God was waiting until i became a mother to show me the new way in which He will use me for His glory in this world.
i am VERY VERY excited to begin training as a doula. [in case you are like “what the heck is a doula??” — basically a birth partner. Yura was kind of like my doula except that i wish i’d had a doula too. someone to advocate for the mother’s wishes & needs, as well as comfort the mother/father & provide reminders of their desires for labor, delivery & postpartum care. anyone can use a doula – natural birth, medicated, even moms who need a c-section. doulas are for everyone!]
i have become very passionate about babies, pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding & the like. this is such an exciting new phase in my life! i know that this is how God will open doors for ministry wherever we end up living.
there are many steps to become a certified doula. i have already started some of my reading material, as well as an online course on breastfeeding. in August i am attending birth doula training in Mobile through a DONA certified teacher. after that i will need to attend 3 births as a doula & be evaluated by nurses/doctors present for the birth, as well as the mother & husband.
a postpartum doula cares for the baby and parents after birth, specifically during what is known as the “fourth trimester” – the first 3 months after the baby is born. in September there will [hopefully] be a postpartum doula training in Birmingham [we still need more people, so let me know if you or someone you know would be interested!!].
my experience breastfeeding has been a WONDERFUL one – i wouldn’t trade it for anything, even with all the late night feedings & pit stops on road trips. i know that everyone is different, but it is absolutely worth a try – by that i mean SEVERAL tries. it can be rough in the beginning. but it’s totally possible. not only possible, but probable! i read somewhere the other day that 90+% of women are able to breastfeed! that’s astounding!
this video is a “spoken word” from Hollie McNish. it pretty much sums up the troubles of breastfeeding in a country where womens’ chests are displayed for marketing/sexual purposes, but feeding a child with the best in public garners negative attention. i definitely use a cover anytime i’m in public, but at one point i just got over the stares – either everyone looks because Chambers cries or everyone looks as i feed him discreetly at the table under my very cute nursing cover given to me by my best friend Meredith [which is much more sanitary than the bathroom].
this article talks about how most moms can’t meet their own breastfeeding goals because of external factors [free formula samples, negative attitudes, non-breastfeeding-friendly environments, etc.]
i was studying today about the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes. here’s an excerpt:
In 1981 the World Health Organization and UNICEF developed the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes. The substance of this code includes:
- Breast milk substitutes include:
- infant formula
- other milk products
- foods and other drinks used for partial or total replacement of breast milk in the infant’s diet.
- No advertising or other form of promotion of breast milk substitutes to the general public.
- Manufacturers and distributors of breast milk substitutes should not provide samples of their products to pregnant women, mothers or families of infants.
- Manufacturers and distributors should not provide gifts which may promote the use of breast milk substitutes to pregnant women, or mothers of infants and young children.
- Marketing personnel should have no contact with pregnant women or with mothers of infants and young children.
- Educational materials on infant feeding should include
- If information on formula feeding is included, it must include information on the social, financial, and health hazards of the unnecessary use of breast milk substitutes
- clear information on the benefits and superiority of breastfeeding
- There should be no display of breast milk substitutes in health care facilities.
- Donations or low price sales of breast milk substitutes to health care systems are permitted, but these should be used only for infants who have to be fed on breast milk substitutes. Distribution of these breast milk substitutes should be done only by the organization.
- All breast milk substitutes should be high quality.
- Responsibility for monitoring of the Code belongs to the government ( WHO, 1981 ).
The most recent UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) report shows that only 16 countries have achieved full adherence to the policies of the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes. The United States is the only major country and one of 15 countries that have not taken any steps in implementation of the Code. Status on adherence of individual countries to the Code can be found through UNICEF ( UNICEF-1, 2005 ).
this was so enlightening – i think that Hollie [in the video] makes such a great point [about something that has been studied]. why are women using formula in places where breastfeeding is much more sanitary, convenient & healthier for their babes?
i do want to say that i’m not knocking formula – if for some reason you can’t breastfeed, it’s fantastic that there is a substitute that can provide nutrients appropriate for a newborn & is much better than animal milk or water or other liquid. it’s definitely worth a try, but up to each person. i just want to bring to light that marketing of formula has had a negative affect in places where women aren’t educated on the benefits of breastfeeding! just sharing a passion that i hope will turn into hands on ministry! 🙂
i think i may have written this post too quickly, not pausing to read enough times & perhaps not considering the feelings of others. i’m very sorry if this post stirred up any feelings of insecurity in anyone as a parent regarding breastfeeding.
i’m adding a few statements here that will hopefully clear up my intentions!
- it’s National Breastfeeding Awareness week! that’s part of what inspired me to write this, & i forgot to include that in the first post
- Yura & i are patiently waiting to move abroad as missionaries, gathering information & education while we are here that will benefit us wherever we end up living. i hope to use my doula training to educate women about the way that their bodies are designed by God, how they can maintain a healthy pregnancy & postpartum life & raise their children in a healthy, Godly fashion. i am by no means an expert, nor will i ever be, but there are simple actions that will greatly increase the health & lives of their families, one of these includes breastfeeding [if possible] instead of using formula when contaminated water & unclean bottles/supplies
- when originally writing, my main focus was on the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes, how some countries are trying to prevent infant illness & mortality by promoting breastfeeding & the interesting fact that the US doesn’t comply with any of the points. if by focusing on the need worldwide to promote breastfeeding, i discouraged anyone, that was not my intention.
- if you’re wanting great resources on breastfeeding, i recommend: