Tag Archives: education

Event: Bluegrass for Babies

Bluegrass for Babies!

Music. Food. Beer. What’s not to love??

This year the 2016 Bluegrass for Babies Benefit Concert will feature live bluegrass performances by:

  • the Hocking River String Band
  • Comet Bluegrass All-Stars
  • Plus Hickory Robot and Jennifer Ellis will provide a special kids performance!

You can grab some Dewey’s Pizza, Grateful Grahams, or streetpops, and a beverage from MadTree Brewing. Further, the community partners listed on their site will have crafts games at their booths! Keep on reading to find out what we’ll have at the Modern Breastfeeding + Education booth! 

Bluegrass for Babies

When: Saturday, September 17th, 3:00-9:00 PM (booth activities until 7:30 PM)

Where: Seasongood Pavilion, 1600 Art Museum Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202

Tickets: range from family admission, to VIP / community sponsor, raffle tickets, and souvenirs. Early bird rates last for only two more days!! 

Aside from having information about prenatal Childbirth Education classes, Breastfeeding Classes, Newborn Care and Pumping Classes, the Virtually Present training coming up for all small businesses, as well as Lactation Service information, we’ll be raffling off some baby carriers and a signature Modern BF+Ed self-care goodie basket with the main Bluegrass raffle prizes!

PLUS, the kid’s craft at our tent is … drumroll please!

Branch Wall Hangings / Mobiles.

Using a variety of felt, nature objects, and paper, you’ll get to go home with a chic and modern art project from the kids, that you’ll actually want to keep!

Untitled design

Here’s a few examples  of our craft!

Wall art images pinned on my Modern Kids Crafts Pinterest board

Most importantly, though, this is a fundraiser for a great cause:

The Healthy Roots Foundation, which raises funds for children’s health research and education, through a partnership with the Perinatal Institute of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.

We can’t wait to see you there!

Relax! It’s National Relaxation Day!

Did you know it’s National Relaxation Day?!

And on a Monday. HI-larious.

I just found out at 5:00pm today, and the first thing I wanted to do was rush about and tell everyone. However, in the spirit of relaxation day, I took a pause, finished an appointment, ate some food, connected with an amazing woman locally, and for the purposes of this post, felt the floor.

What?

It’s ok, you read that right. I felt the floor.

I want to take this opportunity while I have your attention to teach you a relaxation practice, because true relaxation is a skill.

That’s right, I said skill.

It’s pretty typical for a childbirth educator to talk about relaxation. Aside from a multitude of research proving it shortens labor, decreases pain, and helps with oxygen flow to the placenta (i.e. to your baby), it’s also a skill to learn to slow down. It’s called: conscious relaxation.

In turn, conscious relaxation becomes an amazing skill to have when working with a breastfeeding mother, a woman suffering from any postpartum mood disorder, or mothers of toddlers. (Perhaps we all have to work our way up to that last one – its Master Achievement unlocked level.)

But in our modern world, we fast pace everything. We churn out work, stress about housework, return that e-mail after hours, then check our social media posts for events both personal and international.

We. Run. Mentally and energy-wise, we run; and then we wonder why we’re rundown.

MBE site launch Social media (4)

So read this through first, then set a timer.

In the spirit of an incredible book I read years ago, One Moment Meditation, read through this entire exercise, set a timer for 60 seconds, and talk yourself through a practice. Then, the next time you get cut off in traffic, yelled at by a barista, or argued with over showering alone from a three year old, you can have this as a skill.

Happy Relaxation!

  • Start wherever you already are. No need to change clothes.
  • Situate yourself so that you don’t have to hold yourself up, nor is any body part resting on top of another, i.e. your legs aren’t crossed.
  • Open your palms upwards to your face or the sky, whichever is most comfortable.
  • Taking in a deep breath, feel the floor. What parts of the floor (or couch or chair) do you feel more of? What parts of your body are touching the surfaces? Is your weight more on one side than the other?
  • Reposition yourself to be more even in weight distribution and feeling.
  • Breathe deeply into your more relaxed position. Each breath helps your body feel, simply, heavier, there’s less to hold up, more you can trust to the surface you’re on.
  • Now the only thing left to pay attention to is your breathing. In, deeply into your abdomen, out through your mouth, slow, careful.
  • Notice your pulse changes, your skin releases, tension spots start to let go. Pay attention to the physical.
  • If other thoughts, to-do’s, or stressors enter your mind, focus back on the physical. It’s only one minute, and it’s your body’s. It belongs to that one minute, not to what’s coming next. Breathe it out like a physical part of that breath. Then move on.
  • When your timer goes off, smile! You just helped your health, your energy level, and calmed your entire nervous system. Well done you!

A NEW kind of Childbirth Education for Cincinnati

Creating blurbs describing what is included in a GREAT childbirth education class is NOT easy for me.

After teaching for six years, being trained in various methodologies and attending over 120 births as a birth doula, and a Master’s degree; it is hard for me to tell you exactly how a class will shape itself.

Sometimes those who attend shape the class, whether they are second (or more) time parents, those pursuing VBACs (Vaginal birth after cesarean), single moms by choice, or those pregnant with multiples, in addition to the normal group of first-time, expectant parents.

Other times it is the teacher and their experience or methodology shaping what should be an individual event – something that simply isn’t one size fits all.

So let’s talk about:

What’s covered in a childbirth education class, what you will find in MY childbirth education classes that sets them apart, and as always, how to find a great instructor in your area if you aren’t located in the Greater Cincinnati, Dayton, or Northern KY areas.

photo by Jeanine Persichini

First, in your standard childbirth education class, you will receive knowledge on:

What to expect, before, during & after delivery. This should include the stages of labor, coping skills and strategies (even if you plan on an epidural), and labor positions. You will also discuss postpartum healing, the beginning of breastfeeding, and it should help your partner learn how to support you.

In a GREAT class:

You should also have time to discuss interventions versus intercessions, i.e. learn about the myriad of tools you can have in labor either by choice or by necessity. This refers to inductions, augmentation of labor, epidurals and spinals, and of course, family centered cesarean births. You can also learn when you don’t need those same tools in labor, or alternatives to those tools in natural, normal births. You should get to practice labor itself, combining the tools you have learned in a real world way.

After all, complicated situations can arise, and while a class cannot turn you into a medical care provider (nor even replace your nurse or doula!) it can give you the tools to make decisions as a team during an emotional and physical event. Further, you will understand what nurses and medical care providers are explaining to you or asking you while you are in labor.

A standard class should:

Prepare you for what happens when you are laboring at home, when you arrive at the hospital, and discuss the things to pack.

A GREAT class:

Will also discuss nutrition in pregnancy, preparing you for your GD screening (Gestational diabetes glucose test), weight gain during pregnancy and weight loss post-delivery, practice exercises that help your pelvis and pelvic floor prepare for birth, and help you in creating birth imagery that specifically helps you.

It should also help you identify how to make medical decisions, address fear surrounding childbirth, and feel like you have been given the tools for postpartum recovery and healing.

The truth is a birth is more likely to go smoothly when we are prepared to discuss the fears we have ahead of time, as well as what pain means, and how we deal with it. We shouldn’t be afraid to discuss pain with each other as women.

Being a part of the decision making at your birth is what makes the “4th trimester” an easier shift for you as a family.

Finally, while a standard childbirth education class should cover breastfeeding in the first hour / hours after birth …

A GREAT childbirth education class should address breastfeeding as the full time reality it is – starting at the first hour after birth.

I am not shy; I DO think we create a GREAT class together. It has morphed over the years into something that is student led, partner* focused, and psychologically helpful to those welcoming a new addition to their household.

If you would like more information on what each of the six weeks include, contact me! In addition to the class itself, you will get access to a password protected site with extra links, videos, and local resources. We will also have an optional reunion class after everyone has given birth to process our stories together! And of course, class six is a full Breastfeeding Basics class itself.

Come and see how a GREAT class can help change the conversation you have about your birth, your confidence about your birth, and you and your baby’s healthy outcome – which is the MOST important thing!

*Whatever that means to you, all ranges of single-mom’s by choice are welcome, as are LGBTQA families. 

Starred Pick068Not in the Greater Cincinnati, Dayton, or Northern KY areas? Here is a link to finding a great instructor in your area!

Why Childbirth and Breastfeeding Education should be taken in-person

With the myriad of books out there, YouTube videos, downloadable CDs, and class systems, it can get really tempting to take a class in the comfort of your own home and on your own time. It sounds … awesome! Unfortunately it’s not recommended.

Here’s why you should take an in-person Prenatal Childbirth (and/or) Breastfeeding Class, local to you!

1) Discipline

Clients, and their families, report the intention to read the books, watch the videos, practice the moves, but in reality report low usage, even when it is products they have paid for! In addition, those who do find they have the discipline, have no access to …

2) Getting Individual Questions Answered

By taking a class with a birth professional, you are face-to-face with someone who wants to help! Many report that the beginnings of any childbirth or breastfeeding education class raises more questions to mind than it answers – at first. Having a qualified instructor right in front of you is irreplaceable!

3) Local Resources

A local educator has a wealth of local l knowledge at their fingertips. Whether it’s simple, like where to get a massage, or as complex as hoping to hear about feedback of your own provider, the only person who can provide those resources is someone who is active in the birth community.

4) Practice

Practicing for your birth, meaning getting to practice the multitude of tools you’re learning in a real way, can be an invaluable tool. Not only can you do this in a great class, you can also take examples from the extra videos, handouts, and in-person measures a class provides.

5) Community

Certainly not least: Community. Everything listed above can be provided in a private class just as much as it can in a group setting. However, as someone who has watched entire classes create their own moms groups after delivery, it is wonderful to see everyday community being creating in prenatal classes. You are learning together, empathizing together, and ultimately sharing your birth stories together after the class has completed!

If you aren’t in the Greater Cincinnati, Dayton, or Northern KY areas, click here to learn how to find a great educator near you! 

While I hope this list gives you the impetus to find a group class that works for you, please know that any measure of education before birth improves you and your child’s outcomes! Enjoy it!

 

Important Questions, re: Your Perinatal Education

1) Who is teaching the class? Can you find the instructor’s information beforehand? What are their qualifications, certifications, and continuing education credentials?

2) Is the class convenient for me?

Meaning, if you sign up, will you both actually get to go? Or can a friend, sibling, or parent go with you?

3) Is there a philosophy being taught? Are there any conflicting sponsorships?

4) Make a list of the subjects you want to learn about.

Then ask, are these being addressed in this class? If you aren’t sure from the class description, contact the instructor to ask!

This list has been generated by client feedback, please contact me if you’d like to add more! 

World Breastfeeding Week 2016

You may have noticed that the Week of Giveaways and this site’s launch coincided with World Breastfeeding Week. If not, then your social media algorithms are probably less attuned to breastfeeding and mom-based themes than mine. Huh, go figure.

What is World Breastfeeding Week?

This week, much like other social awareness campaigns, is a week set aside to promote and create awareness around breastfeeding. Sadly, in the United States this can seem like a promotion of privilege, as we know through research, and feedback from women, that access to resources, returning to work, support at home, and even the birth you have as well as the facility you choose to deliver at, can all directly contribute to breastfeeding outcomes. We’ll discuss each of those themes later, though, and how we can help other families overcome those barriers.

This year, World Breastfeeding Week is themed towards Sustainable Development.

Ok, that sounds super broad. The more direct breakdown of that reads:

“how breastfeeding is a key element in getting us to think about how to value our wellbeing from the start of life, how to respect each other and care for the world we share.”

In addition to supporting breastfeeding, then, this week is geared towards the more global and social perspective of promoting health, respect, and care for each other as well as for the babies we feed and the mothers who are caring for them.

So I challenge you.

  • Take the WBW Pledge.

By taking the WBW Pledge, you will list your location as a place that supports WBW, as well as “an event” which we’ll define in this post as individual actions you can take.  But that’s only the start.

  • Support

I challenge you to compliment, support, share, and honor families taking care of  babies and small children. Whether mothers have breastfed for 3 days or 3 years, wanted to breastfeed and couldn’t, exclusively pumped, or are breastfeeding now, one thing is certain: we want the best for our babies. We love our children. The action goals which you will read below acknowledge the early benefits that breastfeeding, and the larger awareness of early wellbeing, can have on our communities. This is something that the United States uses in our own Healthy People goals.

You can support a family or mother by providing a meal, paying for a coffee for the family in line behind you this week, or even walk up to someone feeding a baby in public and say thank you. In fact, below is a printable that you can hand to someone or use to tag them online. It is the little things that give us cultural messages of normalcy; we can make someone’s day by speaking positively to them.

GET EXCITED! (2)

  • Take Action.

You can take a look online at the action folder and choose to take action in any of the ways to make this mission statement a reality:

  1. nutrition, food security and poverty reduction
  2. survival, health, and wellbeing
  3. environment and climate change
  4. women’s productivity and employment
  5. sustainable partnership and the rule of law
  • Donate.

In your own home there may be resources that can be passed on to support a family with their baby.

Donate sterilized bottles directly to a family versus goodwill. Donate pumped milk to a local milk bank for at risk babies, or even directly to a family, as long as you’re also willing for them to do a home visit and get medical test results from you. Nursing bras, tanks, covers, simple supplies, which are tax write-offs, make a difference when it comes to financial access for many.

Starred Pick122

I’m going to thank you in advance for participating in World Breastfeeding Week 2016, because I know that even if you do just one thing on this list, that means there will be a domino effect your community.

A Week of Launch Giveaways

This Week of Giveaways, August 1-7, 2016, is Over!

Scroll down to see the AH-mazing things people won, and subscribe to the newsletter to be a part of the next one!


Welcome to the new Modern Breastfeeding + Education! This new site is a way to get easy access to prenatal education classes, in person individualized lactation support, and community resources such as our All Moms postpartum group series.

But first, it’s Giveaway Week to celebrate the launch of the site!

Normal online rules apply:
* Must subscribe to the Modern Breastfeeding + Education Newsletter
* Have to like and follow on Facebook AND Instagram. (PinterestTwitter, and Linked-In are optional, but have a ball.)
* Then, subsequently comment and/or share me on one of the above platforms for **that day’s** prize. You don’t have to comment or share on both, just one, Facebook or Instagram.
* Giveaway promotion starts **Monday, August 1st**, with prizes announced each day on Facebook AND Instagram, along with the winner from the previous day. I don’t want to clog up feeds too much.


ETA (Edited to Add): I’ve received questions on how I’m choosing winners and whether or not someone who has previously won can win again. The answer is YES. I’m pretty anal and love excel spreadsheets, so I’m doing this old school. Names are entered into a list once you share or comment on the post. Each day’s list starts anew. Then, after I double check that you’re following me on both facebook and Instagram, as well as subscribing to the newsletter, I ask my older son to pick a number between 1-however long the list is. I know, it makes me sound like a luddite, which I secretly am. I hope that helps, sounds truly anonymous and fair to all!

DAY ONE: Monday, August 1st

DAY  ONE


 

DAY TWO: Tuesday, August 2ndDAY TWO


 

DAY THREE: Wednesday, August 3rdDAY THREE


 

DAY FOUR: Thursday, August 4thDAY FOUR


 

DAY FIVE: Friday, August 5thDAY FIVE


 

DAY SIX: Saturday, August 6thDAY SIX


 

DAY SEVEN: Sunday, August 7th

GET EXCITED!

Day Seven IS announced! Because it’s fun and big and for parents AND little ones.

Want to guess? Think: coffee. Mmmmmmmmm

DAY SEVEN

 

With Fun Ahead, Gillian Foreman

 

 

My Thesis as a Blog Post. Part I.

As a now supposed academic this should appall me, reducing a 100 page tome that represents a year of my life into a blog post. But it doesn’t. As proof, I just started a sentence with a conjunction, so there!

If grad school taught me anything, aside from research methodologies, medical statistics intrepretation, ethics in healthcare models … I digress. Let’s try that again. If grad school taught me anything, it’s that there’s a shocking amount of information garnered from published studies that everyday people don’t know about. This upset me a great deal.

Based on that, I composed a thesis proposal for “dissemination of academic information to expectant women”, that my thesis mentor, god-bless-her, Dr. Anna Blair, kindly laughed at and told me sounded like a PhD proposal. And so it was with my next three proposals. Sometimes I bite off more than I can chew, like having my own thriving business, a 3.5 year old, a 6 month old, and applying for grad school … huh, go figure.

Then she said words I literally wrote down they were so awesome: “Why are you in this program?” 

She was right. I had abandoned almost 500 hours of internship hours in a different Pathway before switching to an academic Pathway for my IBCLC. (This is nerdy lactation speak – there are 3 Pathways to apply to sit for the board exam. Doula support and teaching hours don’t count. You have to follow around a mentor for documented hours, and I was lucky enough to have 4 mentors in NYC.) I switched because I wanted to know what would really help women breastfeed. That, and I was already reading so much research on a weekly basis, I knew I could do more with it.

Accordingly, she encouraged me to work backwards.

Research stats show us that attending a Prenatal Breastfeeding Class has less impact* than prior exposure to breastfeeding, partners being supportive, and maternal-influence.

*Gives you real faith to want to take a breastfeeding class now, doesn’t it?! Sign up now!

Getting back to it – to influence breastfeeding outcomes, I needed to understand those who wanted to breastfeed, as well as those who did not. After all, the women who called me for individual support or hired me for birth services because of my CLC, really wanted to breastfeed, struggles or not.

Thus my topic was born!

“Choices in infant feeding:
Why women choose to breastfeed or not to breastfeed, and when.
A crystallization method approach to existing research.”

Sounds super fancy, right? It’s basically a large scale literature review. More on that in Part II, I’ve babbled on long enough for a blog post.

 

 

Comprehensive Childbirth Education Series

Next Series:

Fridays, November 30th – January 18th*
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM (*skips holiday weekends 12/21 and 12/28)
Fridays, January 25th – March 1st
6:00 PM – 8:30 PM
at 5011 Kenwood Road

Gillian uses her background of teaching childbirth education for the past seven years combined with a strong love for current research, to look beyond method-based approaches, and instead bring something completely new to you in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

What is a Comprehensive Childbirth Education Series?

In this six week comprehensive class, we explore the myriad of topics you’d expect including: nutrition, positions, labor stages, anatomy, coping skills and strategies, breathing, and partner support. However, we will also delve into the intricacies of mental imagery, the emotional (i.e. hormonal) component of birth, as well as postpartum preparation and recovery.

Further, we’ll explore what the difference is between an intercession and an intervention. That is, we’ll explore epidurals, inductions and augmentation, and family-centered cesarean births.

Therefore this class is appropriate for homebirthers and planned natural births alongside planned medicated or high-risk births. You’ll make friends in a supportive environment without judgement to birth labels and instead focus on your birth outcome.

In Class 6, you’ll take a full Breastfeeding Class, which has also been designed based on research into best possible outcomes and input from years of students, by an IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant).

All students will have access to a password-protected portion of this site with extra information, articles, and videos.

*All classes need a minimum of 3 families / couples enrolled, or they will be cancelled. So share online and spread the word.

 

Register for Comprehensive Childbirth Education Series

The six-week group costs $275. A $50 deposit is due upon registration. You will be directed to Paypal after clicking on "Register" below

Name (required)

Email (required)

Telephone (optional)

Please indicate which date you are signing up for:

additional info