Plan ahead to do very little in the first weeks. You will learn a lot from watching your baby unfurl.More»
While your baby is growing it’s own immune system, breast milk provides the protection it needs.Blog
The Best Protection
Newborns, being new, need time for their immune system to mature. Meanwhile, mother’s milk provides babies with the immunities they need. This is how it works.
As adults, we’ve developed immunities through exposure and experience. It’s the body’s learning process. Lymphocytes, T cells, different proteins act to protect the body. These circulate in the blood, mucous and breast milk. A healthy gut helps keep ‘bad stuff’ from getting into our system and spreading.
• That image above is a cartoon of the adult gut. Bacteria, etc. (the yellow squiggles) can’t easily pass through the gut lining. Immune factors (the green and blue) are ready to digest, flush and otherwise deter bad ‘stuff’ from thriving.
In comparison, newborns gut membrane is more porous. It’s easier for bacteria (the yellow squiggles) to cross and get into the system. And newborns haven’t developed the immune factors to fight off viruses and bacteria.
A newborn gut with human breast milk (see below) has more protection. When a baby is breast fed, the immune factors from the mother’s milk (green and blue) pass into the baby’s gut. Those protect against pathogens (yellow) until the baby develops it’s own immunities several months later. That’s why the first six months make a difference.
These are two ways breast milk protects your baby, whether preterm, sick or full term. As a bonus, whenever your baby has a growth spurt, your breast milk changes to give him/her a boost of immune factors. That’s why extended nursing, one year or more, is beneficial.
This is a short story of an intricate system. It is invisible though fundamental work you’re doing and it does take time. Let’s make this comfortable habit for you.
A newborn’s eyes can focus 10-12 inches. Naturally, that’s the distance from the curl of your arm to your baby’s face.Blog
Did you know?
Did you know little bumps on a mother’s nipple secrete a substance that smells like amniotic fluid? That’s a familiar scent that compels your newborn to find your nipple and begin breastfeeding.
Did you know that when you hold your newborn baby on your chest, your body temperature rises seven degrees between your breasts? Direct skin to skin with your baby helps him/her stay warm, breathe easier and have a more regular heart rate.
Did you know a newborn baby’s stomach can hold 7-10 ml. at a time? A mother makes about 100 ml in the first day. Ten feedings in one day: 10 x 10 =100. This means you have enough! Your baby is well fed and you’re stimulating your body to make more.
Did you know that oxytocin is abundant in labor and breastfeeding? It’s the Love hormone that promotes our sense of connection with others and our instincts to hold and protect. Mothers, newborn babies and fathers all experience rises in oxytocin.
Did you know your baby hears your voice while in the womb? From the moment of birth, amongst the newness of light, temperature and gravity, your voice (and your partner’s voice) is a familiar comfort.
In these and many other ways, you are a simple, low tech and important source of warmth and comfort for your child, right from the start.
Prenatal classes and Home visits
Robin Snyder-Drummond, CD(DONA), IBCLC
My focus is on meeting parents in their homes because that is where families live and grow. Read my blog!Blog
I’m Robin Snyder-Drummond, an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC). I make home visits to help families in the Boston area with their breastfeeding concerns.
Congratulations on your blossoming family.
I find inspiration in Nature’s designs for success and I hope you do, too. There’s a lot to learn with each child, you have many abilities you might not yet recognize. It helps to have experienced guidance.
We’ll meet with you in your home. That’s certainly more convenient and a more comfortable place to learn your new skills. Your home is where you grow your family.
Background Experience and Training
Trained by midwives in 1985, I began as a ‘labor coach’ and immediately saw what a difference personal support made to a laboring woman. This inspired me to become a certified childbirth educator and later, a DONA certified birth doula, CD(DONA).
Since 1993, I’ve taught prenatal classes in community settings (high school, air force base, women’s shelter, lesbian moms group and more) and four area hospitals. I’ve facilitated moms groups, parent workshops and trainings for other professionals. As a birth doula, I attended to over 200 families in six Boston area hospitals, one birth center and met many more families during home visits for postpartum care.
I’m keenly aware how your informed choices make a difference for postpartum. Women often remarked ”I wish I’d known about that when I was pregnant.” My colleague and I began BirthReady in 2000 to offer prenatal education and labor support with practical, positive workshops. I continually draw from my experience with many different families as well with continuing education.
In 2009 I passed the exam to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). The IBCLC credential is the only internationally recognized accreditation for lactation consultants. This required college level courses, breastfeeding specific education and 2500 hours of one on one counselling. Many of those hours were spent one-on-one with families in classes, in labor, in their homes. The most important learning, I feel, is in the informal conversations in classes and during home visits.
I’m current in my CPR certification and am a certified Basic Life Support Instructor.
Let’s keep in touch.
Please sign up for my newsletter. Feel free to contact me. I’m glad to talk with you about home visits, prenatal classes and workshops.
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“You taught me a lot and made this experience wonderful.” Ann, 2009
Best Possible Support
“I really appreciated having someone come and be hands-on with us to be sure the latch, position, etc. were OK. It was much easier to be able to stay in our home environment, where we were nursing, than to have to go somewhere else to meet with a consultant. It really felt like Robin could understand the full picture that way as well.” Carrie, East Boston, 2011
“Robin, what a wonderful, educational and compassionate talk you gave to us at our meeting. Thank you so much, it was great to have a return visit from you. We all felt that we were better prepared …You were so well prepared and interesting and I know that all of us were grateful that you could show us how to better understand (postpartum adjustment) and help the mother to seek assistance for herself. I hope you will come again to our gathering and enlighten us with a different topic”. Kate Hall, Founder/Chairwoman of Bluebird Childcare, 2012
“I am so very grateful for the lactation support I received from Robin Snyder-Drummond after the birth of my first child. Robin visited us in our home … Her knowledge, warmth and nurturance made our challenging situation seem manageable. She assessed the problems we faced and gave us the tools to overcome them. My daughter and I now enjoy a very satisfying breastfeeding relationship. For this, I am indebted to Robin, who guided us through that difficult time with skill and compassion.” Amy Alberts Warren, PhD Development Psychologist, 2012
“The students and I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to come to NSCC and present your “Postpartum Support” class! We all learned a lot and thoroughly enjoyed the presentation … Students made a point of finding me after class and through e-mail to say how much they enjoyed your thoughts and suggestions.” Judith Maxfield, RN, MS Prof. Nurse ED. North Shore Community College, 2011
“You watched what my baby was doing to help me problem solve. You were so calm, and so eager to try anything without ever making me feel like I was incompetent. Your calm demeanor made it feel like best possible kind of support.” Kate, Boston, 2011
“Having Robin look at what was happening with my baby and myself during breastfeeding and offering tips was invaluable and most of all helped me to relax and allow my baby to relax as well. Practicing in our own home without having to pack up and take the baby elsewhere, especially with another young child along, was very helpful”. Victoria , Boston, 2011
“Robin was very flexible to our needs and provided us with a wealth of information and support. She is excellent!” Tamar, Brookline, 2010
“Because of what we learned in your class, we were able to make more educated decisions. Thank you for the very informative class, your real life stories and down to earth personality. I am glad we took it, it was so helpful.” Patti, Wilmington, 2009
“The class was way more than what I expected. It passed what I needed which is great. She explained everything in good details and did not use complicating words. Everything was helpful. Everything was covered plus more. I loved the way she taught so much I wanted more. I love the way she explains things. She uses sounds and uses her sense of humour. That relaxes me for what is to come.” Michelle, Salem, 2007
“We both enjoyed the class and have a greater sense of empowerment because of what we learned in class. Robin is a great instructor, very knowledgeable!” Lt. and Mrs. W, Burlington 2009
“Thank you are two little words to wrap around our grateful, big feelings.” Paula and Alex, Cambridge, 2005
Robin Snyder-Drummond, CD(DONA), IBCLC
Prenatal classes and home visits
The simple practice of keeping mother and baby skin to skin and letting the baby find the nipple can make all the difference!More»