in many ways, I feel that my most important role is to help nurture the bond between mother and newborn.
Pictured below are two mothers I recently met. You can almost see the connection growing! The downward gaze of the mother, the upward tilt of the baby’s head.
One of the babies in the picture below is adopted, but it doesn’t matter which. Both are benefiting from the power of skin-to-skin contact, both are breast fed, and both are totally loved.
The adopted infant's mother is using the Medela Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) to feed her baby, and is delighted with how easy it is to use.
Nesting Days is the only carrier that is designed for very little babies, including preemies, and is made to help the new mother hold her baby skin-to-skin while using a breast pump.
While being hands-free is a plus, the biggest benefits comes from ‘tuning -in’. Having your newborn ‘heart-to-heart’, is Nature’s way of teaching us to be more mindful.
Each winch, sigh, fart, and bowel movement is relayed. Subtle signals that baby is hungry sends a cascade of chemicals through her body. Mothers breast respond with the flow of milk even before sucking begins. The sweet smell of her baby’s neck makes her uterus contract and healing takes place postpartum. All Nature’s way of making us more mindful.
San Francisco, nurse-midwife and mindfulness teacher, Nancy Bardacke, has just written a book called Mindful Birthing. She was also my mid-wife for my second child, and I have never forgotten the lessons she taught me all those years ago. Her book isn’t just about about birth, however, it is about the importance of mindful parenting, and celebrating the joy in every moment. I highly recommend it.
My life journey, as a mother, educator, and postpartum doula has lead me to believe in the language of touch, and skin-to-skin, and lots of holding, and humming, and dancing in the moonlight. And in the wisdom of a new mother’s body, the power of her milk, the fierceness of her love, and the softness of her heart.