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#DearCinnaMoms March 22'


Your warmth, your colors

Your beauty sparks jealousy

Life giving magic,

Pure energy.


Greens, blues, reds and pinks

Gone, the gray and bleak.


Winter storms and now your showers,

Reborn are we,

Adored, your flowers.


It is spring indeed




Happy Women’s History Month


There could not be a better time, a better season to celebrate the reason we are here. For all that you do, have done, and will do, we thank and celebrate you! As a CinnaMom has said it best, “Sending love and light to all the women and the mommas!”


CinnaMoms has gathered and continues to meet on the first and third Thursday of each month to share and discuss the topics that matter most to you. On our first gathering of March, several CinnaMoms facilitators worked together to provide simultaneous breastfeeding information and support to our attendees divided into three groups: expectant families, families with newborns, and families with babies one month and older. Our second CinnaMoms event of March included a special guest speaker, Poet Laureate Georgina Marie, for a Floetry session of writing for self-care and self-expression.



But First

Are you looking for a parent coach, personal nurse, support circles, or mental health support? How about information on Doulas, support for black dads or fathers of black children? For information on these services and more, check out: https://www.cinnamoms.org/resources to find our list of partners. You may count on us as part of your village of support.



Let it flow

Before we headed out into breakout rooms (smaller zoom rooms within zoom rooms,) Ronie spoke on the current state of infant formula safety and shortages as well as the importance of breastfeeding and breastfeeding support.


“It is more important now than ever” –Ronie


It was becoming increasingly difficult to find infant formula in stores. We were encouraged to purchase only what we needed instead of everything we could get our hands on because that fear was only driving up its scarcity. This is not like the toilet paper shortages; our babies need to feed.


There is no need to panic about what unknowingly and accidentally went into your baby’s milk or finding enough of it when you are the one making it. Granted there are some difficulties with some moms when it comes to producing enough but with the right kind of support, you may be able to produce all the milk your baby needs. Ronie said, “To build it, you must demand it.” Your breastmilk is not about supply and demand, it is demand to supply.


Milk making 101


Need to suck vs. feed


Our infants are born with a need to suck more than to feed. Colostrum is drawn in drops totaling to about the size of a quarter; it may not seem like enough for us, but it is the perfect amount for them. When there is frequent stimulation and emptying of the breast, we increase the milk volume.


Know your tummy sizes


A quarter ounce? No, a quarter. The ready-to-feed formula we find in the hospital comes in two ounces because of the manufacturing process, not how much newborns are supposed to drink. Were you told, your baby should feed two ounces every two hours? Yes later, but not when their stomach is only the size of a cherry. Rapid growth is happening in those early days and more on the inside than out. Those drops of colostrum are more than enough and all your baby needs.





Signs of milk transfer


We can know if our babies are having enough even if it cannot be measured. If we were using an aluminum bottle instead of a clear one, could we not feel the bottle’s lightness in our hand? Do we hear or see them swallowing? Are there signs of satisfaction? There is always diaper counting and weight gain we can track.


Just one bottle


Aside from the bottle-flow preference that can develop and especially in those early days, “just one bottle can affect milk production and interrupt the baby’s ability to breastfeed.”-Ronie, A decrease in stimulation leads to a decrease in production. Rebuilding your supply then requires a lot more time and energy which we may not have much left of.


Time to Breakout


To provide tailored breastfeeding support, CinnaMoms offered three options for us to choose our breakout rooms. We were divided into smaller groups for a more intimate gathering with our breastfeeding professionals and on our way out, were posed two questions to meditate on and maybe share with our groups:


What have you heard about breastfeeding?

What was something you wish you knew?


Room 1

In the first group, we found Rhonda and Danille co-leading the group addressing questions from our pregnant moms that included demonstrations of proper latching.

Rhonda- “My breast differs from yours, almost all babies can feed, and the size of your areola does not matter because your baby can feed from you.”

Rhonda also shared that using your fingers for a cigarette or scissor hold will only get in the way. "Use the position that works best for you but, whatever you do, bring the baby to you." -Rhonda. When positioning for a latch, you can find it uncomfortable or even painful the other way around.


Room 2

We join Ronie as she answers questions from families of newborns on milk supply and the importance of stimulation when using bottles to help protect your milk supply.

How many ounces should a three-week-old be consuming? Ronie's response, “Watch for the hunger cues and growth spurts, latch if you are seeing signs of hunger to help meet their demands of growth and development."

Your baby may go a few days without pooping and not be constipated, maybe even three to four days without a dirty diaper followed by a poop explosion. This usually happens when they are growing and though they are growing every day, they do grow more on some days than others.

Message from Ronie to a breastfeeding mom: “Keep doing what you are doing, it’s not that you’re not producing enough, he’s growing and needs to breastfeed more to help you make more milk.”

Room 3

I wish to be in any discussion that Wanda is facilitating, a Lactation Consultant by profession, CinnaMoms Facilitator by calling than a choice. Hitting baseballs out of the park like a big leaguer at t-ball. (That is about the extent to my baseball references) Clear and concise:

How long does frozen milk last?

In a big freezer, your milk can be stored safely for up to one year. In a smaller freezer, your milk is exposed to more warm air when opened so maybe only six months.

If you happen to have a lot of extra milk stored and are not donating; “you can share the wealth, offer your stored milk to your older children and give them some of the benefits.”

If you have concerns about your baby developing a bottle flow preference, or your older kids not drinking from bottles anymore, “It doesn’t have to be a bottle, sippy cups, and regular cups work just fine.

And finally, the reason Wanda is my hero:


What was something you wish you knew about breastfeeding?


Many of us would agree that breastfeeding takes time and so does formula feeding but some may say they wish they knew that breastfeeding would be so time-consuming and that our babies would always want to feed.


These feelings are completely valid but leave it to Wanda to tackle this subject so beautifully. “Our kids need us, unlike other mammals, and holding your baby does not spoil your baby.” For years we were told not to carry our little ones because doing so not only spoils them but makes them dependent and that is just not true!



“It is normal, we don’t see it so it feels abnormal but it is normal and good.’ ‘During slavery, we were not able to hold our babies, now we can.”


The group discussions continued, but how can we follow that?




Floetry


On March 17th, we were honored with the presence of a very special guest, Poet Laureate, and former WIC counselor from the Lake County WIC program, Georgina Marie. The Academy of American Poets selects Poet Laureates who then serve their communities to help raise awareness and appreciation of literacy and poetry. Georgina also hosts a podcast called Rooted in Poetry and comes to us from Northern California for a poetry flow session and continues her life’s mission to offer support and bring out our inner poets.


For more information, please visit:


Georgina tells us, she writes as a form of self-expression and for self-care. “Anyone can do it,” it can be insightful and therapeutic. Today she challenged us to look deep within ourselves, peel away the layers and confront how we truly feel by sharing a few writing prompts as we put pen to paper.


CinnaMoms invites you to take part in the writing exercise as we did. We were read a writing prompt then given five minutes to explore and note our thoughts. After five minutes, we came together again and we were invited to share with the rest of the group.


Prompt 1: How are you feeling right now, REALLY? Write about all of it. Joy, anger, happiness, grief. Be authentic and honest and uncomfortable if you have to be.


Prompt 2: Write a list of things you think you might WANT to write about and things you think you DON’T WANT to write about. This can include insecurities and fears (We all have them <3).


Prompt 3: Make a list of things that you are grateful for and/or make a list of things that you would like to feel more gratitude for.


Prompt 4: What do you need to do to honor the feelings that came up from the above questions or to honor yourself as you are today?


How I wish I could share with you what was read that day, the stories, raw emotions, and moving poetry. Not just because these gatherings are in a safe space, rather it was more of a “you had to be there” kind of thing.


Dear CinnaMoms,

Stripped of armor, baring souls and vulnerable. Yet here you stand exuding strength, backed by words of love and support, your fellow man, your sisters, stand with you and refuse to let you falter.


How did we feel after Floetry?


Daynisha- “This is not your final chapter.”


Do you wish to take your writing further? Georgina invites us to join her virtual group:


Lake County Virtual Writers’ Circle 2022

Every 1st and 3rd Wednesday of each month

6:30-8:30pm PST Zoom meeting ID: 843 2939 0467


Until next time CinnaMoms, stay healthy and stay safe, you are not alone.




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