Monthly Archives: July 2012

New Arrivals







Hatterras Hemingway Fleming – 11 lbs. – March 23
Caroline Ellis Cohen – 7 lbs., 2 oz. – May 3
*Eve Graham Kasper – 9 lbs., 10 oz – May 3
Isaac Nathaniel Harrison – 8 lbs. – May 3
Sophie Keen Hart – 8 lbs., 12 oz. – May 4
*Miranda Sage Garibaldi – 7 lbs. – May 7
Callum Brenner Bates – 7 lbs., 9 oz. – May 7
Elijah Crouse – 8 lbs., 5 oz. – May 9
Gretchen Elise Viall – 7 lbs., 2 oz. – May 10
Zack Aiden Conklin – 8 lbs., 8 oz. – May 10
Dashiel Django Lockhart – 8 lbs., 8 oz. – May 10
Samir Richard Cameron – 9 lbs. – May 11
Brianna Grace Luciano – 9 lbs., 4 oz. – May 18
Norah Elizabeth Cyr – 7 lbs., 8 oz. – May 19
William Bernie Ward – 7 lbs., 4 oz. – May 23
Josephine Lily Desrosiers – 7 lbs., 9 oz. – May 23
Dylan James Boyd – 9 lbs. – May 27
Aaron Michael Evarts – 8 lbs., 4 oz. – May 27
Baby Girl Guajardo – 8 lbs., 8 oz. – May 28
Annabeth Herbert Traverse – 8 lbs., 6 oz. – May 28
Audrey Caroline Graff – 7 lbs., 9 oz. – May 28
*Thomas Noah Faustino Chapman – 6 lb s.,14 oz. – May 29
Thea Madison Daulton Aronne – 8 lbs. – May 31
Jakhairi Naasir Birkett – 8 lbs., 4 oz. – June 1
Ola Mae Margaret Nervo-Jabaut – 6 lbs., 9 oz. – June 2
Elsie Mae James – 7 lbs., 8 oz. – June 3
Alexander Ming De La Torre – 7 lbs., 4 oz. – June 5
Riley Katharine Davidson – 8 lbs., 13 oz. – June 7
Eddie Freeborn – 8 lbs., 1 oz. – June 11
August Isaiah Gurney – 7 lbs., 2 oz. – June 11
Kaleb Aaron Reid – 9 lbs. – June 11
Mackenzie Faith Pinnell – 7 lbs., 13 oz. – June 11
Malcolm John Ray – 6 lbs. – June 13
Sebastian Glenn Milke – 6 lbs., 11 oz. – June 16
Avery Berlin Smith – 7 lbs., 6 oz. – June 17
Cage Walter Brockman – 7 lbs., 13 oz. – June 17
Bruno Joseph Strecker – 10 lbs., 1 oz. – June 18
Zachary Michael Schroeder – 7 lbs., 11 oz. – June 18
Landon Carter Coffey – 8 lbs. – June 19
Quinton David Hill Adams – 7 lbs., 9 oz. – June 22
Juliet Mariella Edwards – 7 lbs. – June 22
Jude Reed McCall – 7 lbs., 14 oz. – June 23
Judah Michael Rollman – 7 lbs., 14 oz. – June 24
Philip Julian Bachmeyer – 8 lbs., 5 oz. – June 27
Cillian Luke Bradburn – 8 lbs. – June 30

*pictured above

Welcome to the world, Little Ones!


If you’d like your baby’s birth announced in the newsletter, send an email to missy_swanson@hotmail.com.  Include baby’s name, weight, and birthdate; you can also attach a photo.  We’d like to hear from all WBWC moms, whether you delivered at the birth center or UNC!

By |July 16th, 2012|News|0 Comments

Group Prenatal Care – September Due Dates!


     Here are some of our beautiful Group mamas who are looking forward to meeting their little ones in September! If you’re interested in participating in Group Prenatal Care, give us a call at (919)933-3301, or mention it to your midwife at your next prenatal appointment.

By |July 16th, 2012|News|0 Comments

The HypnoBirth and Water Birth of Our Little Mason

by Elizabeth Oldham


Mason, this story is about you and for you.

      The day that we found out we were expecting you we were so very excited. I remember standing in the living room in the house on Bellaire Drive with your daddy and neither of us could stop smiling. I was holding a little pregnancy test still in disbelief but starting to feel the magic of knowing I was pregnant.
      We went to a family wedding knowing that you were there. You were our little secret for just a bit. We gave each other private smiles all night long. It is such a nice memory.
     While we were all taking a rest from dancing at the wedding, Grammy leaned over and told me she got Rosser a new book. She said “I know it will happen one day, so I just bought it to go ahead and give it to you.”  The title of the book was I Am a Big Brother. I think Grammy knew before any of us that you were on your way.
      We went for an early ultrasound because we had a few complications when I was first pregnant with your brother. We dropped Rosser off at Grammy and Pops and told them we were returning Christmas gifts. We were sneaky!
     How relieved I was to hear your little heartbeat and see you for the first time. You were fine and I was fine, you were exactly where you were supposed to be. We were so ready to tell everyone that you were on your way and that our little family was growing!
 You were given a due date of August 22, 2010. This due date is very near and dear to my heart. You see, little Mason, it is your first cousin’s birthday. Mommy’s oldest brother’s (Uncle Ron) first son. My very first nephew. An amazing fellow with red hair just like mommy and Rosser. A beautiful and handsome man with such a caring soul and a fighting mentality. A cool guy indeed.



     Your cousin, Ron (or Pee Wee, as family and friends called him), passed away in a car accident a month before I looked at your pregnancy test.
      Your due date meant so much more than a due date to Mommy and Daddy. It held special meaning and made us feel that you had an angel protecting you from the very beginning. I will never forget how I felt when they told me your due date.
      We transferred care when you were about 12 weeks in my belly. The practice that was caring for us was just not a right fit for me or for you. They did not share the same feelings I did about birth. They made me feel like I was sick each time I went for a visit. I knew we were not sick.  I was the healthiest I had ever been and was confident in my birthing body.
      We began being seen at the Women’s Birth and Wellness Center in Chapel Hill, NC. This is the only freestanding birth center in NC, and I felt so lucky to be accepted as a patient. They believe that pregnancy is not an illness and that it is intended to be as natural as possible. We fit right in there.
     When I was five months pregnant I took a week-long Doula training course. I took this course with all intentions of using everything I learned to achieve the kind of birth I knew all of my babies deserved. The course was eye-opening and I truly learned a lot. I met a lot of wonderful like-minded people as well. I met a HypnoBirthing instructor. She told me about HypnoBirthing, and we talked about our birth experiences.  I made a promise to myself that I would research HypnoBirthing and see if it was right for us. The more and more I read and watched videos the more I knew that I wanted to use HypnoBirthing during your beautiful birth. We studied and read and practiced. We were so excited to use such a calming approach to welcome you into our family.
 We moved in June to a little home with a big yard. We moved so Daddy could be closer to UNC (he was still in school). I was so happy because we were closer to the birth center.
 Your big brother was born 3 weeks (at 37 weeks) before his expected date. I figured the same would happen with you. We skipped family events because I was having so many practice contractions that I was sure you would come any minute…
 37 weeks passed… 38 weeks passed… 39 weeks passed… 40 weeks passed.
      I started to get a bit concerned, because the midwives really don’t want you to go past your 41st week. They would start suggesting induction. After 42 weeks they would require it. I knew an induction was not right for you or for me. I knew that the laundry list of interventions that I did not want normally stem form one “simple little” induction.
     I tried everything to help you come naturally. I walked, I ate pineapple, I ate the hottest peppers I have ever tasted, I cuddled with your daddy, I bounced on a birth ball all over the house, I took tinctures, I tried so many other things. The surges kept coming (and sometimes soooooo strong) but they always fizzled off.
     I finally decided to stop trying to make you come. I was so worried about being induced that I was forgetting that you knew what was right. You were safe and needed to stay.  So we went to the lake almost every day. We swam and enjoyed the sun. We played with Rosser. We talked to you. I sat with you alone a bazillion times in your bedroom talking to you and telling you that you could stay in my belly as long as you needed to, but it was safe out here too. I loved being with you like that. It was so peaceful.
 Week 41 arrived.
     Grammy called to see if you were on your way. She called everyday while I was pregnant with you. Grammy and Pop closed their antique shop for about 3 weeks straight because they were worried they would miss your birth!
     We went about our day.  Daddy went to school, and I cleaned up and played with Rosser. Daddy came home, and I started cooking a pot roast for dinner. Daddy was studying on the porch. I finished cutting the veggies, and Daddy came in the house to taste the roast. I didn’t have any flour so I drove to the corner store to get some. I talked to the man there for about 30 minutes about me being 41 weeks that day and how I had given up on “making” you come. He told me they had 5 children each of them going over 40 weeks. This made me happy! I drove home and walked into the kitchen.
 Then it happened. 5:00 pm August 29th (41 weeks pregnant).
     The practice surges again, but these were different. I felt breathless. I called your daddy in. I started to have to lean on him through the surges. They were coming quickly.
     I was still not convinced this was the “real thing”. You, my little stinker, had fooled me time and time again… but not this time, you wouldn’t fool me! I kept on cooking, just knowing that they would stop.
    We called Grammy and Pop and invited them over for dinner. I remember telling Grammy, “If I am not in labor, then at least I can feed you guys.” Daddy called our wonderful midwife, Jewell. She told me to relax and take a shower.  I got in the shower and it hit me like a wave.
 THIS IS IT!!!!!!
     I stayed in the shower for a bit, letting the water run over my belly. I thought about you a lot and told you how happy I was that we would hold each other soon. I got dressed and got a few things ready. I laid down and tried to relax, but I couldn’t. I felt this impending doom that we were going to have to travel to the birth center. I didn’t want to leave the house.I got up and swayed with each surge. I repeated over and over “I can do this, I am made to do this.”
     Daddy checked on me and stayed with me for a while. He was still trying to handle the half-cooked dinner and get Rosser ready for Pop to keep him.
     Grammy and Pop got there. Grammy came into Mommy and Daddy’s room and rubbed my back for a while. I don’t remember being in much pain, just feeling uncomfortable and more worried about the 20 minute drive. I did not want to be in a car!
     Your brother’s labor and birth was very long, about 30 hours. I was anticipating something a bit shorter but still pretty long with your birth. We did not call anybody or tell anybody that we were going to have you soon. We truly thought we would have time once we got to the birth center and would call everyone once we knew how your birth was progressing.
     We got in the car, Grammy following us, and drove to the birth center. I think I had about 6 surges in the car. They were very manageable. We had to drive through the middle of campus to get there, and I remember looking at all the college students and thinking that they have no idea a woman is in labor right next to them;  it made me laugh.
     We got to the birth center and we were met by Jewell and the nurse. We went into the room, and Jewell asked me if I wanted to be checked to see how far dilated I was. I did want to, so she checked. I was 5 cm. This was a discouraging number for me because it took 12 hours to birth your brother after 5 cm. I took a bit of time to process this and reminded myself that each birth was different.
     Your daddy and I stood in the middle of the birth room. He held me and I leaned on him. He gently whispered to me to relax. He could feel whenever I started to tense up. He knew that the more tense I was, the more likely pain would be present. He held me and rocked with me. He told me what a great job I was doing. He was perfect in that moment.
     I look back on it now and I think how romantic it kind of was: the love of my life slow dancing with me and whispering sweet words and reassurances into my ear. Thank you, Mason, for that moment I had with your daddy. I am blessed in so many ways.
     Jewell asked if I wanted to get into the tub and soak for a while. I think she could tell that we were both getting a bit tired. She lit some candles and got the water perfect. I slipped in and closed my eyes.
 I concentrated on my breathing.
 I concentrated on relaxation.
 I concentrated on you, my little Mason.
     That moment in the tub, with the candles illuminating the room, is one of my favorite moments in all of my memory. I was covered by a blanket of calmness and soaked in the natural numbness that my mind placed over my entire body. I wanted to stay like that forever.
     The surges came and went. I rolled my head with each one and made a small groaning noise as they passed through my body and gently pushed you down. I fell asleep between each surge and gently awoke when another one rolled through. I stayed like this for about an hour.
 9:00 pm
     Jewell checked me again and told me you were almost ready. Daddy ran to get the phone to call Nana. We had planned on her being there with us, but had no idea you would come so quickly! Knowing I would hold you soon gave me a huge energy rush. I came out of my relaxation a bit and started to feel the surges a bit more. Pressure started growing and I knew it wouldn’t be long.
     Jewell asked me if I wanted to get out of the tub. I didn’t, I wanted to stay right where I was. It was perfect.  She must have noticed that I was breathing differently because she said “If you feel the urge to bear down, do it. Don’t fight your body.”
     I started to bear down just a bit and could feel you moving down. Being in the water seemed to help with a very smooth birth for you. I think I did just a few little pushes and there you were. I do remember making a bit of noise, using my primal instincts to help my body. I don’t remember feeling any pain during this moment, just a huge rush of energy and excitement.
 I reached for you and held you close to my chest.
You were perfectly beautiful.
 The first thing I said when I held you was:
 “I did it.”
     I held you and looked at you and loved you and counted everything and relaxed.  You and I stayed so still in that tub, looking at one another in awe and amazement. I had been waiting to meet you for so long my precious baby.
     I remember Grammy asking if I was okay because I was so quiet. I was perfect; I was just in awe of you, Mason. I was in awe of your magical birth. I was in awe of how powerful my mind was. I was in awe of your daddy. I was in awe of every single thing that had just happened.
     I looked at you some more and this huge emotion rolled over me. You were so tiny and fragile, but you looked at me with these all-knowing eyes. I felt like you reached into my soul and knew everything about me. I felt that you knew more about life than I did. I felt that you had such an old soul from the moment our eyes met. I felt so much in that moment. Mason, I cannot ever accurately describe to you how your little body in my arms and your lovely beautiful eyes made me feel. I felt that you, me and daddy had done something spectacular together.
     I got out of the tub and Daddy held you. I got a shower and got dressed. Grammy loved on you and rocked you. We all ate a bit of late dinner and talked about your birth. Grammy tucked us all in the big bed and left to go help Pop at our house. Daddy studied in the bed and I nursed you right along beside of him. We all napped a bit. It was hard for me to sleep. I just wanted to look at you and smell you. You were not taken away from us for even a minute. A hearing test was administered while you nursed. You received no vaccinations or medications. Jewell and the nurse only came into check on us, look at you, and recount your beautiful birth with us. The amazing feeling that they truly cared for our family as a whole was so comforting. Nothing interfered with our bonding time.
 At around 6:00 am August 30, you were only about 9 hours old. We said goodbye to Jewell and the nurse and drove home where Grammy and Pop were waiting for you. Grammy had put a big beautiful bow on the mailbox. I loved driving up and seeing that.
 Rosser was still asleep and he was a bit surprised when he woke up to find a baby. He was skeptical of you at first, but we knew he would warm up soon. He didn’t like it when you cried; he often cried right along with you.
 We spent the day loving on you and cuddling. Nursing was priority, and I knew it would be like that for some time. I loved that I was the only one that could feed you.


Grammy stayed with us for about a week. She helped so much with Rosser and let me get some much needed naps and good food.
 Nana, Papa and Meme came to our house to see you the day after you were born. I loved that they met you in your home. We were all comfortable and relaxed. Everyone stayed and visited for a while. It just felt right.
Your birth taught me so many things. It taught me the power of my mind. It taught me the power of my body. It taught me that babies come when they are ready.
 Since experiencing your amazing birth I have started trusting my mind and body so much more. I know the power that my mind holds and that true happiness and relaxation come from within.
 Your beautiful name, Mason Gray Oldham was graciously lent by your Pop, your uncle and your first cousin. Ronald Gray Horner the first, second and third. I am so glad that you will forever have a connection with these amazing men.
 I am now a Certified HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator in Chapel Hill. I have the opportunity to help other families experience magical and transforming births just like yours. I owe this all to you, Mason. Thank you for all that your old soul has already taught me. I promise as your mommy to continue learning and growing with you.
 We love you and are so thankful for your marvelous life.


Love, Mommy and Daddy.


By |July 16th, 2012|News|0 Comments

Meet the New Boutique Staff

Courtney (with her adorable son) and Rose

Rose Campagnola
In 2006, Rose moved to NC from Colorado. She had recently become a birth doula and found the Birth Center to be a home away from home as a volunteer. In 2007, Rose helped open the Boutique and subsequently worked there for four years. After taking some time off to be with her son, Jonah, who was born in 2010, she is back as a clerk. She is very passionate about cloth diapering, baby wearing, and women’s health in general. 

Courtney Scott
Originally from Florida, Courtney and her husband moved to Durham in 2010 following completion of her Master’s in Social Work from NC State.  They have one son who was recently born at the Birth Center.  Since becoming a mother, Courtney is looking forward to creating ways to use her skills and experience to serve women and their families through the birthing experience.  She is passionate about helping women make choices about baby care that work for them!  Outside of working at the boutique, Courtney is creating a series of workshops and therapy groups for postpartum women.  She enjoys reading, singing, playing with her son, working in the garden, and hiking.

By |July 16th, 2012|News|0 Comments

Recipe: Corn Chowder



by Michelle Stevens

   
Corn chowder is a great summer meal, especially with fresh corn and veggies from the garden. This recipe makes enough to feed my family of six. It’s great with sandwiches, salad, or bread and is an easy but satisfying homemade dinner! You can also try adding peppers, squash, or whatever your family likes — just add them in when sauteing the onions. Enjoy! 

2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 medium red potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cups fresh or frozen corn OR 1 14-oz can corn (the sodium-free kind)
2 cans creamed corn
1 cup low-fat milk
1 cup fat-free half-and-half
salt and pepper to taste

  • Melt butter in large pot over medium heat. Saute onions, carrots, and celery until onions are translucent and carrots are fairly soft. Add a little salt and pepper. Meanwhile, in a separate small pot, cover potatoes with water and boil until tender.
  • Add the fresh or canned corn and sautee for 2-3 minutes. 
  • Add the creamed corn, potatoes, half-and-half, and milk. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Ready to serve as soon as it’s hot!
By |July 16th, 2012|Recipes|0 Comments

“We’re Havin’ a Heat Wave…”

By Allison Koch, CNM


…And pregnant ladies are especially at risk to get dehydrated in a heat wave!

Being well-hydrated can increase your comfort, improve the body’s ability to nourish itself, prevent preterm labor, and help avoid unnecessary inductions for oligohydramnios (low amniotic fluid).

So how do you know when your hydration is adequate?

First, be sure you are drinking AT LEAST 64 ounces of water daily. In the third trimester increase it by 8-16 ounces, to 80 ounces daily. If you don’t really like water, try electrolyte or vitamin waters. Popsicles count, too! (They are frozen water with a little flavor and color!) Second, your urine should be clear and colorless. You may pee frequently at first, but as your body gets better hydrated, you will adjust to the increased fluid intake.

Eat foods that help to hydrate you – watermelon, cantaloupe, cucumber, summer squash, and greens are all high in water. Those foods also can have a diuretic effect on you and decrease swelling in hands and feet.

Try getting in a pool for awhile. Your skin will absorb water and the osmotic pressure makes your kidneys get rid of excess extracellular fluid (the kind that collects in your extremities).

A good rule for yourself: Fill two 1-quart bottles with water every morning. The first one has to be gone by lunch and the second one has to be gone by dinner.

Here’s Why…

The number one cause of preterm labor is dehydration. The pregnant body is required to make 1.5 times its normal blood volume just to support the pregnancy. Approximately 2 liters wash over and through the placenta every hour in order to nourish the baby and carry away the baby’s waste, which is excreted through the mother’s kidneys.

When you become dehydrated from not taking in enough fluids, it creates a stressful environment for the baby. Hormone levels begin to rise, leading to an increase in Braxton Hicks contractions. The more Braxton Hicks contractions, the more prostaglandins are released, which leads to even more contractions. Sometimes, the stress is great enough to put the mother into true labor. If it goes on long enough, the cervix begins to change, and we are unable to stop the labor.

Those contractions from dehydration can lead to a hospital transfer because of the risk of a preterm birth. You can end up with an IV and medications you weren’t planning on because we are worried about a premature baby. It’s very hard to differentiate between premature labor and premature false labor. Because of the potential risk to the baby, we try to stop the labor. There are a limited number of tricks to try outside of the hospital, so there is a pretty high risk of hospital transfer when moms who haven’t reached 37 weeks are contracting regularly.

A few years ago, there was a study released about rates of low amniotic fluid according to the patient’s geographic location. Women who lived south of the Mason-Dixon line tended to have the lowest volumes of amniotic fluid when seen on ultrasound, especially during the summer months. Low amniotic fluid, called oligohydramnios, is a reason for induction of labor because of concerns about the effects on the baby.

The more hydrated you are, the more efficiently your body can nourish itself (and your baby). Think about it like this: If you have only a small fluid intake, your body will use up whatever you give it, until eventually you won’t have much to excrete. Your urine will get darker in color and more concentrated. Then your body will start to retain water as a way to protect its own circulatory system, because it senses that there is a shortage of water (drought). At first, you will get thirsty, but after prolonged drought, you are no longer thirsty. You may experience headaches, weakness/dizziness, and feel sluggish. You are likely to see swelling in your feet and then your legs.  As you hydrate better, you’ll excrete and get rid of the swelling because your body stops trying to hang on to fluid.

Get in the habit of staying hydrated, and when the temperature rises again, you’ll be ready!

By |July 16th, 2012|News|0 Comments

News from the WBWC Board


by Kaaren Haldeman

         
     Happy summer, everybody! At our board meeting on May 9 we installed Connie Semans as Secretary and Bruce Nelson as Vice-Chair. We also launched three new committees: Human Resources (Kia Caldwell, Chair), Planning (Jane Brown, Chair) and Executive (Kaaren Haldeman, Chair). We’ll soon be seeking staff to help with committee work in HR and Planning.
      The WBWC Board has also made substantial progress on re-negotiating our current lease, including additional space, more designated parking spaces and improvements in the 2nd floor air conditioning system. Here’s to a more comfortable and efficient work space!
      At our next meeting, July 18, we will be scheduling a “meet the board” event. Please stay tuned and we look forward to meeting everyone soon!

By |July 16th, 2012|News|0 Comments

Raising Great Big Brothers and Sisters!

by Claire C. McKiernan


WBWC patients (much like the staff) are a select group of strong, caring, nurturing, independent-minded women. So, if you are expecting another child, I’m going to assume you know the value of preparing an older sibling for a new baby. Here are some tips and resources on how to go about this task.

DO:

1)    Talk, talk, talk. No matter how young the soon-to-be older sibling is, talk to your child about the new baby long before the big day. Insert short conversations casually, not in a lecture. Give your child time to absorb snippets of information.

Talking can include your expectations of what the baby will be like, pointing out what will be different in the house (baby furniture, baby gates, etc.) and with the family dynamics (such as relatives stopping by to help out).  If you are already overwhelmed by these changes, your child will know it, so for your sake and his, put a positive spin on things.

Just as important, point out what will be the same. Kids and adults alike fear change, so make sure he knows how many things will remain unchanged, such as mealtimes, bedtimes, and story time.

Talk to your child about his birth and what he was like as a baby. Once the baby arrives, this can help him connect with the baby (“Did I do that when I was little, too?”)  If you have siblings, share your own happy memories.


Point out how he can do certain things, but a baby can’t. “You are using your fork so nicely. A newborn isn’t even allowed to hold a fork!” Give him a sense of pride in being his age, not to mention being more competent than a baby.

2)    Listen, listen, listen. When your child is talking about the baby, either with you or during the course of her play, notice what she already understands about a baby, any misinformation, and especially her fears and concerns. Ask questions and don’t be afraid to put into words what you think is worrying her. This can be difficult because you may be afraid that if you are wrong, you have just introduced a new fear. However, you know your child best, so follow your instincts, and don’t worry. Reassuring words are never wasted.



3)    Read children’s books about pregnancy and welcoming a new baby into the family. See “resources” below.
 

4)    Respect your child’s need to sort through feelings. One day your child may be eager to have a new sibling, the next day, not so much. From excitement and love to hate and even apathy, it’s normal. Tell him so. Acknowledge his feelings and later on, when you have a quiet moment, help him verbalize why he feels the way he does.

5)    Role play. When I was expecting my fourth child, I played a game with my children where they each got to be a newborn. I swaddled one in a blanket on the living room floor and the others would pretend it was the new baby. Each child loved being the baby and making baby sounds and being cooed over. But we also talked about the baby not being able to sit up, crawl away, or say when she was feeling overwhelmed.  This gave the “baby” a sense of the helplessness of a newborn.

We also talked about looking at the baby from 12-18 inches away so the baby could see us better. They tried this on the “baby”, too. Did this stop my kids from sticking their faces right up to the real baby later on? Of course not, but it helped, served as a reminder, and gave them a sense of empathy. Plus, they still enjoyed playing the game after the birth!

6)    Suggest ways in which your child can help with the new baby. A very young sibling can “help” by sitting and listening to a story while Mommy nurses. Toddlers can wipe the baby’s chin or hold a clean diaper while baby is being changed. Slightly older kids can pick out clean outfits and feed the baby once she is old enough.


7)    Reassure your child he is unique, loved, needed, and valued. Give specifics; they hold more weight and are more memorable.

8)    Have a “Do” list —things that your child can do with her younger sibling for fun: sing, read, play show and tell, etc. An actual written list (with words or pictures) that you and your child come up with together and stick to the fridge can be a fun and easy project.

9)    Let him know he is a teacher to the baby and the more he talks to the baby and models good behavior, the more the baby learns, even though the baby can’t speak yet.

10)  Understand your child will still need time with just you. Not an easy task, but even 5-10 minutes here and there lets her know you enjoy the time together. It also serves as proof when you tell her she is valued.

11)  Bring your child to a midwife appointment to hear the baby’s heartbeat. My kids loved this and were often allowed to help in some way.

12)  Have a surprise gift ready for each older sibling for the day the baby arrives. Likewise, I also had each child pick a gift out in advance to give the baby.

DON’T:

1)    Have a list of Don’ts. (Yes! I love irony!) That way lies resentment.

2)    Shame your child (directly or indirectly) if he doesn’t immediately take to the new little cherub in your life. Allow him space and time.


3)    Discourage her from having bad feelings. If she knows her feelings won’t be denied, she might surprise you with her reasons, which then gives you a chance to work them out together.

4)    Weigh your child down with the responsibility that he MUST help with the baby.  In other words, don’t force the #6 suggestion above.

5)    Blame the baby for your being too tired, uncomfortable, or busy to do something with your older child. State that you are tired and need a rest first (not: “the baby is making me too tired”), or make other fun suggestions.

6)    Suggest your child weed through her old toys for things she no longer needs and could be handed down (or worse, do it yourself).  If she does this of her own accord, fantastic.

7)    Tell him he has to be a big boy now and that he is no longer a baby. Expect days when he takes pride in being a big boy and days when he wants and needs to be a baby again. He is testing your love; rise to the challenge.

8)    Move your child out of the nursery at the last minute to give it to the baby. Relate a move to a new room to being a big kid (not to the baby) well in advance of the birth. Allow her to make some decisions on her new room. If the room is going to be shared, help your child create her own space within the room.

9)    Feel guilty or apologize for not being able to spend as much time with your child (unless you broke a promise, but avoid that, too). Yeah, sometimes there’s guilt, but families with multiple children have been around since the dawn of time and while there is change, adjustment, and, at times, exhaustion, there’s more than enough love, wonder, and learning to make it all worthwhile.

For the sake of symmetry (which I dearly love), I was going to come up with 12 “don’ts”. However, you probably know most of the don’ts. Besides, don’t you feel better reading something that empowers you with more DO’s than DON’Ts?

RESOURCES:

          Finally, there are loads of books out there for both parents and kids alike on welcoming a new baby into the family. I’m reluctant to recommend anything I haven’t read, so here is what my kids enjoyed:

My New Baby illustrated by Annie Kubler. This is a sweet wordless picture book that shows an older sibling interacting with the new baby (complete with Mommy discreetly breastfeeding). We gave this to our 16-month-old son when he became a big brother. Three years later he loaned it to his little brother.

My Mommy’s Midwife by Trish Payne and Hayley Holland. 2-5 years.

Baby on the Way by Martha and William Sears, and Christie Watts Kelly (This is much more comprehensive and I edited it accordingly for each child’s comprehension level.) 4-8 years.

The New Baby by Mercer Mayer.  3 years and up.

The Berenstain Bears’ New Baby by Stan Berenstain. 4 years and up.

By |July 16th, 2012|News|0 Comments

What’s New at the Boutique


By |July 16th, 2012|News|0 Comments