• April 2021

    Growth Spurt & Milk Supply

    Growth Spurt? By Laura Maxson, LM Resolving an unexpected dip in an established milk supply includes recognizing frequency days, decreasing pacifier use, increasing nighttime nursing opportunities, and possibly temporary breast pump use to help build the supply.. Once breastfeeding is established, most parents breathe a big sigh of relief. Got this! Then one day, the baby is suddenly inconsolable and wants to nurse all day and all night, too. A quick check for anything obviously wrong most often finds no fever or symptoms other than a baby who wants to be at the breast constantly. Before hitting the panic button (is it colic, reflux?), it’s good to remember the supply…

  • A Tired Mother with Upset Baby Suffering with Post Natal Depression.
    February 2021

    Speak Up

    Speak Up! By Laura Maxson LM Many parents are facing more stress than ever with all that is going on in our world. Those who need help with postpartum depression or mood disorders are encouraged to speak up and get help. Want a peek into the complexities of life with a new baby? Just take a look at the greeting card aisle. You’ll see new baby cards that describe the birth of a child as a gift, a promise for the future, and nothing but snuggles, giggles, smiles and of course, love, love, and more love. Intermixed with the sweet new baby cards, however, are plenty with another message. These…

  • A pregnant lesbian woman
    December 2020

    Movie Night

    Movie Night By Laura Maxson, LM People are sticking pretty close to home with the recent COVID-19 flareups in our community. Families know the drill by now. Everyone already has a plan in place to safely shop, order food to go, and function in our partially functioning society.One thing that is often missing in this partial lockdown is casual conversation among friends and the opportunity to make new acquaintances. For those currently pregnant, there is no more lingering in the midwife’s waiting room to finish a conversation with someone who has the same due date, comparing childbirth education classes, or setting up playdates for kids. Considering all the lost opportunities…

  • October 2020

    You’re Already Ready

    You’re Already Ready By Laura Maxson LM Most of the resources needed to cope with labor already exist within the pregnant body. Be open to the flexibility of whatever might work in the moment works best when surrounded by those who can help along this journey. Preparing for labor is often more about a mindset of trust than an elaborate plan. Simple can still be powerful. SoundIt is expected that labor will hurt. What might be unexpected is that by giving into the process, the pain can become a song in the body and the voice becomes a powerful instrument, taking the intensity of labor and channeling it down deep…

  • September 2020

    Black Babies’ Live Matter

    Black Babies’ Lives Matter by Laura Maxson, LM The American Journal of Public Health published “Black Lives Matter: Claiming a Space for Evidence-Based Outrage in Obstetrics and Gynecology” in October 2016. This article points out that continuing to document poor outcomes for Black patients and accepting it as a given is not progress. The authors conclude, “Race is a social construct and the overwhelming statistics we present are attributable to a broken racist system, not a broken group of women.” This is a message that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) need to hear loud and clear; because the message they’ve been told is that they are indeed broken;…

  • birthmatters
    August 2020

    Breastfeeding Month

    Breastfeeding Month By Laura Maxson, LM August is here and, like the rest of the year, nothing is business as usual. Normally, Santa Cruz County Breastfeeding Coalition and WIC (Women, Infants and Children) would be inviting everyone to their annual Breastfeeding Walk and Health Fair, but that is not happening this year due to COVID19.Although families will not gather together in the park to celebrate this year, they will be able to participate in virtual activities all month long during National Breastfeeding Month. Locally, families can connect with the Breastfeeding Coalition and their member organizations on Facebook to learn more about the benefits of human milk and local/virtual events. (facebook.com/SCCBFC)…

  • July 2020

    Keeping Cool

    Keeping Your Cool BY Laura Maxson, LM While summer may not be the most comfortable season to be pregnant, Santa Cruz with its many microclimates is a great place to be for the summer. Damp and foggy mornings provide a welcome break to hot afternoons. A walk on West Cliff in the early evening can provide exercise, a beautiful view and most often a cooling ocean breeze. A quick drive up to Felton, Boulder Creek, or the Aptos hills will find shady redwoods and babbling creeks. To beat the heat, dress for comfort from top to bottom. A sundress, airy and lightweight (and no waistband), is perfect for a heat…

  • Mom and Baby
    May 2020

    Support from Afar

    Support from Afar BY LAURA MAXSON, LM Parents are facing a postpartum experience quite different from what they may have planned. Family and friends aren’t dropping by. Nobody is getting on a plane to visit anyone in the near future. Families still need support, and friends and family can still help in new and different ways. Safety Dealing with COVID 19 means adding extra safety steps. Wash hands and wear a mask during meal preparations, while shopping or making drop offs. Keep your distance with porch drops, disinfect, and keep up with safety recommendations. Helpers Some families prefer just one person to come into the home to help. This may…

  • April 2020

    Planning for the Unimaginable

    Planning for the Unimaginable BY LAURA MAXSON, LM The COVID19 pandemic is in its initial rise as this article is being written. Life is changing with shutdowns, shortages, social distancing and more. It is hard to know exactly where we will be in a few weeks when this article is published. However, it seems likely that normal life will be quite altered, as everything is put on hold. Childbirth, however, is one thing that is not going to be put off, pandemic or not. Planning for birth and postpartum can feel pretty unsettling with the current state of affairs. Here are some considerations for this challenging time: A labor tool…