I wanted to review The Mother’hood nearly 9 months ago. I sat down with the co-owners, who were generous enough to share their time and buy me a cup of tea, and I talked to them about their vision for the business. But I haven’t shared it. Yet.
Now, it’s the right time to write this blog.
With a baby — well, toddler now — who regularly falls asleep and stays asleep for the night, I’ve rounded a corner and recognize the landmarks of Normal Land. Until now, the hours were marked by diapers and feedings, or naps and nap failures, or benchmarks and babbles. But if hindsight is measured in moments shared with a baby who once didn’t exist and now breathes and moves and resembles me, I see more clearly. I see that precious first year with my baby as an almost magical time. Something that The Mother’hood nurtures.
Amanda Ogden, The Mother’hood Co-founder and Director of Lactation Services, was one of few people who gave me hope and, even more importantly, made me feel like I was doing something right during the first few weeks of my daughter’s life.
She says things like, “Look at your beautiful milk supply!” and, “This gorgeous baby is so juicy, it’s no wonder, with all this beautiful milk!”
For a new mama who sees leaky nipples and stretch marks when she looks in the mirror and a fussy baby who could be riddled with unknown deprivation or some other seriously scary issue, this is like a breath of fresh air. And to a new mama who also suffers from postpartum depression, this is a breath of air that will get her through the next day.
I used to go to Amanda’s breastfeeding support groups, even if I didn’t have any breastfeeding problems. Did you know that breastfeeding releases the hormone oxytocin, which is also released during orgasms? That’s why babies fall asleep after they nurse and a group of nursing mamas leaves relaxed and satisifed!
Amanda regularly dispenses knowledge that not only encouraged me to enjoy and protect the nursing phase of my baby, it also equipped me to feel like a capable mama who could make good decisions for the health of my daughter. For example:
- Newborns use their arms like a gas gauge. When they’re hungry, their fists are tight and their arms are up by their ears. As they fill up on breast milk, their arms relax and float back down to their sides.
- Babies who go to daycare pick up new germs that are foreign to their bodies. So, when mamas pick them up from daycare, they should kiss their face and especially their hands — absorbing all of the germs they can — so their body can produce the antibodies that will fight off the baby’s germs through breast milk.
- Spitup isn’t bad. The same rich nutrients and antibodies that coat the babies throat with breast milk going in, can also coat it going out. As long as baby isn’t in pain, spitup isn’t something to stress about.
I’ve also attended the sleeping class at The Mother’Hood. Aside from the new ideas to help my baby nap and sleep better at night, I connected with other moms, whose woes included restless babies who didn’t find sleeping as important as we did. One mom of twins fed one baby with a bottle while nursing the other, while telling the group that she slept only a few hours every day, and smiling all the while. I wanted to give her a medal and a bottle of wine. Instead, I considered myself lucky to share this stage of life with these strong, loving women.
In addition to breast feeding and sleeping classes, The Mother’hood offers yoga, homeopathic classes, birthing classes, baby-wearing class, and much more. The Mother’hood normalizes pregnancy, birth and parenting by providing support and encouragement each step of the way. God bless ’em.
I highly recommend this business to any mama or daddy of a baby. I definitely plan to go back, with baby #2. … Just not yet. While I’m still enjoying Normal Land, I plan to soak up all of the hindsight and extra Zzzzzs I can.