Thursday, August 4, 2011

World Breastfeeding Week: Impact of Birthing Practices on Breastfeeding

It is World Breastfeeding Week this week! I hope everyone has found a way to celebrate the event in their own communities, or is communicating about WBW with their networks, including social networks. When it comes to breastfeeding, birth matters! La Leche League has a free podcast available with Linda Smith (author of Impact of Birthing Practices on Breastfeeding). During the podcast she mentions midwives and also talks about doulas. Last year, I wrote an article about the birth-breastfeeding continuum and also another post about birth practices and breastfeeding.

In the past I've also written about Diane Wiessinger and her wonderful presentations about mammals, birth, and breastfeeding. So, it is also exciting to me that LLL has a free podcast available from Diane! The podcast is called, "What other mammals can tell us about nursing."

There are many more wonderful podcasts available for free on the LLLI website. What a great resource!

In my own community our local LLL Group is celebrating World Breastfeeding Week by hosting a family picnic in the park and a Big Latch On event. Here is more about WBW from La Leche League USA:

LinkLLL USA’s World Breastfeeding Week Celebration’s 2011 focus will be to:
  • Connect with other breastfeeding advocates.
  • Utilize the Big Latch On to bring awareness of breastfeeding and show solidarity with all nursing mothers.
  • Contact local communicators to help them raise awareness and offer our expertise.
  • Show how the mother/baby breastfeeding dyad is the beginning of lifelong communication.

Join with us in supporting WBWC 2011 and in communicating the importance of breastfeeding and the vital need for support available from La Leche League.

*To increase communication about breastfeeding in a variety of ways.
*To raise funds for La Leche League USA, with emphasis on local communities.
*To raise awareness that breastfeeding prepares humans for life.
*To raise awareness that the lack of breastfeeding affects the child, mother, community and health care systems.
*To raise awareness that La Leche League Leaders and Groups offer breastfeeding information and support to all.

I'd like to close with two quotes from Diane Wiessinger about the importance of a physiological birth to babies and to the breastfeeding relationship:

“A trip to a strange place with strange smells. Bright lights, busy people. Numbness. A carefully cleaned and wrapped baby who doesn’t stay with Mama. Any other mammal would reject her baby after a beginning like that. Which means that most American mothers have to welcome their newborns with their heads and not their hearts. Not the best start for confident mothering. Not the best start for breastfeeding. Not the best start for love.”

She also says, “Don’t be fooled by the Birth Channel. A normal birth is not a medical event or a source of horrible pain. It happens on its own, with the woman moving in whatever way feels right to her, feeling the labor and feeling–being–in charge. Find someone who will support this.”

CfM Blogger

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

GRN: Transforming Maternity Care: Connecting Consumer Activists to the Larger Picture

Hello Friends,

A new web tool - called Transforming Maternity Care - was launched this spring on the premise that a high-quality, high-value maternity care system is within reach. The web-based project is a collaborative effort of more than 100 diverse health care leaders, with the goal of pulling together high quality tools and resources to transform maternity care in the US.

Citizens for Midwifery is excited and hopeful about the web tool, which offers a vision, a blueprint, and action steps for groups and individuals. Progress is highlighted and resources are organized and offered to interested participants. We look forward to integrating our work into each of the key steps. This project is a critical step to pulling together the incredible energy of the birth movement right now, and we are happy to see how they are recognizing the key role that you - the citizen activist - can play in transforming birth.

Amy Romano, project director, says, "...the aim was to foster, accelerate and coordinate implementation of the consensus Blueprint for Action. There's so much work to be done, but there are also unprecedented opportunities and many examples of individuals, facilities, organizations, and agencies doing great work and making measurable improvements, so we want to shine a spotlight on those examples and make it easier for others to replicate and adapt successful programs."

This project symbolizes a new level of maturity reached by the maternal health and childbirth community. With the high level of coordination provided by this project, the efforts of the birth advocacy movement can be effectively coordinated to ensure the best possible maternity care for women.

You can help too! Visit the Transforming Maternity Care website and become familiar with the vision and blueprint. We dug into the project and wanted to highlight ways that you--a consumer activist-- can help take part in the Transforming Maternity Care project.

Here's what you should check out:

Take Action Page for Consumer Advocates
Toolkit Resource Page
The Data Center
Share Your Story
TMC Blog featuring news and analysis from Childbirth Connection staff

Consumer advocates drive health care change and it's important that we work together to create a safe maternity health care system that works for all women. Kudos to Childbirth Connection creating a tremendous resource and *thank you* for your tireless efforts. Together we are creating healthy and safe birth options for women and their babies.


Hillary Boucher

P.S. Now is a great time to enter your project in the Share Your Story section. For a limited time, qualifying entries will receive a gift from Childbirth Connection's Bookstore.