New Parents Need Guidance
Recently a student told me that they felt really prepared for their labor and birth and also for breastfeeding but failed to know what impact having a baby was going to be postpartum. We offer a few classes, but often we do not get enough in the classes for them to “make.” Usually we require at least four couples to make a class. But we still schedule them- the Happiest Family is one such class. But we offer a few others as well. Often when money is being allocated for classes, the idea of needing guidance after the baby comes is low on the list.
What he really would benefit from now as a new family was what we offer in the Soothing Session that we began offering this year. It is a great way to have someone come to your home and assist you with a plethora of new family concerns. The doula will assist you with breastfeeding as well as basic baby help that so many new families struggle with making sure they are doing it right.
And speaking of doing it right. This past week I met with a couple who wanted to come by to just have me check on their breastfeeding technique. She had difficulties with her first baby and had come to see me after weeks of working at trying to nurse her daughter. She was found to have a tongue tie that had not been realized at the hospital. The mom had gone on to breast milk feed since the bottles had worked against having her daughter take back to the breasts. So this time she just wanted me to lay eyes on her technique for confidence. I tweaked a few things but she was doing great with this second child.
Today I received a phone call from a mom with a 15 day old who had issues gaining weight and jaundice in the early days. She did not know that some of the weight loss was normal since she had had IV fluids for more than 2 hours- the study is listed here. And the after effects of the epidural she had received had probably caused the baby to not be a great nurser in the early days, thus meconium had lingered and therefore the jaundice had been more of an issue. And although she did not state it, the use of Pitocin has been linked with more jaundice as well. So now she had come through these issues but she just needed a boost of confidence on how often she needed to be nursing and how to know if he was getting enough.
I happily gave her phone time to discuss these things. I get grief from other birth professionals for not charging a consult fee. But whether it is my old La Leche League Leader experience of always offering free phone consults or my feeling that you get what you give, I am always willing to talk to someone about their concerns for free. I in fact was cooking dinner and shared with her while doing so- so it had not caused me to stop what I was doing. When we were completing the call, she asked me if I made home visits to just lay eyes on how she was doing with the breastfeeding.
We do offer in home breastfeeding consults, but for that the charge is a two hour minimum and is only $10 less than a 3 hour Soothing Session. I shared with her about the soothing session and she immediately said, “Yes, that sounds fabulous.” I do think that a Soothing Session is exactly what most new families would benefit from. Even if you have family helping, having someone who is not invested personally and has evidence based information along with years of experience offering a little bit of guidance is a great reassurance. You get a lot of bang for your buck. And we are finding that it is often a wonderful gift from family members who can not come to help but want to help in other ways.