DONA Doulas are now included on the approved list for Health Care by SunLife Financials (the #1 group insurance provider in Canada)
This means that clients who have a Health Spending Account through SunLife can be reimbursed for the fees they pay to their doula. The client will pay the doula and the doula will provide a receipt for her fee. The client will then submit that receipt for reimbursement. NOTE: The doula has to be certified.
Can I tell you a secret?
I'm a little afraid of the Internet this week. August 1st -7th is World Breastfeeding Week, and as a breastfeeding mom, I'm ready to shout my success from the proverbial Internet rooftops. I've nursed Ben for 14 months, and I have been pretty vocal about how I've overcome some nasty hurdles so that I could breastfeed him.
But I am also a former formula-feeding mom. Max grew strong and healthy with formula, and I remember how it felt to see so many moms high-fiving each other during World Breastfeeding Week. Of course I was thrilled for them, but I was heartbroken for myself. I felt ostracized by their celebrations, and became increasingly fragile and sensitive to judgment.
There's going to be drama on the Internet this week, ladies. Moms like to shame each other. We do it because we're exhausted, or frustrated, or feeling unsure about our own parenting choices. So in honor of the warrior moms on both sides of the World Breastfeeding Week celebrations, I officially present to you 30 Ways That Breastfeeding and Bottle-Feeding Are Exactly The Same:
1. You are only half-awake when you have to feed your baby at 3 a.m. And again at 3:45 a.m. And again at 5:15 a.m sweet Jesus why are you still waking up little baby?!
2. You hold your breath when it's time for their weigh-in at the pediatrician's office, and cross your fingers for just a few more ounces gained this time.
3. You cry over spilled milk. That stuff is precious, and it's painful when it's wasted.
4. You pay way too much attention to your baby's poop. Is there enough? What color is it? Will you be in the middle of the grocery store when they have their next blow-out?
5. You become an artful dodger of spit-up.
6. You will argue with someone over how you are feeding your baby, when you are feeding your baby, or what you are feeding your baby.
7. You will wonder if you're doing it wrong, and convince yourself that everyone else has learned how to do it right.
8. You'll start out at the bottom of the learning curve, and look back with pride when you realize that it didn't get easier... you got better at it.
9. You'll rely heavily on a vice to get you through the first few months of constant feeding. Coffee, Sonic drinks, wine, decaf tea, chocolate. Something that is just for you.
10. You will pray that your baby falls asleep while you're feeding him. You will close your eyes and pretend to be asleep, so that they get bored and go to sleep. Mostly, you will actually fall asleep.
11. You will talk to yourself. A lot. As if your baby could actually read your mind, and hear the "Please go to sleep. Please go to sleep. Please go to sleep. Oh my God what the hell was that NOISE?!" prayer.
12. As soon as you sit down to feed the baby, your toddler wants something.
13. As soon as you sit down to feed the baby, the doorbell rings.
14. As soon as you sit down to feed the baby, you hear your 5-year-old dumping an entire bag of pretzels on the floor because he is "big now, Mom" and can get his own snacks.
15. Your baby tries to grab your glasses off of your face every time you feed her. You give up and let her. Who needs to see, when you're pretending to be asleep?
16. Regardless of what you're feeding her, she would prefer your drink. And it's even better if she can put her entire arm in your glass.
17. You will obsess over having "enough" to feed her.
18. You think a lot about feeding your baby, but not enough about feeding yourself. So you eat Goldfish crackers for breakfast and try not to drop crumbs on the baby's head as you feed him.
19. When you are feeding your baby in public, you convince yourself that everyone is watching you... and judging you.
20. You will have to pee as soon as your baby stops crying and starts eating.
21. Your baby will get distracted by the noise of a butterfly cruising by outside the window, or a train coming through the town 30 miles away. Your feeding session will be over when he tries to catch the butterfly, or board the train.
22. You'll cry when you have to go back to work, and let someone else feed him.
23. You'll cry when it hits you that you're never going back to work, and that you're the one who will be responsible for feeding him forever and ever until the end of time.
24. Your mother-in-law will have an opinion about how you feed your baby.
25. Your pediatrician, your neighbor, and the guy who bags your groceries will, too.
26. You'll obsess over whether or not your baby will take a bottle from the sitter the first time you go out on a date night.
27. You are secretly proud of the fact that you are the only one who can get him to go to sleep, because you have that special thing that you do together while he eats, and you sing that special song that only you sing.
28. One day you take a breath, and realize that you did it. You've made it this far, and you really are OK.
29. So you look back and you reach your hand out to the mom who is just starting the journey, and you promise her that you'll teach her your tricks. That she can do it, too. And you tell her that the best part of feeding your baby with love, is that...
30. You will memorize the way his eyelashes melt into his cheeks as he drinks, and live for the moments when his chubby little palm pats your arm. The best part of your day will be the silent minutes when you and your baby relax into each other, and he eats, and you breathe, and you rock.
Kim Simon is a Co-Founder of the I Support You project, which aims to foster understanding and connection between formula-feeding and breastfeeding moms. To learn more about this campaign, please visit the I Support You Movement or Mama By The Bay.
This article is part of HuffPost Parents' World Breastfeeding Week series. Read more here.
Are you raising nice kids? A Harvard psychologist gives 5 ways to raise them to be kind - July 19, 2014 by Amy Joyce
Washington Post - www.washingtonpost.com/news/parenting/wp/2014/07/18/are-you-raising-nice-kids-a-harvard-psychologist-gives-5-ways-to-raise-them-to-be-kind/
Earlier this year, I wrote about teaching empathy, and whether you are a parent who does so. The idea behind it is from Richard Weissbourd, a Harvard psychologist with the graduate school of education, who runs the Making Caring Common project, aimed to help teach kids to be kind.
I know, you’d think they are or that parents are teaching that themselves, right? Not so, according to a new study released by the group. (Chat with Weissbourd here.)
About 80 percent of the youth in the study said their parents were more concerned with their achievement or happiness than whether they cared for others. The interviewees were also three times more likely to agree that “My parents are prouder if I get good grades in my classes than if I’m a caring community member in class and school.”
Weissbourd and his cohorts have come up with recommendations about how to raise children to become caring, respectful and responsible adults. Why is this important? Because if we want our children to be moral people, we have to, well, raise them that way.
“Children are not born simply good or bad and we should never give up on them. They need adults who will help them become caring, respectful, and responsible for their communities at every stage of their childhood,” the researchers write.
The five strategies to raise moral, caring children, according to Making Caring Common:
1. Make caring for others a priority
Why? Parents tend to prioritize their children’s happiness and achievements over their children’s concern for others. But children need to learn to balance their needs with the needs of others, whether it’s passing the ball to a teammate or deciding to stand up for friend who is being bullied.
How? Children need to hear from parents that caring for others is a top priority. A big part of that is holding children to high ethical expectations, such as honoring their commitments, even if it makes them unhappy. For example, before kids quit a sports team, band, or a friendship, we should ask them to consider their obligations to the group or the friend and encourage them to work out problems before quitting.
• Instead of saying to your kids: “The most important thing is that you’re happy,” say “The most important thing is that you’re kind.”
• Make sure that your older children always address others respectfully, even when they’re tired, distracted, or angry.
• Emphasize caring when you interact with other key adults in your children’s lives. For example, ask teachers whether your children are good community members at school.
2. Provide opportunities for children to practice caring and gratitude
Why? It’s never too late to become a good person, but it won’t happen on its own. Children need to practice caring for others and expressing gratitude for those who care for them and contribute to others’ lives. Studies show that people who are in the habit of expressing gratitude are more likely to be helpful, generous, compassionate, and forgiving—and they’re also more likely to be happy and healthy.
How? Learning to be caring is like learning to play a sport or an instrument. Daily repetition—whether it’s a helping a friend with homework, pitching in around the house, or having a classroom job—make caring second nature and develop and hone youth’s caregiving capacities. Learning gratitude similarly involves regularly practicing it.
• Don’t reward your child for every act of helpfulness, such as clearing the dinner table. We should expect our kids to help around the house, with siblings, and with neighbors and only reward uncommon acts of kindness.
• Talk to your child about caring and uncaring acts they see on television and about acts of justice and injustice they might witness or hear about in the news.
• Make gratitude a daily ritual at dinnertime, bedtime, in the car, or on the subway. Express thanks for those who contribute to us and others in large and small ways.
3. Expand your child’s circle of concern.
Why? Almost all children care about a small circle of their families and friends. Our challenge is help our children learn to care about someone outside that circle, such as the new kid in class, someone who doesn’t speak their language, the school custodian, or someone who lives in a distant country.
How? Children need to learn to zoom in, by listening closely and attending to those in their immediate circle, and to zoom out, by taking in the big picture and considering the many perspectives of the people they interact with daily, including those who are vulnerable. They also need to consider how their
decisions, such as quitting a sports team or a band, can ripple out and harm various members of their communities. Especially in our more global world, children need to develop concern for people who live in very different cultures and communities than their own.
• Make sure your children are friendly and grateful with all the people in their daily lives, such as a bus driver or a waitress.
• Encourage children to care for those who are vulnerable. Give children some simple ideas for stepping into the “caring and courage zone,” like comforting a classmate who was teased.
• Use a newspaper or TV story to encourage your child to think about hardships faced by children in another country.
4. Be a strong moral role model and mentor.
Why? Children learn ethical values by watching the actions of adults they respect. They also learn values by thinking through ethical dilemmas with adults, e.g. “Should I invite a new neighbor to my birthday party when my best friend doesn’t like her?”
How? Being a moral role model and mentor means that we need to practice honesty, fairness, and caring ourselves. But it doesn’t mean being perfect all the time. For our children to respect and trust us, we need to acknowledge our mistakes and flaws. We also need to respect children’s thinking and listen
to their perspectives, demonstrating to them how we want them to engage others.
• Model caring for others by doing community service at least once a month. Even better, do this service with your child.
• Give your child an ethical dilemma at dinner or ask your child about dilemmas they’ve faced.
5. Guide children in managing destructive feelings
Why? Often the ability to care for others is overwhelmed by anger, shame, envy, or other negative feelings.
How? We need to teach children that all feelings are okay, but some ways of dealing with them are not helpful. Children need our help learning to cope with these feelings in productive ways.
Here’s a simple way to teach your kids to calm down: ask your child to stop, take a deep breath through the nose and exhale through the mouth, and count to five. Practice when your child is calm. Then, when you see her getting upset, remind her about the steps and do them with her. After a while she’ll start to do it on her own so that she can express her feelings in a helpful and appropriate way.
by Judy Dutton