The Weekly Newsletter for Heart of Houston Birth and Wellness Families and Friends
And away we go!
Ya'll, I've been looking forward to writing this Bumpdate since spring! We officially have a move date! That's right, we are finally moving into our forever home at the end of this month. Barring a zombie apocalypse, we'll begin seeing folks at 6550 Mapleridge starting August 29th. Some of our current HOH clients and Whole Heart Collective members got a sneak peek of the space over the weekend. Our friends at BABE held a World Breast and Chest feeding Week celebration in the finished community room. The amazing Bee the Doula had a photo booth set up to capture those sweet nursing moments and I can't wait to see how the pictures turn out! Our guests were treated to a tour of the almost-finished space plus swag bags and yummy treats. It was most time we've spent in the space and it felt great being there. We're going to need help with the move and so many of you have asked how you can help. HOH member Amanda Wren has put together a signup sheet for the days where we'll need assistance. As promised, you will be paid in pizza and hugs! Stay tuned to our social media pages for more details!
A fed baby is a happy baby
Every year when World Breastfeeding week comes along I can't help feel guilty for celebrating something that is not possible for so many people for so many reasons. We have this vision in our heads that breast/chest feeding is as natural as childbirth and that it should be as easy as putting babe to breast. Well, anyone who has body fed their baby knows that is not the typical experiance. It's a skill that both you and your baby have to master and it's imperative you have the right support. After giving birth to our first daughter in 2015 I was lucky enough to have very few issues with breastfeeding and enjoyed nursing for about 15 months. My supply was always just enough to satiate my petite girl and when it wasn't, I was fortunate enough to have a village of parents willing to donate their extra milk. I was lucky. I had extensive breast/chestfeeding knowledge from my years in reproductive health and guidance from my community of parents who happen to be my doula clients. Most folks do not have that much support.
There are dozens of reasons why breast/chest feeding does not work out for some folks and many of them are issues that can be corrected with the right support. The beauty of the midwifery model of care is that your care does not end when your baby arrives. We want to be sure you have all the best support to help your achieve your feeding goals. There are also folks who have no desire to body feed their babies and that's perfectly fine too! We know a fed baby is a happy baby.
In 2017 when we decided to have another baby, this time my wife would carry, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed this new baby as well. As a doula I had supported other non-gestational parents with inducing lactation and felt confident that I would be able to do it. I reread Breastfeeding Without Birthing and consulted with Leah Jolly, IBCLC on the best time frame to begin and started a pumping and supplement routine around the middle of the second trimester. It was time consuming but I knew it be worth it to be able to help my wife during her recovery and to form a bond between myself and this new baby. Early in the process my OB recommended I get a baseline mammogram since I was turning forty. Six week into inducing lactation I received a call that would essentially end any chances I had in nursing our next baby. I suspended my regiment and began the two year process that would result in an early breast cancer diagnosis and a mastectomy of my left breast during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fun times. But before then, our little ray of sunshine Anais Mara was born. While I wasn't able to provide my milk for our sweet baby I was able to comfort nurse (or non nutritional nursing) and use a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS) to keep her belly full. My wife did amazingly and went on to nurse well past the 2 year mark.
While I was heartbroken that I couldn't share in the full nursing responsibilities, looking back now I know it was for the best.I learned what it means to be a supportive spouse to a breastfeeding parent and found alternative ways to feed and bond with our baby. We always encourage folks to body feed when it feels right and we are only a phone call away if you need help. Ultimately, a fed baby is a happy baby and we LOVE happy babies.
If you missed this weekend's Core Class on breast/chest feeding you can access the recording in the member area of our website. IBCLC Leah Jolly is available for in-person feeding support every other week during postpartum support circle Thursdays 10am-12pm. Core classes and support groups are included in your Whole Heart Collective membership. For more information on joining the Whole Heart Collective visit our membership page.
This Week's Events
Rebel Birth Childbirth Series: Mondays 6-9pm August 15-September 12, No class labor day 9/5. This is complete childbirth education for those who have a rebel heart. Come learn the ins and outs of birth and get to know the tools that will work for YOU as an individual or family. We aren’t peddling one philosophy here, we want to help you to figure out what you want and how to get it! Please register here.
Pregnancy Core Class, Stages of Labor: Saturday August 20th 6-8pm. We had great turn out for our last Saturday Pregnancy circle so We're doing it again! We HIGHLY encourage all expectant clients and their support person(s) to join us for this session. We'll cover ways to support the laboring person at each stage of the laboring process. This class is free to current HOH clients and Whole Heart Collective Members. Please RSVP
Pregnancy Core Class, Comfort Measures: Sunday August 28th 2-4pm. This interactive class will be great practice for game day! Bring your support person(s) and cycle through the six comfort stations set up throughout the birth center for hands on practice. This class is free to current HOH clients and Whole Heart Collective Members. Please RSVP
Postpartum Support Group: Every Wednesday from 10-12ish and Thursday 9:30-11:30. Zoom link has been sent to all HOH clients and Whole Heart Collective members. Email Jessica if you need more information.
Feeding Clinic: Twice a month during Postpartum group. Keep an eye on schedule for specifics
Queer Parent Circle: Second Sunday of every month 2-4pm Open to the public!
Birthworkers Circle: Second Sunday of every month starting Jan 2022 time 11am-1:30pm