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.
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.
Confused about all the different roles and how you can get training to do your chosen path? If you are considering becoming a birth worker but youhave questions about what each path consists of, what tasks are performed, and what training is required, read on.
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!
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.
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.
So many moms have asked this question over the years, I thought I would collect some answers here that I have heard from moms group (and some I have tried myself) and see if they help out some new mamas.
As a brand new mother, I asked myself this far too often. I made some different choices than some of my family and friends, and didn’t want to rock the boat--ok, some of my friends are snickering at that last comment, but really, as a new mom, I REALLY didn’t want to disappoint anyone!
This is a quick doula meal I can make just about anywhere. Most families have eggs, and an assortment of tired looking veggies that were meant for something but got overlooked by a new baby in the house. This is a great way to build a whole meal out of a rag tag team of odds and ends, and give a new family something beautiful to eat that lasts beyond one meal.
As doulas who offer overnight care, gentle sleep consults, and of course a host of handy mom-helping services, we often hear the worst stories. (Like the moms who freeze their purses and call us because they can't find their keys! True story--and not just one!) But lately I am hearing stories aboutmoms who put off their need for sleep long enough to really feel like they are having a breakdown. Like losing their mind, and not just for that moment when you 'forget' you had a baby and then suddenly realize you have been a mother for 3 months (not uncommon!). But the kind that feels desperate, clinging to any kind of support they can possibly trust.