Educating

Teaching Breastfeeding, Talking about Breastfeeding and, well, Actually Breastfeeding…

Right now, I am teaching breastfeeding classes, seeing private lactation clients, training women to become lactation educators, and actually breastfeeding a newborn…so needless to say my life is boobs and milk! For me, the subject has two completely different sides. When I am teaching and working with clients, I am the educator that shares scientifically-proven, […]

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Encouragement to Teach Preconception/Early Pregnancy Education

During the 2017 CAPPA Conference in Portland, Maine, I saw the excitement of the faculty and attendees on the organizing of a New Parent Educator Course at CAPPA. As a childbirth educator for over 45 years, I have seen how few parents nowadays, shows a natural skill for parenting. Many new parents have never babysat

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Finding Your Niche

As a former biology instructor I always encouraged students to observe their environments, as they are ripe with individualized roles that are filled by a species with a unique skill. The world of childbirth education is similar. While the variety of options that exists could be endless, with the right research and evidence at your

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5 Simple Tools for the Self-Actualized Doula

“Self-actualization” is a term that comes from Abraham Maslow, a leading figure in the Positive Psychology movement. Self-actualization refers to the “realization or desire for self-fulfillment.” In other words, it’s the motivation to realize one’s full-potential. As doulas, we place a lot of emphasis on self-actualization, whether we know that term or not. We do

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Helping New Mothers

One of the most common phrases I hear the new mothers wonder about is, “Is my baby ok?” Since we are professionals in our clients’ homes, it is easy for new moms to ask us all kinds of questions relating to their baby’s overall health. Our role as doulas is non-medical and strictly informational support,

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A Special Place

“Imagine yourself in your special place.” As I write today, I am making plans for our annual family visit to a very special place—Campobello Island, New Brunswick. It is a very small island in the Bay of Fundy with a population of little more than 1000 people, limited cell phone service, and very sketchy internet

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Safe Sleep Support and Practical Advice for New Parents

Presented By: Shari Criso MSN, RN, CNM, IBCLC Newborn babies will spend most of their early life, up to 16-17 hours per day sleeping. Beyond feeding and making sure that baby is getting everything they need to develop and grow optimally, we want to make sure that they are ALWAYS safe! As a Registered Nurse, a

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Meet Your Cognitive Bias

Earlier this summer, I was walking to my mailbox when I spotted a snake on my sidewalk. It was a tiny ribbon snake, completely harmless, yet I was barefoot and I immediately jumped back. My heart was racing, my breathing rate increased, my palms got sweaty. And then, I noticed the snake wasn’t moving. It

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Building Inclusive Bridges with our Language

Stereotypes hold their own birthing story. And, if we know anything as true advocates for birthing families, it’s that life is constantly evolving and taking on a new truth based on the context around it. Looking at life without the surrounding context is like taking a shortcut without considering the scenic route; you’ll never know

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A Site Worth Sharing – Information on Cerebral Palsy

A Cerebral Palsy Resource for Families Cerebral palsy is a neurological condition that a child may be born with, caused by brain damage or brain malformation during fetal development. It is one of the most common disabilities of childhood and it is one that has no cure, although it also does not get progressively worse.

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Melatonin – Not Just Beneficial For “Jet Lag”

As a childbirth educator and labor doula trainer, one of my favorite topics is that of birthing hormones. Oxytocin, melatonin, endorphins, adrenaline and prolactin all work in synchronicity to help the birth process move forward. More specifically, melatonin acts as a catalyst to enhance the amount of natural oxytocin released. This in turn, causes the

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Make the Connections

For the past two years, I’ve had the opportunity to serve on the planning committee for a community event: The Birth and Family Wellness Fair.  This fair promotes holistic family health and birthing options. I have seen the positive effects this event has in our community and urge others to sponsor or support events like these in their areas. I worked with

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Nitrous Oxide in Labor and the Precautionary Principle

An increasing number of hospitals in the United States are offering nitrous oxide to women in labor since the FDA approved new equipment for use in labor in 2011. Among other things, a hospital is a business competing with neighboring hospitals for customers. If they get you to come there to birth, you could become

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Connect More

Over the years, I have graciously and humbly watched my practice and experience grow and change.  A decade ago I was flourishing as a private practice Labor doula and childbirth educator for clients fortunate enough to pay for such birth services. Today, I work with young women who have multiple struggles every day, from poverty

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A Preventative Approach to Early Breastfeeding

We have all learned and become very educated about the importance of the first hour after birth, skin-to-skin contact, infant regulation, breastfeeding, etc. We know that infants who are allowed skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth for at least an hour are better breastfeeders. But does every baby become a better breastfeeder because of this practice?

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Who is Our Target Audience? Breastfeeding as a Universal Topic

Recently, I was invited to present the Certified Lactation Educator Training at a state-of-the-art educational facility that was equipped with all the “bells and whistles.” The equipment was intimidating and resembled something I had seen recently while watching a futuristic, sci-fi movie.  The retracting screen was the only equipment I was vaguely familiar with. Fortunately,

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