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It seems the tide is turning in our Western society, and we are finally talking about birth. There are blogs, magazines, support groups, and forums where parents gather to share these most intimate and yet most universal stories. They’re stories of hospital births, medicated births, water births, home births, unassisted births, premature births, overdue births, stillbirths, surrogate births, outdoor births, multiple births, caesarean births: the whole, beautiful spectrum of childbirth, of the moment life is given to a new being. But more often than not, these stories are shared among mothers, and then that’s where the storytelling ends. The stories remain contained in that sanctum of women, our contemporaries, and rarely do we speak of them outside these female spaces.
 
But is there a more intimate, defining moment between mother and child than the moment when one is birthed from the body of the other? What a mother calls her birth story is her child’s birth story, too, and in sharing that story with the child, the child is given roots to understand his or her origin.
 
Below are some ways to share your child’s birth story with him or her and open up a new connection between parent and child.
 
  1. Use age-appropriate language to tell a comforting story based on the event’s simple details and observations. What was the weather like? Where were you? Who was there? Was there music playing? What time was your child born? This is enough detail for young children, and it begins a conversation that may deepen over the years.
  2. Use photographs. Let your child see photographs of his or her pregnant mother, during labor, after the birth and over the next few days. Your child will likely ask questions about where he or she was and how your body changed, so answer as simply and straightforwardly as you can.
  3. Start a family tradition of telling your child her birth story on her birthday. As the years go by, her story will become a part of her, and she will be able to tell it herself. This allows her to celebrate and take ownership of her story.
  4. Make your child a book of his birth story. It can be a simple, handwritten, hand-sewn booklet, made of pretty paper and kept in a special place where he can access it whenever he likes. If you’re artistic, you might include drawings. When he’s older, your child will appreciate having his story told in your unique handwriting.
  5. Ask your child about her birth and the time before she was born. As soon as your child is old enough to hold a conversation, began to ask her if she remembers being inside mama, being born, or even being a tiny baby. Many mothers are astonished by their child’s accuracy, and starting this conversation young can keep these memories in her consciousness.
  6. Encourage other people to tell their memories of the birth to your child, too. Your child may enjoy hearing about himself from another parent or a grandparent.
  7. Keep it positively framed. Many births are difficult, and you don’t want your child thinking she hurt you during her birth. You might explain how sometimes babies and mothers have to work extra hard together during childbirth and that this is a special journey they’re on together.
  8. Encourage your child to process his birth story through drawing. You can draw alongside him, too.
  9. As your child ages, let her lead the way, but you can give more details as you wish. You know your child best and know how much information she will be happy with. If your child had a traumatic birth, take care to ensure that the overwhelming message is one of love and connection, despite any difficulties during labor.
  10. Use educational tools like MamAmor dolls to tell a child his birth story. Visual aids can make a story more tangible for a child. He can see how you were standing or in bed, learn which position he was born in, and understand about the placenta. Keeping the dolls accessible also gives him the opportunity to re-enact his birth story and retell it in his own way, letting him truly put his own voice to it.

 

Enjoy the beautiful birth art, and support the artists in any way you can.

Peace on earth starts at birth, the world needs to see more of this. Please share!

Happy Holiday Season!

 

 

1)  Set of 5 Cards ~  Amanda Greavette

A set of 5 festive cards, each uniquely created around the mother and child theme. Perfect for adding to a gift, or as a gift themselves for Christmas or the holidays. These little wintery illustrations can be found in Amanda's Etsy shop, along with her large birth oil paintings, prints, and cards.

 

2)  Juno Lucina Goddess of Midwifery Sculpture ~  BrigidsGrove

This handmade Story Goddess carries the energy of Juno Lucina, the Roman goddess of fertility, pregnancy, and childbirth. Said to watch over pregnant women and birthing women, she is one of the goddesses of midwives. She is cast in resin and colored with russet (red) mica pigment. Her silver-tone belt carries a moss agate stone bead. Moss agate is known as the midwife's stone and is said to be associated with fertility, abundance, growth, and strength. The charm is a rose-gold tone tree of life which represents the midwife's connection to the life force as well as making a thematic connection the placenta and its vital role.

 

3)  2017 Birth Art Calendar ~  Amy Haderer

This calendar features thirteen full-color original art pieces © Amy Haderer (www.themandalajourney.com). Each month lists holidays and moon cycles, which can sometimes be helpful for birth workers! Makes a perfect gift for your favorite doula, midwife, mama, or birth junkie, plus after 2017 you can upcycle it, frame it, hang it, or use it to decorate other things (journals, greeting cards, etc).

 

4) Personalize Birthing Dolls ~ MamAmor Dolls

Beautiful birth and breastfeeding dolls that you can personalize! Choose skin color, eye color, hair and dress colors. You can name your doll and choose a color of the sling. Dolls take 7 to 10 days to be created.

 

5) Affirmation Cards for Pregnancy and Labor ~ Lauren Tannehill

Using visualization techniques can reduce fear and release tension, which can promote relaxation and, in turn, reduce pain. They are a QUICK AND EASY way to connect with your baby and visualize the birth of your dreams! With affirmations like "I'm in Charge of my Birth" or "I deserve a Pleasurable Birth", Empowering Pregnancy and Birth Affirmation Cards are a gift for any woman, no matter what way you decide to give birth! Home birth, scheduled C-section, induction, water birth, unassisted birth, Birth Center, etc.

 

6) Breastmilk Crystal ~ JoBri Milk Charms

This Crystal holds your very own professionally preserved Breastmilk hand wrapped with over 2 ft of solid sterling wire solid sterling silver chain included.

This November, we are going to the Middle East! We'll be exhibiting at the 2nd. Annual Natural Birth & Breastfeeding Conference in Dubai, UAE, from November 2nd to 8th, 2016.

 

 

 

In collaboration with Natures Way International, we created these gorgeous MamAmor Minis that are already in Dubai, getting ready for the big event!

 

 

We'll be also attending a few workshops, some of the speakers include: Janet Balaskas, Sara Ockwell-Smith and Nancy Mohrbacher.

 

For more information about the conference, workshops, retreat and schedule, visit the conference website:  http://natureswayint.com/nbbcgcc

Hope to see you there!

We are so excited! Personalize MamAmor dolls are here! You can now create the doll of your dreams in 5 simple steps: 

Step 1- Choose your doll's skin color  

Step 2- Choose your doll's eye color

Step 3- Choose your doll's hair color

Step 4- Choose your doll's nursing dress color

Step 5- Choose your doll's sling color
 

Personalize dolls can be Birthing and Breastfeeding, VBAC and/or Breastfeeding/Babywearing Only.

Each doll comes with a matching flower hair clip and a birth certificate with the name of your choice!

 

 

Did your preschooler wander into the birth room, say, “Oh what an adorable baby!” and everyone in your family lived happily ever after?

 

Well, mine didn’t either.  Preparing for the birth helped A LOT, but nothing really prepares you for Child #2 and your child to feel replaced.  If it doesn’t happen on day 1, it will happen at some point.  How can it not?  Your child, who is older and has more expectations for better behavior, notices that you don’t pick as much on the new sibling.  You also spend a lot of time feeding, cuddling and caring for this baby, taking care of things the older child can do herself.  So it’s not hard to see why your child may not be feeling quite so special anymore.  How can you positively involve your child with the baby?

 

1) Ask your child to help you

While your preschooler should not be your top tier baby-sitter, she can gather things you may need for the baby’s bath or feeding.  Se also probably remembers better than you right now and sees where you put the nursing pillow you can’t do without.  She can even hold her sibling for short periods of time.  Depending on the age and maturity of your older child, and the age of your baby, you’ll know how much supervision to give.  Don’t overuse her help, though.  Let her be a kid.

 

2) Help your child make it special

Whether it’s the big brother T-Shirt or a picture of the baby, help her to celebrate with the school community or people besides your shared friends and family.  Langston was very proud to introduce his brother and his new role as the elder brother during Circle Time, even though the baby himself was too young to attend.

 

3) Help your child to feel like older is cool

Your child may quickly realize that the younger sibling gets a lot of attention and relatively little criticism.  Try to point out occasions when being older is special.  For instance, your child gets to eat birthday cake, play on the playground and use toys his baby sibling knows nothing about.

 

4) Integrate the baby into daily activities whenever possible

This is the one with which I need the most help.  Integrating the activities of my older child with a baby routine seems completely impossible on some days, but wearing the baby does help me to walk around with two children, take train trips and get out of the house.

 

5) Try to do something every day without the baby

But isn’t this supposed to be getting your child involved with the baby?  Yes and no.  Your child does not want to hear all baby all the time.  My son hates the well-meant question, “How do you like being a big brother?” and changes the subject, though he’s happy to talk about his brother if others are talking about him.

For me, reading books was a good way to stay connected to my older son.  We could talk about topics outside of the baby, and we could also spend time together while my husband got the baby to sleep.  We could also go on short outings together without the baby in tow.

 

As my baby becomes a crawling and then walking toddler, I’m learning that getting used to each other is a lifelong process.  My son thought his brother was pretty cute until he tried to put everything into his mouth.  But he also enjoys making his brother laugh and helping him to learn new skills.  (I never wanted the baby to learn to climb before he learned to walk).  Motherhood is an unfolding adventure which I’m learning is best to approach one day at a time!

 

Kristen Witucki - New Jersey, US

www.mamamordolls.com

From Monday July 25 through Thursday July 28 ONLY! Get a regular Birthing and Breastfeeding, or VBAC mama doll from our collection and receive 4 awesome gifts!


1- Free sling
2- Free doll bag
3- Free Sibling Preparation eBook
4- Free Shipping (US and Canada only)
No coupon code needed, just get your doll and we'll send her along with all the gifts. Don't miss out!

 

SEE THE NEW DOLLS!

 

 

 

“The birds and the bees” talk is a shared tale for parents. The moment it arrives is often dreaded, full of embarrassment and involves complicated stories about storks and babies that require unlearning down the line.

It doesn’t have to be this way!

In a recent conversation on our Facebook page, parents shared how their children responded to learning about birth – sometimes by witnessing it firsthand.

“My oldest daughter watched me give birth to her baby sister,” said Amanda Boucher. “I’ve yet to see or hear of any negative consequences of kids seeing birth or having information.”

You may find your child is ready to talk at an age younger than you expected, as children have friends whose parents are pregnant or they hear about babies being born. Let your child lead and tell you when he or she is ready to learn about the body and what happens during birth. She may indicate when she’s receptive to the conversation by doing what so many of us did as kids, influenced by our basic childbirth knowledge: sticking a baby doll up her shirt.

“I can remember doing this as a kid, putting my doll in a shirt and pretending to have a baby,” Rita Hayes said. “Is there something a child should not know about this? I mean, it’s just having a baby. It’s how they got there. Maybe we should stop treating reproduction like some weird thing.”

With reproduction being the driving force of our population, it’s pivotal that your child learns about it in a calm, loving, matter-of-fact way. Using the proper terms for body parts can make her adult experience more comfortable, since how children learn about birth influences their relationship to it for the rest of their lives.

“Children don’t need to be micro-managed and shielded from life,” Leanne Booth said. “They need to encounter and see life being lived in order to learn how to manage their own.

A child’s curiosity about birth, though, is separate from sexual intercourse.

“My older kids have seen me give birth twice at home, and they still haven’t asked questions about conception,” said Natalie Linden. “These are two separate topics! Making birth a normal topic (and a normal part of life) empowers my daughters to feel like their bodies are pretty awesome!”

To recap, our top tips for a smooth conversation about birth:

1. Be matter-of-fact in your storytelling.
2. Let your child tell you when he or she is ready to talk.
3. Don’t be embarrassed: Having a baby is how we all got here.
4. Use the proper terms for body parts.

It’s what MamAmor Dolls are all about: empowering children through education.

 

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You are pregnant again.  Congratulations!  But this time, you don’t have time to bask in any glow, rest during the nausea of your first trimester or the fatigue of those final weeks.  You have an older child to chase after, entertain and explain about the mysterious miracle occurring each day.  Involving my first child in my pregnancy helped me to stay emotionally attached to and excited about this new life.  Here are five simple ways to involve your child in life before baby arrives.

 

Tell your child you are pregnant when it feels right for you

Most experts advise waiting until the end of the first trimester when the risk of miscarriage has dropped considerably.  While I do not dispute the incredible wisdom of this advice, I felt compelled to tell my son right away, because he wanted me to participate in more physical activities than I felt comfortable doing while pregnant.  As a result, my son did get some education about death when one pregnancy turned out to be a very early miscarriage.  But he also saw very early ultrasound pictures of the successful pregnancy which followed.  In short, be aware of the consequences of early revelation, but do what feels right for you.

 

Take your child to some pregnancy appointments

Pregnancy appointments were usually times I could focus on the life to come rather than the life that was already there.  However, it’s good to bring your child to a few appointments.  This way, she can get to know your caregiver, watch a typical belly-measuring exam and hear the baby’s heartbeat.

 

Bring out your child’s baby pictures.

You may have the urge to think of your first child/about to be older sibling as bigger, more mature, more independent.  But I know my son became more enthralled with baby pictures when he realized that he used to be one himself.  I think showing the pictures to him also helped to remind me that he is still little and still needs my mothering.

 

Use good books and toys to prepare for a baby

Children love books of all kinds, and books about the birth of a sibling or life with a new sibling are very easy to find.  Because we were having a home birth, I found Hello Baby and Mama, Tell Me about When Max Was Born to be the most helpful.  In one book, the child saw the entire birth, while in another, the child left with a relative during the birth.  This way, my son could talk about what he wanted to do before the time came.  But many great books exist to match your birth circumstances.

High-quality educational toys can also help to explain pregnancy, birth and nursing to your child.  MamAmor dolls were the first dolls my son actually showed interest in, as he learned about birth, breastfeeding and his new role in the family.

 

Let your child participate in the birth

If you are giving birth in a hospital, your child may not be able to attend the birth.  If you give birth at home, you can decide how much your child should see of the birth.  My son watched me during early labor, left with my sister during the most excruciating part of delivery and ran back in when the baby was born.  He still remembers when his brother came out before he was even cleaned up.  But he got a very good understanding of how birth worked by participating to a degree that was comfortable.

 

Allowing my child to participate in my pregnancy gave him a lot of time to prepare for a very big change in his life, but it also gave me a little time to “bask in the glow,” even while I still ran after him.

 

Kristen Witucki - New Jersey, US

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In the years before I became a mother, I barely gave a thought to toys. I remembered fondly the toys of my youth, but I never really spent any time considering the decisions that parents make when it comes to choosing their children’s playthings. However, that changed soon after having had my first child.

In the age of mass production, of companies placing profit before ethics and of children growing up with overwhelming choice, suddenly what I provided to play with really mattered to me. My eldest two children are boys and throughout their first year, we were inundated with loud beeping, flashing, singing plastic objects,  many of which I couldn’t even figure out what they were supposed to do. It seemed that the nurturing connection and the value of toys were somehow missing and that the point of these toys seemed to be that they were cheap, eye-catching and their lifespans were fleeting. This worried me, I didn’t want my children to be part of another generation of consumers who place little value on both things and (even worse) on the lives of other human beings. I also wanted to avoid, as far as possible, contributing to landfill sites full of plastic, broken toys, that had long-since been abandoned for the “next big thing”. Most importantly, I wanted my children’s toys to foster connection and understanding, I wanted them to use play to learn about and develop their empathy and relationships with others, not to be moulded from birth into isolated beings, staring at screens and pressing buttons, the effect of this generation being the first to truly grow up plugged into screens is a worry to me and I often think about what the consequences may be in the future.

 What I really wanted from a toy was for it to be tactile, open-ended, encourage creativity and for it to reflect real-life. Alongside this, I wanted to avoid contributing to child labour and other morally suspect business practices, I wanted longevity and for the product to be sustainable and made with natural materials. Over time I gathered a collection of toys that I believed fitted the bill; chunky wooden animals, a play kitchen, and building blocks dyed with safe, natural colours. We also started a small collection of soft-bodied dolls, babies that my children enjoyed carrying around and cuddling up with.

 My discovery of MamAmor Dolls had me pouring over the website and yearning for one for my children (and in all honesty myself). At this time I was also training to be a childbirth educator and I was beginning to realise the importance of speaking openly to our children about birth, particularly if we were to change the birth conversation for future generations and make it an accessible and easy subject for our own daughters. The dolls ticked so many boxes for me. They are made by a small team of women who are known personally to Adriana, the creator of MamAmor. These are not mass-market, each one is handmade with love, using the finest quality materials, no hidden nasties or chemicals and no workers being exploited and paid a pittance or sleeping on workshop floors. On top of this, the dolls are representative of real women, there are no unattainable body shapes or sexualisation, they are resolutely dolls of women, of mothers. What’s more, the dolls are made in a variety of skin tones, unlike the majority of toys which represent only a small section of society. These dolls are truly inclusive.

The added bonus to MamAmor dolls is that they are absolutely beautiful and call out to be touched and picked up. They appeal to adults as well as children and I often have one sat at the centre of my women’s circles, representing the Mother in all of us. Many of the women I work with, find them irresistible and they have been the starting point for many wonderful conversations about childbirth, as they seem to open up the channels of communication through their easy handling and touch.

The dolls are investment pieces, ours have been played with daily for over two years, by three children and are still in perfect order. They have opened up conversations and allowed my children and me to process their births. They bring me joy and remind me of a piece of advice a friend’s parent once gave me. “In looking for a toy, ask not what the toy can do for the child, but what can the child do with the toy.”

 

 Victoria Machin - UK

 

 

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