I came across a great description of a Postpartum Doula the other day:

“Postpartum doulas are the best thing since…sliced bread, ice cream, Velcro, you name it. They are the angels who sweep into your home when you’re bleary-eyed, sleep deprived & need someone to talk to when you’re home from the hospital trying to figure it all out.”

It might be a stretch to think anything in the world could be better than ice cream-but if there’s someone there to help you out when your adding to your family for the 1st or 6th time.. then you might just think so too..

Recently I’ve been getting emails from families that are getting close to welcoming a new baby into their lives and they all want to know:

“How they can we prepare for the expected ‘less-sleep-during-the-newborn-stage’ of parenting..”

And unfortunately you just can’t bank sleep and use it for when you really need it (wouldn’t that come in handy for so many different reasons!?) But there’s good news-you can have a Postpartum Doula step in when you really need it..and for a lot of people that’s at night. Sometimes you need a question answered in the middle of the night and it’s easy to make it a bigger deal than it might have been in the daytime ..something about night makes things seem a little more critical and at times overwhelming. I’ve sat with mothers during their first breastfeeding sessions in a quiet (semi-dark) room in the middle of the night and talked about what they were feeling/questions and concerns of ‘doing it right’ .. helped them get babies back to sleep and then helped them back to their bed for some needed rest. It’s nice to know that when you wake up the laundry is folded, dishwasher was unloaded and for a few minutes you don’t have any nagging questions in your mind.

Please email or call if you or you know someone that could use some help-or just get a good nights rest..

Image

 

Another article caught my attention today and it’s because of the title ‘The Fourth Trimester’..This is a term that I relate to Postpartum help and why mothers need it and need a feeling of being ‘taken care of’ just like their new baby does..

A lot of new parents ask these questions:

“My baby is only happy in my arms, the minute I put her down she cries”

“He sleeps really well but only when he’s laying on my chest, he hates his moses basket”

“She cries every time we lay her on her play mat”

“He hates going in his pram, he cries the second we put him in it”.

And sometimes when you understand why a baby acts that way-you can start to relax and know that it’s nothing personal-they just love to be in our arms, on our chest, carried around as much as possible..

Everyone wants to get back to a ‘normal schedule’ and get their babies on a schedule ..and that once everyone is following that ‘schedule’ the house will be happy and calm ..but what if your baby doesn’t adapt as easily as that-everyone is frustrated and not feeling all that happy. Go back to some old fashioned tricks/tips like babywearing/swaddling/skin to skin contact vs. the bouncy seat/swing/activity playmat..and call your local Postpartum Doula-they can help you out too!

Here’s the whole article:

http://babycalm.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/the-fourth-trimester-aka-why-your-newborn-is-only-happy-in-your-arms-30/

*I know it’s been forever since I’ve last updated or posted on this blog-must get better about that..it’s on my growing ‘to-do’ list* :0)

I came across this article today-all about ways you can be sweet to a brand new mom (and dad) ..and they might sound easy ..but they can mean so much in those first days home with a little baby..

The most important thing is (pointed out by the author of this article) ..is that when you say “Let me know if there is ANYthing I can do to help..” ..you are leaving yourself and the new mom way open to almost to many possibilities..what does “anything” really mean..

Name something that you could easily do for them-

1.) Pick up siblings from school/Drive them to school

2.) Run a few small errands

3.) Tell mom/dad that you will be bringing over dinner and all they have to do is pre-heat the oven & throw away the paper plates at the end of the meal..

 

http://www.nicegirlnotes.com/ways-to-help-a-new-mom (From the blog NiceGirlNotes) a Connecticut blogger- gotta love local! :) 

 

Here are two great articles that show you tips/tricks on how to stock up on food in your freezer-something that will pay off when you have a new baby in the house and still need to eat. :0)

Stock Your Freezer- Tips/Tricks:

http://annies-eats.net/2010/08/26/stock-your-freezer-tips-and-tricks/

and

Stocking up on Make Ahead Meals:

http://annies-eats.net/2011/03/28/stocking-the-freezer-make-ahead-meals/

I came across a great article on what exactly a Postpartum Doula is all about- Love reading these and how a Postpartum Doula can help a family in so many different ways.

Complete article can be found here:

http://itsmybabyblog.com/2011/03/21/whats-a-postpartum-doula/

Though birth doulas and midwives are becoming a standard fixture in the delivery room, a lot of you pregnant and new parents are still curious about postpartum doulas and their role in the new baby season. Read on to learn what a postpartum doula is all about.

Let’s Start at Ground Zero, Here. Explain Postpartum Doula.

A “woman who serves,” a “mother to the mother,” a “baby-whisperer.” In the simplest terms, a postpartum doula is a professionally-trained woman who is hired to come into the home and support moms and dads in the first days, weeks, and sometimes months, immediately following delivery or adoption. The word “doula” comes from the Greek and means “a woman who serves.” But more than a servant, the postpartum doula is a nurturer, because babies aren’t the only ones who need help adjusting to this new world. The work they do is as varied as the families they serve.

What Exactly Does a Postpartum Doula Do?

Postpartum doulas are trained to serve you. They specialize in lactation assistance, baby monitoring, newborn basics and bonding, nutrition, safety, infant development, soothing techniques, healing practices, and also postpartum adjustment—their radar is honed to scope out postpartum mood disorders, and other emotional and physical changes that are bound to accompany the post-delivery days and weeks.

They are educators, caregivers, guides, and friends, assisting not only mom, but the whole family—Dad, grandparents, and siblings too.

Says one professional doula,
As a postpartum doula, I support new mothers in the month or so after birth. I cook, fold laundry, make tea, bake muffins. I give foot massages and hugs. I keep visitors in line and I keep Mama from writing thank-you notes if there are dark circles under her eyes. I offer to do it for her. It’ll be our little secret.

I am CPR-certified and overeducated on all things newborn. I know the signs of postpartum depression, postpartum psychosis, birth trauma, and mastitis. I know how to achieve a good latch at the breast, I can make a bottle with one hand, and I know several tricks for soothing fussy babies.

I honor birth stories, I shoulder anger, I dissolve guilt and fear. I do not judge and I do not try to do things my way. I teach, but I don’t give advice unless asked. I am a humble servant, I am a secret keeper, I am a baby burper. I am a mother to the mother.**

But I Have Lots of Family in the Area—Do I Need a Doula?

The answer to that question probably depends on your family and the level of support and care they offer you. Not everyone has a mother they can trust to come over, pitch in and help out—without the added commentary on how she’d do it differently if she were you. One of the things new parents most appreciate about doulas is the complete lack of pretense—the doula is there to help you and support you in doing what you are doing, not to change it up and impose her system. Because your doula doesn’t have an emotional investment in the way you desire to parent your newborn, she’s a help to the process, rather than a hurdle.

But doulas aren’t just for women with especially vocal mothers and mothers-in-law. Maybe you’d rather let mom do the fun grandma things like helping to entertain your visitors and taking care of siblings, and then let your doula handle the night shift. Doulas don’t usurp the role of family members in supporting a mother at this special time—rather they are advocates, making sure mom’s needs get handled in the midst of the new baby hubbub. Said one doula, “The best thing I can do is to be quietly present.  To take care of “things”, while mom is learning her new role.”

We’ve Already Had One (or more) Baby(ies) and We Muddled Through All Right on Our Own—Do We Need a Doula for Babies Two, Three, Four…?

The key phrase in that question is “muddled through.” The priority of a doula isn’t muddling through, it’s that mom, dad, and baby would thrive and flourish because they’re rested, well-fed, and well-supported in an environment that is tidy, orderly, and calm. “Thriving and flourishing,” or “muddling through” and “just making it”—you decide.

Though postpartum doulas are especially beneficial in the case of first-time births, multiples, and preemies, mothers at any stage of their childbearing journey will benefit from the always-at-your-side support of her doula.

If you have more questions about postpartum doulas and what they do, or you have your own doula story to share, put it in the comments section—we want to get the conversation going among moms and dads—What do you want to know about PP doulas? How did a PP doula change your experience of bringing home baby?

**Quote by doula Jen Rognerud. Click here to read her essay at Skirt.com.

By Jacki Christopher

One of my favorite parts of being a Postpartum Doula is meeting/chatting with a ‘soon-to-be’ expanding family..Couples expeceting their first-born or their 3rd and 4th at the same time (Twins!)..Every family is so different and have different expectations on how they want/imagine the Postpartum time to unfold..  Some people have a strict schedule they want to stick with and need help incorporating a new family member into the mix and some can’t even imagine what’s about to happen because they have never experienced it yet. 

It’s easy to think of all the family members and friends that your surrounded with and how excited they are about the new baby and your new and expanding family..that it’s almost impossible to think that you would ever need an extra set of hands..

but you do!.. and this article tells you why..

“Let me know if I can help you in any way when the baby is born.” … “Just let me know if you need a hand.” … “Anything I can do, just give me a call.”

Most pregnant women get these statements from friends and family but shy away from making requests when they are up to their ears in dirty laundry, unmade beds, dust bunnies and countertops crowded with dirty dishes. The myth of “I’m fine, I’m doing great, new motherhood is wonderful, I can cope and my husband is the Rock of Gibraltar” is pervasive in postpartum land. If you’re too shy to ask for help and make straight requests of people, I suggest sending the following list out to your friends and family. These are the things I have found to be missing in every house with a new baby. It’s actually easy and fun for outsiders to remedy these problems for the new parents but there seems to be a lot of confusion about what’s wanted and needed…  

1. Buy us toilet paper, milk and beautiful whole grain bread.    

2. Buy us a new garbage can with a swing top lid and 6 pairs of black cotton underpants (women’s size____).  3. Make us a big supper salad with feta cheese, black Kalamata olives, toasted almonds, organic green crispy things and a nice homemade dressing on the side. Drop it off and leave right away. Or, buy us frozen lasagna, garlic bread, a bag of salad, a big jug of juice, and maybe some cookies to have for dessert. Drop it off and leave right away.    

4. Come over about 2 in the afternoon, hold the baby while I have a hot shower, put me to bed with the baby and then fold all the piles of laundry that have been dumped on the couch, beds or in the room corners. If there’s no laundry to fold yet, do some.   

   

5. Come over at l0 a.m., make me eggs, toast and a 1/2 grapefruit. Clean my fridge and throw out everything you are in doubt about. Don’t ask me about anything; just use your best judgment.    

6. Put a sign on my door saying “Dear Friends and Family, Mom and baby need extra rest right now. Please come back in 7 days but phone first. All donations of casserole dinners would be most welcome. Thank you for caring about this family.”    

7. Come over in your work clothes and vacuum and dust my house and then leave quietly. It’s tiring for me to chat and have tea with visitors but it will renew my soul to get some rest knowing I will wake up to clean, organized space.    

8. Take my older kids for a really fun-filled afternoon to a park, zoo or Science World and feed them healthy food.    

9. Come over and give my husband a two hour break so he can go to a coffee shop, pub, hockey rink or some other r & r that will delight him. Fold more laundry.    

10. Make me a giant pot of vegetable soup and clean the kitchen completely afterwards. Take a big garbage bag and empty every trash basket in the house and reline with fresh bags.   

These are the kindnesses that new families remember and appreciate forever. It’s easy to spend money on gifts but the things that really make a difference are the services for the body and soul described above. Most of your friends and family members don’t know what they can do that won’t be an intrusion. They also can’t devote 40 hours to supporting you but they would be thrilled to devote 4 hours. If you let 10 people help you out for 4 hours, you will have the 40 hours of rested, adult support you really need with a newborn in the house. There’s magic in the little prayer “I need help.”   

First posted online August 2001  

Gloria Lemay:

http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?p=34

  • I came across this great article and had to share it on my blog ..and the link to the article is at the bottom of this page:

    Postpartum doulas are knowledgeable professionals who assist families during the critical period immediately after the birth of their baby. They “mother the mother,” and offer physical, emotional, and informational support to the family, as well as practical help. The doula’s expertise in mother and baby care enables her to assist with postpartum comfort measures, breastfeeding support, non-judgmental guidance in infant care techniques, information on normal postpartum restoration, and family emotional assistance through this major transition. These doulas provide essential support during the modern postpartum experience, a time when many mothers today feel uninformed, isolated, and anxious. Traditionally, the postpartum period was a “nesting period,” when a new mother was attended to by other experienced mothers. They helped take care of her and her family so that the mother could focus on the vital tasks of postpartum recovery: emotional adaptation to great change, and getting to know her precious little one.

    Today few families have such support, and frequently become exhausted and overwhelmed by the immense work of becoming parents. Postpartum doulas gently guide and support families through this transition, so that they may get off to the best start with their new baby. 

    The practical help that is included with a postpartum doula’s services vary, but most doulas make simple meals for the family, comfort and diaper the baby, answer the phone and door, and take care of the baby and any siblings while the parents nap, shower, or take a much-needed break. Some doulas will assist with laundry, errands, or light housekeeping as well.

    The doula is not a maid though, nor is she a nurse. She leaves diagnoses and clinical procedures to medically trained personnel, but will make referrals to a medical professional if she notices something of concern. However, it is commonly felt that a doula can help a mother stay healthy, and reduce her chances of postpartum complications. She does this by educating the mother and enabling her to focus on her recovery from birth, and to rest as much as possible. Doulas keep the mother well nourished and hydrated, and help to reduce incidences of sleep deprivation and postpartum depression. Studies have shown that with the help of a postpartum doula, breastfeeding duration is increased, while feeding problems and depression decrease. Also, parents report feeling more confident and less stressed or anxious.

    Would you consider hiring a postpartum doula? Or if you have used one in the past, what was your experience like?

  • http://www.momaroo.com/724540502/how-a-postpartum-doula-can-help-you/

    http://www.atinyperspective.com

     

    I just linked up with ‘A Tiny Perspective’ 3D/4D Ultrasound over in Glastonbury Connecticut and I’m super excited about it!

    I emailed them asking if I could be listed as a ‘Friend’ on their home page and Joe (Owner) took it one step further and asked if I wanted to come in and look at their wall space to put up some of my photography work!

    “images provide a connection between the parents and baby that can be beneficial to the whole family”

    How great is that!?

    I heard about them through my sister-in-law who had a 3D ultrasound over the winter and she told me how wonderful her experience was when she was there and that made me want to reach out and contact them. The office is beautiful and what an awesome chance to really “see” your baby for the first time..

    I’ll post some pictures of the final outcome after my work has been put up over there!

    If your between the weeks of 24-34 weeks pregnant I would give them a call to set up an appointment..

    I’ve been reading That Wife Blog for a while now ..and I even posted a link to how she was going to prepare for the Postpartum time and just the other day she posted her thoughts on actually living through the Postpartum time .. 

    which can be a bit different from how you think that time in your life will play out..

    I love her honest post and it’s uniquely her experience ..but I know other mother’s and moms-to-be will benefit from reading what she’s been going through.. and you can find it right here:

     http://thatwifeblog.com/2010/06/postpartum-recovery/

    Contact Information:

    Located:Central Connecticut {available to travel} Email: ktaylordoula@gmail.com Cell Phone: 860.690.7297

    Postpartum Support Circle: Mom’s Wanted!

    Please email me if you are interested in meeting up in a relaxed group setting. I'm working with another local Doula to get a group up and running and it would be great to know there was a need/interest out in Central Connecticut!! Something casual where we can talk about the Postpartum time and your personal experiences!

    Blog Stats

    • 12,302 hits

    Gift Certificates:

    Please email me if you need a Gift Certificate! A gift of help during the Postpartum time is always appreciated!!
    Follow

    Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.