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about me, announcements, Arvigo, breastfeeding, forest bathing, Self-Care

Summer Thoughts

Summer seems to be inevitably winding down, even thought it’s really still just the first part of August. But that wee bit of realization that we want to hurry up and pack some fun into the days before school schedules and cold weather starts has me feeling reflective and maybe a little bit sad and weary. There never is enough time for all the fun to be had.

I was out of town the last part of July and the first week of August, in a decidedly remote location for the first part of my sojourn, for a retreat with other Arvigo® practitioners. Remote, as in, there was barely even a little bit of cell service, and there was no way I could attend to my business–phone reception was impossible, with only texts coming through occasionally, and email and social media unwilling to download with that bitty bit of reception. I didn’t even take any pictures, except for this one of Rosita Arvigo and me, which, technically I didn’t even take.

 

It was challenging and also blissful. Such is life–a little bitter with your sweet.

The gathering of Arvigo® practitioners was informative, fun, and nurturing, as I always find those gatherings to be. Rosita lead a shinrin-yoku or forest-bathing session for us. And while I struggle with the idea that we somehow need certified leaders to help us relax, it was a beautiful exercise in mindfulness. Three mindful hours in nature can have positive benefits lasting up to a week in terms of lowered stress hormones, blood pressure and blood glucose. As someone with a history of Lyme disease in myself and in my family, and with the penchant for attracting mosquitoes and other biting insects, relaxing in the woods is a tricky thing for me. But I got all covered in insect repellent, and headed out with my practitioner friends. It was a moving experience for me, and resulted in an unburdening of worries and stress that I didn’t think would really happen.

I rounded out my forest bathing by camping with my family for three additional days at Mirror Lake, near the Wisconsin Dells. Yep. No pictures. Just the after effects of spending 5 days disconnected from technology and connected with cool people.

I had some new professional photos taken in July. Unfortunately, the day was rainy, so “humid hair” will be on display in my professional pics until I do that again. I always feel awkward getting my photo taken, but I’m pretty happy with the ones from the session.

midwife home birth water birth breastfeeding arvigo

A new testimonial was shared with me, on a day that was filled with sadness and grieving for another person. I love to hear your stories about how my ministrations have helped you, but you all should know that your kindness and positive encouragement helps me as well. Even if I don’t tell you in the moment, I treasure your cards, photos, and gratitude, and they are a healing balm for my heart and soul.

Appointments in Oshkosh have been booked pretty solidly for the first two months of them at Bartelt Holistic. Because the third Thursday is coming right up here in August, I have a few openings this month. I’m offering $25 off any Arvigo® session or lactation consult if you take one of the remaining spots on Thursday, August 16th, 2018. Call 920-659-0267 to book your appointment. Consultations for home birth midwifery care are always free, and I’d be happy to book that as well!

I’ve made a commitment to walk on October 6th for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), and set a personal fundraising goal of $250. I want to give back to the community in as many ways as I can, and I have been touched and helped by the work of NAMI, personally and professionally. My 2017 summer began with the news of the loss of two beautiful souls via suicide, and my 2018 summer has been sadly bookended with two additional tragic losses. Many new parents struggle with feelings of sadness, isolation, and depression. The pain is real. I pray that all aching hearts will find comfort and peace, and that people find help and support when they need it. I hope that you might consider supporting the work of NAMI with a donation for the walk.

As always, I love to hear from you with stories of how your little people are growing, and photos, and questions. Keep in touch!

Anja Farin, LLC Appleton Wisconsin Green Bay Wisconsin Oshkosh Wisconsin Neenah Wisconsin Menasha Wisconsin De Pere Wisconsin midwife natural birth home birth postpartum doula breastfeeding baby newborn
breastfeeding, community partnerships, postpartum, Self-Care

Why you might want a doula after your birth

written by Hanna Donati

At one time, a whole village would gather around to nourish and support a new mother. Traditionally, communities would ensure mothers could stay in bed for up to forty days to ensure optimal postpartum healing and bonding. Mothers were fed, pampered, and supported emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Doesn’t that sound amazing?

Unfortunately, as a society we do not place value on rest. We expect ourselves to “bounce back” without allowing our bodies precious time to heal. We expect ourselves to continue our lives as normal on our own-except this time, with a brand new baby and a body rapidly changing hormonally, physically and emotionally. We have lost the cradling support of our “village”, and the rates of postpartum depression, birth injuries, and unsuccessful breastfeeding journeys are proof that we need to reconnect to this ancient wisdom.

Postpartum doula services can fill this void. Entering into motherhood is a sacred time of a woman’s life. Birth and a new addition to the family means life altering change. Although it is an exciting, precious time, many women feel stressed about the prospect of learning how to breastfeed, care for a newborn, and keep themselves (and the rest of their family) fed and clothed! In fact, when talking with my birth doula clients, one of the few things they knew about the postpartum period was that it was “terrible.” This breaks my heart!

You don’t have to be in the immediate postpartum to take advantage of a postpartum doula. Some families have support when they have a newborn, but things get sticky when the adults in the home have to transition back to full time work after a leave, and your help seems to leave you when you most need it. Don’t hesitate to contact these great service providers to see if this service is right for you.
What does a Postpartum Doula do?

  • Emotional support; an expert in your home in real time to support you
  • Provide evidence based resources to you on newborn care, breastfeeding, the postpartum period
  • Help create biologically normal routines and practices
  • Allow time for you and/or your partner to get some much-needed rest
  • Family education and older sibling support
  • Physical support for your postpartum body, helping with lifting and
    information on how the body recovers from childbirth including surgical
    birth
  • Overnight infant care works beautifully with any way you choose to feed
    your child and you get sleep
  • Breastfeeding guidance and resource referral
  • Newborn care guidance for you or other family members
  • Prepare nourishing foods with what you already have in your fridge, within the framework of any diet you adhere to
  • Light housework including organizing baby clothes, doing dishes, laundry, and making beds

Want in?

Anja has partnered with two local doula groups so that her clients can receive special offers through Bloom Doula Services of the Fox Valley (serving Oshkosh and surrounding areas) and Green Bay Doulas (serving Green Bay and surrounding areas). Please contact those providers and mention that you are or have been her client.

 

 

 

breastfeeding, lactation support, breastfeeding support, tongue tie, ibclc, wisconsin, appleton, neenah, menasha, green bay, de pere,
breastfeeding

Lactation Support

When I was pregnant for the first time, I planned to breastfeed my baby. Though I’d never really witnessed anyone nursing a baby, I assumed that it was just the most natural thing in the world, and that my baby and I would just instinctively know what to do.

Was I ever in for a surprise! I gave birth at a hospital, and the lactation support there was less than ideal. My baby was given bottles of sugar water and a pacifier, and by the time I was discharged three days after his birth, he’d really only had one decent feeding. That one feeding was roughly facilitated by a grouchy older nurse, who essentially mashed my breast in one hand, and shoved my baby’s head onto it with the other. Somehow, though, that worked, and my baby fed contentedly. I was completely uncertain how I would ever replicate that event, given that I would be missing the two extra arms required to make it happen.

To this day, I remember clearly being discharged from the hospital and thinking frantically, “What makes them think I can take care of this baby all by myself?!?” I didn’t know really anyone who had breastfed a baby, there was little support in the area where I lived at the time, and though my husband was supportive, he was also pretty inexperienced, and much to my dismay, was rather unable to produce milk. Feeding my baby–keeping him alive–was all on me. Cue postpartum hormone swings, an abundant increase in production of milk, and a less than ideal latch from my sleepy, small, and kind of early baby, and I was a bit of a mess in short order.

Friend, if you are struggling with breastfeeding, have gotten less than ideal help and advice, I’ve been there! And now, I’m here to help you. I attended many years of La Leche League meetings, soaking up all the mother-to-mother wisdom there, and making friends that have lasted a lifetime. As I began developing as a childbirth professional, I moved beyond the mother-to-mother model. In 2016, after a ninety hour didactic course, and documenting over 1000 hours of professional support of breastfeeding mothers, I passed my examination to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. As the name implies, it is an internationally recognized certification to provide professional support to nursing pairs, and it is the gold standard of lactation certification designations.

Your initial meeting with me includes a detailed review of the issues you are experiencing with breastfeeding, as well as a general overview of your birthing experience. Then we work out a plan for you and your nursling, which may include follow-up visits for weight checks and assessment of the plan. I can typically get you in for an office visit within one business day from the time you call, and for a home visit within two business days of your call. I can evaluate your little one for tongue tie, and I have a referral network, if needed, for the revision of ties and follow-up care.

What are you waiting for? Call the midwife!

P.S. That first baby I referenced above? I managed to keep him fed well enough as an infant, and I’m grateful that he’s a confident, competent, compassionate young adult who manages to feed himself these days. Oh, and he breastfed until he was two and a half years old, no grouchy nurse required.