I am a former working (outside of the home) mama. I know what it feels like to go back to work after having those much too short 6-12 weeks of maternity leave off. You’re tired. Exhausted. Beyond worn out. You’re still not quite sure how you’re going to squeeze into your work pants that have been hanging in your closet for weeks. You’re nursing. Your baby is feeding on demand. You’re scouring the internet looking for reviews or comments or any kind of feedback you can find on breast pumps and how to manage the pumping, storing, and yes pumping some more while at work. And your emotions can’t help but compete with your brain about thinking about all of this along with all of the other tasks you’ll have at hand when you go back to work.
I’m also a mama who gave birth via C-section to my second child. I felt like I was rushed into that decision. I wish I had reached out to the wonderful people and support and other mamas going through all of the same thought processes that I have now found through Mama’s Hip. I read over the commentary on their Facebook page and think, why in the world did I not seek these encouraging, strong women out the during weeks leading up to my birth. Now I know they are there. Now I will help spread the word to other mamas in Louisville who just need a word of advice, a helping hand, and a place to go and meet other mamas. Mama’s Hip is a gem in the Highlands.
And there are other gems as well that I have learned about since coming in contact with Shannon Stone, owner of Mama’s Hip. Gems like Birth Care Network, Dandelion Birth Services, and BirthWalk. All of these mama-empowered places and people exist to help. Another area I struggled with was nursing, and I met a wonderful lactation consultant at the hospital. She directed me to Babyology to rent a pump because I was having trouble with my newborn latching on. I was ready to give up nursing, but she advised me to at least pump and still feed my baby the most natural way. Oh how I wish now that I had dug a little deeper and connected with someone from these sources so that my nursing experience could have been more satisfying.
Heard of the BraPalooza? It’s happening right now and is a wonderful outreach to other mothers who may not breastfeed because they feel inhibited, or under-informed, or simply can’t afford a nursing bra and that may be the reason why they choose not to breastfeed. There are mothers who could absolutely benefit from the unused nursing bra that is sitting in your dresser drawer. Consider donating it to the BraPalooza drive, coordinated by Milk and Baby. You can drop off your gently used nursing bras and tanks to the KidStuff Sale, going on this weekend March 21-24. The consignment sale is held at the Ramada Inn Conference Center at 9700 Bluegrass Parkway in Jeffersontown. You can also drop them off at Mama’s Hip, A Mother’s Touch, or contact Milk and Baby via email, firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a drop-off time. Check their description for donating here. The donated bras will be given, free of charge, to mothers during World Breastfeeding Week during a special bra fitting.
Milk and Baby is a nursing mama’s store for trendy, fashionable wear for those occasions when you want to have a night out. Think of them when you need to get away from all the mama-ing because they are now highlighting their spring attire. Perfect for the 1st Saturday in May, their pregnant and nursing dresses will allow those mamas to look and feel good if they are attending the Derby, or any other spring function. Check out their website for more information.
Mama’s Hip is hosting a screening of Ina May Gaskin and the Farm Midwives on Thursday, April 4 at 7pm. See the story of a midwife who led the way from rigid hospital birth practices to the natural birth approach that is midwifery today. A panel discussion of midwife options will follow the film. See their Facebook event page to RSVP. Cost is $10 and the location is not yet determined; follow their Facebook posts to stay updated.
Mama To Mama is “a non-profit organization designed to increase social support for all mothers in an effort to ease the transition to motherhood and promote healthy parenting practices that are sustainable for families, our community and environment.” It is the service-oriented, outreach-driven project that extends from Mama’s Hip and founder Shannon Stone.
There are so many classes and workshops available via Mama’s Hip. You can check out all of the options by browsing the website’s calendar. They partner with so many wonderful natural parenting resources in Louisville. From Attachment Parenting International and Kentuckiana Babywearers, to La Leche League and Modern Cloth Revolution, you will find a place to ask questions. You will find answers. You will meet others who will listen to your story and be there for you to make those informative decisions regarding what is best for you, your baby, your family.
Photo credits: Mama’s Hip