Episode 131 Announcing All About Mothering Membership site
I love when we get to the end of a year. There are times when one year rolls into the next year as I look forward to happy times and watching the family grow and change. Perhaps there is an upcoming trip or a job change or a kid graduating from Kindergarten or High School. You know those big milestones. One year really stands out when we surprised the 3 kids with a trip to AZ to see the grandparents that they had not seen in about 5 months since they retired and moved from NY. That year we told the kids they could stay up as late as they wanted, which was a huge treat for them. Then at around midnight, we had a limo come and pick us up and take us to the airport. Up until that moment, the kids had no idea what we were doing.
I will never forget their excitement when we told them what we were doing. They went from being so excited about staying up and watching that Ball drop from Time Square, to putting on their coats and jumping into a limousine. I had their bags packed and was all ready to go. They jumped up and down the first half of the limo ride to the airport. It was the best NY ever and they never minded not getting the usual holiday gifts when they realized what we decided to do instead. Leaving the freezing cold NY weather and landing in the warmth of 75 degree weather January 1st, was about the best holiday gift I could ever give myself. The whole trip was a blast and unforgettable for the whole family.
While we have had many years of calm and peaceful NYE and other years of having fun NYE, I don’t think I have been quite as excited in a long time for January 1st as I am right now.
To help you understand my excitement now, I have to go back in time a bit. Here I am, a newly pregnant, for the very first time. Once I finally adjusted to the fact,, that I really was pregnant, I knew I had to find the right caregiver. Inside, I knew what I wanted and how I wanted to be treated and how I wanted my birth to go, however, I found it difficult finding the right ways to express myself. Where I lived, I could not find any midwives. My regular listeners know that I often date myself when I tell such stories and this will be no different.
I lived in the world of phone books and no Internet. None of my friends were married yet and no one had babies. I became very creative and I began calling up hospitals within 1 hour of where I lived. I asked the operator for the maternity unit. I then asked to speak to one of the nurses and I would do the same thing when I called up each hospital. I would first ask them if they knew of any midwives in the area. The answer was always a no. I asked them if they knew of any doctors who practiced similar to a midwife. The response with an actual name was far and few between, but I did get a few. I would always say, preferably a female. There were not too many female OBS then so I had no names on this list. One name kept coming up again and again. They would say: Oh,, you want Dr. Rochelson. That is who I decided to make my first appointment with. Dr. Burton Rochelson.
He turned out to be a very excellent OB. I spent every visit quizzing. Dr. Rochelson. I would bring in my notebook with questions and grill him about various things. His c/sec rate. His episiotomy rate. Prenatal testing. Dr. Rochelson was nice guy, but he was a bit too serious for my liking. so when I went in for each appointment,one of my goals would be to say something that made him laugh. I made a game of it.
Here is the thing though.. I asked him all my questions and felt I had found the right person to be with me during the birth. I never knew enough to ask one of the most important questions. What percentage of moms were you actually with when they gave birth. What happens during the time when you are seeing other patients and I am in labor? I didn’t know enough to ask and he may not have thought it important to tell.
I can go into my birth story of my first baby on another show, however, what happened was that I had a 26 hour labor and of course, he could not be there the whole time. So, who spent the time with in labor? The hospital staff? The nurses? And guess what? Their birth philosophy did not match up with mine? All the things I worked out with Dr. Rochelson, like walking around during labor, least amount of vaginal exams, no pain meds, epidural, eating and hydrating during labor…. I had to fight every step of the way to have these things my way because the nurses who were assigned to me did not agree. They would argue with me. I didn’t know enough to ask to be assigned another nurse. When Dr. Rochelson came into check on me at the end of at 18 hour labor, I said a few things, quite meekly and he went and spoke to the staff and for a while they were okay, but then slipped back into their usual ways. 8 hours later in the morning, when Dr. Rochelson came back on duty, I know this sounds crazy but I never really thought too much about what would happen if he needed to do things like, sleep, eat, see other patients, during the time I was in labor.
Alisha was born vaginally and without medication. I was happy with my baby, happy I had an unmedicated birth, and yet there was so much more that I had wanted from the birth. I was so upset that they did not want more than 1 person, my husband in the room at the same time. Talk about my mother. I was upset that they kept putting me on a time line… if you reach 8 cm in the next 2 hours, we won’t have to use forceps. If she is born in the next 4 hours, we won’t have to do a c/sec, but if you are at least no pushing by the time, we will have to do a c/section. The bargaining went on and on.
Basically, I realized from my pregnancy and birth with Alisha, that I did not know, what I did not know. And that angered me because I could not find out what I needed to know. I could not find out what were the questions I wanted to be asking. What should I be looking for? In the Dr. In the Staff, In the hospital. In their policies.
I took Lamaze childbirth classes, which I realized afterwards, taught me a whole lot, a whole lot about being a good and compliant hospital patient, not necessarily a good consumer. I quickly realized that once I became pregnant, this was a whole new world that I know little about and it was not as if I was assigned a guidance counselor who was going to ask me what my needs and interests were. There was no one to go to for help in navigating this journey of pregnancy and birth.
The next level of frustration for me happened when it came to breastfeeding. All I knew from my breastfeeding classes is that I was lucky to be at this hospital because they were very breastfeeding friendly. Well, I quickly realized that was not the case. they wanted to separate Alisha from me because she did appeared to swallow too much fluid when she was born, so they wanted to keep her overnight in the nursery and feed her formula from a bottle. I had my hands full with arguments over that one and finally negotiated that she could be kept in the nursery but I was to be called in for every feeding. Being new at this, I was not even sure what that meant… for every feeding. If I was not with her, how did I know when she was hungry? It was all a big mess and my goal quickly became to be discharged ASAP.
Believe me, I loved being pregnant, strangely enough with all the stress I had during my labor, I actually found giving birth quite the most amazing experience I will ever have in my lifetime. I loved my baby, but I was beyond overwhelmed. All of a sudden I was throw into this world of mothering. I had no idea what choices were available to me during pregnancy and now as a new mother, I had to think about breastfeeding and her sleeping or lack of sleeping, why did she sometimes cry for what seemed like hours. I had to think about her health care and vaccinations and antibiotic use and day care arrangements and pumping and going back to work.
There were times when I was not feeling so happy and I wondered why. After a few particularly bad days, I began to really think that I was a bad mother for having some thoughts about why I was not always the happiest mother on the block with the happiest baby on the block. There were days when I felt mad and angry at myself for not feeling blessed to have a healthy baby, every single minute of every single day. I began to realize that I wanted other mothers to talk to as I was feeling quite isolated and then I would wonder, why do I need other mothers, isn’t it enough for me to just be a mom and take of my baby each day?
When I did start to look for other moms to hang out with, I found it hard. Where do I begin? How do I get a conversation going? See a mom walking her baby in a carriage and say: do you want a friend?
At some point, I realized, that from the moment that I conceived Alisha, that there were actually many things I could have done differently, had I known. I forgave myself for not knowing, what I did not know. I began to do some research. From that point on, I now realize that everything that I did as a consumer in my mothering world, brought me to where I am today. Every time I realized I was pissed off about things, I made drastic changes. Once I realized a lot about pregnancy and birth, I decided to become a childbirth educator because I wanted to be able to share what I knew, with other mothers. Once I learned a lot more about the actual birth process, I became a birth doula because I wanted to educate other moms and I wanted to help support them and advocate for them during their births. At some point, after having 3 babies, I realized, this pp period is not an easy one for some and I became a pp doula so I could be with moms for the first 6 weeks after they had a baby. I could answer their many questions, help them get the rest they needed, answer baby care questions.
At some point, during this time, I started my own business called Pregnancy Connections. I had this great brochure and advertised my services. I was a real entrepreneur, although I did not call myself that at the time. I was always trying to be innovative. I gave childbirth classes in my home, parents homes and birthing centers. I taught them whether they were giving birth in the hospital or birth center or home, with a midwife or an OB.
Times were changing and more parents were working, longer hours, different shifts than M-F, 9-5, so I became creative when I kept hearing moms say that the class t times were not convenient and their partner could not make classes for 4 or 6 weeks in a row. I offered all day Saturday classes. My most fun venture was when I began a new entrepreneur venture and offered The Pregnancy Weekend Childbirth Classes. This was the coolest things. I made arrangements with some very nice hotels with great food and great amenities. Parents would come early Saturday am. All food was served to them except dinner Sat night when they were on their own. I had guest speakers c come in, plenty of breaks and I taught the equivalent of 6 nights worth of classes in 1 weekend. They connected and socialized with each other, many making lifelong friends and we ended early Sunday afternoon. The weekend classes were a hit. I made decent money and it was great.
All during this time, I realize now that I was setting the stage for what was to come.
I was pissed off about the way a lot of woman were treated with issues surrounding breastfeeding. I observed a lot of inaccuracies, inconsistencies, breastfeeding mismanagement. Personally and professionally. So, what did I do? I became an IBCLC so I could work closely with moms, educating them with evidence based research, offering them empathy when the going got rough, solutions to the everyday and very tough breastfeeding challenges. I have spent many hours in breastfeeding clinics, physicians offices, hospitals, birthing centers, getting a very well rounded education of what it is like for moms out in the trenches.
A few years ago, I opened up my private practice, All About Breastfeeding. I did this for several reasons and a big one was that I did not like it when I had supervisors and office managers, and directors of units and pediatricians telling me what I could and could not tell their patients about breastfeeding. Yes, the rebel in me did not like having her hands tied. If your baby had health issues that would make breastfeeding difficult, I wanted to be able to tell you this. If I felt that your breast surgeries were going to make it difficult for you to make enough milk for your baby, I wanted the freedom to be able to discuss this with you and come up with a care plan for success. I wanted to set up a practice where I could spend as much time with you as I needed to during our appointments. I wanted to be able to kibbutz with you and get to know you and your baby better. The freedom to practice how I wanted was incredibly important. Being an IBCLC in private practice allowed me to be a very happy lactation consultant with a very high rate of job satisfaction. I love the work that I do.
I am always looking to the future. What else can I do to make life easier for mothers? I am always interested in growing and perhaps changing how I do things if I learn better or different. When I find out ways I can better meet your needs, I go all in.
Becoming the host of All about Breastfeeding, was my next venture. This has been incredibly excited to have a voice that reaches thousands of people a month and the reach is global. How fantastic is it for me to get feedback from mothers all over the world telling me that breastfeeding has been going so well because of what they learned in the podcast. Some mothers had difficulties with 2 or more babies and never knew why until they heard one of my shows and then they began realizing what could have been. They realized the benefit of seeking expert help from an IBCLC and this changed their breastfeeding world forever. They were successful this time around and you don’t know how incredibly happy this makes me.
I am grateful for all the families that I have worked with and for the success I have achieved in the world of working with mothers and babies. All this experience is exactly what I bring with me to my latest venture, which you are just going to love and is going to be incredibly successful.
All of this experience has led me to create the cul de sac I have always dreamed of.
Ever since I had my second child, I came up with this fantasy idea.
Wouldn’t it be nice to have a cul-de-sac, you know a row of homes and at the end it was a dead end street where it had a circle for turning around at the end.
My fantasy is that every neighborhood would have a cul de sac, just like every neighborhood has a local library.
Within this cul-de-sac are different homes that welcome all mothers where they could learn and be around other mothers They could learn all about motherhood from other mothers who were all at different stages of motherhood. No mother was left behind. No mother was ever left feeling alone or isolated.
There were resources and learning opportunities from every subject of interest starting from conceiving a baby, infertility issues, navigating all the trimesters of pregnancy and postpartum, leading you through the breastfeeding and up to your baby’s first year. There is so much to know, such a huge learning curve and wouldn’t it be nice to not feel alone.
I fantasized about several homes in a row that would meet the various needs of mothers so that she didn’t walk around with feelings of: I don’t know what I am doing. I don’t know what questions to ask? How do I know what childbirth classes are best for me, breastfeeding classes.
So, here I am, on January 1st, 2017 opening up my virtual cul-de-sac, the All About Mothering membership site where you can join us and start on your Pathway to learning all about this stage of your life, from conception to the 3 trimesters of pregnancy, leading to the birth and turning into the 4th trimester, those first 12 weeks postpartum, where many of us feel the learning curve is huge and where we feel like we need to have access to good and accurate information as this leads us all the way to our babies first year.
All About Mothering is your on line place to go that will help you navigate through the wonderful world of early mothering.
There is a bit of a catch though. I am asking you to join this site, before it is fully developed. At a certain point, I realized, I just want to get it going, to put it out there. I also realized, how much more fun this will be if I have you along for the ride. I have been a founding member of some business and I have to say that it is actually quite fun and quite special to be a founding member. to know that I had an opportunity to give my input about what I liked, what needed work, what could be added, how they could make it better. the price was always right at a greatly reduced fee. I knew going in that the site had some good stuff there for me but that it was not fully loaded It was so much fun that I never know if it is great because I get to participate in the building of the site and can always say that I was a founding member or if I liked the fact that typically I was offered a lifetime membership at a greatly reduced price. Either way, it was a privilege to be a part of something new and exciting. When the membership site opens up on January 1st, there will be lots of information there already.The range and volume of information is going to be comprehensive. It will all be laid out in an easy to use road map or what I am calling: Your pathway from conception through your baby’s first year. Will it be complete by January 1st? definitely not. Will I be adding a lot every month? Absolutely?
Even when I think it will be done, it probably won’t be done as I will always be adding to it.
Right now there are:
Some great videos by experts in their fields
Handouts for you to download
Checklists for you to utilize to help you make decisions.
Every week I will have a 1 hour Q & A session where you can interact with me and ask me questions about pregnancy, birth, postpartum, breastfeeding. These will be recorded and if you miss them, you can always listen to the playback. You will be entered into a private forum for membership site community only. You will be able to participate in monthly Google Hangouts where you will be able to interact with other members. You will also be entitled to a 25% discounts on products and services offered by me. Some of the videos you will find in the AAM membership site are informational ones with experts in their field, talking about Birthing Centers, about nutrition during pregnancy and postpartum. Tori will be talking about how to exercise with your baby after giving birth, Elizabeth whose expertise is in raw foods and plant based eating will talk about eating during pregnancy and pp, Shannon will be giving some great information about yoga exercises you can practice safely during pregnancy and postpartum. These are just a few that come to mind. I will have some videos related to breastfeeding. This is a very exciting time and I hope that after listening to this show, you head on over to http://allaboutmothering.com/offer
You will see the pricing, which is excellent, honestly such a bargain for founding members.
In addition, to create some additional excitement, I am giving away target gift cards for the
25th person to sign up
50th person to sign up
75th person to sign up and the
100th person to sign up gets a $50.00 target gift card
I am excited for you to sign up and come along with me on this journey. There is plenty of opportunity for you to learn and plenty of opportunity for you to give me your feedback. I am going to read every single email and respondto your feedback.
As I was going back and forth in my mind trying to decide when to open up this site andas I worried that it was not 100% complete, I overhead someone else quoting Walt Disney and it was this quote, which was so appropriate and I took that as my signal to just Do It.
“The way to get started is to begin to stop talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney
Lori J. Isenstadt, IBCLC
Lori Jill Isenstadt, IBCLC is a huge breastfeeding supporter. She has spent much of her adult life working in the maternal health field. Once she became turned on to birth and became a childbirth educator, there was no stopping her love of working with families during their childbearing years. Lori became a Birth doula and a Postpartum doula and soon became a lactation consultant. She has been helping moms and babies with breastfeeding for over 25 years. Lori founded her private practice, All About Breastfeeding where she meets with moms one on one to help solve their breastfeeding challenges. She is an international speaker, book author and the host of the popular itunes podcast, All About Breastfeeding, the place where the girls hang out. You can reach Lori by email at: email@example.com or contact her via her website: allaboutbreastfeeding.biz/contact
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