I was inspired this morning by a quote I learned from my very first trainer and mentor in postpartum doula work (Vicky York). She used to say to mothers, "There are 100 ways to do this right." She has passed now, but I thought her memory could live on, not just in the words echoed from the doulas we have both trained, but in a meme and a hashtag for the world to see.
Doulas are increasingly being asked to work overnight in the hospital due to hospitals implementing the Baby Friendly Initiative and becoming certified Baby Friendly.
We need to know our options and the potential outcomes so we can make informed choices that fit our needs. Once I realized there were other choices that emphasized helping your BODY be prepared, and not just your mind, I thought I better share it for the sake of my people...
BTW Good news, they start responsively smiling during this time and I’m pretty sure it was built into the design of babies to smile right before they get WAY harder!
Remember those days when your baby stopped just going to sleep after feedings and woke up only to fuss much of the time he was awake UNTIL the next feed? And all the while you were trying to figure out how to eat more than a Cliff bar and grab a shower after 3 feeds seemingly back to back? Because your partner went back to work and you were left alone with a baby who seemed way easier when Daddy (or grandma, auntie, etc) was home?
...take heart, mamas who are feeling saggy bellied, sparse-haired and generally worn out. This is not your show season, but it will return! And what a fantastic brag piece you have with that adorable baby you made in that body of yours.
When people here ask me what I do, I tell them I make life better with babies. Not better FOR babies, as parents usually do that really well even without support. Better WITH babies, as what doulas do is make the job easier on parents, and help them to be great with their own babies. And that makes parenthood feel a lot smoother.
Doulas are different. Our job is not to come and “check on the babies” but rather to come check on the mother. We know that if mothers are well cared for, babies will be too.
This week I interviewed Michelle Emanuel, an Occupational Therapist and Craniosacral Therapist, who teaches her trademarked TummyTime! Program to parents and other professionals (bodyworkers, lactation consultants, doulas, educators, etc) which is where I first learned this approach, including the Polyvagal Theory.
I used all these items during my postpartum recovery, and many, MANY of my friends did as well. We wanted each item to be useful whether a mom gives birth vaginally or has a c-section. And the totes are definitely "nursing-friendly" because in our experience most moms nurse, even if only for a bit. So we wanted to strike the balance of useful, and "you probably don't have this in your medicine cabinet." as well as some fun items just for mama to enjoy.
People are finally beginning to hear about postpartum doulas and all they provide (and not just how great birth doulas are…although they are!). Did you know these secret doula benefits?
There comes a point when you learn to listen to your inner voice. The one that loves and adores your baby. The one that questioned all your early decisions and second-guessed every move made in the beginning.
As much as I love both garage sales and babywearing, I also love featuring others who have even more passion and education than I do, so Lindsay DeGroot joined us for this blog on two of our favorite topics!
Today I encourage you to take off the pool cover. Improve your view. Change your outlook, even ever so slightly, so that you can include the beauty that is around you.
Clearly the worst part about pumping is washing the parts and keeping everything clean and safe. Here are the top tips from Portland moms who have become pros at pumping and storing their milk:
So many moms ask us how to get ALL the milk out when they pump or nurse, especially when they are newly engorged or worried that a clogged duct is starting to form, or if they are on the edge of mastitis. Breasts are always making milk, especially in the very beginning of breastfeeding, so it might not be possible for you to 'empty' the breast. However you should be able to get relief and shouldn't be feeling uncomfortable after a feeding or pumping session.
It is the plea of hardworking mothers who slug their pumps with them to work, drop off their babies, and take their breasts along too.
"How do I pump enough to keep up with my baby when all I have is this machine??"
A great move I recently made was to hire someone to help me navigate the muddy waters of web organization and social media management for our thriving business. Yes, we are doing well, but aren't we all about efficiency? We can teach you how to care for your baby efficiently, and my web guru can teach me how to go about SEO efficiently as well.
One of the biggest concerns for moms going back to work is that they won’t have enough milk for their baby while they are away. This needs to be tackled in two parts. Part 1 is about making sure to use the pumped milk wisely and not putting extra pressure on mom to pump more. Part 2 on how to maximize pumping at work is coming soon!First let’s talk about the person caring for the baby. Above all, don’t let them waste your milk!
Why the FIRST HOUR SWADDLE? Well, it really isn’t a swaddle, but it is what we teach as the first way you can wrap a baby in a blanket. Don’t shoot me down yet…we are basically wrapping baby up in mom’s skin with the blanket over both. Nothing between mom and baby but maybe the diaper. Baby has unrestricted access to the breast, mom’s warmth, smell, skin, etc. All the wonderful regulatory behavior that babies need in those early days (and beyond) gets to happen regardless of the room’s contents.