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  1. "Instead of setting a "BF for a year" goal, set mini goals: one week, one month, two months, etc. each time you hit your mini goal, you can set a new one and its amazing how quickly all of those mini goals add up to a year+” Katie MC

 

  1. “Find a support person who will be captain of your cheering squad. Celebrate your BF goals and victories, and lean on them when you just want to give up!” Amie K

 

  1. “Don't give up on your hardest day” Erica B

 

  1. “Watch your baby, not the clock” Katie G

 

  1. “Comfort nursing is okay” Allyssa S

 

  1. “Locate a good IBCLC to support you, and educate yourself about breastfeeding before birth” Amanda B

 

  1. “When it feels absolutely horrible and hopeless, TALK with someone! It's okay to feel like crap, but you shouldn't keep it to yourself ” Terese E

 

  1. “It hurts and is difficult in the beginning. But it does get better” Anna-Elizabeth S

 

  1. “Even when you think that baby can't possibly need to eat any more, put that baby to breast! All those snacks help establish your supply!” Brenda W

 

  1. “If you are committed, stick with it and use the breastfeeding clinic if you are having any issues. And learn to breastfeed side laying, you will be so much more rested” Raeny I

 

  1. “If weight gain and diaper output is good, you have enough milk and baby is getting enough. Surround yourself with supportive people. You can't nurse too often. If you're struggling, reach out for qualified support” Sarah CW

 

  1. “It gets better. The first two weeks can suck and you will be more tired than you thought possible but it is so incredibly worth it, ask for help!!” Jessa E

 

  1. “If you feel like something is off, get help sooner rather than later. See an LC, reach out to your local LLL, etc. Waiting will make things worse!” Samm WW

 

  1. “It's tough in the beginning but it really does get easier... Don't give up!” Taylor C

 

  1. “If there is a group in your area then join it. Great to be around other breastfeeders” Chelsea B

 

  1. “Stay in bed. Keep the baby close. This is not the time to share the baby with everyone. Rest. Heal. Drink lots of water” Allison G

 

  1. “Give it all you can, but don't feel like a failure if you can't or don't want to” Gia W

 

  1. “It's OK to ask for help... No matter how much knowledge you have” Angela B

 

  1. “Babies are learning too!” Dominyk D

 

  1. “It gets better. It won't hurt forever” Lucy B

 

  1. “One day at a time. It gets better” Lala MC

 

  1. “Just keep feeding and keep feeding and keep feeding! Enjoy those little soft hands and feet and adorable face looking up or milk drunk! Just keep feeding and keep feeding! Tune out the world and let it be time just for you and baby! Those time fly so fast!” Chai K

 

  1. “The first 3 weeks is a test don't give up how much you pump is not how much you actually have, please take care of yourself and do not let your breast get so full, this will happen especially after having your baby it's why I couldn't do it the first time and second time it's not just put baby on breast and that's it. Educate yourself on breastfeeding and you will be successful” Stephanie A

 

  1. “Ignore everyone and trust yourself, except the professional help that you get if you run into issues, and don’t be afraid to ask for that professional help” Heather H

 

  1. “Listen to your baby more than anyone” Melissa S

 

  1. “Breastfeeding is 90% determination and only 10% supply” Jody M

 

  1. “Grab a glass of water before you sit down to nurse. Nothing worse than getting all set up and realizing you're thirsty too!” Laura S

 

  1. “Remember it's called breastfeeding not nipple feeding so get as much breast in as you can” Lala MC

 

  1. “You rub your nipple on their top lip so they open very wide then stuff it in quick!!” Lala MC

 

  1. “If at all possible, ask people to help you be able to sleep, eat lots of healthy things and drink lots of water. If they can help you to do those things they are helping you breastfeed successfully. Join a local support group for when you have questions!” Dominyk D

 

  1. “During growth spurts when baby wants to eat constantly, just go to bed and have an all day/night buffet. Supply will increase quickly and you get a much-needed rest. (Bring snacks!)” Lynn H

 

  1. “Don't be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes it's hard for both of you to figure it out. But maybe try a lactation consultant, the "expert" advice of friends and family may not be as encouraging as you hope” Rebecca DS

 

  1. “Join La Leche League and go to meetings. Read the book 'The womanly Art of Breastfeeding” Laura M

 

  1. “Give it 6 weeks, like any new skill it takes time to learn, for both you and your baby. Of course it's natural but it doesn't always come naturally, keep trying and it will all come together for both of you. Drink plenty of water and ask for help if you are struggling” Juliet R

 

  1. “Trust your instincts” Joanna P

 

  1. “Almost every breastfeeding problem will be helped/fixed by breastfeeding as often as possible. Don't break the momentum!!!” Anne W

 

  1. “Get support. A couple good people who will share and support your goals goes a long way!” Jean TM

 

  1. “Let nothing get between your baby and your boobs!” Chai K

 

  1. “Spend the first week resting as much as possible. You just had a baby, your body is recovering, your hormones are shifting. Stay in bed as much as possible! Keep baby skin to skin, and just work on nursing!! Let others take care of details. Or get a post partum doula!!!” Allison G

 

  1. “Don't be afraid to be the "extra needy" person with questions” Bethany M

 

  1. “Don't stare at the clock. It doesn't tell you how full your newborn/baby's belly is” Brittany A

 

  1. “It will hurt. I haven't met a mom yet where it didn't hurt. If it keeps hurting for ages, get help, but don't be discouraged and think you're failing when it hurts...” Kylie A

 

  1. “Put nipple cream on for a few months leading up to the birth, it helps moisturize the nipples and prevents all cracking and soreness” Rose S

 

  1. “Don't give up on your hardest day! Nursing may be natural and normal but it is also hard for some (a lot) of moms! You aren't alone in those struggles! Find support! Also, yes, it is normal for your infant to nurse what feels like constantly” Crystal M

 

  1. “Keep snacks at all of your nursing places... We even got a mini fridge for our bedroom upstairs so I can keep fruit and cold bottled water next to the bed for midnight nursing” Noel EM

 

  1. “Baby feeding "all the time" isn't a sign you aren't making enough milk. Neither is what you can pump” Sara G

 

  1. “Drink far more water than you think you'll need, and relax” Megan J

 

  1. “Get all the paperwork settled between your insurance company and durable medical goods supplier BEFORE baby is born. That way, you can go pick up your pump right after baby is born” Andrea E
  2. “It takes 4 to 6 weeks for both of you to learn how to do it, be patient, it will click one day soon. If you are having trouble, ask for help, if you want to learn carpentry, you ask a carpenter. Breastfeeding is no different, it's a learned skill so ask someone who's been there. You are doing a great job” Juliet R

 

  1. “Nipples need to build a callus just like hands do. Nurse one side a feeding to give them a break” Hazel IS

 

  1. “Give it time! This is a skill for both of you! It may come easy for one or both of you, it may be hard at first for one or both of you! Trust yourself, count the diapers and relax. I always had hard first months and then BLISS!” Kass K


  1. “Follow your instinct. That knows best! Believe in yourself and your baby. Care for the baby and let others care for you and your family. Don't listen to all others. When you feel insecure call LLL or an IBCLC” An F

 

  1. “Sit. Let other people bring you water. Let other people do the dishes. Let other people do the laundry. Just sit, and nurse” Joy MA

 

  1. “Don't overthink the amount and timing and try to keep track. Just trust your instincts and your baby. Keep putting baby to breast- anytime he/she is fussy, uncomfortable, etc. They know what and when they need you. Also, know that you and baby are still pretty much attached for a few more months” Stephanie H

 

  1. “Take your eyes off the clock. Because however often/long you are feeding for is normal. And it won't be whatever it says in "the book". And work out how to feed lying down” Alice JT

 

  1. “Watch baby, not the clock, not all women respond to a pump, cluster feeding is normal, nurse on demand- not on a schedule, it's hard work, their first few months especially, but so worth it” Marissa B

 

  1. “Trust your gut. You and this baby have been intimately connected for the better part of a year. You're the one who can feel what's going on. Pursue answers that satisfy you and your baby” Hannah M

 

  1. “Don't give up. If the baby wants to eat frequently, let him/her eat. La Leche is a great support group. Drink lots of water. And don't forget to relax and enjoy the bonding experience” Kealeana R

 

  1. “Attend LLL meetings prior to birth. If it hurts, get help asap. Small adjustments can make the world of difference!” Patricia V

 

  1. “The milk will come in. Please be patient” Tanya D

 

  1. “Nurse on demand. Be patient with yourself. Get help early! And stick with it. Had rough starts with both my kids but every day got better and by week 4, we were champs” Kass K

 

  1. “Make everyone take care of you because you are going to be tired and drained. Relax and realize you are doing something important. It's going to be hard some nights- you wake up while everyone gets to sleep to feed your baby. Your baby appreciates it and so many mothers are with you. Treat yourself well” Emily C.

 

  1. “Breastfeeding "shouldn't be painful", but while you and your newborn are learning to breastfeed and latch together, the beginning may have some growing pain moments that you will both learn from quickly” Jennifer M

 

  1. “Trust your body, trust your baby. Seek support if it hurts or if you have any questions at all. And if in doubt, offer boob” Gail N

 

  1. “Find a breastfeeding tribe and tune into your instincts - YOU know your baby best” Emily S

 

  1. “You have enough milk you don't need to top up unless you really want to baby is just cluster feeding to build supply” Rachel BA

 

  1. “Before you start, put a glass of water next to you, sounds simple but you gonna hate yourself if you forget it” Graziella B

 

  1. “It's not always easy. Get help when you need it and don't give up! Practicing safe bed sharing makes all the difference!” Janelle W.

 

  1. “There are lots of things that can go wrong, and it's ok. There are lots of people that can help” Dee L

 

  1. “Be patient with yourself and if you are struggling, see a lactation consultant, it's not supposed to hurt! And drink, drink, drink lots of water” Raeny I

 

  1. “Never give up on a bad day! It will get easier” Jessica P

 

  1. “How you tell yourself in your head is how you will start to feel. many moms around me when I was newly nursing with my first were all the time 'I wish that kid would leave me alone for five mins!' loads of complaining about being a parent. so I started acting like that and soon had little to no patients for my wee man. nursing my fourth knowing she was my last really set me free. I allowed myself to enjoy her fully. I thought almost always wonderful things about snuggling her and nursing her, about holding her all the time. I was FAR more content with my fourth when I could finally shuck off that toxic thinking Hazel IS

 

  1. “STICK WITH IT! It gets easier and it's worth it!” Ashley C

 

  1. “And dads, YOUR job is to always have a drink and snack next to a breastfeeding mom. Keep her water glass replenished on her night stand, and follow her around the house offering fruit, sandwiches, and other snacks. You do this, you earn valuable points. You don't do this.....well, why wouldn't you??” Andrea E

 

  1. “Breastfeeding can be like learning to drive. You learn the skills you need before you go on your own. You usually learn with one of your parents. Or an instructor. You don't just decide one day to jump into a car and drive off without guidance” Hellen H

 

  1. “If you're like me -- You will always be hungry. Hungrier than you ever were when pregnant. Keep cheese strings and Brookside chocolates near your bed because you will be starving when you wake up at 2 am to nurse. And thirsty, so keep a gallon of water nearby, too” Viki PG

 

  1. “Expect it to take time, for Bub to learn to latch on, for you to get used to it” Gigi S
  2. “Befriend another breastfeeding momma (or more) the support and confidence building is amazing!” Kate LD

 

  1. “Try and rest, don't do too much at once and take your time with feeding, it's worth it” Michelle A

 

  1. “Learn to nurse laying down! Saves your back and get some rest too!!” Abigail P

 

  1. “Don't wait to get help” Renee U

 

  1. “Don't buy formula and bottles 'just in case'. If it is needed (a doctor prescribes it) you can get it around the clock. If it is in the house you are much more likely to give in and 'top up' which often leads to sub-optimal breastfeeding, and stopping before you or your baby are ready” Erin JH

 

  1. “Trust your body and don't give up!” Alyssa R

 

  1. “Don't even let formula be an option. Don't take the formula samples home. Go into this with breastfeeding being the only option you have to feed your baby. With that perspective, you'll be surprised by the lengths you'll go to make breastfeeding work for you! That is just what worked for me as a first-time mom (11 years ago)” Anissa K

 

  1. “Keep baby close, wear baby, learn to nurse lying down and seek qualified help - not justify the opinions of well-meaning family and friends” Gloria F

 

  1. “Ignore the clocks, feed your baby when they ask for it... there is no such thing as overfeeding a breastfed baby” Danielle F

 

  1. “Get comfy! Make a Breastfeeding nest for yourself, pillows, a place for water and a snack, your phone, TV remotes, nipple cream. Also, you will spend a tremendous amount of time feeding, so just relax your expectations about getting anything else done” Allison G

 

  1. “When in doubt put baby to the breast. If that doesn't work it's probably their diaper, change your baby then put them to the breast” Brigitte A

 

  1. “Your baby will feed often at first to help get your milk established and because they've only got tiny tummies. This is totally normal and is not because you aren't satisfying them. Keep going and it will fall into place by 6 or so weeks!” Laura N

 

  1. “Don't supplement at the start, don't listen to anyone tell you to have to the first day, the first week, the first month. If your baby is period, they are getting milk and supplementing will just mess with establishing your supply. Trust your body, try 15 different positions if need be and try to relax. Drink lots of water, and yes, nipples bare in the sun 10 min a day does wonders” Blue R

 

  1. “Do what works for your whole family. Go with your instincts. 'Helpful' advice from relatives, etc. can be considered but you know yourself, your baby, and your family best” Lynn H

 

  1. “Drink lots of water. Make sure you are getting a good latch - if you feel unsure or not confident go get help. And keep trying - it takes time to get easier. Focus on you & the baby & nothing else” Krystal M.

 

  1. “Condition your nipple with a bit of expressed milk before baby latches, it helped me with the nipple stretching and baby seemed to latch better” Katie Y

 

  1. “Prepare yourself for the after pains that happen while nursing (especially with subsequent babies - it gets worse each time)! I found taking red raspberry leaf during pregnancy and postpartum helped significantly with the after pains” Shawna S

 

  1. “The sun is great for healing nipples. 10 mins topless in the morning feels nice & can help repair minor tears/cracks etc.” Helen M

 

  1. “Don't give up. It's hard. It hurts, and you may or may not cry because of it. But keep trying. It's so very worth it. You got this.” James B

 

  1. “Check baby's mouth for a tongue tie or a top or bottom lip tie. Especially if baby is struggling with nursing” Lorissa S

 

  1. “Go topless, use nipple cream, & breath” Vanessa S

 

  1. “Purchase a nipple shield before giving birth, and bring it to the hospital with you. You might discover you have flat nipples at 3 am with a crying hungry baby. This product can save your breastfeeding relationship. If you don't need it, you'll just be out $7-$10” Andrea E

 

  1. “I believe in nursing on demand, but was always nervous to nurse in public or around people, which made life so much more isolating and stressful. Once I got over public nursing and figured out how to do it comfortably, our life became less stressful and I had wished I got over it sooner. For me, wearing a nursing tank with a t-shirt over it, or baby wearing made it much easier and I was surprised that most people didn’t even realize I was nursing” Brigitte W.

 

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.

 

Join our community for more!

 

 

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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