At Bunky Bambino we believe that by offering a holistic care approach in the childbearing year that families will not only survive but actually enjoy and cherish the transition in to parenthood. Our services are not limited to Birth Doula support, we also have an amazing team of Postpartum Doulas, a seasoned Lactation Consultant and a Registered Holistic Nutritionist that will cook for you in your home!
Having a baby is a time of great excitement and anticipation, but it can also be an overwhelming and exhausting period in one's life and new parents tend to forget about their own needs. We know that giving birth is about so much more than just the birthing experience – it is a journey, and your team at Bunky Bambino will be there to walk alongside you prior to birth, during childbirth, and to support you through the postpartum period.
We offer our services to mothers and their partners throughout the Greater Vancouver area. By offering practical assistance, informational, emotional and physical support, our team can help you to feel more confident in meeting the challenges a new baby brings. We will be there to answer questions and to provide assurance in a gentle, non-judgmental way.
Whatever your prenatal, birth and postpartum needs are, we are committed to surpassing your expectations and it is of utmost importance to us that we bring you the most well-rounded, professional and compassionate care available. All of our services can be personalized into a package that meets your individual needs so that you and your family feel pampered and supported, and that this major life transition happens with the greatest of ease.
Cultivating calm and confidence in pregnancy, birth and early parenthood - that's what we do best!
Reach out to us today to see if our team is the right fit for you!
Late last year the world lost a beautiful soul to postpartum depression. Although I didn't know Florence Leung personally, her story has touched me very deeply and I tear up almost daily at the thought of the agony that she endured in her final days.
As a Birth and Postpartum Doula I have seen firsthand the devastating effects that postpartum depression can have on moms, their newborn babes and their partners.
Just a few days ago, Florence Leung's husband posted a statement on their public Facebook page stating that he feels the pressure to breastfeed was just too much for his wife.
When asked to do an interview with Global News on the subject, I began to question if we are putting too much pressure on new moms to breastfeed. Here's what I've come up with.
As educated birth professionals it is our job to provide evidence based information and care to our clients. Research does show that breast is best with benefits ranging from better immunity against infections, protecting baby from developing allergies and lowering the risk of SIDS. And it's not just better for baby but for mom too, i.e. shortening her postpartum healing time and lowering her risk of certain types of cancer. These are all wonderful benefits and what mom wouldn't want to breastfeed knowing this.
When meeting with our clients prenatally we often discuss the most ideal scenarios for the childbearing year. We provide tidbits of information in the event that the ideal doesn't pan out and then of course we deal with things when the ideal just doesn't happen. Although we hope for every mom that breastfeeding comes naturally it's not often the reality. In fact nearly 70% of our clients face one or more issues with breastfeeding, ranging from cracked nipples, slow infant weight gain, low milk supply, poor latch or tongue and lip tie. It's enough to make a mother cry....and they do!
A Few Tips for Setting Yourself Up For Success:
Hire a Doula! Studies show that women supported by doulas experience a 28% decrease in the risk of c-secion, 31% decrease in the use of Pitocin and a 34% decrease in the risk of being dissatisfied with their birth experience - all of which can have a direct impact on how you feel both emotionally and physically after your birth. Support from Postpartum Doulas can increase your success rate in breastfeeding and can lower your risk of postpartum depression.
Choose a breastfeeding friendly care provider that provides home visits after your baby is born. It's enough to get yourself dressed and showered in those first few days, so why should we expect new moms to get dressed, pack up baby and leave their home to make an appointment. Have them come to you! Midwives are a great option for this type of care.
Build Your Village! Don't wait until babe is born to start mingling. There are many groups throughout Vancouver and North Shore that support expectant and new moms - La Leche League, Breastfeeding and Postpartum Group and various Postnatal Programs. Don't let cost be a barrier as most of these programs are free!
Hire a Lactation Consultant! Ask your friends, doula or midwife for a referral to a trusted Lactation Consultant that provides non judgemental support, someone who will listen and lift you up. My personal fave is Shahrzad Tayebi! She is down to earth, laid-back, teaches instinctual breastfeeding and has plenty of experience under her belt.
When Is Enough Enough?
In my many years as Birth and Postpartum Doula, I have had clients use formula because it was the right choice for them in that moment. In most cases it is used as a bridge to get through a particularly rough time. When I see a mom that is really struggling, her confidence is shot and her sleep and mental health are starting to suffer, I completely support her in her decision to use formula. Perhaps she will supplement to help with a slow weight gain and when babes weight is up and mom has peace of mind then she can slowly wean baby off of formula. Some moms have to work at building up their milk supply and until they are feeling that they have enough for their little one, "top ups" can be the answer for them in the meantime. And in more severe cases, when mom can not overcome the struggles after exhausting all options she may need to bottle feed her babe formula full time. And for this mom, she needs to know that she is making the best decision for her and her baby.
Bottle feeding or breastfeeding; it's not my decision to make. All of my moms are heroes in my eyes and I'll support them in whatever decisions they make! They are strong, resilient, dedicated and loving. Their only flaw is that they're too hard on themselves!
Are You Suffering From Postpartum Depression or Postpartum Psychosis?
You are not alone! Postpartum depression is the most common complication of childbirth. Up to 1 in 7 women experience PPD. For half of women diagnosed with PPD, this is their first episode of depression. Only 15% of women with postpartum depression ever receive professional treatment. Postpartum psychosis affects 0.1 to 0.2% of new moms and often requires immediate treatment.
If you are concerned about your mental health and wellbeing and the physical safety of you and your baby, please read through these signs and symptoms to see if you identify with them. If so, reach out to family, friends, your neighbour, your care provider, your doula or your lactation consultant. Perinatal mood disorders are TEMPORARY and TREATABLE with professional help.
For support in the Greater Vancouver Area contact the Pacific Postpartum Society - toll free 1.855.255.7999.
A mothers health and wellbeing is of utmost importance both during and after pregnancy and ensuring she's well fed should always be a top priority. As a seasoned Birth and Postpartum Doula, I've accumulated quite a collection of nutritious recipes over the years and below is one of my favourites.
This recipe is full of galactagogue ingredients that aid in increasing breast milk production. I often recommend whipping up a few batches in the weeks leading up to the big day. Keep them in the freezer and have them ready to nibble on once babe has arrived.
Here's to a plentiful milk supply ladies!
As new parents, you mind and body are on overdrive which can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety. With so many new experiences, adjustments and opinions being thrown at you, it's completely understandable that you'd feel overwhelmed.
In my experience, one of the most common worries comes soon after a follow up visit to the health care provider where they discover their baby isn't gaining enough weight. Time and time again, I receive emails or phone calls from frantic parents who thought they were on the right track but have now lost all confidence in their parenting abilities.
This can be an awful feeling for new parents - trust me....I've been there. As care providers, we need to focus on reteaching women and new mothers to trust in their natural ability to birth and care for their baby. We tend to get lost in this world of modern technologies and differing opinions and it has led us to doubt our most primal instincts which then leads to lack the confidence in something that should come naturally.
I'd like to share some wonderful write ups by two well respected doctors in the birth community. They both shed light on the issue of infant weight gain and the detrimental effect that our obsession with numbers can have.
Dr. Jay Gordon - "It sounds simple doesn’t it? Yet I have seen so many moms whose babies have looked healthy, nursed well, met developmental milestones one right after the other and have lost all confidence in breastfeeding due to someone telling them that their baby’s weight was not on the charts. This someone was looking at the scale and charts, rather than the baby." Read more.
Dr. Jack Newman - "Breastfeeding mothers frequently ask how to know their babies are getting enough milk. The breast is not the bottle, and it is not possible to hold the breast up to the light to see how many ounces or millilitres of milk the baby drank. And this is a good thing!! We are not supposed to know how much the baby is getting but rather is baby getting enough. Our number-obsessed society makes it difficult for some mothers to accept not seeing exactly how much milk the baby receives." Read more.
Your body created a miracle! A little miracle! Your job is to help nurture the little one, take it step by step to work at getting strong knowing it takes time. Make sure not to miss out on the little moments in front of you, by wasting moments lost over the number of pounds shifting on the scale.
~ The Pregnant Jock ~
I encourage you to have faith in your body - to trust that it was perfectly designed to provide for you baby, to follow your intuition and to watch your babe closely to learn their cues and know their needs.
As a part of our Birth Doula Package, our clients are welcome to borrow books and DVDs from our ever-expanding library of pregnancy, birth and parenting resources. Below is a sampling of the titles we have available.
Pregnancy, Home Birth and Hospital Birth Resources:
Low milk supply is a common concern my clients have and is listed as a main reason why mothers quit breastfeeding. The experts tell us the percentage of women who actually can't produce enough milk for their baby is less than 5%.
So why are so many moms struggling to make enough milk? When we look at countries like Bangladesh where formula isn't affordable or readily available for most families, 98% of babies are breastfed on average until the age of 3 (WHO). In Norway, a country that has created a positive culture of breastfeeding, approximately 80% of babies are still being breastfed at the age of 6 months (Suzanne Barston, Bottled Up). Canada's initiation of breastfeeding sits at 87% but only 17% of that number continue on to exclusively breastfeed until 6 months (Infact Canada).
Let's take a look at why we're seeing such dramatic differences in various regions of the world. I believe that part of it is choice. Although formula feeding is frowned upon in both Norway and Canada, women still have the option not to breastfeed. Formula is easily accessible and most have the financial means to afford it. We have the freedom to make that choice whereas a mom in Bangledesh would have to tough it out and push on.
We also need to consider medical conditions that are more prominent in Western developed countries. Specifically, medical conditions that create fertility challenges for women can also cause low milk supply. Unfortunately, health care providers are not preparing mothers who struggle with infertility for the fact that they may struggle to breastfeed their baby.
There are many common and well know causes of low milk supply that primarily have to do with breastfeeding management. These factors require a good understanding of the law of supply and demand and best practices around breastfeeding.
These are a many number of other possible causes of low supply including retained placenta, poor latch, nipple confusion, stress and some medications. Visit Breastfeeding Your Newborn on Kelly Mom to learn more about establishing breastfeeding.
Aside from the usual culprits, there are a number of lesser know causes of low supply that often catch new moms by surprise.
If you are an expectant or new mom with one of the conditions listed above or if you're just plain concerned about milk production, please refer to the following suggestions to prepare yourself for your best chance at breastfeeding success.