Postpartum Depression Awareness Month

lactation-consultant-san-diegoMay is Postpartum Depression Awareness Month. Year after year we are seeing more and more brave mothers come forward to talk about their depression experiences – and long may it continue. Postpartum depression comes in all shapes and sizes, with no age, race or social class bias, and it’s so important for society to truly understand how far and wide this mental issue spreads.

One of the most powerful articles about postpartum depression that we’ve come across  is this one. Katherine Stone, founder and author of Postpartum Progress, asked her community of depression and anxiety survivors, to share a photo of themselves that could be captioned by filling in the following sentence:

“When this picture was taken, I was suffering from ______________. You can’t tell by looking, but I felt / was going through _____________.”

The responses were incredible, revealing just how well postpartum depression can be hidden, and stay undetected by friends and family. One mom said:

“I told no one. And all everyone said was how great I looked.”

The pictures Katherine received showed smiling moms snuggling with their babies – just one of the many types of pictures you see splattered across social media daily. They say don’t judge a book by its cover, and they should also say ‘don’t judge a photo by a smile.’ Behind the biggest of smiles can hide the most heartbreaking of struggles. Another mom posted:

“When this picture was taken, I was suffering severe depression. You can’t tell by looking, but I had to force myself to leave the house, was crying all the time, and hated being a mom.”

Just like there is no one type of sufferer, there is no one type of symptom when it comes to postpartum depression. It’s important for moms, both first timers and seasoned moms, to know this. Having a baby, be it your first or fifth, can involve a difficult and confusing postpartum transition for many women.

A safe, non-judgmental outlet for moms to discuss this issue, whether they are suffering or not, can be so helpful and inspiring. To support postpartum depression month, our Blooming Mamas postpartum group with Rachel Davis, MFT will be free of charge throughout May (Thursdays at 1 pm).

Some believe it takes a village to raise a child. We believe that it can also take a village to help raise a mom up. The village mustn’t ever forget to look after mom, too.

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BabyFest 2017

Our 2017 expo is over and our hearts are full!

The venue this year was on Babies in Bloom’s very own doorstep, with over 50 tents and booths lining our sun drenched street. We can’t tell you what it meant to us to peek out of the window at 9.30 AM and already see a long line of glowing mamas-to-be, their partners and other excited family members waiting to get in.

To all our visitors: thank you for letting us be part of your growing family’s exciting journey.

And to our wonderful exhibitors: thank you for all the support, wisdom, reassurance and encouragement you shared with our guests.

Together, we formed quite a village at BabyFest 2017. A place where no question was too foolish, no fear went unheard and where judgement simply wasn’t tolerated. Because we know that no two families are the same – each will tell their own beautiful story in their own special way.

For those that couldn’t make BabyFest this year, you can still visit some of our booths virtually!  Check out our BabyFest 2017 Facebook event page. A roaming camera at the event filmed live action at booths to give those at home a sneak peak of some of the wonderful products and services showcasing at the event.

We also dare you not to smile when you see the Groovaroo impromptu flashmob dance that took place on the street. It’s AWESOME! Check out the baby snuggling dance moves here  – plus take a look at the new Baby TULA ‘Free to Grow’ carriers being used (usable from 0+ – 4 years!). Groovaroo classes are hosted regularly at the boutique – check out our events calendar for more info.

For many, the expert talks are always an expo highlight. This year, we had certified babywearing educators showcasing the different types of baby carriers out there in the market, as well as Jennifer Aprea from Spray Pal answering all sorts of questions about cloth diapering. Our car seat safety expert Katie, was also on hand to explain the latest laws to parents and help them choose the right seat for their family.

‘Meet the Midwives’ is also an annual favorite. These local midwives couldn’t love their job any more and have delivered thousands of beautiful babies between them. They know more than anyone that how you birth matters and are committed to delivering a personalized experience to each and every family to help them have the birth they have always dreamed of.

If you missed the talks, don’t worry! The boutique regularly hosts classes and workshops on these topics and much, much more – from lactation and hypnobirthing to first aid and sleep coaching. You can also book car one-on-one seat safety checks with Katie via the boutique – free if you purchase a seat from Babies in Bloom. Again, just visit our events calendar page for more details.

So, while we’re sorry you couldn’t all make it down to BabyFest 2017, it’s never too late to join the Babies in Bloom family. Our doors are always open – hope to see you soon!

 

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Is Hypnobabies For Me?

There’s hypno-birthing and then there’s Hypnobabies –a completely unique style of birth hypnosis.

 

Do you know what makes Hypnobabies different?

While both hypno-birthing and Hypnobabies strive to give mother and baby a natural, peaceful birth, Hypnobabies uses real medical hypnotic anaesthesia techniques –the same kind some people choose to undergo surgery with minus the drugs. The mind is capable of some A-MAZING things isn’t it?

These techniques are from Master Hypnotherapist, Gerald Kein’s, “Painless Childbirth Program” and aim to re-train the subconscious mind to perceive birth contractions in a non-intimidating and manageable light. This is ideal if you are looking for ways to release any (completely normal) fears or anxiety you may have about giving birth.  It can be especially useful to help heal those who have had a previous traumatic birth.

Rather than simple visualization and breathing techniques, Hypnobabies recognises that no two women are the same – different, personalized birth experiences are craved.  It’s all about delivering an ‘eyes open’ birth experience, which allows mom to remain in deep hypnosis while walking, talking and changing positions. Mom is empowered, in tune with her body and her baby, and aware of her surroundings at all times.  She is not passively listening to deep relaxation and guided imagery (which we are not saying doesn’t work for some). The Hypnobabies idea is that Mom is in the driving seat – she is able to control her hypnosis throughout delivery and ultimately choose just how mobile and communicative she wants to be during it.

This level of control is thought to boost confidence and calmness, resulting in a more comfortable birth experience. All the C’s you want to hear as a mom-to-be right?

Some women take classes early in their pregnancy to help relax and gain confidence throughout the rest of their pregnancy, but others start much later. It’s recommended that couples begin their classes no later than 32 weeks.

Babies in Bloom regularly hosts Hypnobabies Childbirth Preparation group classes, run in a 6-week series by a North County born mom and all around superwoman. Check out our class information page or visit Coastal Hypnobabies for more details and week by week class breakdowns. Partners are of course most welcome and will learn how best to support the Hypno-Mom as you works towards your dream birth experience.

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How Clean is Your Sleep?

While we were all talking about clean eating in 2016, clean SLEEPING is the hot topic for 2017. It’s one of the biggest health trends this year – and at first glance, one of the most appealing to sleep-challenged parents.

It was Gwyneth Paltrow and her Goop team who kick started it off claiming that a clean night’s sleep is not only good for you mentally, but the key to ageing gracefully, staying slim and having good hair. What’s not to love?

In a nutshell, it consists of at LEAST seven or eight hours of good, interrupted, high quality sleep each night.

This is the point where all new moms spit out their cold cups of coffee laughing hysterically….. interrupted sleep? You’re kidding right? Paaaaah ha ha! Good one.

Yeah, we know. This is maybe possible with toddlers (I said maybe!) and older, but this just isn’t possible in the early days of regular night feeds. For a new mom, it can be really, really hard to get the sleep you need.

But the truth is, we all know how important sleep is for our overall health and wellbeing. And while we can’t all be like Gwyneth and have 7-8 hours every night, perhaps we can and should still treat ourselves to a clean sleep every now and then. It’s not admitting defeat or cheating – it’s RECHARGING! It’s essential.

So, if you have the full support of a partner or family member, here’s how you can live like Gwyneth for a day and plan for the odd clean night’s sleep.

  • If breastfeeding, build up a supply of breast milk in the fridge and ask your partner take all the night feeds
  • Plan to sleep in a separate room away from your baby to minimize the familiar sounds of their wake up calls
  • Get outside and exercise during the day – take baby for a stroll and enjoy the fresh air
  • Stop drinking caffeine around 4pm
  • Avoid alcohol before bed
  • Set yourself a bed time – and STICK TO IT! There will always be a household job to do. Just this one time, let it wait until tomorrow
  • In fact, set your bed time one hour earlier than you plan to fall asleep, and use that hour before bed as quiet, relaxing time, free of duties AND Facebook is tempting, but it too can wait!
  • Keep your phone on silent. And away from your bed
  • And SLEEP!

The likelihood is that you will probably wake up on auto pilot the first couple of times you try and switch off – after all, you are so in tune with your little one’s needs and sounds! But perhaps after a few attempts, once you realize your partner has it all under control, or once you have established more of a sleep schedule with your little one, you can get a clean night of 7-8 hours and wake up feeling like a new mama! Because you really do deserve it ladies! And often.

Happy snoozing.

 

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