Being a part of the BABS* Family Support Advocates (FSA) program is a great way to give back to the community. FSAs are scheduled for 24-hour on-call shifts, during which they may be called to support a new family any time during their hospital stay. One-on-one support immediately following birth is beneficial not only to mom and baby but the whole family. Breastfeeding success greatly depends on those first 24 hours immediately following birth--but it's hard for moms and partner to focus on this new (and sometimes daunting) task after birth, especially if it was long or complicated experience.
Molly Mendota, BABS Doula Supervisor, states in the recent BloomingFamilies announcement letter, "We’ve found that a newborn will often nurse well within an hour or two of birth, and then things go downhill. By the time the birth doula checks in a day or two later, the baby hasn’t latched, or mom’s nipples are hurting, and the stress level is high. Combine this with recovery from a surgical birth, or lack of family support, or any number of other factors, and it’s a recipe for a breastfeeding disaster."
The nurses at the hospital are fantastic, but because they often have so many women and babies to check on, it makes it difficult to provide continuous support for every family. FSAs provide the follow-up care needed after the birth of a baby. They provide emotional support and reassurance to mom and family. FSAs also do something simple, yet so important: help make sure babe gets fed and mom's milk supply is protected.
There will be an FSA training scheduled for mid-November (dates to be determined) at BABS. FSAs commit to monthly meetings and a minimum of two 24-hour on-call shifts per month (8am-8am). To be an FSA, you do NOT need to be trained as a doula, but you do need to apply and be accepted before volunteering. If you have any questions, please contact the Doula Supervisor, Molly Mendota, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave her a message at BABS, 812-337-8121.
*Bloomington Area Birth Services (BABS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping moms, babies, and families. There you can find childbirth education classes, breastfeeding assistance (at The BABS Lactation Center), exercise and activity classes, various prenatal and postpartum workshops, support groups, and parent-baby playtime. BABS also supplies new & expectant parents with resources and maternity items throughout their extensive lending library and boutique.
BABS is located at 2458 S Walnut St. in Bloomington, IN.