10 Questions with a HypnoBabies instructor

1) What is labor hypnosis?

Hypnosis for birth is a very effective way to prepare for a birth with fewer interventions and greater comfort. Many women report that their births were completely comfortable without any pain medications. Using hypnosis during labor is a great alternative to an epidural. Basically, you will have harnessed to power of your own mind to change how the sensations of labor and birth are perceived. 

2) Why is labor hypnosis a useful tool?

No matter what kind of birth you are planning, hypnosis is going to equip you with tools that will allow you to remain calm and clear headed, even when plans change. This makes it much easier to enjoy the process of giving birth. Hypnosis has been used in the medical field for quite some time, and is a very successful option for those that have severe reactions or life threatening responses to anesthetics. Birth hypnosis by Hypnobabies has been carefully crafted to address the specific needs of this normal bodily function in the modern world.

3) How does labor hypnosis impact initiation of breastfeeding at birth?

 

When hypnosis is used during birth it prohibits the release of adrenaline. This is a tremendous help in allowing the uterine muscles to work without tension and conflict. When the uterus is functioning optimally during birth it can eliminate the fear, tension, pain syndrome. That elimination means that birth can progress more quickly and more efficiently. Many times there is no need for epidural or narcotic use for pain management. When babies are not exposed to these interventions they are more alert and responsive after birth. This allows us to maximize that ‘Golden Hour’ after birth and early initiation of breastfeeding. Also, the newborns are much less likely to experience side effects such as low respiratory response and therefore are less likely to be separated from their Mom right after birth. 

4) What barriers to breastfeeding does labor hypnosis help reduce or eliminate?

 

Babies that are not removed immediately from their Mom are able to benefit from immediate skin to skin. This facilitates bonding, regulation and familiarity. The biggest barrier to this aspect of breastfeeding might be the Cesarean section. Using hypnosis for birth can certainly greatly reduce the risk for a Cesarean, mostly by eliminating or reducing the use of interventions that can lead to more interventions that may ultimately lead to a surgical birth.

5) Do these hypnosis techniques come in handy after birth?

The hypnosis tools learned in Hypnobabies certainly will continue to be beneficial well after birth. One technique in particular is an instant cue for comfort and healing. This can be so useful for immediate postpartum discomforts such as perineal repair, uterine involution, and any nipple pain while finding a resolution to whatever issue is causing 

6) What do you think are the 3 biggest factors in a birth that impact breastfeeding?

Interventions such as routine IV administration and epidural/narcotics for pain relief 
Cesarean births, in particular those that could have been prevented
Separation of mother and infant

7) How can moms find a labor hypnosis friendly care provider? 

 

Ask! I hear so often that a student or client informed their care provider about using Hypnobabies and they were thrilled. Also, many of my students have been told to seek out birth hypnosis if they desire a low intervention birth. 

8) How can moms find a labor hypnosis educator in their area?

Of course you could search online or try www.Hypnobabies.com 
Word of mouth is a great resource, as well. I get a lot of referrals from local mom’s groups.

9) What skills in Hypnobabies apply to long term breastfeeding success?

 

Hypnobabies focuses on informed consent and we encourage families to continue asking those questions throughout their parenting adventures. Finding support and evidence based guidance is key. Hypnobabies provides that guidance and applicable national and local resources for a successful breastfeeding relationship.

10) What skills in Hypnobabies improve partner support of the breastfeeding relationship? 

Having the partner attend the weekly classes allows the couple to create an even deeper bond with each other and their baby in utero. This bonding helps to foster a union that has impressed me more times than I can count. These partners understand the importance of breastfeeding for both mother and baby and are willing to go the extra mile to help facilitate that. 

Bonus Question! 11) Share your favorite nursing moment?

I’m not sure if it’s my favorite, but it is the most memorable… my son and I weaned from breastfeeding much earlier than I anticipated, unfortunately. About a month later, he got pretty sick with a fever and all the other usual crud that can bring a baby down. He was very snuggly (not his typical nature) and somehow he wound up latched on and nursing for comfort. I was nearly in tears and I relished that short time and knew that it was the last. I don’t know many people that know the exact last nursing session.
Nicole DiBella HCHI, CD
Hypnobabies Instructor, Birth and Postpartum Doula

follow me @NaturalBirthATL

Bonus Question! 11) Share your favorite nursing moment?

I’m not sure if it’s my favorite, but it is the most memorable… my son and I weaned from breastfeeding much earlier than I anticipated, unfortunately. About a month later, he got pretty sick with a fever and all the other usual crud that can bring a baby down. He was very snuggly (not his typical nature) and somehow he wound up latched on and nursing for comfort. I was nearly in tears and I relished that short time and knew that it was the last. I don’t know many people that know the exact last nursing session.

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10 Questions with a Doula

1) What is a doula?
         A doula, also known as a birth companion, is a nonmedical person who is trained to assist women before, during, and/or after childbirth as well as her spouse and/or family, by   providing physical assistance and emotional support.
2) Why hire a doula?
        There have been numerous studies that show the benefits of hiring a doula include a decrease in the chance of C-section, decrease in the amount of time a woman spends in labor, decrease in the use of interventions like forceps and vacuum, decrease in the use of epidurals or need for pain medication, decrease the chance of postpartum depression, and increase the satisfaction a woman feels about her birth experience.
 
3) How does having a doula impact initiation of breastfeeding at birth?
        All doulas should be equipped to assist moms with the initiation of breastfeeding after birth. Often times in a hospital setting, nurses might have to leave to attend to another patient leaving the new mom to figure it out on her own. Some hospitals do not have on-site lactation consultants on call around the clock. Having a doula ensures that a knowledgeable person will be there to help if/when needed. 
4) What barriers to breastfeeding does a doula help reduce or eliminate?
    1. Educational barriers: misinformation about breastfeeding, milk production/supply
        2. Emotional barriers: lack of confidence in ability to breastfeed, embarrassment of feeding in public. A doula provides support if the mom is lacking support from family/friends.
        3. Physical barriers: learning how to prepare for breastfeeding, postioning mom and baby for comfortable and sufficient nursing/bonding time.
        4. Medical barriers: Breastfeeding while recovering from c-section, helping to identify potential medical issues such as tongue ties and lip ties and refer to specialists
5) Does a doula come in handy after birth?
        Yes. Doulas routinely remain in close proximity to moms immediately after the birth of their baby. This is to help facilitate the mother’s wishes for skin-to-skin care, breastfeeding initiation as soon as possible, and to answer any questions about newborn care and postpartum care. Many moms also benefit from the services of postpartum doulas. Postpartum doulas contract with the mother and her family for a specified amount of time (hours/weeks) once the family is settled at home after the birth. Postpartum doulas assist with baby care, sibling care, light household chores, and meal prep to help parents acclimate to having a new baby in the home. It can be a great help to have someone onsite those first days/weeks after birth to help with breastfeeding issues among other things, when needed.
6) What do you think are the 3 biggest factors in a birth that impact breastfeeding?
        1. Medications administered during labor and their effects on the mother and the newborn.
        2. Type of birth. If mom has interventions such as forceps, vacuum, or caesarean and baby has a medical issue due to this and they must be separated for an extended amount of time after birth.
        3. The length of the birth. A mom who has a lengthy labor may be extremely fatigued and unable to breastfeed right away.
7) How can moms find a doula friendly care provider?
        1. Moms can ask their care providers how they feel about having a doula in attendance at the birth. Most providers will have a definite opinion one way or the other.
        2. ICAN of Atlanta has a provider review section on their website. Anyone can join ICAN. You do not have to have experienced a c-section. The forums provide excellent information for all expectant moms.
        3. Word of mouth. Ask your friends,  who have used a doula, who their provider was and what the experience was like. If you have already hired a doula, most can tell you of the more popular doula-friendly practices in the area.
8) How can moms find a doula in their area?
        Resources for finding a doula in your area include www.doulamatch.net, www.gabirthnetwork.com, (or local birth networks) asking your provider if they have a list of doulas that they work with, websites of doula certifying organizations such as DONA, CAPPA, and ProDoula, and again referrals from friends/family/mom’s group members who have used a doula’s services before.
9) What skills does a doula have to help with long term breastfeeding success?
       Many doulas have taken breastfeeding classes to assist their clients in the early stages of breastfeeding. For long term breastfeeding success, doulas assist moms through emotional support and encouragement. Many moms give up just because they do not have the support needed to continue. Doulas provide practical information and solutions to assist with challenges associated with breastfeeding. We are knowledgeable about common problems like engorgement, symptoms of clogged milk ducts, mastitis and can refer you back to your care provider or a lactation consultant for added assistance.
10) Do moms need a doula for birth center or home births?
         I believe all moms could benefit from the support of a doula no matter where they choose to give birth. Birth is a very beautiful, but physically and emotionally draining experience. Having a person who has walked the journey before can make it easier by helping to reduce or eliminate the obstacles of fear, anxiety, lack of information, and more because they are a trusted, trained and experienced individual who is there just for the mom.
Bonus Question! 11) Share your favorite nursing moment?

My favorite nursing moment was probably the first time my daughter latched properly. I was unable to successfully breastfeed my older son due to lack of education and support. I became engorged and had painful, cracked, and bleeding nipples. After 3 days of crying (both of us) I gave up. After I had my daughter, I was able to get help from the buses at the hospital. They explained what a good latch looked like and should feel like. They gave me tips for sore nipples, too. So once at home, when she latched with little help from me and with no pain to me, I was very excited. I went on to breastfeed her for 14 months.

Elysia Douglas is a wife, mother of 4, and a professional, certified birth doula in the Metro Atlanta area. In her first 3 years as a doula, she has assisted over 50 families as they prepared for and welcomed their little ones into the world.  She offers attentive, nurturing, and compassionate support during pregnancy, labor, birth, and beyond. Elysia is passionate about equipping, encouraging, and empowering women to achieve their birth goals by providing unbiased, evidence-based information, emotional, and physical support throughout their pregnancy journey. She fully believes in your right to know your options and make decisions that are best for you and your baby. When Elysia is not at prenatal visits, facilitating a childbirth education class, or attending a birth, she enjoys sewing, painting, volunteering in children’s ministry at her church, and spending time with her family and friends.

www.mother2motherlaborsupport.com
http://doulamatch.net/profile/6020/elysia-douglas
www.facebook.com/mother2motherlss
www.instagram.com/mother2motherdoula

Top Tips for Top Milk Supply

By far, the most common concern about breastfeeding is adequate milk supply. Here are the top evidence based recommendations for ensuring your short term and long term production.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1. Bring your baby to the breast as soon as possible after birth. Babies are born alert and ready to feed. Babies nursed in the first 2 hours after birth are more likely to be exclusively breastfed.

2. Feed often and on cue. Crying is a late sign of hunger. In the first weeks, babies nurse all the time. This establishes long term milk supply and helps the stomach grow. Expect your baby to nurse at least 12 times in 24 hours, often more. All health organizations recommend “on demand” infant feeding. No health organizations recommend scheduled feeds.

3. Hold your baby. Skin to skin contact is proven to facilitate better breastfeeding. You can’t “spoil” a baby. Holding your baby has other health benefits for non-breastfeeding families as well. Babies in close contact with an adult care provider are better able to regulate breathing, metabolism, heart rate, and temperature.

4. Sleep near your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends babies room-in with an adult care giver for the first 6 months of life as a protective measure against SIDS. Room sharing also facilitates easier night feeding. It’s normal for babies to nurse at night well beyond 6 months of age.

5. Do not introduce formula, water, juice, or other solids unless medically indicated before 6 months. Exclusive breastfeeding provides everything a full term healthy baby needs. Giving a formula supplement “just in case” can cause milk supply to drop. Combination feeding of breast and formula leads to decreased milk supply as well.

6. Ignore the clock. Allow your baby to nurse as long as he or she wants. Some babies will finish a feed in 7-10 minutes while others may take 40 or more. Just like adults sometimes want a full meal and other times just a snack, babies feel the same way. Put your baby to the breast and nurse until the baby comes off naturally. Offer the other breast. Your baby may or may not want both breasts per feed. Always follow the baby’s cue.

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