As a new parent you may have received sleep advice from lots of well-meaning friends and family, and you’ve probably even done some late-night Google searching on the topic. It can be hard to sift through all the recommendations made by fellow parents, social media influencers, and family members. We’ve got you covered with a look at common infant sleep myths and their corresponding, research-backed facts.
Most people associate the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) as a place where premature newborn babies go after birth. Although the majority of newborns admitted to NICUs are premature babies (“preemies”), interestingly enough, if you walk around any NICU you will see plenty of babies who are full-term, and even some who arrived a week or two after their due date! On average, 360,000 newborns in the U.S. need neonatal intensive care after birth each year. Some only need to stay in the NICU for a few days, while others may be admitted for several months based on baby needs. Level 2 NICUs provide health care for preemies who are about 32 weeks’ gestation or older and do not need a lot of breathing support, Level 3 NICUs can care for all sizes and ages of preemies, and Level 4 NICUS provide care for all preemies, including the smallest and most sick, as well as critically ill full-term newborns who need surgery, have birth defects, and other medical conditions requiring a care team of neonatologists and multiple pediatric subspecialty teams.
Every breastfeeding journey is different and there is a huge variability in regards to when infants and toddlers wean from breast milk. Up until recently, pediatricians recommended breastfeeding babies until their first birthdays and then transitioning to whole cow’s milk. In 2022, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) published updated guidelines for breastfeeding with recommendations to continue to breastfeed children for 2+ years, if desired. In this article we discuss FAQs about weaning breastfeeding.
On April 11-17, we celebrate Black Maternal Health Week (BMHW). According to the CDC, black women are currently three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. This article will review the current state of the U.S. maternal mortality rate, recommendations for pregnant families and healthcare providers, and how to be an advocate for maternal and reproductive health.
As mothers, we carry an enormous load for our families. But often, the physical, mental, and emotional burdens that we carry go unseen and underappreciated by most of the world. Instead of being celebrated for all that we’re doing, we’re often critiqued for all that we are not doing. Let's take a closer look at a self-compassion practice called “Compassionate Letter Writing” that is a tool to cultivate emotional strength and is rooted in an evidence-based approach to mental wellness.
There’s an entire industry centered around infant sleep. You can purchase hundreds of different products that offer the promise of more, better, safer sleep. Bassinets, travel cribs, robotic rockers, mini-cribs, and convertible cribs. Noise machines, blackout curtains, crib warmers, and sleep sacks. Books, courses, and endless advice. When you’re a sleep deprived new parent, you might try anything to help your baby sleep longer so that you can also get some rest.
Motherhood is overwhelming. So it is completely normal and natural that instead of interpreting a partner’s physical touch as a time to connect, that we see physical intimacy as just another thing on our long list of to-dos-for-others. There are a number of ways to be able to honor feeling “touched-out” while still connecting with your partner in the hopes of kindling emotional intimacy…and maybe even just a little physical intimacy (when you’re ready, of course).
The following weeks after giving birth you may be concerned about whether or not your baby is being sufficiently fed. Even though babies can’t say what it is they need, they rely on and use different sounds and movements to signal when they need to be fed long before crying begins.
Breastfeeding or pumping in public places can be stressful with many moms still discriminated against by 24% of Americans who deem any kind of breast exposure as inappropriate. If you’re worried about comments from others telling you to “cover up,” it is important to know that you have the legal right to continue nurse in public, despite the negative stigma surrounding it.
Having a new baby is a huge life transition. The holiday season can add a lot of additional stress while you are busy taking care of your newborn. This is because what’s best for mother-newborn dyads (to rest, stay home, focus on breastfeeding, not have too many interruptions with visitors, etc.) is the opposite of our societal expectations of what parents of new babies should do during that time of year (traveling, family traditions, bringing babies to large holiday gatherings, entertaining guests, meeting family members, etc.)