The Global Big Latch On Arizona

All photos by M.E.K. Photography

Happy World Breastfeeding Week! You fans have blown up social media with all the beautiful breastfeeding pictures. In Arizona we celebrated with a big event called the Global Big Latch On. The BLO (Big Latch On) is a part of a world wide movement to normalize and celebrate breastfeeding. It gets communities of breastfeeding families to gather together and “latch” their babies all at 10:30am local time. This year on August 5th and 6th a new record was set: 46,290 people gathered (all family members included) and 17,223 children were breastfeeding during the count!

However, the BLO is more than a competition to us. I met a mom who was thinking about weaning but continued breastfeeding for longer just to attend the event. I met a mom who breastfed tandem in public for the first time at our event. For many moms this may be the first time they’ve seen other breastfeeding moms. At other events we find a quiet corner, use a cover or have a friend/ spouse stand guard while breastfeeding in public. But at THIS event the whole point is to breastfeed and it was wonderful!

Thank you to everyone who attended our location in Chandler and the Phoenix location at the Milk Spot. We had about 90 breastfeeding children combined. Next year we would love to see more locations in Arizona. Contact us if you want to be a host- it’s a pretty simple process with a big gain- encouraging more moms to breastfeed!

An interview with a doula

Have you heard this word: doula? Maybe you’ve heard your friends talking about them and you’re not quite sure what they do. We are here to fill you in mama!

I sat down with Ashley Slovitsky of Mama Bliss Birth Services, to find out just what she does and how she can help you with your next birth and breastfeeding journey.

NVS: First of all, how are you certified and what exactly do you do?

AS: I am a DONA birth doula. I offer a complimentary consultation-finding the perfect doula for you is incredibly important. Upon being hired, I provide 2 prenatal appointments at the family’s home. We discuss ways to cope with labor, techniques and methods I use, birth plan writing and other birth related topics. I’m available for advice via phone, email, text, etc. My on call period is from weeks 38-42 and once labor begins I will meet at the family’s home or place of birth for continuous labor support. Once baby is born, I stay for 1-2 hours following birth to provide any help that may be needed with breastfeeding. I provide photography and videography of the birth of desired. I also meet with the family within one week following baby’s birth to meet the sweet little one, provide the birth story I’ve written and any photos/video taken, and to make sure breastfeeding is going well. If any help is needed, such as suggestions for lactation consultants, I’m also able to provide resources. In addition to doula services, I also offer placenta encapsulation and tincture services. I offer special rates on placenta encapsulation for clients who choose to use me as their doula as well.

NVS: How do you help a new mother with breastfeeding those first few hours and weeks after baby is born?

AS:  I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding. I believe it takes patience and hard work, and sometimes it’s a learning curve for each mother and baby. I help to encourage immediate breastfeeding after birth and show moms how to help their baby latch. I explain different positions to use in feeding baby as well. If they are having trouble beyond my expertise, I have excellent resources to recommend for lactation support. At the in-home postpartum visit, I provide information regarding ‘normal’ newborn feeding guidelines, as well as to ensure any concerns or issues are addressed. Finding help immediately if you are having trouble with breastfeeding is incredibly important. We have some excellent local lactation support and I make sure every mom has their contact information if it’s needed. I also have extensive personal experience with tongue and lip ties, and can provide recommendations to providers of baby is diagnosed with a tie

NVS: How long have you been working as a doula and why are you passionate about it?

AS: I’ve been a DONA trained doula since November 2014. Previously, I had attended family and friends births with my knowledge of birth and ability to support moms during labor. I decided to ‘officially’ become a doula because I deeply believe in a doulas role. I personally know the difference in having a strong support system in birth, and for me that included doula support. I’m passionate about helping family’s to know that they have options and can make decisions regarding their birth. I’ve attended all types of birth in all settings which include hospitals, birth centers, and home births and I have experience with vbacs, medicated/unmedicated, cesarean, multiples, and surrogates.

Ashley takes between 2-4 clients a month all over the Valley from Avondale and Surprise to San Tan Valley and Apache Junction and every city in between.

You can read more about Ashley’s work (along with glowing client reviews) at her website http://www.mamablissbirthservices.com/.

Her email is MAMABLISSDOULA@HOTMAIL.COM

And she is offering $50 off a doula or placenta service for our fans, just mention that you saw this post.