Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hello Flo "New Mom Kit" commercial...a backstory for expecting moms.

It's very funny and I really loved their first commercial about the girl getting her first period at camp too. I think this one is much funnier with a little context. Before you watch it, I'd like to spend a few minutes educating you about some of the bullet points, then share the video with you.....AFTER so it doesn't scare the hell out of you, especially if you are either,  a first timer, currently expecting or for women who might be thinking/planning to have a baby and breastfeed in the coming months or years.

In my classes we discuss how to prevent many of these discomforts.

First...Cracked nipples are not "normal".  This unfortunate issue is usually the result of a shallow latch.  Getting your baby to nurse is not as simple as getting them in close proximity to the nipple and letting them just go at it.  Nursing is the very first thing you will be teaching your baby how to do.  You have to be able to identify a healthy, deep latch before you let a baby near that nipple.  Doing it the right way, every time will almost always prevent this  problem.  Now, don't get me wrong, some discomfort is normal, your nipple is not likely accustomed to this much action, so tenderness is normal, but pain, bleeding, cracking, and pus are not.  So with some education, some persistence, and in a pinch, some support from a lactation specialist, you really can avoid this problem most of the time.  There are some other reasons, tongue tie, for example that may make a deep latch difficult or impossible for your baby until the frenulum can be fixed, this is usually discovered by your medical team at the time of birth, but if you are having pain while breastfeeding that exceeds "tenderness" or "discomfort" especially beyond latching (normal discomfort should decrease throughout the feeding) then you should be in touch with your medical team or with a lactation consultant, or for FREE support, you can contact your local La Leche League chapter.  Here is a little video to get you started.
How to latch on

Moving on...Bleeding. Even if this flat/non-wobbly bellied, Mira had recently given birth, she is not still bleeding from the tear in her perineum, any sizable tear will be approximated and sutured to close and there should be very little to no bleeding from that.  She's still bleeding because she is dancing like a freaking Rockette during her immediate postpartum.  Bleeding should start out heavy, and decrease daily BECAUSE the bleeding is coming from the placental site and with enough rest (7-10 days following a vaginal birth, longer for surgical birth because your body has more healing to do, being waited on and generally treated like a goddess...and nursing, which produces oxytocin, naturally helping to contract the uterus and return it to it's usual size, which in turn shrinks the placental site/bleeding owie inside the uterus) should subside in 2-4 weeks, but will usually reach point where it is just occasional spotting.  If your bleeding increases at any point in the days following your delivery, or is not slowing down, that is a reason to communicate with your birth team.  Probably you are just too active, like our friend Mira here, but excessive and/or ongoing heavy bleeding are not normal.

Spontaneously peeing your pants...of course they are going for comedy here, so this is a slight exaggeration for most women.  The kegel muscle which we use to control the flow of urine, to "hold it" has been stretched to allow the baby to be born, so yeah, it's a little out of shape.  You can certainly expect to have a greater urgency when you feel the need to pee.  You won't have the ability to "hold it" as long, especially when the bladder is full....damn gravity. Gravity, and bouncing up and down like a schoolgirl playing hopscotch immediately following a birth, might also contribute to Mira's situation.  If you work on building a strong kegel muscle before the birth, and then begin doing your kegels after, it will regain it's normal strength much faster than if it was weak to begin with and you are starting from 0.  Do your kegels through pregnancy and start again soon after the birth and you will not suffer from incontinence like poor Mira.

Oh God, the imagery....War torn vagina is cleared for drone strikes. Kinda funny to me, cuz I know it's not true, but it seems like pretty scary imagery for the target audience.
Your vagina should not be "war-torn" after a normal vaginal birth, especially if you have some guidance during the pushing stage.  Swollen, certainly; ice packs should be your vagina's best friend for the first couple days, followed by sitz baths.  Your vagina will be healing, ahem, well YEAH!!! It just birthed a baby. Take it easy, stay in bed, nourish your body, bond with your baby, the focus doesn't need to be on sex RIGHT AWAY.  You will be fine, women do this all the time, everyday, and go on to have amazing sex again. There may be sutures, and that can increase the amount of time needed to heal, but the reason most new moms are not ready to jump back in the sac is the bleeding, which often lasts longer than any healing of the birth canal. Oh, and lets not forget exhaustion. the 3-6 weeks following the birth of a baby is filled with physical/hormonal changes, healing, getting to know your baby, learning how to care for a newborn, sleeping as much as possible because tiny humans are unlikely to follow any kind of sleep schedule, learning how to nurse, changing diapers, etc.  Your sex partner is hopefully in the thick of all this with you and his/her focus will be largely on sleep as well.  It's only for a short time. War torn is a ghastly term.  It may take a few weeks for the whole area to heal, for the bleeding to stop and for your body to be ready to get it on.  It may be a little scary the first time and I strongly recommend talking openly beforehand about any fears or apprehensions you may have, and agree to take it slow and to have the freedom to stop (perhaps a safe word) if it doesn't feel good. I like to think most partners would want sex to feel good, feel safe, and feel loving.

Want more?  I've got 195 pages more. You can contact me for classes, or if you are not local to the Pacific Northwest, you can purchase my curriculum and educate yourselves privately in the comfort or your own living room.

So, in closing, the  "Hello Flo New Mom Kit"  falls into the category of "it can only help, and can not hurt to have some of these things around the house".  You may not need ALL of these things, but it's a sweet idea, a cute gift, and it might prove to be useful.
Now you may watch the commercial:
Postpartum: The Musical

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